Three Minutes with Jacelyn Keys

Jacelyn Keys is the director of the Blue Mountain Community College Hermiston Center

Jacelyn Keys

Hermiston Center Director, Blue Mountain Community College

When and why did you move to Hermiston?

I moved to Hermiston on February 12, 2010 from Oregon State University because I had gotten a job as Eastern Oregon University’s Hermiston Center Director.

What is your favorite place to eat in Hermiston?

It’s tied between Walker’s and Delish.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have no spare time. It’s a really good thing I love my job — I spend 12 to 14 hours a day here. I love to travel, I like to garden, I love reading and I like to bake things.

What surprises you about Hermiston?

The community — I thought I’d be here for three years and leave Hermiston. But I fell in love with the people and how giving they are.

What was the last book you read?

I’ve got four books going right now. Probably the best one is an autobiographical-type book on Booker T. Washington — a compilation of his writings. I think he’s really the father of career technical education, and I’ve been blown away. I also read Pride and Prejudice every fall. Jane Austen is my favorite author. I love the courage she displays. Everyone thinks she’s a fluffy romance writer, but she’s not, she was terribly gutsy.

What app or website do you use most often?

Pinterest. It’s a horrible addiction.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Scotland: it’s like my second home, I’ve been three times. If I was traveling to a place I’ve never been, I’d go to Turkey or Syria.

What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you?

I met Rob Lowe in an airport. My flight was delayed and then canceled, I was wearing a business suit that was two days old, my makeup had sunk in/slid off my face, and I was trying to get home. I was almost in tears. Then I turned around, and Rob Lowe was standing behind me. He said, “it seems like you’re having a hard time.” And I said, “Yes — and I really miss you on the West Wing!” This was in 2005 or 2006.

What is one of your goals for the next 12 months?

I think a personal goal — I said at the beginning of the year that I’d do at least one thing every month that scared me or that took me out of my comfort zone. For July, it’s ziplining in Belize.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I think the moments where I’m most proud are not my accomplishments, but my students’ — the times I feel most pride are being able to watch or support someone overcome something they didn’t think they could overcome.

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