Alumni and Careers
Careers in law, advertising, education, technical writing, and creative fiction are just a few of the possibilities awaiting a graduate from George Fox's English department. Take a look at some of our graduates below.
Darleen Ortega, Class of 1984
The Honorable Darleen Ortega graduated from George Fox and went on to earn her law degree at the University of Michigan Law School in 1989. She practiced law in Detroit for the next few years before returning to Portland, Ore., where she specialized in complex civil cases and appeals. In 2003, Governor Kulongoski appointed her as a judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals where she currently serves. Judge Ortega attends a Friends church here in Newberg and chairs our university's Council on Diversity.
Gina Ochsner, Class of 1992
Gina Ochsner graduated from George Fox in 1992 and earned a master's degree in English from Iowa State University and a master in fine arts from the University of Oregon. She has authored two books: People I Wanted to Be (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner) and The Necessary Grace to Fall (University of Georgia Press). Ochsner’s short stories have been featured in The New Yorker magazine and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She has won more than 20 awards for her writing, including the Flannery O’Connor Award, the Oregon Book Award, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award.
Leif Eckstrom, Class of 2000
Leif graduated as a writing and literature major after completing a year in the university's Oxford Study Abroad program. After spending time traveling the world, he settled at Loyola University in Chicago where he earned his master's degree in English. He holds a PhD from Tufts University where he won a generous fellowship.
Joanna Schmidt, Class of 2006 & Melanie Mock, 1990
Joanna graduated from George Fox and went on to earn a master's degree in writing with an emphasis in book publishing from Portland State University, where she was the managing editor of Ooligan Press. She currently works for Mercy Ships, an organization that provides medical care in developing countries through hospitals on ships.
Melanie graduated from George Fox and earned a master's degree and PhD in composition studies from Oklahoma State University. She currently chairs our department and teaches a variety of courses ranging from biography/autobiography to women's studies.
Abigail Rine, Class of 2005
Our department is pleased to have Abigail back with us – this time as an instructor. Abigail graduated from George Fox with a philosophy major and writing and literature minor. She then went on to earn a master's degree in English literature and gender studies at the University of St. Andrews in the UK and was admitted into the PhD program in English there. As she teaches here, she's currently writing her dissertation on revisionist theology in contemporary women's fiction. Abigail has also published work on contemporary novelists and French feminist theory, as well as some short fiction.