Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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New Professors at COCC

Alan Nunes, AAS, LMT
One Year Temporary Instructor of Licensed
Massage Therapy
Mr. Nunes holds an Associate of Science Degree in
Massage Therapy from Central Oregon Community
College, graduating with highest honors. Mr. Nunes
attended the National Holistic Institute (NHI) in
Berkeley, CA where he also graduated with Honors,
receiving a Letter of Excellence. During his work at
NHI, he served as a graduate teaching assistant
and has previously taught at the Sage School of
Massage in Bend. Mr. Nunes is currently employed
as an Adjunct Instructor of Massage Therapy at
COCC and is creator and owner of his own private
massage therapy practice in Bend. Additionally, he
is an accomplished artist, well known in the Central
Oregon community.
Amanda Layton
Tenure-Track, Assistant Professor I of Biology
Ms. Layton has a Master of Science in Exercise
Science degree from Central Washington
University. She started teaching human anatomy
and physiology courses in the Science Department
at COCC, and at The Sage School of Massage
(Bend, OR), in 2011. At COCC, she also has
taught an introductory general biology course for
non-science majors (BI 101: Cells &Genes), and
from 2011-2012 was the Exercise Physiology Lab
Coordinator (part of our HHP Department).
Jane Denison-Furness
Tenure-Track, Assistant Professor I of English,
Developmental Literacy
Ms. Jane Denison-Furness holds a Master’s
degree in Literature and Rhetoric and
Communication from Northern Illinois University.
Her MA thesis title is “Transcendental
Mothers: Orienting the American Cultural Hearth.”
Ms. Denison-Furness has taught at Rockford
University and Northern Illinois University and is
currently teaching developmental education
and composition at Rock Valley College. She is
also a technical writer and is the author of several
articles and conference presentations.
Rebecca Franklin
Tenure-Track, Assistant Professor I of Forest
Resources Technology Dr. Rebecca Franklin
earned a Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University
of Arizona at their Laboratory of Tree-Ring
Research and a B.S. in Forestry from Humboldt
State University. The title of her dissertation is
Climatic and Ecological Implications of Shrub-
Chronologies at Rock Glacier Sites of the Eastern
Sierra Nevada Range, California, U.S.A. She has
taught full time at COCC since September of 2013.
She has also taught at Oregon State Cascades
Campus and the University of Arizona. She has
worked in various capacities, including Botanist and
Research Assistant, for the U.S. Forest Service
Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest Research
Thor Erickson
Tenure-Track, Assistant Professor I of Culinary
Chef Erickson received his Associates of Arts
degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management
from Columbia Community College in Columbia,
California. He also completed an extensive study in
Brewing Science, Enology, and Viticulture from the
University of California in Davis, California. In 2013,
Chef Erickson received the Award of Excellence as
International Cooking Teacher of the Year by the
International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chef Erickson’s professional experience includes
over 25 years as an Executive Chef, Banquet Chef,
and restaurant consultant in Northern California and
Oregon. He has been teaching as a Chef Instructor
at Central Oregon Community College since 2009
and assisted in curriculum development for the
Cascade Culinary Institute program and Elevation
Ken Ruettgers
Tenure-Track, Assistant Professor I of
Dr. Ruettgers earned his PhD from Oxford Graduate
College and holds an MBA from California State
University at Bakersfield. His research interests
include ethnicity and sport as cultural
expression and sports as a positive coping
mechanism for at-risk youth. He founded a nonprofit
organization assisting professional athletes
transition away from a sports career. Papers
and presentations include “Life Beyond the Game”
and “Is There Life After Soccer?” He currently
teaches Sociology courses at Central Oregon
Community College.





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