Downtime with Dr. Lisa Avery

Jason E. Kaplan
Dr. Lisa Avery cycling in a park in Albany, Oregon

Relaxing with the president of Linn-Benton Community College

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What are you reading? 

I love to read in my spare time. For fun I read a lot of mysteries set across the world, and also my youngest daughter and I read together every night. Right now we’re reading Artemis Fowl, from the LBCC library’s excellent collection.

What are you watching?

My wife and I just finished “Ted Lasso,” which was as amazing as folks say. As a family, we have all enjoyed “Queens” on Disney+, which is a beautifully produced nature show.

What are you listening to?

While driving I listen to music, a combination of old (Bruce Springsteen classics) and new (Modest Mouse). A podcast I am enjoying is “The Holderness Family.”

What is your must-have gadget?

My favorite gadget is my phone, sadly, but it helps me stay in touch with my family while I am at work, and with work while I am traveling. I have family across the globe, so we spend time together on WhatsApp, making the distances feel smaller. 

What are your hobbies/interests?

I love to bicycle around the mid-valley, especially the flatter parts and the areas with less traffic. I also very much love to snorkel, and we often travel to various reef areas to check out the wildlife.

What was your childhood or earliest ambition?

As a child, I hoped to be a firefighter or a professional athlete. Now I focus on helping provide education for all, and I am pleased that this is my profession.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

I loved seeing the Great Barrier Reef and learning about ways people are trying to conserve it. On the domestic side, our family enjoys going to Disneyland together.

What is your biggest extravagance?

Travel is my biggest extravagance. I try to avoid collecting “things” and focus on memories and experiences instead. 

What motivates you to come to work?

I love working in the public sector to help create opportunities for families to improve their economic situation through education. Every year at commencement, it is incredibly heartwarming to see the pride of family members as their loved ones walk across the graduation stage. 

Who is your professional role model?

Dr. Karen Stout, CEO of Achieving the Dream, is my professional role model. She has devoted her life’s work to helping more students access opportunities to high-quality, affordable education. 

What ambitions do you still have?

As my daughters complete their own educations, I hope to see them happily launch into great jobs and help our community too. On the professional side, my ambition is to make better links between K-12 schools, community colleges and industry. I think there are some great things happening but also room for improvement.

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