Healthy Communities

Healthy Communities

Acquire the knowledge to provide communities with the care they need. In the Healthy Communities flight path, you’ll work with world-renowned researchers to explore wellness on a local and global scale. Discover how living organisms interact, how the human body evolves, and how your mind functions to solve complex cultural issues. Become a leader in health care, public health, social services, community advocacy, and government to improve our world. 

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Your Healthy Communities Team

The Health Professions Program is located within the Healthy Communities Flight Path.

Kim Marshel, Assistant Director

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Kim Marshel is the Assistant Director for College & Career Advising in the Healthy Communities Flight Path. She has worked at the University of Oregon since 2019 and has nearly 18 years of educational leadership experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Certificate in Women’s Studies and a Master’s degree in Educational Policy from Portland State University.

As a former student-athlete, she understands how difficult finding balance can be when managing multiple roles and enjoys helping students put the puzzle of college life together in a way that gives them the confidence and support needed to know they can accomplish great things. When not working with students, Kim enjoys being outdoors hiking, biking, skiing, playing soccer or anything that provides an adrenaline rush.

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Miles Cunningham, Academic and Career Advisor


Miles Cunningham is an academic and career advisor in the Healthy Communities Flight Path within Tykeson College and Career Advising. Miles received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2018.  He received his Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Children, Youth, & Families studies in 2019. He will receive his Masters in Theology with a concentration in Liberation Theology from Boston Colleges school of Theology and Ministry in December of 2022. Before coming the University of Oregon, Miles worked at Boston College in The Office of Student-Athlete Academic Services where he worked with Student Athletes as a liaison between the Student-Athletes, the Athletics Department and the BC academic community (For Boston: Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle). He was born and raised in the small state of Rhode Island. Outside of the office, Miles loves playing video games, playing golf and watching basketball and baseball, and listening to history podcast.

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Sonia Gordillo, Health Professions and Academic and Career Advisor


Sonia Gordillo is an advisor in the Healthy Communities Flight Path and is also a Health Professions Advisor within Tykeson College and Career Advising. Sonia received her Bachelors of Arts in Social Work from Portland State University with a double minor in Child and Family Studies and Spanish (2018). In 2019, Sonia received her Masters in Social Work from Pacific University. Sonia is a first-generation Mexican-American from Eugene, Oregon. As Sonia states, “Being a first generation student going through the University system was challenging to say the least. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the wonderful support of mentors and advisors that have guided me along the way. I now hope I can be a strong guiding force to first generation and underrepresented students at the University of Oregon. I whole-heartedly strive for students to unleash and reach their maximum potential. I want to strategize with you, help you think more critically about your career interests, and develop a plan that is right for YOU. Some advising appointment will be very academic and career focused, while others can be a moment to debrief about courses, life, and mental health.”

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Barbara Kessel, Academic and Career Advisor


Barbara Kessel is an academic and career advisor in the Healthy Communities Flight Path within Tykeson College and Career Advising.  She earned a Master’s of Arts in Sociology from Ohio University and a Master’s of Education in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University (OSU).  She moved from the Midwest in 1998 following the modern day Oregon Trail and initially landed in Springfield.  She is a first generation college student and enjoys working with underrepresented student populations.  Prior to coming to UO, she worked most recently at OSU as an academic advisor for the Department of Microbiology.  Outside of work, she enjoys kayaking, trips to the coast, and spending time with her family.

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Michelle Alexander
Michelle Alexander, Academic and Career Advisor

Michelle Alexander is an advisor in the Healthy Communities Flight Path within Tykeson College and Career Advising.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in History from Portland State University and has a Master of Science in Sociology from University of Oregon.  Her dissertation Roles of the Dice: Play and Community in Roleplay Practice is set to be defended Spring 2022.  Michelle enjoys being in the classroom and communities of learning, whether at the head or in the crowd. Michelle spends as much time as she is allowed walking through real and virtual worlds, marveling at the beautiful ways we construct each other as we pass though.  Michelle brings with her the experience of a non-traditional student, and of passing through spaces where she was always non-typical.  As such, she uses this experience to inform her advising, helping students craft experiences which ring true even as they may be difficult.  In her free time, she makes sure her 3 cats are just as pampered as possible, enjoys time with family and friends (preferably around a fire of some nature) and yes, does play Dungeons and Dragons.  She prefers 5th Edition because of its elegant and mutable design but appreciates the crunchiness of 3rdEdition.  In terms of online MMORPGs, Michelle prefers more discreet, narrative games like the Dragon Age or Witcher series rather than open world sandboxes, having spent time in both. 

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Ellen Fields, Academic and Career Advisor


Ellen is an advisor in the Healthy Communities Flight Path with interest in supporting students seeking careers in health professions. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Oregon and earned her Master’s degree in Professional Mental Health Counseling from Lewis & Clark College. Prior to working as an academic advisor, Ellen worked in early childhood intervention through for profit childcare settings as well as abuse prevention programs for families and young children. Ellen approaches advising with a holistic approach, using strength based language and genuine curiosity about the process of learning inside and outside the classroom. Outside of work, Ellen can be found outdoors mostly, swimming, biking, gardening, and playing with her Labradoodle puppy.

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Healthy Communities Majors

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Biology
  • General Science
  • Human Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology

College of Design

  • Architecture
  • Interior Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Pre-Landscape Architecture

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