It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our friend and colleague Greta Krahn who passed away on Friday, January 23, after a 10-year, courageous battle with cancer. Greta had a long history with the GSE, both as an alumna and an employee. She received her master’s in counselor education in 1986 and returned to PSU in 2003 to coordinate the ESL/Bilingual program for Continuing Education. She also served as the associate director of Continuing Education and the ESOL program manager until her retirement in 2014. Her professional contributions were many and far-reaching, but most important was her gift of friendship and collegiality that she shared with all who knew her.
“Greta used her counseling skills in daily life, whether it was her reflective listening skills to help me figure out what I really wanted to do, her ability to ask questions that got to the heart of an issue, her ability to problem solve very sticky issues, or just being there for every one of us,” said Cheryl Livneh, emerita faculty and recently retired associate dean of the GSE. “She was always professional, calm, thoughtful, and caring.”
When Greta came to PSU, she coordinated the ESL (later ESOL) program, which had over 450 admitted students. Greta continued to advance the program, building a state-wide network of the district directors of ESL, Oregon Department of Education ESL staff, professional associations, and Title II representatives that positioned the GSE to be a leader in the field. She naturally took on an advocacy role for preK-12 English learners through her work with their teachers.
Greta was a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and a national certified gerontological counselor (NCGC) with more than 20 years of experience providing education, programs, and services to older adults. From 1995 to 2003, she was the coordinator of the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Chemeketa Community College. She was very active in the American Counseling Association and the Oregon Gerontological Association.
Greta was a trusted and supportive colleague, and her infectious laugh and positive spirit will be missed by all in the GSE.