Jeri Stark: Eugene’s Unspoken Champion

On a crisp November morning, the Wandering Goat Coffee Company is filled with the usual downtown Eugene characters: dreadlocked punk rockers, aging hipsters in various tie-dyed attire and the occasional Birkenstock-laden environmentalists. They come pouring in from the cold armed with laptops, obscure novels and a craving for the comforts only a warm, caffeine-thick brew can offer at this hour. If an artist were to draw a caricatured scene of Eugene stereotypes, the result would likely be just a hair’s breadth from the present tableau.

Yet seated at a small table in the dead-center of the café is a woman whose dress and demeanor seem slightly juxtaposed to the earthy, radical vibe of her surroundings. Unlike many of the Wandering Goat’s patrons, Jeri Stark emits a strong air of subtly- the vibe of a person who is able to say and do meaningful things without betraying a baseline level of humility. Despite her unassuming appearance and soft-spoken composure, after only a few minutes of talking with her one is left with the overwhelming impression that there is far more to this woman than she initially lets on; a theory eventually validated by her laundry-list of professional and humanitarian accomplishments. Although they may never know her name or even give her a second glance across the coffee shop, it is likely that Stark will have had an impact, direct or otherwise, on many of the people enjoying their javas around her.

 

About Ryan Buckley

I am a senior journalism student at the UO and am dreading graduation at the end of this year. I was born in New Jersey but spent most of my life in California. I am the oldest of three kids and I enjoy reading, doing anything exercise-related and watching corny horror movies. Ideally I would like to be involved in sports media in some capacity when I get into the professional world.
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