A graduate of Pleasant Hill schools, Michael Cross studied exercise science at the UO, then spent a couple of years working in the UC San Diego orthopedics department's exercise program for seniors. "We used exercise as a preventative tool," he says. "When we get them into better shape, they live longer autonomously and don't develop diseases." Returning to the UO for a master's in human physiology, Cross designed an interactive web-based exercise curriculum for adult learners as his degree project. "I was teaching exercise physiology and physical education at at the UO and LCC," he says. "I've always wanted to teach, especially with adults." Early in 2011, Cross saw an ad, interviewed, and became the new program coordinator for the Eugene office of the Alzheimer's Association, Oregon Chapter. "Every other employee is in Portland," he says. "I take care of educational programs and outreach in Lane, Douglas, Coos, and Curry Counties." All classes, support groups, and referrals are free, and half of the funds raised by the association go to Alzheimer's research. Learn more at alz.org/oregon. Cross is also an avid abstract artist. His painting seen in the photo suggests the brain tangles of Alzheimer's. See more artwork at michaelcrossart.blogspot.com.