Join us for our next AWL strategic discussion and networking event

What do you get when you combine public policy research, serial entrepreneurship, and diversity-focused executive leadership? ― You get our next Advancing Women in Leadership strategic discussion, that’s what.

We’re hosting our November 6 meeting at the OSU Portland Center in Pioneer Square, our first at OSU’s new location in the heart of downtown. This is an opportunity to gain insights from the impressive panelists we have on board as well as visit the new learning hub that we are all so passionate about.

We’re grateful to our panelists for this quarter’s Portland event.

Su Embree, President, DHM Research

Su Embree is the CEO and President of DHM Research, a well-respected opinion research firm based in Portland, Oregon, with offices in Seattle, Washington, and Washington, D.C. The firm specializes in public policy issues and studies the values of everyday people in communities across the country. Su’s interest in research began early in college where she learned the power of data to improve outcomes. Today, she dedicates her time in highlighting the voice of our community to executive teams, elected officials, and boards of directors.

DHM Research has cultivated strategies to increase community impact, specifically around diversity and equity. She takes a leadership role, serves on boards, and engages with community leaders to increase support for women and minority-owned businesses. Embree also is committed to developing young leaders of color in corporate and community leadership.

Embree graduated from the University of Tennessee, the first in her family to graduate from college. She serves on the boards of the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). As the past chair and President of EO, she has led the member organization to reach a 50 percent diversity goal.

Embree has called Oregon home for the past 23 years. She lives in Portland with her husband and two daughters.

 

Robin Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Public Market

 Robin Jones is a startup “Jill-of-all-trades” and Public Market is her seventh entrepreneurial venture. She has held leadership roles across a broad array of functions, including marketing, partner/developer ecosystems, IP licensing, sales operations, HR and finance, product & project management, mergers and acquisitions and fundraising. Jones was most recently SVP marketing and business development at Socrata, where she reworked the go-to-market strategy, and left her tenure as the sales team increased qualified pipeline coverage by more than five fold. Jones founded and grew the OEM business unit at Esri to $2.9 million in revenue over two and a half years.

She joined Esri via the acquisition of Geoloqi, a mobile location services startup at which she served as chief operating officer. Jones also co-founded FonJax, where she was the vice president of business development, engineering the sale of the company to Keynote Systems. Jones has an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a B.S. from Stanford. She serves on the board of directors of TiE Oregon.

 

Sheila Murty, EVP People & Culture, Tillamook County Creamery Association

Sheila Murty ‘90 came to the United States as an international student from Malaysia to attend the University of Montana in Missoula. While enthralled with big sky country, Murty quickly realized in order to survive she had to get out of the brutal cold. She moved to Oregon and found home.

She obtained her BS from OHSU and her MBA from Portland State University.    She started her career in healthcare as a clinical scientist, eventually finding her way to HR – leading to a senior HR leadership role at Legacy Health, providing operational leadership and strategic human resources support in various areas for one of Oregon’s largest private employers with multiple locations and with over 12,000 employees.

Murty was also Legacy’s first diversity officer and was instrumental in building their diversity strategy.  In 2015, she became the Vice President of Operations, leading operations, people & culture, technology, diversity & inclusion for The Oregon Community Foundation, a $2B community foundation dedicated to improving lives in Oregon.

In 2018, she made a move to Tillamook Creamery (yes – cheese!) as their first EVP of People and Culture where she is leading the creation and adoption of a clear culture vision, strategies to achieve their vision for a values-based organization and all aspects of building a responsive and strategic HR function.

In her free time, she spends time with her three children and husband, watching a lot of sports, enjoying the local food scene, exploring farmers markets and neighborhoods and traveling whenever possible.

Tuesday, November 6 
5 – 7 pm
OSU Portland Center

555 SW Morrison Street, 2nd Floor, Portland, OR 97204
Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served.

RSVP

Every quarter OSU’s College of Business brings the Portland business community together for discussions and networking around ideas and strategies on how we can work together to advance women in business. Registration is $10 per person. All ticket proceeds will directly support activities and programs for the OSU Women in Leadership student club that serves students of all majors, men and women, across OSU.

 

AWL In – PDX

In 2018, we launched the AWL In–PDX Membership Program. Members receive a 20% discount on College of Business professional development courses, among other benefits. Interested in being a part of our AWL In–PDX community? Find out more here.

Oregon State University College of Business

 

CORVALLIS – Oregon State senior Nathan Braaten has earned national recognition as he was selected as a candidate for the men’s soccer Senior CLASS Award.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Braaten is one of 30 men’s  soccer players to be tabbed as candidates, and joins Stanford’s Adam Mosharrafa as the only Pac-12 players to make the list.

Braaten is one of the co-founders of the DAM Worth It campaign, which was designed to raise awareness for mental health. The program has received national recognition, including winning a Giant Steps Award from the Institute for Sport and Social Justice. For his efforts, Braaten was also presented with a Waldo-Cummings Award, one of the most prestigious honors handed out by the Oregon State Faculty Senate Student Recognition and Awards Committee.

Braaten and his co-founder have earned a grant from the Pac-12 to expand Dam Worth It to all Pac-12 universities.

The senior has proven to be a dynamo in the classroom, earning Academic All-America Second Team honors last season as a finance major. The senior is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic First Team honoree.

Braaten has played in 53 games with the Beavers, including nine starts, and has scored a pair of goals and notched two assists. One of Braaten’s career highlights is a goal in a 2-0 win over No. 17 Pacific in the 2017 season.

 

Golden opportunity for recent graduates to connect in Portland

Of the many exciting opportunities that arise from OSU’s Portland expansion comes the greater ability to connect with our Portland-based alumni. With that in mind, the College of Business is inspired to build the Business Graduate of the Last Decade network – Business GOLD – and take advantage of the great new location at Pioneer Square to get to the heart of Beaver Nation, PDX. So, register today: our first Business GOLD reception is Friday, October 26, 2018.

The event, timed to coincide with the fall opening of the OSU Portland hub at the Meier & Frank Building, will be the inaugural Business GOLD welcome reception. The upper floors of Meier & Frank house The Nines, a modern boutique hotel with stunning interiors and views of the city’s bustling business district. We can’t think of a better place to have our first Business GOLD celebration.

Portland is the destination of choice for a large percentage of our recent graduates where the hip, big-city lifestyle provides an exciting contrast to the idyllic, college-town atmosphere of Corvallis. Our event brings together these Portland newcomers and the more experienced early-career beavers in business.

Specifically, at this happy hour we hope to connect our new graduates with their early career, Business GOLD peer network.

Through Business GOLD we will host additional social events throughout the year; we’ll create access to educational workshops and other professional development opportunities. We’ll create mentoring relationships, including outreach to the undergrads with tips on breaking into that first job after graduation.

We hope to see you there. It’s a time for celebration and pride for Beaver Nation, and we hope to make an impact with Business GOLD.

Business GOLD Inaugural Reception

The Nines Hotel | 6th Floor Ballroom

525 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR

October 26, 2018 | 4:30 – 6:30pm

RSVP

 

National title is back home in Corvallis

We are all so crazy happy, and proud! Coach Pat Casey’s 2018 baseball team has succeeded with the redemption tour, winning Game 3 with style and confidence, and bringing home the NCAA College World Series champion title. We were with you every step of the way; we thank you for the gray hairs earned in Game 2, and we love you, Beaver Nation. Here’s how we saw it from the College of Business:

First of all, many thanks to our IT team who set up the big screen in Austin Hall. With the stillness of summer mode, the ebb and flow of emotions in the calls of ESPN’s announcers echoed through the building and brought faculty and staff to a standstill. It also stopped the families of future students in the building for START orientations.

Many of the usual suspects gathered, (you know who you are) most agreeing that there perhaps was a need to share heart medication after the Game 2’s breathtaking finish.

Melissa Elmore, office manager of the Austin Family Business Program, only wore her baseball jersey after 3 pm, since wearing it straight for the third day, she thought, might raise eyebrows. We love you, IT and our College of Business sports fans.

Calling the plays

ESPN – do we love you? Since it is nearly impossible to talk about Game 3 without mentioning that standing ovation of a Game 2, we have to talk about ESPN. (boo). What the heck! Publishing graphics on social media announcing the Razorbacks as the victors? What? I guess y’all must have been busy in the backroom making those graphics, and you didn’t see this play.

Yes, that’s right, we could watch that all day long: three Razorbacks running to catch the foul ball, and none of them actually doing so. We could shake our heads, and go on about “teamwork makes the dream work,” a favorite saying around here at the college. However, we’ll try to just cut some slack for those poor fellows from Arkansas who will replay that moment over and over in their heads. For the rest. of. their. lives.

Above all, ESPN, it shows you don’t know that beavers mean business; we only joke around occasionally, and almost never about our sports teams. We also never give up.

One more thing, ESPN, could you spare a good word for the best hitter in the nation, Nick Madrigal (sociology major), or must we be negative at his every at-bat? Indeed, he did not have the magic at the plate in these games as pitchers wisely opted to try and walk him.

But we at the college, where we know a thing or two about statistics – a .380 batting average in 2017, a .367 batting average in 2018 – were eagerly waiting for him to crack one out of the park so that we could hear you seething through your teeth.

Perhaps we should point out that congratulatory note on Twitter? From the Chicago White Sox? “Congrats to #WhiteSox No. 4 overall pick @NickMadrigal_3 and his @BeaverBaseball teammates on winning the College World Series!” Chicago White Sox – showing the love.

We love you, Chicago. We love our No. 4 draft pick. And Adley Rutschman, we love you, too.

College World Series Most Outstanding Player

Rutschman, the sophomore in business, won 2018 College World Series Most Outstanding Player. Rutschman, who also played a year of football at Oregon State, has an Oregonian sports pedigree extending back to his grandfather. Ad Rutschman eschewed a professional career with the Detroit Lions for coaching and mentoring, and retired from Linfield College as the winningest coach in college football. Linfield continues to build on the current all-divisions national record streak for consecutive winning seasons.

Not our legacy, but Beavers love legacies, and legends, too. And we see one forming in Rutschman.

Rutschman, whose position is catcher, is a team leader and strategic player with 83 RBIs for the season to set an OSU record. Since focusing solely on baseball, his batting average moved to a sick .408, from .234 in 2017. Rutschman set a College World Series record with 17 hits, batting .567 for the series.

College of Business junior Steven Kwan, drafted by Cleveland, was injured in earlier games and could not play in Game 3, and only a split second in Game 2. Kwan was usually the leader in the batting lineup as well as the centerfielder, and he gracefully became a leader in the dugout, cheering on teammates.

All told, the pitching of freshman Kevin Abel in Game 3, a complete game shutout allowing just two hits, is in the record books. It was his fourth win at the CWS. However, can we talk about the class act of College of Business sophomore Jake Mulholland, closing pitcher in Game 2, who took over for Abel in the top of the ninth?

One strikeout, one batter reaches first, and – boom, Mulholland fields the next hit to line up the double play at second and first. Goodnight, Game 2.

College of Business congratulates all of the Oregon State baseball players, and shares the love for the 15 teammates of 34 that study business. Tyler Malone, who minors in business, served in the Beavs starting lineup as a designated hitter, and made critical homeruns throughout the series. Freshman in business, Zach Clayton, was pinch runner for Zak Taylor in the ninth inning of Game 2, and scored the tying run after the Cadyn Grenier fly-out drama and the base hit that followed.

 

Our Players

Jordan Britton, Zach Clayton, Dakota Donovan, Brandon Eisert, Bryce Fehmel, Grant Gambrell, Michael Gretler, Preston Jones, Steven Kwan, Tyler Malone, Jake Mullholland, Adley Rutschman, Sam Tweedt,  Cade Warren, Zack Zalesky.

 

Check out our Facebook photo album.

College of Business Recognizes Contributions of Tom Dowling

“The year was 1982. Michael Jackson’s now iconic album, Thriller, had just been released. The average cost of a home was $82,000. Gasoline was a mere 91 cents per gallon. This also was the year Tom Dowling began a 36-year career educating students in the OSU College of Business…” begins Daniel Lykins, director of teaching and learning, in his roast to honor retiring instructor Tom Dowling’s three-plus decades of service to the college at the 2018 Celebration of Achievement.

Dowling, who began his career teaching undergraduate courses, has most notably contributed to the college’s MBA program with leadership of the students’ Integrated Business Projects.

Read more of Lykins remarks below:

“The most visible portion of Tom’s career is perhaps his work with our MBA program. In 1992 Tom started a new role in the graduate program as a thesis advisor, and in 2001, was a key contributor to the development and introduction of the Integrated Business Project or the IBP.

“Tom played a large role in our MBA IBP program. One of his peers noted that Tom has a knack for helping struggling teams do a more credible job by the end of the year. His role was more than a teacher – it required diplomacy, coaching, leading.

“The first IBP plan was written for Corvallis’ very own NuScale Power, a successful power technology company, which still maintains a close relationship with OSU.

“Many IBP projects led to successful businesses, including a new malaria medication, the first portable dialysis unit approved by FDA, a medical isotope approved by the NRC, and countless others.

“Since 2001, these partner companies have generated more than a billion dollars in revenue based on the projects completed by our MBA student teams.

“Tom was one of the first recipients of the Betty & Forrest Simmons Graduate Teaching Award. He also received the Byron L. Newton Undergraduate Teaching Award. Additionally, he was awarded not one, but two of those prestigious and highly coveted Bernie Newcomb Awards.

“In these last two decades, Tom has served as thesis advisor to more than 200 MBA student teams, and over the course of his career, taught more than 10,000 students.

“Tom’s colleagues fondly remember him as ‘just-in-time Tom’ — which might explain why he was the last one to arrive tonight.

“Nonetheless, there is no doubt that his efforts over his time at OSU will leave a lasting impact on the quality and reputation of our MBA program, and the future achievements of our graduate students.

“Tom, thank you for your three and half decades of service to this college. We wish you well in your retirement.”

 

——

Tom Dowling earned his bachelor’s degree in international studies from Ohio University, graduating summa cum laude, and in 1978, earned his master’s degree in management from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Shortly after his graduation, Tom founded Dowling Consulting Services, Inc., a firm providing consulting services in strategic analysis, strategic planning, and business plan creation. The firm has served both domestic and international clients, from small organizations to Fortune 100 and 500 firms. Tom also later co-founded American Computer & Electronic Services, an IT services and computer engineering consulting firm in 1981, and founded ACES Medical in 2014. 

Our Hollywood heavy hitters are coming ― the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts welcome you to a bonus appearance from commencement speaker Harley Jessup (BFA ’76) and screenwriter Mike Rich (‘81). Friday, June 15 @ LaSells. Facebook event page.

Commencement speaker Harley Jessup (BFA ’76) and screenwriter Mike Rich (‘81) will discuss their work in a program centered on clips from their most iconic films. Moderated by Peter Betjemann, Director of the School of Writing, Literature, and Film.

Harley Jessup has worked at Pixar Animation Studios since 1996, where his credits as production designer include such films as Coco, Ratatouille, Cars 2, The Good Dinosaur, and Monsters, Inc. Previously at Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic, and Disney, he worked on The Hunt for Red October, James and the Giant Peach, and many other films. He received an Academy Award for Visual Effects for Innerspace in 1988.

Mike Rich broke onto the screenwriting scene in 1998, when his screenplay for Finding Forrester won the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship and became a box-office hit starring Sean Connery, Rob Brown, and Busta Rhymes. Since then, he has become a go-to screenwriter in Hollywood, with credits that include such films as The Rookie, Secretariat, Radio, and Cars 3.

Audience questions will be welcome throughout the program by voice and mobile device.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts.

Read our feature interview “Words of Wisdom from Master Storyteller Mike Rich

Oregon State University College of Business

Student groups host fashion evening

It was a beautiful but blustery evening – hence, no need for wind machines on this catwalk to add flounce and flair to the fashions as Mother Nature got that detail down.

The rest of the details – and there were many – from a requisite high-volume, heavy-bass sound system, crowds of spectators, and gorgeous models to the inspired clothing collections of burgeoning designers were handled to great success by student groups, the National Retail Federation Student Association and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists.

“Revolution,” the inaugural fashion event of the newly formed student clubs affiliated with the Merchandising Management and Design & Innovation Management majors at the college, featured the work of talented designers, and tapped into the edgy, global mood of change, sustainability and future uncertainty.

The first part of the show welcomed the talents of student designers from across OSU campus featuring “upcycled” garments constructed from discarded items, e.g., plastic bags, a Swiss military sleeping bag, old denim, fabric found in a dumpster, etc.

The second segment showcased the College of Business’ Apparel Design majors, and featured truly unique to OSU, unique to Oregon inspirations. Where else in the world will you see a wedding dress designed from waterproof material? Go Beavs!

The show, which created a space for each designer’s unique point of view, told a story that encompassed power, equality, and self-worth. Five designers ventured into the dystopian space of upcycled fashion; six submitted a single garment, and apparel design program students created seventeen collections.

The results – bright neon blocks of color, brave necklines, a patchwork of unique details and fabrics, complex paired with comfortable – came together in a long parade of stunning designs.

Bravo, brava, bravi! A great shout out to the designers, models, members of both organizations AATCC and NRFSA, faculty, the Memorial Union and Student Experience Center for their contributions and outstanding performance.

(p.s. Like our Facebook photos!)

CONGRATULATIONS, DESIGNERS!

Upcycled Garments

  • Jordan Farris
  • Amber Hill
  • Xuyang Huang
  • Irina Sergeyeva
  • Payton Smyer

Single Garments

  • Carley Conduff
  • Nicole Goecke
  • Xin Yu Liu
  • Alex Podeschi & Lauren Clay
  • Marie Recine

Collections

  • Katie Alston
  • Cassie Downing
  • Jessica Downing
  • Jordan Farris
  • Amber Hill
  • Leah Jaeger
  • Lauren Johnson
  • Melany Mailangkay
  • Meryl Muckenthaler
  • Hannah Norum
  • Marie Recine (2 collections)
  • Kirklynn Russell
  • Irina Sergeyeva
  • Payton Smyer
  • Alaura Unger
  • Catherine Wong

A streak begins! Oregon State women golfers are back in the Regionals for the second year in a row, hitting a consecutive-years streak for postseason play not matched since 2000-2001, and making another strong statement for second-year head coach Dawn Shockley.

College of Business junior Olivia Benzin, sophomores Nicole Schroeder and Mari Nishiura will represent OSU along with Susie Cavanagh and Ellie Slama at the NCAA Division I tournament.

In total, four women of the seven-member golf squad are studying in the College of Business: Benzin,  Schroeder, Nishiura and Haley Nist, and the group has earned academic accolades for the season in addition to postseason rankings.

Team lauded for highest GPA among women’s athletics

At the May 2018 Academic Achievement Dinner the women’s golf team was honored for holding the highest team GPA among all OSU women’s sports teams. Olivia Benzin earned the highest GPA on the team. Teammates Nist and Schroeder also were recognized for student-athlete achievements.

Congratulations for their hard work in the classroom and on the green!

OSU women’s golf is among the 72 teams competing in the NCAA Division I Regionals at four tournament locations around the nation on May 7-9 at the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis., hosted by the University of Wisconsin.

The Beavers are seeded 14th of the 18 teams at Madison. Arizona State, the third seed in the Madison regional, is the women’s defending national champion.

Six teams from each regional advance to the championship on May 18-23 at Karsten Creek Golf Club, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, hosted by Oklahoma State University. The Beavers finished seventh last year in Lubbock, Texas, their best-ever finish at NCAA Regionals.

Go Beavs!

A genuine swill party beer, priced to compete with Pabst Blue Ribbon; a brew with Vitamin D added; a sophisticated black-label luxury beer for the oligarchs, and even a malting company and a tailgating-friendly mobile bar were among the great ideas and business pitches of BA 390 marketing students and GD 325 graphic design students presented to a panel of judges Thursday. Fellow students gave cheers of support while judges received beers – cans and bottles anyway. The beer props were part of the detailed packaging and label design mockups that came from the design students as the marketers presented business plans to launch the new beverage lines.

The event, Winter 2018 Shark Tank “Golden Pint Presentation,” brought in judges from around campus, including Dan Edge, Associate Dean – College of Agriculture and Lee Ann Garrison, Director, School of Art & Communication as well as professor of crop science, Dr. Patrick Hayes, one of the world’s leading researchers of barley strains.

Dr. Hayes, whose recent experiments breeding flavor-rich barley strain has led to varietals anticipated to impact the taste of beer, partnered up with BA 390 course instructor Chuck Toombs to see how far the students could run with the ideas to bring barley-centric beer to market.

Until this research breakthrough from OSU Ag Sciences, barley was simply considered the work horse of beer production, the plain grain that contributed the ABV while hops and yeast waltzed together to form the flavor profiles that beer connoisseurs thirst for.

Team Fairy Ales perfectly captures that Cinderella story of Hayes’ barley research in their presentation, comparing barley to poor Cinderella forced to do all the cooking and cleaning while her step-sisters enjoyed all the parties and praise. The team earned top honors for the best brand & product story.

Another category standout for best product and packaging design was Team Gladius, who produced a slick monochromatic label featuring knight’s armor and swords for their premium barley wine, and a resealable bottle for the heavier, high alcohol beverage. Their pièce de résistance was a tap handle resembling a sword handle for the Gladius brand.

Special guests at the pitch competition included OSU Vice President of Research Cynthia Sagers, and students from the business class at Silverton High School on a college visit with their teacher, Riane Towery.

Each year, Toombs chooses a research project from around campus that he foresees to be on a fast track to market and has his marketing students explore the project launch. Past projects include marketing work for the patented bacon-flavored seaweed from researcher Chris Langdon and colleagues at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

This year was the first that marketing teams partnered with design students to produce the sophisticated array of label designs, sample products and packaging concepts.

Congratulations to the students of the BA 390 and GD 325 for their incredible work. Judges named winners in five categories listed below, and many thanks to our judges for their time!

Check out our Facebook photo album!

Best Product & Packaging Design: Gladius

Best Multi-Product Monetization Strategy: HIBARR

Best Brand & Product Story: Fairy Ales

Best Regional Focus & Use of Technology: Pacific Malt

Most Creative & Future Focused: Evolve

Dam Worth It campaign brings a voice to students and athletes

Walk by the study rooms In Austin Hall during finals week, and one can quickly lose that nostalgia for “the college days.” The pressure and stress are etched onto tired faces of students, and the intense quiet resonates more than the usual din of the students rotating through classes.

Add to the pressures of work-study jobs, internships, club involvement, and for those 102 elite athletes in the College of Business, NCAA Division I athletics. Every sports season includes an end-of-term grand finale that typically coincides with exams. Never mind training schedules and competition commitments that include extensive travel.

It may come as no surprise that – despite support programs within academics and athletics – there are some chinks in the emotional armor of students, and student-athletes, in particular.

 

Ending the Stigma

Finance major Nathan Braaten is a midfielder on the Oregon State men’s soccer team, and a Pac-12 All-Academic First Team honoree. He also is a co-founder of the Dam Worth It mental health support campaign, a movement he started because there’s still too much stigma associated with mental health issues for students to seek help before a situation becomes untenable.

The Dam Worth It campaign launched in concept in October 2017, with its first outreach to the OSU sports community one month later. The Dam Worth It campaign’s public launch occurred in the same week as the January 2018 suicide of Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski. Hilinski was slated to be the starting quarterback in 2018 was described as outgoing and bubbly, and Hilinski’s death was a heavy hit to his family, team and the Pac-12 community.

Braaten and his Dam Worth It co-founder Taylor Ricci, a former top OSU gymnast and College of Public Health and Human Sciences academic standout, were impacted by the many stories about athletes facing mental health challenges across the national, the Pac-12 as well as their own rosters.

The stories all hit too close to home for Braaten and Ricci who also lost OSU teammates. “Because of what we lost, we felt it was time for action,” Braaten said. “Above all, we want this platform to be for everyone, not just student-athletes.”

Their public initiative began with #DamWorthIt social media outreach, and a physical presence at winter season sporting events alongside student workers from the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services.

When Braaten researched into mental health issues of college students, he learned that roughly one-quarter of students identified a struggle with depression or had a mental health concern in the past year. Two-thirds of these students did not seek any help at all ― not a health care professional or even a family member or a friend.

 

Creating a Dialogue

“I feel it’s important that this is peer-to-peer,” said Braaten. “Athletic staff will always have their doors open to hear from us, but if you are the athlete in a crisis, you also will be worried that sharing the problem will affect your start position or your play time. If it were a physical injury, you would not hide it from the team. With Dam Worth It, we want to be the tape or the wrap or the brace that gives support, and we don’t want to hide.”

Far from hiding, the Dam Worth It campaign has earned headlines in USA Today, Sports Illustrated, and other major media outlets. The duo has a grant proposal in with the Pac-12 to build and expand the campaign, plans high-profile events with guest speakers and a continued presence at sporting events. Ricci’s personal profile video was completed this winter, and Braaten’s will be released this spring where they share their stories about their losses and their personal struggles.

“How many athletes will tell you about what they lost? Not many,” Braaten said. “We hope to start the conversation, and keep it going. We want to make mental health conversations as normal as any other everyday conversation.”

Suicide is the seconding leading cause of death among people aged 15-34 in the United States, and depression affects 20-25 percent of Americans aged 18 and older in a given year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Find #DamWorthIt on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/hashtag/DAMWorthIt?src=hash

Nathan Braaten: @NathanBraaten

Taylor Ricci: @TayRicci