Faculty Q&A: John Bailey

  • How long have you been at Oregon State?

I came back here in 2006, so it’s coming up on 13 years. I first came to Corvallis to work for the EPA in the mid-‘80s and worked some with the College of Forestry then. After about six years, I decided to get my Ph.D. and the program at Oregon State was an obvious choice.  I started to look for funding and ultimately found John Tappeiner and the project that would become my Ph.D. But my first faculty position was at Northern Arizona University.

  • What is your favorite part of your job now?

I love my job. I love the people: the faculty, staff and students. I love working on such an important topic that has breaking ideas and applications all the time. I love teaching and seeing graduate students develop and get established. I’ll keep going as long as I can.

  • What does your life look like outside work?

I have a 25-year old son in an Air Force technical school in California and a 22-year-old daughter in her fifth year of the architecture program at the University of Oregon. Their mom passed away about the same time I moved to Corvallis 13 years ago. I remarried last year, though, and Bobbi and I just celebrated our one-year anniversary, and we have a seven-year-old son who keeps us busy.

I work a lot, but I still think work-life balance is important. I’m able to do things at my son’s school and get down to Eugene to see my daughter, and I enjoy a lot of gardening and home improvement projects.

  • What are your hobbies?

I’m pretty handy, so I do a lot of household projects. I also love to cook.

 

  • What’s your favorite food?

In the summer time, there’s nothing better than a hamburger off the grill with homemade tomato and onion from the garden. In the winter time, a pot of chili. I’ve won a few chili cookoffs.

 

  • Wow, can we have the recipe?

Nope. It’s heavy on meat and beans and a couple of Virginia secrets I got from my momma.

 

  • You grew up in Virginia? What was that like?

My father was a general contractor, so I grew up working on houses. He always told a story about one time when I was working on a hot summer day on a roof, and I threw my hammer down. I knew then that I wanted to go to college and have a different kind of life outside of Virginia. I have about 40 cousins in my big, country family, and I’m one of the few who ever left central Virginia.

 

  • If you were a vegetable, what kind of vegetable would you be?

Maybe a carrot? They’re tall and thin like me.

 

  • You don’t watch much TV, so what do you do for entertainment?

In the summer, I get season tickets to the Corvallis Knights. There’s no better way to spend a Corvallis evening than with your kid and a bunch of other kids at a baseball game. My son loves it too.

Faculty Profile: Scott Leavengood

  • How long have you been at Oregon State?

A long time. I came as a student in 1992. I went to work in the Klamath extension office when I finished my master’s degree in 1994. I moved to Corvallis in 2005.

  • How did you end up in the wood science industry?

I wanted to be a veterinarian as a kid growing up in the Chicago area, but I fell in love with forestry and wood science during a community college class and went to Colorado State University to study forestry. There, I worked for the Colorado State Forest Service for two summers, and my favorite part of that experience was dropping in on the sawmills for fun. I didn’t know wood science was a thing I could study until someone told me, and it’s been my passion ever since.

  • What is your favorite part about your job?

I love the variety. Each day is different. I teach students, teach workshops, do product development testing, visit mills, go to conferences, travel. No two days are alike. Except for Wood Magic, which just happened in early October.

  • Why is Wood Magic different from your typical day to day? Why is it important?

I man the “daily wood” station. I’ve been involved in almost every Wood Magic since it started in 1999. It’s an important outreach opportunity as we continue to talk about the importance of forestry and wood products. At the station I do, I focus on all the products we get from trees. We’re talking to kids, of course, but often the teachers and parent chaperones are just as engaged as the kids because this is all new to them too. I said that ‘the days are alike’ there because at my station, I do a 10-minute demonstration, and then repeat it for a dozen or so classes, several days in a row.  I’ve been known to repeat myself a time or two as a result…

  • What does your life look like outside of work?

I’m married to Vikki, and we have two girls. Abby, 21, is a senior at the University of Oregon studying psychology. Katherine, 19, is at the Lane Fire Authority Fire Academy studying to be a firefighter. We’re very involved in our church, Calvin Presbyterian, and since we’re empty nesters now, I recently took up playing guitar. I haven’t had a hobby in years, and I’m really enjoying learning to play, even though I’m not sure I’ll ever play outside my house (I keep the windows closed now so I don’t annoy the neighbors).

  • What was the last exciting thing you did?

I went skydiving with my younger daughter for my birthday in early September. She’s an adrenaline junkie, and I’d always wanted to go too.

This summer, I also got to travel to Slovenia to visit a former graduate student of mine. We did a research project in Slovenia and the Netherlands. I barely survived the 100-degree weather there.

  • You’ve lived and traveled all over Oregon. What’s your favorite spot?

I’ve been to Crater Lake National Park probably 15 times, since we used to live nearby in Klamath Falls, but the coast is my favorite. I love the mountains as well, and I’m happy I don’t have to choose between them.

  • Anything good on TV lately?

Ever since I took a sabbatical to New Zealand during the summer of 2016, my wife and I enjoy watching TV set in that area. Right now we’re watching ‘800 words.’ It’s pretty good. We also spend Sunday afternoons watching NFL football, especially the Chicago Bears.

  • Would you rather have unlimited tacos or unlimited sushi?

Tacos, but my favorite food is shrimp. It doesn’t get better than shrimp alfredo.

  • What was your first car?

A ’75 Buick Skylark. It was a rust bucket that needed a muffler. Now, I have an ’87 Suburban that just keeps running. I use this example in my class when I talk about the quality of the products we buy now.

  • What’s the craziest fashion trend you’ve ever rocked?

When I was in high school, break dancing was all the rage, and I did wear parachute pants back then. My family still gives me a hard time about it.

Staff Profile: Beth Thompson

  • You just started here in August! How did you end up here at Oregon State?

I did my undergrad here and played soccer for the Beavs. I originally studied elementary education, but I’m an introvert and decided that standing up in front of a group every single day was too exhausting. At the same time, I was doing some tutoring for the subjects I was studying and enjoyed working with adults, so that’s how I found my way to being an advisor. I became a liberal arts major and I got my master’s in college student services administration. After I graduated, I advised student-athletes at Oregon State and the University of Colorado. Then I wanted to be closer to my family, so I took a position at UC Santa Cruz helping students find the right major for them. During that time, I started a family, and we wanted to be somewhere more family friendly. Since I loved living in Corvallis so much as a student, I decided to take this position and move back up here.

  • What’s your favorite part about your job?

I think it’s really fun, complex work, so advising the natural resrources and TRAL majors, I’m learning a ton about things I never knew before, so, it’s really fun.  Mostly, it’s the students that make this job so enjoyable. This is the first time I’ve advised Ecampus students, and I love getting to know them. Everyone is so friendly, and I love the atmosphere here with my fellow advisors.

  • What does your life look like outside of work?

I’ve been married for almost 9 years. I met my husband playing soccer. We’re both soccer players. Any chance we get, we like to play pickup soccer, and we’re looking for games to play. My son Conor is 7, and my son Liam is 5, and we’ve just been getting acclimated and getting them started in school. In our free time, we love to hike and go to parks and spend time in nature as much as we can. We’ve been exploring.

  • What are your other hobbies?

When I have time to myself I like to jog, read and do yoga. It’s also been fun taking my family to places I remember going as a student like American Dream. We’re big fans of the local library and go at least once a week. I’m also trying to figure out what kind of plants are in my new, large yard as well as what to do with all the apples from my apple tree!

  • What’s your favorite meal?

I would forgo meals to eat chocolate chip cookies.

  • In your dream house, what one weird feature would you include?

I’ve been a baby about acclimating to the weather here in Oregon, so maybe some kind of towel warmers and heated floors.

 

Chili cook-off

On Thursday, November 8, the college held its first ever chili cook-off! More than 75 members of the college community were on hand to sample, serve and judge. Thanks to all of our participants. Due to your efforts we raised $367.00 for the Linn Benton Food Share just in time to help with Thanksgiving baskets. A special thanks to our judges Seri Robinson and Adrienne Wonhof!

Awardees by Category:
•Red Chile: ‘Virginia Country Burner’ by John Bailey
•Chile Verde: ‘Miguelito’s Chile de los Campeones’ by Michael Gordon
•Home-style: ‘It’ll Start a Forest Fire!’ by Michael Collins
•Vegetarian/Vegan: ‘I’m not a Vegetarian, but this is a Vegetarian Chili’ by Jeremy Felty
•Honorable Mention for spiciest chili: ‘Fire Every Lunar Second to Your Mouth’ by Jeremy Felty

Staff Profile: Terralyn Vandetta

  • How long have you been at Oregon State?

21 years.

  • How did you end up working with computers and technology?

Well, both my dad and grandfather graduated with forest engineering/civil engineering degrees from Oregon State. My dad is a civil engineer, and I decided in high school that I needed to be an engineer, but I didn’t want to be a civil engineer. I was really excited to learn about computers, so I became a computer science major.

  • How do you make sure you’re keeping up with the changes in your industry?

Google is your friend, and it’s important to be able to fly by the seat of your pants and keep at it.

  • What does your life look like outside of work?

I like knitting and sewing. I also have a beautiful, two-year-old granddaughter that I love to engage with. We live on 10 acres, so I do a lot of outdoor wandering with my two dogs.

  • How did you get into sewing and knitting?

My grandmother taught me to sew when I was a member of 4-H. In my early 20s, I went to a quilt-in-a-day class and got hooked, so most of my sewing now is quilting. I’ve only been knitting for about 10 years. My mom taught me, and it was something fun we could do together. Now, it keeps me from falling asleep on the couch at night.

  • Any other hobbies?

Beaver sports! I’ve maybe missed a handful of home football games since 1984. We go to football, basketball, gymnastics and baseball events on a regular basis, rain or shine, and sometimes we even travel to see the Beavers.

  • If you were an athlete –  in the Olympics – what would be your sport?

Maybe curling? My husband and I play bocce ball on the beach, so maybe it’s kind of similar.

  • What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Waffles with peanut butter and syrup.

Staff Q&A: Shannon Murray

  • How long have you been at Oregon State?

Since the end of January 2018, shortly after I moved to Oregon. I’m originally from Connecticut and had spent my entire life in New England before coming to the PNW – I moved here to join my partner (now husband) in Corvallis where he was already working as a consulting forester. This position in the College of Forestry opened up right as I was looking for the next step in my career!

  • What do you love about your job?

I’m excited that with this job I get to bring together pieces from a lot different experiences I’ve had in the past. In my first job out of undergrad I was an outdoor educator at a nonprofit environmental center, and most recently I was forest manager for the Yale School Forests. Here at OSU I’m able to draw on that program development, communications, and forestry/land management experience in an entirely new way. I get to meet new people, work on many different types of projects, and engage with the PNW forestry and natural resources community – basically I’m constantly learning and trying to think creatively about how to provide resources to people.

  • What do you do when you’re not working?

My husband and I bought a house in the past year so we’ve been doing a lot of projects to make it our own. We have two dogs, and we like to get them out for adventures as often as possible. I’m looking forward to more hiking, rock climbing, and time at the beach. We also like to cook and have a pretty big cookbook collection – right now we have a goal of making at least one new recipe each week.

  • What’s your favorite thing to cook?

This summer it was grilled salmon! Simple but classic.

 

  • Read any good books lately?

I’m currently reading East of Eden for the second time – I really like coming back to certain books every once in a while. This is the one that made me a Steinbeck fan.

 

  • What would you do if you won the lottery?

I would do two things. I’d buy some forestland to manage, and probably build a small house on the property. I’d also do some traveling. There are so many places I would like to see in the world.

 

  • What’s the destination on the top of your list?

I have a dream trip of going to Portugal, Spain and Morocco. I’ve also never been to Central or South America.

 

  • What’s your favorite trip so far?

In 2016, I went to Germany and France to do some forestry tours for work and then added a vacation on to the end of the trip. That was a dream come true. My (now) husband met me in Paris, and we got to stay with friends and then travel around Provence and the French Alps. It was an incredible mix of getting to try lots of food, experiencing art that I’d only seen in books, and exploring little towns. We also recently did our honeymoon trip in the Canadian Rockies – the mountains were stunning.

Staff Q&A: Madison Dudley

  • How long have you been at Oregon State?

Since 2008, which is when I started my undergraduate degree here in exercise and sports science. At the time, Oregon State had the best (and most affordable) pre-med program in the state. I think it was my sophomore year when I decided to switch to pre-physical therapy.  Later during my undergrad is when I got a student worker job in the FERM department, and fortunately for me, it turned into something full time after I graduated.

 

  • So how did you end up in your current role instead of becoming a physical therapist?

I had an opportunity to continue in the department after I graduated, while I applied for graduate school. About two years ago, I was admitted to a doctorate program in physical therapy in Southern California, but the cost was outrageous.  With little to no funding offered through the program, the loan expense to have that career would’ve taken me 25+ years to pay off, so I knew it would be a choice that I’d be stuck with for years, and I wasn’t sure I loved it that much!

 

  • What is your favorite part about your job?

It sounds kind of sad, but I promise that it’s not: I love being able to help students actually achieve their goals in ways that I didn’t.  Let me phrase that better by saying I’m still helping people meet objectives, just in academia instead of mobility. It’s a different kind of fulfillment.

  • What does your life look like outside work?

I’m married to my husband, John, and we have a corgi named Remington. We enjoy camping and riding ATVs on the coast, getting dirty in the sand and mountains. During the summers, we float the river and go boating and tubing near Prineville with family. We’re pretty outdoorsy and make a habit of visiting at least one new thing in Oregon every year.

  • What are your hobbies?

Baking is my main hobby. I’ve made a number of wedding cakes and other goodies for friends, family and even people here in the college. My grandmother was a professional baker. She taught my dad and my dad passed those skills on to me. From that lineage, we have a lot of great family recipes for a variety of sugary treats. Decorating cookies is probably my favorite; it’s the least stressful and allows me to be creative. I’ve always loved to draw and paint, and baking allows me to do that with food.  Other than that, I enjoy reading, crafting, and watching too much TV.

  • What are you watching right now?

I just finished the latest season of Big Brother. It’s my one guilty-pleasure reality show that my husband can’t stand. I’m a forever Grey’s Anatomy fan, but my husband and I like to watch comedies and crime dramas together.  Right now, we love The Good Place and Elementary.

  • If you were famous, what would you be famous for?

Probably baking. My best friend and I co-own our business, which is not a real business, at least not yet.  She and I have talked about starting a blog of all our successes (and failures), and dream about having our own show on the Food Network someday.

 

  • Which game show would you be super awesome at?

Wheel of Fortune, hands down. I’m good with puzzles and watched it a lot growing up. We lived in the mountains, with terrible dial-up internet and very few TV channels, so my parents exposed us to a lot of games – both board games and game shows – because there wasn’t much else to do!

Staff Q&A: Chris Smith

  • How long have you been at Oregon State?

I came in 2006, so that’s getting close to 12 years ago. I packed a U-haul and moved from Washington, where I was working at Eastern Washington University. I also worked at The Heart Institute in Spokane. Before that, I was in New Mexico, which is where I grew up.

Chris loves photography. He says for awhile he had a “thing for puddles.”
  • Were you always interested in technology?

When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist and generally moved into art and technology just kind of found its way into my life. I still paint and make art in Photoshop and do other artsy stuff.

  • What is your favorite part about your job?

The people and the variety.

  • What does your life look like outside work?

I’m a homebody. I love being at home because I can paint and hang out and make food.

Chris’s cat
  • What are your hobbies?

Art, guitar, reading, hanging out with my cat and just hanging out in general.

  • You’re really into music. So what was the first concert you ever went to?

The first band I ever saw was called Level 42, and it wasn’t until I was 19 or 20. I grew up in rural New Mexico, so to see a concert, it was a four-hour drive.

  • What was the last concert you’ve been to?

I saw Foo Fighters a little while ago, that was cool!

Faculty Q&A: Ashley D’Antonio

 

  • How long have you been at Oregon State?

I’m starting my third year here this fall.

 

  • Where did you come from?

I came from Utah State University, where I did my graduate work and a post doc. I’m originally from Pennsylvania. Before I went to graduate school, I worked as a high school science teacher in Wisconsin. I liked teaching, but high school teaching was exhausting, so after two years I went back to grad school so I could teach at the university level.

Ashley in the field
  • Did you always want to work in and study recreation?

I always wanted to be a scientist. When I was little I wanted to be a marine biologist, but I could never equalize during SCUBA training. I always wanted to do some sort of conservation-oriented science.

 

  • What is your favorite part about your job?

I like the balance of interacting with and teaching undergraduates and working with graduate students and conducting research. I also get to travel to many of the parks I study to set up projects and present to managers. I feel really lucky to travel to places for work that most people go for vacation.

Knitting
  • What does your life look like outside work?

I’m a huge knitter. Anytime I’m sitting down, I’m knitting. I also do a lot of yoga and hiking and a little bit of trail running.

 

  • Those are all very meditative hobbies. How did you get into them?

I’ve done yoga since I was 18. It’s really the only form of exercise I’ve been consistent with, and I got into knitting during grad school when I was looking for a new hobby and hoping to meet new people. I started a knitting group at Utah State. Now I knit with people in the college occasionally.

Blanket
  • What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever knitted?

My knitting group made a National Park centennial blanket. We released the patterns for sale and donated the money we made back to the parks.

 

  • Anything interesting you’ve read, watched or listened to lately?

I’ve been watching ‘Atypical’ on Netflix. My younger sister works with students with autism, and the show is about a family affected by autism, so it’s really interesting. I also just read a book called ‘Educated: A memoir,’ and I recommend that to everyone.

 

  • If you were a vegetable, what would you be?

Maybe broccoli because it looks like a tree. It’s also my favorite vegetable.

Ashley’s LEGOs
  • You have a lot of LEGOs in your office. What’s the story with that?

I’ve always loved playing with LEGOs, and they’re making really fun sets now, so I have a set of women scientists and a National Parks set. Science can be a bit too serious sometimes, so I think they add some whimsy into my office and makes my students feel more comfortable.