CSSA Cohort Class of 2009
CSSA Cohort Class of 2009

In September of 2007, we arrived for orientation from Corvallis, New York, Oregon, Japan, Colorado, California, Washington, Minnesota, British Columbia, and other locations. We came from a range of institutional types, work settings, and adventures, and brought with us a a variety of experiences, ideas, and perspectives. Two years later, we’ve successfully defended our capstone projects, and graduated from the CSSA Program. Many thanks to our advisors, professors, mentors, friends, and family for support (and challenge) along the way. Below you’ll find more information about each of us, and our two year journeys through the CSSA program.

CSSA Class of 2009

Ron Atay Jenny Ellefson Marleigh Luster
Caitlin Azhderian Nina Gassoway Giustina Pelosi
Kate Butler Britt Q. Hoover Lillian Read
Clare Creighton Naoko Kawamura Ruth Sterner
Teri Duever

Ron Atay
During the CSSA Program, Ron worked as a graduate assistant for Ecampus, and held internships in the Ethnic Studies Department, Office of Community and Diversity, the Business Affairs Office of Student Finance, and the Professional Managerial Internship in State Employment (PROMISE). Further information about Ron can be found in the following newsletter.

Caitlin Azhderian
Caitlin Azhderian stumbled upon student affairs during her sophomore year at Sacred Heart University, after obtaining an internship in the Undergraduate Admissions Office. It was then that she knew she had found purposeful work, work that she could build a career upon. After receiving her BA in Media Studies, Caitlin took an unforeseen detour and entered the corporate world of international business, although her experiences were beneficial and life-changing, her heart remained in education and she longed to be back in student affairs. During the CSSA program, Caitlin held both GTA and GRA positions in the College of Engineering working with pre-engineering students, focusing on issues of academic success and academic coaching, recruitment, and retention. Additionally, Caitlin interned with the OSU Women’s Center and Saturday Academy, a branch of the OSU Pre-College Programs Office in the College of Engineering. As a former student-athlete and coach with interests in wellness and holistic education, Caitlin chose to use her experiences and interests to develop her area of specialization, Student Wellness Coaching. More about Caitlin, her CSSA journey, and Discovering Holism: Reflection, Renewal, and Growth portfolio can be found at, www.azhderian.com

Kate Butler
Kate Flowers (formerly Butler) came to the CSSA program from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC where she majored in Theater and worked during her degree and after in the UBC Residence Life program. While in CSSA, she held an assistantship at Student Health Services in the Substance Abuse Prevention Program and interned in OSU Housing and Dining, The OSU Office of Greek Life, OSU Career Services, and LBCC’s Diversity Achievement Center. Her area of specialization was “Multicultural Student Populations” and she combined her passion for theater and work in CSSA to create her web-based portfolio “The Stage Manager’s Guide to Portfolio”. Her portfolio can be found at: http://www.wix.com/katebutler/portfoliocssa

Clare Creighton
Clare discovered her interest in student affairs while working at a boarding high school in central Arizona. Having done her undergraduate work at Whitman College, she was excited about returning to the Pacific Northwest, although she has mixed feelings about the rain. While in the CSSA program, Clare held a GA position in the Academics for Student Athletes office, and completed internships with New Student Programs and Family Outreach, University Housing and Dining Services, and the English Language Institute. Clare is interested in intercultural communication, first year transitions, and academic support for underrepresented populations on college campuses. Her thesis on Faculty Perspectives on Multicultural Components of Course Curriculum can be downloaded using this link.

Teri Duever
Teri Duever entered the 2007-2008 cohort the same year her daughter entered OSU as a freshman.  After a 27 year break from higher education, she nervously embraced the academic rigor of the CSSA curriculum while working in the Academic Success Center with Supplemental Instruction, Academic Coaching, and advising with the University Exploratory Studies Program.  She worked with the START program during the summers, and did an assessment internship with the Bridge program for athletes called BEST.  Her specialization was in Teaching and Learning and culminated with an internship at Linn-Benton Community College tutoring in the GED classroom.  Her portfolio was presented as a booklet, and so is not available online.

Jenny Ellefson
Jenny Ellefson grew up in Minnesota, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin– La Crosse, and then moved to Corvallis, Oregon to enroll in the CSSA program. During the program, she held assistantships with the OSU Alumni Association and then the OSU Biology Department, GTA Development Program. She completed three internships: teaching (coaching) a course called Academic Success at OSU, serving as an academic advisor in the OSU University Exploratory Studies Program, and finally, co-instructing the Introduction to University Life course for international students at Portland State University. To view Jenny’s CSSA portfolio, visit: www.freewebs.com/jellefson.

Nina Gassoway
Nina came to the CSSA program from The College of Mount Saint Vincent in NYC (Riverdale, NY) where she received her BA in Communications and was active on campus as an Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant and Student Government President. While in CSSA she held assistantships in Diversity Development and New Student Programs & Family Outreach. She also completed internships with Team Liberation, Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU), and a NODA internship at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. Her area of specialization was Diversity & Leadership and she is interested in Student Leadership Development, First-Year Experience, Social Justice, and working with LGBT & Multicultural student populations. Her portfoilio “Embrace Uncertainty” can be found at: http://www.wix.com/ninagassoway/portfolio.

Britt Q. Hoover
Britt Q. Hoover came to the College Student Services administration program 10 days after completing her undergraduate degree at Fairhaven College, where she designed a degree in Pop Musicology and was heavily involved in Residence Life.  While at Oregon State University, she had the great pleasure and fortune of working in Career Services and interning in the Office of Student Conduct and with the Wisconsin in Scotland study abroad program in Edinburgh.  Britt Q. is extremely interested in student conduct, restorative justice and the wellbeing of the campus community, which translated into an area of specialization in Crisis Management.  Her other research interest is the study of campus ecology and experiential education.  Britt Q’s capstone blog can be found here.

Naoko Kawamura
Naoko Kawamura studied abroad in 2001-2003 in College of Notre Dame of Maryland and found her interest in working at International Programs Office. She worked at university in Japan from 2004-2007 and the working experience made her strong passion in learning more about student affairs professional. She decided to come to CSSA program in 2007 and had an assistantship at OUS International Programs as an exchange coordinator. Her specialization is internationally minded student services. You can find more information what she has done at her portfolio. Her next journey will take place at Akita International University in Japan as an exchange program coordinator.

Marleigh Luster
Marleigh Luster came to CSSA after working as an Admissions Counselor for three years at her alma mater, Oregon Institute of Technology.  She came into the program knowing she wanted to continue her work in the Admissions field and created an area of specialization in Recruitment and New Student Programs.  Marleigh held two assistantships while in the CSSA program in the New Student Programs & Family Outreach office and the Office of Admissions.  She is originally from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and is pretty much the coolest person I know.

Giustina Pelosi
Giustina Pelosi entered the 2007 CSSA Cohort with several years work and volunteer experience in international education. She has studied and worked in, and traveled and led student groups to several different countries in Europe and Central and South America. She strongly believes that cross-cultural experiences encourage the development of more sensitive world citizens that better understand the importance of community involvement both locally and globally. While in the CSSA program, Giustina earned an assistantship working as a Program Assistant for IE3 Global Internships, a component of the Oregon University System’s International Programs, and participated in internships in several other departments on the Oregon State University and Lane Community College campuses. Furthermore, Giustina has worked with fellow cohort members to develop programs such as the Capstone Support Seminars and the College Student Services Administration Student Association (CSSA-SA) in order to provide additionally teaching and learning opportunities for all CSSA students. She completed an area of specialization in Intercultural Relations and completed a phenomenological study investigating the impact of a study abroad experience on a U.S. American students’ sense of national identity. Her findings are presented in her thesis Study Abroad and National Identity.

Lillian Read
Lillian Read entered the CSSA program after spending several years working at universities in the United States and abroad. During the program, Lillian held a graduate assistantship in the office of International Degree and Education Abroad where she served as the study abroad advisor for programs in Asia and supervised a team of undergraduate students in their efforts to promote studying and interning abroad. To diversify her experience in the CSSA program, Lillian also pursued internships in the OSU department of International Student and Faculty Services, the Craft Center and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Lillian created an area of specialization in International Education and wrote a thesis titled, “Challenges of Creating and Maintaining International Alumni Relations Programs” a copy of which can be requested by emailing Lillian.Read@gmail.com.

Ruth Sterner
Ruth was a full-time student in the CSSA program and graduated with her M.Ed degree in the Spring of 2009. While in the program, she held a graduate assistantship with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, participated in a National Orientation Directors Association internship at San Jose State University, and advised with the University Exploratory Studies Program. Ruth completed her area of specialization in First-Year Student Transitions and co-facilitated a U-Engage course and CAMP learning community. Ruth’s portfolio blog can be found at: http://ruthsterner.wordpress.com/


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