Bend’s bioscience industry growing up

Boosters want to see incubator at OSU-Cascades

By Kathleen McLaughlin / The Bulletin

Published Jun 5, 2016 at 12:01AM

The people who started Central Oregon’s first two bioscience companies were drawn by the outdoors, rather than the presence of a research institution.

And perhaps because of that, Bend Research Inc. and Grace Bio-Labs lacked nearby industry peers in their early years.

Bend Research founders Harry Lonsdale and Richard Baker arrived in Tumalo in the mid-1970s.  Read more…

Lilly Lawrence-BriggsOur first December Focus on Ecampus interview is with Lilly Lawrence-Briggs, who is currently applying to Vet Med schools (including OSU). She discusses how helpful she found the lecture videos that some of our instructors incorporate into their online courses.

How did you find out about our online chemistry courses? What did you like best about them?

My Grandfather, Jack Briggs, is an alumnus of Oregon State University. He also used to teach Biology at the Corvallis campus. A few years ago, while I was getting my Bachelor’s degree in Business Psychology, I started having some interest in going to Veterinary school. My grandfather recommended OSU. I was living in California at the time, and needed something that was taught online. I found out about Dr. Barth’s general chemistry series and signed up. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be capable of completing any college chemistry sequences. I’m not your typical “science student,” anyway. I was homeschooled all through high school and had *extremely* limited knowledge of anything scientific. I also have a diagnosed learning disability, an eye convergence issue, that’s always put me at a slight disadvantage in the brick and mortar classroom setting. Taking classes online better suited my disability, and it also allowed me to hide behind the computer screen and not make a fool out of myself in front of the smart students!

To my shock, I was able to get through the general chemistry sequence with all “A”s. I also graduated with my Bachelor’s degree at this time and was looking for that “next step” in my life. I started considering vet school much more seriously. I applied to OSU as a post-Bacc student, got accepted, and moved to Bend to study at OSU’s Cascade campus.

The first Organic chemistry class I took (331) was actually taught by Dr. Gautschi. He was teaching it on campus but, of course, I opted to take it online. I’d heard nightmare stories from students about organic chemistry and was way too chicken to sit in the live class. Oh, how I wish I knew about Dr. Myles then! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Dr. Gautschi! However, his online course had no lecture videos. I can’t emphasize how key those lecture videos were to my success in O-Chem. Furthermore, I almost failed Dr. Gautschi’s class and was feeling terrible. By doing a lot of hard work, meeting with tutors, and making one-on-one appointments with Dr. Gautschi, I was able to get by with a “B.” That was when he recommended Dr. Myles to me. I immediately went onto the Ecampus Chemistry website, looked up Dr. Myles’s email, and asked him if his organic course would include lecture videos. I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was when he said that it would! All of Dr. Barth’s general chemistry classes included lecture videos as well. I’m being 100% honest when I say that those videos are the reason for my success in both general and organic chemistry online. I was actually able to earn an “A” in Organic this time around. Being able to hit the pause button, take notes, re-watch worked problems, and review old recorded lectures was amazing! Obviously, students can’t hit the “pause button” on their live lecturing teachers. And, if you’re like me, you’re too embarrassed to speak-up in class.

Shout out to Dr. Myles:

It’s hard to choose just one thing I liked about Dr. Myles. His lecture videos were so clear and made learning the tricky O-Chem concepts much easier—I dare say even fun! 😉 He was also so nice, patient, and encouraging whenever I spoke with him via e-mail.

Advice for OSU Ecampus:

The only advice I could give would be to ask that all of OSU’s online courses have recorded lectures! For instance, I’m currently taking a genetics class online through OSU Ecampus. The professor is great, but she has no lecture videos… Honestly, that class would be so much more enjoyable if it had recordings like Dr. Myles’s class did. If you can’t tell, I’m very passionate about those online lecture videos! My disability slows me down in class and I always fall behind. The videos are my saving grace; they allow me to keep up.

What’s next for you?

I just finished all of my vet school applications. I applied to eight schools (including OSU) and will hopefully be hearing from them come January. As you know, O-Chem is a required course for all vet schools.

My passion to become a vet stems from my childhood. I was fortunate to grow up on a 40-acre farm in Northern CA. I was constantly watching my mom rescue animals, breed them, and train them. My mom is my ultimate motivator!

Do you have a hobby you’d like to tell us about?

In my spare time, you can find me riding & jumping horses. Below is a picture of me jumping my horse, Sublime. Interesting side note: this mare is pregnant and will have a foal next year! I actually bred her at Bend Equine Medical Center & Small Animal Division. Dr. Wayne Schmotzer, the clinic’s owner, used to teach at OSU’s College of Vet Med. Small world, right?

 

 

OSU-Cascades faculty members are working hard to bring science students more opportunities to apply concepts learned in the classroom.

Using undergraduate students to conduct research is an up-and-coming trend at OSU-Cascades that has slowly garnered more funding opportunities over the past few years.

Traditionally, most university research is conducted by tenure-track professors and graduate students. But OSU-Cascades doesn’t have graduate students in science, and many within the Oregon State University system say bringing undergraduates into research projects benefits everyone.  Read more…

  1. Jeff T. Gautschi
  2. Organic/Bioorganic Chemist/Instructor
  3. During my first year as an undergraduate biology major I took General Chemistry and quickly became fascinated by the endless variety of molecules, and by the elements of the periodic table from which those molecules are comprised. This fascination became more profound when I entered organic chemistry in my second year. Through this course, I realized that it is the diversity of the structure and function of organic molecules that makes life possible, and it is their biological activity that imparts to life its mystery, misery, and remedy.
  4. While my primary function is to teach organic chemistry for pre-professionals at the undergraduate level, I am also engaged in Bioorganic Chemistry and Natural Products research activities with undergraduate students. Currently, my group seeks to uncover molecules that have never been discovered before. We do this by isolating pure compounds from genetically-modified fungi that we grow in the laboratory. Additionally, I am currently the only chemist at OSU-Cascades (OSU’s branch campus in Bend, Oregon) and thus helping to lead efforts to establish and grow the chemical sciences at that rapidly expanding university.
  5. I truly love interacting with undergraduate students as they navigate their early-stage careers within the sciences. It is a sincere joy to introduce them to the intriguing world of theoretical and practical organic chemistry, to provide them expert insight to the many career paths there are within the chemical sciences, and to learn from and about them.
  6. I was fortunate enough to participate on a deep sea expedition and dive over 1000 feet deep in a scientific research submersible named Clelia. Yes, it was a yellow submarine.
ECampus Coordinator Kim Thackray and Dr. Jeff Gautschi at the UC Davis Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions National Conference
ECampus Coordinator Kim Thackray and Dr. Jeff Gautschi at the UC Davis Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions National Conference

Since Chemistry is The Central Science, students in a variety of majors need to take at least one class in Chemistry. This is especially true in the health professions—everyone from lab technicians to nurses to physical therapists to doctors—all need to have an understanding of chemistry. That is why Dr. Jeff Gautschi (OSU Cascades and Ecampus instructor) and Kim Thackray (Chemistry Ecampus Coordinator) had a booth at the UC Davis Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professions National Conference in early October.

At this conference, they had the opportunity to speak with many different types of students that could benefit from taking OSU Chemistry online—

-High school students who might want to begin their college coursework in Chemistry while still in high school.
-College students in California who may be having trouble getting in to the Chemistry classes they need in order to advance in their major.
-Post-bac students looking toward professional school—Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Medical school, etc.—who need chemistry as a prerequisite for their application.
-Pre-health advisors and advisors from community colleges.

The wide range of online Chemistry classes offered by Oregon State University can meet the needs of all these students and more; check out what we are offering this term!