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Nathan Lausmann – Honors College Class of 2020

Honors senior Nathan Lausmann, an industrial engineering student and member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC), has been seeking out adventure since high school and hasn’t stopped since.

Nathan took a leap after graduating high school and decided to take a gap year, using the time to backpack across six countries in Asia. After returning to his home state of Oregon he began attending Oregon State University, excited about opportunities within the Honors College and living close to his hometown of McMinnville. 

Nathan says he entered the HC because he thought it would be a “step up from the basic college experience.” He chose his major and his option in engineering management because he wanted a field that would allow him to interact with others. Considering himself a people-person, Nathan has been able to enjoy not only the academic opportunities of the Honors College, but the social aspects as well. Some of his favorite memories associated with the HC are the famed Honors College picnics and spending time with friends in West Hall. 

On top of creating fun memories, Nathan was able to complete his thesis focusing on how core organizational values influence leadership development and performance of military trainees. His mentor, Honors College Dean Toni Doolen, was instrumental to his thesis experience. 

“I’m really grateful that she had the time to be able to take on an Honors student — she was wonderful and super helpful,” Nathan says.

Nathan found the thesis project to be very valuable to his undergrad experience. In particular, he enjoyed that it allowed him to self-direct an academic project and appreciated its real-world applicability. 

After graduation, Nathan is commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force. He will be leaving Oregon following graduation to start training in Mississippi. 

“The HC has a lot of great benefits,” Nathan says, specifically noting early registration, small class sizes, incredible staff, and the thesis project.

“I’d say throughout college, but in the first year or two especially, students should take every opportunity to try new things,” Nathan says. “Go experiment with different clubs or programs or classes. You might be surprised at what you find you really enjoy and meet some awesome people along the way.”

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