KateHello everyone! My name is Kate Virden and I’m a junior at Oregon State University with a major in English and a minor in French. I spent the summer in Washington, DC where I interned for a satellite trade association, took classes at George Mason University, and had a multitude of amazing experiences.

Through the OSU Career Services, I received an email about a program called The Fund for American Studies (TFAS).  TFAS is a primarily conservative program that has been based in the DC area for over 40 years with strongly established ties to businesses, think tanks, and organizations all across the nation’s capitol.

The Fund for American Studies is an amazing organization because it features several different programs catered to specific interests and all participants are guaranteed an internship in the heart of DC and quality classes.  I applied for the Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA) because it was calling my name with its promises of internships at businesses and trade associations, classes at George Mason University (GMU), and incredible site briefings.  I was so excited to go to DC to not only take classes, but to gain professional work experience in one of the most intern-friendly places in all of America.

If you don’t know already, you will soon learn that Oregon State University is on a term system, which meant I had to DCfinish classes several weeks early, and literally right after my last final; I hopped on a red-eye flight that finally brought me to DC.  I had no idea what was in store for me, but I didn’t know this summer could ever be so incredible.

I went to site briefings at the Federal Reserve and State Department and had small groups with the American Chemistry Council, US Telecom, Ford, TE Connectivity, and Siemens.  I went to a Capitol Hill site briefing and heard the words of two influential Representatives as I sat on the House Floor – an extremely rare experience.  Each event provided the opportunity to learn new ideas and broaden my own way of thinking.  I know how important it is to get educated on important issues affecting our businesses all across America.

I interned at the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) where many of the skills I’ve honed as an English major such as, business writing and communications skills were used and valued. Above all, my internship boss ended up being an amazing mentor by providing insight to life in DC as a young professional.

I fell in love with the rush of activity, political diversity, and the history of Washington, DC, and I can only hope to return someday.  One of the most valuable things I learned this summer was the importance of maintaining an open mind.  Many of the people I met in DC, classmates, roommates, and connections alike, who had different or similar viewpoints than me about the world, politics, or social issues all had the same trait: they were willing to listen to what others had to say.

I was blessed with this experience, but it also has endowed me with a responsibility to act accordingly.  I have returned to Oregon State University with the new ideas and vigor I attained in DC to try and make a difference.

BreannaAlisonBy: Alison Blazer and Breanna Balleby

Have you ever wanted to study abroad? College students often want to experience a new culture and country and gain a new perspective. College is just the time to do that! Oregon State is a new and exciting adventure for many of you, but our campus has the resources to help you explore your passions overseas. In addition to being a Liberal Arts Ambassador, I also work at the International Degree and Education Abroad (IDEA) Office as an International Ambassador. After studying abroad myself during Fall of 2012 I became determined to help other students step out of their comfort zone and get as much out of an education abroad experience as I did. So how do you select a program? What are the different programs like? I’ll use my experience abroad as an example and then my fellow CLA Ambassador, Breanna Balleby, will tell you a bit about her time abroad as well.

I participated in a Spanish immersion program in Chillán, Chile at La Universidad del Bío-Bío. OSU’s World llamaLanguages and Cultures Department sends a group of students to Chillán each Fall to complete the entire second year of Spanish (Span 211, 212, 213) in just a term. There is also an option to enroll in Spanish 311 as well. Every student in my group lived with a different host family in the city, but during the week we had classes all together. My host family was without a doubt the best part of my experience– my host parents and all three host brothers only speak Spanish. All of the time I spent with them at family barbecues or just around the house contributed tremendously to my Spanish. I lived in Chillán with my host family until the end of November 2012 and then spent 3 weeks travelling with two other girls from my program. We went to Peru, saw the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, and made our way through the Atacama Desert! There are too many lessons and memories to encapsulate in this short blog, but I will say this: Living in a Spanish speaking country and experiencing a new culture solidified my decision to become a fluent Spanish speaker, and also to return to South America after graduation this coming Spring. I constantly reflect on my experience and all that it has given me. I not only gained a deeper understanding of the world, cultures different from my own, and Spanish, but also learned a lot about myself throughout the process. Breanna had the opportunity to go to France this past Summer, read up on how she selected her program below!

Like Alison, I have been fortunate to study abroad while here at Oregon State. I recently had my first out-of-country experience in France! I spent most of my time in Angers (a city in the Loire Valley region of France) and also visited parts of Normandy, Brittany, and eventually Paris. I was able to craft my perfect study abroad experience with the help of the IDEA office. I participated in two summer sessions in Angers, France through AHA International for the months of July and August and spent the last ten days of my trip in Paris. Since I am an International Degree student I worked hard (with the help of my advisors!) to create a program that would help me fulfill my 10-week experience abroad.

FranceFor someone who had never travelled internationally, I was worried about how to successfully plan this experience and my advisors were a great asset to me. They helped me before, during, and after my experience. I began planning seriously for my experience abroad in late Fall of 2012 for the following Summer of 2013. This gave me plenty of time to work through the application process, order my passport, and apply for various scholarships before any deadlines could pass me by! In the end, my efforts certainly paid off since I was able to have one of the most culturally-enriching experiences of my life! If you’re interested in seeing and reading more about my personal experience abroad, feel free to peruse my summer travel blog (a component of studying abroad I recommend for everyone as it helps you reflect on, share, and treasure your time abroad).

Finally, I encourage you all to consider study abroad. As you continue through your college career, you will most likely hear the same advice over and over again from upper-division and graduate students: study abroad. And of course, the advice that follows that is always: start planning early. So – I encourage you to seriously consider studying abroad! Check out the IDEA homepage and once you’ve decided to study abroad, take your “first steps” by completing the online First Steps presentation on their website. We both wish you the best with your international endeavors and can’t wait to hear about your experiences!

AlisonBy Alison Blazer

As the term races on I’m sure you are all getting a feel for how quickly the quarter system can fly by! That’s why it’s so important for each of you to take advantage of all the resources available to students at Oregon State. As you sit in each of your classes in the coming weeks, I’d like you to consider your preferences. What subjects do you love? Are you strongly interested in more than one subject? OSU offers such a vast variety of courses, majors, minors and double degree programs to help students personalize their degree. Every student can create their own unique experience catered to their own personal passions and goals. One of the most sizable ways in which this University aims to help students in their exploration is the Baccalaureate Core. As many of you may know at this juncture, the Baccalaureate Core spans a wide range of disciplines and makes up a significant portion of the credits required to graduate from OSU. These general requirements are not meant to slow your degree progress down, but rather to serve as a tool in the personalization of your degree.

My freshman year I experienced this guided exposure to so many subjects firsthand. I applied to Oregon State as an English major and enrolled in both English and Bacc Core courses my first term as a Beaver. Many people have asked me why I applied as an English major and the answer is simple—English was my favorite subject in high school and as an 18-year-old I could have never imagined the sheer number of subjects that exist in college. During my first months on campus, I was enjoying classes and adjusting to collegiate life, but it wasn’t until I enrolled in Comm 218: Interpersonal Communication during winter term that I felt a genuine spark with a school subject. Week after week I was excited about new material and finally understood what people meant by “finding your passion”. It turns out my favorite subject ever, is a subject that wasn’t even on my radar until I was in college. This goes to show how the Bacc Core exposed me to a variety of classes and, in turn, helped me discover my love of Communication.

Now that I’ve shown how the Bacc Core can help you, you’re probably asking yourself, “Which classes do I take?” With such a large course catalog to select from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s precisely why OSU created Bacc Core Playlists—these pre-selected course lists fulfill the categories of the Bacc Core, while also tailoring the process to a specific interest area. For example, there’s a sustainability playlist—students interested in climate research and natural resources can use this to guide them during registration. Check out this playlist and many more at http://oregonstate.edu/main/node/1274.

So what do you do once you’ve explored your options and found the major that’s right for you? What can you do to take your degree to the next level? OSU’s many minors and double degree programs allow students to excel in several different subject areas. As a senior, I have met students with every possible degree combination you could imagine. The International Degree program allows students to internationalize their primary major by studying abroad, gaining advanced proficiency in a foreign language and writing a thesis. Check out details about the degree here: http://oregonstate.edu/international/degreetudents. Another popular add-on option is the Education Double Degree that allows students to become licensed teachers by the time they graduate from OSU- more information on this option can be found here: http://education.oregonstate.edu/double-degree.

If there’s one thing that I want you to take away from this blog, it’s that you truly SHOULD follow your passions. By that I mean talk to your academic advisors about your interests and discuss classes with your friends, roommates and coworkers. There are unlimited degree combinations just waiting to be discovered, and one of them is right for YOU! So share your interests with those around you and pay attention when a subject sparks your interest—it may just be what you’ve been waiting to discover.

Logan By Logan Pedersen

If you’re like I was at the start of my freshman year, the thought of spending some one-on-one time with your new professor and/or TA probably terrifies you… just a little bit.  Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a final term senior, professors and graduate students not only seem to know the answers to everything, they also know if you accidentally fell asleep in class last week! I am here to tell you — you must overcome that fear! One of the most critical parts of a successful academic term is seeking assistance when needed and showing an interest in the subjects you’re taking.

This is where office hours come in. Office hours provide you and your instructors the opportunity to get to know one other outside of the classroom. They give you a chance to ask questions about the lecture, clarify something you didn’t understand, or go over questions you have on the homework. Some professors and TAs are even willing to review a draft of your essay or help review for an upcoming exam (just make sure to approach them early on). Seeking assistance during office hours shows that you are making an effort in the course, especially if you are struggling with the material. Getting a bad grade, despite hours of effort, can be extremely discouraging. The last thing many of us want to do is drop by office hours and face the person who gave us that grade–but this is actually the best thing you can do. Your instructors want you to succeed, and they don’t know why you got a poor grade. Was it because you didn’t study? Was it because you didn’t care? Or was it because you simply made a mistake or overlooked some key part of the exam or assignment on accident? Did you study harder instead of smarter? They can help you figure out where you went wrong, and how to better prepare for next time. Every course will have a different set of expectations and every professor has a different teaching style. Showing up at office hours and explaining that you had studied a lot yet somehow weren’t able to convey that on the exam or in the essay, shows your professors and TAs that you care about learning the material and that you’re serious about the course.

In addition to the valuable academic assistance you can get at office hours, getting to know your professors and TAs also helps you stand out throughout the term. Here at OSU, class sizes often number in the hundreds so unless you take the initiative your professors and TAs have little more than a set of numbers to go by at the end of term when determining your final grade. Dropping by their office helps them put a face to the scores, and showing that you care about learning the material definitely makes a difference. Reviewing your mistakes and trying to improve throughout the term shows your instructors your willingness to do the hard work and highlights your determination to succeed in spite of any difficulties you might be having with the subject. This extra effort can even sometimes make a difference in your final grade; especially if you’re on the borderline. At the end of term, professors and TAs look at every student’s scores. They take into account a variety of different things depending on the course, including a student’s grades, their participation in class, and yes you guessed it, whether or not they came to office hours for help.

Office hours are typically scheduled at a specific time each week or offered by appointment only. They can usually be found on your syllabus, and most instructors are excited to have their students drop by! If you have never attended office hours, you’re missing out on a crucial source of assistance. Even if you don’t need help, stopping by your instructor’s office to chat for a few minutes helps show that you have a vested interest in the material–even if you accidentally fell asleep last week. Finally, once you have introduced yourself, you’ll probably feel more comfortable approaching them later on, whether it’s to seek assistance, talk about their research, or learn more about their fascinating field of study. You never know when a course might spark your interest!

Tests, assignments, and projects can become more stressful as the term goes farther along. Keep in mind that advisors from the College of Liberal Arts can help assess your academic performance and can recommend classes, opportunities, and options/resources if you are struggling in any of your classes. Keep up all the great work and GO BEAVS!!!



By Katy Krieger

Have a few spare hours each week? Want to get involved on the OSU campus? Trying to find a group of friends that enjoy what you do?


Well, you’re in luck my friends because here is some advice about how to branch out into extra-curricular activities and meet some new people! Check out the OSU Student Leadership and Involvement website here: http://oregonstate.edu/sli/

Try two things you’ve never done before but are interested in. This is some of the best advice I’ve received here and it presents you with a challenge to take on. Maybe it’s the theatre arts or perhaps intramural soccer, whatever it may be, go join.


Keep in mind that if you want to get involved, let’s say in the Glee club, and music is not your major that is 100% OKAY. You do not have to be majoring in anything in particular to become involved with programs on campus because here at OSU we strive to be inclusive of everyone.

studesGo for the academic: Perhaps you do want to find those other psych lovers running around campus. Finding a group relating to your academic interests can be a great way to learn more about the area AND find friends who like the same things you do.

If you’re up for an even bigger academic challenge, try getting in on some research in an area you have a passion for. All of the professors on campus do research, so check out their websites, go talk to them during office hours, and see if you can make connections and start on the research path. A lot of times there will even be grant money available for those getting into research so make sure you look into that once you’ve been taken on to do research. Oh, and need I remind all of you that not all research has chemicals and lab coats- trust me, research in CLA is a blast!


Go check out some of the resource centers and cultural centers on campus. You don’t have to be of that culture to partake in events and most of the groups hold weekly events like movie screenings or guest lectures.

If this isn’t enough to get you off the couch and back onto campus getting involved, here is one more suggestion, get 5 of your best peeps and go make a club (maybe a Project Runway club or perhaps a Trivial Pursuit club?)! This is not only a great way to hang out with others and bond, but you can also put it on your resume as being an official OSU club starter.

Good luck and GO GET INVOLVED beavs!



KatyBy Katy Krieger

Well, it’s the beginning of week three and you’re probably already gearing up for midterm exams. So, how do you get through fall term with great grades and your sanity in tact?!

Always do the reading- trust me it will get you ahead in the long run and you’ll be ready for quizzes, midterms, and even dessertsfinals! Don’t just read either; take the time to write notes and make connections in your mind so that you remember what you’ve read.

Try to work ahead. I know this sounds insane and it’s hard just keeping up with your regular college schedule, but, if you can attempt to knock out two readings instead of one and start writing that paper BEFORE the day it’s due, you will feel prepared and ready to go each week. I usually go back through the syllabus for a class and see if there are smaller assignments I can complete ahead of time so that when the big things come up (like papers and projects) I have more time to work on them and I don’t feel as rushed.

Go over your notes after you get done with class. Reading what you have just written down will help you commit the information to memory. Use the time in between classes or take your notes onto the elliptical.

coffeeFind a good study space that fits your needs. Is it Starbucks downtown, or the Valley library on the third floor, or maybe even out in the MU quad? Whatever it is make sure you have water, food nearby, a place to charge your laptop, room to spread out your papers, and a bathroom.

Take advantage of OSU offered programs like tutors, study tables, the Writing Center, CAPS, and advisors. These resources are typically free (costs will be told to you upfront) and can give you great insight into better study skills, improved writing, and keeping up on your mental and physical health.

One of the best things I can advise you all to do: take a break and indulge in something you really enjoy. Sometimes the best work comes from being refreshed and having a new set of eyes on a paper can help you catch mistakes. Go to the beach, take a shopping trip to Woodburn, find a new restaurant in Corvallis and invite some friends to join you; whatever it is, take the time to do it and relax away from school!

Good luck with week three everyone and make sure you do something fun this week!


By David Nauss

Fall is on of the most beautiful times of the year. The leaves change colors, salted caramel mochas are in, you get to reconnect with friends, but most importantly its FOOTBALL SEASON!! Football at Oregon State is a great time. So here is a guide on why you should go to football games (even if you don’t like football), how to get tickets to games, and how to get the best seats at the game.

First why to go to football games? Football games are one of the few times where you get to see all of Beaver Nation in all its glory. Reser stadium gets packed with 43,000 Beavers cheering and chanting for OSU. It is one of the few times when Oregon State feels like a small school. You are surrounded by, many times, complete strangers but you are all cheering at the same time, singing the same songs, and yelling at the same officials for bad calls. This is especially true in the student section. The students have the best seats in the stadium and are, naturally, the most enthusiastic. The event of a live Oregon State game sitting in the student section is something that can only be experienced and can only be experienced during the four short years of college.

Now that I have sold you on going to the game, here is how to get tickets and how to get the best seats to the games. Tickets go on sale for students the Monday before the game. That means that the tickets for the next game versus Stanford will go on sale on October 21st. Usually tickets go fast so to ensure you get a ticket go on Monday. Many people camp out Sunday night to be the first in line when the office opens on Monday morning at 7 am. They do this to get the best sections of the student seating. Camping out is not necessary though; you can go to the ticket office in the morning of Monday and still get a ticket (usually), it just won’t be in the best sections.  You only need to bring your student id to the ticket office at the south side of the stadium. Tickets are free for students. Your ticket will have a section and seat number.

On game day you need to bring your student id and ticket to the game. Your ticket will be scanned when entering into Reser Stadium, then if you are in sections 114-118 your student id and ticket will be checked again as you enter the section. Once you are in your section people sit wherever they want. People do not follow the seat number they are given. This means if you want to be in the first row you must get to the stadium early. Also, make sure that you wear as much orange as you own to truly fit in to the student section.

That is everything you need to know about football games at OSU. Hope to see you there at homecoming versus Stanford. GO BEAVS!