McKenzie Ross McKenzie Ross

With warm weather taking over it becomes easy to abandon your books for television. Don’t get me wrong, my summer will definitely see some long and hard fought marathons (Orange is the New Black season three anyone?). However, I’ll also be picking up a few books for enjoyment. I find the most daunting part of reading in the summer is figuring out what to read; seriously, where’s a syllabus when you actually want one? So I’ve put together a summer reading list with ambassador recommendations. Spanning different many different subjects there’s bound to be a book or two for you here.

 

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
Breanna raves that “it’s a slyly crafted 1930s murder mystery that takes place on a small (fictional) island along the English coast. It was one of the first mysteries I read and it got me hooked even more so on reading!”

 

Nickel and Dimed – Barbara Ehrenreich
John says “it’s an auto-biographical account of Ehrenreich going “undercover” to work a year-round, full-time, minimum wage job (as millions of Americans do every year). Ehrenreich gives an eye-opening account of what it’s like to live at the bottom of the economic ladder and forces you to look at the world in a different way.”

 

Books from a husband and wife duo:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran and The History of Love – Nicole Krauss
Hannah says “I’ve read both books each summer since my freshman year in high school. After each read, I think I’ve finally decided what the two books are about, but then I re-read and come up with something different. [Both books are] unconventional, thought provoking, and wonderful.”

 
Burning Down the House – Nell Bernstein
Logan says “it’s an incredible read about the criminal justice system from behind the bars in juvenile detention facilities. You hear about many individual cases (both positive and negative) that are eye opening and impactful. It truly makes you appreciate life and allows you to see the world from a different lens.”

 

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies – Seth Holmes
Holly says this book is “really good for people interested in migrant work, food industries, or public health. A man joins a group of illegal immigrants on their journey crossing the boarder and working as farmers in [Pacific Northwest farms].

 

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Of her favorite book Jenna says “it’s a story of a young boy and his life growing up in the Middle East. It’s all the emotions packed into one book.”

Logan Pedersen by Logan Pedersen

As college students with busy lives we can often forget to take breaks, to simply stop, relax, and reflect. If you are looking for a place to escape for some wonderful relaxation, quiet time, and bliss then look no further than the downtown boardwalk of Corvallis. Right off of 1st street lies a boardwalk that extends down 10 blocks. This is a great place to clear your mind, relax, and enjoy the wonderful nature that Corvallis has to offer. As you walk down the boardwalk on one side you will discover many diverse local restaurants such as Great Harvest Bread Co., Sada Sushi, and Riverview Mongolian Grill, while on the other side you hear the peaceful sound of the Willamette River. The boardwalk is great place to go during lunch or dinnertime to grab a bite to eat and walk alongside the river. Whether you’re looking for a good place to go for a date night, break from school/work, or simply want some quite time, check out this hidden gem that is bound to open your eyes to the beauty within Corvallis just minutes away from campus.

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These are pictures of the boardwalk from an evening stroll I went on this past week.

Holly Briggs by Holly Briggs

We have all been listening to the news, hearing about police brutality and protests that became violent from a sensational and skewed perspective. What we don’t get from the media are well-reasoned and in-depth discussions of recent events in Baltimore and elsewhere. This week at OSU there important forums discussing social justice issues as well as effective ways to take action.

On Tuesday May 12th, four professors from various departments will be at the Black Cultural Center as apart of a panel to help us all make some sense of the issues and place them within the context of the ongoing national story surrounding racial inequality and direct action. Participating will be, professors Crystal Boson (WGSS), Marisa Chappell (HST), Stacey Smith (HST), and Joseph Orosco (PHL). Each will analyze the situation in a different way, discussing Baltimore’s events in the context of violence and silence of Black women, and in the context of racial inequality and the history of direct action. This event is free and begins at 4:00pm.

Another event to consider is the Science Fiction, Social Justice, and the Radical Imagination Lecture in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center in the Valley Library. This event will examine the ways in which fantasy fiction can inspire the radical imagination to envision the features of a socially just world. After the lecture there is a workshop in the MU Journey room that will use science fiction movies, things like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, to create direct action plans that parallel our world’s need for social justice. This event is also free, the lecture in the library begins at 4:00pm and the workshop begins at 6:00pm in the MU Journey Room.

These forums provide an opportunity for us all to become better informed in order to help continue to effect the change our generation wishes to see in this world.

mayo

If you haven’t already come to understand that spring term at Oregon State flies right by, then consider yourself fairly warned! Already, we’re part way through week six with only five short weeks left until not only the end of the term, but also the end of the academic year. This means that when you note that today is Cinco de Mayo, you can be reminded of the celebratory nature of spring term, but you should also recall that this is the time of year to make your academic advising appointments… for fall term!

Fall 2015 might seem like ages from now, but it will sneak up on you, believe me. Take advantage of the chance to plan ahead and feel confident that the classes you’re taking next term will help you start the year off right. For first-year College of Liberal Arts students, remember this is time to meet with your major advisor and start to have even more in-depth conversations about opportunities within your major. Logistically, you’ll need to meet with your major advisor to receive your registration PIN. Feel free to still consult the College of Liberal Arts Central Advising Office, particularly for questions regarding bacc core classes — they are happy to help!

So, if you haven’t already set up an appointment with your major advisor, be sure to do so sometime during this beautiful week six. If you missed the Matriculation Celebration or are unsure of who your major advisor is, check in with the CLA Central Advising Office (by calling (541) 737-0561 or stopping by Gilkey 213).

by Breanna Balleby

Logan Pedersen by Logan Pedersen

Are you looking to get off campus for a break from your studies? Do you enjoy exploring new areas of Corvallis? Then look no further than a beautiful hike up to the tallest peak in the Oregon Coastal Range. Grab a group of friends and drive over to this scenic sight known as Mary’s Peak.

Mary's Peak

Only 45 minutes from the Oregon State campus, this destination is one you won’t want to miss. At an elevation of 4,097 feet, the summit of Mary’s Peak provides a stunning view. Whether you’re there during the day, at dawn, or sunset, this point will reveal to you the cities and suburbs of the Willamette Valley, the Cascade Range, and even the Pacific Ocean on a clear day. The hiking trail is a total of 6.2 miles in length, but if you don’t feel like a hike then you can always drive straight to the top. So on the next sunny day when you’re thinking of getting away, swing up to Mary’s Peak for an incredible relaxing escape from society and enjoy the nature that lies just outside of Corvallis.

Last summer I had the opportunity to study abroad in London with some of my fellow CLA classmates. Since spring has arrived, my nostalgia has hit an all time high. Because of this, I thought now would be a great time to share my favorite parts of the trip. While I have countless favorites, I’ll limit myself to three.

 

1. The AMAZING THEATER Scene

theater

When people ask, “what was your favorite part of London?” the theater is my first answer. It’s unlike anything I had previously experienced. I stood (quite excitedly I might add) through a performance of Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s Globe and sat two feet away from Martin Freeman playing the malicious Richard III. I also saw the Curious Incident of the Dog in Nighttime, and I swear I’ve never seen anything so innovative and transcendent. If there’s one thing you should be doing in London (besides sitting in pubs and practicing your horrible British accent) it’s seeing plays.

2. Spending Hours in MUSEUMS

Darwin

From ancient worlds, to natural history, and modern art, London has got you covered. There are so many incredible museums in London that span a wide variety of subjects; it’s difficult to not spend your entire afternoon lost in their bowels. I loved that we could discuss a painting from 1553 in class and then hop on the Tube to go see it in person. This is what’s so great about London; it’s a perfect blend of old and new.

3. The PEOPLE

tourists

What is that clichéd quote again? The place is only as good as the people? Well, I think there’s some truth to this for a couple of reasons. First, it was a comfort to have people from a familiar setting. Second, I learned so much about myself through the people with me. In many ways, they were what made the experience a great one. I wouldn’t have loved London so much if I hadn’t been with other College of Liberal Arts students. After all, it’s more fun to explore a city with new found friends!

 

Overall, studying abroad in London has been the highlight of my college career so far. Because of this trip, I’ve added the International Degree and I’m packing my bags for France this summer. I cannot stress how beneficial study abroad has been to my education and personal growth. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, I highly recommend you take it. Currently, the College of Liberal Arts is accepting applications for the 2015 London trip. This year, one of the professors leading the trip will be Michelle Inderbitzin who teaches Inside-Out: Prison Exchange Program at Oregon State. Professor Inderbitzin, like study abroad, will expand your worldview immensely (believe me, I know from experience). Her London course will focus on the similarities and differences between the UK’s correctional system and the United States correctional system. So if red telephone booths and afternoon tea don’t interest you (seriously? who’s not excited about tea?) then spending time with one of the best professors at OSU should.

If you would like additional information about the trip to London this summer, follow this link.

 
Bon Voyage!

 

by McKenzie Ross

Jon Bosworthby Jon Bosworth

Fresh cut grass, vibrant blooming flowers, sun soaked students, and an indescribable buzz on campus; that’s Oregon State University in the spring. You see, there’s no better place to be in the spring than Corvallis, Oregon. I don’t know if it’s the anticipation of sun built up over several rainy months, the natural beauty offered by the Willamette Valley, or all of the events and activities associated with springtime, but it’s an amazing time of the year. Coupled with the beauty and warmth provided by the weather, comes a host of activities and events on and off campus to keep you busy throughout the term.

On campus there are a ton of events and festivals throughout the spring, beginning with Mom’s Weekend in early-May and culminating with commencement in mid-June. In addition to these events there is the ever-popular Dam Jam, where MUPC (the Memorial Union Programming Council) invites a well-known musical artist to play a huge concert in the quad! Check out the OSU Calendar for more events: http://calendar.oregonstate.edu

Outside of Oregon State is the place to fully enjoy the spring. Corvallis is the place to be if you enjoy the outdoors, there are numerous hiking, biking, and running trails as well as breathtaking destinations close to town. Some of my favorite places to hike are Bald Hill, which is a quick walk from campus, Chip Ross Park, and Mary’s Peak. Mary’s Peak is the highest point in the coastal range and offers breathtaking views of both the Willamette Valley and the coast after an enjoyable hike. If outdoor activities aren’t your thing, there are great restaurants, coffee shops, and clothing stores downtown that can be a part of your day after visiting the Corvallis Farmers’ Market. On Wednesday and Saturday mornings be sure to go down to 1st street and take advantage of fresh produce and flowers, unique art and much more at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market. No matter what your interest is, I guarantee that Corvallis’ springtime whether will be perfect for you!

Don’t get discouraged if the weather seems to be playing with you, it probably is. Just trust me, a morning that starts out like this,

gray daycan quickly turn to this:

bright day

Hannah WhitleyHannah Whitley

It is a common myth among undergraduate students that there is no opportunity for student research within the College of Liberal Arts. Unbeknownst to them, there are many exciting opportunities for CLA students to conduct research and to add to academic knowledge within their field!

This past year, I have had the incredible opportunity to conduct my own research project alongside Dr. Dwaine Plaza in the School of Public Policy. Since November of 2014, I have been researching levels of faculty diversity within West Coast universities. This past week I traveled with OSU’s Sociology department to present my findings in an undergraduate poster session at the Pacific Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Long Beach, California. At the conference, I was not only able to exhibit my findings, but was also given the opportunity to learn about graduate school, employment opportunities, and was able to network with fellow Sociologists.

Despite popular belief, the College of Liberal Arts has many ways for students to begin their own research. If you are interested in learning more about this fantastic opportunity, make sure to visit an OSU faculty member during their office hours to discuss their research and see if they have any suggestions for your research interests. In addition, Oregon State’s URSA (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and the Arts) website has great resources for students interested in starting their own research.

Participating in undergraduate research is an exciting and unique opportunity, make sure to explore your options at OSU and make the most out of your time in Corvallis!

 

McKenzie Rossby McKenzie Ross

 

It’s that time yet again: multitudes of finals, widespread panic, and thoughts of dropping out. As we leave dead week behind, I thought it’d be a nice time to pull out some study-don’ts.

Let me break it down real slow:

 

1. Listening to music while you study.
“So I can’t listen to my dope jams and still get A’s?” Well, some jams are A-Okay. It’s not music in general that’s the problem; it’s the lyrics. So, press pause on Taylor Swift and play something like this or this instead. If you’re a minimalist, I suggest this website. For the true Oregonian I suggest this one.

2. “Studying” by re-reading.
Nope. Uh-uh. This isn’t a study method. Review method sure, but how much of that info are you actually retaining? This is called pseudo-studying, kids. It’s a great way to make yourself yawn and say, “yeah, yeah, I know all this” when you don’t. Not to mention, it’s a great way to consume valuable time. Instead, try rewriting your notes, creating a chapter outline, or making some flash cards; equally as time consuming, but definitely more efficient.

3. Forgetting Self-care.
If you’re sleepy, if your tum is rumbling, if you’ve been at it for hours, it becomes difficult to do your best. Self-care is a large component of overall study success, yet it’s probably the most overlooked. Mix this with the glorification of all-nighters and you’ve got students who appear “well-studied” but aren’t necessarily ready for their exams. My rule is to prepare for studying like you’re preparing for an adventure. You’ll need to be well rested, have a pack full of snacks (and water), along with the ability to discern when a break is needed.

Once you’ve crossed all these off your checklist, you’re ready to vanquish the dragon known as studying.

hobbit

Hannah Whitley Hannah Whitley

 

When I initially applied to OSU at the beginning of my senior year in high school, I had my whole college career mapped out: I was majoring in Agricultural Science with a minor in Communications. My ultimate goal was to become a voice for small agricultural businesses on the national level, either by serving as a representative on Capitol Hill or by corresponding with associations assisting production agriculturalists. However, after half a year of contemplation and major soul searching, my academic focus changed dramatically.

 
During the summer of 2013, I switched my major to Sociology. At that point, I wasn’t quite sure what my ultimate career goal was, but I knew that majoring in the College of Liberal Arts allowed me to take a diverse array of courses while simultaneously giving me the ability to have a hands-on, real world education.

 
As I enter my spring term in my second year at Oregon State, I have officially altered my major/minor/option combination six times. I have entertained many degrees, spanning everywhere from Theatre Arts to even Human Development and Family Science. Two years after my initial acceptance into OSU, however, I have officially settled on pursuing a B.S. in Sociology with an option in Crime and Justice, Anthropology with a Biocultural option, and a minor in Religious Studies.

 
Where I initially thought that I was one of the rare students who could not make up their mind on what to study, I soon found that I am not alone! Out of the 9 current Ambassadors for the College of Liberal Arts, we have all altered our major/minor/option combinations. On average, the CLA Ambassador team has each altered their course of study three times, either by adding to, modifying, or removing some type of their degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), we ambassadors fit right in with the majority of collegiate students in the U.S. According to the NCES, about 80% of students in America end up changing their major at least once. On average, these students change their major at least three times over the course of their college career!

 
The important thing to remember is that whether you keep the same major you declared while applying to OSU or if you decide to change your degree once or multiple times, there’s nothing wrong with that. One of the great things about post-secondary education is that students have the ability to choose what path of education they wish to pursue. It may take one (or six) times to customize your college education and determine your unique major/minor/option combination.

 
If you are thinking about altering your current path of education, make sure to discuss your options with an adviser in the College of Liberal Arts main office or with your major adviser. All appointment inquiries for advisers in the CLA main office can be made in Gilkey 207 or by calling (541) 737-0561. For a list of all major advisers, visit http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/finding-my-advisor.