AlisonBy Alison Blazer

Looking for a new challenge and a wonderful way to get in shape? I recommend training for a half marathon! It may sound crazy, but I’m here to tell you that even non-runners can overcome this 13.1-mile challenge!

I’ll use my own experience as evidence. In high school I participated in crew (rowing) for four years and found it really difficult to adhere to a workout schedule once I was on my own at OSU. I took a few PAC classes and made the trip to Dixon Recreation only occasionally over my first two years as a Beaver. After returning from studying abroad in Fall 2013, my roommate convinced me to train with her for the Corvallis Half Marathon. To be honest, I’m still perplexed as to how she persuaded me to even begin running, but I am forever grateful for her efforts!

halfmarathon

Running is not only one of the best cardiovascular workouts out there, but it can also be a completely freeing experience. Working out in any capacity allows you to clear your mind and re-center your energy—something very useful amongst all of the midterms and the dreary winter days. Another plus is that training for such a long distance competition allows runners to explore their local area! I have discovered parts of Corvallis on my runs that I would never have seen otherwise. One of my favorite routes involves the bike path on Campus Way that goes out to the covered bridge, so check that out if you decide to train!

My roommate and I at the finish line after running the Corvallis Half Marathon in April 2013. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention you get to finish on the 50 yard line of Reser Stadium? How incredible is that?!

There are countless half marathon training schedules you can find just by searching the web, but no matter what the exact format there is a typical set of components that are included:

 

In ONE week you will:

Run 2-3 short runs

Cross train once (swimming, biking etc.)

Strengthen twice (weights or abs)

Run one LONG run (*these typically increase by 1 mile each week)

Rest one day

I personally have used Hal Higdon’s Training Guide—check it out!

I’m not going to say that fitting this amount of running into my already busy schedule as a full-time student with a part-time job has been easy, but I will say that it has been worth it. The amount of time you spend running is time spent caring for both your body and mind. I find that after I run even 2 or 3 miles I return home feeling recharged and ready to tackle whatever lies ahead, including my academics.

I’m currently training for the Corvallis Half for the second time (this year it is on April 13th!) and couldn’t be enjoying it more! Besides being an incredibly useful stress reliever, having a training program assures me that I am capable of setting goals and achieving them, and guess what? YOU ARE TOO! So grab a couple friends, lace up your running shoes, and hit the ground running!

While you embark on this new and exciting challenge, here are a few more recommendations from a slightly experienced runner.

-          Training involves finding the right running diet for you (i.e. what to eat before and after your workouts). Don’t be afraid to experiment!

-          For quality shoes and a store full of salespeople who will help analyze your running stride, check out Gallagher Fitness in Salem.

-          Listening to books on tape while running is AWESOME (especially once you’re distances surpass the 6 mile mark)

-          Use the Map My Run website and phone app! It’s the simplest way to plan out various routes around town!

 

By Katy Krieger, David Nauss and Morgan Willer

grad school

Why we chose it: Graduate School! Yes there is the possibility of continuing your education after you leave Oregon State. Whether you want to take a year off or push ahead, graduate school may be a great option. Three of our senior ambassadors are moving on to graduate school and share their experiences with you. Hopefully they can help paint you a clearer picture of the entire application process.

KatyKaty I love the university atmosphere, so to think of spending my life in it was an incredible feeling and I went with it! I have always wanted to go for a PhD in psychology so it was a matter of finding my passion (social psychology) and really capitalizing on programs that would prepare me in the field. Right now all I do is school so naturally the next step for me was to continue on with my education, however, this choice may not be so easy for people and you may want to gain practical experience with an internship, job, or field/lab research.

MorganMorgan My career choice requires that I eventually hold a masters degree. As a teacher I am pursuing my masters in my content, which means I will be studying history at the graduate level. I am choosing to go straight into the graduate school process, without a gap year, because I don’t want to fall out of “school mode” and forget the rigorous study that is required to excel.

DavidDavid To be a lawyer you have to go to law school. But more than that why do I want to become a lawyer? I love law, I find it fascinating, intricate, abstract and yet at the same time very human and in very real ways effecting people. I also want to do work with a purpose and within the field of law there are many opportunities for me to do that. Secondly like Morgan I would prefer to just power through law school and get going with my career than take a year or two off.

 

How did we choose our schools:

Katy I started with a big guide to psych grad schools book and moved from there. The book was really just helping me to narrow down my choices and begin to look at factors like what the school offered for financial aid and opportunities and what I had to bring to the table like strong GRE scores and good references. I tried not to limit myself to an area or state because a list of 100 schools can easily go down to 5 that may or may not fit for you. I used my previous experience at conferences to guide me into where to apply. I focused on strong research programs and schools that would allow me to pursue my passion in social psychology as well as provide me with practical skills like teaching experience and statistics courses. Some places on my list include: UT Austin, Harvard, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, Michigan, and University of Colorado.

David I am choosing a variety of schools across the US. Three schools in the Northwest, two schools in California, one school in St. Louis, Missouri and one in Houston, Texas. I choose the schools first because they are all good, some even great schools three schools are top 25, the rest are in or around the top 50 (with one exception of a back-up school). More than the academics though I applied to these schools because I think I can be successful in all of them and feel at home. I am from California so I feel at home there, I have spent these last four years in the Northwest and have many friends here, and I have family that lives in Texas so I also feel comfortable in the south. I know that I will most likely end up living near to where I go to school so I wanted to apply to places that I know I could easily call home.

Morgan I’m applying to several schools in the Southeastern United States, like Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Alabama. I chose these schools first off because of their programs and professors. I have a huge interest in Civil War history, as well as Civil Rights, and much of that history occurred in the South. By putting myself in the center of the history I’ll have many opportunities for research. I’ve also always wanted to live outside of Oregon, have many friends in the states where I am applying, and am looking forward to experiencing a new culture while staying in the U.S. Choosing schools takes a lot of time, especially to properly research everywhere you may want to go. I started this process early last year.

How we prepped:

Katy I started by taking the practice GRE that OSU offered online- come on free is great and it gave me a chance to know what the questions looked like. After that I took all summer to study with some helpful books and flashcards related to the GRE so that I could really do well on the exam. I used a handy guide in my field after that to look at specific programs and I would suggest finding what this kind of guide would be in your field (go ask an advisor in your major) so that you can see the short facts about each place and a general idea of what they focus on. The searching and choosing process was much longer than anticipated, so, I was glad I began months in advance so that the December 1st deadlines didn’t sneak up on me. Also, I kept a huge Excel spreadsheet with each schools information like deadlines, payments, and sent transcripts so that I could stay organized. This list was super handy for my professors giving recommendation letters because it kept them organized as well. I had all of my materials ready for each school and then strategically filled out the basic info on the application, uploaded each essay or document, and then submitted them (at least a day prior to the deadline).

David The first prep is in do you really want to go to grad school and if so do you want to right after college. I know law school is going to be brutal and expensive but for me its still worth it and I want to get it done with so I can start my career. Secondly I would start prepping for the test you have to take (GRE, LAST, whatever). Most schools look very closely at your test score so you need to prepare well for it. Take a class, get study books, prepare as best as you can. I personally only studied from LSAT prep books but I studied a lot from them. This past summer nearly everyday I was studying for the LSAT. If you can afford a class though, I would take one (I wish I had sucked up the money and done so). Next for law school applications it is very simple to apply to schools. The LSAC runs all the applications through their website. In this way you really only have to fill out one application and the rest of the applications copies your information from the first. A month before I wanted to turn in my applications I went and asked the professors who I wanted to write my letters of recommendations for their letters. That way they had plenty of time to write them. They then submitted their letter directly to LSAC. Next I asked OSU to send my transcripts to LSAC with the LSAC special request form. I then clicked sent for all the applications and paid the fee. I sent in my applications in early January, even though the first one was not due till mid February because law schools to rolling admissions so the sooner I send mine in the better chance I had of getting in to the school.

Morgan I started by researching where I wanted to go, and looked at their requirements. Was my GPA high enough? How many recommendations will I need? How about the GRE and writing samples? I compiled all the requirements into an excel spreadsheet to make sure I would not miss anything when it came time to apply. I signed up for the GRE early, and bought a test prep book. I studied for a good three months before taking the test, and even then chose to re-take the test to boost my scores. It’s important to give yourself enough time to take the GRE before you must submit scores to grad schools. A month before my first application was due I asked the professors I was closest to if they would write a letter of recommendation for me. It’s important to ask them very early, in person, and express your thanks. They are doing you a huge favor! It’s helpful to know all the schools,  and the dates applications are due ready to present to them, when you ask for a letter. Most graduate programs require three letters. If you are not close to that many professors now would be a good time to strengthen relationships. Finally, when looking at requirements for schools take note if the school requires transcripts from all institutions you’ve attended, or just the most recent. Some schools are picky enough to even require transfer credits from high school advanced placement courses, so plan accordingly.

Materials you will need:

MONEY! But really. Be prepared to pay $50-75 per application, pay for your GRE ($$$) and its supplies, and expect to pay $25 per test score that you send out. Plus any extra money that may be spent shipping transcripts, documents, and other necessities to your schools.

Post-apps and Interviews:

Katy After your apps get ready for the waiting game. it’s awful but everyone gets through it! Try to get a Skype interview instead of a phone interview so that you can rely on nonverbal indicators to help you along in the process. If you are interviewing for the first time, test your phone or Skype, make sure your connection is good and prep for no interruptions, look at your background and clothes and make sure they are professional, and always be early to your interview so that you are the one waiting for them and not the other way around. Nerves are okay but don’t let them consume you; try not to amp up on too much caffeine and speak slowly and clearly especially with Skype. In an onsite interview prepare with ideas of your own- what projects you want to begin with a professor, what your interests are, and what you have done in your undergrad. Also, be ready to be thrown into ten different offices and talk a lot! Sometimes it may not be your first choice professor that wants to interview you so just be ready and know your stuff. In addition, watch out for group interview and don’t be afraid to speak up (or even shut up).

 

KateBy Kate Virden

Welcome to 2014!  You’ve survived fall term, had a relaxing winter break, and are now working the daily grind.  Winter term is unlike any other at OSU.  It’s not as exciting as fall when everyone is back to school and football season is in full swing with school spirit events happening every week.  Spring term is when the sun finally pokes its head out from the clouds and students can be found lying on the grass in the MU and library quads.   Now we’re left with winter term.  It’s usually a bit of a shock to come back from break and immediately be swamped with homework, so realistically, it can get pretty depressing since the sun is never seen; it’s bone chillingly cold, and often very, very rainy.  The best ways to avoid feelings of seasonal depression that are very common throughout Oregon is to do the things you love!

Exercising is a great way to relieve stress and also release endorphins or feelings of happiness.  I’ve found running for even 30 minutes every day forces me to set aside time for myself and be active.  Even walking a little bit slower to your next class and taking time to breathe in the fresh Oregon air can make your step lighter.  Luckily for us, one of our school colors is bright orange so represent Beaver Pride and wear an orange hoodie one day to spruce up the neutrals that dominate wintertime wardrobes.   Socializing with friends at one of the coffee shops on campus or in the MU Lounge is a great way to take your mind off of never ending to-do lists and laughter really is the best medicine.  Drink non-caffeinated tea before bed to relax or buy some vitamin D supplements if you aren’t getting enough fish, eggs or dairy in your diet.  If seasonal depression really affects you, a Sun Box Light from Amazon.com might be something to interest you.  These boxes use light therapy to filter UV rays and fit on a desktop so it’s like having the sun right on your desk! You can also stop in to the mind spa or the library to use a UV light for free to help boost your vitamin D.

No matter what you choose to do to devote some time to yourself this winter term, it’s important that you set a schedule and stick to it. Good luck and GO BEAVS!

LoganBy Logan Pedersen

Have you been thinking about getting involved in undergraduate research? Or would you like to dive deeper into the topic you’re majoring in? Research offers undergraduate students a chance to expand their knowledge while gaining valuable real world experience in a laboratory research setting. Hands-on-experience is an invaluable part of a student’s college career, and Oregon State University is both a top-tier national research institution and Oregon’s premiere research university. The professors here truly cherish their research. They’re passionate and dedicated to their topics, and they look for students with an equal interest. As a result, they have strict criteria when it comes to selecting students for work in their labs. I spoke with one professor who stated, “my research is like my children, I greatly cherish them.” It is not easy to get in a lab, and many students believe they have to wait until their junior or senior year of college to get involved in one, but this simply isn’t true. Take time to review the research being done by the professors in your department, and if you’re passionate and focused about a specific topic, you may find professors here in the same thing! If you’re still looking around and you aren’t sure about where you want to focus your interest, then look into the research professors are working on and you’re certain to find something that piques your interest. I strongly recommend talking to your professors sometime during your freshman year to at least get a feel for what goes on in the labs.

researchIt takes a lot of work to get involved in a lab, but in the end the experience you gain is definitely worth it. I am currently involved in a lab here on campus, and it feels like a second family to me. They provide a place where students with shared interests can work to discover new things about life. They show you the practical side of the field, and they help apply what you learn in your classes. It can also show you what life is like in graduate programs and in the working world. Regardless of what you’re majoring in, please go and talk with a professor in your field about their research and if inspiration strikes, find out how you can try to get involved. All majors conduct research and professors love to share their work with other dedicated students. Not only will research provide you the opportunity to share your interests with others, it will also help shape your college experience. For many students, our time in college is the only time we’ll be exposed to academic research opportunities. Learning involves more than just going to class everyday and passing exams. Research experience plays a critical role in helping to develop our understanding of the world around us.

By Morgan Willer, Katy Krieger, Kate Virden and Alison Blazer

This school year is already flying by! It’s 2014 and a whole new group of seniors are looking forward to, or dreading (however you see it), graduation. We may all be in denial that our time has come to move on to the real world, but the senior ambassadors figured there was no better time than dreary winter term to start checking things off the Oregon State bucket list! Here we’ve compiled our list of things we’ve never done, or want to make sure you all get to experience, before reality calls to wake you up.

MorganMorgan: My time at Oregon State has gone by so fast, and there are still a few things left I want to do! A huge part of being a beaver is going to athletic events. It’s the perfect place to feel what it means to be “Powered by Orange”! Basketball is awesome, but you should also check-out other sporting events like gymnastics, wrestling, and swimming. You’re guaranteed to have fun when you’re out supporting your school.Spending more time on campus is something really basic, but something that you can’t do forever. Take your friends, possibly those from freshmen year, and have a cup of coffee while reminiscing. You won’t get to wander the beautiful OSU campus for much longer so it’s best to take advantage now! Check out Career Services before you graduate and are left wondering what to do. They can be helpful and you probably won’t get such great advice once you leave. Finally, it’s never too late to get involved. Join a club or be a tutor. You’ve been here a long time and you have advice to spread around. It’s never too late to make connections!

 

KatyKaty: As I get ready to graduate I have realized everything that I have done at OSU and everything that is still left to do! I absolutely recommend going to as many local restaurants as possible. Happy hour at places like Block 15, McMenamins, and Flat Tail Brewing is a great way to try the food and drink. Take a trip to Newport, Lincoln City or Cannon Beach; although these may be cliché places to visit, the shops, beach scenery, and quaint bakeries are enough to make you go back multiple times. Newport also holds a murder mystery party that everyone can take part in that proves for a day of laughs and sleuthing! For those of you over 21, I also suggest going wine, beer, and cider tasting all around the valley. Most tastings are under $15 and you get some wonderful samples of what Oregon has to offer. In addition, add a trip to the Whiteside Theater to your list, catch a movie at the Darkside Cinema, walk around the farmer’s market, hike around Bald Hill (not alone), and get tickets to a Eugene Ballet Company show like The Nutcracker when they perform in Corvallis.

 

KateKate:Oregon State University has been an amazing place to call home for the past few years, and with graduation on the very near horizon, it is important to experience the last few bits of charm the university and Corvallis have to offer.  I want to take more advantage of Dixon Rec Center and the fitness classes that get heart rates going.  Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offer an amazing opportunity called the Mind Spa, and the purpose is to soothe the mind, body, and spirit through massaging chairs, meditation, and relaxing scenery.  It’s the perfect place to unwind once the term picks up, and I have yet to experience it!  Also, I have been dying to attend an OSU fashion show before I graduate and experience the creativity of student designers.  As for Corvallis, there are innumerable ways to get involved with the quaint community.  There are hiking trails on Mary’s Peak and Bald Hill for you adventurous folk with views of Oregon that stretch as far as the eye can see.  Downtown Corvallis is home to quaint little shops full of homemade handicrafts and the friendliest store owners, and if you haven’t had the chance to walk around on a weekend afternoon with a friend or two, I definitely recommend it.  Whether you are graduating this spring or in two years, remember that undergrad only happens once, so make the best and most of it!

 

AlisonAlison: I am still in shock (also appropriately referred to as denial) about the fact that I’m going to be graduating from the Beaver Nation this coming June. While the past three years have been a roller coaster of amazing memories and worthwhile learning experiences, I feel as though I can’t possibly accomplish all that I want to in my last 6 months in Corvallis. When it comes to campus, I will admit I have still have yet to play a game of bowling at the MU Bowling Alley, eat a calzini from Bing’s Cafe or attend a myriad of cultural events hosted by student groups or the cultural centers. While I’ve participated in a lot of workout classes on campus (through either Fit Classes at Dixon Recreation or PAC classes), I still haven’t even SEEN the bowling alley that’s on our very own campus. Also, generally speaking, I’m a foodie. I appreciate delicious food, enjoy cooking, and love trying new places. I’ve heard for years now that the calizinis (a large semi-circle of dough stuffed with cheese, meat, veggies etc. and baked to perfection) at Bing’s are incredible. Maybe I should go for a game at MU Billiards and head over to Bing’s for a snack sometime soon! Cultural events, I’m happy to say, are incredibly well attended at Oregon State. There’s typically great food (there I go with the food again!), cultural performances (i.e. dancing, speakers), and interesting people to get to know! I’ve been to quite a few of these events over the years, but am determined to fit as many in as possible over the next 6 months. My final recommendation is for you all to get involved in Corvallis outside of just the campus setting. I have loved each and every one of my trips the Corvallis Farmer’s Market and have even volunteered at several city events– both are fantastic ways to get a feel for the community that we all call home and meet some true Corvallians!

AlisonBy Alison Blazer

Greetings Beavers! I hope Winter term is off to a smooth start for everyone. The beginning of a new term is always a fantastic time to make new connections on campus and really boost your involvement. To inspire all of you to pursue what you’re passionate about on our campus, I’m going to tell you a bit about one of my involvement positions over the past few years and where it has gotten me.

Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) is a national communication honor society that is recognized by the National Communication Association (NCA) and has over 500 chapters across the country. Last year (2012-13) I was our chapter Vice-President and this year (2013-14), as a senior, I have been fortunate enough to hold the position of Chapter President.

The question I get so often is, ‘What does it mean to be an honor society?’ As an honor society, LPH’s goals include bridging the gap between faculty and students, inspiring discussion and scholarship in the communication discipline, and encouraging academic excellence. In other words, our organization has academic eligibility requirements (i.e. a minimum GPA), puts on various events for communication students at OSU, and allows members to graduate with honors when they receive their Bachelor’s Degree.

Although our chapter of LPH is now gaining members and starting new traditions with each coming term, it did not always exist on OSU’s campus. Over the past three years myself and other dedicated communication students have worked to transform Comm Club into a nationally recognized chapter of LPH, and I’m pleased to say that it has paid off.

This Fall, OSU’s chapter of LPH was named Rookie Chapter of the Year by the National Communication Association, and our chapter’s Faculty Advisor, Dr. Trischa Goodnow, was named Rookie Advisor of the Year. These awards signify that our chapter best demonstrated efforts to achieve the goals of LPH during our first year as an official chapter, and that Dr. Goodnow helped us in our endeavors. Not only was this award a spectacular recognition to have received as a chapter, but the past Chapter President, Megan Bauer, and myself, as current Chapter President, were able to attend the National Communication Association Annual Conference in November in Washington D.C. to accept the award.

LPH Rookie Award

From Comm Club member to LPH Chapter President, I could never have imagined that my involvement would provide me with the opportunity to attend a national conference across the country. The Annual NCA Conference is the largest conference in the communication discipline and a hub at which communication professors and scholars gather from all across the U.S. to exchange ideas, hear panel discussions, and receive awards. With more than 5,000 scholars in attendance, this conference was a rather sudden introduction into the world of professional conferences as an undergraduate student.

Once I adjusted to the sheer enormity of the weekend’s events, I was able to make connections with the five faculty members from our own Speech Communication Department at OSU whom were travelling with me, discuss graduate programs and my future plans with professors from all around the country, and develop an entirely new perspective from which to experience the study of communication.

Now, in my second to last term as a Beaver undergrad, I am more sure than ever before that I chose not only the right major, but also worthwhile involvement opportunities, in my time here at OSU. As soon as I started taking communication classes my freshman year I wanted to talk about communication inside and outside of the classroom and resurrected Comm Club for that very reason. Some of the greatest student-faculty relationships I’ve built, events I’ve attended, and lessons I’ve learned have stemmed from my passion for LPH and the work I’ve put into it.

If there’s something in this world that interests you, whether it’s an academic subject, an environmental cause, or a political stance, I encourage you to bring it to life on this campus! Get out there, spread the word, and I guarantee you’ll find others among the student body that share your views and interests? My journey toward the NCA Conference in D.C. started more than three years ago on a whim. Who says your passions can’t inspire you to do more and go farther? Go Beavs!

BreannaBreanna Balleby

Whether you have been at OSU for one year or five years, you’re living in this beautiful town called Corvallis. To most, it may seem pretty simple: a college town with approximately 50,000 residents that has a quaint downtown. As a resident of Corvallis since 2004, I’m here to share some insider-tips that may help you become a true Corvallian.

First of all – here’s a fun fact. Many OSU students don’t realize that they make up the 50,000 total residents of Corvallis. So, if you consider that there are just about 26,000 students at OSU, you’ll soon realize how Corvallis might be smaller than you originally thought. For those of you who haven’t been here over the summer, just imagine what this town that’s built for 50,000 people is like when almost half its population is on Summer Break! Speaking of summer in Corvallis, that would be one of my top suggestions. If you’re here taking classes or doing research over the summer, I suggest you wander through the Saturday Farmer’s Market downtown and check out the Red, White, & Blues Festival when Independence Day rolls around.

My next tip about Corvallis would be that, while it is a small community, it’s probably bigger than you realize. In other words, there is more to Corvallis than just campus and downtown. Many of you may walk wherever you need to go, especially if you don’t have your own vehicle. This is a great benefit to living in a closely-knit community, but means you may or may not make the effort to explore outside of these areas. So of course, my biggest suggestion to you all would be to explore a new part (or as much as possible) of Corvallis. This could mean going to a park you haven’t previously visited or maybe exploring a section of one you hadn’t known about before. Check out this list of all the parks in Corvallis and surf around the Corvallis Parks & Recreation website for even more info about other local opportunities. I personally recommend visiting the old train engine and dinosaur bones at Avery Park, just an example of how unique Corvallis is! In addition to these parks, I highly recommend taking a hike on Bald Hill. It’s close, there’s multiple paths and trails, and you can see Corvallis from a completely different view.

So if Corvallis has so much to discover, how can you best explore it? That brings us to one of my most important Corvallis tips: the Corvallis Transit System (CTS). Believe it or not, the public transportation system here in Corvallis is free! Seriously. Granted, it may not always be on time, but even if it’s late…it’s not like you’ve lost anything, and you probably had the chance to stand outside and breath some fresh air while waiting for the bus, right? Basically, I encourage you all to use this service. Whether you find the bus helpful for your commute back and forth between school and home, or for going downtown, or to check out one of those parks, or simply to “get lost” in a new area of Corvallis. If you’re looking for a study break, plan a mini-excursion on one of the bus routes and walk through a new park or part of Corvallis you haven’t visited before!

Lastly, for those looking to know more about downtown and what it has to offer, I definitely suggest visiting the public library, the Majestic Theatre, and the Darkside Cinema. You’ll never have another humdrum weekend when you take advantage of all this local entertainment available to you! Not only does our public library have books, they have a wide selection of DVDs, CDs, and various events throughout the year. Stop by the library to get your library card, and borrow away! In addition, there is often a play or concert showing at the Majestic Theatre. In fact, the Majestic is celebrating its 100th year anniversary! Check out the next event that may interest you, but realize these events are popular. For example, The Sound of Music, which is currently playing this month at the Majestic, is already sold out! Finally, the Darkside is the only independent and locally-owned cinema in Corvallis! It shows many independent films and even has tickets as cheap as $6! Sometimes, the Darkside even teams up with OSU and hosts film festivals that are free!

Hopefully, you’ve discovered something new about Corvallis. And if you already knew all of these tips, then good for you, yet I challenge you to go out there and find your own new thing about Corvallis. There’s a reason this town is so great, and you just have to take advantage of what’s already being offered to you to see why!

MorganBreannaBy Morgan Willer and Breanna Balleby

Did you know that your degree can consist of more than just your major? Did you know that here at OSU, you can major in a discipline you’re passionate about and enhance your overall degree through the University Honors College, the International Degree Program, and/or the Education Double Degree Program? My fellow College of Liberal Arts Ambassador, Morgan, and I would like to share what these programs are and how we are involved with them!

To start off, the University Honors College (UHC) is a great opportunity for students who are looking to enrich their degree as well as their college experience. Students in the UHC work towards their Honors Baccalaureate, meaning they graduate with an Honors version of their degree, by working on 15-30 Honors credits and eventually completing their Honors thesis. All UHC students are able to take small (capped anywhere from 12-24 students!) Honors classes, partake in the many UHC events and activities such as the annual Fall BBQ and faculty-led book clubs held over Winter and Spring breaks, meet with their Honors advisor in addition to their major advisor, be a part of the University Honors College Student Association that plans everything from social events to service projects, print for free in the student study lounges, and so much more! I love being a part of this smaller, academically-minded, and welcoming community within OSU!

If Honors sounds intriguing to you, be sure to check out more at the UHC website and if you think it would be a good fit and are eligible to apply, then I encourage you to do so. The Honors College accepts applications on a yearly basis for all students so make sure you are aware of the dates to apply! For more information on the UHC, stop by the office in Strand Agricultural Hall 229. In addition to being a CLA Ambassador, I am also a UHC Ambassador, so feel free to contact me or any of my UHC Ambassador peers with any questions you may have for a current student!

Additionally, we have a very unique program here at OSU — the International Degree Program! This program allows students to major in their discipline of choice as well as International Studies. Something that is important to note is that the International Degree, and the International Studies major, must be connected to your primary major. So for example, I am majoring in English, and I am also majoring International Studies (as well as minoring in French). In other words, by attaching the International Studies major to your primary major, you are working to internationalize your degree. Students in this program work towards the International Degree by studying abroad for at least 10 weeks, gaining fourth-year proficiency in a foreign language, taking additional culture classes, and completing a thesis.

The International Degree Program is by admission as well, so I encourage you to look into this program if you are interested in becoming more internationally competent and traveling abroad! For me, the International Degree is the perfect way to add that additional dimension to my degree and has helped me to experience so much more than I might have without it (like studying abroad in France in Summer of 2013, being able to communicate in French, and realizing the importance of a global perspective)! Check out the International Degree and Education Abroad office located in University Plaza (1600 SW Western Blvd) if you’re interested in learning more.

I’d also like to mention that Honors and the International Degree work rather well together. The UHC is highly supportive of experiential learning (like research, internships, and study abroad). On top of that, both programs require a thesis project, and no, as a student in both of these degree programs, I don’t need to complete two theses. Instead, I can work on one thesis that encompasses the requirements of both programs! Kind of cool, right?

Let me remind you that if you’re looking for a student perspective, I am happy to answer questions about the University Honors College and the International Degree! Feel free to contact me via email at ballebyb@onid.orst.edu. For now, Morgan has some expertise to share about the Education Double Degree:

Do you have a passion for lifelong learning? How about a gift for motivating others? Do you enjoy working with people of all ages? If you’re nodding in agreement I want to know you if you’ve ever considered teaching.

Being an educator is one of the most difficult, but one of the most rewarding careers out there. It takes passion and drive to encourage passion and drive within your students. But if you can keep up with your students and inspire them to grow, then you will have a rewarding career ahead of you.

Here at OSU we have the Education Double Degree which gives you the opportunity to combine your major with a degree in Education. For example, I’m a History major and will be graduating with a History degree, but I will be graduating with a complementary degree in Education. Your first degree gives you knowledge in a content area, and your second degree in Education will give you methods and strategies for teaching your content. In addition to the two degrees you will earn a state of Oregon teaching license. Possible endorsements include Social Studies, Language Arts, Spanish, French, German, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Integrated Science, Basic Math, Advanced Math, Health, and Family and Consumer Sciences. Those are a lot of possibilities for you to choose from!

If you’re unsure about Education as a major you should visit the advising office in Furman Hall 104 and talk to the friendly ladies operating the front desk. They would love to talk to you about all the opportunities open to you. Another option would be to take an entry level TCE class, like TCE 219 Civil Rights and Multicultural Issues in Education. It’s a long title, but an interesting and potentially perspective changing class. If you’d like to know more about my personal experiences with the program you can contact me as well at my OSU email willerm@onid.orst.edu.

 

 

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!