Wow Weeks!

Looking back on these past two weeks all I can say is WOW! What crazy, but busy weeks. I have emailed tons of professors and dozens of instructors, and da Vinci days:  Oh Jeeze.

I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but oh wow. I never knew how much planning went into a booth, a simple booth, at an event. I mean sure I’ve been on the end of staffing booths, but never organizing them. I feel like my brain is going to pop. From organizing what to display, who to represent, who is volunteering and staffing the booth, to find coloring pages, and learning about turtles, I have found new appreciation for all those who do this regularly. I feel the pressure of knowing I only have a week to pull together the little odds and ends that may not even exist. Anyways, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I know my goal, and I know what I want this booth to look like. The festival is July 20th-July 22nd, however Discovering OSU is the 21st and 22nd, there is a fee to get in, but it will be well worth it. I have attended the festival in the past and it is a lot of fun.

I could probably go on and on about da Vinci Days, but there are other projects that I have been working on. I am slowly getting responses from instructors and professors about putting together a binder for the Oregon Master Naturalist Program. Who knew how much information one instructor can provide for simple days worth of learning? Let me tell you, A TON. I am learning quickly to keep track of who sends what, when it was sent, which topic it falls under, and I’ve learned to quickly defer questions that I may not know the answer to, or out of nowhere comments  to my sponsor.

Jason, my sponsor for Oregon Master Naturalist Program, and I are looking for a day when we can go visit field sites.  The participants of the course will have a lecture/discussion based portion as well as an “in-field” portion of the lesson. The “in-field” part of the lesson will be the field sites that Jason and I will go look at. Even though this has just been brought up, I am really looking forward to doing that later this summer.


Behind the Scenes at Kerr

Hello everyone,

This is Luke Marquez and Ralen Jones. We are writing from our cubicle on the first floor of Kerr as we fulfill our duties in Business Affairs. First off, we want to say how interesting and enjoyable it has been to work on the other side of the Cashier’s and Payroll windows. We really get to see the ins and outs of how business is taken care of from a staff perspective. At the same time, Business Affairs is utilizing us to gain the students’ perspective.

We have been working with the student finance staff on a couple of projects aimed at improving communications between the office of Business Affairs and the student population. Their units include billing, cashiering, account collections, and Perkins loans. We have focused largely on refining, researching, and assisting with the presentation of the student finance website and other informational materials to better suit students and parents.

Working together, we have gained a lot of great experience in small team efforts. Our skills and strengths really complement each other, so as a duo we are able to play off each other in various settings. In researching material, we will each find information and resources that the other person might have missed. Earlier in the week, we conducted a presentation to the managers of the various units in Business Affairs based on our research. Although it was an informal presentation, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. With some preparation, however, we were able to successfully deliver a 90-minute presentation.

Through it all, we have met many wonderful people in the office. The office environment is relaxed and friendly and we have the benefit of each others’ company in our shared cubicle space. Looking into the next week, we are going to meet with Dan, a former Promise intern who is currently a project manager for the organization, to discuss and implement functions and features for the website.


— Luke and Rae

High School Camp: Awesome! Gearing up for Rounds 2 & 3

Hi Everyone,

My name is Jorge Miranda. I am going into my third year, studying Civil Engineering, with a minor in Business & Entrepreneurship. I am one of the PROMISE interns working for Mario Magaña for the 4-H program. Together with Luis Rodriguez-Ruiz, we are managing the three summer camps that are being held throughout the summer. We just got back from the high school camp, which took place from July 5th – 9th. It was my first 4-H camp, and it was an amazing experience. I feel the camps are an advantageous way to spend a week of summer, both for campers, staff, and volunteers.  Campers meet other campers from all over Oregon. From 3rd grade students to graduated high school seniors, the students’ participation provides them with information that emphasizes the importance of higher education, the skills to become effective leaders, and duties that demand responsibility.

Each potential camper submits an application to the summer camp according to their respective grade level. My tasks will vary, but it often requires inputting their information and verifying their applications. I send them letters of acceptance and make sure to address the needs of any and all campers. I also meet with my mentor and Luis to draw blueprints of the camps, identify any holes in that plan, and patching them. Various issues will come up, many unexpected. We therefore make sure to prepare for anything that may happen.

At the camps, I staff and help oversee the events to make sure things are running smoothly. At the next two camps there will be well over 100 students and only one Mario; I do my best to provide adequate support and answers when Mario is not around or occupied.

Looking back at the high school Camp, I enjoyed being outdoors and playing soccer with the campers. However, I most enjoyed playing an integral role in making these campers’ experience the best it could be. Not only through managing the records and activities, but also being able to provide my own insight as a college student that I could give to the high school campers.

Our next two camps are almost back to back, and easily exceed the high school camp in size. Although the next one is in August, there is much to do. I expect to be very busy the next several weeks! And anyone interested in donating any of their time (any amount) for the next camps ( August 5th – 9th) should send me and e-mail and I will be more than happy to provide them with what they need to know!


New Week, New Experiences

These past two weeks have been great. Last week I was getting ready to present at the 4-H International Camp about Obama’s Deferred Action Immigration Policy.  I thought the camp was great in providing the high school students with valuable information about applying to college, financial aid, scholarships, and college life. It was also exciting to see all the activities the campers were able to do such as basketball, soccer, swimming, archery, swings, and volleyball. This camp reminded me of my high school years and it allowed me to reflect on how much I have grown as a person and as a professional from high school up until now.

As for the presentation on Obama’s Deferred Action Immigration Policy, I thought it went well even though public speaking is not my forte but something I will continue to work on.  I was asked by a student, “why is it important for us to know this?” and I said, “Well some of you may be thinking ‘so how does this pertain to me?’, and it might not directly but it may affect a friend, relative, or peer, so when we inform ourselves we are better able to help others.” I was also asked when and where could they find the application to apply for deferred action, and since the application is not available yet I also provided a sign-up sheet for those who wanted me to send them the information presented as well as more up to date information.

It has been a learning experience working for Patricia, she’s a great person.  Throughout the time at this position I have attended meetings with her and got insight on various types of topics from the planning and construction of the new ASOSU Office of Advocacy in the soon to be build Student Experience Center and I also attended the Budget Authority Training for ASOSU. The Promise events, the Brown Bag luncheon with Larry Roper and the StrengthQuest Workshops have also been an important part of these past two weeks.  I have taken in interesting information about myself, my PROMISE peers, and our speakers. This information is allowing me to build connections with the individuals I meet through this network so that when I leave this program I can further expand my connections.

In last, I wish everyone a joyful weekend!

-Claudia Mata

The Path Starts to Narrow

Week 3

This week has encompassed my most, and least favorite parts of the Summer so far, and I feel that I am that much closer to narrowing the many paths toward my future career.

NOAA collected approximately 1000 steelhead, chinook and coho fish for various research projects. However, with that many fish, the

Interns and graduate students dissecting fish

NOAA scientists needed more hands to help separate the parts, so NOAA hosted a three day “Fish Cutting Party”. At 8:30AM on Monday, I headed over to the Barry Fisher Building to participate in my first dissection. As a vegetarian, I was curious about how I would handle the experience. Immediately, as I stepped into the white room filled with tables, I felt as though I was thrown into a sushi bar and was signed up for a fast track course in ichthyology. I put on my latex gloves and gathered two sets of each metal tool – scissors, a big scalpel, a small scalpel and tweezers. The graduate students there (James and Andrew) explained that the researchers wanted to separate the stomach, intestines, anterior kidney and posterior kidney (for the parasite lab), a part of the caudal fin (for the genetics lab), the head and a metal tag (situated between the eyes and the nostrils) that was used for migratory tracking. There were plastic bags for every fish part which were then placed in an ice beaker. The most important thing was to have an organized system so that no part was overlooked and forgotten.

There were several difficulties that I encountered during this dissection process. If the fish was too frozen, it was more difficult to cut into. Yet, if the fish had thawed too much, the plate that we were cutting on started to resemble a blood bath. In addition, I thought that after a while, I would get accustomed to the fishy smell, however, it only got worse over time. There was a minimum time requirement to volunteer for, either two half day sessions or one full day commitment. Since I was planning on going to OSU for the StrengthsQuest Part Two Seminar on Tuesday, I had eight hours of fish-cutting on Monday to “enjoy”. At one point, I had to cut through a fish eyeball to get to the tracking device. The most surprising aspect of this dissection to me, was the crunchy sound that was produced whenever I cut into the fish. Overall, I am glad to have had a first experience with dissection, but I have a feeling that it is also going to be my last!

My favorite part of the Summer so far, and especially of this week, has been my progress in narrowing down my interests. Liz Lopez is an experienced intern with UROC this Summer, from California State University Monterey Bay. She has participated in an REU at HMSC two years ago and has been a mentor for other undergraduate students to help them discover their interests. She generously offered to help me with narrowing down my multiple interests and showing me how to go about researching graduate schools. I always thought that the academic focus has to come before searching for graduate school, but Liz helped me realize the benefits of reversing the process. This way, I can see what professors have published to better understand what a scientific word translates to, in its application. Let me explain; from lectures and reading articles off of national geographic alone, my idea of what “Marine Ecology” is or what “Deep Sea Research” is, has been very different from what scientists who do work with the two fields are actually studying. This disconnect between the definitions in my mind and the scientific world of research has been a huge obstacle in the past. However, with some good direction, I have a feeling that I am on to a clearer path.

I have discovered new interests for perusal, such as the effects of climate change on top predator ecology, as well as the social aspect that connects research to people interaction. A bonus to doing all this research, is that it can only prepare me for what is to come, in terms of future internship opportunities and graduate school.

Happy Weekend!


Week 1 of my walking program

This week has been the first week of my walking program and I am a bit nervous.

The first official day was at Sunrise in Albany and I was about to leave when a family showed up!! Yes!! my first family!! Therefore I scrambled to get everything out of where I had put it and start off the day. We walked to the back of Sunrise and realized that the grass had not been cut and therefore it was not walkable. The mother of the family then said “we can go to the park there is a path we can walk on.” We decided to go check it out and it was a blessing in disguise!!!

The park is perfect!! it goes around in a circle and has a park on one of the sides it also has shade and sun which is great last but not least, one lap is 1/5 of a mile which works well with my recording sheet I made. I am also hoping to figure out how far everyone walked at the end of the program so this will make it much easier. I was a bit disappointed that only one family came but there is only room to improve.

The next day it was the first day at Lincoln to have my walking program since I have been working with the kids there daily I was excited to see who would come out. I announced it at the end of the day and one little girl asked her brother for a pen and wrote on her hands the time so that she could tell her mom. I thought it was so cute! Since school is over at 3pm we decided to have the walking program right after school from 3-4pm. That day nobody came I waited around the playground for about 15 minutes and it was as empty as a desert. I was a bit disappointed, but that shows me that I need to find a different approach to make this walking program a success!!  Therefore I went to the office after and printed off some flyers to hand out the next day at school.

Today, was my second day at Sunrise and it was 9am and nobody was showing up until I saw a lady pull up in her car. I asked her if she was coming to the walking program and she said yes!!! I then organized everything and got her some name tags for her and her children so that we could record her laps. Then the same family from Monday showed up and I was so excited because my attendance is growing!!

Today at Lincoln school some students help me pass out all 100 flyers to all of the students who went to school today about the walking program. I saw all the children walking around with little orange slips as well as while I was saying hi to a little boy in one of the classes I help out in he said “sorry I didn’t come yesterday.” I told him it was ok but it was so genuine and sweet that it made me happy inside to know that he wanted to come but was not able to. I hope he comes tomorrow. We will see.

Therefore when I say I am not sure how I feel right now about the program I am happy that it is improving at Sunrise and I’m still a bit scared that it will totally flop at Lincoln. Only time will tell what happens as well as a little bit of advertising.

Until next time.


** Today was my second day at Lincoln and a family came and a boy from one of the classes I am helping in! Yay!! I am so excited!! I hope it only grows from here!!**

The Summer is Moving Along Quickly

I hope everyone’s internship is going well. This summer has been a great experience as I am working on marketing, creating descriptive material, for a new leadership program. I have also been given the chance to work with Drupal and Adobe Creative Suites. I am also planning a fall event that I will tell everyone about in the near future.

I enjoyed the strengths quest workshop and the strengths for me were actually fairly accurate. My first word was futurist, and that would explain a lot since I always am thinking ahead and sometimes forget to enjoy the now! I definitely see the value in participating in a strength quests session in a group or with co workers, as it gives you a chance to identify how you will communicate.  

With not much else to write about, I decided to include something I recently wrote for a summer course, as I am working to complete a leadership minor:

The situation presented was to list some common qualities of leadership, which cross cultural, time, and situational barriers.

The act of Doing-

A leader in any country, job, or time, stands out by getting things done. Proper communication, planning, delegation (and follow-up), and intention are required to reach the end result. However, if you do not reach your goal, than you still have work to do. I feel that a person can have all the ideas, intentions, planning, and delegation in the world, but if the task at hand does not end up completed, then they are not an effective leader.


The second common attribute of leadership is the ability to listen to others, and not be selfish. I view leadership as leading someone, and not just yourself. Even if you lead yourself to become better at communication, or organization, in my opinion, you are leading yourself to ultimately become a better leader of others. Being a leader requires listening to what others want, and are experiencing, and then acting in a way that helps everyone and is reflective to the population’s ideas and situations.

The third outcome is the ability to inspire, motivate, and be heard by other people. Emergent leaders (people who may not just be in a leadership role such as manager or president) are leaders because other people listen to them, or feel the need to listen and not because of their job title. The emergent leaders shine light of the power of being able to motivate and inspire other people.

 I think that a good leader in any context has to be good at inspiration, optimism, and motivation. A good leader also needs to have an understanding of how to get people to work together, overcome group conflict, and stay focused. A good leader is able to communicate their vision, and have others feel inspired and ready to accomplish the task at hand.

Reflecting on Week 2

Hello Everyone! Now that it’s week 3, work has been getting progressively more busy- I’ve had so many meetings to attend, a lot of emails, notes and agendas to write- but I love it.

A lot of my projects have started and have progressed a great deal. So far everything has been great! I feel super productive, yet never overwhelmed. The work environment here is definitely getting more comfortable. I’ve been adjusting to sleeping early, and waking up early better than I was last week. I don’t know how these professionals do it, but over time, I can see myself getting used to this schedule. My supervisor, Victoria, has been very kind and flexible with me as well. Although she hasn’t been in her office, we’ve been staying in contact consistently, so I feel a lot of reassurance and I’m not as stressed out as I was expecting to be either.

I wasn’t quite sure what to specifically write, but I thought it be more interesting to share some thoughts on this week…

– Throughout working on projects I’ve met many new people. Everyone I’ve worked with has been very friendly and very passionate about their profession which really motivates me to work hard and learn more.

– Our “Brown Bag” Luncheon this week with Larry Roper was a lot of fun. I’ve always seen him at events, but to get the opportunity to sit with him and hear his stories and advice was really inspiring and interesting. He is truly a respectable person.

– It’s been a bit of a struggle getting in touch with some previous interns to receive updates and news on certain projects that they have worked on before (that I have been assigned to continue or start over)- it’s most likely because it’s summer.

– Being in the office by myself has been interesting. I actually find the silence relaxing and helpful with staying on task and focused.

– I’ve realized that it’s not easy dressing appropriately for work- let’s just say, I think I need to go and buy more business casual clothing.

– I’ve learned through StrengthsQuest that I should think more about the shadow sides to my themes, improve on them, and also take consideration of those that work with me so that we can work more efficiently and harmoniously as a team. I look forward to improving more and utilizing my skills the most effectively that I can.

Overall, it’s been a fun couple of weeks here at the office and so far, so good! 🙂

OSU Extension Services Linn County


My name is Bianca Quinones and I am currenly entering my 5th year at Oregon State University. I am double majoring in Apparel Design and Human Development and Family Sciences with an option in Human Services. I am also double majoring in Merchandising Management and Spanish.

I am currently doing my internship at OSU Extension Services in Linn County with Tina Dodge-Vera, Iris Carrasco as well as some other collegues. My project shall be to start a walking program within Sunrise Elementary School in Albany and Lincoln Elementary School in Corvallis.

I actually started my internship on the friday of  finals week because of some prior committments, but it seems to have worked out ok. Since my first day was a friday I was overwhelmed with information. I was a bit scared at first thinking how am I going to get all of this done in time, but slowly and surely it starts next monday, and I feel as prepared as I am going to get.

I have planned to start off the weeks with a little lesson such as next week we will go over the walking program and how it shall be run then the families will start walking the fields on campus. After each lap they shall get a star sticker on their little record keeper we have made and after they fill up the card they will get their first prize and move up a “level” meaning they will be changing card colors making them eligible for another prize after they finish that one and so on. I am excited to see how many families come out to walk as well as calculating how far everyone has walked at the end of the program. I am also scared that nobody will show up and that my project will totally flop!! If that happens I will have to find another way of getting families to come out and participate. Either way I am very fortunate to have this internship this summer and I look forward to learning from my experiences.

Opportunities Upon Opportunities

Week 2

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized” – Sun Tzu

As the second week draws to a close, I am able to see further into the Summer and prepare for the opportunities ahead. I want to be able to appreciate each learning experience that I have to the fullest.

The atmosphere here is one that encourages creativity and taking the initiative. On Monday night, I had my first experience with a Journal Club that was organized by one of the more experienced interns, Liz Lopez. The valuable component is that as interns, we are able to critically think about the given background article and raise questions that can be brought up during Thursday’s seminar. This week, Professor and Senior Fisheries Biologist, Bob Lackey from OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife came to speak about the “Role of Science in the Political Process”. I was excited to be intellectually challenged during the Journal Club and then see how related our discussions were to the speaker’s main points.

Regarding long-term big projects, throughout the week, I was able to contribute my suggestions in a report for an updated HMSC website, work on the Summer 2011-Summer 2012 Annual Educational Report and begin the planning for my GIS Project. The plans for the updated HMSC website include visual aids to create a more user-friendly site. From personal experience as well as from the feedback of several interns, the website was difficult to navigate and to understand the nature of the available internships without knowledge of the different organizations and programs here, such as EPA, NOAA, ODFW, BLM, REU and COSEE. This new website will allow prospective interns to understand what internships are available, with examples of past projects so that they can apply for as many suitable internships as possible, for increased chances.

The Annual Education Report is a collaborative progress report for the Director of Hatfield Marine Science Center. It was enlightening to aid in putting it together as I was able to appreciate the full range of educational opportunities that Hatfield offers. As a Marine Science student that hopes on being accepted into the Spring 2013 Marine Biology program, I am even more inspired to tackle each challenge and achieve my dreams.

I am most excited for the GIS Project right now. The plan is to create a comprehensive map of all the research experiments that are conducted in Yaquina Bay. The data will be passed on to ODFW for better communication between agencies and to provide a means of data collaboration. The actual data collection will take place during week 4 onwards. To prepare, I researched and recorded all the low tides for the next 6 weeks, as those days will dictate our plans to go out in Yaquina Bay.

Newport is a wonderful place to be at during the Summer and I am overjoyed to be able to spend my time here, as well as attend some seminars in Corvallis to spend some time getting to know my PROMISE peers.

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Building Connections

Interns will be forming long-lasting bonds with their supervisors and with each other as well as getting the opportunity to network with professionals in a variety of industries.

Gaining Skills

An etiquette lunch, networking practice, and a myriad of other presentations and activities from some of the best at OSU will help hone the intern's skills so that they are ready to go into professional fields after college.

Creating Memories

Going out to sea on a scientific vessel, designing a booth for DaVinci Days, creating fine cuisine made by summer camp kids, and inspecting insects for mutations: These were only a few of the many projects that interns took part in last year.