Get to know College of Education Student Ambassador Nathan Ratalsky in this student highlight!
What led you to Oregon State University?
I was drawn to Oregon State University for a few reasons! First, I really liked its education program. Two degrees for a five year plan? Sign me up! The College’s history and beautiful campus was also a big selling point for me right out of high school. And finally, I wanted to stay in Oregon through my college experience. I’ve lived here most of my life and I really enjoy the amazing nature this state has to offer. OSU is nestled between scenic farmlands, old-growth forests, and the beach is only an hour’s drive away. These were all pretty big selling points for me!
What is your major or field of study and why did you choose it?
I’m studying history and secondary education, and pursuing a minor in Spanish. I’ve wanted to teach for as long as I can remember. History, while not always my strongest academic subject, was always interesting to me too. When I came to OSU, I decided that I’d go for a teaching degree, which was always the plan, and that I’d push myself to learn more about history and how to be a historian. Looking back on it now, that was probably not the smartest decision, but I’m glad I made it! It’s been incredibly rewarding to work with the history department here, and now that I’m in my student teaching year, I’m able to apply the skills I’ve learned in my lessons.
If you do research, what kind of research do you do?
I don’t really do any research anymore. My final history class was last year, and since then I’ve been focusing heavily on student teaching. I guess, the research I’m doing right now, if you can call it that, has just been learning how I want to teach in the future and figuring out what kind of teacher I want to be. This isn’t very academic, I know, but I’ve really enjoyed it! It’s extremely satisfying to be able to stand in front of a classroom and use what I’ve learned throughout my college career to achieve my long-held goal of becoming a teacher.
What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
Outside of school, I work as a Peer Tutor/Advisor for the College of Education. I work with students who are preparing for their content area exams, and help new students figure out what path they’d like to take with their studies. Aside from that, I’m a new member of OSU’s Kendo Club!
What do you like to do for fun, in your free time?
In my free time, I like to play music, read, box, and hang out with friends!
What advice would you give to a future College of Education student?
Meet with your advisors at least once a term, for sure. I’ve seen plenty of students ignore meeting with their advisors early on, I was one of them. I got lucky and my schedule ended up working out, but there are many students who don’t take advantage of the help advisors provide and it ends up biting them in the butt later on. College advisors know how to get you through your college career efficiently; they’re there to use that knowledge to help you plan your classes so you can graduate as quickly as possible. Nobody wants to have to pay for a whole extra year of tuition just because they were cocky and scheduled their classes poorly in their freshman or sophomore year! Use the resources you’re paying for!