Major: Renewable Materials; Year: Senior
Renewable Materials senior Joshua Stump is hungry for international experience.
He landed at Oregon State after earning a Jazz Piano Performance degree from Arizona State University and spending five years in the United States Navy.
“Music was my passion growing up, but my first experience in college was a hard lesson for me about what happens when you don’t take education seriously,” Stump says. “With mounting student debt hanging over my head, I joined the Navy to jump start my life financially.”
After five years, he was ready to move on to the next stage and decided to follow an interest of his since childhood: sustainability and the environment.
“I’ve always had enormous respect for nature and other forms of life,” says Stump, “My dad took me to Mount Rainier National Park as a child, and that made a huge impression on me.”
After researching degrees at Oregon State, Stump chose the renewable materials program, which he knew would lead him toward a career promoting the use of natural solutions for products we use every day, including sustainable building practices.
Stump completed an internship with Boise Cascade during summer 2018. He’s also an apprentice piano restorer.
During his Navy service, Stump traveled to Australia and several Asian countries. He has not visited Europe yet, even though he is extremely interested in the area.
“I have always been very interested in German culture,” Stump says. “I have family heritage there, and I have always been fascinated with their work ethic and interest in art and music. I think Germany would be an amazing place to live.”
He is planning to participate in the short-term, faculty-led Alpine Europe program. The program, offered through the college’s Office of International Programs, takes students to the European Alps and provides a holistic view of the sustainable wood products industry. He is also interested in completing an internship focused on piano restoration in Austria
“I am hoping to combine my interests,” Stump says. “Playing piano has been what has defined me since childhood, and I would love to focus on alternatives for soundboards in pianos. They are made exclusively with Sitka spruce. With Sitka forests disappearing due to climate change, I want to help find alternatives for soundboards.”
Stump says he would love to live in Europe someday.
“My dream is to build a completely self-sustaining home,” Stump says. “I would spend my time repairing and tuning pianos and use my free time to engaging in environmental activism.”
A version of this story appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Focus on Forestry, the alumni magazine of the Oregon State University College of Forestry. Learn more about College of Forestry research facilities and collaborations.