Alejandro Gonzales

Name: Alejandro Gonzalez

Position: PROMISE Intern, Linn County Extension Office

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Best part of your job: I believe that the best part of my job is traveling. This summer one of the projects that I’m working on is VEGNET, a regional pest population monitoring and reporting network for Willamette Valley growers of vegetables for processing. Since most of the insect traps are located in different towns we have drive several hours a week to go check them. Besides that, meeting new people and making connections is another great part of my job.

Something someone might be surprised to know about you: I’m guessing my background can surprise some of the people that already know me, and it can shock someone that don’t really know me. I never noticed or pay too much attention how dangerous my town was until I moved out of there. It is said that the place where I lived, was and still is the second most dangerous places in Mexico City. I grew up in an atmosphere full of violence, but like I said this never caught my attention until I came here to live in the United States.

Favorite book/movie/album: Movies: Gladiator, Into the Wild; Book: El caballero de la Armadura Oxidada; Album: Torches by Foster the People

No doubt you’ve seen several stories lately in the news about what some people are calling MOOCs–Massive Online Open Classes–with 160,000 or so students in online open courseware classes being offered by Universities such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, through some commercial spin-off companies. (See below.). The purpose and the business model of the massive courses continue to be unclear. However, the increased profile of these classes and the new enterprises involved in their development raises questions about what it means to Oregon State?

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I’ve been asked several times recently to make observations about people who have accomplished much in their lives or careers and who are moving on to other challenges.  Promise interns, Extension cooperators, university graduates, faculty promoted and/or tenured, recipients of the Eagle rank in the Boy Scouts of America, to name some. In thinking about the traits of those who share in such honors, I’m struck by a few items.

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In December 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau announced the results of Census 2010 – the resident population of the United State is now 308,745,538.  As additional data from the Census 2010 are released, six disruptive demographic trends of the new millennium are expected to be confirmed.   A report released by University of North Carolina Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise presents these trends and the challenges they pose for the nation’s future.  I suggest that these six disruptive demographic trends will also impact who Extension’s future audience will be and how we will deliver relevant and meaningful programs.

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In the state of Oregon there are 750,000 people with some college experience  (including community college) but no bachelor’s degree. According to the Lumina Foundation, in 2008, nearly 570,000 Oregon residents fit into this category of some college, no degree — representing more than 27 percent of the state’s adult population. (Adding the 186,000 associate’s degree holders gets us to 750,000 with some college and no bachelor’s degree.) (

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