By Kerry Thomas, Academic Advisor

Hey all you graduating CLA seniors, are you ready for commencement?  As a former OSU CLA grad myself, I know that this is a time of busy-ness, excitement, packing, planning, and a little sadness.  As you are getting ready to say goodbye to OSU and your undergraduate years, make sure you do some very important things.

Take care of Administrative Details: talk with an advisor to make sure your graduation requirements are all met, make sure your forwarding address is correct in online services, check in with the alumni center if you want a membership, and make sure you know about your final bills, loan information, and all other financial details. You don’t want to leave OSU feeling stressed out about loose ends.

Finish your classes successfully: Wake up, go to class, turn in your final papers, and study for your tests… I know it may sound silly, but with the sun out and senioritis in full swing, it can be really tempting to check out early. Don’t give in to those urges, finish your academic career strong and avoid having to take summer classes because you failed a spring term course you needed to graduate.

Enjoy OSU: Eat at your favorite restaurant(s), take a walk around campus and enjoy all of the spring flowers, go to a sporting event or a concert, take a nap in the MU lounge, and play Frisbee in the quad. This may be the last time you will be in Corvallis for a while, soak up everything that makes you happy to live here as a student!

Say Thank You: Tell your parents, your professors, your advisors, your office staff, your friends and your extended family THANK YOU! There are many people who have supported you along your journey, take a minute and thank them for the influence that they have had on your educational journey.

CELEBRATE! You are graduating! WOOHOO! It’s time to kick up your heels and celebrate what an accomplishment this is! The College of Liberal Arts is throwing you a party the morning of commencement, so stop by, get some food, hug your faculty, walk around Gilkey Hall, record your words of advice for future first year students, and take your picture with the first lady! Details below:

  • Sunday, June 17th
  • 11:30-1:30 (the reception will end when grads need to line up for commencement)
  • Front Lawn of Gilkey Hall
  • A brief program at noon from the Dean and the School Heads
  • Lots of tasty food
  • Video record advice that you would pass on to incoming freshmen in the Liberal Arts
  • Get your picture taken with a cardboard cutout of OSU’s Commencement Speaker and First Lady, Michelle Obama

To close this blog, I have some thoughts from some of my graduating CLA Ambassadors.

Amber Gomes with a piece of advice

I’m pretty terrible at planning. I mean I can make a plan like “Hey let’s go to the midnight premiere of Avengers” or “meet at Coldstone for ice cream after work” but then when it comes to major life plans I swear I do the stupidest things. For example I’m graduating this year… last June I applied for Peace Corps, and then this last September, when I should have been applying for grad schools, I did nothing. So winter term when everyone was hearing about which grad schools they had gotten into I was kicking myself for having no Plan B; basically if I didn’t get into Peace Corps I didn’t know what I was going to do. Luckily it worked out for me and I’m leaving for Kenya; my Plan A went just the way I wanted it to. But while in that limbo, not sure if Plan A was going to happen with no Plan B as back-up, I had some panicky feelings. And since panicky feelings are not fun my advice to anyone nearing graduation is… have multiple plans!

Randi Williams

I distinctly remember moving into my dorm four years ago, watching the upperclassman and thinking that they were so much older, wiser, and more mature. Looking at where my fellow seniors and I are now I realize that those upperclassman didn’t have the meaning of life figured out like I had imagined. I don’t even feel like a real grown-up yet, much less do I have it ‘all figured out,’ but I know that I’m on the right path and four years at Oregon State has made all the difference.

Joce DeWitt

As I get ready to move on from OSU, I can’t help but get nostalgic and, yes, a little bit sad, as I walk the pathways of campus. These paths are now filled with beautiful shrubbery and flowers of every color. I’m going to miss everything about OSU: my class mates, learning about my major, being super involved, making a difference on campus, and the life-long friendships that I have  encountered every year. But at this point I’m most sad about leaving the first thing that brought me to OSU four years ago, the beautiful and exciting atmosphere that invited me in and taught me so much about myself and what I can accomplish with my life.

Monica Racicot

Oregon State University has provided me with the knowledge to succeed, the experience to set myself apart from others, and the attitude needed to change the world. While I’m a San Diegan, born and raised, a piece of my heart will always lie within Corvallis. I will forever remain a beaver believer, with black and orange running through my veins. And when I leave here in June, with my bright yellow rain boots packed away, I will feel confident and prepared for the next chapter of my life.


By Randi Williams

As you’ve likely gathered from a year of blogs and not to mention your own experiences college is a time that is fun, challenging, exciting, overwhelming, and the list could go on and on. As a senior with four years under my belt at Oregon State I have had my fair share of experiences that prove this. Amid all the excitement that is your college career it can be easy to forget the reason we are all here.  We all hope to become educated and experienced in an area we want to work in so that after four years (or maybe a little more) you can go out into the world and successfully make your mark. Now, as Liberal Arts majors the possibilities of fields to enter and areas where good can be done are limitless, but hopefully my story will give you a bit of guidance and a glimpse into the life of an (almost) college graduate.

I am one of the few college students who came into freshman year with a major and stayed that course all four years. I have known from the time I was three that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, and my time and Oregon State only reinforced that decision. By taking classes and getting involved with local schools early on I discovered a passion for teaching children from a low socio-economic background, which then led me to Teach for America. For those of you who don’t know, Teach for America is a program that aims to provide ALL children with the education and skills they need to succeed, despite their economic background.

Knowing that Teach for America was my final goal I researched their organization and gathered information whenever I could over the next three years at OSU. In a math class I took sophomore year I learned our TA (Teaching Assistant) had been accepted to Teach for America. At this point the idea of going to office hours still terrified me, but I eventually plucked up the courage to talk to her and she became a valuable resource. Even this year, two years after my TA graduated, we’re still in contact. Because I learned so much about the program I was able to cater my extra curriculars in college to activities that I not only enjoyed, but that I thought Teach for America would appreciate as well. Ultimately, knowing so much about the organization gave me a huge boost when it came time to apply, so if at all possible I suggest using your college experience to create a resume you think your future boss may like to see.

Though I try to put a positive spin on everything Teach for America I have to admit, actually applying to the program was the most stressful thing I have ever done. There were applications, resumes, essays, multiple interviews, and more. I do have career services to thank for getting me through the interview process though. My mock interview with them was significantly more challenging than the actual interview, which left me feeling very confidant.  The whole process took about six weeks from start to finish, with another month to find out if I had been accepted. But after all of that, and a fair amount of tears, I got in! I can honestly say that the moment I opened my email and saw, “Welcome to the 2012 Corps!” in the subject line was the happiest moment of my life and made all the stress of the process seem so trivial. The six months since then have flown by. I’ve taken and passed the tests I needed to be certified to teach Elementary school in North Carolina, applied to graduate school for my Masters in Teaching (the cost of which is completely covered through the AmeriCorps grant Teach for America corps members are awarded), completed fifty hours of pre-readings, observed at schools, and begun to prepare for my action packed summer in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I will begin the training that will allow me to fulfill my lifelong goal of becoming a teacher!



By: Monica Racicot

Along with working, being an ambassador and finishing my degree, I have been serving on the American Heart Association (AHA) Committee to bring HeartChase to Corvallis. *On a cool side note, Corvallis was selected as the first and only city in Oregon to launch this new event.

HeartChase is a fundraiser for the AHA that is team and family oriented, is smart phone based, and is similar to games like the Amazing Race or Minute-to-Win-it. Games and activities are designed to promote and encourage healthy and active lifestyles. Prizes will be awarded to the teams that collect the most points. There will be many activities and vendors pre and post-race as well, including Soup Cycle, Great Harvest Bread, Yogurt Extreme, Francesca’s Gelato, Pepsi Co, Sierra Springs, and activities with Pajaggle games, ATA Karate, Corvallis Sports Park, and making hula hoops with Replay Children’s Wear. In turn, by engaging with the AHA, our community and everyone involved will have the opportunity to learn more about healthy eating, active living, and fighting our nation’s #1 killer– heart disease.

Corvallis’s first ever HeartChase event is on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 10am to 12pm at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. Our hope is to bring families, friends, and coworkers of all ages together in a community-wide competition to uncover clues, solve puzzles and complete challenges in a race to the finish line.

Cardiovascular disease and stroke are our nations #1 and #3 killers and much of these problems can be reduced or even eliminated with healthy living, exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. The American Heart Association wants to spread the mission to Corvallis and save more lives.

When we work together to create smoke-free environments, build heart-healthy communities, or partner with businesses for fit-friendly work environments, everyone benefits because together we’re building a healthier culture and better quality of life.

I am reaching out to OSU students to ask for your help in spreading the word about HeartChase by encouraging your friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors to join your team or form their own! For more information on joining a team or volunteering, please visit the HeartChase Corvallis website. Register by May 11 and save $5 off the registration fee. Simply enter the discount code: early 5.
Get Your Game On!



By Joce DeWitt

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to the Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) where maintaining OSU as a model of environment-friendly activities and services. Their mission? Well, essentially, it is to continue OSU’s “green” mission of promoting sustainability.

The Daily Barometer has run article on new things going on regarding sustainability at OSU last term, and what can be discovered after reading those articles is that these program seemingly never sleep. Read here:

Here are a few things you need to know about the Student Sustainability Initiative

*It is run by students

*It is funded by student fees (their budget is overseen by the Student Incidental Fee Committee)

*It is meant to represent and advance student interest in sustainability (which was first expressed strongly in 2003 when students accepted an additional $1.85 to their tuition costs to promote recycling and waste reduction)

*They base their mission on three elements: participation, empowerment and change

*It has a campus location at the Student Sustainability Center, open every weekday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The SSI has been up to a lot of things, like putting on events for the student body as a whole, to raise awareness (often in a fun way) about what they can do to maintain OSU’s sustainability culture. These campus events include clothing swaps, Ban the Bag campaign, in which students are working toward banning single-use plastic bags, the Sustainable Film Festival and the Building Energy Challenge, which tenants of campus building compete in waste reduction and efficient energy use.

Recently, OSU joined several other universities in a campaign worth $1 billion called the “Green Challenge” through which they hope to earn funding to finance energy efficiency upgrades. Read the press release here:“green-challenge