Annie Lesny, CLA Ambassador

As students finish their finals and sunshine graces OSU’s campus, graduation is on the minds of many. As a psychology student going into my senior year, college is flying by and I can already feel the bittersweet emotions of my friends graduating and moving on. College is filled with beautiful experiences, whether it is making lifelong buddies, participating in enlightening activities (which for me involve yoga and rock climbing at Dixon), engaging in meaningful research opportunities, or the deepening experience of studying abroad.


This summer, I will be studying abroad in Angers, France, and I am beyond excited. Through a multimedia project titled “Annie Goes To France”, I will be posting my adventures in Angers to share with all interested! As I am studying the Psychology of Meditation, the blog will focus on comparative yoga and meditation abroad in France. Some topics that will be covered are: cross-cultural differences in flow and practice, views and misconceptions about meditation and yoga in France, challenges that local practitioners face, different branches of yoga specific to the Angers region, and diverse perceptions of the medicinal values of yoga and meditation in France versus the United States. Further, I will delve deep into my entire study abroad experience, including the “do”s and “dont”s as I learn more about the culture and myself. If you are interested in what living in France is like, yoga and meditation cross-culturally, or are just curious about studying abroad in general, please check out my blog at I am deeply passionate about the importance of studying abroad and am excited to share my experiences with you!


Hannah Whitley, CLA Ambassador

The sun is beginning to peak from behind the clouds, and as OSU students start to get antsy for the upcoming spring break, there is one “final” challenge to conquer.

That’s right! Oregon State has begun its transition from our regular winter term course schedule into dead and finals week. Throughout the next two weeks, an increasing number of students will come to campus in order to place themselves in an environment where they can get their studying done. While this may make it difficult for some to find places to study in well-known areas like the Memorial Union (MU) and Valley Library, a few of my favorite “hidden gem” study spots will remain quiet.

One of my favorite places to study during dead and finals week is the Undergraduate Writing Studio, located in Waldo 126. Formerly home to the university’s Undergraduate Writing Center, the Studio now offers a place where undergraduates are able to receive writing help from trained peers as they write – no appointment necessary.

If you’re looking for a low-key, collaborative place to research, read, and write, the Undergrad Writing Studio is the place for you. With consultants available to check in and give support on everything from research papers and lab write-ups to digital media projects and poster presentations, students are able to receive feedback and step-by-step strategies to help overcome writer’s block and study in a quiet environment.

Not only does the Studio provide a quiet space to study, but presence of consultants on-hand allow for easy, helpful feedback on assignments, papers, and are even helpful in providing clarifications regarding instructor critique. I have spent many hours in the Studio, myself, and have found it to be one of the best places for me to get work done while on campus.

By DeShaun Gomez, Sociology Major, CLA Ambassador

As we approach Valentine’s Day we should remember not only how much we love one another but also how much we don’t want to forget about making advising appointments to get our registration PINs. It’s required that all first-year students in the College of Liberal Arts meet with an advisor in our main office once a term to get a PIN for registration. Some may see this as a bother and that they don’t have time to come in, but it’s really important to remember that you can’t do this whole college thing alone! (Or you could, but it’d be rather hard). Our wonderful advisors are here to help guide you to the right classes and also check in and make sure you’re doing okay.

Don’t look at your advising appointment as something that is simply a time for someone to tell you what classes you should take. Utilize your time with the advisors to ask questions about anything! Are you uncertain that this major is right for you? Are you contemplating a minor but not sure what to do? Perhaps you would like to know about volunteer or internship opportunities? What about study abroad? Or maybe you just want someone to talk to about how your first year of college has been so far! These advising appointments allow you to address any interests or concerns you might have about your education.

I suggest coming prepared! Have questions for the advisors and even some suggestions on classes. Maybe you have a new found interest in something and want to know if there is a class you could take that’s related to it. Perhaps you want a class that will challenge you and allow you to learn something you’ve never learned before. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about these things, that’s what the advisors are there for! The more questions you ask, the better the advising appointment.

Don’t forget to make your advising appointments ahead of time! Happy Registration!


Blair Bowmer, Music Major, CLA Ambassador

​With all of the recent changes in our country, it’s not surprising to see them affecting students on campus. Almost immediately after the presidential election, I could hear people in the library quad protesting through the window of my classroom. The next morning, I was pleased to see that people had written kind, positive, and hopeful messages in colorful chalk all over the quad. In a time when we are faced with the unknown, we feel motivated and inspired to do something to help our country move in a positive direction. We want to lessen the fear and find our own ways to make a difference. I’m proud that our campus encourages people not only to find their voice, but to find a positive one. In a time of so much hate and fear, it is important to remember that it is love that makes us human and keeps us moving forward.

​People on campus are coming together and discovering ways to take action for the betterment of our country. Events and groups are being organized so that we can speak out in these difficult times. One such event is the “Finding Hope in Dystopia Film Series.” This series is being presented by The Anarres Project for Alternative Futures, Allied Students for Another Politics!, and the Spring Creek Project. This film and discussion series aims to help bring out our radical imagination regarding possibilities for transformation in daunting times through classic dystopian movies. The event page states that “each film is presented as a starting point for discussion about the kinds of resistance, hope, and struggle that are available in the middle of despair.” The film series is already underway, but it isn’t too late to participate! Check the CLA event calendar to find out when the next showings are. This is a free event, and you can contact the Philosophy Department for more information.

By Annie Lesny, Psychology major, CLA Ambassador

The People Speak Read-In, organized by the Oregon State Women’s Center, is an enlightening event focusing on social justice issues and expression through various arts. Invited by a friend on Facebook, I was immediately intrigued as to what this event would entail. As I walked through the library quad, gazing at the beautiful Oregon sunset, I had no clue what was in store for me at The People Speak Read In. Passing by the stunning works of art that bring the Valley Library’s walls to life, I pondered on the possibilities of this inclusive event. Celebrating Martin Luther King and his beautiful life’s work, this event empowers individuals to speak and read from powerful literature focusing on social justice.

The event began with some classic soul music, exactly from the time period that Dr. King thrived. The perfect choice of ambiance allowed for open minds and open hearts, taking everyone back to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. Offering pizza, as every good event should, the night kicked off to a great start.

The event leaders introduced themselves and their backgrounds in social justice. The themes of the night were listening, reflection, expressing, and evaluation.

We formally began by discussing Howard Zinn and his relation to the event. Zinn spent his life dedicated to the civil rights movement and equality. As a best-selling author and film-maker, he created a film called The People Speak. The People Speak features some of the world’s greatest performers. We then watched a few clips from the film. They read from first-person work (literature, songs, poems) that covered topics as broad as the war in Iraq to Christopher Columbus. The unifying theme in every piece is the intensity from an individual whose rights were compromised. In my opinion, the most notable scene was singer John Legend reading a speech given from Muhammad Ali, after he refused to be conscripted and sign up for the Vietnam War. He gave this moving speech right as he was being taken to jail. The film was the sole inspiration for this deep night. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his entire life fighting for equality, and this event celebrates him by sharing beautiful work that represents individuals’ narratives on inequality.

From the groundbreaking speech by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, to Tupac’s rap to the president, the night was filled with unifying closeness and insight. After everyone shared a work that resonated with them, we ended the night by all writing a “love letter” to ourselves. This consisted of our values, our fears, our hopes, and the person we aspire to be. In socially divided times, we all need to be present and here for one another, and stand up for all individuals. This night was a beautiful example of how the power is in the people, and each of us can make a change, indefinitely.

By Eric Callahan, English major, CLA Ambassador

The summer was an exciting time to be working in the College of Liberal Arts office. As the months went by and the days grew shorter, the move from Gilkey to the renovated Bexell Hall loomed larger. For us ambassadors, the new Bexell office was just a legend in those summer days. Without being able to see it, we could only imagine what wondrous and splendid changes the new office would bring. Fall finally arrived and that vision became a reality. The new space was huge in comparison, and its large windows and spacious design made the whole room feel bright and open. But, everything was not entirely peachy yet… Furniture had to be brought in, fixtures had to be completed, and the final touches were still missing. Notably, the large front desk was yet to be completed. This was fine, as we worked from a small table, simply happy to be in the new space and dreaming of the new desk.

The first term of the school year seemed to happen in only seven weeks to me. Everything was so busy and hectic. However, it was a good kind of busy. The kind that feels productive, with school projects that you are invested in, and classes that you don’t want to miss. And working in the new space was full of interesting challenges. Improvisations and creative solutions had to be made as we worked from our small desk. Still, that new desk sat just around the corner as a reminder that things got better, and bigger. As fall was closing and finals reared their ugly head, the new desk was finally ours. I remember moving over the computers, files, office supplies, and other items that overflowed our small desk, and then suddenly wondering what we would fill the other 80% of the desk with. Over time we managed to find the spot for everything, and no longer needed to stack folders in piles.

As the New Year and the new term began, the CLA finally felt all moved in. On the first Friday of the term, an Open House was held. The new space looked sleek, clean, professional, and was ready to be shown off. It was fun working that Friday as the Open House went on. Students and teachers alike came through our office, and it was great to see them connect and talk with each other, the advisors, and the ambassadors. Benny’s Donuts supplied some delectable donuts (I recommend the maple with sea salt donut; there’s something about sea salt on sweets that is irresistible). There were hot drinks, and other snacks as well, but the donuts stole the show and were gone very early in the open house. Even if we ordered 10,000 donuts I bet they still would have been all gone by the end of the day. The day was capped off with a reception, in which Dean Larry Rodgers spoke. President Ed Ray as well as numerous faculty and student were there. Having been through all of the renovations and technical difficulties associated with the new office, it felt great to open it to everyone and show that it was worth the wait. The new space is stylish and welcoming. I always love looking up and seeing students studying at the tables under the tall windows. It’s nice to have a space for CLA students that feels both modern and comfortable.

By Hannah Whitley, CLA Ambassador

Since October of 2015, I have been working with Dr. Hilary Boudet, an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy, and her team of graduate student researchers on her National Science Foundation funded project titled “Community Reactions to Extreme Weather Events.” Initially, I was hired by Dr. Boudet to conduct content analysis of local newspapers from 15 communities in which extreme weather events occurred anytime from 2012-2015. Throughout my coding process, I work to identify community leaders, significant events, climate-change opinions, and public policy changes which may have come forth from the effects of these extreme weather events. In addition to newspaper coding, I transcribed field interviews to extract quotes concerning these events and opinions on climate change. While my participation in this project was initially funded by Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) funds sponsored by the NSF, I was successful in securing additional funding from the School of Public Policy’s Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) as well finding from the Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and the Arts (URISC).

In July of 2016, Dr. Boudet was so pleased with my work coding and transcribing, that she invited me conduct my own fieldwork – as an undergraduate! From July 25-28, I conducted a site visit and complete interviews with the stakeholders identified during my coding process in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2012, 10-day heatwave struck the St. Louis metropolitan area, killing almost 30 people in the course of one month. During my time in Missouri, I conducted 11 one-hour interviews, meeting with non-elected government officials, local environmental organizations, climatologists, and media reporters, gauging their opinions on the community prior to, after, and during the heatwave.  Armed with my completed fieldwork and transcribed interviews, I was able to present my findings in a case study at the 2016 Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium at Oregon State University in August.

Although my final report from my fieldwork in St. Louis has been completed, I plan to continue working with Dr. Boudet on this project throughout my final year as an undergraduate at OSU! I am incredibly thankful for the professional development opportunities I have had through this study, as I have been able to participate in a facet of research rarely conducted by an undergraduate.

For more information on “Community Reactions to Extreme Weather Events,” visit:

Details on how to apply for URISC funding can be found at:

By Hannah Whitley

Just one example of the countless free, weekly events open to the public, a panel on the topic of “Striking a Balance: Work, Family, and Life” was a big hit for those in attendance this past Friday, April 8th.

Hosted by OSU Women in Policy, an on-campus forum dedicated to women and allies engaging in policy, networking, and mentorship, “Striking a Balance” featured a panel of four OSU faculty members: Dr. Kelsy Kretschmer (Assistant Professor, Sociology), Dr. Ana Spalding (Assistant Professor, Marine and Coastal Policy), Dr. Hilary Boudet (Assistant Professor, Climate Change and Energy), and Dr. Stephanie Bernell (Associate Professor, Department of Public Health).

Speaking about their experiences working in academia, participating in higher education, balancing a family, and their personal lives, each panelist brought their own unique backgrounds into the conversation, with some panelists having worked in academia longer than others, some currently experiencing life with infants, and others having recently relocated to the Corvallis area. Each panelist told their own tales of struggling to balance child care, moving, higher education, and the stress of relationships; while their experiences differed, though, each panelist stressed the importance of networking, finding a mentor, and not being afraid of opening up about your personal life.

This panel is just one example of all the incredible extra-curricular events offered at Oregon State University. For a full list of events, visit Oregon State’s Events Calendar at, and be sure to watch your e-mail for listserv announcements and check College webpages for more information.

By Hannah Whitley, CLA Ambassador

Do you want to study abroad, but worry that it might break the bank? Have no fear – short-term study abroad are here!

For the past few years, Oregon State has provided students with the opportunity to pair in-class learning and international travel in faculty-led study abroad programs in a variety of disciplines. Ranging anywhere from two to four weeks in length, these short-term programs allow students to gain credit directly applicable to their graduation requirements, travel, and get a taste of education abroad.

From June to July 2014 (the summer after my first year at Oregon State), I was privileged to go abroad with two OSU College of Liberal Arts faculty members and twelve other students for the first annual “London Classroom” study abroad. For three and a half weeks, we used the city of London as our classroom, paring coursework in philosophy, fine art, and Shakespearean literature. This being my first time leaving North America, I was initially nervous to enter the metropolis that is London, but after landing, I felt so at home in the United Kingdom. Throughout the program, I kept a daily blog, held discussions with instructors Keith Scribner and Rebecca Olson about English art, philosophy, and culture, and even wrote papers combining my experience with what was taught in the classroom. While in London, I made the most out of my three weeks, scheduling trips to Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and even taking in a Black Sabbath concert in between classes. My time in London gave me a taste of international travel, and I was so influenced by my first study abroad experience that I chose to go abroad again during the summer of 2015.

Faculty-led study abroad programs are taking OSU students all around the world! Visit for a full list of current and future faculty-led programs being offered today. Also – be sure to check out this recent article by OSU’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Barometer, on faculty-led study abroad programs:

By Sam Trunkett, CLA Ambassador


We have all heard adage, “pain is temporary, but GPA is forever.” As a job-seeking senior, I can confirm that this saying is completely true. Many internships, jobs, and graduate programs filter out applicants just by setting a GPA requirement. This requirement may be rigid and does not necessarily give the hiring team or the admissions board an accurate idea of who the applicant is and how they will perform in their career or program, but this commonly used standard is here to stay whether we like it or not.

Unfortunately, the quarter system does not allow for mistakes or mismanaged time. Toward the end of each term a lot of students start to wonder about how they will pass their classes or how one course will affect their sacred overall GPA. After 10 terms, I can attest that this kind of stress is neither mentally or physically healthy. I have experienced and seen many of my peers struggle to finish the term strong in all aspects of their lives.

Fortunately, Oregon State University offers S/U grading that has saved the GPA of many students. What is S/U grading you ask? Well S/U actually stands for satisfactory/unsatisfactory completion. In most classes, professors and instructors use A-F grading; which is just assigns a letter grade to your transcript when you complete the course. The benefits of S/U grading are that S/U’s do not have a grade point equivalent and if earn a S in a course you receive the course credit without potentially suffering a letter grade that would damage your overall GPA. However, if you receive a U you do not receive course credit and may need to retake the class. Still, your GPA will not be damaged if you do get a U. In order to earn an S, you need to earn a C- or above in the course; anything lower than that will result in a U.

Before you go S/Uing your courses, you need to be aware of five important S/U grading facts:

1. There ***IS*** a limit to how many classes you can S/U. As an undergraduate student at Oregon State University, you can only S/U 36 credits.

2. You ***MUST*** obtain approval from your academic advisor in order to elect for S/U grading ***BEFORE*** you turn in your change of grading slip to the registrar.

3. There are some graduate programs that ***DO NOT*** accept S/U grading. If you are considering graduate school, law school, or medical school after your time at Oregon State University you should double check with the schools you are interested in to see if they will accept a S/U grade.

4. You ***CANNOT*** under any circumstances S/U a course in your major. If you are not feeling confident about a course in your major late in the term I recommend going to office hours to discuss your action plan for the last few weeks with your professor or instructor.

5. The deadline to S/U a course is always ***5pm on the Friday of Week 7!*** You can turn in your S/U request form at the registrar, but plan accordingly, because the line to S/U can get very long.



Happy Week 7, everyone! Go Beavs!