BreannaAlisonBy: Alison Blazer and Breanna Balleby

Have you ever wanted to study abroad? College students often want to experience a new culture and country and gain a new perspective. College is just the time to do that! Oregon State is a new and exciting adventure for many of you, but our campus has the resources to help you explore your passions overseas. In addition to being a Liberal Arts Ambassador, I also work at the International Degree and Education Abroad (IDEA) Office as an International Ambassador. After studying abroad myself during Fall of 2012 I became determined to help other students step out of their comfort zone and get as much out of an education abroad experience as I did. So how do you select a program? What are the different programs like? I’ll use my experience abroad as an example and then my fellow CLA Ambassador, Breanna Balleby, will tell you a bit about her time abroad as well.

I participated in a Spanish immersion program in Chillán, Chile at La Universidad del Bío-Bío. OSU’s World llamaLanguages and Cultures Department sends a group of students to Chillán each Fall to complete the entire second year of Spanish (Span 211, 212, 213) in just a term. There is also an option to enroll in Spanish 311 as well. Every student in my group lived with a different host family in the city, but during the week we had classes all together. My host family was without a doubt the best part of my experience– my host parents and all three host brothers only speak Spanish. All of the time I spent with them at family barbecues or just around the house contributed tremendously to my Spanish. I lived in Chillán with my host family until the end of November 2012 and then spent 3 weeks travelling with two other girls from my program. We went to Peru, saw the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, and made our way through the Atacama Desert! There are too many lessons and memories to encapsulate in this short blog, but I will say this: Living in a Spanish speaking country and experiencing a new culture solidified my decision to become a fluent Spanish speaker, and also to return to South America after graduation this coming Spring. I constantly reflect on my experience and all that it has given me. I not only gained a deeper understanding of the world, cultures different from my own, and Spanish, but also learned a lot about myself throughout the process. Breanna had the opportunity to go to France this past Summer, read up on how she selected her program below!

Like Alison, I have been fortunate to study abroad while here at Oregon State. I recently had my first out-of-country experience in France! I spent most of my time in Angers (a city in the Loire Valley region of France) and also visited parts of Normandy, Brittany, and eventually Paris. I was able to craft my perfect study abroad experience with the help of the IDEA office. I participated in two summer sessions in Angers, France through AHA International for the months of July and August and spent the last ten days of my trip in Paris. Since I am an International Degree student I worked hard (with the help of my advisors!) to create a program that would help me fulfill my 10-week experience abroad.

FranceFor someone who had never travelled internationally, I was worried about how to successfully plan this experience and my advisors were a great asset to me. They helped me before, during, and after my experience. I began planning seriously for my experience abroad in late Fall of 2012 for the following Summer of 2013. This gave me plenty of time to work through the application process, order my passport, and apply for various scholarships before any deadlines could pass me by! In the end, my efforts certainly paid off since I was able to have one of the most culturally-enriching experiences of my life! If you’re interested in seeing and reading more about my personal experience abroad, feel free to peruse my summer travel blog (a component of studying abroad I recommend for everyone as it helps you reflect on, share, and treasure your time abroad).

Finally, I encourage you all to consider study abroad. As you continue through your college career, you will most likely hear the same advice over and over again from upper-division and graduate students: study abroad. And of course, the advice that follows that is always: start planning early. So – I encourage you to seriously consider studying abroad! Check out the IDEA homepage and once you’ve decided to study abroad, take your “first steps” by completing the online First Steps presentation on their website. We both wish you the best with your international endeavors and can’t wait to hear about your experiences!

AlisonBy Alison Blazer

As the term races on I’m sure you are all getting a feel for how quickly the quarter system can fly by! That’s why it’s so important for each of you to take advantage of all the resources available to students at Oregon State. As you sit in each of your classes in the coming weeks, I’d like you to consider your preferences. What subjects do you love? Are you strongly interested in more than one subject? OSU offers such a vast variety of courses, majors, minors and double degree programs to help students personalize their degree. Every student can create their own unique experience catered to their own personal passions and goals. One of the most sizable ways in which this University aims to help students in their exploration is the Baccalaureate Core. As many of you may know at this juncture, the Baccalaureate Core spans a wide range of disciplines and makes up a significant portion of the credits required to graduate from OSU. These general requirements are not meant to slow your degree progress down, but rather to serve as a tool in the personalization of your degree.

My freshman year I experienced this guided exposure to so many subjects firsthand. I applied to Oregon State as an English major and enrolled in both English and Bacc Core courses my first term as a Beaver. Many people have asked me why I applied as an English major and the answer is simple—English was my favorite subject in high school and as an 18-year-old I could have never imagined the sheer number of subjects that exist in college. During my first months on campus, I was enjoying classes and adjusting to collegiate life, but it wasn’t until I enrolled in Comm 218: Interpersonal Communication during winter term that I felt a genuine spark with a school subject. Week after week I was excited about new material and finally understood what people meant by “finding your passion”. It turns out my favorite subject ever, is a subject that wasn’t even on my radar until I was in college. This goes to show how the Bacc Core exposed me to a variety of classes and, in turn, helped me discover my love of Communication.

Now that I’ve shown how the Bacc Core can help you, you’re probably asking yourself, “Which classes do I take?” With such a large course catalog to select from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s precisely why OSU created Bacc Core Playlists—these pre-selected course lists fulfill the categories of the Bacc Core, while also tailoring the process to a specific interest area. For example, there’s a sustainability playlist—students interested in climate research and natural resources can use this to guide them during registration. Check out this playlist and many more at

So what do you do once you’ve explored your options and found the major that’s right for you? What can you do to take your degree to the next level? OSU’s many minors and double degree programs allow students to excel in several different subject areas. As a senior, I have met students with every possible degree combination you could imagine. The International Degree program allows students to internationalize their primary major by studying abroad, gaining advanced proficiency in a foreign language and writing a thesis. Check out details about the degree here: Another popular add-on option is the Education Double Degree that allows students to become licensed teachers by the time they graduate from OSU- more information on this option can be found here:

If there’s one thing that I want you to take away from this blog, it’s that you truly SHOULD follow your passions. By that I mean talk to your academic advisors about your interests and discuss classes with your friends, roommates and coworkers. There are unlimited degree combinations just waiting to be discovered, and one of them is right for YOU! So share your interests with those around you and pay attention when a subject sparks your interest—it may just be what you’ve been waiting to discover.

Logan By Logan Pedersen

If you’re like I was at the start of my freshman year, the thought of spending some one-on-one time with your new professor and/or TA probably terrifies you… just a little bit.  Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a final term senior, professors and graduate students not only seem to know the answers to everything, they also know if you accidentally fell asleep in class last week! I am here to tell you — you must overcome that fear! One of the most critical parts of a successful academic term is seeking assistance when needed and showing an interest in the subjects you’re taking.

This is where office hours come in. Office hours provide you and your instructors the opportunity to get to know one other outside of the classroom. They give you a chance to ask questions about the lecture, clarify something you didn’t understand, or go over questions you have on the homework. Some professors and TAs are even willing to review a draft of your essay or help review for an upcoming exam (just make sure to approach them early on). Seeking assistance during office hours shows that you are making an effort in the course, especially if you are struggling with the material. Getting a bad grade, despite hours of effort, can be extremely discouraging. The last thing many of us want to do is drop by office hours and face the person who gave us that grade–but this is actually the best thing you can do. Your instructors want you to succeed, and they don’t know why you got a poor grade. Was it because you didn’t study? Was it because you didn’t care? Or was it because you simply made a mistake or overlooked some key part of the exam or assignment on accident? Did you study harder instead of smarter? They can help you figure out where you went wrong, and how to better prepare for next time. Every course will have a different set of expectations and every professor has a different teaching style. Showing up at office hours and explaining that you had studied a lot yet somehow weren’t able to convey that on the exam or in the essay, shows your professors and TAs that you care about learning the material and that you’re serious about the course.

In addition to the valuable academic assistance you can get at office hours, getting to know your professors and TAs also helps you stand out throughout the term. Here at OSU, class sizes often number in the hundreds so unless you take the initiative your professors and TAs have little more than a set of numbers to go by at the end of term when determining your final grade. Dropping by their office helps them put a face to the scores, and showing that you care about learning the material definitely makes a difference. Reviewing your mistakes and trying to improve throughout the term shows your instructors your willingness to do the hard work and highlights your determination to succeed in spite of any difficulties you might be having with the subject. This extra effort can even sometimes make a difference in your final grade; especially if you’re on the borderline. At the end of term, professors and TAs look at every student’s scores. They take into account a variety of different things depending on the course, including a student’s grades, their participation in class, and yes you guessed it, whether or not they came to office hours for help.

Office hours are typically scheduled at a specific time each week or offered by appointment only. They can usually be found on your syllabus, and most instructors are excited to have their students drop by! If you have never attended office hours, you’re missing out on a crucial source of assistance. Even if you don’t need help, stopping by your instructor’s office to chat for a few minutes helps show that you have a vested interest in the material–even if you accidentally fell asleep last week. Finally, once you have introduced yourself, you’ll probably feel more comfortable approaching them later on, whether it’s to seek assistance, talk about their research, or learn more about their fascinating field of study. You never know when a course might spark your interest!

Tests, assignments, and projects can become more stressful as the term goes farther along. Keep in mind that advisors from the College of Liberal Arts can help assess your academic performance and can recommend classes, opportunities, and options/resources if you are struggling in any of your classes. Keep up all the great work and GO BEAVS!!!



By Katy Krieger

Have a few spare hours each week? Want to get involved on the OSU campus? Trying to find a group of friends that enjoy what you do?


Well, you’re in luck my friends because here is some advice about how to branch out into extra-curricular activities and meet some new people! Check out the OSU Student Leadership and Involvement website here:

Try two things you’ve never done before but are interested in. This is some of the best advice I’ve received here and it presents you with a challenge to take on. Maybe it’s the theatre arts or perhaps intramural soccer, whatever it may be, go join.


Keep in mind that if you want to get involved, let’s say in the Glee club, and music is not your major that is 100% OKAY. You do not have to be majoring in anything in particular to become involved with programs on campus because here at OSU we strive to be inclusive of everyone.

studesGo for the academic: Perhaps you do want to find those other psych lovers running around campus. Finding a group relating to your academic interests can be a great way to learn more about the area AND find friends who like the same things you do.

If you’re up for an even bigger academic challenge, try getting in on some research in an area you have a passion for. All of the professors on campus do research, so check out their websites, go talk to them during office hours, and see if you can make connections and start on the research path. A lot of times there will even be grant money available for those getting into research so make sure you look into that once you’ve been taken on to do research. Oh, and need I remind all of you that not all research has chemicals and lab coats- trust me, research in CLA is a blast!


Go check out some of the resource centers and cultural centers on campus. You don’t have to be of that culture to partake in events and most of the groups hold weekly events like movie screenings or guest lectures.

If this isn’t enough to get you off the couch and back onto campus getting involved, here is one more suggestion, get 5 of your best peeps and go make a club (maybe a Project Runway club or perhaps a Trivial Pursuit club?)! This is not only a great way to hang out with others and bond, but you can also put it on your resume as being an official OSU club starter.

Good luck and GO GET INVOLVED beavs!



KatyBy Katy Krieger

Well, it’s the beginning of week three and you’re probably already gearing up for midterm exams. So, how do you get through fall term with great grades and your sanity in tact?!

Always do the reading- trust me it will get you ahead in the long run and you’ll be ready for quizzes, midterms, and even dessertsfinals! Don’t just read either; take the time to write notes and make connections in your mind so that you remember what you’ve read.

Try to work ahead. I know this sounds insane and it’s hard just keeping up with your regular college schedule, but, if you can attempt to knock out two readings instead of one and start writing that paper BEFORE the day it’s due, you will feel prepared and ready to go each week. I usually go back through the syllabus for a class and see if there are smaller assignments I can complete ahead of time so that when the big things come up (like papers and projects) I have more time to work on them and I don’t feel as rushed.

Go over your notes after you get done with class. Reading what you have just written down will help you commit the information to memory. Use the time in between classes or take your notes onto the elliptical.

coffeeFind a good study space that fits your needs. Is it Starbucks downtown, or the Valley library on the third floor, or maybe even out in the MU quad? Whatever it is make sure you have water, food nearby, a place to charge your laptop, room to spread out your papers, and a bathroom.

Take advantage of OSU offered programs like tutors, study tables, the Writing Center, CAPS, and advisors. These resources are typically free (costs will be told to you upfront) and can give you great insight into better study skills, improved writing, and keeping up on your mental and physical health.

One of the best things I can advise you all to do: take a break and indulge in something you really enjoy. Sometimes the best work comes from being refreshed and having a new set of eyes on a paper can help you catch mistakes. Go to the beach, take a shopping trip to Woodburn, find a new restaurant in Corvallis and invite some friends to join you; whatever it is, take the time to do it and relax away from school!

Good luck with week three everyone and make sure you do something fun this week!


By David Nauss

Fall is on of the most beautiful times of the year. The leaves change colors, salted caramel mochas are in, you get to reconnect with friends, but most importantly its FOOTBALL SEASON!! Football at Oregon State is a great time. So here is a guide on why you should go to football games (even if you don’t like football), how to get tickets to games, and how to get the best seats at the game.

First why to go to football games? Football games are one of the few times where you get to see all of Beaver Nation in all its glory. Reser stadium gets packed with 43,000 Beavers cheering and chanting for OSU. It is one of the few times when Oregon State feels like a small school. You are surrounded by, many times, complete strangers but you are all cheering at the same time, singing the same songs, and yelling at the same officials for bad calls. This is especially true in the student section. The students have the best seats in the stadium and are, naturally, the most enthusiastic. The event of a live Oregon State game sitting in the student section is something that can only be experienced and can only be experienced during the four short years of college.

Now that I have sold you on going to the game, here is how to get tickets and how to get the best seats to the games. Tickets go on sale for students the Monday before the game. That means that the tickets for the next game versus Stanford will go on sale on October 21st. Usually tickets go fast so to ensure you get a ticket go on Monday. Many people camp out Sunday night to be the first in line when the office opens on Monday morning at 7 am. They do this to get the best sections of the student seating. Camping out is not necessary though; you can go to the ticket office in the morning of Monday and still get a ticket (usually), it just won’t be in the best sections.  You only need to bring your student id to the ticket office at the south side of the stadium. Tickets are free for students. Your ticket will have a section and seat number.

On game day you need to bring your student id and ticket to the game. Your ticket will be scanned when entering into Reser Stadium, then if you are in sections 114-118 your student id and ticket will be checked again as you enter the section. Once you are in your section people sit wherever they want. People do not follow the seat number they are given. This means if you want to be in the first row you must get to the stadium early. Also, make sure that you wear as much orange as you own to truly fit in to the student section.

That is everything you need to know about football games at OSU. Hope to see you there at homecoming versus Stanford. GO BEAVS!

MorganBy Morgan Willer

To some the archives don’t really mean much, but to me, well I see more than stacks of boxes and files. I see pieces of people’s lives that were left behind. These pieces all tell a story and it’s up to people who are still living to keep these stories alive. A few months ago I was probably a lot like you; I didn’t really know what the archives were about. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a project researching Greek Life, sororities and fraternities, at Oregon State to pull together information in time for the centennial celebration in 2015.

Now most people probably wouldn’t get so excited about sitting down for a few hours to read through old minutes, or look through old books. But I bet if you got to look at some of the interesting things the archives has you would be there every day just like me. I have found so many fascinating things relating to the Civil Rights movement, the treatment of women, and how Oregon State University has grown since 1915.

It’s not always easy; sometimes you work for hours and don’t find anything that’s relevant to what you are studying. But sometimes you will find something that’s truly amazing, like an old photo or document, that is just too good to be true. Probably one of my favorite things to look through was a scrapbook from the 1930s. Jayne Walters was a writer with the barometer and she kept everything in a large, wooden book. There were photos, newspaper clippings, and dance cards. It looks like they knew how to party back then! Fun aside, she kept a lot about developments at Oregon State and how women were treated, which I found to be the most interesting part. One of my other favorite discoveries (I have so many) was a film from 1964. You couldn’t actually play it because it was just the film strip, but I was able to look through the negatives with a magnifying glass. It showed women going through sorority recruitment, and I had a lot of fun winding through the reel.

If you’re interested in visiting the archives you definitely don’t need to be a researcher, or even a history major. Everyone who works in the archives is friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to help anyone who walks through the doors. I challenge everyone to try and go find something that interests them, or to just learn a little more about the archives by asking around. If you want to check it out the archives are located on the 5th floor of Valley Library, and you might just find me sorting through a box at one of the reading tables.

KendraBy Kendra Kintz

Yesterday I was walking home from campus and accidentally dropped my cellphone on the sidewalk. It is a Galaxy S from T-Mobile; S as in S1, as in the first model that came out two years ago and is a lovely piece of junk. Usually when I drop the phone it continues to function and just gets a new scratch that adds some character to its appearance… which is what I thought happened during yesterday’s mishap. The reality, which I just discovered, is that The Big Drop actually resulted in my entire photo gallery being completely erased. At first I was bummed, realizing that I had some great memories documented in those photos (which were never backed up to my computer because sometimes I make poor decisions with technology), but then I realized… maybe there is some symbolism here; maybe I can learn from this.

Maybe this was a fluke accident and the symbolism is entirely artificial, or maybe there is a lesson here about not relying on technology and experiencing life without capturing every moment via technological resources, but I’m going to bypass those thoughts and instead just focus on the idea that having those pictures erased was a sign that it is time for me to reflect on how great the past four years have been as I slowly let go of college and begin to embrace the next chapter of my life.

Many of us graduating seniors will be going off in all different directions as we finish our undergraduate careers; some of you will be tackling graduate school, a new career, an internship, or maybe you will be boarding a plane for international travel (my personal favorite). As we move forward with these new beginnings, I encourage you to give yourself credit fortime what you have just completed. We must be aware of our successes as we begin to engage in the next phases of our lives, and not let anxiety or fear of the unknown overshadow our accomplishments!  Too often I see people so overwhelmed by the stress of the transition that they forget to enjoy the present. As college graduates, we have a huge, fantastic achievement to celebrate! We are conditioned to always be thinking about the future and having something to work towards, but I want to remind you about that lovely clichéd quote “Today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.” Remember that everything you have experienced has contributed to the creation of the person you are today, at this moment. You will continue to face adversity, have your plans change, grow apart from friends and have new encounters that drastically change the course of your life… but it is okay to stop, breathe, and think about how wonderful life has been so far. The past four years have not just been about school – life was happening. And if you are anything like me, you probably had a pretty fantastic time making mistakes, embracing new experiences, learning a ton about subjects you didn’t even know existed, studying to an extent and also accepting that some nights you just have to stay out late and have some nonacademic fun. Guess what? Those experiences are not limited to college; that is life, and it will continue to unfold in different variations and flavors as we move on from this specific environment.

These are reminders for myself as much as anyone else, but a recurring message I have been piecing together these past few years is to figure out whatever makes you happy and do that – whether it is how you make a living, how you entertain yourself outside of a job, what you do on weekends – whatever it is that gets you excited about life. Stress can be very powerful but it doesn’t deserve to blind us from our choice to appreciate our lives and make decisions that are beneficial to us. Life is meant to be enjoyed; sure, there are plenty of ups and downs that are out of our control, but we do have some say in our attitude and how we react to those circumstances.

Final words here from one graduate to another: embrace the change and be excited. Ride the nostalgia wave, go to happy hour at Bombs Away one last time, go look at the MU when it is all lit up at night because it is gorgeous and you can. Soak up these last few weeks of Corvallis so when it is time to say goodbye, “you won’t cry because it’s over, you will smile because it happened” (yes that is quote about relationships, but it makes sense in this context too, am I right?!).

I don’t know if I succeeded at making this a minimally clichéd farewell blog post as I end my career as a Liberal Arts Ambassador, but all I am trying to convey is that life is incredible and change can be great. Sometimes it’s scary, sometimes it’s really tough, and sometimes it makes you feel invincible – all of which is completely acceptable. But as you are working your way through the emotions that come with a huge life transition… revel in the excitement that comes with being able to customize your life and create a reality you love!

Congrats to you all! J


AlisonBy Alison Blazer

This term I have had the opportunity to participate in a Spanish learning community experience at Oregon State. You may be asking yourself—what is a learning community? Simply put, a learning community is a group of people who all share common emotions, values or beliefs whom all actively engage in the learning of one another. This particular community is focused on Spanish language learning, civic engagement and leadership as they all relate to the Latino experience in Oregon and is appropriately entitled Liderazgo, or leadership in Spanish.

I first found out about this wonderful opportunity from my advisor in the College of Liberal Arts. Knowing my interests in both Spanish and engaging Latino population in Oregon she knew this course was the perfect fit for me. The aspect of my course that is often most surprising to people is that it is 15 credits. That’s right, I said 15. This means that while a rare few of my peers are enrolled in one other class on the side everyone else is taking only this Span 470 course.

The best way to begin to understand how this odd-ball class functions is for me to first explain to you the basic layout of the course: We have class primarily on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but there are 25+ hours of individual or group work expected from each student outside of the classroom. There are 26 students in the class, all of whom are either native Spanish speakers or second-language learners like myself. The course is team taught by three professors, Loren Chavarria, Tobin Hansen and Maralisa Morales Ortiz, but for the most part the professors are there merely as participants rather than leaders themselves because the premise of the class is for each of us to rise up as leaders, whatever that may mean for each of us individually.

For the first five Tuesdays of the term my classmates and I travelled to Woodburn (near Salem) and volunteered at the Oregon Farmworker’s Union office or PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste) and the CAPACES Leadership Institute. Each Tuesday we took classes at the CLI and then volunteered at a myriad of other Woodburn organizations such as FHDC and Radio Movimiento. Each Thursday we have class on OSU’s Corvallis campus—we spend from noon until 5 P.M. doing activities, hearing guest speakers and being taught by one another. During the previous term each Liderazgo student selected a learning focus of which there are five total. Personally I am in the language group where we discuss language as a part of identity. The four other groups are drug trafficking, education, health and art. These topics are what our large research papers are written about, what the books we read are focused on etc.

As a Liderazgo student during Week 8 of the term I can definitely attest to the rigorous academic nature of the learning community. That being said this overall class has been an unforgettable and once in a lifetime experience. I have had the opportunity to learn an astonishing amount about my classmates throughout our class discussions and time together. I have personally grown into much more of a leader in the classroom setting by teaching my peers as well as working within numerous teams and on top of all that, my Spanish itself has improved boundlessly over the past 7 weeks. A learning community centered on cross-cultural understanding and service learning is as close as one can get to studying abroad right here in Corvallis. I recommend that each and every Beaver look for those unique opportunities that exist in their discipline here at OSU and take advantage of them! Now is the time to take your learning to the next level!

KatyBy Katy Krieger

Looking to get healthy in the kitchen but still maintain great flavor in your food? Here are some cooking tips that will get you going in the right direction for spring.

Cook with olive oil- extra virgin olive oil has great health benefits and can really add some new pizzazz to your tried and true dishes. Buy a bigger bottle to save some cash and even look for specialty infused ones for more pop (garlic olive oil is my favorite to add in a pan or mix in a vinaigrette).

Whole grain- There are great options out there for whole grain in anything you eat from cereal to bagels so check the labels to see what ingredients are going into the food and your body.

food heartFruits and vegetables- yep that’s right mom is always right and getting in lots of fruits and veggies each day is a must. Try seasonal selections from the Farmer’s Market in downtown Corvallis! Also, throw in some raw veggies or fruits to get all of the benefits they offer (kale is a good addition to salads and avocado is delicious on top of a pasta dish).

Water- Drink tons of water to hydrate (especially in the heat) and avoid loading your body with sugary beverages or energy drinks.

Eat in- I know that sometimes everyone gets sick of cooking but eating in can help you control the ingredients in your meals as well as portion sizes and cost. Save eating out for special occasions or limit yourself to once a week!

Homemade is better- Of course getting pre-made things is easy, but making your own hummus or pita chips is not only rewarding but they taste fresh and perfect to your taste buds! Sites like Pinterest, Martha Stewart online (, and Vegetarian Times ( can help you make easy and tasty meals in just a few steps.

I hope you all feel inspired to get in the kitchen and start cooking! Remember, taste doesn’t have to be sacrificed for healthy and homemade eating!