OSU’s freshmen take part in the annual New Student Walk and Convocation.

OSU New Student Walk
OSU New Student Walk

It was an ideal day for a walk. The sun made an entrance from behind the clouds and shined on more than 1,500 incoming OSU freshmen, who were gathering in the MU Quad in preparation for the annual New Student Walk and Convocation. The symbolic march to Gill Coliseum mimics the one they will make to their commencement in four years, when they become the Class of 2012. Attendance at the New Student Walk has risen every year; however, this year’s turnout is estimated at an all-time high of 1,800 students, friends and family members.

“I heard it is the future class of 2012. It is something my friends and I thought would be really fun to do in order to go out and meet new people,” said Kimberly Melendez-Rivera, an incoming biology major from Alaska. “The people have been the best part of my week. They are just so friendly. They come up to you and say ‘hi’ and make you want to do the same thing.”

The Walk is coordinated mainly by staff members of New Student Programs and Family Outreach (NSPFO), with additional help from faculty, staff and student volunteers. “The whole campus comes together to organize CONNECT Week,” said NSPFO director Kris Winter.

“[The New Student Walk] was started to increase a sense of welcome and tradition for new students,” Winter said. “The idea was to create an event that would integrate them into their academic future, thus, re-creating the same walk they will be completing four years later at their commencement ceremony.”

There was a sense of anxiety and anticipation in the Quad as the students prepared to march — some fidgeted nervously while others rapidly discussed living arrangements and class schedules on their cell phones. They were supported, though, by faculty members representing the degree programs they teach for, upperclassmen who came to see the event, close friends and parents. As the students filed into Gill, they were greeted with cheers, chants and applause.

“I thought it was pretty cool to have the upperclassmen out there,” said Randy Solanksy, an electrical and computer engineering major.

Among the incoming freshmen, there are 89 different majors declared; 125 students have been accepted into the University Honors College; and 166 were ranked first in their high school graduating class.

At Gill, new students heard from Larry Roper, vice provost of student affairs; keynote speaker Peggy McIntosh, founder and co-director of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum and the associate director of Wellesley Centers for Women; and OSU President Ed Ray.
“If you get engaged in things that inspire you, the odds of graduating go up drastically,” Ray told students.

Students weren’t the only ones participating in the walk and convocation. Many parents and families joined them as well, including Katina Atz, whose daughter is an incoming business finance major.

“The walk was fabulous. We loved it,” Atz said. “What a beautiful campus. It’s gorgeous with the trees and old buildings. Our daughter’s a freshman, so we are new to this experience.”

The Marshall siblings are pursuing degrees at OSU at the same time.

The three Marshalls at OSU
The three Marshalls at OSU

If you asked the Marshall siblings a year ago if they could see themselves attending Oregon State University at the same time, they would have laughed at you. It seemed so unlikely. At 29, Nikki Marshall is ten years older than her brother, Mike, and 6 years older than her sister, Kerianne. They never even attended the same high school at the same time.

But in 2008-09 all three Marshall siblings will overlap as OSU students. Nikki is starting her fifth year working toward her Ph.D. in microbiology . Kerianne is in her second year earning her master’s in merchandising management, and Mike is starting his first year, with the intention of majoring in marketing or management.

“This is our only year together, and we’re looking forward to making the most of our time,” says Kerianne.

Although they are pursuing different fields, the factors that enticed the Marshalls to OSU were the same, namely a love for Corvallis and OSU — and Beaver tailgating.

“I feel relaxed and at home here,” says Nikki, who finished an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Puget Sound in 2001 before moving back to Corvallis. “I love the atmosphere and the outdoors.”

Kerianne wasn’t sure she would stay at OSU when she started as an undergraduate in 2003. But she joined the Delta Gamma sorority as a freshman, moved into the house and found a support system that helped root her at OSU. She liked having her family nearby, and liked her familiarity with OSU — the Marshalls have lived in Corvallis since 1991. Her transition from an undergraduate education to an advanced degree at OSU was seamless. She graduated in 2007 and started master’s degree classes that fall.

Both Nikki and Kerianne are hoping that Mike will have an undergraduate experience that was as positive as theirs. “I want him to find the right club or organization that will help him meet people and have a great time,” Kerianne says. Mike seems ready to do that. He’s excited about playing intramural sports —soccer, golf and volleyball, to name a few.

Although Mike had the opportunity to go to school in Boston, where his parents are from, or Seattle, he picked OSU. “I sat down and thought about it and decided, ‘I like Corvallis,’” he says.

All three are anticipating the fall tailgating season, which has been a family tradition since 2002.“ Everything’s usually scheduled around the game,”says Mike. They’ve rarely missed one.

Their family has held season tickets since 1999, and they can remember Reser Stadium when it was still called Parker Stadium. They each have their favorite moments — Nikki’s and Kerianne’s when OSU beat USC in 2006; Mike’s is the 2004 “Fog Bowl,” and OSU’s near-victory over USC.

“This is our fall,” says Kerianne. “This is what we look forward to.”

Current and former OSU student-athletes head to the Beijing Games.

OSU Olympians head to Beijing
OSU Olympians head to Beijing

From Aug. 8-24, the world’s attention will turn to Beijing, China and the 2008 Olympic Games. Five current, future and former Oregon State University student-athletes will be making the trip and trying for gold. “We are very proud of our extraordinary student athletes and alumni who are participating in the Summer Olympics, and we know they will represent Oregon State University well in every respect,” said OSU President Ed Ray. Read more about our Beaver representatives and how they made it to Beijing.

Heinrich Barnes

Heinrich Barnes chose to wrestle at OSU because he thought it would help him reach his full potential. He was right. After having one of the most impressive opening seasons at Oregon State in 2007-08, Barnes qualified for the Summer Olympics, earning a berth to represent his native South Africa. “It’s a big accomplishment for me to represent South Africa in the Olympics,” Barnes said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do all of this without my coaches and teammates at Oregon State. It’s a dream come true.”

Barnes, a junior business administration major, headed to Tunisia in March to compete in the FILA-African Senior Continental Championship at 66 kilograms (roughly 145.5 pounds), defeating three opponents to take the title and the automatic berth to Beijing. Barnes’ competition begins Aug. 20.

Saori Haruguchi

Saori Haruguchi

In March, Saori Haruguchi became the first swimmer in Beaver history to capture an individual NCAA title when she won the 200-yard butterfly in a school-record 1:52:39. But that was only the first of her goals for the year. The second was to clinch a spot on the Japanese Olympic swim team. Haruguchi achieved that, too, when she qualified in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:38.94 at the Japanese Olympic trials in April. “It was awesome winning the 400 IM,” she said. “I even had fun with all the pressure. I saw so many of my friends cheering for me; it helped me deal with the pressure.”

Haruguchi, a junior majoring in human development and family studies, took a break from her studies at OSU after the winter term to train in Japan. “I am so excited to practice with the national team for Beijing,” she said.

Olivia Vivian

At 19, Olivia Vivian of Perth, Australia, is the oldest member of the Australian artistic gymnastics team that will go to the 2008 Summer Olympics. But she hasn’t even started at OSU yet. Vivian will come to Oregon State in the fall to join the Beavers gymnastics team. Until then, her focus is on Beijing. Vivian was one of six gymnasts nominated to form Australia’s national team. “I feel that we have picked the strongest team,” coach Peggy Liddick said. “The bottom line was their potential to contribute to the team score, and if all else was equal there, we had to go with international experience.”

Although Australia has never won an artistic gymnastics medal, Liddick believes her team has the talent and depth to make history in Beijing. To find out more about Olivia Vivian’s journey to the Olympics, check out her blog.

Brian Barden

Former OSU infielder Brian Barden was one of 23 players named to the 2008 USA Baseball Olympic Team, making him the first Beaver baseball player to compete in the Olympics. Baseball competition is scheduled to start Aug. 13 and conclude with medal games on Aug. 23. Currently with the Memphis Redbirds, a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate, Barden has played in 89 games this season and is batting .303 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs.

Barden, a native of Templeton, Calif., was drafted in the sixth round of the 2002 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was one of three Beavers who made their MLB debuts in 2007. He appeared in eight games with the Diamondbacks and 15 with the Cardinals.

Josh Inman

Former Oregon State rower Josh Inman and teammate Matt Schonbrich of St. Paul, Minn., originally qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team in the pairs in early June. Shortly after, though, the coaching staff made a change of plans and decided Inman would row in the men’s eight. “Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I started rowing at Oregon State,” Inman said. “The choice between rowing in the eight or the pair really came down to where I was most comfortable and felt I could be the most helpful.”

Inman, the 2005 U.S. Rowing Male Athlete of the Year, lettered on the varsity crew at OSU from 2000-2002. He led the Beavers’ varsity-8 to a fourth-place finish in the 2002 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships in New Jersey, the highest finish ever for OSU.

Update: Josh Inman and the U.S. men’s eight won Olympic bronze on Sunday, August 16 in Beijing. Inman and his teammates finished in 5:25.34, behind gold medalists Canada and silver medalists Britain.

Robbie Findley

Former OSU soccer star Robbie Findley is an alternate for the U.S. Soccer team this summer in Beijing. Findley was the first Beaver soccer player to be named First Team All-Pac-10 three times, and he finished his four-year collegiate career with OSU as the school’s third all-time leading scorer with 28 goals. Findley is the starting striker on the MLS team Real Salt Lake.

Anna Putnam uses nanotechnology to create a revolutionary battery.

Anna Putnam is on the edge of innovation with nanotechnology
Anna Putnam is on the edge of innovation with nanotechnology

Undergrad Anna Putnam is squirming. The interviewer has touched a raw nerve in the chemical engineering major. “You’re digging deeply into my life,” she says, shifting in her chair. Her confession comes with reluctance: “My first term at OSU, I struggled in math.” Pressed, she admits the worst: “I got a C in vector calculus.”

For the University Honors College student who had breezed through Advanced Placement calculus and chemistry at Oregon’s Clackamas High School, a grade of “average” was a jarring wake-up call. “Before I got to the university,” the 2005 senior class valedictorian explains, “I never had to study very hard.”

In the three years since that rude awakening, nothing less than an A has darkened Putnam’s grade report. She has gone on to collect scholarships like most students collect songs on their iPods. The American Engineering Association Scholarship from Intel and OSU’s Presidential Scholarship are among them.

Now, Putnam has advanced from the front of the class to the front edge of innovation, where chemical engineering meets nanoscience and “drop-on-demand” printing technologies.

Read more about Anna Putnam and her undergraduate research in the Summer 2008 issue of Terra.

A team of OSU undergrads designs a wireless sensor system to help scientists study mountainous forests from the comfort of their PDA.

OSU is developing a wireless sensor system for forests
OSU is developing a wireless sensor system for forests

The science of mountain airsheds requires a strong back as well as a sharp mind – especially when you’re lugging a 65-pound golf-cart battery in your pack.

An interdisciplinary team of OSU students is working to make the science easier on the back, and also the environment. The three seniors – Drew Smith, Erin Wyckoff and Brian Wilson – recently spent 10 weeks scaling the steep slopes of H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, pooling their individual expertise in electrical engineering, soil science and atmospheric science to test and refine a networked wireless system for monitoring what OSU’s Terra magazine calls the “exhaled byproducts of the forest” (see Grasping for Air). They are helping unplug the high-tech sensors that researchers use to measure the ebb and flow of carbon-laden air, connecting them instead through a new generation of ultra-low-power sensing devices that save energy and vastly extend the range of existing equipment in mountainous terrain.

Thanks to their efforts, funded by the National Science Foundation, the miles of electric wire that currently snake through the experimental watershed in glistening black tangles will be relegated to the dustbin of technology.

Wires “degrade, animals chew through them, we trip over them,” says Adam Kennedy, the forest science faculty research assistant who coordinated the team. “This could totally reshape the design of future research sites.”

The project is a team effort. One typical workday in early August, Smith could be seen tapping away at his laptop as he crouched among ferns, reprogramming a custom-fabricated circuit board – the “hub” of the integrated system. The electrical engineering major pored over some 800 lines of computer code while Wilson and Wyckoff trekked the trails, positioning and repositioning the sensors in search of sweet spots that picked up signals.

Wilson was working to upgrade the Andrews’ air-sensing system, to gather vertical temperature and pressure profiles continuously and in real time. Wyckoff, meanwhile, programmed the “brains” of the Andrews’ prized auto-sampler – a state-of-the-art machine that measures carbon flux in soil – so it will work without wires. Instead of tramping across sensitive undergrowth to download data from probes that record moisture, decomposition, soil chemistry and other information, scientists will be able to tap readings remotely through their BlackBerry or Palm Pilot.

Once researchers develop robust sensor networks that operate without wires and batteries, the mysteries of mountain forests will be easier to unravel – for both the forests and the scientists.


Department of Forest Science

College of Forestry

Terri Fiez’s Web page

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

College of Engineering

National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Program

A former Beaver wins a World Series ring for himself, and free tacos for everybody else.

Jacob Ellsbury
Jacob Ellsbury

Beaver alum Jacoby Ellsbury is a bona fide star. In center field and at the plate, he helped his baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, win a lopsided 2007 World Series. But he also won national attention — and the hearts of millions of taco fans — when he stole second base in Game 2 of the series. A certain fast-food franchise had wagered that nobody would steal a base in the series, and pledged to hand out free tacos if it lost — and on Oct. 30, millions of people crowded Taco Bells nationwide to claim their Ellsbury-won prize. Ellsbury himself greeted fans at a Taco Bell near Boston University.

A native of Madras, Ore., Ellsbury led the OSU Beavers to the College World Series in 2005. His teammates called him Jack, as in jackrabbit, because of his speed and ability to avoid getting tagged out. The Beavers didn’t win the series that year, but the 2005 appearance set up back-to-back College World Series championships for the Beavers in 2006 and 2007. By that time, Ellsbury had already been drafted by the Red Sox as a first-round pick. After playing for Boston farm teams in Portland, Maine, and Pawtucket, R.I., he was called up to the majors for the first time last June.

OSU baseball coach Pat Casey was one of the first people Ellsbury called after getting called up to Fenway Park. After that first major league game, Casey overheard somebody compare Ellsbury to former Boston star outfielder Johnny Damon. “Johnny Damon is a great player,” Casey told the Boston Herald. “But Jacoby Ellsbury is going to be a superstar player.”

Ellsbury’s performance in a Red Sox uniform impressed manager Terry Francona so much he included him in the starting lineup when the Red Sox made it into the World Series. Red Sox fans helped that decision, signing a petition to have Ellsbury start in the series and calling in to local radio shows. And Ellsbury didn’t disappoint, batting in three runners with his seven hits during the series. “It’s unbelievable,” Ellsbury told MLB.com after the final game. “I still can’t believe it. You dream about it, but for it to happen, it’s so unbelievable.”

Ellsbury’s mother is a full-blooded Navajo, and he is a registered member of the Colorado River Indians Tribe. He is the first Navajo to play in the Major Leagues, a distinction he was unaware of until the media informed him. “I didn’t know until I found out in the paper,” Jacoby told the Farmington, N.M, Daily Times. “I think it’s pretty neat. I’m surprised there hasn’t been one before.”

Ellsbury’s page at the Boston Red Sox Site

2005 OSU Barometer article on Ellsbury

2006 OSU Barometer article on Ellsbury

University officials launch The Campaign for OSU, a $625-million fundraising effort and the university’s first ever comprehensive capital campaign.

The Campaign for OSU is the first ever comprehensive capital campaign
The Campaign for OSU is the first ever comprehensive capital campaign

Oregon State University leaders officially launched “The Campaign for OSU,” a $625-million fundraising effort and the university’s first ever comprehensive capital campaign, at a public celebration today. Supporters have already committed $350 million toward the goal.

As part of the event, OSU President Ed Ray also announced $77 million in private and public commitments toward a major campaign initiative: the Linus Pauling Science Center and its associated research and education programs. A 1922 OSU chemical engineering graduate, Pauling is the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes. The center will house chemists from the College of Science and the world-renowned Linus Pauling Institute, which continues Pauling’s life’s work in health research. It will also provide learning space for students in chemistry, biochemistry and the life sciences (see related release, “OSU receives $77 million for science initiative”).

“This is an historic moment for Oregon State University,” said President Ray. “This university is about changing and enriching lives. Seizing on the momentum of this extraordinary campaign and building on the excellence we demonstrate every day, we can ensure that our students achieve bright and prosperous futures, create a stronger, more competitive Oregon and advance research that addresses some of the world’s most pressing problems.”

OSU plays an important role in the state’s prosperity, said Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

“Oregon State University not only educates many of our citizens but also develops our capacity in areas such as health, natural resources, energy development and new technologies,” the governor said. “An investment in OSU is an investment in Oregon’s future, and it will improve lives here and around the world.”

Beginning with a planning phase in 2004, the campaign has already received strong support, including $52 million toward a $100 million goal for scholarships and fellowships. More than 62 donors have given gifts of $1 million or more to the campaign to date. Participation has been broad, with more than 400 donors contributing $100,000 or more; 45 percent of these donors live outside of the state.

“The fact that so many people have come forward so quickly demonstrates how much we believe in this investment,” said Patricia V. Reser, a 1960 OSU graduate and campaign co-chair. “OSU is coming into its own at a time when its many strengths are in high demand around the world. It”s time to tell our story.”

Reser of Beaverton, Ore., is co-owner and corporate treasurer of Reser’s Fine Foods and one of three co-chairs leading a 13-member Campaign Steering Committee. The other co-chairs are James H. Rudd of Lake Oswego, Ore., CEO and principal of Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, Inc., and Patrick F. Stone of Santa Barbara, Calif., former CEO of Fidelity National Information Solutions.

OSU is launching this campaign in collaboration with the OSU Foundation, the nonprofit organization chartered to raise and administer private funds in support of the university’s education, research and outreach. The foundation retains assets of more than $570 million, and manages the majority of OSU’s composite endowment, valued at more than $430 million, which supports the work of the university and the people it serves.

Capital Campaign Web site

OSU receives $77 million for Linus Pauling Science Center

Linus Pauling Institute

Michael Goodman has combined his love of language and computers to create a Japanese-English translation program.

Goodman's senior project combines his love for language and computers
Goodman's senior project combines his love for language and computers

Words and language have always fascinated Michael Goodman. Growing up in Florence, Ore., he liked tracing the roots of words that most of us take for granted. And at Oregon State University, he has minored in Japanese.

But it is his affinity for computers that is propelling the senior in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Combining his interests, he has created software that overcomes a barrier in translation.

Along the way, Goodman lived in Tokyo for an academic year, collaborated with OSU faculty members and set the stage for graduate work in computational linguistics.

The problem he tackled for his senior project stems from a fundamental difference between Japanese and English. “The Japanese language is different from English in the way pronouns — words such as he, she or they — are used. They exist in the language, but their use is less common than in English,” says Goodman. Instead, subjects in a Japanese sentence usually refer to the last proper noun mentioned in a conversation. This practice can make it hard for people whose primary language is English to keep track of whom or what is being discussed.

In order to address this problem, Goodman has created a software solution that he calls Co-reference Resolution. The goal is to point a translation system to the subject in scanned Japanese text, increasing translation accuracy.

Goodman had help in bridging the disciplines of computer science and linguistics. His adviser in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Alan Fern, specializes in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Providing linguistics expertise was Setsuko Nakajima, a Japanese language specialist in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

“Doing this project has forced me to think long and hard about linguistic analysis and processing in a language that’s not my mother tongue, and has exposed me to the challenges and obstacles and ways to overcome them,” says Goodman. Not bad for a young man who taught himself computer programming at home “just by messing around.”

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

OSU Office of International Programs

Learning the secrets of seed germination is helping Jing Sun grow her future career as a physician.

Jing Sun is pursuing a career as a physician
Jing Sun is pursuing a career as a physician

Jing Sun, an OSU junior in microbiology, has wanted to become a doctor ever since a childhood bout with hepatitis A put her in the hospital. “That made a big impression on me, mostly on how much I didn’t want to be in the hospital, but also on how grateful I was to the doctors who helped me get better,” she says.

Jing decided to use that experience as motivation to study medicine and become a pediatrician. In her first year at OSU, she wanted to learn to diagnose and solve problems, and she jumped at a chance to learn those skills in a research laboratory.

“It was the first lab I found that was looking for a freshman to do real research. Dr. Nonogaki was specifically looking for someone to take on their own projects, which was pretty unique and very exciting,” she says.

As she learned laboratory techniques, Jing found other undergrads were doing research in her area, the Integrative Seed Biology Program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Established by associate professor Hiro Nonogaki in the Department of Horticulture, the program offers undergraduates a chance to gain research skills while they discover how seed genes function.

Jing begins by identifying seeds that show a mutation in a gene known as a transcription factor. These genes operate somewhat like light switches, turning other genes on and off. After finding seeds with transcription factor mutations, Jing allows the seeds to sprout, observes the growing plants and documents the results. She then compares the plants to those grown from seeds with normal germination patterns. Her goal is to identify the molecular mechanisms at work and the consequences of the mutation.

Jing, who is in the University Honors College, has accomplished a lot. In 2005, she received a research grant through the Ernest and Pauline Jaworski Scholarship for Underserved Undergraduates in Plant Science. She also received an award for her presentation in OSU’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute summer research program.

In 2006, Jing was selected to study at the University of Freiburg in Germany through RISE (Research Internships for Science and Engineering), a German Academic Exchange Service program created to bring Canadian and American undergraduates to Germany to study with Ph.D. students.

Each year about 2,000 OSU undergraduates are involved in research projects around campus. “I think it is good for undergraduate students to do this research,” Nonogaki says, “and to present their findings at conferences. It is important for them to be exposed to real scientific research and to experts in the field.”

Jing Sun’s University Honors College page

Integrative Seed Biology Program Web site

Department of Microbiology Web site

OSU golfer Vincent Johnson won the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship — and successfully battled Graves’ disease— this past year.

Vincent Johnson battled Graves' disease recently
Vincent Johnson battled Graves' disease recently

OSU junior Vincent Johnson was excited when he qualified for the 2007 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship this past May.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play in a tournament that provides opportunities for minority college golfers,” he said before the tournament. “It means a lot to represent OSU. Oregon State has provided so much for me that when I put on my OSU gear, I want to go out and show what the school is all about.”

He represented himself and the university very well. The tournament had its largest field ever, featuring 180 golfers from 38 different colleges.
Johnson took on that field for 54 holes at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and he came away with the victory — by a whopping 12 strokes.

A business major from Portland, Johnson hit every green on the front nine of the last round in regulation, finishing with five birdies and only one bogey on his way to a 4-under-par 68 that gave him a 210 for the tournament.

“It meant a lot, being the only guy there from Oregon State,” Johnson said. “I felt like I was also representing the West Coast. It was fun to travel all the way there and represent my school as best I could. I got some comments about how I carried myself well and that I did represent my school well, so that really meant a lot to me.”

While 2006-07 ended well, it didn’t get off to a very good start.

He missed most of the fall season while dealing with Graves’ disease, a type of autoimmune disease that causes over-activity of the thyroid gland, but he has since made nearly a full recovery. He was able to compete in all of OSU’s spring tournaments, shooting an average of less than 73 per round, ranking him fifth on OSU’s single-season stroke average list.

Johnson, who enjoys playing the piano and video games during his free time, is an excellent student as well as an outstanding golfer. He recognizes that he has a chance to become a professional golfer, but that’s not his primary focus right now.

“As a student-athlete, the student comes first,” he says. “Whether I’m going to be a professional golfer or not, the education is the most important thing to come out of here with.”

OSU men’s golf Web site