The Cobarrubias children are on their way to health care careers, living their mother’s unfulfilled dream.

All four of the Cabarrubias siblings attend OSU
All four of the Cabarrubias siblings attend OSU

Living their mother Amelia’s dream, four Cobarrubias children are studying at OSU.

Amelia longed to become a medical practitioner. But the tiny Mexican village where she grew up offered scant opportunities for girls. So she carried her dream to Oregon where her husband Florencio found work in the orchards of Hood River.

More than a decade later, widowed and juggling three low-wage jobs to raise her eight children alone, she still nurtured her childhood wish to bring health care and healing to those in need. But the dream was no longer for herself. Almost like a genetic gift, Amelia had passed it along to her offspring, math and science whizzes all.

Four of them — Genobeva, Florencio Jr., Elizabeth, and Kristina — are enrolled in pre-health programs at OSU. Majoring in microbiology and German, Genobeva (Genny) plans to go on for an M.D. in pediatrics. Kristina is in pre-dentistry, thinking about a children’s practice. Florencio is in pre-pharmacy, hoping to own his own pharmaceuticals business someday. And Elizabeth, with a major in biochemistry/biophysics, wants to be a surgeon, probably a cardiologist.

“At least one-quarter of the students in the College of Science are preparing for health professions,” says the Northwest’s most experienced pre-health adviser, Chere Pereira, who guides OSU’s pre-medical and pre-dental students from orientation through professional-school application.
“OSU’s pre-health programs are well-respected throughout the country,” says Pereira. “Our students are not only well-trained, they tend to be resourceful and grounded in the real world.”

With so many underserved ethnic communities across the United States, cultural competence is, Pereira notes, a big plus for prospective medical students. So, in partnership with OHSU, Oregon State is supporting greater diversity in health professions through special programs. And, through IE3 Global Internships, undergrads can get international experience working side-by-side with doctors in Bolivia, Mexico, Ecuador, India and South Africa.

For the bilingual and trilingual Cobarrubias siblings (in high school, Genny and Elizabeth studied in Germany and Italy, respectively), cultural competence is a given. Add to that their single-minded focus on achieving their goals, and it appears their mother’s lifelong dream will finally be realized — in quadruplicate.

OSU pre-professional programs in health

Microbiology Web site

Biochemistry and Biophysics Web site

An auto accident caused Holli Kaiser to rethink and refocus her life. Now she’s on her way toward a teaching career.

A car crash forced Holli Kaiser to refocus her life
A car crash forced Holli Kaiser to refocus her life

When Holli Kaiser was attending Medford High School a decade ago, no one — least of all her — would have envisioned her as a teacher. A halfhearted student, bored and restless, she dropped out and took a job at G.I. Joe’s. College was not on her radar.

But in the crumpled metal of a devastating car crash that severed her spinal cord, her life took a paradoxical turn. Her new physical limitations forced her to refocus her life. So began a 10-year intellectual quest that has earned her top academic honors and taken her — in another twist of irony — back to the high school environment she once rejected. This time, she’ll be at the front of the classroom.

Kaiser found in OSU’s Education Double Degree Program the optimal blend of subject-area specialization with a teaching focus. Launched in 2003, the program was designed to attract new talent to the teaching ranks and fill looming workforce gaps, especially in math, science and technology. Kaiser embodies the program’s goal: to draw a broader range of talented candidates into the teaching pool.

“The real problem is that most teacher preparation models create self-imposed structural limitations on who can access the field,” says Sam Stern, dean of the College of Education. “This innovative program takes advantage of the existing talent, knowledge and interests of our current undergraduate students and targets them to the hardest-to-fill teaching jobs where we need them the most.”

Combining teaching with her subject-area major, family and consumer sciences, Kaiser sees her degrees as a chance to give students what was missing in her own high school experience: real-life applications. She thinks she might have stayed in high school if the curriculum had answered that universal question, “Why do I need to know this stuff?” Family and consumer sciences, she says, is all about the real-world skills and understandings that underpin a healthy, satisfying, successful life.

“This discipline runs the gamut, from pre-birth all the way through aging,” says Kaiser, who was the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences student of the year for Oregon in 2005. “As a teacher, I want to make the connection of relevance for my students.”

Education Double Degree Program

Family and Consumer Sciences option

College of Education story on Holli Kaiser

Oregon State 39 – Missouri 38

2006 Sun Bowl champions raise their trophy

Thrilling finishes were nothing new for the Oregon State football team, so it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise when the Beavers pushed into the end zone on a 2-point conversion run with 22.1 seconds left, and No. 24 OSU beat Missouri 39-38 in the Brut Sun Bowl on Dec. 29.

Yvenson Bernard completed the 2-point conversion run after Joe Newton caught a 14-yard touchdown pass as the Beaver racked up another last-minute victory.

The victory was the latest in a series of nail-biters for Oregon State, which won eight of its last nine games, including beating Hawaii and Oregon by a combined five points in the last two regular-season games. The Beavers’ biggest triumph of the regular season was a 33-31 stunner over then-No. 3 Southern California on Oct. 28.

Oregon State (10-4) trailed by 14 points with 12:08 to go before rallying for the Sun Bowl victory. Bernard’s 7-yard reception had cut the gap to seven with 6:02 to go.

Matt Moore threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth for Oregon State, which helped produce the second-highest scoring game in the Sun Bowl’s 73-year history. Moore was 5-for-7 for 55 yards on the winning drive, set up after Sammie Stroughter’s 38-yard punt return to the Oregon State 46.

Bernard’s conversion run came after Missouri called a timeout to freeze kicker Alexis Serna before the extra point. Instead, it gave the Beavers time to persuade coach Mike Riley to go for two, and the gamble paid off.

Moore was 31-for-54 for 356 yards and set a school record of 182 passes without an interception before getting picked off by Brandon Massey in the third quarter. Oregon State retained possession on the play after Massey was fumbled after intercepting the ball.

Bernard is now the third leading rusher in OSU history with 2,664 yards rushing. He sits in good company behind Ken Simonton and Steven Jackson.

Moore finished the season with 3,022 yards passing. This is only the fifth time an OSU quarterback has passed for more than 3,000 yards in a season.

OSU football Web site

Brut Sun Bowl Web site

When Keith Frost couldn’t find the quality of barbecue sauce he wanted, he decided to try his own hand at it.

Keith Frost started a business searching for better sauce
Keith Frost started a business searching for better sauce

Keith Frost, a consummate griller, was frustrated with run-of-the-mill barbeque sauces. Mere “spiced-up versions of ketchup” he complains. So began his quest for the quintessential sauce.

The backyard hobby soon became an obsession. Using fresh Oregon produce — sweet onions from Hermiston, garlic from Klamath Falls, plums from the Willamette Valley — the Rogue Valley native was soon serving up platters of ribs glazed with his Sweet Honey & Garlic BBQ Sauce, salmon marinated in Plum-Ginger Teriyaki Sauce, and T-bones garnished with Not-So-Hot Garlic Pepper Sauce.

“If you create a sauce with patience,” says the OSU graduate student, “you can add layers and complexity to the foods you eat.”

Once he enrolled in OSU’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program, Frost gained the business skills to parlay his culinary discoveries into a start-up. The Southern Oregon Sauce & Spice Co. got a big boost when it won seed funds from the Portland OSU Business Roundtable in 2005.

“Our sales have exceeded expectations,” says Frost, who at 33 is what OSU President Ed Ray calls an OTA (“older than average”) student. “We’re in eight stores, our Web traffic is off the charts, and we’re gaining traction.”

A graduate (summa cum laude) in agriculture with minors in animal science and business, Frost finds the time not only to run his start-up but also to pursue a master’s degree in agricultural education. “Ag-ed is natural fit for me,” says Frost. “My company is focused on ‘value-added agricultural products,’ and the Ag-ed program places special emphasis on leadership development and communication — two skills essential in the classroom or the boardroom.”

Like any talented entrepreneur, Frost is constantly pushing the envelope — expanding the customer base, growing the product line, envisioning the possible. A sugar-free line of sauces is one concept under development. New spices, too, are being rolled out.

“Now we’re looking for an angel investor to help us grow through this next phase,” Frost says. His goal? To sell 10,000 bottles of sauce before 2010.

Austin Entrepreneurship Program

Agricultural Education Program

Sammie Stroughter, a third-team Associated Press All-American, and the No. 24 OSU Beavers defeated Missouri 39-38 in the Brut Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

Sammie Stroughter and the OSU football team will head to the Sun Bowl
Sammie Stroughter and the OSU football team will head to the Sun Bowl

Wide receiver Sammie Stroughter played a big role in OSU’s success in football this season. He set a school record by returning three punts for touchdowns, ranked fifth in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in punt return yards per attempt, and was among the best receivers in the nation with 66 catches for more than 1,200 yards.

But football isn’t his entire life. When he’s off the field, Stroughter loves working with children. He says one of his dreams in life is to run a Boys and Girls Club somewhere. Before that, he says, he wants “to graduate from college with a 3.0 GPA and inspire others to do the same.”

The junior sociology major from Roseville, Calif., says his mother, Andrea Brown, is his biggest hero “for being both my mom and dad. I’ve never seen someone work so hard in my life.”

He knows the value of college to his future, and he says the most unforgettable moment of his life was “finding out I had received a scholarship for college. The look on my mother’s face was priceless, knowing that I was the first person in my family to go to college.”

Although the Beavers finished third in the Pac-10 to earn a spot in the Brut Sun Bowl this season, that success wasn’t a sure thing early on. When the Beavers lost three of their first five football games, a winning season and a bowl game looked like a long shot.

Now, with eight wins in their final nine games, including the Sun Bowl victory and thrilling last-minute victories over Rose-Bowl-bound USC, Oregon and Hawaii, the Beavers are ranked in the top 25 nationally.

“I’m really proud of the football team and have been all year long,” OSU head coach Mike Riley said after the Sun Bowl victory. “It was just another example of their heart, their character and their determination.”

OSU football Web site

Alex Johnson
Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson is taking his master of public policy degree to Washington, D.C., as a Fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus.

Alex Johnson is spending the next nine months in the nation’s capital as one of seven Congressional Fellows for the Congressional Black Caucus. He sees it as an opportunity to get more experience in his areas of interest. And it may even be training for possible future political involvement.

“I expect to look at environmental and governmental reform issues,” says Alex, who will be working with the office of Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida. “This should synthesize my interest in public policy and my interest in the environment.”

Alex, who received his bachelor’s degree in natural resources from OSU in 2004 and his master’s this past June, started his college career looking for ways to involve people of color in environmental issues. “Later I became interested in access issues and got involved in student government,” he says.

That led to a strong interest in politics, “and I became really excited about opportunities in graduate school.” He looked around at other schools but decided to stay at OSU because he wanted to see some of the issues he had been involved in through to completion.

“I looked at the master of public policy program, and I’m glad I did it,” he says. The program opened doors to a number of opportunities, including a trip to Bulgaria for a research project on environmental science and getting his first journal article published, with Brent Steel, director of the MPP program.

Because of his activism and his involvement with MPP and OSU’s Community and Diversity Office, Alex was asked by Corvallis City Council members to review the city charter with an eye toward diversity and inclusion, a process that involved numerous meetings and public discussions and resulted in a measure that will be on the November ballot.

As he thinks about his future, Alex acknowledges that there may be opportunities for him in the capital, “but I’m hoping to make it back out to the Northwest.” And then? “I might even run for office eventually.”

Congressional Black Caucus Web site

Master of Public Policy program Web site

Office of Community and Diversity

Chrissy Lamun has completed her all-American gymnastics career. Now she’s preparing for a career as an orthodontist.

Chrissy Lamun, an all-American gymnast, is now pursuing a career in dentistry
Chrissy Lamun, an all-American gymnast, is now pursuing a career in dentistry

Chrissy Lamun loves to make people smile. She does it with her vivacious enthusiasm. She does it with athletic performance that earned her all-American honors as an OSU gymnast this past season.

And the recent graduate from Reno, Nev., hopes to do it in the future as an orthodontist.

“When I was little, I was obsessed with braces,” she says. “I couldn’t wait to get them. I made retainers out of paper clips and headgear out of wire. When my mom saw the paper clips, she said get them out of your mouth, they’re dirty.”

Yet, Chrissy didn’t think of going into the dental field until a high school friend suggested it because of her obsession. “And I was thinking, ‘it’s perfect,’” she says.“I want to help people have a beautiful smile.”

When she started looking for schools with good predental programs, she says OSU was an easy choice. “It’s been a wonderful experience,“ Chrissy says, “and I love Corvallis. The community is so supportive.”

And she found time to give back to the community, participating in the Relay for Life the last two years and talking to children in elementary schools.

Chrissy received her degree in general science, with a pre-dental emphasis, and she minored in business administration.

This year she plans to help coach the OSU gymnastics team while gaining experience observing dentists at work to help prepare her for dental school. Students normally do their observation during the school year, but because of the time demands of gymnastics, Chrissy decided to wait until she finished.

College of Science academic programs

College of Business Web site
OSU gymnastics team Web site

The OSU baseball team overcame the odds to win the NCAA College World Series and finish No. 1 in all major polls.

OSU Beavers in 2006 College World Series.
OSU Beavers in 2006 College World Series.
OSU Beavers in 2006 College World Series.
OSU Beavers in 2006 College World Series.
OSU Beavers in 2006 College World Series.
OSU Beavers in 2006 College World Series.

When they lost the opening game of baseball’s College World Series, people wrote them off.

When they lost the opening game of the best-of-three championship series, people wrote them off.

In true Horatio Alger fashion, the Oregon State Beavers overcame the odds and captured the NCAA national championship and the affection of many new fans nationwide.

The team that many people didn’t think could win a game in the College World Series ended up finishing No. 1 in all final polls. And the head coach, Pat Casey, was named national coach of the year for leading the team to a 50-16 mark, setting a school record for wins.

At the world series with the Beavers were teams from Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina—all warm weather states where spring baseball flourishes, unlike the rainy and cool Willamette Valley.

To get the title, the Beavers faced six games in which they had to win or go home—four in the first round and then two against North Carolina in the final series.

And the Beavers did it with a team that featured homegrown talent. Surprisingly, 60 percent of the players on the OSU roster grew up in Oregon.

And, whether or not people around the nation realized how good these players were, the major leagues did. Nine players were selected in the Major League Baseball amateur draft this year.

On the first day of the draft, right-handed pitcher Dallas Buck (Newberg, Ore.), outfielder Cole Gillespie (West Linn, Ore.), left-hander Kevin Gunderson (Portland, Ore.) and right-hander Jonah Nickerson (Oregon City, Ore.) were selected.

The second day’s selections were outfielder Tyler Graham (Great Falls, Mont.), second baseman Chris Kunda (Philomath, Ore.), third baseman Shea McFeely (Federal Way, Wash.), catcher Mitch Canham (Lake Stevens, Wash.) and right-hander Jon Koller (Carlsbad, Calif.).

OSU’s College World Series results:
June 17: Miami (Fla.) 11, BEAVERS 1
June 19: BEAVERS 5, Georgia 3
June 20: BEAVERS 8, Miami 1
June 21: BEAVERS 5, Rice 0
June 22, BEAVERS 2, Rice 0
June 24: North Carolina 4, BEAVERS 3
June 25: BEAVERS 11, North Carolina 7
June 26: BEAVERS 3, North Carolina 2

Football players Mike Hass and Alexis Serna have been honored as the best players in the country at their positions.

Oregon State University wide receiver Mike Hass and placekicker Alexis Serna have been honored as the best players in the country at their positions.

Walk-ons Mike Hass and Aleixis Serna were honored recently
Walk-ons Mike Hass and Aleixis Serna were honored recently

Both players, who started as walk-ons (non-scholarship players) at OSU, received their awards at the College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 8, at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Hass, a senior majoring in civil engineering, won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver, beating out USC’s Dwayne Jarrett and Notre Dame’s Jeff Samardzija.

Hass, who was also named to the Walter Camp All-America team that same day, was the nation’s leading receiver this season with an average of 139.3 yards a game, despite being sometimes double- and triple-teamed. He set a Pacific-10 Conference record with 1,532 receiving yards this season and owns the conference mark for yards in a single game (293 yards at Boise State in 2004).

A former star at Jesuit High School in Portland, Hass is OSU’s all-time leading receiver and ranks second all-time in the Pac-10 with 3,924 yards. He holds OSU records for career receptions (220) and single-season receptions (90) and shares the touchdown catches record of 20 with James Newson.

Hass is the only receiver in Pac-10 history with three 1,000-yard seasons.

Serna, a sophomore majoring in history, received the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s best placekicker. Serna was selected over Mason Crosby of Colorado and Jad Dean of Clemson.

Serna made 23 of 28 field goals this season and connected on all of his 32 extra-point attempts. He has made 61 consecutive extra points going back to the 2004 season. Serna is the active NCAA career percentage leader at 83.3. He tied the Pac-10 Conference record with six field goals on six attempts in an 18-10 victory over the University of Washington in November.

He was recently named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America Team.

Pua McBride became involved in OSU’s Residence Hall Association to keep busy and to try to help other Hawaiian students adjust.

Pua McBride feels at home despite being 2,00 miles away from it
Pua McBride feels at home despite being 2,00 miles away from it

Pua McBride is more than 2,500 miles away from her hometown on Hawaii’s Big Island, but she feels right at home in her OSU residence hall. “I know everyone and am friends with everyone in my hall,” Pua says. “In that respect it’s just like in Hawaii–a small community where everyone takes care of everyone else.”

Pua learned about Oregon State from her high school English teacher, an OSU graduate. Besides the strong programs in her areas of interest, business and education, Pua chose OSU because of the large Hawaiian population. “It made me feel comfortable that I’d be part of that community,” she says.

“I came to OSU with the dream of being a teacher,” Pua says. “As a child of two deaf parents, I learned sign language at a young age and then taught both of my brothers. At OSU I have had the opportunity to teach sign language to other students as a teaching assistant in the Speech Communication 379 (Sign Language) class.”

Realizing that being far from the comforts of home can often be hard for Hawaiian students, Pua decided to run for office in Finley Hall. She thought that if she could design programs of interest to Hawaiian students they would be more likely to be active in their residence hall and it would help keep them from becoming homesick.

“I know that it’s important to be involved and active,” she says. “I have been so busy that I haven’t had the time to be homesick.”

As her first year progressed Pua took on more responsibility, becoming active in the Residence Hall Association, serving as the National Communications chair and the Educational Programs Activities chair. She had the opportunity to attend two national leadership conferences through RHA and plans to continue this year as the Fundraising/Marketing Communications chair.

Hui-O-Hawaii website

University Housing & Dining Services

Residence Hall Association