Susana Rivera-Mills, associate professor of Spanish linguistics and diversity advancement at Oregon State University, has been appointed to chair the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
Rivera-Mills has been at OSU since 2007. Her passion for her teaching and research goes beyond an academic interest – she emigrated with her family from El Salvador at the age of 12.
"Susana's leadership skills make her an ideal advocate for the importance of language study both in the university and in Oregon communities," said Lawrence Rodgers, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
A National Geographic Channel film, "Kingdom of the Blue Whale," premiers on Sunday, March 8, and offers some of the most revealing views of the largest animal on the planet through the work of Oregon State University’s Bruce Mate and colleague John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research Cooperative.
"Kingdom of the Blue Whale" airs at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on the National Geographic Channel and is narrated by popular awarding-winning actor Tom Selleck.
Much of the activity takes place from aboard the R/V Pacific Storm, an OSU research vessel operated through the university’s Marine Mammal Institute, which Mate directs. Filming took place off the coasts of California and Costa Rica, following 15 blue whales that Mate tagged and followed via satellite – a technology that he helped pioneer during his 33-year career at Oregon State.
Oregon State University has become a Peace Corps Master’s International partner, and will participate in an innovative program that allows a graduate student to get a master’s degree while also doing a full 27-month service project in the Peace Corps.
The program, the first of its type set up at a college or university in Oregon, will allow students to earn one of three graduate degrees in the OSU College of Forestry. The initial program should provide a model for other colleges at the university to develop participating degrees in the future, university officials say.
An interruption in a person's college career is not unusual. Annabel Ortega, however, has persisted through five of them.
Ortega had joined the National Guard, in part, to help pay for college. Since 2000, she's been deployed overseas five times, including 18 months in Iraq.
Throughout Ortega's deployments, Brenda Sallee kept in constant contact—mostly via e-mail across multiple time zones—encouraging her and coordinating the sequence of classes she needed to complete her international business degree.
Ortega, who has three languages under her belt (Spanish, English and Arabic), finished her degree in 2008. In 2007 she completed an internship in Guadalajara, Mexico, through the IE3 Global Internships program.
For the last 40 years, Crossroads International has provided friendship, hospitality and language assistance to countless international students and visiting scholars and their families at Oregon State University. From providing conversation partners to locating families willing to extend friendships to incoming international scholars, the organization makes difficult transitions more comfortable and friendly.
Each year, Crossroads presents an international film festival that not only reflects the organization’s dedication to cross-cultural communication and understanding, but which is the organization’s primary fundraiser. The 2009 Crossroads International Film Festival will feature films from India, Africa, Dominican Republic, Bhutan, Uruguay, Europe, Middle East and the United States, on four consecutive Sundays in February at the Darkside Cinema, 215 SW Fourth Street in downtown Corvallis.
Rebecca Farrin grew up naming the lambs in the field near her home in Idaho, but she never guessed that her future would lead her to working side by side with Peruvian immigrant shepherds in her home state.
Farrin is one of six graduate students currently enrolled in the new Master of Arts in Contemporary Hispanic Studies program at Oregon State University, and her master’s project is creating a documentary about the lives of the Peruvian shepherds she met while helping local ranchers in Idaho. The master’s program, which started accepting students in 2006, was created in the OSU foreign languages and literatures department within the Spanish program, and is aimed at students who want to combine language training with research that directly relates to Spanish-speaking populations in the state.
Last year's excursions to the remote hill country of southwestern El Salvador promised to be excellent adventures for Scott Crook and Aparna Shrivastava. The OSU students' mission - to build clean-water systems with coffee farmers living high in a hidden rainforest - would test their engineering skills and slake their thirst for new experiences. They never expected the project to change their lives.
"It completely transformed my belief in me," says Shrivastava, a junior in mechanical engineering from Tigard, Oregon. "It changed my perspective about what I can do for the world."
Crook echoes her sentiment. "It made me realize the incredible things you can do in the world," says the civil-engineering sophomore from Salem.
It was a frigid winter night on Chile’s central coast, and Christina Murphy was standing in the surf in her wet suit with a night vision monocular, getting pummeled by waves. She was counting her research subjects — nocturnal, carnivorous crabs of the species Acanthocyclus gayi that hide in algae or rock crevices — unaware that she would later regard the experience as one that cemented her love for her work.
Murphy, an IE3 intern and 2008 International Degree alumna, will return to Chile in March 2009 and use her research and international experience as a Fulbright scholar.
It’s uncommon for undergraduates to get research grants. Robbie Lamb has done it twice.
Lamb proved himself early on, says Mark Hixon, a professor of zoology in the College of Science. If you were scuba qualified, you could work as a field assistant on one of Hixon’s summer research projects. So Lamb got qualified. Not only that, he developed his own research project, got it funded, gathered the data and is getting it published.
"Enthusiasm can be short lived," Hixon says. "What’s great about Robbie is he’s enthusiastic and so willing to work."
Lamb's work continues. A 2008 International Degree alumnus, he has earned a Fulbright grant and will spend the fall researching sustainable fishing in Ecuador.