Oregon State University

Current Projects




Status of Women in Leadership

The Status of Women in Leadership Commission actively advocates for and promotes a positive climate for all university women including students, staff, faculty, and administrators.

OPAL is partnering with the Commission to investigate the reasons for the difference in the number of male and female tenure/tenure track faculty in various departments at OSU. The research is particularly concerned with the influence of mentoring on career decisions of graduate students.

The final result of the first stage of the project will consist of the list of survey questions for 1) current graduate students and 2) faculty: professors, assistant professors, associate professors, instructors, research associates, research assistants, and professional faculty.

After this initial stage is completed, graduate students will be asked to share their experience and provide feedback on the issue of mentoring that they are currently receiving. Faculty members will be asked to tell about the expectations which they had when they were graduate students and explain how mentoring in graduate school influenced their decision to become faculty members. This project will involve the work of several teams of students who are interested in contributing to the promotion of positive environment for women in academia.


Community Outreach Inc

Community Outreach Inc is a nonprofit organization seeking and providing help for Mid-Williamette Valley's homeless and poor. They focus on stabilizing those in crisis, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, healing the sick, and counseling the mentally ill and substance addicted. 
Concerned about the the segment of LGBTQ citizens of Corvallis who are currently homeless, COI is teaming with OPAL to provide urgent and timely support for these people. OPAL will be conducting policy research to inform the implementation of a transitional program for LGBTQ youth in the Mid-Willamette Valley.  

Corvallis Public Schools Foundation

This foundation provides additional resources to ensure academic success for all students, builds community awareness and partnerships, and facilitates school based fundraising support. OPAL and the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation recently initiated a mixed methods research project looking at factors affecting students' K-12 journey and trends in graduation rates.


Renewable Energy Siting in the West

Drawing on insights from the study of social movements, the aim of the Renewable Energy Siting in the West Policy Clinic is to understand the factors and processes that drive mobilization against renewable energy facility proposals in the Western US (California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington). Why do some communities respond quickly and forcefully to a siting announcement, while others remain passive? How do individual community members join together to launch a mobilization effort? Why do some community groups turn to more disruptive activities, like protests and demonstrations, while others rely on more polite forms of political participation, like public hearings and letter writing? The goal of this research is to better comprehend the factors and processes that spark local community mobilization in the context of renewable energy siting. 

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