OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Oregon State University students receive almost $40 million in scholarships

CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than $39.5 million in scholarship money has been awarded to students at Oregon State University for the 2017-18 academic year, a key component of OSU President Ed Ray’s Student Success Initiative.

Roughly $24.5 million of the total is spread among 7,271 scholarships to those who were students prior to this academic year. The rest is for awards to 2,532 incoming students, including 34 who received a $10,000-per-year Presidential Scholarship, OSU’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarship.

Approximately 35 percent of this year’s first-year students are receiving scholarship support.

The same percentage applies to the College of Engineering, whose students account for almost one-third of the $39.5 million total. Engineering students are receiving $12.7 million, with $7.9 million divided among 1,948 scholarships to students enrolled prior to this fall. Nineteen of the 804 incoming scholarship students are Presidential Scholars.

“Over the past decade, our total enrollment has increased by 150 percent, making us the 11th-largest engineering program in the United States,” said Scott Ashford, Kearney Professor and dean of the College of Engineering. “We need to make the OSU engineering degree financially accessible to every qualified Oregonian and underrepresented populations, and scholarships help us achieve that goal.”

More than $7.5 million in scholarship money is going to College of Science students, the college’s highest total ever, said Roy Haggerty, dean of the college. That is triple the amount awarded two years ago. Reasons for the jump include increases in university scholarships and in high-achieving students enrolling in the college.

Nearly $5 million is spread among 1,344 scholarships to students enrolled prior to fall term. The rest is for awards to 570 incoming students, including nine who received a Presidential Scholarship.

More than half of the college’s first-year students are receiving scholarship support.

“Scholarships enable the college to attract, retain and inspire top science students, most of whom go on to high-achieving careers in industry, graduate school, medical school and other professional programs after graduation,” Haggerty said. “Oregon State’s financial-need-based scholarships also help academically talented low-income and first-generation students from Oregon and elsewhere stay and excel in college.”

First-generation students typically have a greater financial need so scholarships are a crucial part of their educational equation, said Haggerty, who was the first in his family to attend college.

“In our college, the number of first-generation students has risen from 20 percent to 29 percent in the last five years,” he said. “Many scholarship students in the College of Science attest to the value of scholarships in easing the financial burden on their families and enabling them to focus on academics, research, volunteer activities and post-college career goals.”

At the College of Business, more than $3.7 million in scholarship money has been awarded, including roughly $2.3 million spread among 761 scholarships to students enrolled before fall term. The remainder is for awards to 276 incoming students, including one Presidential Scholar.

About 29 percent of this year’s first-year business students are receiving scholarship support.

“It’s very important for us to remove as many financial obstacles as possible for our students to help make their decision to attend college and return year after year easier,” said Mitzi Montoya, Sara Hart Kimball dean of the College of Business. “Our students are working hard in and outside the classroom, gaining experiences that are preparing them to be profession-ready. Scholarship support means they can focus more on being successful students and less on how they’ll pay for tuition or textbooks.”

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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OSU’s “Great Move-Out” donation drive expands off-campus; volunteers sought

CORVALLIS, Ore. – To reduce abandoned items in residential areas, increase neighborhood livability, and promote sustainability, Oregon State University and community stakeholders are coordinating two move-out donation drives for students living both on and off campus. 

The Great Move-Out: Off-Campus Donation Drive will help students donate and recycle items they no longer want. A range of items will be accepted, including mattresses, furniture, electronics, office/school supplies, books, and kitchen and household wares. This effort is modeled after the annual Residence Hall Move Out Donation Drive that diverted 23,000 pounds of materials from landfills last year. This year’s on-campus goal is 24,000 pounds.

Both drives begin in June.

The off-campus event is June 14, from 4-8 p.m., and June 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Grace Lutheran Church Parking Lot at the corner of Kings Boulevard and Harrison Street, and is for OSU students only. 

The residence hall drive takes place May 30 through June 20. Discarded items will benefit local non-profits and other charity organizations. Items accepted for donation include: clothing, unopened and non-perishable food, toiletries (may be partially used), household items like décor or lamps, electronics (broken or otherwise) and furniture.

Sierra Prior, a first-year master of public health student in the College of Public Health & Human Sciences, and special project assistant for Corvallis Community Relations, is spearheading the inaugural off-campus drive.

“Our first step was to bring together stakeholders from the OSU and Corvallis communities to mitigate one of the biggest problems in Corvallis at the end of spring – trash,” Prior said. “Then we started brainstorming ways to divert as much as possible from ending up in a landfill.”

Due to the high volume of donations that are anticipated, Corvallis Community Relations, Campus Recycling and Surplus Property are seeking volunteers to assist by sorting incoming items or by going out with the crew to collect donated items and recyclables from the residence halls.

  • Volunteers are needed for the Residence Hall event for various shifts between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. June 8-20;
  • Volunteers are need for the off-campus event, with shifts from 3 to 9 p.m. on June 14, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 15. Volunteer training will be provided on site. 

Information on how to volunteer or donate items for the residence hall drive, as well as a full list of the donation recipients, may be found at http://tiny.cc/donation-drive

Donations for the residence hall drive may be put into donation bins, which are located on the ground floor of every residence hall. Food and toiletries must be bagged. Larger items that do not fit in hall lobbies, such as wood bed loft kits and furniture, may be set next to dumpsters outside.

“We have heard from students that they often have more in their room than they can or wish to bring home with them at the end other year,” said Andrea Norris, marketing and development coordinator for Campus Recycling and Surplus Property. “This program makes it easy for them to donate those items in their hall and relay them to non-profits that can keep them in use and benefit the community.”

This year the off-campus event is working with Benton Habitat for Humanity, Furniture Share, Old Mill Center, Community Outreach Inc., and OSU Folk Club Thrift Store. These organizations also previously participated in the residence halls event. Key community stakeholders including Republic Services, Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, Rental Property Management Group, and the City of Corvallis guided the planning process for establishing the new off-campus event.

For more information on the off-campus drive, see  http://studentlife.oregonstate.edu/ccr or contact CCR (ccr@oregonstate.edu) or OSU Campus Recycling (Andrea.Norris@oregonstate.edu).

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Andrea Norris, 541-737- 5398, Andrea.Norris@oregonstate.edu

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Oregon State alum, noted philanthropist to give OSU commencement address

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Hüsnü M. Özyeğin, who headed to Oregon State University in 1963 with only $100 in his pocket and graduated to become a highly successful business leader and philanthropist in Turkey and throughout Europe, will return to his alma mater to give the 2017 commencement address.

OSU’s commencement will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, at Reser Stadium. Tickets are not required; more information is available at: http://commencement.oregonstate.edu//

Özyeğin, who was born in Turkey, came to the United States after graduating from Robert College, an elite academy in Istanbul. He graduated from OSU with a degree in civil engineering in 1967 after serving as president of the Associated Students of Oregon State University his senior year, and went on to earn an MBA at Harvard University.

The OSU alumnus has made significant contributions to the global community with extensive work in social entrepreneurship, education, women’s rights, equity, child and youth development, and arts and cultural preservation.

Scott Ashford, dean of OSU’s College of Engineering, said he “is thrilled” Özyeğin is returning to Corvallis.

“He’s been a gracious host to me in Turkey, and very willing to provide me with advice for the college as an industry mentor,” Ashford said. “Corvallis is still dear to his heart – in fact, he keeps a photo in his office of him and Bobby Kennedy at the Corvallis airport. Every time I’ve traveled to Turkey, he’s made time for me and asked my advice on his new university.

“Our OSU students have spent summers doing research at his university, and we have hosted his students here.”

After completing his degrees, Özyeğin returned to Turkey and began his career in banking. In 1974, he was appointed managing director of Pamukbank, and in 1987, he founded Finansbank, which quickly become one of Turkey’s most prominent and respected banks. He served as chairman of the bank between 1987 and 2010, during which it grew substantially in size and influence.

Özyeğin today is chairman of Fiba Holding A.S., Fibabanka A.S., and Credit Europe Bank (Suisse) S.A. in Geneva.

The Oregon State alumnus has not forgotten his academic origins, and in 2008 he and his foundation established Özyeğin University in Istanbul, building and fully staffing the institution from the ground up. The state-of-the-art undergraduate and graduate university is re-envisioning higher education as both highly entrepreneurial and financially accessible, and already has become Turkey’s fourth largest private university.

Özyeğin is involved in numerous civic activities, including chairing the Hüsnü M. Özyeğin Foundation, serving on the board of the Mother and Child Education Foundation, and serving on the board of dean’s advisers for the Harvard Business School.

Oregon State will present Özyeğin with an honorary doctorate in civil engineering at commencement. The Oregon Stater alumni magazine profiled him in 2012: http://bit.ly/2qX33uH

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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Hüsnü M. Özyeğin

Hüsnü M. Özyeğin

OSU to hold three-day eclipse celebration

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will be directly in the path of this summer’s rare total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, and as a NASA Space Grant university the university is hosting a three-day eclipse celebration that includes educational events, music, movies, art and more.

From Aug. 19-21, the public is welcome to attend a series of family-friendly events culminating in a community-wide eclipse viewing party on Oregon State’s Corvallis campus. OSU also will open its residence halls for lodging reservations for the eclipse weekend.

OSU’s Corvallis campus is in the path of totality, where the sky will go dark for about two minutes starting at 10:17 a.m. The last coast-to-coast solar eclipse took place in the United States in 1918.

The OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience is the first in a yearlong series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of Oregon State’s founding in 1868. Beginning with the eclipse celebration, the events will culminate in a fall 2018 symposium.

“OSU is hosting this event as the lead institution for the Oregon NASA Space Grant and to deliver on its mission of providing education, research and public outreach to inspire the next generation of explorers,” said event organizer Jill Peters. “As Oregon’s statewide university, we also designed the event activities to share Oregon State’s enthusiasm and research and teaching expertise around the eclipse with the public and ensure they can fully experience it in a safe manner.”

For out-of-town visitors looking to secure hard-to-find accommodations during the week of the eclipse, Oregon State is offering a limited number of residence hall rooms on a first-come, first-served basis starting May 23. Those interested in reserving a lodging/dining package for Aug. 19-21 can visit oregonstate.edu/eclipse after May 23, when access to the reservation site will be available.

The package includes a minimum two nights’ lodging, dinner and breakfast in the dining halls, tickets to the concert, access to pool and gym facilities, and a commemorative tailgate blanket. As campgrounds and local hotels are already reserved for the event, visitors are encouraged to book their lodging package as soon as they are available. Two-night package prices range from $265 for a single room to $1,275 for a six-person suite. Up to two additional nights may be purchased.

The three-day eclipse celebration kicks off Aug. 19 with a photography class for those interested in capturing the eclipse, followed by exhibits and activities centered on science, space, art and astronomy. Highlights include a Mars Rover replica, an art exhibit, and a series of lectures on topics ranging from how bones are affected in space flight to how different cultures interpret astronomy. A BBQ/cocktail party, outdoor movie night and a chance to view the stars with Oregon State astronomer Randall Milstein rounds out Saturday.

Another series of activities, events and lectures will be held on Sunday, Aug. 20, including an evening outdoor concert with award-winning rock and soul band Lady Dottie & the Diamonds. Attendees will be able to dance or sing along to hits from Stevie Wonder, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Diana Ross, and more. Beer, wine and food will be available for purchase. 

On the day of the eclipse (Monday, Aug. 21) OSU will host a campus viewing party. The total solar eclipse can be experienced from the fields at Student Legacy Park just north of Gill Coliseum and attendees will receive free solar eclipse glasses.

The party will begin at 9 a.m. as the moon begins covering the sun, and will include outdoor games and activities for the family. After totality, attendees can view NASA's live broadcast of the eclipse as its continues east across the country. NASA-TV will be live streaming video shot from weather balloons across the country, starting from the Pacific Coast with support from a student-led team on an OSU research vessel.

Additionally, the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State is collaborating with Google on the Eclipse Megamovie 2017, a project gathering images of the solar eclipse from more than 1,000 volunteer photographers and amateur astronomers across the nation. The images will be pieced together to create a continuous view of the eclipse as it passes over the United States.

For a full list of activities, times and locations, see: http://oregonstate.edu/eclipse

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Source: 

Jill Peters, 503-551-2900; jill.peters@oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University announces plans for arts and education complex

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Building on a decade of investment in the arts, Oregon State University leaders announced plans today for a new arts and education complex on the Corvallis campus. The initiative will expand and enhance the existing LaSells Stewart Center, bringing together music, theater, digital communications programs and the visual arts to form a center of creativity infused with science and technology.

The lead gift of $25 million comes from an anonymous donor and launches an effort to raise an additional $5 million in gifts for the project. With $30 million in private support, the university will seek future approvals for $30 million in state bonds, providing a total of $60 million for the arts and education complex. 

“This is a watershed investment in our university,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “The arts drive the culture of creativity, innovation and diversity that is essential to a thriving research environment. I believe with all my heart that a relationship with the arts is integral to the human experience. In addition to enhancing our strengths in the sciences, this initiative will enrich the education and life preparation of all our students. We owe a boundless debt of gratitude to this generous donor.”

Expected to open in 2022, the OSU arts and education complex will feature performance spaces including a new concert hall and a revitalized auditorium as well as a smaller black box theater that can be configured in multiple ways for performing and teaching. The facility also will contain classrooms designed for a media-rich environment; practice rooms and spaces for choir, symphony and band rehearsal; shop space equipped for work with sound, lights, animation and video; faculty offices and seminar rooms. 

“The arts and education complex is the next major step for OSU’s development as one of America’s great land grant universities,” said Larry Rodgers, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “At OSU we are especially interested in how art intersects with science, humanities and technology. This facility will build on these connections, transforming the way our students and our community learn, perform, innovate and communicate.”

“I am certain this new complex will join other iconic facilities that stand as testaments to the lasting impact of philanthropy on our campus – Valley Library, Austin Hall, Reser Stadium,” said Mike Goodwin, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation. 

Goodwin noted that a turning point took place in early 2013 when a donor made a $5 million challenge gift to advance OSU’s performing arts programs. By the end of the year, 26 individuals, families and organizations had made gifts of at least $25,000 each. These philanthropic commitments and others resulted in more than $8 million to support scholarships, faculty, facilities, equipment and other programs in OSU’s School of Arts & Communication. This momentum in support of OSU arts programs continues to grow. In fact, over the last two years, donors have nearly doubled the amount of scholarships available for vocal music students.

Opened in 1981, the current LaSells Stewart Center has over 1,660 event bookings annually, attracting more than 150,000 attendees for academic and research conferences and cultural offerings. The Stewart Center’s 1,200-seat Austin Auditorium is often sold out for campus and community musical performances and presentations.

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Larry Rodgers, 541-737-4581, Larry.Rodgers@oregonstate.edu; Molly Brown, 541-737-3602, molly.brown@osufoundation.org

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Student Maria Rivera

Play

Soloists Logan Stewart, Megan Sand, Nicholas Larson and Kevin Helppie

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Art Professor Yuji Hiratsuka and students

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Second round of OSU meningococcal mass vaccination clinics set for April 17-18

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The second mass vaccination clinic for type B meningococcal disease – to provide a second dose for most attendees and the first dose for some people – will be held April 17-18 at Oregon State University.

More than 1,800 students received their first dose at the mass clinics held on March 8-9, following three confirmed cases of meningococcal B disease afflicting OSU students in Corvallis. University officials are hoping all of those students who have been vaccinated will return for follow-up doses. Some will receive the necessary second dose of the two-part Bexsero vaccine, and others the next dose of the three-part Trumenba vaccine.

One dose of either vaccine is not enough to protect fully against the disease, and students should continue with the brand they started.

In addition, health experts emphasize that it is not too late to begin the vaccine series. Students can receive a first dose at this clinic and then complete the series at Student Health Services or their home provider.

The clinics will be held Monday and Tuesday, April 17-18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom on the OSU campus. Students should bring their student identification, insurance information, and any information about previous meningococcal B vaccines. Students who participated in the first OSU clinics should be in the system, but can call Student Health Services if they have any questions.

Students who participated in the first clinics will be reminded of the need for the second dose via text messages.

So far the clinics have been a success, university officials say, adding to about 650 other vaccinations that had already been administered by OSU Student Health Services since last fall, and many more by local pharmacies and private physicians.

“We’ve done well so far, but are still working to encourage vaccinations for the entire target group of 7,000 students considered at highest risk for this disease,” said Steve Clark, OSU vice president for university relations and marketing.

“We anticipate a very strong follow-up from the group of students who received their first dose at university clinics in March, and this is also a great time for other students to begin the process if they still haven’t received the initial dose.”

The mass vaccinations were necessary due to three cases of type B meningococcal disease involving OSU students since last fall. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, those at highest risk include students age 25 and younger, who live in on-campus housing or are members of – or visit – fraternal living groups associated with the university.

Students can also receive the vaccines at the Student Health Center, Clark said, or through their own medical providers.

Health officials continue to recommend that all students be aware of the symptoms of this potentially fatal infection, which can include high fever, stiff neck, rash, headaches, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Anyone who exhibits these symptoms should immediately visit Student Health Services in Plageman Hall on campus, at 108 S.W. Memorial Place, or call 541-737-9355. Student Health Services is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. After hours, students should immediately go to a nearby urgent care medical clinic or hospital emergency room.

Meningococcal disease is very serious but not highly contagious. It is transmitted through direct contact with droplets from coughing or sneezing; other discharges from the nose or throat; by sharing of eating and drinking utensils, smoking devices; or through intimate personal contact.

More information about meningococcal disease can be found at the web site of OSU Student Health Services, at http://bit.ly/2nn0ekW

The OSU vaccination clinics are a joint effort of OSU, Benton County Health Department and the Oregon Health Authority.

No student will be denied the vaccine due to insurance coverage, including students without insurance. Resources are available for students who do not have insurance, and OSU is continuing to work with health partners to ensure that cost of the vaccine is not a barrier.

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Source: 

Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

Beaver Nation assembles in Salem for ‘OSU Day at the Capitol’

SALEM, Ore. – Salem will take on a decidedly orange hue Thursday, April 20, for OSU Day at the Capitol as Beaver Nation assembles to meet with legislators on matters important to OSU and higher education in Oregon.

Those who plan to participate in the day’s activities should register by April 12.

The event will allow OSU students, alumni, faculty and staff to highlight the impact that OSU has on the economy and people of the state. OSU has more than 164,000 alumni; serves the state through campuses in Corvallis, Bend and Newport; and maintains a presence in all 36 counties through the OSU Extension Service, Agricultural Experiment Station, and Forest Research Laboratory.

OSU supporters are invited to join students, alumni, faculty, staff and state government officials for a reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Galleria of the Oregon State Capitol building. As part of the reception, Benny Beaver will be on hand to pose for photos.

Earlier in the day, displays on OSU educational programs and research projects will be set up in the Galleria starting at 8 a.m.  The OSU Meistersingers and String Quartet will offer an invocation on the House and Senate Floors, respectively.

The OSU ROTC Color Guard will post the colors in both chambers. OSU’s College of Pharmacy will offer a Health Fair with blood pressure and blood glucose screenings with Pharm.D. students. The Café at the Capitol will offer a 10 percent discount for those wearing orange and black.

For more information about OSU Day at the Capitol, visit government.oregonstate.edu/osu-day-capitol.

Source: 

Karli Olsen, 541-737-4514

Charlene Alexander named vice president and chief diversity officer at Oregon State

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray has named Charlene Alexander to serve as the chief diversity officer and a vice president for the university.

Alexander, associate provost for diversity at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, will start at OSU on June 30. She will succeed Angela Batista, who has served as OSU’s interim chief diversity officer and vice president since February 2016.

“I created this position to oversee institutional change and strategic initiatives to help advance Oregon State University as a community characterized in all we do by inclusive excellence,” Ray said. “I’m thrilled that Charlene will bring her talents and capabilities to Oregon State.”

Alexander will be responsible for guiding institutional diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice throughout the university, Ray said. She will report directly to the president.

“I am very honored to be the first permanent vice president and chief diversity officer at such an incredible institution,” Alexander said. “OSU is deeply committed to its students, faculty and staff and I look forward to building on the excellent work already underway at the university.

“I am very impressed with the faculty, staff and students whom I met during my visit to OSU. I think the university has a really great foundation to build on, and I sincerely appreciate OSU’s commitment to doing this right, to ensuring that diversity, inclusion and social justice are at the heart of the university.”

Alexander has served for nearly four years as Ball State’s associate provost for diversity and director of the university’s Office of Institutional Diversity. In her 20th year at Ball State, she is also the interim associate vice president for community engagement.

Under Alexander’s leadership, Ball State established its first Diversity Advisory Committee which in turn developed the university’s first Diversity Strategic Plan.

Before becoming associate provost, Alexander directed the School Counseling Program in the Department of Counseling Psychology, where she has been on the faculty since 1997. Her history of leading diversity and inclusion initiatives dates to 1990, when she was a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Alexander earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling and guidance from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She received a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Alexander said her “conversations with President Ray really were what sold me on this opportunity; his vision and goal of increasing diversity confirmed my understanding of the university’s commitment.”

“He is absolutely someone I want to work for – so self-reflecting and so understanding of this important mission. And I enjoyed my meetings with so many wonderful people throughout my visit to campus.”

Alexander sees Oregon State as a “destination” university.

“I feel that about the campus and about the community, and I look forward to working with the many groups on campus as partners,” she said. “I appreciate that there are seven cultural centers, six of them free standing, architecturally unique symbols and wonderful examples of commitment to culture.”

Alexander’s long-term vision for Oregon State is that, “Any visitor to the university can ask anyone on campus if diversity and inclusion and social justice really are important at Oregon State, and no matter who they speak to, they’ll receive a look of astonishment and the answer will be, ‘Yes, of course they’re important.’

“The folks that I’ve met are all eager to get started,” she said. “In my opinion, all the right ingredients are in place to move forward with our diversity efforts, and I’m ready to be part of that culture and to take on this new responsibility.”

Alexander grew up in Trinidad, West Indies, and completed her advance level studies at Rye St Antony in Oxford, England. She enjoys dancing and the outdoors.

“Don’t be surprised to see me joining in wherever dancing is occurring,” Alexander said.

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

Source: 

Charlene Alexander, 765-285-5316

calexander@bsu.edu

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Charlene Alexander
Charlene Alexander

Mass vaccination clinics a success, work continues with OSU meningococcal program

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Clinics at Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus on March 8-9 vaccinated more than 1,800 students against type B meningococcal disease.

Officials say the clinics were a success, adding to about 650 vaccinations that had already been administered by OSU Student Health Services since last fall, and many more by local pharmacies and private physicians.

Work will continue to encourage vaccinations for the entire target group of 7,000 students considered at highest risk for this disease.

The mass vaccinations were necessary due to three cases of type B meningococcal disease involving OSU students within the past four months. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, those at highest risk include students age 25 and younger, who live in on-campus housing or are members of – or visit – fraternal living groups associated with the university.

“This was an excellent start in our efforts to vaccinate at-risk students and protect community health,” said Steve Clark, OSU vice president for university relations and marketing. “We’re going to continue our communication and outreach to students who have not yet been vaccinated and make sure they, and their families understand the importance of this two-part vaccine regimen, and that there’s still time to be vaccinated.”

Students can still receive the vaccines at the Student Health Center, Clark said, or through their medical providers.

For those not yet vaccinated, officials suggest that the university’s upcoming spring break could provide an opportunity to visit personal medical providers for students who may be traveling home. This may facilitate insurance coverage if the insurer requests that they get their vaccine in-network.

Health officials have recommended that all students be aware of the symptoms of this potentially fatal infection, which can include high fever, stiff neck, rash, headaches, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Anyone who exhibits these symptoms should immediately visit Student Health Services in Plageman Hall on campus, at 108 S.W. Memorial Place, or call 541-737-9355. Student Health Services is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For after-hour resources, immediately go to a nearby urgent care medical clinic or hospital emergency room.

While meningococcal disease is not highly contagious, it is transmitted through direct contact with droplets from coughing or sneezing; other discharges from the nose or throat; by sharing of eating and drinking utensils, smoking devices; or through intimate personal contact.

More detailed information about meningococcal disease can be found at the web site of OSU Student Health Services, at http://bit.ly/2nn0ekW

At the vaccination clinics, all students who received the vaccination were given wallet cards with vaccination details, such as the brand and potential side effects; and advised about follow-up steps that included clinics in mid- to late-April for the second dose required to ensure full effectiveness.

These clinics are a joint effort of OSU, the Benton County Health Department and the Oregon Health Authority.

“Every person who chooses to get vaccinated decreases not only their own vulnerability to this disease, but also helps to protect all of Beaver Nation,” said Charlie Fautin, deputy director of the Benton County Health Department. “If you have had one shot, don’t forget to complete your series in April. If you missed these clinics, go to Student Health Services or your provider and get started now.”

Insurance coverage complexities caused some delays for students at the clinics, but officials said no one was denied the vaccine due to insurance coverage, including students without insurance. OSU will continue to work with students and health partners to ensure that cost of the vaccine is not a barrier.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

OSU’s College of Liberal Arts to offer four-year graduation guarantee to incoming students

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts will guarantee that students can earn a bachelor’s degree in four years beginning with the freshman class entering college in fall 2017.

The College of Liberal Arts is the first college at OSU to offer a four-year degree completion guarantee. Under the program, if a student meets their obligations but still cannot get through all of their needed courses in four years, the college will pick up the cost of OSU tuition for the remaining required classes. 

The goal is to encourage more students to complete their undergraduate degrees and to do so in a timely fashion, which also helps reduce overall college costs for students.

“The guarantee we are offering CLA students exemplifies our dedication to their success,” said Larry Rodgers, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We are offering students who sign up for the degree all the support they need to graduate in four years. We are happy to be the model for the rest of the university and our hope is that eventually a program like this will be available at other colleges at OSU.”

The College of Liberal Arts is the second largest college at OSU, with 17 undergraduate degree options, 3,917 undergraduates enrolled in fall 2016 and 972 undergraduate degrees awarded in 2016. However, of those students who entered college in 2011, only about 43 percent graduated in four years.

College leaders hope the new degree guarantee will boost that rate significantly. The changes also should lead to higher six-year graduation rates and help the university reach the goals of the Student Success Initiative, which includes a goal of 70 percent of students graduating within six years by the year 2020. 

To participate in the four-year graduation guarantee program, new students must:

  • Declare a major in the College of Liberal Arts by the end of the first quarter of freshman year
  • Meet with a designated adviser at least twice a year and follow their progress recommendations
  • Each year, earn at least 45 credits that fulfill degree and college requirements
  • Stay on track with financial obligations such as tuition

Embedded in the degree guarantee program is a shift in philosophy toward first-year students. 

In the past, academic advisors were encouraging first-year students to start with 12 to 14 credits in their first term of college. But now advisors will encourage students to take 15 credits per term starting with the first term, said Louie Bottaro, director of student services for the College of Liberal Arts.

“We have research that tells us that students who take 15 hours from day one are more likely to succeed than those who take fewer classes and plan to ramp up to 15 later,” Bottaro said. 

Advisors will meet more often with students – currently they meet at least six times with students but that will jump to eight to 10 times or more during the student’s college career. The goal of those meetings will be to ensure that students have the information they need to stay on track, are getting the appropriate classes and receive regular updates about their progress toward their degree, Bottaro said.

Regular monitoring also will help better predict which courses students might need access to in order to graduate on time, so that enough seats are available or sections can be added to address student needs, Bottaro said. 

Students who fail a class, accidentally take the wrong course or decide to change majors may need to take additional steps, such as taking a summer class. For some majors, such as music and graphic design, students must begin their major course work in their first term on campus in order to complete a degree on time.

If students do fall off course, they may not be eligible for the four-year degree guarantee, but advisors will continue to work with them to help them achieve their goals as expediently as possible, Bottaro said. 

“Ultimately, our goal is to help students reach their academic goals and complete their degrees,” he said. “This new degree guarantee is one way to assist with that process, but we are committed to meeting students wherever they are in their academic plan.”

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Louie Bottaro, 541-737-0561, Louie.bottaro@oregonstate.edu

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