Freshman Jeaneva Senko grew up just north of Bend where the Crooked River winds though a majestic canyon. For many Central Oregonians, being outside is a way of life. For Jeaneva, that means hiking at Smith Rock, fishing the river and raising a herd of Nubian goats.
With a love for science, people and animals, Jeaneva knew she wanted to major in biology. Having a top research university an hour from her home made her decision to attend OSU-Cascades an easy one.
During high school, Jeaneva took classes at the local community college and loved the small class sizes. “I want to attend a university where I can get to know the professors, especially in the lab,” she said.
Small class size has been a hallmark of OSU-Cascades, which opened its doors in September 2001 on the Central Oregon Community Campus, offering upper-division and graduate coursework toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
In 2012, after record enrollment growth and demonstrated financial support from the community, the university began planning for the new campus. Construction started in 2015, and the first academic building, Tykeson Hall, opens this fall. A residence hall and dining complex is underway and will open winter 2017.
The campus will serve close to 1900 students at full capacity, with plans to expand on a 46-acre former pumice mine next door to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students by 2025.
The new campus is close to downtown Bend and was built with sustainability in mind. The buildings on campus are net-zero ready, native plants were harvested and replanted, and transportation options for students include bike share, car share and free bus passes.
The campus opening is a historic moment for Central Oregon. That sentiment is not lost on a local student like Jeaneva, who was recently on campus touring labs and talking to professors. The small campus close to her home with Oregon State’s tradition of academic excellence will prepare her for medical or veterinary school – and she’s ready to take it on.