Deciding on and declaring a major is an important part of the college experience, and does not come easy for most. In fact, 3 in 4 students change their major at some point in their college career. To help you through this process, our team will sit down with faculty and students to give you an inside look at each program offered at OSU-Cascades.
We are joined by Andrew Hawley, Professor of Tourism, Recreation, and Adventure Leadership at OSU-Cascades. He speaks about what the tourism industry looks like amidst the pandemic, and his take on what it will look like in Central OR this summer. Andrew encourages those in the industry to use this time to diversify their skillsets and find fulfillment in exploring personal passions and pursuits. We also chat about the need to shift the industry's current white-centric paradigm, and how organizations and programs can create space for marginalized populations. As Andrew brilliantly states, "(It's) time to make a change and in doing this you will find work. There is work to be done." We hope you enjoy this conversation and get some fun recommendations on where to explore in Central OR this summer!
In this episode, we hear from Dennis Lynn, senior Instructor of Human Development and Family Services and 3rd-year HDFS student, Thelma Pruett. The HDFS program at OSU-Cascades incorporates a unique blend of compassion and critical thinking, encouraging students to lead with love and open hearts that are willing to learn and listen, in balance with the best thinking they can bring to it.
Dennis shares about the program's emphasis on understanding one's self through self-reflection - what are the things that you're drawn to, what fits you, what doesn't - and using those to find how to make the greatest difference in the world. As Dennis brilliantly summarizes, "Know yourself, serve your family, then let it ripple out in amazing ways."
Thelma talks about what experiences she has had that's led her to the passion she found within human services. "What do you like to do, what makes you happy, what interests you, volunteer in different places and know your decisions will lead you to what you want to do...Finding that what you don't like to do is as important as what you like to do. So being mindful, paying attention to yourself and your own experiences, it will lead you to success." The HDFS program has ultimately helped her have a better understanding of society in general and all the challenges that we as human beings go through in life.
In this episode, we speak with Senior Instructor and Program Lead for the Energy Systems Engineering (ESE) and Engineering Science programs, Dr. Rebecca Webb, as well as senior ESE major, Alex Ackerman.
Dr. Webb shares that her hope for students in both programs is that, "...they leave with a set of very strong tools that will set them up to do whatever it is they want to do in the engineering field. So I want them to be ready to hit the ground running and do something meaningful from day one."
Alex talks about his experience in the ESE program, and how he feels the program has provided a variety of options and equipped him to learn the tools he'll need wherever he goes.
We also briefly talk about the new Engineering Science program starting this Fall at OSU-Cascades. Dr. Webb states, "It is a program that's designed to provide students with the skills they need to be an engineer...What that means is that the students would be prepared to go into any field and make a contribution...because they'd have the base-level skills they needed to take on a wide variety of tasks."
Check out this video showcasing the Energy Systems Engineering degree to learn more!
In this episode, we learn more about OSU-Cascade's Kinesiology and Doctorate of Physical Therapy programs from Clinical Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education, Dr. Lisa Flexner, and upcoming Kinesiology graduate, Montana Kaiyala.
Dr. Flexner talks about the importance of exploration and shares that she hopes students in the Kinesiology program gain, "... that curiosity, that willingness to explore and excitement to explore the human body and human movement and how that affects our communities...I hope that students see not just a career path, but a way that they can influence the world because I think that...if we understand humans well... then we can be the leaders in helping develop the communities we want to live in as well as being great kinesiologists, health care providers, physical education teachers, coaches, nurses - whatever pathway you move forward in, that understanding of the human is going to help you."
Montana speaks to her personal experience at OSU-Cascades and how the Kinesiology program has helped her career goals by, "... networking during undergrad and finding opportunities and taking opportunities when they come my way."
Dr. Flexner reminds us that every degree program can provide a student with a variety of transferrable skills, and Kinesiology is no different. "[There are] so many different pathways that you can be in. This is going to teach you skills that you can transfer to any different career you want. And that is exciting because you can study something you love, and you just have to make the case for why you're still the best person for the job because....you can say, I know humans! I know human psychology and I know human movement...and if we're going to work together, we're working with humans."
In this episode, we chat with Senior Instructor for the Masters of Arts in Teaching and Elementary Cohort Lead, Dr. Rachael Schuetz and recent MAT graduate, Tommy Brown.
Rachael shares about how she ended up falling in love with teaching through the Cadet Teaching Program, which is also how Tommy started exploring a potential career in teaching as well. When Rachael worked on developing the Elementary Education program, she focused on making as many experiences as hands-on and field-based in elementary schools. "You do spend time in a university classroom learning the theory, learning the best practices, but we then move our classes into the schools."
Tommy also talks about his decision to stay in his hometown of Bend to pursue his undergraduate degree at OSU-Cascades, followed by his decision to continue with the MAT program. A huge advantage for him throughout his education was the community partnerships, especially with the Bend-La Pine School District.
Tommy's advice for students still exploring is founded in the Howard Thurman quote: “Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” We couldn't agree more!
In this episode, we talk to Associate Professor of Natural Resources, Dr. Ron Reuter, and two senior-level NR students, Sam Bango and Laura Mcwhorter.
Ron talks about how he got started in the industry after falling in love with a soils class and the time he almost blew up a laboratory in grad school. Ultimately his path in graduate school revealed his love for Natural Resources and for teaching students. His decision to come to OSU-Cascades in 2003 follows the advice he encourages students to follow which is to, "...jump on those opportunities when they come forward...We try and second guess ourselves a lot but sometimes the opportunities come along and you take it." Ron also speaks about the differences between Natural Resources and our newer Environmental Sciences program.
Sam shares how she started out traveling after high school without the intention to go back to school but started to feel the impact of human treatment on the environment which led her to want to be a part of the change. In her advice to other students still exploring, Sam states, "I don't think you're going to find your perfect career, your perfect degree, in a classroom...I think that taking time to reflect and travel or explore whatever that means to you and just take time away figuring out who you are and what makes you tick."
Laura talks about her journey to Natural Resources through her fascination and endless curiosity with the natural world. Her time in Natural Resources has given her not only a strong foundation but has also kept her interested in showcasing the variety of different pathways and career options within the industry. Again, Laura talks about the importance of the advice she once received encouraging her to take as many opportunities to be out in the field and experience different options.
This experiential learning emphasis is what makes both Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at OSU-Cascades stand out!
In this episode, we speak with Executive Director in Residence for the Outdoor Products degree, Geoff Raynak, and two Outdoor Products students, Daniel Rogers and Will Kramer.
Geoff shares more about the development of the newer program. "When you think about a career in Outdoor Products, it runs the entire spectrum of career options. You could be on the marketing side, you could be a designer who picks the specific materials, you could be a developer who helps decide where things get made, you could be in sales, you could be an entrepreneur and need to know about every single step of that process...What I expect and hope the students will graduate with is an understanding of all of those things so that they can then find their passion within outdoor products that they are excited about and that they want to start their career with."
Daniel shares his journey from Energy Systems Engineering to now studying Outdoor Products, and Will echoes that story in sharing of exploring three different major tracks and being open to switching programs as there is no shame in changing your mind. As Geoff states, "Find a major that's maybe not exactly right, find another one that maybe is a little bit closer and then land on something that really resonates with you as a person."
In this episode, we hear from Senior Instructor and Program Lead for Art and Arts, Media and Technology, Kiel Fletcher, and senior student Kate Kolb.
Kate shares that she chose the AMT program because it has a variety of different classes you can take to help you narrow down which medium of art you enjoy most.
Kiel states that he hopes students gain, "...the ability to move into a creative field using a skill set that they may have picked up on the way. Whether or not they know what that field is while they're at Cascades is less important..."
He shares that through his undergraduate program as a media arts degree, he had a lot of skill sets but didn't know how to apply them. When designing the AMT program, it was important that he developed a curriculum that would help students build awareness of the options and ways they can apply their skill sets. "If you're able to apply creative thinking to really any job environment, you've got a leg up on a lot of your co-workers...The AMT program is designed with job skill sets in mind."
Kiel ends by sharing advice for students to, "Just [be] open to new experiences and learning moments that you may or may not recognize at the time. They'll all help you down the road." We couldn't agree more!
In this episode, we chat with Student Engagement Program Manager in the College of Business, Kim Vierra, and senior BA student Megan Bolt.
Megan changed her major a couple of times and ended up in Business because she always had a dream of starting a business and knew the degree would offer her a variety of practical skills to get there!
Kim agrees and says, "Getting a degree in Business is a great way to develop transferrable skills for a wide variety of jobs in a wide variety of industries...Our goal is that students leave poised to do what they want to do."
You'll hear why our Business Administration degree has the "secret sauce" to offer a life-altering experience for students.