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Oregon State Everywhere: ‘I longed for a new chapter in my vocation’

Rekindled passion for learning takes liberal studies online student on new adventures

By Diana M. Hulet
OSU Ecampus liberal studies student
Aug. 14, 2019

In the summer of 2016, I reached a turning point in my 12 years as a full-time yoga instructor in Portland, Oregon.

I longed for a new chapter in my vocation. Was it time to write a book? Open a retreat center? Was this the “good and proper work” that my favorite poet, Mary Oliver, spoke of?

I looked back on what I had learned from the many teachers I studied with who teach yoga and yoga philosophy outside of the university classroom, and I reflected on the choice I made to leave college and explore a non-traditional education.

As yoga continues to gain popularity in the West, I began to see graduate programs in yoga studies emerge, and I wondered what it would be like to engage in the topics I’ve loved for decades with a new found academic rigor.

Diana-Hulet-headshot

“What I do know is that being an Oregon State student has rekindled my passion for learning, and I look forward to many more articles in my backpack and ideas that might leave the world a better place,” Diana says.

Late nights worth the challenge

After searching for Buddhist and Hindu scholars across colleges in Oregon, I came across Oregon State University Ecampus and a class on Gandhi and non-violence, a topic not only captivating but relevant to our times.

Since that first class, I have framed my life around completing my undergraduate degree online in liberal studies.

My theme is the intersection of religious belief systems and environmental ethics, and I am proud to say that I am a full-time student at Oregon State Ecampus.

Aside from teaching a few yoga classes per week, most of my time is spent studying at my desk with my dog at my feet. However, on some fortunate weekends, I pack up my articles and notebooks and head to the woods of the Pacific Northwest.

“My theme is the intersection of religious belief systems and environmental ethics, and I am proud to say that I am a full-time student at Oregon State Ecampus.”

I have definitely felt the challenges of being a returning student. For the first year back, I was only able to take one, maybe two, classes at a time because I worked a full-time job as a studio manager. There were many late nights and early mornings racing to meet deadlines for course assignments.

Doors opened to new achievements

Yes, there have been anxious moments, and there have also been new achievements, such as participating in a research project that involved studying ancient Tibetan Buddhist biographies. It was right up my alley.

While I began as a religious studies major, I recently shifted my major to include my deep care and concern for the ecological systems of our planet. This is why I am studying how religious beliefs affect how we engage with each other, communities and all other life on Earth.

I am open to all the possibilities that lie ahead. Will I go to graduate school for yoga studies? Will I become an environmental activist or lead carbon-neutral yoga retreats that help restore the land?

I’m not sure, yet what I do know is that being an Oregon State student has rekindled my passion for learning, and I look forward to many more articles in my backpack and ideas that might leave the world a better place.

Thank you, Ecampus!


OSU Ecampus staff would like to thank Diana for submitting her unique, inspiring story to share with others through the Oregon State Everywhere campaign.

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