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Success Stories

Read feature profiles and first-person narratives about Oregon State students and alumni, and find stories about the world-class faculty, academic advisors, researchers, instructional designers and other folks who make OSU a welcoming and innovative community.

A person kneeling in a black vest with yellow roses behind them.

Finding yourself while finishing your degree online

3 minute read Growing up as a member of the LGBTQI+ community, Michelle Harris understood the power of organizing from an early age. She credits these early experiences with helping to shape her advocacy and as one pillar in her eventual decision to pursue a degree in women, gender and sexuality studies online with Oregon State.

Marc Mains in baseball hat and backpack standing in office of Monteverde Institute

Oregon State Everywhere: ‘Live your life with passion and don’t be afraid to connect with others’

3 minute read For his online fisheries, wildlife, and conservations sciences degree, Marc Mains traveled to Costa Rica to intern as a wildlife researcher and says “I have grown personally and professionally from this experience as I gained valuable skills and knowledge.”

Persistence pays off as an online student, even when you don’t have a bird’s-eye view

3 minute read There was a time when the idea of “seeing the big picture” was more than Ravonne Byrd could manage. She was trying to find her footing professionally, but different career paths became unappealing the further she ventured down them. “There was a lot of uncertainty, and I did a lot of crying,” she said.

Jose Torres

The power of bringing honors online

5 minute read In the winter of 2023, Jose Torres became the first Oregon State University student to complete an honors degree online. Ask him how he got here, and his story might surprise you. “Nobody in my family’s ever gone to college or university, so it wasn’t even in my mind. We’re all working class people, and so that was my thing,” he says.

Beaverton mayor and Lacey Beaty speaks into a microphone at an outdoor public event.

First female and youngest-ever mayor of Beaverton, Oregon earned her OSU degree online

4 minute read Service to others has been a major through line in Lacey Beaty’s path. These days, it’s public service: Beaty is the first woman to serve as mayor and the youngest-ever elected official in Beaverton’s history. She was elected in 2020 after acting as a city councilor for six years. Beaty also served as a U.S. Army combat medic in Iraq, having joined the military right out of high school. She later earned a political science degree online with Oregon State.

Aerial photo of Portland, Oregon, overlooking the Willamette River, bridges and buildings.

‘Dream job’ empowers Oregon State grad to make an instant impact

4 minute read Marty Marrs graduated from Oregon State after earning a B.S. in Natural Resources online through OSU Ecampus. Prior to that, she spent 18 years raising a family, which she loved, and also working in administrative jobs, which she wasn’t as passionate about. “I just knew I had so much more to offer, and so much more to give,” she said. That’s where Oregon State came in.

Jane Vinesky

Oregon State Everywhere: Finding community and support from all points on the map

3 minute read “Faculty made time to tutor me, teach me, counsel me, write recommendations and discuss professional opportunities. Although I was an Ecampus student, the Oregon State community is so strong that I felt its support from wherever I was in the world.” — Jane Vinesky, fisheries, wildlife, and conservation sciences graduate

Kaitlin Thurman, a master's in environmental sciences graduate, wearing a cap and gown

Environmental sciences online master’s program yields career rewards for graduate

3 minute read When she retraces the path that led to her current role as an environmental analyst for local government, Kaitlin Thurman points to four ways Oregon State Ecampus and its environmental sciences master’s program helped make her dream a reality.

How to network as an online student

Simple ‘tricks’ on how to network online as an Ecampus student

3 minute read Networking online is simply engaging in genuine relationships. I was authentically interested in my professors and fellow students, and it was this sincere interest and profound respect that led to wonderful experiences as an Oregon State Ecampus student. Even though it took a little courage, I did a couple of things that made a world of difference in online networking for me.

An up-close view of a monitor with computer code on it.

Oregon State Everywhere: Driven to change lives through computer science online

2 minute read “I have loved my experience online with Oregon State. … I have a bachelor’s degree and MBA already, but I wanted to pursue a postbaccalaureate degree in computer science online in hopes of making a profound impact in health care technology.” — Shane Adams, computer science student