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Violinist melds music, mindfulness with an Oregon State language and liberal arts degree online

A woman works on a laptop computer while sitting at an outdoor table.

In the final weeks of completing her degree requirements online from Oregon State, Rebecca Sabine Ramsey performed on stage with Lady Gaga at the Grammy Awards.

OSU Ecampus online programs empower students with diverse passions and life experiences. Here’s how one graduate shaped those assets into exciting professional paths.

By Erin J. Bernard

Rebecca Sabine Ramsey had enjoyed a colorful career playing music alongside everyone from Frank Sinatra to Celine Dion, but by 2020, this professional violinist was ready for her next act.

So she enrolled with Oregon State University Ecampus, determined to finish her bachelor’s degree online and discover new ways to incorporate her passion for mindfulness more deeply into her day job.

Students like Ramsey say that when it comes to broadening your horizons, earning a language and liberal arts degree online is second-to-none. Here’s why.

You’ll attend a highly ranked university online — with the benefits of a brick-and-mortar school

When Ramsey decided to finish her degree online, she was after more than just flexibility; she wanted a top-tier education from a respected institution.

“I wanted to go to a well-known college,” she explains. “Not just a commercial college. One with a real campus, and when I saw that OSU was rated number five on U.S. World and News Report, that sparked my interest.”

She also loved the customizability. Ramsey enrolled as a liberal studies major — one of many top-ranked language and liberal arts degrees and courses available online through Oregon State’s College of Liberal Arts — designing an interdisciplinary curriculum in music and the contemplative arts that was tailored to her future professional goals.

“As I move forward into new ways of serving my community as a meditation instructor and as a musician, I would like to have these credentials, these revered credentials, to back up my life experience,” she explains.

Ramsey received the same diploma an on-campus student would receive and was even able to come to Oregon State’s Corvallis campus to participate in the graduation ceremony.

You’ll learn from top-tier faculty, alongside a curious, diverse cohort of students

Through Oregon State Ecampus, Ramsey took classes online developed by world-class faculty lauded for research, expertise and innovation. She also met students from every walk of life, each of whom brought a unique perspective to their liberal arts studies.

“I really enjoyed the daily interaction,” says Ramsey, who played violin on stage with Lady Gaga at the 2022 Grammy Awards. “I got a chance to converse with people I would never meet any other way in my life.”

As with any great adventure, there were challenges. Ramsey was intimidated by the prospect of undergraduate math courses — a common concern among returning students — but thanks to the tools and resources available through Ecampus, including student success coaching and free online tutoring, Ramsey felt supported and empowered as she worked toward her degree.

You’ll pursue an exciting course of study that helps you take your passions further

Like many language and liberal arts students, Ramsey craved a culturally sensitive, evidence-based frame of reference to draw from in her career. Her personalized liberal studies curriculum was rooted in Eastern traditions and history, while courses in subjects like ecology, sustainability and the humanities added nuance and critical context, augmenting the emotional and spiritual sustenance she offers as a musician.

“I was able to take classes that incorporated social inequality, diversity, environmental change, so many things that I feel much more of an informed citizen now,” she says.

Today, among many other musical endeavors, Ramsey runs the Violin Sound Sanctuary, a suite of music-and-mindfulness offerings that connects people with the healing power of sound through online and in-person meditation experiences.

The lessons she learned online through Oregon State are essential touchstones for this creative undertaking, and Ramsey plans to build on them far into the future.

“I really treasure what I did create while I was at OSU,” she says.

Learn more about Oregon State’s language and liberal arts online programs

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