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Maria Reading, Spanish graduate from Oregon State University Ecampus

Online Spanish studies help alum take her career to a higher degree

Maria Reading was a young child when she moved with her family from Mexico to Southern California. Spanish was her first language. But as she and her nine siblings began school, their world became immersed in English. While working with students many years later, Reading realized she still wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream to earn a college degree and reclaim her native language.

Brenda Kellar, Ecampus anthropology advisor. Brenda wears a pink floral patterned button-up shirt and has short gray hair. She is seated in front of a bookshelf across from a person to whom she is speaking.

Anthropology in action explores complex human issues

“I love finding practical ways to make students’ goals a reality.” Ecampus anthropology advisor and instructor Brenda Kellar has been a leader in the anthropology program since Oregon State first began offering the degree online, but as a three-time OSU alumna, her roots go even deeper.

A Buddhist temple, part of the focus of Oregon State's religious studies online degree program.

Religious studies online program puts Oregon State in rare company

Someone who wants to earn a religious studies degree online doesn’t have many options when it comes to programs that focus on the academic study of world religions. Thanks to Oregon State University, students not only have a new option to consider, but they can also do it while enrolled with one of the nation’s best providers of online education.

Oregon State instructor Raven Chakerian is seated in a red office chair in front of a wall with two large windows. She wears a red and white patterned sleeveless shirt, and she holds her arms loosely crossed on the table in front of her.

Behind the scenes with Raven Chakerian, Spanish and Italian instructor

Teaching immediately-applicable skills and guiding students on their multilingual journeys? Now you’re speaking Raven Chakerian’s language. Raven is an online instructor of Spanish and Italian at Oregon State University who realized her passion for languages and communication early on. Even outside of her formal education in Spanish, she pursued language learning through travel, community development, and social interactions. When she joined Oregon State Ecampus five years ago, teaching online was like learning a new language – conquering its challenges and new possibilities, she’s working toward fluency. 

Ecampus anthropology alumna Rachel Hensley poses on a balcony with her two children and a black dog that she holds on a leash.

Moving up – and lifting up others along the way

After she dropped out of high school to meet the demands of parenthood, Rachel Hensley’s passions for community and cultural engagement led her to rediscover her educational path through Oregon State University Ecampus’ anthropology program. After an Oregon State faculty-led study abroad trip to Guatemala, Rachel’s set her sights on pursuing a law degree that will allow her to work toward international human rights.

Creating a culture of inclusion

During summer at OSU, the demand for student support doesn’t take a break. Neither do those addressing it. Student and professional staff members at OSU’s cultural resource centers work year-round to provide inclusive spaces where people can form connections and find holistic support.

Katherine Hubler looks ahead and smiles widely.

Behind the scenes with Katherine Hubler, history instructor, OSU Ecampus coordinator

“I enjoy working with a diverse array of students from different age groups, geographic locations and cultural backgrounds in my online classes,” says OSU Ecampus History Instructor Katherine Hubler. “The fact that the student population is typically quite varied allows for interesting class assignments.”

Ecampus Spanish Senior Instructor Loren Chavarría-Bechtel, sits at her neat but homey desk. She looks over her shoulder and smiles.

Behind the scenes with Loren Chavarría-Bechtel, Spanish senior instructor II

“My personal experience as an immigrant in this country highlighted the importance the Spanish language plays in my cultural identity. I wanted to share the joy of being bilingual or multilingual with my new community in the United States,” says Ecampus Spanish Senior Instructor Loren Chavarría-Bechtel.