2021 Graduation Celebration

Ecampus Class of 2021, the floor is yours...
Inspirational stories in your own words

Hey, you’re a new Oregon State graduate. And you’re ready to go out there into the world, with a degree in hand and the abilities to make an impact. Learn more about your fellow Class of 2021 OSU Ecampus grads and why earning a degree means so much to them.

Jeremy Boutin

B.A. in History
Hammond, Oregon

Jeremy Boutin portrait

Getting my degree from Oregon State is one more step in my journey to becoming a teacher. It has been a lot of hard work, but it has also been rewarding. Being an Ecampus student has given me the flexibility to work full time and still be a full-time student. I have been able to find the work-to-school balance that I needed to be successful at both.

My advice to anyone considering an online degree from OSU is — just go for it. It will be so rewarding, and the hard work is well worth the knowledge you will gain.

My favorite experience was taking the Russian history class. There were so many fascinating events in modern Russian history, and it was such a great class.

Cynthia Connelly

B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences
Gladstone, Oregon

Cynthia Connelly portrait

Earning my Oregon State bachelor of science degree means being the first member of my family to graduate from college. I have worked for so many years to complete my education and I can finally say, "I did it" for me and as an example for many generations to come. Life has dealt me many blows that kept me from completing my education earlier, but I was not ready to give up and I have learned many hard but good lessons while climbing back up.

What has been unique about my experiences as an OSU Ecampus student is that it enabled me to complete my education and still work full time to support my family. The Ecampus experience is like sharing your journey with others who understand what it is like to work full time, care for a family and be successful at the same time.

The advice that I would give to someone considering a degree online with OSU is to jump in and don't worry because there are so many people to support you when it feels tough. You can succeed.

My favorite Ecampus memory is the discussion boards and sharing with a group of diverse students from all over the world and from many cultural backgrounds. We were all family.

Caitlin Carew

M.Coun. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Albany, Oregon

Caitlin Carew portrait

Earning my counseling degree at Oregon State meant personal fulfillment and the chance to help my community. I've been working towards this goal for the past eight years, and it feels great to have achieved this. One unique component of my experience as an OSU Ecampus student is the ability to engage in research remotely. That was something that I didn't think was possible as this wasn't a possibility at other universities I've been at.

One piece of advice I would give someone considering a degree online with OSU is to take advantage of the Ecampus resources. They are high-quality and genuinely helpful.

Lucrecia Lobbestael

B.A. in Anthropology
Rollins, Montana

Lucrecia Lobbestael portrait

When I finally made the decision to jump back into school over five years ago, I had this plan to graduate by the time I reached 40 and immediately find a job in the anthropology field. I am now 42 and working for a printing company doing graphic design. Although this wasn’t a part of my plan, I have no regrets with the commitment I made to finishing school.

Last year, partly because of COVID-19, I retired from my previous job with the airlines, bought a van, built it into a home and began traveling full time. Now I am able to see the country, visiting archaeological sites and museums everywhere. I am so fortunate to do this, and my degree fits right in with the experiences.

For future students: You may not obtain your initial goals once you finish school, but what is your desired outcome? For me it was to gain knowledge and better understand people, culture and history. I believe there is never wasted knowledge, and now I'm considering going back to obtain my master's in anthropology. And though I may now be 50 when I finally accomplish this goal, it is never too late to keep on learning!

Robert Strasser

B.S. in Liberal Studies
San Francisco, California

Rober Strasser portrait

This degree has been 25 years in the making. I've attended several community colleges and one other online university before finally crossing the finish line here at Oregon State. I'm graduating at the age of 48, so take it from me: It's never too late to achieve your goals. I was very happy to have the writing curriculum through the College of Liberal Arts. It has prepared me for my new career as a writer.

My favorite memory as an Ecampus student was when I misinterpreted our final project in one of my courses. We were supposed to turn in a written summary of our various projects through the course, but I thought we had to create a news broadcast video, which was way more work than was required. I realized later I had nearly driven myself crazy getting the work done for a project that was never assigned! I turned it in anyway and got an A. No regrets!

Micaela Johnson

Ed.M. in College Student Services Administration
San Jose, California

Micaela Johnson portrait

In my experience with Oregon State, I have been extremely pleased and well educated in the student affairs area that I plan to pursue. The CSSA program is a valuable asset to the university in providing internships for graduate students among its own student affairs services.

Although I have never stepped on campus, I feel that I have gotten to know my professors and colleagues and feel that I have been supported throughout my courses.


Emmanuel Alexandre

B.A. in French
Vine Grove, Kentucky

Emmanuel Alexandre portrait

Earning a degree at Oregon State is considered a privilege. As a disabled veteran, OSU has a variety of supports at my disposal to help me achieve my goal, to be successful in my studies. Therefore, to be successful at OSU with online study, one must take into consideration all the tools provided. The staffs are great, especially the instructors. They are always ready to help at any given moment.

The time of COVID-19 was hard on all students, but the teachers found ways to work around it to help their students to move forward with their studies. It is a memory embedded in my mind.


Emily Vu

Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education Leadership
Garden Grove, California

Emily Vu portrait

I never would have dreamt of earning a doctoral degree at Oregon State University in a million years. My family was part of the refugee camps escaping the Vietnam War in the early 1980s. To have gone from humble beginnings to now achieving this degree means so much to me, my family and my culture. OSU Ecampus allowed me to stay in California and work while completing my classwork remotely and only flying into Oregon to meet up for class sessions twice a quarter.

Getting a degree online with OSU is the best investment because of its flexible schedule but also its reputation, rigorous program and wonderful faculty and staff. My favorite Ecampus memory is being able to meet with the faculty and my classmates so we could discuss the topics we learned in the course. Having the flexibility to meet with the class, while having the time to stay home to complete coursework is a great concept for working professionals to complete their degrees while still managing a life-and-work balance.


Jaclynn Simmons

B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy; B.S. in Sustainability
Lacey, Washington

Jaclynn Simmons portrait

Earning my degree means everything to me — better-paying jobs and encouragement for my kids to pursue their dreams. The most unique experience was the URSA (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and the Arts) Engage program that was offered to Ecampus students. Learning virtually is hard and it is even more difficult to find things like this to participate in.

Research which degree fits you best and go for it. All of the professors are here to help guide you in the best possible direction that suits your needs.


Jennifer Campbell

B.S. in History
Eastvale, California

Jennifer Campbell portrait

Earning my degree for me means a new world of opportunities to help further my career. I really fell in love with the Ecampus courses and atmosphere. For me, I work full time and I am a mother; it was the only way to complete my degree.


James Reed

B.S. in Natural Resources
Noble, Oklahoma

James Reed portrait

I started my time with Oregon State University in 2012. My decision to attend OSU was largely based on the ability to complete my degree through the use of Ecampus. Due to my love of the outdoors, I ultimately chose natural resources with a specialization in fish and wildlife conservation as my degree path.

At the time, I was an active duty chief petty officer with the U.S. Navy. I was actively flying as a naval aircrewman, and the Ecampus courses allowed for the flexibility that I needed.

At the start of my degree, I was able to utilize the GI Bill Top-Up benefits and Tuition Assistance through the Navy. With the assistance of my OSU academic advisor, I was well on my way to completing my degree by the end of 2016. However, life had a few challenges in store for me, and in 2014 I started having medical issues.

I ultimately halted my degree program in early 2015. My medical issues led to me needing brain surgery, and I completed that process in November of 2016. I was able to retire from the Navy with 20 years of service in March 2017. But I had doubts about the future of my degree aspirations. After some time recovering and learning to live within my new normal, I was able to resume Ecampus courses in 2018.

Attending OSU as a disabled veteran was fairly straightforward. I finished my degree by using vocational rehab through the VA (Veterans Affairs). The OSU Military and Veteran Resources Center assisted as needed with getting my funding for books and tuition. Another great benefit to disabled veterans is the ability of the OSU instructors to work with veterans and provide accommodations when needed.

With great support and through perseverance I completed, my degree in March of 2021. Thank you for your support! Proud to be a Beaver residing in Oklahoma.


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