What’s it really like to be a student in AgSci?
By Lauren Sankovitch
“The best thing about BioResource Research is the ability to tailor my degree to my interests. I believe when I graduate…I will have the skills to move forward wherever the future takes me.”
Taught to value education from an early age, Anton Alvarez always knew college was for him, and with the flexibility BioResource Research offers, he is confident a career in research is ahead. Through his experiences with STEM Leaders, Anton was motivated to become a peer mentor, where he has been able to ease other students’ transitions to Oregon State and find real value in their research. In addition to his passion for helping others, Anton loves the energy of live performance and is a proud member of the OSU Marching Band.
“Research alone encourages individuals to be proactive, more creative, think critically, work on communication, and enhance collaborative skills — it helps individuals gain and develop skills that are considered valuable in life.”
For Juriana Barboza, the eldest of eight siblings and the first to attend college, family is a huge part of her life and a guiding influence on her efforts in and out of school. In this spirit, Juriana’s BioResource Research studies provide connections to society, exposing her to real-world issues and approaches that allow a deeper understanding to emerge. Her research into various risk factors associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are part of an effort to develop potential new therapies. Additionally, Juriana connects with other minority students to retain minorities in higher education and STEM via groups such as the Multicultural Scholars Program, STEM Leaders, LSAMP(Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) and SACNAS(Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science).
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Entomology (PhD candidate)
“I love the challenge of tackling ecological issues which directly impact society and translating my work so that it can be understood by people from any walk of life.”
Equal parts drawn to “all things creepy-crawly” and serving her community, PhD student Emily Carlson is passionate about the positive impact insect conservation can have on industry and the public alike. She chose entomology for her graduate work to seek solutions to the destabilization of insect populations and find balance between natural and cultivated systems. After graduating, Emily hopes to translate her skills into meaningful change for land managers and stakeholders alike.
“Through connections and mentors I have in the College of Agricultural Sciences, I was able to find outside work experiences…all of [which] helped me stay focused and engaged while keeping my goals in mind as I pushed through
A devoted animal advocate, Champayne Master has channeled her passion into Animal Sciences to gain a better understanding of animals at large, seeking to improve their circumstances, from dogs needing adoption to the conservation of endangered marine life. Serving as a research assistant at the Human Animal Interaction Lab for her entire collegiate experience, Champayne also pursued shorter stints at the Heartland Humane Society and the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, cultivating a wide range of hands-on experiences. Additionally, as a member of LSAMP and STEM Leaders, Champayne found a ready source of mentorship and support from other minority students and leaders in the sciences as she completed her degree.
Fisheries Science (PhD candidate)
“Taking the time to find a mentor who believes in you and your work, and has your best interests foremost, is something that a potential student should always keep in mind.”
Hailing from a tight-knit community in northern Belize, Eric has used his background and professional experiences to put a human face on small-scale fisheries in the Caribbean. Through his doctoral research he utilizes economics and social psychology to understand how decisions are made in the lives of fishers. With small-scale fisheries making a significant contribution to global production, minor changes, such as a warming climate, can have major impacts on local economies. Eric is also vocal in the fight against systemic racism and discrimination in academia and has been featured in Nature speaking to the uphill battle many minority students, faculty, and staff face on a regular basis.