2021-2022 Ambassadors

2021-2022 Ambassadors

Kadi Atiyeh – Boring, OR

3rd year majoring in Agricultural & Food Business Management and Food Science and Technology with a minor in Chemistry

While growing up in a rural area, I had no connections to agriculture until high school when I became a member of the local FFA chapter and 4H club. These activities allowed me to dive into the ag industry in Oregon and nationally, and I quickly developed a passion and desire to be a part of it all. Through FFA, I was able to explore different areas of ag along with developing my leadership skills along the way. These experiences led me to OSU and showed that my next steps were within the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Since coming to OSU, I have sought more opportunities to connect myself further to agriculture. I quickly became involved with the Food and Fermentation Sciences club where I now serve as an officer, Sigma Alpha agricultural sorority where I serve as the Treasurer, and the College of Agricultural Sciences Leadership Academy where I was able to learn more about leadership and interpersonal skills.

I am beyond excited to be serving as a College of Agricultural Sciences Ambassador this year! I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with future students and guiding them through the start of their college journey. I am also excited to be representing the college and to help showcase all the great things the college has to offer!

Nolan Carson – Sutherlin, OR

2nd year majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy with a minor in Spanish

Growing up in Southern Oregon, I was exposed to agriculture for most of my life. My direct exposure to agriculture during my childhood was limited and it wasn’t until I started my freshman year at Sutherlin High School that I became passionate about the subject. There, I found myself involved heavily with the FFA program participating in events ranging from public speaking to soil science. It’s through this organization where I found my passion for the environment/natural resources and public policy. Luckily for me, the College of Agricultural Sciences here at Oregon State had the perfect major that essentially put those two together. Here at Oregon State, I’ve been able to get involved with the LEAP Club and International Agriculture even though I have attended school only over Zoom during my first year. I’m very excited to learn more about the college and have the opportunity to meet more students, staff, and professionals through this position. Go Beavs!

Shea Fleetwood – Gardena, CA

4th year majoring in Bioresource Research with options in Water Resources, Sustainable Ecosystems, and Bioproducts and Bioenergy with a minor in Chemistry

Growing up in an urban town near Los Angeles, I had no experience with agriculture. I never questioned where my food came from or how hard farmers work to get it to my local grocery store. What I did know was that the world we live in is a stunning place that deserves to be nurtured. The ocean, the mountains, surrounding forests… all of these wonders motivated me to learn more.

Oregon State was the perfect place to make this dream happen.

Nested within the College of Agricultural Sciences, BRR is extremely customizable and interdisciplinary. This major provides an edge for individuals seeking adventure through research with a mentor. I immediately fell in love with all of the options available to students in the major, spanning from animal reproduction to plant growth and development to toxicology.

During my time at OSU, I have engaged in Leadership Academy, where skills in team-building, emotional intelligence, networking, and navigation through change are polished. I have participated in the CAS Beginning Researchers program where, with the help of my mentor, we educated veterinarians across Oregon about the importance of honeybees in agriculture.

It is my absolute passion to help people feel included, to help get them to where they want to be. Thus, I am overjoyed to be an Ambassador, to reach people who may be unsure or nervous about becoming involved. I’ve been there. I want to show them how much fun and how rewarding a role in agriculture and research can be. There is a place for everyone here in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Come join us.

Gerard Fox – Salt Lake City, UT

4th year Ecampus student majoring in Crop and Soil Science with an option in Soil Science

I grew up in Salt Lake City where I learned early on that I enjoyed being an advocate and educator.  However, I was never exposed to environmental science in a serious way until I moved to Washington where everyone seemed to know about it!  I quickly fell in love with the natural world and became passionate about protecting the environment.  At my first college in Washington, I became the Greenhouse Manager and Garden Club president.  There I found my niche was going to be in soil.  When I transferred to OSU as a sophomore, I was able to further explore that interest through classwork and amazing conversations with professors who love it just as much as I do.  My long-term goal is to further my education at OSU and someday become a professor of soil science so that I can educate passionate people about the amazing world that lives beneath our feet.  Being able to connect with professors in a meaningful way not just in the crop and soil science department, but throughout CAS as a whole has helped me focus on what direction I want to go in academically.  As an ambassador, I look forward to helping connect people to their passions in their academic journeys while also representing the LGBTQ+ and disabled communities.  I hope to also help members of these underrepresented communities navigate academia and college life at OSU from wherever they may live!

Mason Justice – Fort Jones, CA

3rd year majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy with a minor in Agricultural Business Management

Growing up as a fourth-generation farmer/rancher in rural Northern California, my love for the agricultural industry was instilled in me at a young age.

At the age of nine, I joined our local 4-H chapter, which ultimately led me to join the local FFA chapter. With the help of my FFA advisors, I grew passionate about ag issues and policies. This appreciation led me to compete in numerous competitions and serve as a regional officer for my region.

During my senior year of high school, like other students, I began my search for potential colleges. Having family alumni who attended OSU, I knew I had to look into my future as a Beaver. Since arriving at OSU, there have been endless opportunities available to me. During my freshman year, I took part in the Oregon State Collegiate FFA Association. Later that year, I found my place in the College of Agricultural Science Leadership Academy Cohort. During my time in the cohort, I have developed my leadership knowledge and skills.

I am honored and excited to represent the College of Agricultural Sciences for the 2021-2022 year. I look forward to the opportunities to get to know all the incredible people within the college, as well as the prospective students, parents, and visitors here at Oregon State.

Maizy Kesterson – Medford, OR

4th year majoring in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences

Growing up in a rural area in Medford, exposed me to many areas of agriculture but I had never become hands-on or truly known much about the practices. However, I have always known that I have a passion for the outdoors and the animals that call the wild home. My passion for connecting human agricultural practices and the conservation of wildlife, led me to choose the Fish and Wildlife degree.

During my first year of college, I attended another university located in Montana pursuing the same degree but after my second semester, I knew that I wanted more. The decision to transfer universities led me straight to OSU.  OSU has a learning atmosphere that I knew I wanted to be a part of. Although I never thought that I would find myself in an agricultural program for my degree, the College of Agricultural Sciences has given me so many experiences that I never would have had in other programs. The Fish and Wildlife classes are always applicable to real-life skills that I can use when I enter the career field and the connections that the teaching staff create with students allows for greater opportunities for research and internships.

Here on campus, I am a member of the Wildlife Society, the College of Agricultural Sciences Leadership Academy, and I am in an undergraduate mentor program in which I work with a graduate student to study ocelots in Brazil using trail cameras.

I am so excited to represent the College of Agricultural Sciences as an ambassador this year! I can’t wait to share the love I have and experiences I have made in this college to incoming students looking for their new home!

Zoe Reeder – Rogue River, OR

4th year majoring in Agricultural Sciences with minors in Leadership and Animal Sciences

Having moved to a small rural town in Southern Oregon when I was about 7, I was exposed to agriculture quite quickly. As a young child I loved to drive by local farms with my family and see large pastures full of different crops.  This passion led me to join my local FFA chapter in eighth grade. I was a very active member in my FFA chapter all throughout high school, participating in speaking, soils, forestry, and leadership competitions and showing animals at the local fair. My love for agriculture grew during my short time in high school and I knew that once I graduated, OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences was the right place for me to go.

I am the president of the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority, an Operations Associate in the Department of Recreational Sports, a member of the Agricultural Education Club, and a past member of the CAS Leadership Cohort.

I am so excited and honored to be an ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences! I can’t wait to share my experiences, knowledge and passion about agriculture and OSU with prospective students, parents, alumni and all other beavers. Go Beavs!

Jessica Xu – Los Angeles, CA

4th year Post Baccalaureate student majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and have a somewhat non-traditional academic background, as I received my first bachelor’s degree in Film and Electronic Arts. However, after graduating I realized that path was not meant for me, and I instead began looking into getting a second degree related to my interests in natural resources and the environment. My search led me to OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, and I found that the EEP degree, particularly its applied economics aspects, really resonated with what I wanted to do in a future career.

One of the things that really drew me to CAS and OSU was the emphasis on experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students, which has persevered even during an entire year of remote learning. Although I’ve been taking mostly ECampus courses from home over the past year, I was able to participate in two different research projects remotely: one through OSU’s URSA Engage program which focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives, and the other in collaboration with the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Land Use Action Team on local parking issues. In addition, I’ve also been able to connect with fellow CAS students through the LEAP and MANRRS student organizations, which I’ve also been participating in remotely through Zoom.

I am so excited to be able to give back to the College of Agricultural Sciences by serving as a student ambassador for the 2021-2022 academic year. I’m really looking forward to meeting current and prospective students and welcoming them to a community that I feel has really welcomed me this past year.

Yan Yan – Chongqing, China

4th year majoring in Crop and Soil Science with an option in Agronomy and a minor in Horticulture

My interest in agriculture started in high school, which is after I moved to the US. I built a small hydroponic garden in my apartment with my limited agricultural knowledge. The result of my garden was not very successful, but I had lots of fun with it. Then I watched many agricultural-related videos online and was fascinated with how the agronomists used their knowledge to help farmers solve their problems. I realized I want to be someone like them and worked toward my goal of entering OSU.

OSU has provided me with many opportunities for involvement. Starting from my freshmen year, I worked as a curator assistant in the OSU herbarium. I helped the Oregon Floral Project develop a mobile app that can help people identify native plants. In my sophomore year, I became a teaching assistant in a botany class and taught students to identify native plants from the Pacific Northwest. I also had the opportunity to be a part of the Branch Experiment Station internship through the College of Agriculture Science in the past two years researching at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

I am so excited to serve as College of Agricultural Science Ambassador for 2021-2022. This college has given me so many great opportunities to improve my professional, academic, and interpersonal skills. I am excited to share my stories with fellow students.