2015-2016 Fellows

Luke Coomer 

My name is Luke Coomer and I am from Baker City, Oregon. I am studying Agricultural Sciences with an Agricultural Education Option. After graduating, I plan to earn a master’s degree in Agricultural Education and teach high school agriculture while serving as an FFA Advisor. 

Through the Leadership Academy, I hope to hone my interpersonal skills and become more aware of my leadership ability and style, while constantly striving to improve myself so that I will be an effective educator and advisor. 

So far, by favorite experience form the Leadership Academy is the ropes challenge course. Working with a team to complete physical challenges is one of the best ways to develop a group dynamic as well as get a better idea of how I personally respond to being outside of my comfort zone. 

I think that a good leader inspires people to do their best and achieve what they may think is impossible. Great leaders set the example, they push people to always do better, and live to serve. They show integrity, influencing their followers to do the same. 

Teague Teece 

My name is Teague Teece and I am from Ashland, Oregon. I am earning a major in Agricultural Sciences with minors in Business and Entrepreneurship and Leadership. My general academic focus is Agricultural Education. When I grow up, I want to be a high school agriculture educator. I want to be a student advocate and inspire those with a passion for agriculture to continue their learning.  

When I first joined Leadership Academy, I hoped to add more language to my leadership vocabulary. Now I am most excited to build my relationships with my fellows and my mentors.   

My favorite experience from the Leadership Academy thus far has been the challenge course. What a great way to test my boundaries and get uncomfortable. I really enjoy developing a lasting relationship with my mentor. There is a sense of purpose and belonging built into the program that is dedicated to the development of mentorship that I especially appreciate. 

I think that a good leader is built from experiences. A leader understands the importance of relationships and is able to capitalize on skills to inspire and motivate others to do the best they can. 

Amanda Maria Wanphen Santos 

My name is Amanda Maria Wanphen Santos and my hometown is Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. I am studying Fisheries and Wildlife here at OSU. Having grown up with strong cultural ties to the ocean and land it has made me passionate about marine conservation and I plan to continue to give back to our environment and one day my office will be the ocean as I am aspiring to become a marine biologist.  

I think that a good leader is someone who is a servant before they are a leader. A leader is someone who serves and leads other with humility and integrity. Someone who recognizes that something needs to be done and execute a plan to do so. It is not about how many followers you have but about trying to change the negativity in the world through positive influence. 

the Leadership Academy I hope to improve my communication skills, expand my network and become an effective leader by working collectively with peers and professionals whose values, methods, and styles that may be similar or different than my own. 

By far the most favorite and hardest experience I went through with the Leadership Academy so far was with the challenge course. We all have our fears and with the challenge I not only faced one fear but faced multiples ones – height, trust, and patience. An effective leader is someone who challenges their personal limitations and boundaries while displaying a winning attitude that inspires others to achieve greatness within.

Lauren LaGrande 

My name is Lauren LaGrande and I am from Maxwell, California. I am studying Agricultural Sciences and am earning minors in Communication & Leadership.  I plan to work within the area of agricultural communications one day, as it combines two of my greatest passions; working with people and advocating for the agricultural industry. I would love to work for a commodity organization and have the opportunity to educate the public about aspects of agriculture and to help share growers’ stories.   

Through the Leadership Academy, I hope to gain better connections with OSU’s faculty, more confidence in leading others, and opportunities that will challenge myself to be a better leader. I think a great leader is somebody who genuinely wants to serve others and sincerely wants to help them improve and succeed. Great leaders are open minded and positive. 

So far, my favorite experience from the Leadership Academy was when my cohort visited the OSU’s Challenge Course. We completed the ropes obstacle course where we were able to test our cohort’s teamwork skills and problem-solving abilities. It was a challenging and intimidating exercise, especially for those afraid of heights, but it was awesome watching everyone cheer their teammates on!

Gabrielle Redhead 

My name is Gabrielle Redhead and my hometown is Central Point, Oregon. I am studying Agricultural Business Management and Leadership. Professionally, I would like to work within the agricultural industry, to what capacity I do not know. I am still searching for what sparks my passion in life other than agriculture. 

Although leadership looks different for every person, I truly feel that a good leader embodies that by going beyond the project and empowers the members as people. I think that anyone can be a good leader, it is all a matter of application to a people or project. If someone is inspired by a group or a cause the shyest of people can be the most outspoken, they just have to find their passion and go with it. 

I hope to gain more network contacts and form deeper relationships with those in and around the Leadership Academy.  

So far, my favorite experience from the Leadership Academy is the conversations that we have had around the book How to win Friends and Influence People have been the most fun for me. I am very much a people person, to gain insight from others about how they view the ideas the Dale Carnegie presents gives me a different view on my previously one-sided opinion. I also appreciate that the students in the academy are honest enough to share their real thoughts on what we discuss and have an open conversation where no one is criticized but everyone is listened to.

Emma Miller 

My name is Emma Miller and I am from Independence, Oregon. I am studying Agricultural Sciences and Leadership. My career goal is to be a high school agricultural sciences teacher and an FFA Advisor.  

I believe that a good leader has recognized their own strengths and weaknesses in personal leadership and works to improve weaknesses and emphasize strengths. A good leader will use these strengths and weaknesses in a team or organization to handle conflict, implement strategic processes, and make members feel important. 

Through the Leadership Academy, I hope to develop the soft skills needed for building relationships within a team or organization. My ultimate goal is to improve my team and organizational leadership, which covers interpersonal communication, strategic planning, and conflict management. This experience will help me in my future career as an agriculture teacher, where I will be working with a number of students, parents, and colleagues throughout my career. 

My favorite Leadership Academy experience so far would have to be the "Leader Game", where two individuals from two "companies" had to recruit members for their staff, and if they did not increase their membership, the President would lose their job and the V.P. would take over. The President and two members of the company with the most members would win. This activity was fun and beneficial because it was all about motivating people to do what you want; in this case, it was "join the company".  

Heather Brown 

My name is Heather Brown, from Sutherlin, Oregon. I am studying Agricultural Sciences and Animal Science as a minor. My career goal is to be an Agriculture Teacher/FFA Adviser.  

I believe a good leader is one who wants to challenge others to be their best selves.  A leader inspires and creates an atmosphere where others can feel comfortable and confident, while still trying to push them outside of their comfort zones.  In the words of Tom Peters: “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”  I believe that statement is true. 

Through the Leadership Academy, I hope to become more confident in my leadership abilities, as well as confidence in making a good first impression.  I hope to develop myself professionally and gain new knowledge and insights, so I can better teach leadership as an Agriculture Educator in a few years.  I also hope to gain friendships with my fellow cohort members, as well as community involvement. 

My favorite experience so far in the Leadership Academy would have to be the ropes Challenge Course.  At first, I did not even want to climb up on the ropes, much less go across them.  But as I gained encouragement from my peers, I was able to cross some of the obstacles and conquer some of my fears.  And it was a lot of fun! 

Danica Berry

I am Danica Berry, from Lake Oswego, Oregon. I am primarily studying Food Science & Technology with minors in Chemistry and Business. My professional goal is to pursue a career either in food product & development or sensory, with a focus on marketing. 

I think that a leader is someone who is driven towards a goal and has the ability to inspire others to have that same passion.  They lead by example.  

So far, my favorite experience from the Leadership Academy was the "President and Vice President Game". It gave us the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with each of the cohort members and truly get to know them. I want to come away from Leadership Academy more confident in both my team working and problem-solving skills.

Jessica Roland 

My name is Jessica Roland and I am from Ontario, Oregon. I am studying BioResource Research, Chemistry, Toxicology, and Oncology. My career goal is to become an oncologist or cancer researcher.  

I think that traits that make a good leader include compassion, integrity, good work ethic, desire to give and gain happiness, and desire to pursue and strengthen friendships... along with Passion, coach-ability. 

From the Leadership Academy, I hope to gain a stronger understanding of the different types of leadership, and why all are important.  For instance, I believe that everyone is a leader, but I know that not everyone sees themselves as a leader.  Additionally, not everyone is outgoing and charismatic, such as many people may view the typical leader.  Therefore, I want to understand what makes everyone a leader, and how everyone can be comfortable leading by simply being themselves.   

My favorite experience from the Leadership Academy so far are the seminars; I really enjoy getting to talk to everyone and listening to everyone's opinions on different subjects.  Everyone is uniquely beautiful, and it is a privilege getting to hear the different perspectives on different subjects.

Taylin Sparks 

My name is Taylin Sparks, and I am from Keizer, Oregon. I am majoring in Animal Sciences.  

I aspire to work with exotic animals, whether it be in a zoo type setting or in the wild. I am looking into rehabilitation, training, or conservation. I also am not sure which type of animal I would like to work with yet, I am open to all options.  

I believe a good leader is someone who is able to lead by example and inspire. Great leaders are well-known for their achievements, friendships, and their ability to be in charge. Good leaders are highly respected by their peers. Being humble and open-minded are also two very strong characters that are associated with leaders.  

From the Leadership Academy, I'm hoping to learn how to achieve my career goals. I hope the skills I learn in seminar and from the guest speakers motivate me to go out into the world and apply my skills. I hope to improve my skills in time management, stress management, and personal relationship enrichment.  

My favorite Leadership Academy experience was when my cohort went out to the OSU Ropes Challenge Course on campus. Not only was it a blast, it was a great stress relief from school, and it was nice to get closer to my cohort. It was awesome to see some people stepping out of their comfort zone on the course and the support from their peers. It was a great metaphor for life; teamwork and the support of your teammates and friends can help you go far.  

Elizabeth Hagerman 

My name is Elizabeth Hagerman and my hometown is West Long Branch, New Jersey. I am earning a major in Food Science and Technology with a minor in Chemistry. Dream job is to eat chocolate for a living!!! But a career in the confectionary industry doing    Research and Development or Quality Assurance 

Through being in the Leadership Academy, I hope to gain a more well-rounded leadership style compared to many leaders I have seen before me. I Think that a good leader is approachable, someone who yearns to have member involvement. Someone who has a strong sense of integrity within their organization. 

My favorite experiences in the Leadership Academy so far are our cohort time on Tuesdays where I got to know nine other people even more than I thought, or our time at the high ropes course, which was all around terrifying and yet awesome experience.

Kaitlyn Kornberg 

My name is Kaitlyn Kornberg and I am from Portland, Oregon. I am majoring in Food Science and Technology with an option in Food Science and Minors in Chemistry and Spanish. After earning my degree, I hope to earn a master’s degree from OSU and work as a product developer with either confectionary or cultured products. 

In the Leadership Academy, I hope to learn how to become a judicious leader and learn how to navigate the workplace with finesse. I also hope to expand my knowledge of different leadership strategies and philosophies. I believe a good leader is a person that listens to their colleagues, reflects often, and gives others the chance to express their own ideas. A good leader may help, and support others take on a project, develop leadership skills, and build a unique professional skill set. My favorite experience of the Leadership Academy has been meeting with my mentor and discussing different ways to apply the leadership skills we have learned in class.  

Maya Giddings 

My name is Maya Giddings and I am from Kirkland, Washington. I am studying Renewable Materials and Sustainability, with Business and Entrepreneur and Leadership minors. After I graduate, I hope to pursue a career in the wood products industry where I will gain more experience and be able to grow as a leader. After a couple years of experience, I want to go back to college and get an MBA. 

I believe that communication is a vital skill to a good leader. Also, someone with integrity and self-awareness is important. They need to be able to be flexible in different environments and listen with focus and care. 
In the Leadership Academy, I hope to further my leadership skills and improve in areas where I am not as strong in such as communication. My favorite Leadership Academy experiences so far have been getting to know and interact with others in the cohort as well as creating a relationship with my mentor. 

Akira Ishii 

My name is Akira Ishii and I am from Surabaya, Indonesia. I am studying Food Science and Technology with minors in Chemistry and Japanese. My career goal is to develop myself and others to be successful.  

I believe that the ability to influence, lead, and redirect others in a way that makes others feel the importance to pursue one goal is a key aspect of a good leader.  

Through the Leadership Academy, I hope to learn how and why leadership works in various environments, cultures, and society, and why we need leadership and why leadership works. My favorite experience in the Leadership Academy so far has been engaging with my cohort weekly with interpersonal discussion about how to be a leader, and more importantly, a dedicated individual.

Anne Marie Richards 

My name is Anne Marie Richards and I am from Portland, Oregon. I am studying Agricultural Sciences. After graduating, I plan to join my family’s Wholesale Tree Nursery in Portland (Motz and Son). 

Believing you can be a leader, listening closely, sympathy/empathy balance, and focus are all traits that make a good leader. From the Leadership Academy, I hope to gain confidence in my leadership abilities and key insights that I can take into my professional and daily life. 

So far in the Academy, I have loved learning from my peers about their past and current leadership experiences as well as constructive praise/criticism regarding leadership traits and qualities. It's such a great way to learn how to better yourself and gain confidence.

Nicholas Schillereff

My name is Nicholas Schillereff and I am from Sauvie Island, Oregon. I am studying Agricultural Sciences. After graduation, my goal is to be able to successfully manage and operate my family's farm. I hope to learn how to become a confident and more patient leader like my dad and grandpa were. I believe what makes a good leader is someone who has the ability to inspire and encourage others.  
From the Leadership Academy, I hope to be able to use the knowledge provided by my mentor and by the instructors to help guide me to my goals. I am excited to apply reading in our books to real life circumstances in my leadership and personal development.  
My favorite experience from the Leadership Academy so far, was the challenge course. I enjoyed it because it really put me in a position I'm not naturally in and helped me improve my confidence as well as make me aware of who I am under pressure.

Ryan Van Houten 

My name is Ryan Van Houten and I am from Galt, California. I am studying Agriculture Business Management and Communications. After graduating from Oregon State University, I plan to work at an agriculture equipment dealership managing products such as different types of tractors and implements such as scrapers, swathers, bailers, and much more.  
For an individual to be considered a good leader they must be someone who is invested in the cause and is able to lead by example. A good leader doesn't simply tell others what to do, a good leader will walk his or her followers through the process and help them along the way as they encounter different struggles. 

From the experiences during the Leadership Academy I hope to better understand the leadership skills one must possess if they are to succeed in the business world. The Leadership Academy allows me to listen to industry professionals and learn from their experiences while giving myself and others the opportunity to learn from our own experiences such as the high ropes course, service learning projects, attending leadership conferences, and many more. 
So far my favorite part of the Leadership Academy has been the relationships that you build with others. I have been able to form positive relationships with individuals from our cohort, our instructors, and my mentor. These relationships have shown me new career options that I wouldn't have considered in the past and strategies to better my everyday life. 

Vaishnavi Trivedi 

My name is Vaishnavi Trivedi and I am from Bhopal, India. I am studying Food Science & Technology and Innovation Management & Business Administration along with Chemistry. I plan to work in the beverage industry. I aspire to not only to work on my professional development but also on personal growth for example honing problem solving skills or better develop my negotiation abilities.

My favorite experience so far in the Leadership Academy has been the ‘Challenge Course’ for I have learnt that I cannot do everything myself, a leader needs a team to work with. I think a well-functioning team is the reflection of good leadership.

Chris Derrickson