2010-2011 Ambassadors

Allison Estergard

Senior, Albany, Oregon
Fisheries & Wildlife

I developed a strong appreciation for the outdoors and nature while helping my dad on our cattle and sheep ranch.  My plan was to pursue a more traditional agricultural degree and continue the family business.  As I started taking courses, I became drawn towards biological sciences.  My searches for a degree combining biology with my background led me to Oregon State University’s Fisheries and Wildlife Department.    The program is one of the nation’s best, and I was lucky to find it so close to my home town of Albany.  Throughout my time here at OSU, the opportunities and resources available have never ceased to amaze me.  Hands on learning in the classroom and internships with various agencies have helped prepare me for my future.  As an Ambassador, I can share my experiences with perspective students and let them know all the College of Agricultural Sciences has to offer. 



Thomas Griffin

Junior, Culver, Oregon
Environmental Economics, Policy, and Management

As a small town high school student, I was determined to attend college outside of Oregon in search of new faces and experiences. After deferring enrollment for 2 terms to serve as an Oregon FFA State Officer, I learned many things about myself, one of which being that my heart was still in this beautiful state. So instead of flying for four hours to make a new collegiate home, I drove for three hours to the delightfully antiquated town where my parents also attended college: Corvallis. Until I had been on campus for the first term, I had not realized what a treasure I had been overlooking; Oregon State University has nationally top rated Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, and Natural Resources programs. I was ecstatic when I found a hybrid major that combines all of the above mentioned fields: Environmental Economics, Policy, and Management. Being a strong believer that school should not get in the way of my education, I began seeking out extracurricular organizations in these fields that would help me grow as an individual to better suit the leadership and professional requirements of prospective careers. I am now a proud officer of several organizations including Alpha Gamma Rho, Collegiate FFA, Inter-Fraternity Council, and Agricultural Executive Council. After increasing involvement in organizations like these, I learned that this 20,000+ student educational institution is much smaller than it initially seems, and I have subsequently realized that I wouldn’t want it any other way.  After college I hope to either attend law school or graduate school with the aim of positively influencing responsible and sustainable agricultural economic policy. I am passionate about the future of agriculture, youth development, and college football. As an ambassador, I look forward to helping prospective students find the right fit for them, as well as aiding Oregon State University in maintaining its reputation as one of the premier land grant universities in the country.



Miriam Hawk

Junior, Talent, Oregon

Unlike many students who are currently studying within the College of Agricultural Sciences, I do not have a long and rich family history of involvement in the agricultural industry. To be honest, my parents never grew more than a small garden primarily consisting of tomatoes, and I do not think I touched any form of livestock outside of a petting zoo until I was about fourteen. However, it was in high school when everything changed; what began as curiosity about an organization called FFA, turned into something much more. It was through my in-depth involvement in the agriculturally based leadership organization known as FFA that I became so passionate about agriculture and realized that that was the industry I wanted to have a future career in.

Because Oregon State University happened to have an outstanding Agricultural Sciences program and was far more affordable then going to school out of state, it was not difficult for me to decide that OSU was the school for me. I am now a junior here at Oregon State University, majoring in viticulture and enology (the study of growing grapes and wine making), and I am just as passionate about agriculture as ever before. I love Oregon State University and am proud to have been chosen as a representative for the college I am a part of. Being selected as an Ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences, Forestry and Natural Resources is an honor, and I am very excited to work with my fellow teammates to promote our college in the upcoming year.



Jessica Hopper

Senior, Lakeview, Oregon
Rangeland Ecology & Management

My early childhood is filled with many memories and some of them, my most cherished memories, are what lead me to Oregon State University and the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management. I grew up away from the family ranch, but still involved enough during holidays so that my love of the land and working with the land had never left me. My love of the land continued to grow with outdoor recreation and involvement in 4-H. It was in my second year at Central Oregon Community College that I realized I was truly happy being a good steward to the land. My inspiration comes from two men, my grandfather and my dad; they stood on two different sides of a coin; the rancher and the range management specialist. Watching my dad and grandfather work together has motivated me to pursue a career in range management. After looking into programs in rangeland management I found my fit with Oregon State University. The campus and the faculty were very welcoming and helpful. Classes with hands on experience along with extracurricular opportunities provided by the clubs have allowed me to have wonderful experiences and meet some amazing people. The Ambassador program is a unique opportunity that is allowing me to gain valuable experience and give back to so many individuals who have helped me and the university. When I graduate with my degree this coming June, I will be able to pursue my professional dreams because of the influence and experiences I have gained at Oregon State University, the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management, and the Ambassador program. I will be able to work for a government agency and develop good working relationships with private landowners to facilitate working stewardships that will benefit our heritage and our national lands.



Ryan Laney

Sophomore, Portland, Oregon
Animal Sciences

My first exposure to agriculture came at a very young age. I spent countless days at my grandparent’s beef cattle farm throughout my childhood. As I got older, I started working for them every summer and learned more about agriculture. During high school, my summers consisted of taking their Pinzgauer cattle to shows in the northwest and across the country. Meeting breeders from different states and regions increased my interest in beef production. Going into my senior year of high school, I knew that Oregon State University was where I wanted to go for college. I researched many degree choices and decided on Animal Sciences with a concentration in beef production. I am now a sophomore here at Oregon State and the major fits me perfectly. The curriculum is informative and interesting and will help me start my own cattle company in the future. The College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State is a welcoming community of people with similar interests. I look forward to serving my college and showing future students the benefits of an education from Oregon State University.



Taunie Lewis

Senior, Tygh Valley, Oregon
General Agriculture

I grew up in the small town of Tygh Valley, Oregon graduating from South Wasco County High School.  Agriculture has always been a major part of my life, from growing up on a farm, to participating in 4-H activities. I chose to attend Oregon State University because of its variety of agricultural programs and opportunities available.  Not only could OSU offer me a top quality education through the College of Agricultural Sciences, offer great financial support and its prime location but it would also allow me to stay involved with my small entrepreneurial business of producing beef cattle back home.  Through the College of Agricultural Sciences I have been able to pursue educational plans of majoring in General Agriculture.  This flexible major and my combined love of traveling and agriculture will provide me with the tools to promote Oregon agricultural products internationally as well as nationally.

Additionally, I have tried to become as involved as possible to get the most from my four years at OSU.  I was pleased to become President of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, President of the Agricultural Executive Council, Panhellenic Council representative and most recently an ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences, Forestry and Natural Resources. My selection as an ambassador will provide me with many leadership and communication skills that will benefit me as well as my future in the agricultural industry. As an ambassador I look forward to meeting new people and representing the university and the College of Agricultural Sciences to potential students and alumni.



Christina Lorenz

Junior, Banks, Oregon
General Agriculture

I have had a passion for agriculture for as long as I can remember. My interest began at a very young age when I started riding horses. My love for horses got me involved in the 4-H program. As a member of 4-H for nine years I held numerous officer positions in my club and competed in a variety of events from performance to public speaking. Not long after I began showing horses I decided to raise swine and show cattle.

 In 2008 I graduated from Banks High School where I was the captain of my varsity cheerleading team, captain of the varsity equestrian team and an active member of the Banks FFA chapter. I also served as the 2009 Washington County Dairy Princess and was the 2008 Washington County Fair Ambassador. My interest in Agriculture and love of beaver sports is what brought me to Oregon State University. I firmly believe that choosing this University was one of the best decisions I have ever made, the opportunities at Oregon State University are endless. Now that I am here, I plan to make the most of my four years. I am involved in the Oregon State University Collegiate FFA chapter, and I was pleased to become the new member educator of my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. I am honored to be a part of the ambassador team for the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Forestry and Natural Resources and I look forward to representing the University.



Hannah O’Leary

Junior, Paisley, Oregon
Horticulture & Fine Arts

I’m a small town Irish girl from Paisley, Oregon.  Originally, I was not sure that Oregon State University was really the place for me.  After High School graduation I took a year off to work with students developing leadership skills.  During that year the Oregon State faculty was extremely supportive and helpful.  The support and personal connections that I made on campus helped me pick Oregon State as my college of choice.  I am majoring in Fine Arts and Horticulture.  Odd mix?  Not so much. I enjoy the challenge of creating aesthetically pleasing, as well as, functional designs through plants, paints, photos and drawings.  I enjoy that I am able to pursue both of my interests in my studies here on campus, and love when we find opportunities to combine both fields.



Christopher Ottoboni

Junior, San Rafael, California
Forest Management

I knew from an early age that I wanted to work outdoors, and forestry seemed to be the best route for a rewarding career working outside. Ever since I was little, I enjoyed outdoor activities, from hunting and fishing to hiking and backpacking. I looked at several schools that offered forestry programs, but Oregon State University offered the best undergraduate forestry program in the nation, so I decided to apply and subsequently accepted. After I submitted my letter of intent, I knew this would be a new and exciting experience since I would be going to school far away from home, which is San Rafael, California. Looking back now, I realize what a great decision that was. I was able to make many new friends and continue doing all the outdoor activities that I enjoy doing. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Forest Management. I am not quite sure what career I wish to pursue when I graduate, but it will be in the field of forestry and natural resource management. Through the ambassador program, I hope to improve my communication and leadership skills as well as welcome all of the new and prospective students to all of the opportunities the College of Forestry has to offer.



Gregory Petrossian

Senior, Portland, Oregon
Bioresource Research & Microbiology

When searching for colleges in high school, the last place I wanted to end up was in the state of Oregon. I was dead set on a handful of colleges in California for the typical reasons: sunny weather, new people, and bigger cities. If it was not for my Dad making me apply to at least one Oregon College, Oregon State University, I probably would not be in this position. While sorting through financial options my California dreaming was slowly diminishing to the fact that OSU is a fraction of the cost compared to private colleges. Reluctantly I showed up to campus on the first day of school and took a deep breath of Corvallis air. After the first week I fell in love with the campus and my classes.

 I realized that OSU is the college experience I was looking for, a safe place with an interesting student body and traditional instructors. Not knowing my exact professional focus, I set out to meet with multiple advisors to find enticing degree options. I was surprised to be welcomed by the College of Agricultural Sciences, and introduced to the research major Bioresource Research (BRR). Since the moment I met my wonderful counselor half way through my freshman year I have been on the high road working toward degrees in BRR, Microbiology, and International Studies. Being a prospective pre-medicine student has opened my eyes to the enriching opportunities OSU has to offer a student with ambitious goals.



Dominique Sabedra

Junior, Eureka, California
Bioresource Research

I chose Oregon State University because of its unique major of Bioresource Research (BRR). BRR is a biological, interdisciplinary major that gives undergraduates the opportunity to work with faculty mentors on their own research projects. My ultimate goal is to become a veterinarian and open my own clinic. Coming into OSU, I had my heart set on working with small animals but Oregon State’s college of agricultural sciences has opened my eyes and made me realize that there is more to life than dogs and kitties. This past summer I had an internship working on a dairy farm as an undergraduate research assistant and it has changed my life. I have come to realize what an important role agriculture plays in our society and it has inspired me to look deeper into the care of large animals. I became an ambassador because I would like to help new students. There are so many things I wish I would have known coming in as a freshman and I do not want anybody to miss out on the awesome opportunities Oregon State has to offer!



Danny Way

Junior, McMinnville, Oregon
Renewable Materials

Growing up in McMinnvile, there was always a Beaver influence around me. Combining that with my interest in forestry, Oregon State was an easy choice for me. I am a junior in the College of Forestry and have spent my entire collegiate career at Oregon State. This year I was interested in being an Ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources for a second time and was privileged enough to be granted that opportunity. Being involved with this organization has really shown me how much my education at this institution can prepare for short and long term success.

In my free time I enjoy mountain biking, snowboarding, playing guitar, and relaxing. The McDonald-Dunn Forest and other surrounding areas provide great places to enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise at the same time.

I started out studying forest and civil engineering for the first year of school. That program had a lot to offer to me, but I realized that I was not passionate enough about the subject to continue studying it. With interest in science and engineering, I began investigating further into the other programs that the college had to offer. I decided to switch to a Renewable Materials degree with a science and engineering option along with a minor in chemistry. I chose this degree because it provides me with the skills to troubleshoot and design new ideas in the Wood Products and Renewable Materials field. 


Sheena Wheeler

Senior, Lake Oswego, Oregon
Fisheries and Wildlife Science

I should have known from elementary school, where I was a beaver, that I was destined to be a beaver in college. But, unfortunately there was a glitch in my path and I ended up becoming a duck instead. After a long and confusing year, I finally saw the light and knew that becoming an Oregon State Beaver was the path I should have taken all along. I transferred into the Animal Science department of OSU my sophomore year. I knew that the College of Agricultural Sciences was the right place for me because agriculture is such an important part of human life, but I again felt uncomfortable in the department I had chosen. I have always had a passion for wildlife and for all the intricate processes that occur all around us in nature, but I had no clue that a major such as Fisheries and Wildlife Science existed. A friend told me about the Fisheries and Wildlife Science program and I immediately ended up switching into it. I was very pleased to find out that the wildlife program in Fisheries and Wildlife Science at OSU is number one in the nation.

It has been a hard path figuring out what I want to do with my life, but in the end I found the perfect niche for myself. Through these experiences, I have found out how important it is to be involved within your college and how necessary it is to meet the faculty and staff that surround you. The Ambassadors program will allow me to share my knowledge and experiences with other current and future students