2015-2016 Ambassadors

Andrew Miles - Fort Rock, Oregon

Senior: Agriculture Business Management, minor in Agricultural Science

Growing up on an alfalfa farm instilled a burning passion for agriculture in me from a young age. When I was ten years old I started helping out on the farm by running equipment and working with our livestock. These early experiences in agriculture lead me to being involved with the FFA in high school. If I had to pick one thing that has influenced my life the most, that would be the FFA.  I became extremely involved and loved the life long skills I learned while a part of the organization.

The combination of working on a farm and being involved with the FFA made it clear I wanted a career in agriculture. Between farming and high school agriculture classes, I learned a lot about the production side of agriculture. The area I felt weakest in was the business aspect of agriculture. I chose to pursue a degree in Agriculture Business Management so I would be well rounded in my knowledge of the agriculture industry.

I chose to attend Oregon State University for several reasons. The first reason was the great agricultural reputation it has. Another reason I chose OSU was because many of my family members including my brother have gone here and really enjoyed their experience. Overall the pull of a top ten-ranked agricultural college, combined with the family history made my decision to attend OSU an easy one.

 At OSU I have been involved in several clubs and I am always looking for new ways to network and enhance my personal development. As an ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources I am excited for all the opportunities to meet people and grow as an individual and leader.

Ashley Wendt - Maui, Hawai'i 

Senior: Animal Science, minor in Psychology

As an ‘Island Girl’ from the slopes of Haleakala, I have always had a particular interest in animals. Their inability to communicate linguistically with humans and the complexity of understanding their behavior has always intrigued me. I wanted to become a veterinarian, and I was in search of a college that could offer me the best education towards my goal. Oregon State University was number one on my list.

I transferred into Oregon State University’s Agricultural Sciences program, specifically animal sciences, in the fall of my junior year and was immediately exposed to a plethora of agricultural and baccalaureate core classes that influenced my decision to change my career path. As I searched for a more suitable career option for my interests, I reflected on my volunteer experience spent on Ulupalakua ranch and at Haku Baldwin Center where I delved into animal production and animal assisted therapy. My time at Ulupalakua ranch was spent learning management techniques such as tagging, castrating, vaccinating, and pregnancy checking of cattle, sheep, goats, and even elk. At Haku Baldwin Center, I handled bunnies, chickens, dogs, horses, and guinea pigs in an animal assisted therapeutic setting for nursing homes, adult day cares, and children with disabilities. I decided to pursue a career in the animal management and social work field. In the near future, I aspire to return to Maui and start a sustainable farm that incorporates an animal assisted therapy program for individuals dealing with mental illnesses or addictions.

As an ambassador for Agricultural, Forestry, and Natural Resources, my goal is to encourage prospective and current students to step out of their comfort zone and follow their heart when it comes to their future aspirations. Oregon State University’s welcoming and compassionate atmosphere has made my experience memorable and I would like to share that with students so that they know that the faculty, staff, and current students will assist them on their journey through undergraduate studies and beyond.

Auna Godinez - Springfield, OR

Renewable Materials with an option in Art & Design, minors in Recreation and Resource Management, Business, & Entrepreneurship

Five years ago I would not have ever imagined that I would be where I am today. Born in Reedsport, OR and raised in Springfield, OR, I had never really planned on going to college. Although, I was born with a great curiosity for the environment around me and the far off places I had only heard of. Given the opportunity during high school to backpack El Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile pilgrimage across Northern Spain, I knew I could not pass it up!

Then the next summer I backpacked the John Muir Trail, which sent me hiking over beautiful mountain passes, down deep valleys, and across cold snow melt streams between Yosemite National Park and Mt. Whitney. After living in such beauty for only two weeks, I knew that my passion lied somewhere within the forest. The most important realization I made during these endeavors was the reality that I can do or be absolutely anything I set my mind to. With that, I decided to apply to Oregon State University to see what would happen. The shock and excitement was all over my face the moment I received my acceptance letter. That is one my moment my family and I will always remember. 

Here I am now, the first in my family attending college. Despite my multitude of interests, I have declared a major in Renewable Materials with an option in Art & Design, a minor in Spanish. Bringing access and knowledge of renewable materials to everyone around the world through art, architecture, or even interior design. My passion for learning and traveling has set me in the direction to attend graduate school and serve in the Peace Corps before starting my career. However, like most students, I have no clue what I will do once I complete my education.

The College of Forestry, and Oregon State as a whole, have given me many unbelievable opportunities that have taught me so much and have expanded my horizons. I have participated in research for two years of my undergraduate degree, completed a short internship, and spent 11 weeks this last summer studying abroad and interning in Peru. While in Peru, I researched fungi in the amazon forests that produce colorful pigments in the dead tropical wood as my main research focus. I am involved in clubs like SEEDS, FPS, SACNAS and the Organic Growers Club. Encouraging other 1st generation, minority, and low-income students to attend college is a personal goal I am very passionate about.  The community I have found within the college is something special, and I want everyone to feel welcome and to tell everyone about the greatness of the College of Agriculture Sciences and the College of Forestry. I plan to do this as an ambassador, and am honored to represent our amazing institution.

Bailey Jenks - Browns Valley, California

Junior: Agricultural Science, minor in Crop Science

I grew up in a small farming community in Northern California. The joke I tell everyone when explaining my hometown is, “Browns Valley: where there are more cows than there are people”. But, the funny part is, it’s not really a joke. I grew up raising Black Angus show cattle through FFA, as well as raising 10 puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind through 4-H. These two projects have given me an incredible understanding of responsibility, as well as being able to learn how to effectively communicate to a variety of people. I’d like to think that these experiences lead me in my decision to attend Oregon State University.

I am a junior majoring in Agricultural Science and a minor in Crop Science. This summer I was working as a student intern with Monsanto in Hawaii. During this internship I was able to work on projects involving soybean breeding and community outreach/education. After I graduate, my career goals include working with a larger company like Monsanto, to educate the public about the agricultural industry. Most people do not know where their food comes from, so it is my personal goal to shed positive light on the industry while educating the consumer about common agricultural practices.

 While working with the Ambassador Program, I am looking forward to gaining experiences that allow me to represent Oregon State University and will further my career path. I am excited to learn about programs, students, and the supporters who make up Oregon State, and most importantly I am excited to work with such a great team of individuals!

Brooke Greenshields - Joseph, OR

Senior: Animal Science with an option in pre-veterinary medicine, minor in Chemistry

Being raised on a small farm in rural Eastern Oregon fueled my passion for animals at an early age. I often toddled after my father, a local veterinarian, and learned everything I could about the animals he treated and the procedures he used. My love for animals lead me to participate in horse and livestock 4-H as well as the National FFA Organization. In high school, I could be found working at my father’s veterinary clinic and going on emergency calls with him at every opportunity.

Along with a passion for animals, I have always had a strong love of the outdoors. Growing up in the beautiful Wallowa County with the mountains in my backyard, I enjoyed many backpacking and wilderness adventures. For two summers, I spent many hours in the woods fighting fire for the Forest Service and working to help maintain forest ecosystem health. My combined love for animals and the outdoors motivated me to pursue an education in animal science. 

A conference I attended in high school brought me to the Oregon State University campus for the first time. Although I hadn’t planned on attending OSU, I immediately decided to add it to my list of potential colleges and research all it had to offer. I ultimately couldn’t ignore my love for the community, campus, staff, facilities, excellent agricultural science program, and state of the art veterinary school. 

I’m honored to have the opportunity to be the Student Director of such an incredible group of leaders and represent such an exceptional university and academic community.  As the Student Director of the Ambassadors for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources, I am excited for the privilege to be an advocate for these disciplines I am deeply passionate about. My goal is to be a friendly face as well as a knowledgeable, encouraging advisor to prospective and incoming students.

Helene Matschek - Portland, OR

Junior: Agricultural Sciences & French, minors in Food in Culture and Social Justice

I grew up in the West Hills of Portland without much exposure to agriculture. But traveling throughout my childhood to visit my family in New Zealand fostered in me a deep love of the land and a mindfulness of how we live on it. I have always loved spending my time outdoors, rowing on the Willamette River and hiking in the Columbia Gorge. Summers camping and winters skiing in the Oregon Cascades have helped me appreciate what an incredible state I am lucky to live in. Living and attending high school in an urban setting exposed me to the furthest end of agriculture in how we distribute our food, and in how access to food and natural resources looks drastically different for different people.

I started at OSU as an Animal Science student and soon realized that general Agricultural Sciences was a better fit, as it offers a wider range of subjects. However, I still enjoy participating in animal science-oriented clubs and activities on campus. Currently I am a junior double majoring in Agricultural Sciences and French, with a minor in Food in Culture and Social Justice. In addition, all of my studies are done in conjunction with the University Honors College.

I chose to study agriculture because I’m fascinated by food systems and how we distribute our abundance of resources to our population. Oregon State offered me a wealth of opportunities in regards to academic programs, research, and student involvement, and I fell in love with the campus and its culture on my very first tour. I am also on the Student Leadership & Involvement team through the OSU Center for Civic Engagement, and I am an active member of the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority.

As an Ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources, I look forward to developing my leadership skills alongside this fantastic team, and helping prospective students discover how Oregon State can help them achieve their dreams.

Jessica Roland - Ontario, OR

Sophomore: BioResource Research

Born and raised in Eastern Oregon, I am fortunate enough to call the small town of Ontario my home.  All my life, my father has raised cattle and crops, such as wheat, corn, barley, alfalfa, and pasture.  As a little girl, some of my favorite memories took place in the pickup truck checking cows with dad or on the back of the corn planter as dad drove the tractor.  I developed a strong passion for agriculture at an early age, and when I began high school, I was quick to join the National FFA Organization.  

I was inspired to join the FFA because my older brother and cousin were once in FFA; however, I had no idea of the impact that it would have on my life. It was my involvement in the FFA that stoked my passion for and knowledge of agriculture. Throughout my FFA career, I participated in Career Development Events (CDEs), such as Public Speaking and Agricultural Sales.  Because of the FFA, I have experienced personal growth, career success, and leadership development.  The FFA has taught me that no industry would exist without agriculture, and that it needed more now and in future generations than ever before.

After graduating high school, I served as the 2013-2014 Oregon FFA State Secretary.  During my term in office, I became more educated about agriculture throughout Oregon, as well as across the United States and the world. Traveling to South Africa in January 2014 with other FFA State Officers helped to educate me about agriculture on an international level.  I concluded my year as a state officer with many memories and lessons, including learning about the lack of public interest and knowledge of agricultural production systems.  Because of this lesson, I realized that agriculture, in order to thrive, needs as much support as possible.  With agriculture remaining as one of my largest passions, I have made it one of my greatest goals to advocate for agriculture to my fullest ability.

With that, I am so blessed, honored, and privileged to be a part of the 2015-2016 Oregon State University Agricultural, Forestry, and Natural Resource Ambassador team. I look forward to this year, with all of its tasks, advocating opportunities, lessons, and memories to come. Thank you for allowing me to represent Oregon State University and the Colleges of Agricultural Science and Forestry.

Jon Avery - Brooks, OR

Senior: BioResource Research, minor in Chemistry

I grew up in Brooks, Oregon, a small farming community in the Willamette Valley. I’ve been working on a farm for as long as I can remember, and I love it. Growing up in a small town provided me with many opportunities to participate in sports and student leadership that gave me experiences that I could not have had anywhere else.  When I graduated, I decided to attend Oregon State University, even though I had little idea of what I wanted to do in college, but the alumni in my community convinced me that Oregon State University was the right place for me.

As a student at Oregon State, I have discovered my passion and set goals for the future. My plan is to graduate from OSU with a B.S. in BioResource Research with an option in Biotechnology, and a minor in chemistry. BioResource Research is a great 

program that gives me hands on experience in a laboratory which can be directly translated into a professional environment. This program offers amazing collaboration with my personal goal to peruse a career as a rural physician. I love science, and I love the practice of farming, and those who dedicated their lives to it. The College of Agricultural Sciences allows me to compile my love for the community and passion for sciences. ;I became an Ambassador to share my experiences with current and future students, and to help them discover the incredible opportunities available here at OSU. The college experience is much more than just the sum of the courses you will take, it is a time to discover your passion and develop as an individual. As an ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources, I hope to help others realize the opportunities that await them at Oregon State University, and I am excited to serve as a resource for those considering a future in Agriculture or Forestry.

Kyle Stevens - Gresham, OR

Senior: Natural Resources with an option in Ecological Restoration

Growing up in the suburbs of Portland gave me a well-rounded upbringing. Since I lived near the city, I was able to make summer OMSI trips and ride bikes on the Portland waterfront. However, in contrast to the city, I also got a more rural experience at home. My grandparents lived a few miles away where my grandpa owned a tree nursery. This provided me a place to absorb information about silviculture before I could even realize I was having fun while learning. Growing up spending as much time as possible in the outdoors influenced the development of my main hobbies which are camping, backpacking and snowboarding. I like to spend as much time as possible in Central Oregon where all of these activities are only a short drive away.

My Dad and I have tailgated with family and friends at Oregon State football games since I was very young. Walking through campus before games gave me an appreciation for the inclusive sense of community, so I naturally gravitated towards OSU when it came time to apply for college. I started as a business student, but quickly realized it wasn’t the career path for me. I decided to follow what I enjoy most and become part of one of the greatest Forestry schools in the nation. I am now a Natural Resources student with an option in Ecological Restoration and can truly say I enjoy what I study. I hope to use my education to cultivate a career with a private organization working to rehabilitate degraded landscapes and habitats in the Pacific Northwest.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to represent the College of Forestry and become more involved with the student body. I want to use my experience to let all current and potential students know that there is a place in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Forestry for anyone who is interested in a career related to the natural world. As an Ambassador, I hope to inform students about the vast number of experiences the University has to offer and continue to foster the inclusive attitude that brought me to Oregon State.

Rebecca Armstrong - Bonanza, OR

Senior: Renewable Materials with an option in Marketing & Management, minors in Business & Leadership

When I was a senior in high school, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do. I was positive I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t know where and I didn’t know what for.  Then, a recruiter from Oregon State University showed up to my small school in Bonanza and told me about the Renewable Materials program in the College of Forestry. When he told me about the small class sizes, the opportunities to travel, and the strong connection the college has with the College of Agricultural Sciences, I knew where I was meant to go.

Growing up on a 42-acre farm, I have come to realize just how vital our natural resources are. My area of study focuses on ways that we can create alternatives to meet society’s needs. ;I knew that the College of Forestry was the place for me when I began to talk to people in my classes. Now that I am a junior, those same people that I made friends with my freshman year are still the people that I am close with now. The close-knit atmosphere has made the College of Forestry at Oregon State University my second home.

Along with my degree in Renewable Materials, I am attaining minors in Business and Leadership, and I am hoping to attend law school upon my graduation. Outside of the College of Forestry curriculum, I am also involved in the International Forestry Students Association, the Collegiate FFA, and am currently serving as the president of Sigma Kappa Sorority.

I wanted to become an Ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources because the College of Forestry has done so much for me that I want to give back to it. The ambassador program offers an opportunity for me to share my story with prospective students to hopefully show them that Oregon State University can be their home too.

Teague Teece - Ashland, OR

Senior: Agricultural Sciences with an emphasis in Agriculture Education, minors in Business, Entrepreneurship, & Leadership

I was born and raised in Ashland Oregon, to my loving parents Jim and Dena. I have a little brother, Quinn, attending his first year of college at Portland Community College. I grew up on a small self-sustaining farm outside of city limits. I was an active member of 4H for 8 years; I raised pigs, rode horses and entered several different art projects. My love for animals stemmed from a passion my mom and I both share: horses. I’m at my happiest when I am with my horses. I have three horses, Cowboy, Spit and Zammy.

When I grow up I want to be a high school agriculture educator and FFA advisor. I dream to incorporate my passion for volleyball as well. I am a transfer from Linn-Benton Community College where I played volleyball for two years. My advisors at Linn-Benton helped me discover a career path that included my passion for education and agriculture. They helped me form relationships with the Department Head and advisors at Oregon State University. This connection was a life changing moment for me. I went to high school without an FFA program. Meeting with the advisors at Oregon State University exposed me to the possibility for combining education and agriculture as an FFA advisor and a high school agriculture educator.  

As a senior in the College of Agricultural Sciences, I bleed Black and Orange! I couldn’t imagine my life without the Beaver Nation’s support. I was a 2014 START Leader, the 2015 START Student Coordinator, an active member of the OSU Agriculture Education Club, Preparing and Exploring Agriculture Careers (PEAC), Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), OSU Organic Growers Club, Leadership Academy, International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS) and by the time I graduate, many more!

I hope to share my story and inspire future Beavers to share their story. I am proud to be a Beaver every day, and honored to be a part of the incredible team!

Wes Brown - Bend, OR

Senior: BioResource Research, International Studies, minors in Chemistry & Spanish  

I grew up in beautiful Bend, Oregon. I have loved school ever since I can remember, being the most enthusiastic student with the urge to learn. I knew I wanted to attend OSU on a pre-medicine track during high school. When I was choosing my major, I was unsure because there is actually a wide selection possible with a pre-medicine focus. I love science and I was very interested in research. My parents came home one night while I was in high school after a parent’s financial aid information workshop talking about something called Bio-Resource Research. They said they met an OSU student at the workshop who had so much to say about the major and how perfect it could be for somebody with my interests. I decided to look into it and was impressed at how flexible yet science intensive it was, all while having a focus on scientific research. I was eager to begin delving into the research side of my degree. I began working in a biochemistry lab my freshmen year and have researched in that lab for two summers and during the academic years with an amazing mentor.

Scientific research has complimented my experience and development at OSU in significant ways. A student does not have to have career plans of lab work or medical research for undergraduate research to benefit their education. I have found that it has developed my critical analysis, reading, writing, networking, and public speaking skills tremendously. And with OSU being the top research university in the state, what better place is there to get involved with undergraduate research?

The College of Agricultural Sciences was a great fit not only because of its well established connections with university research labs that can cater to many interests, but because of its focus on development of its students. I got to be part of the 2013-2014 Leadership Academy cohort. It was a year long intensive leadership training program that incorporated experiential learning with weekly classroom discussions and industry professional speakers. I was able to focus on traits I wanted to improve on and create a comprehensive plan to achieve my goals. Being an Ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources is yet another opportunity to develop myself with a focus on contributing to a college that has contributed a lot for me.

I am excited to serve as an ambassador and share my experience with current and prospective students and faculty. I find enthusiasm in my research and hope to share that passion with others. I am also applying for medical school this cycle and hope I can share my experiences with other potential pre-med track students. Of course there are so many things to get involved with at OSU and in Corvallis and I ultimately hope to share my excitement for the future and my life changing experiences I had while attending OSU to others.