2014-2015 Fellows

Andrew Miles 

My name is Andrew Miles and I am from Fort Rock, Oregon. I am a Sophomore studying Agricultural Business Management. The area I hope to expand the most through Leadership Academy is motivation. Great leaders can motivate people to do things they never thought they could or would do. I believe motivation is one of a great leader’s strongest tools. 

I think Leadership Academy will help me meet people who are my age and professionals who are already working. I think that meeting people is an important part of college, so I am looking forward to this. 

I think a good leader is someone who can motivate people to do things they never believed possible. A good leader is also someone who cares about the people they are leading and truly does what they believe is best for their followers. 

After I graduate OSU with a bachelor’s in Agriculture Business Management and a Master’s in Agricultural Education, I plan on farming. If I decide I don’t want to farm, I will either become a high school agriculture teacher or work some other career in agriculture.

Devin Stuart 

My name is Devin Stuart and I am from Eugene, Oregon. I am a Junior studying Renewable Materials and Sustainability. Through my involvement in the Leadership Academy, I hope to develop a professional self-confidence in order to stand behind my ideas and grow in a positive manner that will enable me to lead others effectively in the future. Through the Leadership Academy I also hope to enhance my interpersonal communication skills through opportunities to practice communicating with industry professionals. 

I believe the Leadership Academy will enhance my experience at Oregon State University. I feel that this program will greatly benefit my future studies and career choices. This program will allow for me to expand my volunteer experience and get involved with the local community, and I anticipate being able to apply the knowledge and experience gained through participation of this cohort to my current goals and focuses. The Leadership Academy will allow for me to foster connections with industry professionals and in the short run provide me with exciting personal growth and extracurricular activities. 

I believe that the characteristics of a good leader stem from a sound knowledge of themselves, and an inherent ability to empathize. Connecting with one’s own strengths and weaknesses is an important characteristic of a leader. One cannot begin to understand others without starting with themselves. Empathy and understanding of others are necessary for a leader in order for them to connect positively with those they are leading. Once the origins of someone’s feelings are understood and mutual respect is established, problem solving, management, and other principles are facilitated. 

My long-term career goals are not firm, as I am learning new things about the forestry industry every day. However, I do know that I aspire to work in a way that is globally conscious and have an awareness of the impacts on the environment. In a career, I am looking for opportunities to express my creativity and grow through challenges on a regular basis. Ideally, I hope to work every day to improve the current use of materials and play a role in creating a globally responsible international community. I am really interested in finding a position at a company that will allow for me to utilize my Spanish speaking ability and continue learning about other cultures and how we can work together in the forestry industry to promote a sustainable future. 

Jack Twilley 

My name is Jack Twilley and I am from Mystic, Connecticut. I am a Senior studying Food Science and Technology. Through my involvement with the Leadership Academy, I hope to develop my skills with managing relationships: specifically, communicating with clarity as well as inspiring commitment and passion while maintaining a sense of humor.  

I expect the Leadership Academy to enhance my experience at Oregon State University by providing me with opportunities outside the classroom which will help me develop my networking skills, improve my ability to work with fellow students on challenging projects, and obtain valuable feedback on my leadership style and skills as they continue to develop. 

A good leader has the capacity to appreciate the contributions and potential of their peers and demonstrates that capacity by routinely delegating responsibility with care.  Making decisions swiftly with fairness and compassion is another characteristic that I associate with good leaders. 

My long-term career goals focus on the fermented beverage known as mead:  to increase awareness and appreciation of mead, to brew distinctive mead using local materials in production volumes, and to help others learn how to brew their own mead at home.

Kaitlyn Marie Vander Pas   

My name is Kaitlyn Marie Vander Pas, K.V.P. for short. My home town is Portland, Oregon and I am studying Animal Sciences.  

While in the Leadership Academy, I really hope to grow my communication skills, written and speaking, because besides the simple fact that this is a critical skill for life and my career in general; I want to be an advocate for agriculture as well in the future. I also want to grow a stronger and deeper drive to accomplish tasks that push me out of my comfort zone. I want to be able to speak more confidently in public, basically make this task be in my comfort zone instead of not. And finally, I hope to grow into myself more as I progress through this program; like I mentioned earlier, I am still somewhat fresh out of high school and out from under my parent’s rules and guidance, so I am slowly creating my “full-adult-self” if you would. 

I really believe this will be an excellent avenue for networking with OSU staff. Through this networking could come new and exciting opportunities that have the potential to open many new doors for me that may not have been possible if I was not a part of this program. I also expect this program to push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to experience new situations and environments which could open my mind to new ideas and give me new places to pull information from enhancing my general knowledge and perspectives of the world. 

Anyone can be a leader, there are so many different kinds--each of them having their own strengths and weaknesses. But, in my opinion, a good leader is someone who is able to excite and encourage others to do what they think is the best course of action; not making someone do what they want, but instead making someone so passionate they go out on their own terms and complete the task. Anyone can be a “boss” and make people do their bidding, but a leader gives them impute and others follow if they choose to. This is the fine line between a good leader and an average leader or “boss.” 

I want to become either a large animal or poultry veterinarian, while maybe one day owning my own practice as well! But, aside from this, I also want to be an advocate for agriculture. There are too few, quiet voices for agriculture and I want to make agriculture heard! For too long has our name been dragged through the mud! Oh! And I also want to possibly have a small-time sheep flock and/or cattle herd to sell calves and lambs to 4H’ers and FFA students as projects. 

Marisa Owens 

My name is Marisa Owens and I am from Junction City, OR. I am a Senior studying Animal Sciences.  

My goal of being a part of the Leadership Academy will be to build upon the building blocks of the base leadership skills that I already have acquired through 4H, OSU Goat Club, and Sigma Alpha. I wish to learn how to speak and write so that my point of view and voice is heard for a greater impact. 

When thinking about my future I consider the other skills that I will need to use to thrive in my chosen career, including leadership, communication, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. I have been apart of numerous activities within animal sciences which has allowed me to gain valuable field experience. But I want to also gain experience using day-to-day leadership and communication. I hope to gain these skills through the Leadership Academy.  

A great leader has the ability to adapt his or her personal style of leadership to adapt to every situation and group. This includes being able to motivate people through your style of leadership. Great leaders make people want to help them, and not because they feel they have too.  

I am majoring in Animal Science with a Pre-Veterinary Option and after graduating with a B.S. in summer 2015, I plan to apply to veterinary school. I want to become a large animal veterinarian and specialize in Dairy Cattle. Being an animal science student at Oregon State University has offered me numerous opportunities for growth and development in the field of animal science. I am gaining skills and knowledge that will take me into my future career as a veterinarian.

Martin Sanchez 

My name is Martin Sanchez and my hometown is Fort Klamath, OR. Through the Leadership Academy, I wish to improve my communication within a group and with individuals. Communication is key for establishing the strong relationships that a leader maintains.  

I’m expecting the Leadership Academy to provide me with more opportunities to become involved on and off campus and the opportunity to engage with other professionals tied with Oregon State University.  

Professionally, I would like to work within the Industry I grew up in. Working in Ag has shaped who I am today and has also taught me many valuable life lessons. I would like to work closely with farmers and ranchers to help feed the world. We are all in this together. 

Nicole Schrock 

My name is Nicole Schrock and I am from Corvallis, Oregon. I am a senior studying BioResource Research. After graduation, I hope to acquire a job doing what I love that provides me the financial stability to continue to volunteer my time and give back to my community.   

While in the Leadership Academy, I hope to improve and strengthen my leadership skills and my interpersonal skills through working with groups sizes both small and large.  To be able to communicate my goals and work towards accomplishing them in a systematic, organized and timely manner.

I’m excited about the opportunities that the Leadership Academy provides and encourages its students to participate in in the form of becoming involved in campus organizations.  This should broaden my leadership skill sets and expose me to new experiences at the same time. 

A good leader is someone who can command the respect of their peers through leading by example.  It is someone who puts others before themselves and is always working to be the best that they can.

Dominique René 

My name is Dominique René and I am from Heidelberg, Germany. I am a Junior studying Natural Resources.  

My goal that I want to accomplish through my involvement in the Leadership Academy is to build confidence in myself to where I can express my ideas without feeling anxious or intimidated by others. I am a huge introvert and I would like to communicate goals and views in an efficient, productive manner without sacrificing who I am or compromising my feelings. Learning to be proficient in public speaking is very challenging and necessary goal for me to work on during the year. 

I expect the Leadership Academy to provide the tools and advice to enhance personal development to excel in communicating with others, college and career goals, and general live long skills that are needed in the world. I feel that the academy will help me explore multiple areas in self-improvement and guide me in embracing new opportunities. 

A leader in my definition is a person who has a vision to achieve a goal without relenting their values, morals, or dreams. Leaders need to be passionate in in the work they do and be able to accept and give constructive criticism while being a motivating force to drive progress and improvement. They need to be able to understand different points of view, cope with conflict and obstacles, strategize new methods of action, and communicate the needs of others and of themselves. 

My passion is to become a wildlife ecologist/photographer and work with large keystone carnivores such as wolves. Social and ethical aspects of sustainable methods of managing our ecosystems are important motivating factors in my decision to enter this program. I would like to be able to make an impact on how the world views life on Earth and how important it is to realize the negative and positive impacts that humans are inflicting on the environment. Eventually, I would love to open a bookstore/café for those seeking a place of comfort and safety to express ideas and explore self-discovery. I hope to create program to educate people of all ages in evolving ecological ethics and social impacts.

Riane Towery 

My name is Riane Towery and I am from Salem, Oregon. I am a Junior studying Agricultural Sciences.  

I hope to grow in my networking and interviewing skills through my involvement in the Leadership Academy.  I hope to identify my weaknesses and focus on strengthening them.  I would also like to analyze my leadership abilities and work on the areas that need improvement - especially pertaining to teaching and leading a group of students since I feel that will benefit me most in my chosen career.  

The Leadership Academy will enhance my experience at Oregon State University by providing me with the opportunity to network with leaders and mentors within the College of Agricultural Sciences as well as develop relationships with other students.  It will facilitate personal growth and allow me to focus on my strengths and weaknesses as a leader.  Learning more about oneself and growing as a leader is an invaluable educational opportunity that will contribute to my educational experience at Oregon State University.    

I believe a good leader has the ability to positively influence others and empower individuals to become leaders themselves.  Good leaders can see potential and encourage others to challenge themselves and become all they can be.   

I plan to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences with a minor in Leadership and Horticulture. I will go on to obtain my master’s degree in Agricultural Education to become a high school agriculture instructor and FFA advisor.  I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of students and their educational experience through my passion for both agriculture and teaching.