The Graduate Student Ambassador Program is designed to connect prospective students with current Oregon State graduate students. This program provides prospective and current graduate students with positive peer relationships that promotes a more involved community on campus. In addition to fostering positive relationships with students on campus, ambassadors travel to conferences and events representing Oregon State University. Listed below are the current and past ambassadors. If you would like to contact an ambassador directly, please click the email button below their bio. If you are interested in becoming a Graduate Student Ambassador please contact the Graduate School at graduate.inquire@oregonstate.edu.

Ana Arteaga

Ana Arteaga

Ana is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in inorganic chemistry working with Dr. May Nyman. She is studying the formation of uranyl peroxide clusters in solution, and the role peroxide plays in the reaction mechanism. Ana earned a B.S. in chemistry from The University of California, Merced in 2015. Ana is actively promoting higher education and retention of minority students in STEM. She currently serves on the board of the OSU Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Chapter as the graduate representative. Outside the academic setting, Ana enjoys running, hiking, reading and going on spontaneous adventures.

Contact Ana Arteaga

Ian Colliard

Ian Colliard

I was born in Mexico City and lived there for 12 years. I moved to Florida where I completed my high school education. I attended Fordham University in New York City, where I majored in chemistry and work in a lab researching bi-metallic catalysts. I currently attend Oregon State University’s graduate program in inorganic chemistry. Under the guidance of Dr. Nyman, my research is focused on understanding the fundamental aqueous chemistry of actinides (uranium, thorium, and so on); in order, to better understand the chemistry for a variety of applications, ranging from nuclear waste management to radiotherapy.

Contact Ian Colliard

Johannah Hamilton

Johannah Hamilton

Johannah Hamilton is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in Public Policy at OSU. She received her B.S. in Agricultural Economics with a minor in Spanish at the University of Kentucky and her masters in Agricultural Economics at Auburn University. Her policy areas of interest are rural, international, and economic policy. Johannah is the Co-Advisor for both MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences) and SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science). When she’s not studying or reading for class, she enjoys going hiking with her dog, playing and watching basketball, and traveling. Johannah hopes that by being a graduate student ambassador, she can encourage other students who might be intimidated by the thought of graduate school to pursue an advanced degree.

Contact Johannah Hamilton

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Kaweesa

Elizabeth was born and raised in Uganda, East Africa and moved to the United States in 2008. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas in 2013. Currently, she is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry at Oregon State University. Her research interests include mechanism of action studies of anti-cancer compounds. She also enjoys cooking, hiking, singing, playing the piano, and traveling.

Contact Elizabeth Kaweesa

Patrick McNeff

Patrick McNeff

Patrick was born and raised in Maui, Hawaii where he attended St. Anthony high school. After graduating he attended the University of San Francisco where he receiving his BS in 2005 and was awarded the Raymond Genolio award for highest ranking Physics graduate. Patrick then worked as the Physics and Astronomy technician at the University of San Francisco until 2012 when he moved to Corvallis, and began working on his Masters Science in Industrial Engineering. Patrick is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering specializing in Advanced Manufacturing. His research interests include the forming of Nickel Super alloys during the application of electrical current, development of a microchannel solar thermal receiver, and sealing strategies for a microchannel hemodialysis filter.

Contact Patrick McNeff

Kristin Neill

Kristin Neill

Kristin Neill is a Master of Science student studying horticulture in the College of Agricultural Science here at Oregon State. She is focusing on ornamental plant breeding with evergreen huckleberries and Cotoneaster, with a focus on the production of disease resistant landscape plants for the Pacific Northwest. Originally from North Carolina, she completed her undergraduate degree at North Carolina State University, she is excited to now be a part of the Beaver Nation and represent the Graduate School here at Oregon State.

Contact Kristin Neill

Shauna Otto

Shauna Otto

Shauna Otto is currently a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics working in the laboratory of Dr. Colin Johnson. Her interest in the natural world was piqued early on by fabulously engaging Elementary School teachers (with a little help from Bill Nye and the beautiful backdrop of the Pacific Northwest), but hadn’t seriously considered a career in the sciences until her General Chemistry professor at California State University Long Beach got her involved in undergraduate research. As a first-generation college student herself she wanted to pursue outreach opportunities to help underserved populations at her institution, so she got involved in peer-to-peer learning through Supplemental Instruction and eventually helped implement a pilot program targeting at-risk undergraduates in General Chemistry. In her downtime she enjoys hanging out with her husband and daughter, karaoke, camping, and taking on random craft projects.

Contact Shauna Otto

LC Tavárez Varela

LC Tavárez Varela

LC Tavárez Varela was born and raised in the Dominican Republic into a missionary family. She graduated from high school at the age of 16, and founded a nonprofit organization, Ann Prepare Lavni (APL), Inc., during her first year in college. APL (which means "let us prepare our future" in Haitian Creole) is an organization that provides free, high quality, multilingual education to hundreds of students in Haiti. APL is in the process of building the first library in southeast Haiti. Tavárez got her B.A. and M.A. from UC Davis, and is now working towards obtaining a Ph.D. in education at OSU. She is a McNair Scholar and has presented her research of “Kreñol: A Qualitive Study of Language Development in Hispaniola” in over five national conferences. Thanks to her research and work in Haiti, Tavárez received the highest honor at UC Davis during graduation: Top graduating senior woman 2013, UCD Chancellor Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research 2013, the 2013 & 2015 Outstanding Community Service award, and many others. She is passionate about giving back to her community, and is committed to making a difference around the world, one student at the time.

Contact LC Tavárez Varela

Jafra Thomas

Jafra Thomas

Mr. Thomas is a fifth-year candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Kinesiology within Oregon State University’s kinesiology program. His major area of doctoral study is Psychosocial Kinesiology (Sport and Exercise Psychology concentration), with a minor focus in Biophysical Kinesiology. Concurrent with his doctoral studies at OSU, he earned a Master of Public Health degree with a focus on Health Promotion and Health Behavior in 2017, and a Graduate Certificate in College & University Teaching in 2016. He came to OSU having earned a B.A. in sport sciences and an M.A. in health & exercise science from the University of the Pacific (Stockton, California). At OSU, he has served in various leadership roles, including his current role as Secretary of the OSU Black Graduate Student Association. He has authored/coauthored papers in journals such as the "International Journal of Exercise Science," the "Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance," “Quest” (a social & behavioral science kinesiology journal) and the “Sociology of Sport Journal”. He has also presented his work at national and international conferences, such as those of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education, the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America. Mr. Thomas currently serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. His leisure activities include reading (fan) fiction, having mini-dance breaks (while drinking coffee and telling the coffee how good it is), and 5-minute yoga sessions.

Contact Jafra Thomas

Past Ambassadors

  • Nicole Hams
  • Jasmine Brown