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From Sea to Degree

How student Lauren Steenson earned a spot in the Coast Guard’s advanced education program to pursue New Media Communications at Oregon State University

Most students end up in college the same way. They apply, get accepted, and choose a degree to pursue. But for Lauren Steenson, she did not end up in Oregon State University’s New Media Communications program the traditional way. Steenson had to really work for it.

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Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts

Emeritus by John Grade

October 14, 2022 — OSU Memorial Union Quad

Presented by the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts, the College of Forestry, the Office of the Provost, and the College of Liberal Arts

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The College of Liberal Arts is the proud academic home of 4,563 students. With 1 faculty member for every 15 undergraduate students, you'll receive a personalized education paired with a robust liberal arts college experience.



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Our dynamic, intellectual community of 336 expert faculty tackle the world’s biggest issues from social justice to food insecurity. They conduct symphonies and design in virtual reality. They study the past to forge solutions for the future.

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CLA is the only college at Oregon State that guarantees you'll graduate in 4 years. Our graduates go on to successful careers in medicine, technology, the arts, media, law, policy, education, business and more. Your path is wide open.


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Elena Passarello

Faculty Focus

Elena Passarello: Conversing with the World

Elena Passarello, associate professor of creative nonfiction writing, says a “spider web of experiences” and a quiet fascination with the Pacific Northwest led her to Oregon State University.

Originally from Snelville, Georgia, Passarello relied on pop culture to shape her understanding of the far away land; and though grunge music energized her throughout her teens, Passarello claims it was “The Goonies” movie that made her apply to be a professor at OSU. She’s kidding, but she’s not. Despite her avid consumption of West Coast media, Passarello’s decision to cross the country came only after she completed two degrees from two different colleges with half a decade in between her higher education endeavors; but she says the non-traditional career path she experienced in her early twenties has assisted in her past and current ventures. read more >


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Visionary Donations Funding our Future: PRAx

“The Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts will serve as a unique and dynamic education and performance center and will be a showcase destination for the visual, musical, theater and cultural arts for students, faculty, campus visitors and Oregonians,” said Larry Rodgers, dean of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts.

A lead gift of $25 million for the complex has been provided by Patricia Reser. Additional gifts include a $2 million commitment from the family of the late Lynne Detrick of West Linn to build a new 500-seat concert hall to offer a high-caliber venue for both listeners and performers, Rodgers said. The OSU Foundation continues to seek philanthropic support for the center, and OSU will also seek state bonding from the 2020 Oregon Legislature to help support the project. read more >

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Arts Entertainment Complex