Saturday, March 11, 2017

The NSLS: A New Chapter at OSU

Terrance Lee and other NSLS members attending a leadership training day.                      ~photo provided by Terrance Lee
Do you desire to become a better leader?

"Building Leaders Who Make a Better World" is the primary mission of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), the largest leadership society in the United States. Founded on the vision of "creating a community where like-minded, success-oriented individuals could come together to learn from and support each other," the society now boasts over 500 chapters and over 728,000 members.

NSLS member and history major at OSU Julia Fox said, "So far, the NSLS has benefited me by connecting me to scholarships and career advisors. I decided to join NSLS because of the scholarship opportunities and I read somewhere that 97 percent of members said this society helped them land their choice career. I really hope the NSLS will give my resume and extra boost so I can cut through the competition when I go job hunting after college."

Less than a year old, the NSLS chapter at OSU is relatively new. Although there had been an attempt to start a chapter at OSU in 2009, it was unable to kick off successfully and was cancelled. This time around however, chapter president Terrance Lee is determined to see the NSLS succeed at OSU.

Lee first stumbled across information about the NSLS while looking for scholarships and quickly realized that he wanted to become a member. When he learned that OSU did not have a NSLS chapter of their own, Lee began to take huge strides to work towards starting one. He flew to New Jersey to attend a weekend training session, and to seek approval from NSLS officials. 

Despite the officials' hesitancy due to the previous "failure to launch" at OSU, Lee's determination and preparedness convinced them to give him a second chance. Next, he had to meet OSU's requirements which included finding four student officials as well as writing a constitution for the organization. Thanks to Lee's steadfast persistence, students at OSU now have the opportunity to take advantage of this valuable organization.

Benefits of NSLS membership include exclusive access to guest speaker broadcasts, books, and other documents. Members also receive access to success coaching, personalized recommendation letters, scholarships, awards, a job bank, and more. To learn more about the society and benefits of membership, visit their website:

Lee observed almost immediate impact from NSLS membership when he mentioned his involvement with the society during a job interview. He said, "They were impressed that one, I was in a leadership organization, two, that I was an officer of a school organization, and last, that I started a school organization. It showed that I was a leader and that I was willing to do more than just go to school and get my degree. Two weeks later they offered me a job with their company."

 Lee has one primary goal to accomplish during his involvement with the NSLS: "to keep this organization together and keep it going after I am gone." He has three other specific goals that he hopes to accomplish during his presidency. First, to "invest and inspire." He said, "You cannot be a leader if you don't invest in yourself and inspire others." His second goal is to encourage preparedness among members, and his final goal is to "connect and influence."

When asked what he wishes students to know about the NSLS, he said, "The biggest thing I want students to understand about the NSLS is that we are not a scam. We are a true leadership honor society. We are a real organization. That is honestly the biggest question I get because we are so new."

The only requirement for membership to the NSLS chapter at OSU is for students to have a 2.8 GPA or higher. There is also a one-time registration fee of $85. This covers both the tangible and intangible benefits of membership to the society. The tangible benefits include a membership kit with a t-shirt, certificate, car decal, pin, and plaque. The intangible benefits as stated on the NSLS website are: "improved self-esteem, peer leadership skills, sustainable motivation and drive, paradigms that will help you discover and achieve your dreams, real world skills that will help you outperform your peers in the workplace, and an enviable network of movers and shakers that are all a part of the drive to create lasting positive change in the world."

At a Glance:

  • The National Society of Leadership and Success is the largest leadership society in the United States.
  • Terrance Lee, president of the OSU's NSLS chapter,  said: "I have three role models: Martin Luther King, Nikola Tesla, and Bill Gates. The main reason all of them are my role models is because they did something when they were told that it couldn't be done. That is basically the way I live. I have epilepsy and I have been told that I couldn't do a ton of things and I keep proving them wrong.  That is something else that I want all the members of this organization to believe--there should be nothing that can hold you back."
  • Visit the NSLS's Facebook page and our chapter at OSU's Facebook page.
  • Read some FAQs about the NSLS.
  • Visit the NSLS's blog.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Marina Raskova and the Night Witches: Heriones of the Soviet Union

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
     The 1930s in Russia was a time of great change. With the rise of industrialization, what it meant to be a woman was being rapidly redefined. Stalinist development prompted major strides in what is often referred to as a type of "social liberalization." Women began to enter the workforce and efforts to provide women with education equal to men were being made.

     Despite these changes, at the onset World War II, very few women were being accepted to serve in the Soviet Armed Forces. Their applications were often blocked or turned down in an effort to prevent women from serving until absolutely necessary. However, due to the steadfast determination of women as well as desperation in response to losses to the Germans, the number of women being accepted to serve began to increase vastly.

     One woman in particular, Marina Raskova, paved the way for women serving in aviation with the Soviet Armed Forces by persuading the military to allow her to form three "all-female" combat regiments, the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment aka "the Night Witches" being the most famous of the three. One of the first women to be crowned "Heroine of the Soviet Union," she has often been regarded as a "Russian Amelia Earheart."

     Raskova was born into a middle-class family in Moscow on March 12, 1912. Although she aspired to be an opera singer throughout most of her childhood, Raskova instead sought a career in another of her talents, chemistry. After graduating in 1929, Raskova accepted a position at the Navigation Laboratory of the Air Force Academy, jump-starting her career in aviation. 

  When Raskova became the first woman in the Soviet Union to earn the diploma of professional air navigator in 1933,  she started to pave a way for women to enter the Air Force by proving that women could excel in aviation. Over the course of the next decade, Raskova continued to challenge barriers. Some of her most famous successes include breaking two women's long-distance flight records, surviving an emergency landing where she was left stranded for 10 days without food and water, and forming three women's combat aviation regiments, one of which she commanded until her death. 

     Of the three women's regiments formed by Raskova, the 588th Night Bomber Regiment is arguably the most well-known. Comprised primarily of women in their late teens and early 20s, the regiment is better known as the "Night Witches" because the "whooshing" sound that their planes made could be likened to the sound of witches flying on broomsticks overhead. In order to meet demands, Raskova took on the task of teaching these young women four year's worth of training in just a few short months.

Paul Wanke, a history instructor at OSU, said, "The Soviets will use women in combat positions; they weren't just pilots. The 'Night Witches' is a cleaned up version of what the Germans actually called them (rhymes with 'witches')." 

     The Night Witches flew slow, outdated Po-2 biplanes, made of canvas and wood. They were able to make the best of what they had, however, by designing techniques that took advantage of the planes' exceptional maneuverability. They would idle their engines as they approached their target and then drift over their bombing location undetected. They also devised a strategy in which they began to fly in sets of three and two of them would fly off in different directions as soon as they were discovered. 

    Raskova passed away before ever experiencing combat due to an unprecedented crash landing on Jan. 4, 1943.  Although she did not live to see many of the regiment's successes, it is clear that her spirit held strong among the young women. As the only regiment to remain a woman-only group, the Night Witches flew over 24,000 missions and cultivated 24 women that followed in Raskova's footsteps to receive recognition as Heriones of the Soviet Union. Though their efforts are not well-known, there is no doubt that the Night Witches were an incredible group of women.

At a Glance:

  • Due to the steadfast determination of women as well as desperation in response to losses to the Germans, the number of women being accepted to serve in World War II began to increase vastly.
  • Marina Raskova, one of the first women to be crowned "Heroine of the Soviet Union" and first to earn the diploma of professional air navigator, started to pave a way for women to enter the Air Force by proving that women could excel in aviation. 
  • They flew Po-2 biplanes made of canvas and wood. 
  • Marina was born in 1912 and passed away in 1943.
  • Learn more about Marina Raskova, the Night Witches, and Po-2 biplanes.



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Glimpse Into the Life of a Resident Assistant at OSU

DeJanvier and his dog, Elsa -photo provided by Geoff DeJanvier

     At 8 p.m. on a work day, Geoff DeJanvier will head down to the Carrie Halsell Residence Hall's service desk, turn on the duty phone, and remain available to talk to residents, lend out equipment, handle conflict, and more. He will make two to three rounds of the building during his shift to be sure that nothing is amiss. When his shift ends at 10 p.m., he will bring the duty phone back up to his room on the third floor where he will go to bed, but remain available to answer students' calls until 8 a.m.

     As you may have guessed, DeJanvier is a Resident Assistant, or "RA" at OSU. He is from Grants Pass, Ore. and hopes to use his degree in atmospheric science to become a meteorologist. Soon after transferring to OSU from Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, he became heavily involved in Hall Council. When asked about his reason for transitioning to working as an RA, he said, "It was kind of a natural continuation of making an impact in the residence hall. I knew I had the skills that I could do it, I could build community. So I thought, 'Oh, I could try.'"

     According to DeJanvier, there are many benefits to working as an RA including opportunities to meet "awesome residents," gain leadership and professional skills, and network. RAs also receive a free room in the residence hall to which they are assigned and a meal plan. When asked about his favorite part of the job DeJanvier said, "My favorite part of being an RA is the relationships that I build. I have some really awesome residents who I've grown really attached to."

      DeJanvier also appreciates the relationships he's built with his staff. He said, "I have a really awesome staff. I think we bonded a lot at the beginning during training."

     When asked what makes DeJanvier a good RA, coworker Kayla Chang said, "I think the biggest characteristic that makes Geoff a good RA is the fact that he is pretty good at asking questions. As student-staff, RAs can have a hard time asking questions and getting help because they feel like they should already know all the answers. Geoff on the other hand, is really good at asking questions whenever he is uncertain. This makes him stronger as an RA because it means he is still willing to learn, grow, and change so he can be better at his job and be a better steward to his community."

     Sophia Illas, sophomore at OSU and current resident of Halsell Hall, had nothing but good things to say about DeJanvier. She said, "Geoff is not my RA, but I do see him around Halsell a lot. He is always smiling and friendly and seems like he enjoys what he does. I do feel like I could come to him with any questions and he'd be happy to help."

      As with practically every aspect of of life, the job does not come without its challenges. However, DeJanvier believes that despite the challenges, the job is very rewarding. He said, "It's tiring and draining sometimes," but went on to say "Sometimes when you deal with major crises, it's kind of stressful, but once it's over, it's kind of like 'Wow, I made a difference.'"

     DeJanvier also feels that he has been able to make a positive impact on students' college experiences. "I think that I have not necessarily been like in the forefront of their positivity. I think that I help them feel comfortable with where they live. It's really important to feel like you can go to where you live and feel comfortable and okay."

     LBCC students planning on transferring to OSU should consider applying to be an RA. As aforementioned, the job comes with many benefits. The sense of community that forms with fellow RAs is a huge advantage to new OSU students (transfer students included) because it offers them a support network and the potential to make lasting friendships.

      To apply, you will have had to live in a residence hall for at least one term. The application opens before winter break in December and closes in mid-to-late January. If you are selected, you will go to an interview. DeJanvier's advice for the interview is to "be real and honest." If the interview is a success and you get the job, you will attend a three-week training program and start work the following academic school year.
 At a Glance: 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Celebrating Chinese New Year with The East Dream Dance Group

East Dream Chinese Dance Group Performing "Lotus Blossoms in the Moonlight" -photo provided by Yaling Fan

     What better way to celebrate the Chinese New Year than by experiencing Chinese culture through song and dance?

     That is exactly what hundreds of people gathered to do on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the LaSells Stewart Center for the Dance of Spring Concert. Organized by the East Dream Chinese Dance Group, this concert is an annual tradition inspired by a desire to preserve and share ancient Chinese traditions.

      When asked about her vision behind the concert, co-founder of the group Yaling Fan said, "Every year, Dance of Spring is our big opportunity to share a slice of Chinese culture with the greater Corvallis community." East Dream's mission statement, which can be found on their website, expresses a desire to "enrich diversity within our local community," "share Chinese culture through music and dance,"  and to "disseminate our heritage within the rest of our community."

     The group formed when a number of Chinese women who were all sending their children to the same Chinese school realized that among all of the similar life experiences that they had in common, they all shared a love for Chinese dance. One of the group's goals, Fan said, is "to showcase different ethnic cultures every year to demonstrate the diversity that many people don't associate with China."

      To meet this goal, the group encompassed a wide variety of different song and dance styles. 
 To celebrate the year of the rooster, East Dream dressed up as roosters and opened the show with "Happy Year of the Rooster," a lighthearted and symbolic dance, backed by an almost comical chinese pop song.
    For "Lotus Blossoms in the Moonlight," East Dream dancers embodied the flowers themselves through tranquil, flowing movements and lotus-like costumes. The performance "Sichuan Opera Face" introduced a unique Chinese tradition in which the performer has mastered the art of "changing faces." Sporting a colorful costume and mask, at intervals throughout the performance he magically and almost instantaneously makes his mask change appearance.

     To demonstrate even further diversity, East Dream incorporated Korean culture into the concert by dancing to one of Korea's most famous traditional fold songs, "Arirang," and dressing in traditional Korean clothing. East Dream also incorporated a number of guest performers into the concert including, the Regional School of Ballet, the Downtown Dance Children's Repertory Group, and the University of Oregon Wushu Team. 

     Tracie Emry, a mother of one of the dancers and a member of the audience, said that her favorite performance was "Wu Shu," performed by the University of Oregon Wushu Team. Lorelei Hayden, daughter of an OSU employee, and Elisabeth Arvey, previous Dance of Spring performer, expressed particular interest in the "Sichuan Opera Face" performance. 

      East Dream meets every Saturday to practice and welcomes anyone in the community to join in their celebration of Chinese culture and dance with them. If you are interested in supporting the group without becoming directly involved, donations are appreciated. To learn more, visit East Dream's website.

At a Glance:
  • On Saturday, Jan. 28, the East Dream Chinese Dance Group held their annual Dance of Spring concert at the LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University.
  • "Every year, Dance of Spring is our big opportunity to share a slice of Chinese culture with the greater Corvallis community." ~Yaling Fan
  • Visit the East Dream Dance Group's website
  • Contact the dance group at:
  • Watch a video of one of the group's past performances. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Degree Partnership Program Saves Students Money at OSU

 In Fall of 2016, more than 1500 students took advantage of the Degree Partnership Program. Should you?

      In 1998, Oregon State University and Linn-Benton Community College came together to develop the Degree Partnership Program (DPP) when they recognized a need for a more practical way for students to enroll in classes at both institutions and receive adequate financial aid.  The program allows for students to be "dual-enrolled" at Oregon State University and an eligible community college and take classes at one or both locations. 
     There are a wide variety of benefits to participating in the program including, but not limited to: lower tuition costs and smaller class sizes at LBCC, a wider selection of classes, access to scholarships, financial aid, and other resources from both institutions, and eligibility to live on the OSU campus. As expressed on OSU's DPP website, new first-year students, current OSU students, transfer students, and international students are all able to take advantage of this program. The application process varies depending on your current enrollment status, so be sure to check out the website for more information on how to get started.
     The Linn-Benton Loop offers students without a vehicle free transportation between OSU and LBCC's campuses. This makes it especially convenient for residents of Corvallis or Albany to take advantage of the Degree Partnership Program.

     When asked how the program benefited her, bus-goer Maddy Ladue said that because she is an out-of-state student, it is much more affordable for her to take some of her classes at LBCC. She also said that she appreciates the smaller class sizes. LaDue is a freshman student studying merchandising management and if she so chooses, she will be able to continue to take advantage of this program until she completes all lower-division courses for her degree.
      Christine Acker, LBCC's coordinator for the Degree Partnership Program said, "If a student knows they want to continue their education at OSU, they should enroll in DPP as soon as they are eligible! Students save money while staying on track with their OSU goals." Acker also suggests that if you want to learn more about the program, the best place to start is at the DPP website. Here you will find further information in the FAQ's, a brief video about financial aid, and a link to the application.

      OSU also has a webpage providing information on the Degree Partnership Program. If you have further questions, you can visit the Partnership Office in McKenzie Hall, room 111 on LBCC's campus.

At a Glance:
  • The Degree Partnership Program offers students the ability to enroll at OSU and an eligible community college, providing a multitude of benefits. 
  • "If a student knows they want to continue their education at OSU, they should enroll in DPP as soon as they are eligible!" ~Christine Acker, DPP Coordinator
  • Contact LBCC's Degree Partnership Coordinator,  Christine Acker, at:
  • Visit LBCC's Degree Partnership website and OSU's Degree Partnership website.
  • Bring further questions to LBCC's Partnership Office at MKH-111.