A happy surprise

Meet Abbey Carpenter, student alumni ambassador

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Bend. I moved there with my family of five when I was still in preschool. When we moved my parents enrolled us kids in Trinity Lutheran, where my mom eventually taught, and that ended up being the only school I attended until OSU!

Why OSU?
I fell in love with the campus. I have never wanted to live in a big city, but I was ready for an adventure after graduating from high school with only three other people in my class.

How close are you to graduating, and what’s next after that?
I have three more terms. I am getting two bachelor’s degrees, in kinesiology and in innovation management. Then I hope to continue on with a PhD in organizational behavior and become a professor. I enjoy the university setting and have enjoyed my research experience here. I was a teaching assistant for a professor in the College of Business last year and discovered that I thrive with student interaction.<.p>

What has been your favorite class at OSU?
My favorite class easily changes term to term. I remember loving writing 121 my freshman year because it was my first class ever and I was expecting it to be huge, but I walked in to find about 25 people and learned that college classes weren’t so scary. I loved anatomy and physiology because it taught me that hard mental work really pays off. And I immensely enjoyed my leadership class this term because I learned that you should never stop stretching yourself to be better. My technology commercialization class was amazing because it taught me what it would really be like to be an entrepreneur.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned outside the classroom?
Balance. I am still working on this, but I think it is the most important thing I am continuously working on improving. I am naturally a very driven and sometimes intense person, making it easy for me to become almost too focused for my own good. It has taken me almost four years to really appreciate that everything is going to get done even if I take an hour break to go on a run or hang out with friends. Balancing work, life, friends, homework, classes and family can be a huge challenge with only 24 hours in every day.

What’s your favorite place to hang out on campus?
Some terms it ends up feeling like I am living in Austin Hall, but I absolutely love the way this building was designed. There are tons of awesome places to study, a huge computer lab, any chargers you could possibly need and most importantly food. Sometimes they pull down the screen in the lobby and have things to watch; I used to go in there and watch the Olympics.

What’s your favorite place to hang out in Corvallis?
The McDonald-Dunn Research Forest. I have been pretty spoiled my whole life with the resources to get outdoors, and I love to trail run, hike and mountain bike in the research forest.

What kind of support do you get from scholarships?
I have been fortunate to receive a few scholarships from the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and support from local businesses and foundations back home. Scholarships really help make my education more affordable. I would love it if there were more but there seems to be a large gap for individuals pursuing non-traditional careers in their majors. I am hoping someday to be able to help fill this gap.

Of all the things you could choose to get involved in on campus, why the Student Alumni Ambassadors?
I kind of joined SAA by accident. I am a TOUR Ambassador through the Office of Admissions and my supervisor nominated me to join. I came in for an interview, which I did not realize was an interview, and was invited to join! I love volunteering and I want to go into higher education, so networking is an absolute must. It seemed like a great fit.

Student Alumni Ambassadors (SAA) is associated with the OSU Alumni Association and is dedicated to enhancing the connection among students past, present and future. SAA members coordinate a variety of events and initiatives that integrate students and alumni across Beaver Nation. For more info, visit osualum.com/saainterest.