Oregon State University’s newest commercial features three world-changing projects and programs that showcase the university’s commitment to contribute to a sustainable future.

The “Believe It” video, produced by David Baker, director of Oregon State Productions, and his video team, is tied to the launch of the OSU Foundation’s second fundraising and engagement campaign, Believe It: The Campaign for Oregon State University. More than 56,000 donors together have already contributed over $1 billion in five years toward the campaign’s $1.75 billion goal to advance student access and success and support faculty excellence, research and outreach programs that serve Oregon and the world.

“The cast of our commercial project is made up of real students and faculty who make an impact on the world, and it's always inspiring to spend time with them," Baker said.

In the video, three groups of Oregon State researchers and students share ways in which their work is changing the world.

Professor Gail Langellotto of the College of Agricultural Sciences is shown working with OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers and graduate students to bring urban Portland community gardens to life.

“Community gardens are really important amenities in city spaces,” Langellotto says. “They provide urban green space. They provide access to local food. Our goal is to help everyone become a sustainable gardener and learn how to grow better.”

The gardens also promote biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, providing forage and nesting sites for pollinators.

Oregon State has offered an urban and community horticulture program focused on home and community gardening since 1976.

Skip Rochefort, associate professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, and his students are shown testing a novel use for a well-established chemical process to reduce plastic waste. The process, called pyrolysis, uses very high temperatures to break down plastic hydrocarbon chains in the absence of oxygen to create an alternative source of diesel fuel.

Rochefort and his team hope to install pyrolysis reactors in remote and underserved communities, where it’s difficult and costly to dispose of plastic waste. Once converted, diesel fuel originating from plastics could then be used in boats, tractors and other diesel-powered equipment in those communities.

Students from Oregon State’s Adventure Leadership Institute are portrayed in the video making outdoor recreation experiences accessible to everyone. This includes Avery Ingram, a biochemistry and biophysics student who has been blind for 15 years, but has a passion for rock climbing. Through the Adventure Leadership Institute, Ingram has experienced a variety of climbing opportunities, including scaling Smith Rock in Central Oregon.

The adventure institute applies research and education theories to teach students about group dynamics, managing risk and leadership styles. Along with offering for-credit and non-credit courses, the institute takes students on outings across Oregon.

Darryl Lai, multimedia producer for University Relations and Marketing, directed the commercial. “This was a team effort on all accounts,” Lai said. “Producing this video with university faculty, staff and students shows a level of dedication to telling our stories in a genuine way.”

The images and interviews gathered while producing this and other commercial content will be used on social media and other online and live outreach and educational video content.

To learn more about these stories, visit https://oregonstate.edu/believe-it.

~  Theresa Hogue