Oregon State University
The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Affiliation: Staff

Kevin Ahern Oral History Interview - June 29, 2015

Kevin Ahern Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.
June 29, 2015
Kevin Ahern (b. 1954) is an OSU Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics who is well-known for his innovative approach to undergraduate instruction. For many years a Senior Instructor, Ahern pioneered the use of unorthodox techniques - including limericks and songs, which he calls "Metabolic Melodies" - to help students understand and retain complex biochemical processes. Ahern was also on the forefront of the use of the internet to enable scientific education, and has been posting notes and lecture recordings online since 1995. The Director of Undergraduate Research at OSU, Ahern has also co-authored multiple textbooks. Included among these are a collection that he wrote with his wife, OSU Senior Instructor Indira Rajagopal, and made freely available online. His interview focuses on his personal scientific evolution, his passion for teaching and advising, and the innovations that he has applied to undergraduate instruction at Oregon State.

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Baseball National Champions, Back-to-Back - October 2015 - July 2016

Baseball National Champions, Back-to-Back

Four interviews conducted by Greg Garcia, Chris Petersen, and Mike Dicianna.
October 2015 - July 2016
From 2005 to 2007, the Oregon State University baseball program enjoyed a sustained run of success that is without parallel in university history. Over the course of three seasons, the Beavers participated in the College World Series three times, winning back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. In the process, OSU also achieved multiple milestones that are unequalled in the history of college baseball: in 2006, the Beavers won six consecutive elimination games to claim the national championship, and in 2007 they won four tournament games by six runs or more. This unprecedented era of championship baseball is the primary subject of a collection of interviews conducted with four individuals: players Kevin Gunderson and Chris Kunda; broadcaster Mike Parker; and manager Pat Casey.

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Yvenson Bernard Oral History Interview - September 12, 2014

Yvenson Bernard Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.
September 12, 2014
Yvenson Bernard (b. 1984) attended OSU from 2003-2007, majoring in Merchandising Management and starting for three years at running back for the football team. Known for his versatility and toughness as a football player, Bernard finished his career second on the school's list for career yards rushing and third in career touchdowns. The son of Haitian immigrants, Bernard also made news in 2010 by organizing a major relief effort in response to the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12th of that year. His interview focuses on his upbringing in Florida, his experiences as a student athlete at OSU, his outreach work in Haiti, and the importance that family has played throughout his life.

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Steve Fenk Oral History Interview - August 12, 2014

Steve Fenk Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.
August 12, 2014
Steve Fenk (b. 1963) is an OSU Liberal Studies graduate from the class of 1987. Fenk was heavily involved with the OSU Athletic Department as an undergraduate, a time period during which he served as a color commentator working alongside radio "Voice of the Beavers" Darrell Aune during Beaver basketball games. As a student, Fenk also helped to organize a number of Oregon State wrestling meets. In 1990 Fenk accepted a position with his alma mater as Assistant Sports Information Director. Since 2011 he has served as Associate Director of Athletic Communications. His interview focuses on his Oregon State undergraduate experience as well as his memories of key people and events in the modern history of OSU athletics.

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Justin Fleming Oral History Interview - December 15, 2015

Justin Fleming Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.
December 15, 2015
Justin Fleming (b. 1980) is a 2007 graduate of OSU, majoring in Business and minoring in Environmental Economics. While a student, Fleming was central to a number of activities related to environmental sustainability on campus, including the creation of the Student Sustainability Initiative in 2006. Following graduation, Fleming worked for OSU as a Business Analyst before being hired as Manager of the Motor Pool in 2008. Since then, Fleming has overseen the absorption of the University of Oregon Motor Pool into a larger University Motor Pool that is managed at OSU. He was also responsible for the first purchase of electric cars for inclusion in the Motor Pool fleet. His interview touches upon his involvement in multiple sustainability initiatives as well as the history, activities, work culture, and future of the University Motor Pool.

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Michael Henthorne Oral History Interview - August 29, 2014

Michael Henthorne Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.
August 29, 2014
Michael Henthorne (b. 1952) worked as an administrator at OSU's Memorial Union from 1987 to his retirement in 2016, serving as Executive Director of the MU beginning in 1994. During his time at Oregon State, Henthorne guided significant physical renovations to the MU building, while also bolstering MU programming and serving as a vital advocate for the Student Experience Center, a sister facility which was completed in Spring 2015. His interview focuses on the state of the Memorial Union upon his arrival, work that was done to improve the MU's physical space and programming outreach, the genesis of the SEC building, and the exciting future that Henthorne envisions for MU operations going forward.

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Gloria O'Brien Oral History Interview - October 13, 2016

Gloria O'Brien Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.
October 13, 2016
Gloria O'Brien (b. 1960) is a Biological Science Technician in OSU's Department of Greenhouse Operations who has worked at Oregon State since 2008, specializing in integrated pest management. O'Brien is also actively involved with sub-local 083 of the statewide Service Employees International Union, serving for many years as a union steward and also completing a four-year term as president of the sub-local from 2010-2014. In 2015, O'Brien also became an OSU alumna, after earning a degree in Horticulture that she began pursuing, on a part-time basis, some seventeen years before. Her interview provides insight into union activities on campus, the issues facing classified workers across Oregon, and the roles filled by the Department of Greenhouse Services at Oregon State University.

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Doug Oxsen Oral History Interviews - July - December 2015

Doug Oxsen Oral History Interviews

Two life history interviews conducted by Mike Dicianna.
July - December 2015
Doug Oxsen (b. 1952) played for Ralph Miller's OSU basketball squads in the early 1970s, graduating in 1975 with a degree in Business. After a period where he continued to play on a semi-professional basis, Oxsen settled into a private sector career in the health industry. In 2002, Oxsen returned to his alma mater when he accepted a position as Director of Development in Athletics with the OSU Foundation. In this capacity, he has played a lead role in raising funds to support the expansion and renovation of Reser Stadium, the construction of the Basketball Practice Facility, and the building of the Whyte Track and Field Complex, among other initiatives. Over two interviews, Oxsen shares his memories of playing basketball for Ralph Miller, defeating mighty UCLA, and helping to modernize OSU's athletics facilities as a fundraiser with the OSU Foundation.

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Kevin Stoller Oral History Interview - September 28, 2015

Kevin Stoller Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.
September 28, 2015
Kevin Stoller (b. 1976) earned two degrees from OSU, completing a double-major bachelor's degree in Mathematics and History in 1999, and a master's degree in the History of Science in 2002. Formerly the forum page editor for The Daily Barometer, Stoller was also a member of the first cohort of the University Honors College (UHC), which began enrolling students in 1995, Stoller's sophomore year. After a period of study at Harvard University, Stoller returned to Corvallis in 2009 where he is now Director of External Relations and Operations for the UHC. His interview focuses on OSU's campus culture during the mid- and late-1990s; the early years of the UHC; and the many ways in which the college and university have changed in recent decades.

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Marianne Vydra Oral History Interview - May 27, 2015

Marianne Vydra Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.
May 27, 2015
Marianne Vydra (b. 1963) is the highest-ranking female administrator in the OSU Athletic Department. A member of the Athletic Department staff since 1992, Vydra initially came to Corvallis to work as an academic counselor. In 1996 she was promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Academic and Student Services, and in 1998 she became the Athletic Department's Senior Women's Administrator. In this capacity, Vydra has been central to a number of initiatives, playing a key role in the forward advancement of women's sports at the university and helping to found the popular Beavers Without Borders international service program. In her interview, Vydra discusses her path through athletics administration, the great strides made by the Athletic Department during her years at OSU, and the legacy of Title IX in propelling women's intercollegiate athletics programs across the country.

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