The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Kevin Stoller Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

September 28, 2015


“The University Honors College - Then and Now”  September 28, 2015  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Stoller discusses his upbringing and the path that he took to enrolling at OSU, as well as his academic progression and social experience while an undergraduate. He then shares his memories of being a student in the first cohort of the University Honors College (UHC). In particular, he notes his involvement as a co-founder of the UHC's earliest newsletter and reflects on the broader atmosphere that pervaded the UHC during its infancy. He likewise recalls his work as a staff member with The Daily Barometer, comments on campus culture at OSU in the shadow of Ballot Measure 5, reflects on his connections with specific faculty in the OSU History department, and describes the atmosphere in the stands for Beaver fans of the mid-1990s.

From there, the session turns it attention to Stoller's experiences as a graduate student. He details the means by which he came to study for a master's degree in the history of science at OSU, and provides a synopsis of the thesis that he wrote on psychologist William James. He likewise discusses his decision to pursue a Ph.D. at Harvard University and the life circumstances that prompted him to leave the program before finishing.

The final third of the interview is devoted to Stoller's return to Corvallis and his years of employment with the UHC. In this, he shares his thoughts on the ways in which the UHC and OSU changed during his absence; his sense of the current and future direction of the UHC; the forward evolution of his work for the Honors College; and the impact that the Learning Innovation Center promises to have on UHC operations. The session concludes with notes on family and extracurricular activities, and Stoller's appreciation of the sense of community at OSU.