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


Kevin Raymond Stoller was born in 1976 on Luke Air Force Base, near Glendale, Arizona, where his father was stationed as a member of the Air Force Band. When Stoller was two, the family moved to Pease Air National Guard Base outside of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In early 1980, Stoller's father left the Air Force and the family relocated to Oregon, where Kevin grew up, living in Tigard until he was in the fifth grade, and then in West Linn for the remainder of his pre-college years.

In the fall of 1994, Stoller began his undergraduate studies at Oregon State University. Originally an engineering physics major, Stoller switched to physics before ultimately double-majoring in math and history. In 1995, at the beginning of his sophomore year, Stoller joined the first cohort of the newly established University Honors College (UHC). A co-founder of the earliest UHC newsletter, The Ecclesia, Stoller was heavily involved in numerous student activities sponsored by the Honors College. Stoller later joined the staff of The Daily Barometer, writing editorials and movie reviews and serving as forum editor. In 1999, as a fifth-year student, Stoller graduated with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and history.

Following the guidance of an influential professor, Robert Nye, Stoller elected to stay at Oregon State to pursue a master's degree in the history of science. He completed this degree in 2002, writing a thesis on an early American psychologist, William James. From there, Stoller moved into the history of science doctoral program at Harvard University, where he continued to research the history of psychiatry.

In September 2004, Stoller became an editor and research coordinator at Harvard, a position that he held until August 2009. During this period, he also worked part-time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a gift associate in the Office of Resource Development.

In 2009 Stoller left Harvard before completing his Ph.D., choosing instead to support his family by working full-time at MIT as a senior data integrity associate. Not long after, Stoller and his wife began looking for jobs that would allow them and their infant son to move back to the Pacific Northwest. When an opportunity with the University Honors College at Oregon State opened, Stoller applied immediately, driving to New Hampshire to meet with the UHC dean in person. He received the position and the family moved back to Corvallis in late summer. That September, Stoller began working for the UHC as an Executive Assistant for Student and Alumni Engagement. Today, Stoller continues to work for the University Honors College as its Director of External Relations and Operations.