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Two professors walking in doctoral gowns on campus

The Class of 2017

By Srila Nayak

2017 graduation

This year’s graduation numbers show that the College of Science has performed exceedingly well on all fronts. The College is graduating a record 629 students with baccalaureate degrees in 2016-17, including 55 honors baccalaureates. This represents a five percent increase from last year.

Biology majors lead the way with 159 graduates, followed by BioHealth Sciences majors with 119. Next are Microbiology majors with 79 graduates, Zoology has 59, Chemistry 51, Mathematics 49, Physics 24, Biochemistry and Biophysics 17 and General Science 17.

In addition, we are graduating 64 master’s and 66 doctoral students. The latter figure constitutes the highest number of Ph.Ds in recent years. In fact, the College is graduating 65% more doctoral students and 33% more masters students than last year.

Overall, Oregon State University graduated 6,807 students in 2017 and 5,590 baccalaureate degrees were awarded to students. The class of 2017 in the College represents 10 majors in the life sciences, physical, mathematical and statistical sciences.

Our graduates accomplish more than they thought imaginable with the help of outstanding professors, who are also scientists at the top of their fields, and a team of dedicated advisors. Supported by awards and scholarships, science students collaborate with faculty to create new knowledge and achieve major scientific breakthroughs.

Many of our graduates have had the opportunity to deepen their scientific knowledge by participating in research in labs across and beyond OSU, ranging from sciences to pharmacy, public health, agricultural sciences, forestry, engineering, robotics and veterinary medicine. For many, research has meant embracing and plumbing the mysteries of the outdoors from diving into marine habitats to field work in diverse terrains and in several parts of the world.

They are leaving OSU as accomplished young scientists in their own right, having begun research in their freshman year; they have presented their work at scientific conferences, co-authored papers in scientific publications with faculty mentors and even won top national awards for their research accomplishments. In fact, OSU ranks among the top 45 research universities in the nation for the number of opportunities it provides undergraduates to participate in research.

Our graduates have also expanded their professional and intellectual horizons by taking part in other transformative experiences such as internships, study abroad programs, leadership experiences and experiential learning in and out of classrooms. These experiences can transform great students into extraordinary leaders in science.

Our 2017 graduates are Fulbright scholars, Thurgood Marshall Scholars, Goldwater nominees, Ford Fellows, future doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, veterinarians, community leaders, teachers and informed, engaged world citizens. Together they exemplify the College’s commitment to excellence in science education and an inclusive and diverse learning community. We couldn’t be prouder of them!

Each OSU graduate has a compelling story. Here are the stories of a few of our exceptional graduates, in which they reflect on their time at OSU and share their dreams for the future.

Shan Lansing, Chemistry, M.S. 2017

Four years and two degrees later

Swechya Banskota, Biology, 2017

Leadership, healthcare research, artistic diversity: the story of a biology major

Karianna Crowder, Zoology, 2017

From cuddling gibbons to grinding horse teeth

Jason Sandwisch, Chemistry, 2017

A journey to master physical chemistry

Michael Lopez, Mathematics, 2017

Not your typical mathematician: Marine, cop, dad, first generation college graduate