What's your name, major and where are you from?
My name is Elliott Scheuer (he/they) and I am a third year Geography and Geospatial Science major in the College of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Science. I grew up in a tow called Navato, just north of the Bay Area in California.
Tell us about your time at Oregon State so far?
This is my second year at OSU, after transferring in from a different college. Originally, OSU wasn't on my radar for college at all, but when I came to visit in 2019 I kind of fell in love with the campus and the energy here. I have really enjoyed getting to know OSU and Corvallis in general, and I love my whole program. I love that I get to have a really intimate small-school experience with my major while getting all the benefits of going to a major research university. I also just love the community here, I have met so many interesting and kind people who have really surprised me.
Are you part of any clubs, sports, or student organizations?
I am currently the treasurer of the Geography Club and dedicate most of my time to working. However, in my first year at OSU I lived in the Pride Floor special interest community in Wilson Hall which really exposed me to a super vibrant and supportive community in the midst of COVID. I also just rendered this really amazing program in CEOAS called Arc-Learn which is a cohort based on polar research program, partnering students underrepresented in polar science with mentors to research some of the crises facing the Artic right now.
What kind of work do you do currently?
Right now I have a couple jobs on campus, I work at the info desk at the Valley Library and as a writing consultant in the University Research and Writing Center. In addition I do some research with a Geography faculty and the National Center for Atmospheric Research that focuses on bridging the gap between climate modeling and social science, specifically understanding and improving how farmers interact with data about soil fertility.
Do you have dreams after college?
I've been spending a lot of time thinking about this lately and I'm in the process of exploring a couple different fields I might want to go into. I have been thinking about becoming a librarian or teacher for a long time, but I am also interested in just taking some time off school after I graduate. Right now everything is pretty up in the air but I know I want to explore processes of teaching and learning, and help make a difference in people's lives.
How do you want to make a difference in our community? This could be current or in the future
I love that both as a writing consultant and library student employee, I get to support OSU students in so many ways. A big aspect of what we do in the writing center is building students' confidence in their own abilities to succeed and seeing someone find joy and a sense of accomplishment in a writing project that was previously a source of frustration is pretty much the best feeling ever. I love doing this work and want to support members of the OSU community to feel like the best version of themselves (as a student and an individual) all the time. Separate from that, I think that OSU and all institutions of higher education still have a lot of growth to do in terms of diversity and inclusion. I would love to see a moment at OSU for greater acknowledgment of the impact that the Land Grant system has on Indigenous communities, for more transparency and action on sexual assault, and for living wage for student employees. At the end of my time at OSU I would really like to be able to say I have contributed to the fight in any one of these issues.
Is there anything you’re passionate about? How does this apply to your work or impact in your community?
I am super passionate about the environment, which is how I ended up in the Geography major originally. I'm most interested in the interface between people and their environment and have loved researching farmer perspectives and knowledge networks for my research assistantship. For me the connections between soil, agriculture, social networks and climate change are so important to this climate crisis we are in at the moment and I just love to talk about that with people. Witnessing all the radical and transformational solutions being developed in the climate space right now is so inspiring. I really just relish an opportunity to sit down with people and collectively learn and teach about what inspires and fascinates us and collectively envision new features.
You’ve overcome many challenges to get you to this point. If comfortable, please share a challenge and briefly comment on what you learned from it or how you got through it.
I have struggled a lot throughout my life with mental health issues, because of this I actually never finished high school. I left my school junior year because it wasn't a good fit for me or what I was going through and ended up going to community college instead. This was a really radical decision for me in a lot of ways, I felt for the first time able to take a real ownership of my learning and my life and was able to relieve myself of a lot of anxiety and depression I felt on a daily basis in high school.
This experience, as well as a lifetime of ups and downs with my own brain, taught me the importance of listening to my body. the manifestation of distress in our physical bodies is so real and so important to pay attention to, getting better at turning in to what I'm feeling has allowed me to respond to stressors in my life with more full presence and a better toolkit.
In the next year of your life, what do you look forward to most?
I really look forward to graduating next winter and figuring out what the next phase of my life is going to look like. At the same time, I'm really looking forward to soaking in as much time with my friends and meeting new people because I kind of missed out on that last year. I'm also hoping to get my first credit on a publication sometime in the next year or so, which is super exciting!
If you could deliver one message to your peers, what would you say? (Any type of message. Inspiration, sappy, funny, whatever your heart desires)
Communities at any scale hold so much power, start activating networks in your life and agitating for what you need. Create the world you want to live in at a small scale first, then build up from there.