Letter to the editor: Reinstate the International Degree option

Robert Lamb

Dear OSU Administrators and News,

My name is Robert Lamb and I graduated from Oregon State in 2008 with honors degrees in Biology and International Studies (ID program). I was informed that the International Degree program was suspended recently, and was very disappointed to hear it. The ID program inspired, supported, and justified my efforts to expand my undergraduate education beyond the laboratory and think about the global implications of my work. Through the ID, I gained my first research experience in tropical marine ecology and conservation in Ecuador, took classes in Latin American history, politics, and geography, and developed a senior thesis that produced a first-author paper as an undergraduate. It also catapulted me into a Fulbright Fellowship immediately after graduation, where I ended up meeting the professor at Brown University who is currently my PhD advisor.

I cannot imagine my life or education without the ID program, and I hope you reconsider its usefulness to the university. In this era of injustice, inequality, and intolerance, we need more people than ever with a holistic concept of the global human community. There is no better way to achieve this than to encourage international cooperation and collaboration through programs such as the ID. These programs offer tangible incentives to young people to expand their world horizons by providing the added value of the international degree and associated honors. Otherwise going abroad becomes an unnecessary challenge to social and grade transcript goals without a valid university backing.

Please consider reinstating the program, perhaps under conditions better suited to the university’s current situation, so that future students can enjoy the benefits that I have.


Robert Lamb

OSU Alumnus, Class of ‘08

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