Student-Athlete Development

Oregon State Athletics   11-01-2012


The mission of the OSU Everyday Champions Program is to develop student athletes into individuals ready to excel in today’s competitive environment. Upon graduation our student-athletes will leave OSU educated, confident, connected and well prepared for the personal and professional challenges that will face them throughout their lives.  Oregon State University has designed the Everyday Champions Program to facilitate the growth in the 5 areas designated by the former NCAA CHAMPS Life Skills Program: Athletic Excellence, Academic Excellence, Character & Leadership Development, Career Development and Community Service. 


Leadership Institute



The objectives of the Oregon State University Athletic Department’s Leadership Institute are to provide comprehensive programming aimed at advancing the academic potential of student-athletes, broadening career horizons, and expanding and creating an awareness of the student-athletes’ current and potential networks.  The students learn about Leadership as a discipline in their daily lives and how that will translate to success as future leaders in the global industrial market and the communities in which they will reside.


Programming is multi-faceted and begins in the freshman year and continues until after student-athletes graduate if they desire to reach back to the department for ever-evolving resources.  We strive to make the programming valid and offered within a 5 year rotation.


Current Student-Athlete Programs

LEADERSHIP COURSEWORK:  A succession of varied courses focusing on each student’s individual potential to lead and be a change agent in any arena they choose.  Current leaders in business, engineering, science, higher education, and the community are invited to share their career paths and their working definitions of “Leadership”.  Students work on their resumes, interview skills, time management, and encourage their “dream big” to including:

·         Graduate application to elite institutions/Law School/Medical School, etc.

·         Application to prestigious programs such as Rhodes, Marshall, Truman and the NCAA Post-Graduate and PAC-12 Post Graduate Scholarships.

WOMEN LEAD (Limitless, Empowered, Authentic, Distinguished):  Current female student-athletes meet once per term to discuss issues pertinent to their upcoming careers and personal development.  Topics vary term to term as well speakers.  Speakers may include women in business, engineering, the sciences and other majors/career opportunities and community leaders.


BEAVERS WITHOUT BORDERS:  Inspired by two former football players:  Yvenson Bernard’s Haiti Earthquake relief efforts in 2009 and Taylor Kavanaugh’s service projects around the world, Varsity OSU is teaming up with OSU’s International Program to create international service learning projects for former and current student-athletes to work on together.  The intent is to have a turn-key operation throughout the world to provide on-going humanitarian aid and to assist others around the world and the United States in the event of a crisis or natural disaster. 

STUDENT ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT EVENTS:  The Department offers regular programming on different topics as they relate to the personal growth and development of all students.  General topics areas will included: Addictive Behaviors, Cultural Competencies and Healthy Behaviors.  Students athletes associated with SAAC are queried annually for speakers and/or topics of interest.  Some seminars are designated mandatory.  It will be your responsibility to notify Linda A. Johnson prior to a mandatory event if you believe you have an extenuating circumstance that conflicts with an event.  Please contact her at or 541-737-6804.  Typically one seminar per term will be mandated, held on a Sunday in Milam Auditorium at 7:00pm.  You will be provided with a Student Development Calendar each term to assist you in planning your attendance at all student development events.

STUDENT-ATHLETE ADVISORY COUNCIL:  The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a nationally recognized group of student-athletes at each NCAA institution across the country. OSU SAAC is composed of at least two representatives from each of the 16 men's and women's varsity teams, with the exception of football, who may have four representatives. These representatives are often appointed by team coaches and graduating SAAC members; however, any student-athlete has the opportunity to join and more than two team members may attend meetings. SAAC representatives are responsible for bringing information discussed during each meeting back to their team and staff. There are ten Executive Officers on the committee, each responsible for a particular duty or campus involvement. These officers are elected each Spring via a voting process.

SAAC exists to give the student athletes an influential voice in the athletic department, as well as across the entire campus. We serve as an outlet for student-athletes to find community service opportunities, networking events, mentors, and many other extra-curricular activities that are often difficult to participate in because of our busy schedules. With the help of Athletic Department staff members, we are able to participate in many programs that allow us to enrich the community, campus, and ourselves in order to create well-rounded, diverse, and experienced individuals who are prepared to enter life after athletics. The members of this committee have a collective goal to enhance each student-athletes’ collegiate experience, and are often involved with taking positions on Athletic Department Policy, discussing NCAA legislation, influencing student-athlete welfare initiatives and many other activities.   

SAAC Executive Officers of 2015-16

            Samantha Harrison         President                          Swimming

            Chris Tedesco                 Vice President                  Men’s Golf

            Maureen Tremblay          Secretary                          Women’s Track & Field

            Tess O’Leary                   Treasurer                          Women’s Rowing

            Beverly Miller                   ASOSU/Greek Life             Softball

            Taylor Ricci                      Public Relations                Gymnastics

            Baxter Call                       Team Relations                 Men’s Crew          

            Silvia Colussi-Pelaez        Community Relations       Gymnastics

            Lihani du Plessis              SA Welfare/Varsity OSU     Women’s Rowing

            Constance Toulemonde  Beaver Cup                       Swimming

CAPTAIN’S TABLE:  Once a term the Athletic Director addresses all the team Captains and SAAC Executive Officers over dinner. Agenda will include updates them on current national and local issues pertinent to the student-athlete experience.   Students are afforded a free flowing dialogue with the Athletic Director.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT DINNER:  In conjunction with National Student Athlete Day, this celebration honors all current student-athletes with an OSU cumulative GPA of 3.20 or better.  Members of the faculty and community are also invited to join in the recognition of nearly 250 student-athletes each year. 

SENIOR GRADUATION BRUNCH:  Sponsored by Varsity OSU this cap-stone event celebrates the graduating class and their achievements over a departmental brunch.  Student-athletes, parents, friends, and family get to experience some of the most memorable moments with members of the graduating classVarsity OSU members provide the Key Note Speaker.  During the event, graduation rings, cords, and senior awards are given to the student-athletes.

ATHLETIC CAREER SERVICES:  Each year there will be Student Development seminars on such topics as resume writing, interview techniques, networking, personal branding, usage of social media, dress for success, and negotiating your worth.  The OSU Career Services Center also supports all students on the OSU campus with the University Wide Career Fairs on October 21, 2015, February 14, 2016 and April 27, 2016.  The Engineering Career Fairs are October 22, 2015 and February 25, 2016.   Student’s athletes are encouraged to create an account on LinkedIn and Athlete Network.  There is a great subgroup on LinkedIn – ask to join the Varsity OSU group. 


VARSITY OSU NETWORKING & RECEPTION:  This program is designed to assist student athletes in their current career or internship search and gain an understanding of how their skill set and major may fit current employer’s needs.   Many non-mandatory programs are offered to the student athletes prior to this event, which co-insides with the University Wide Career Fair, to ensure they have a positive working resume, understand dressing for success, and are able to engage in professional communication associated with a job search.  This program is in partnership with the College of Business Student Success Center. 

BEAVER CUP: An intra-team competitive reward system created by past SAAC President Mitch Gillis to account for all the contributions our teams make in the class room, in community and for the department.  A scoring system has been developed which takes into consideration team grade point average, attendance at mandatory and non-mandatory Student Development events, attendance at SAAC, the per student athlete team average community service hours and Orange Game attendance.  Team winners of the Beaver Cup receive a gift certificate and may display the traveling Beaver Cup Trophy in their locker room.  The 2015 winners were gymnastics, women’s golf and volleyball. 

COMMUNITY SERVICEEach OSU team makes a significant contribution to our community with their service efforts.  During the 2014-15 academic years OSU student athletes contributed 2500 hours of community service; roughly 5 hours per student athlete.   The Glenn Klein Community Service Award is presented at The Benny’s to the male and female student athlete who made significant contributions to the community.   During 2014-15 the outstanding community service awardees were Sam Harrison of swimming and Kurtis Ramsay of Wrestling.

ORANGE GAMES:  Each team will selected a competition in which they want an abundance of student athletes in attendance to ensure competitive support.  All student athletes will receive an Orange Game t-shirt to be worn to all Orange Games.  To receive a point for attendance at an Orange Game you will need to check in with SAAC Team Relations Executive Baxter Call   of Men’s Crew.  Attendance at an Orange Game in your Orange Game t-shirt will earn you 2 points towards The Beaver Cup.  Remember the goal of the Orange Games is student athletes supporting student athletes.  Checking in for your team point and then leaving is not interpreted as supporting other student athletes during their competition.



You will receive the Student Athlete Survey document by e-mail and it is submitted confidentially.  The OSU Athletic Department conducts exit interviews with all student-athletes leaving their program as well.  As required by the NCAA, an additional interview may be conducted by Athletic Advisory Board Members and University Faculty at the end of each term.  Questions focus on your recruitment, your life as a student, as an athlete, and your participation in campus life/activities.   The completion of the survey is vital as this is the tool used to gather data essential to the continued improvement of the OSU Athletic Department.