Fall 2018 — Oregon State University students are out there making a difference, each in their own way. Alisha Saduova is a civil engineering student from Kazakhstan, and her passion is environmentally conscious construction. She hopes to use her expertise to serve her community back home. While here at OSU, Saduova has become involved through the International Cultural Services Program and the Oregon Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honors association.
Q: Why did you choose your major?
I want to create something beneficial to humanity with my own hands. In the country where I was born, there are boundless steppes, beautiful valleys and desolate places. However, the country’s fast development negatively impacts the environment. I have been asking myself, “What can I do? How can I use my potential to become a useful part of the community?” I decided that I want to study civil engineering, specifically the implementation of green technologies in construction.
Q: How do you plan to use your degree?
My biggest dream is to make ecologically friendly structures more accessible to people with lower incomes.
Q: What class have you enjoyed most at Oregon State?
I loved taking MUS 108: Music Cultures of the World, where we learned how to play the Native American flute. This class wasn’t part of my major and I didn’t expect to enjoy it. However, I was so pleased to learn about the love, passion and spirit present in Native American culture.
Q: How have your studies influenced you?
During the time I’ve spent studying abroad, I have learned how to quickly adapt to a new environment. This experience has changed me and helped me grow as a person.
Q: What is the best way for you to de-stress?
Oregon is well known for its many hiking trails and beautiful nature. When the day promises no rain, I like to hike for half an hour or so. It helps me organize my thoughts and get rid of my worries.
Q: Has your time at OSU changed the way you think?
My time studying at Oregon State University has helped me to develop my critical thinking. During my adolescence, I mostly concentrated on analyzing the emotional aspects of life. Looking back, I understand that my judgments were often one-dimensional even though life, in general, is multi-dimensional, containing so many different perspectives and angles. If you think that the wall in front of you is white, it does not mean that it’s the same color to others. It is a simple truth, but most people find it hard to understand and accept that their opinion is not always right and that other people can think differently.
Q: What Oregon State experience took you by surprise and why?
When I applied to the Alternative Break program run by the Center of Civic Engagement, I didn’t expect to be chosen for such a wonderful experience. I haven’t done much community service since there are not as many volunteer opportunities in Kazakhstan as there are in the United States. However, I’ve always wanted to learn more about issues like homelessness and food insecurity. They are things people in my country don’t usually mention in conversation, but they’re definitely important to talk about.
Q: What makes OSU special?
I appreciate that diversity plays an important role in the Oregon State University community. Currently, it is a home to students from more than 100 countries. That alone makes it a special place.
Q: What value do you think diversity brings to our campus?
Diversity is a very important aspect of campus life. It helps students to develop their curiosity and be more open-minded. It helps us realize that every individual is unique and, at the same time, this uniqueness is what connects us.
Q: What does community mean to you?
Usually, members of the same community share the tight bonds and feelings for each other. However, it is significant to understand that an individual can be a member of several different communities at the same time. Each member should participate in growth and development of their community. The idea of community also assumes that each individual is emotionally and physically healthy and feels comfortable with other community members. Community members taking care of each other and maintaining good communication are other things that define a healthy and well-built community.