Impact Studio's work illustrates the breadth of Oregon State’s mission and facilitates Oregon State's Vision 2030 and Strategic Plan.

Our studio portfolio is built by successfully developing and launching new adjacent opportunities positioned outside of core activities.


Our healthy portfolio depends on the following:

  • Strategic alignment with the Provost and Impact Studio Advisory Board; including selection criteria for new initiatives.
  • Strong partnerships with Oregon State colleges, divisions, centers, and programs to identify, create, and advance promising initiatives.
  • Authentic relationships with talented and diverse individuals from Oregon State and beyond to expand creative capacity.
  • Rapid data-driven decision making to select and advance the most promising initiatives.
  • Selection and adoption of proven methodologies.
  • Efficient and effective Initiative Launch; including Incubate, Pilot, and Scale-up phases.



Blue Economy Launch Lab

Blue Economy Launch Lab was selected as an initiative in February 2019 and is currently under Initiative Development in the Converge phase.

Jack Barth, Executive Director of the Marine Studies Initiative (MSI), has engaged Impact Studio to develop the Blue Economy Launch Lab Initiative in 2019, and an Investment Grade Proposal is expected in September 2019.

The Blue Economy is all economic activities related to the ocean, seas, and coasts. This includes activities related to shipping, recreation, fisheries, seafood, aquaculture, and renewable energy, as well as software and value-added applications based on ocean and atmosphere data.

The EU recently issued a report on their Blue Economy, valued at over $550B per year. This initiative would focus on the emerging sectors of the Blue Economy.

The focus of this initiative is to investigate how Oregon State would create partnerships to advance research and develop, launch, and lead the commercialization of these emerging technologies. The goal of the institute or center is to become an internationally recognized thought leader in the “Emerging Blue Economy.” This activity will also provide real-world learning opportunities, for example, internships, for OSU students.

The benefits of such a structure include rapidly linking research with public and private partners, acting as a public advocate to create new initiatives and funding opportunities, advocating within coastal, state, and federal government and agencies to bring the right stakeholders together around grand challenges including feeding the planet, marine renewable energy and ocean health. Oregon State is internationally recognized in many relevant research topics, and a great opportunity exists to identify what specific aspects of the industry to lead. The Blue Economy Launch Lab positions Oregon State’s current assets to serve a key need.

Engineering and Design for Society

Engineering and Design for Society was selected as an initiative in February 2019 and is currently under Initiative Development in the Converge phase.

Jim Sweeney, Professor in Bioengineering and Special Assistant to the Dean - College of Engineering, and Lee Ann Garrison, Director of the School of Arts and Communication - College of Liberal Arts, have engaged Impact Studio to develop the Engineering and Design for Society Initiative, and an Investment Grade Proposal is expected for summer 2019.

Engineering and Design for Society (EDS) is an initiative that brings together dedicated faculty across a range of disciplines. Together, they are focused on creation and delivery of a highly experiential curricular and co-curricular education for both undergraduate and graduate students that is design, innovation, and entrepreneurship centered, and with a central theme of the betterment of society through engineering and design solutions aligned with NAE Grand Challenges such as sustainability, health, and the joy of living – and with the three OSU “healthies.”  

The eventual academic structure of the initiative is an open question, but it is envisioned that the enterprise - however and wherever it resides - will “host” programs, research and collaborations across the university and with stakeholders in the arts, design industry, not-for-profits, and in communities across Oregon and beyond.

Capacity-Based Pricing

Randy Rosenberger, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies - College of Forestry, engaged Impact Studio to develop the Capacity-Based Pricing initiative and the initiative kicked-off in February 2019. An Investment Grade Proposal was produced in July and the initiative was approved in August for the Incubation Phase.

The Capacity-Based Pricing Initiative’s objective is to increase undergraduate non-resident enrollment and graduation in majors where:

  1. OSU has a comparative advantage at delivering these majors to the Pacific Northwest region and beyond;
  2. Upper division core courses in these majors has excess classroom capacity;
  3. Graduates of these majors are in demand by employers in the broader region; and
  4. Primary constraint on accessibility is the full cost of non-resident tuition at OSU.  OSU and the Colleges benefit by increasing net tuition revenue and extending the impacts of graduates in an intentional way.

The College of Forestry has several majors that meet the requirements above and have been leading discussions for a more dynamic pricing model for non-resident students. This Initiative will explore and recommend capacity-based pricing strategies and processes for non-resident recruitment, retention, and completion at the institutional level, while meeting the needs and goals of Colleges. Colleges could utilize these pricing strategies in cases when Oregon State has a strong program that could attract non-resident students on a selective basis to fill existing capacity.­

Outdoor Recreation Economy

Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative is Launched in Incubation.

Through the Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative (OREI), Oregon State is taking a leadership role in partnering with the Outdoor Industry. Oregon and Oregon State have always been leaders when it comes to the outdoors, and this initiative continues that proud tradition. The Provost recognized the unique opportunity before us to partner with the Outdoor Industry in workforce development and professional education. Lee Davis, formerly the Executive Director of the Mazama's, has joined Oregon State to lead this initiative through Incubation with university and outdoor sector experts. Lee brings a wealth of experience to Oregon State. His commitment to the outdoor industry spans decades including both his professional and personal pursuits.

Until very recently, Oregon and our nation did not track or fully understand the size and potential of the outdoor recreation economy. In 2017, the Outdoor Industry Association reported that 69% of Oregonians engage in outdoor recreation, generating $16.4 billion in consumer spending and 172,000 jobs overall.  And more recently, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the Outdoor Industry amounts to over 2% of GDP, contributing over $734 billion to our nation's economy.  

OREI and Oregon State will create the first sector-wide workforce development portal to accelerate this rapidly expanding industry; serving industry, nonprofits, and public agencies. OREI advances Oregon State’s mission to serve the state, the nation and the world. The initiative positively impacts the university’s signature areas: advancing sustainable earth ecosystems, improving human health and wellness, and promoting economic growth and social progress.

This initiative emerged from a series of state-wide strategic conversations led by Travel Oregon, the Governor's office, and Oregon's new Office of Outdoor Recreation, with a variety of community and agency stakeholders, all working to enhance the outdoor recreation economy and expand sustainable access to the outdoors for all Oregonians. The initiative core team spent the first half of 2019 in an incubation period – identifying the most critical workforce development needs and identifying highly responsive training & educational solutions. This work was done in close collaboration with the outdoor recreation economy through one-on-one interviews with industry leadership, workforce surveys, and a facilitated two-day retreat with thought partners and decision makers across the industry – including leaders from REI, Columbia Sportswear, Ruffwear, Oregon Outdoor Alliance, Bend Outdoor Worx, Wallowa Resources, Forest Service, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Avarna Group, Corps Network, the Governor’s Office, and several community-based organizations – to provide guidance and input on potential pilot programs OSU could deliver to advance the Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative.

Approaching the end of Incubation and planning ahead for the Pilot phase, the core team will be spending the remainder of 2019 and into 2020 designing innovative educational programs – including non-credit certificates and longer-term training programs – intentionally built for the current and future generations of outdoor advocates and environmental caretakers. To follow the initiative’s progress or to find out how to get involved please contact Meredith Morrice, OREI Strategic Engagement Manager, at

Transfer Enrollment and Success Expansion

The Transfer Enrollment and Success Expansion, originally named “Gateway,” is under the leadership of Jon Boeckenstedt, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and is currently being led on-the-ground by Jeff Sherman, Assistant Director for OSU Open Campus, Juntos and Engagement Academy, and a small team in the Portland, OR area. The day-to-day leadership will transition to the Office of Admissions in fall 2019, where they align with DPP and other transfer recruitment and admissions activities.

The Transfer Enrollment and Success Expansion emerged from a systematic institutional innovation effort begun in 2016-17 that engaged stakeholders across the campus to surface and evaluate a series of ideas for their academic merit and capacity to generate net revenue for the Oregon State. The initiative has significant potential to advance the University's access and affordability goals, was the first such idea to gain approval by the President and Provost for further development with appropriate stakeholder engagement and shared governance through Impact Studio.

Oregon State is currently in partnership with Portland Community College (PCC) administrators, advisors, staff, and students. Our presence and partnership with PCC was implemented to ensure student retention, reduce credit loss between institutions, and develop of a “sense of belonging” toward Oregon State while students are at PCC, most often through participation in OSU’s Degree Partnership Program. The effort provides on-the-ground coaching for students transferring to any of our Oregon State locations, or online. OSU Transfer Success Coaches are co-located with PPC Advisors at Rock Creek Campus, and meets on-site with students at other PCC locations: Southeast, Sylvania, and Cascades Campuses.  OSU plans to expand the number of Transfer Success Coaches in partner community colleges in fall 2019.

Transfer Student Experience

Transfer Student Experience Initiative is Launched in Scale-up.

The initiative was a partnership with Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Education, Ecampus and other key stakeholders. Data indicated first-year retention rates for transfer studetns were below that of traditional students. The team utilized Human Centered Design methodologies to stand in the shoes of Oregon's unique transfer students to pinpoint issues and identify solutions that improve the transfer student experience and retention rates.

In July 2018, the Transfer Student Experience team proposed a prioritized list of improvements to the Provost and the Undergraduate Student Success Initiative leaders. Those recommendations have been integrated into the plans of the Undergraduate Student Success Steering Committee which is responsible to implement and oversee a comprehensive university-wide plan to advance Oregon State’s undergraduate student success goals.

Making significant and meaningful progress addressing the unique needs of transfer students is a foundation that supports growth, equity, and extends Oregon State’s teaching mission.