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.



Oregon Research and Teaching Security Operations Center

The Oregon Research and Teaching Security Operations Center (ORTSOC) initiative will investigate and proposes the best way to establish a regional, world-class shared SOC to improve participating organizations’ cybersecurity capabilities while providing experiential and research opportunities for student’s in EECS’ Cybersecurity program.

We are headed toward a crisis. Cybersecurity threats are increasing in intensity and sophistication with the resulting data breaches accounting for tremendous losses for organizations. As these organizations seek to improve their security posture, they are finding a shortage of qualified workers. In May 2020, there were 507,924 cybersecurity job openings in the U.S. (4,595 positions in Oregon)

Academia responded, and, in the last several years there have been a proliferation of cybersecurity and information assurance programs developed. But according to a recent report by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and of Homeland Security, those efforts might be failing to fully meet needs. “Employers increasingly are concerned about the relevance of cybersecurity-related education programs in meeting the needs of their organizations” was one of the key findings of the report. Further research has pointed to the importance of experiential learning to make graduating students appealing to employers.

Pathways To OSU

Pathways to OSU (P2OSU) has been selected for development, kicked off in January 2020 and is currently in the Converge Phase. The Investment Grade Proposal is expected in November 2020.

Pathways to OSU (P2OSU) is developing a longitudinal solution to support students of color, with a focus on Black and Indigenous students, and students that are the first in their family to complete a bachelor's degree. Engagement in the program will start in middle school and extend through their university experience.

P2OSU recognizes and respects the vital role of other successful programs to serve these students; both offered through OSU and by other public and private organizations. The initiative team proposes to connect existing programs across each phase of a student's experience through a relationship-based collaboration and backbone structure.

Additionally, the focus is on supporting students through the difficult transitions by building trusted relationships with students, families, and communities. Early, intentional and research-based support will increase first-time freshman enrollment and retention through graduation.

Core Team: Beth St. Amand (Lead), SueAnn Bottoms, Nikki Cook, Allison Davis-White Eyes, Gina Galaviz-Yap, Emily Herman, Maureen Hosty, Janet Nishihara, Stephanie Ramos, Susan Rowe, Angela Sandino, Jeff Sherman, Dorian Smith
Impact Studio Design Interns: Spencer Bonnell, Opal Richenberg, Jennifer Rodriguez



Engineering and Design for Society

Engineering and Design for Society (EDS) was selected for development in February 2019 and has been approved for the Incubation Phase in 2020.

We are pleased to share that the colleges of Engineering, Liberal Arts, Business, and Honors, in cooperation with the Provost’s Office and Impact Studio, are moving the OSU Engineering and Design for Society (EDS) initiative forward. Prof. Jim Sweeney will serve as the EDS Academic Director. EDS brings together faculty from across the university to create and deliver a highly experiential education centered on design, innovation, and social entrepreneurship for both undergraduate and graduate students. A central theme is the betterment of society through solutions aligned with the OSU SP4.0 signature areas of revolutionary earth systems science, leading health and wellness, and advancing economic prosperity and social progress.

Our audience in this initiative includes both undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and employers/clients in industry, non-profits, and communities from Oregon and around the world. What ties EDS participants together is a shared vision for how design perspectives can enrich transdisciplinary problem solving for societal good. We have the opportunity to create for students, faculty, and our constituents a unique and powerful endeavor to train the next generation of leaders for the world’s innovation economy, and put OSU on the map as a leader and hub in design and innovation education and research. The envisioned experience for students, faculty, and employers/clients includes comprehensive educational plans supporting a range of undergraduate and graduate students, multiple curricular options, and experiential learning on real-world client projects. At scale, this initiative will benefit all who are looking to apply transdisciplinary, project-based experiential curricula in their programs. 

The Honors College has agreed to host EDS during the Incubation and Pilot Phases of its development. Faculty from the colleges of Engineering, Liberal Arts, Business, Education, and the Honors College have already collaborated with Impact Studio to create investment and program proposals during 2019. The EDS Incubation Phase will last one year, as the faculty core leadership team tests the most important assumptions before piloting and scaling the program.  

If you have questions about this initiative, please contact Jim Sweeney, EDS Academic Director at [email protected].

University Financial Management

University Financial Management (UFM) has been selected for development in 2020. UFM kicked off in February and is currently in the Converge Phase.

A need exists to prioritize and tradeoff both Oregon State University academic unit costs and revenues in a strategic, optimized manner. Budget pressures have peaked with the coincidental timing of the recent implementation of modified Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budget processes. Academic deans and directors have not been asked previously or provided the tools to act strategically regarding their college-level program decisions and to optimize within an allocated budget. The UFM working group is engaging with OSU's academic units to improve the tools and methods for strategic financial management.

Our focus in development is to first engage with the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, and College of Science. Over the past few months, the UFM working group has conducted a series of interviews and co-design sessions to identify needs and solution elements.

Core Team: Rich Duncombe (Lead), Sherm Bloomer, Jon Dolan, Mark A. Johnson, Jesse Mraz, Heidi Sann, Lynn Egli (Next Level Non-Profit Consulting)
Colleges: Roy Haggerty (COS), Roberta Marinelli (CEOAS), Larry Rodgers (CLA)

Capacity-Based Pricing

Randy Rosenberger, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, College of Forestry, engaged Impact Studio to develop the Capacity-Based Pricing (CBP) initiative. The initiative kicked-off in February 2019 to lead the discussions for a more dynamic pricing model for non-resident students. The Core team's Investment Grade Proposal (IGP) was approved in August of 2019 and, under the leadership of Jon Boeckenstedt, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, select colleges will be begin Piloting qualifying majors.

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.

Several colleges, including College of Forestry, College of Agricultural Sciences, and College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences have programs that meet the requirements above. CBP explores and recommends 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 will 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.­

The Outdoor Recreation Economy Pilot Team (pictured L to R): Lee Davis, Meredith Morrice, Paula Matano, Daniel Powers, Ji Kim

Outdoor Recreation Economy

The Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative (OREI) has successfully moved from incubation to the Pilot Phase.

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 across the state. According to newly released data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the outdoor recreation makes up 2.2 percent of U.S. GDP, generating $778 billion in gross output, supporting 5.2 million jobs nationally and growing faster than the economy as a whole. 

In January 2019, Oregon State University launched the Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative (OREI) to support this rapidly growing industry, serving outdoor private companies, nonprofits, and public agencies. The aim of OREI is to create workforce development and professional education programs that complement OSU’s existing outdoor-related degree programs and respond to the industry’s fast changing workforce needs.   

The OREI Core Team spent the year in Incubation Phase understanding the industry’s most critical workforce development needs and identifying highly responsive training & educational solutions. This work was done in close collaboration with leaders and thought-partners across the industry who provided guidance and input on potential pilot programs OSU could deliver to advance the Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative.

OREI has successfully moved into Pilot Phase and will begin program development of two non-credit certificates with identified industry partners. Targeted launch dates for both programs are Summer/Fall 2020. As OREI moves through the planning and development process, they are seeking support and participation from multiple Colleges and campuses at OSU. To find out how to get involved, please contact Meredith Morrice, OREI Industry Engagement Manager, at [email protected].

OREI 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 in the state. OREI positively impacts the university’s signature areas: advancing sustainable earth ecosystems, improving human health and wellness, and promoting economic growth and social progress.

Additional OREI information can be found here.

International Online

International Online (IO) kicked off development in February 2020 and is now in the Pilot Phase.

The International Online (IO) initiative is taking a comprehensive look at opportunities and required offerings to serve international students. The scope includes prospective students seeking online courses to prepare for a degree program, fully online degrees, and degrees that start online and then complete in the US.

The international higher education market is changing rapidly, including the emergence of online education. The initiative will leverage OSU's Ecampus national leadership position and INTO's pioneering solutions to expand higher education opportunities for students worldwide. This initiative is an opportunity to step back and identify the best solutions to achieve student success, leverage organizational capabilities, and deliver net revenue.

The emphasis of IO shifted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which profoundly impacted our global neighbors and their communities. The IO team is supporting solutions for Fall 2020 and then expanding those solutions in subsequent years, serving graduate and undergraduate international students, no matter their border.

Core Team: Gigi Bruce (lead), John Becker-Blease, Bob Gilmour, Jessica DuPont, Patriek Karayil (INTO University Partnerships), Amy McGowan (INTO University Partnerships)
Impact Studio Design Interns: Evietta Chapman, Tiger Hu, Noah Lee

Transfer Enrollment and Success Expansion

The Transfer Enrollment and Success Expansion, originally named “Gateway,” has moved to Scale-up and is under the leadership of Jon Boeckenstedt, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management; daily leadership of the effort is being transitioned from Open Campus to the Office of Admissions.  Bridget Jones has been named the new Sr. Associate Director of Transfer Student Admissions and will lead the efforts.  The new organizational structure brings the project in alignment with OSU’s Degree Partnership Program (DPP) and other transfer recruitment and admissions activities. The effort remains a campus-wide collaboration, with many OSU staff playing a role in transfer recruitment, transitions, and success.

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 PCC 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 late fall 2019, and continue to partner with OSU Extension and Open Campus in rural community colleges. Discussions with potential new community college partners is underway.

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.