Women's Giving Circle Grants

2024-2025 Grant Recipients

High Altitude Liquid Engine Project 2025


The OSU High Altitude Liquid Engine (HALE) is an Engineering Capstone team at Oregon State University (OSU) with an ambitious goal: to launch and recover a single-stage liquid bipropellant rocket for the Base 11 Space Challenge. This dedicated team is designing and constructing both a subscale liquid engine launch vehicle and a Vertical Test Stand, which will be used for test fires and launches—making it the first of its kind in Oregon. Beyond typical coursework, HALE offers students an educational research project that provides a professional learning experience. The OSU Women’s Giving Circle is backing HALE for a second year in a row, directly impacting over 40 undergraduate team members by funding essential rocket components, enhancing students’ hands-on experience and contributing to the overall success of aerospace programs at OSU. Notably, the team includes 9 female members, and the Women’s Giving Circle’s support serves as a powerful statement encouraging more women to pursue engineering.


In Search of Sisterhood (The Society of Scholarly Sistas)


The Society of Scholarly Sistas empowers students to persist, advance, and successfully complete their college education. This organization is on OSU’s campus for female-identifying students, serving as a vital platform for retaining and empowering future leaders. Through culturally-based extracurricular activities, In Search of Sisterhood enhances the undergraduate experience for marginalized and underserved populations, fostering a stronger connection to the OSU community. This commitment to diversity directly impacts the larger OSU community and prepares students for their future careers. Additionally, the academic and campus involvement requirements of the student organization contribute to improved retention among female students, fostering a strong sense of dedication to the university throughout their college careers.


Building Community With SPHA


The Student Public Health Association (SPHA) is a vibrant club run by undergrads for undergrads. With 81 members, growing from 3 in 2019 to 2020, SPHA offers diverse opportunities in education, volunteering, networking, and skill-building in public health. With a Women’s Giving Circle grant, the SPHA aims to support National Public Health Week (NPHW) in April 2025. NPHW, organized by the American Public Health Association, is a week of educational events for students to build community and promote health!


Ment2Teach: Education Peer Mentoring Program


The Ment2Teach program, launched in Fall 2023 with the support of a Women’s Giving Circle grant, is a student-led peer mentorship initiative for first-time students (freshmen or transfer students) in education programs. Its primary goal is to build meaningful networks and support systems during students’ initial years in their education journey. While the program initially expected 60 new student participants, it has already reached over 90 students. The impact of networking and relationship-building through Ment2Teach has been remarkable for both new students and mentors. Looking ahead, the program aims to continue providing high-level support to new and continuing students, especially as the undergraduate programs are expected to grow further. With an anticipated incoming class of 100 or more students in Fall 2024, the program has received a renewal of funding from the Women’s Giving Circle to sustain and expand its efforts. Notably, the majority of students in educator preparation programs at OSU identify as women, aligning well with the WGC’s goals. Additionally, the program offers valuable leadership experience to female mentors, contributing to their future careers.


College of Forestry Clothing Library


The College of Forestry established a free clothing library, initially supported by a Women’s Giving Circle grant in 2023. Prior to this grant, the library relied solely on donations and volunteer efforts. Now, with an additional year of funding, the the clothing library aims to employ an undergraduate student worker for regular upkeep and inventory management. Additionally, they will purchase more field clothes, gear, and boots. Recent data indicates that 28% of College of Forestry students at OSU fall into the “high financial need” category, and 30% are classified as “under-represented minority”—a higher proportion than at most other institutions. The cost of forestry-specific gear is substantial, especially given the dynamic outdoor requirements of the field. By providing free clothing, gear, and shoes, the clothing library aims to reduce the financial barrier for students pursuing forestry-related careers. This initiative not only supports student retention but also validates the importance of equitable access to essential resources.


Distinguished Women in Global Arts & Literature Speaker Series,


The Distinguished Women in Global Literature & Arts speaker series will create an invited speaker series linked to two undergraduate courses: English 362: American Women Writers and English 497: International Women's voices. Funds will support honorarium for up to ten 90- minute virtual visits by prominent American and international women writers and artists. Virtual visits would be hosted on campus & open to the entire campus & our community partnerships.


Bridging the Digital Divides for College of Agricultural Sciences Students


The College of Agricultural Sciences aims to address the digital divide faced by Oregon State University students, focusing on technology access and efficient utilization. Specifically, they seek to provide students with access to software, hardware, and workshops for creating agricultural sciences and natural resources (ASNR) communications deliverables—such as videos, photography, and graphic design. By enhancing communication skills in ASNR contexts, this initiative promotes experiential learning and practical application. It directly benefits OSU students, particularly those interested in agricultural and natural resources communications.

Additionally, the recently approved student-led club, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, fosters relationships among agricultural communication professionals and students, contributing to professional and academic development. While women currently dominate the field, this program’s efforts aim to promote diversity through improved technology accessibility.


Course Based Undergraduate Research in Molecular Biology Laboratory


OSU Cascades aims to develop a Course-Based Undergraduate Research (CURE) in Molecular Biology Lab. Authentic research is crucial preparation for STEM majors entering the workforce or pursuing post-graduate education. While the ideal scenario would involve all students conducting independent research with faculty mentors, this is unfeasible at Cascades due to limited tenure-track faculty. The Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology majors are popular among Cascades students, particularly those seeking well-paying careers in healthcare and biotech.

Most students come from Central Oregon, and many aspire to break the cycle of generational poverty. Notably, low-income and first-generation students are overrepresented in these majors, with more than 50% being women. Experiential learning, such as research, fosters a sense of belonging critical for retention and academic success. The proposed CURE course, mandatory for BMB majors and elective for BI majors, will maximize student access to authentic research experiences. By moving beyond volunteer-based opportunities, this initiative ensures that those who would benefit most have the chance to participate.


OSU Organic Growers Club Food Donation Program


Fresh produce is one of the most sought-after items in the Basic Needs Center food pantry by students and community members, where unmet needs are high. To help fulfill these needs, the OSU Organic Growers Club donates two self-funded CSA shares, increasing produce availability. Women’s Giving Circle funding will increase donated CSA shares.


Disability and Mobility Do-It-Yourself Co-Operative


This grant will transform the Social Mobility Lab into the Disability and Mobility Do-It-Yourself Co-Operative. Located in Women’s Building, this collaborative workspace will support experiential learning for undergraduates across several courses. Currently lacking the necessary technology and resources, the space will be equipped with a computer, monitor for teaching, student workstations, organizational materials, and supplies for experiential learning. The CoOp will offer opportunities for at least 100 Kinesiology and Honors College students annually, focusing on activities such as modifying ride-on toy cars for children with disabilities, creating zines, soldering soundboards, making music, and creative writing.


Empowering Underrepresented Futures at OSU-Cascades,


The TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program at Oregon State UniversityCascades provides essential support for first-generation, low-income, and disabled students. Their Peer Mentor Program pairs new TRIO SSS participants with upper-class students who share similar majors, experiences, or interests. These peer mentors play a vital role in helping students transition to university life by connecting them to campus resources and fostering a sense of community. Despite budget limitations that currently allow for only five mentors, Women’s Giving Circle funding would ensure peer support for all incoming students, addressing several challenges.


Fellowships for Undergraduate Research/Scholarship at OSU-Cascades,


This program aims to increase student engagement by providing research and scholarship opportunities mentored by OSU-Cascades faculty. Modeled after the previous “Layman Fellowship,” which effectively prepared students for careers and graduate school, these fellowships enhance student experiences, improve graduation rates, and develop disciplinespecific skills. Students work directly with faculty mentors and present their research publicly. Beyond the 18 Fellows, attending fellows’ presentations at an annual Symposium benefits the entire campus and community, fostering campus-community relationships and inspiring more experiential learning opportunities. Direct funding ensures accessibility, especially for marginalized populations, first-generation students, and women in STEM, allowing them to focus on research/scholarship without financial constraints.


Get a Dam Passport: First-Year Beavers Connect with Experiences Abroad


The 2023 pilot Get a Dam Passport project, funded by one-time grants from the U.S. Department of State and the OSU Internationalization Grant fund, proved the concept that a passport empowers access to education abroad, especially for underrepresented students. We prioritize Pell-eligible first-year and first-year transfer students with preference for students who represent minoritized racial/ethnic identities, LGBTQIA+ status, gender diversity, and firstgeneration status, among others. Our office directly supports passport grant recipients to study abroad through access to a self-paced Canvas course, coordination with OSU GO, and application help for scholarships.

The Women’s Giving Circle grant to sustain and expand the project, enabling us to offer scholarships beyond the initial 51 awarded. All grant funds go directly to students to maximize the impact of the grant.


International Women Concert Series


The Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts proposes to bring two extraordinary musicians to PRAx for short residencies (2-3 days each) bookending the year: Priyanka Shetty in late October 2024 and GRAMMY-winning Dobet Gnahore (Cote d'Ivoire) in early May. In addition to public performances, the residencies would center engagements with students focusing on their experiences as women pushing the boundaries of musical and cultural expression