Alumni Making an Impact

 Alumni from the College of Arts and Sciences have gone onto successful careers across the world. From advice for current and prospective students to classes and mentors that made an impact in their lives and a variety of journeys from the UO to where they are now, hear from our alumni and learn about their paths to success. 

Mitch Thomson

Alumnus Spotlight: Mitchel Thomson

Thomson earned his degree in Chinese and Asian Studies, and went on to a successful 30-year career in global management industries. 

Spaceship illustration

UO Alumna Part of Webb Space Telescope Team

Now that the NASA James Webb Space Telescope has reached its destination a million miles from Earth and begins beaming back images of the deepest parts of space this summer, Charity Woodrum, a 2018 UO alumna, will be among the first to pore over them, looking for clues to how our galaxy came to be.

Alumnus Skye Fitzgerald

Oscar-nominated Alumus Films Hunger Ward, Lifeboat, 50 Feet from Syria

Six years in the making, three powerful films by UO theater arts alumnus and award-winning documentary filmmaker Skye Fitzgerald raise awareness and shine stark light on the plight of their subjects. He calls the projects his “humanitarian trilogy.”

Profile photo of  AK Ikwuakor

AK Ikwuakor Is Hurdling The Pandemic

Sociology alumnus AK Ikwuakor is now founder of MobileXA business consulting and sales excellence coach lead at Google, as well as producer to the Mornings with Coach AK podcast. 

A headshot of Kirstin Valdez Quade

For "The Five Wounds," Four Words

Creative writing alumna Kirstin Valdez Quade is an award-winning novelist and creative writing professor at Princeton University.

Nayeon Kim paints a child's face

In Pursuit of Justice

UO alumna Nayeon Kim believes there is benefit to society in reducing the prison terms of people of color and others victimized by excessive sentences and systemic racism. And she is dedicated to this work.

Jana Schmieding

Native Voice: Jana Schmieding

With Rutherford Falls, Jana Schmieding promotes Indigenous representation in Hollywood.

Nathan Harris holds his recent novel

Alumnus Spotlight: Nathan Harris

Nathan graduated with a BA in English, and now he’s a New York Times bestselling author. 

Rudy Omri

Alumnus Spotlight: Rudy Omri

Rudy earned his MA in Geography, and now he works for Planet helping customers use satellite images of the earth to fight wildfires.

Lauren Tierney

Alumna Spotlight: Lauren Tierney

Lauren graduated with a BA and M.S. in Geography, and how she works for the Washington Post as a Graphics Editor.

Jesse Nett

Alumnus Spotlight: Jesse Nett

Jesse earned his degree in Geography from UO and now he’s the Regional Cartographer for the USDA Forest Service in Colorado.

Mark Carrato

Alumnus Spotlight: Mark Carrato

Mark earned his MA in Global Studies, and now he’s the coordinator for the Power Africa Program.

Ava Jamerson

Alumna Spotlight: Ava Jamerson

Ava graduated from the UO in 2018 with a double major in Chinese and Business Administration and now, she is working for the Department of Commerce as an international trade specialist at the International Trade Administration and Director of Operations for The China Guys.

Bennet Voorhees

Alumnus Spotlight: Bennet Voorhees

Bennet double majored in Chinese and Economics, and now he’s using both as a data scientist.

Virginia Bavert

Alumna recognized for her work in language preservation

CAS Alumna Virginia Beavert has been honored for her efforts to preserve and breathe new life into the Native languages of the Northwest.


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Alumni in the News

November 23, 2022
University of Oregon's Environment Initiative partnered with APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscape Hub to support students exploring place-based climate resilience solutions across the Pacific Rim.
October 25, 2022
In addition to writing scripts for “Manhunt,” Johnson is also writing for a TV miniseries based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The upcoming Netflix series was created by Mike Flanagan, known for such productions as 2018′s “The Haunting of Hill House” and 2019′s “Doctor Sleep.”
October 17, 2022
Trip Jennings first started learning about the complexities of wildfire when he was an undergraduate at the University of Oregon twenty years ago.
October 17, 2022
Life rarely follows a linear narrative. It zigs. Sometimes it zags. Just ask Lidia Yuknavitch—teacher, lecturer, and best-selling author of Thrust and soon-to-be feature film, The Chronology of Water—whose fierce and fragmentary form of storytelling took root at the University of Oregon.
September 13, 2022
I had big plans. I wasn’t sure exactly what those plans were, but they were big. Dropping out of school, however, wasn’t one of them.
September 13, 2022
What brings people together? Alumni Connor Bussey, BS ’19 (business administration), and Adam Faris, BS ’20 (general social science), took to the popular TikTok platform for answers to that question during the pandemic. What they found: Cars. Yachts. Mansions. Sports. No, really.
September 13, 2022
University of Oregon alumnae are changing the face of public service. We look to the women highlighted in this article to govern nations, lead at the highest level of the military, interpret the law, determine the constitutionality of the law, and apply it to individual cases, and serve the public in state and local government.
September 13, 2022
When folklorist Michael Atwood Mason walks into work each day, he’s greeted by the legendary Emancipation Proclamation room, where President Lincoln wrote his famous 1863 presidential speech. As CEO and executive director of the Lincoln Cottage, Mason plays a pivotal role in the operations of the National Trust for Historic Preservation site.
September 13, 2022
Cassandra Law is a 1988 graduate of the University of Oregon, former member of the UO women’s track and field team, former coach and player for the women’s UO rugby team, and retired player of the USA Eagles national rugby team.
August 29, 2022
Reunion season is quickly approaching, and the University of Oregon Alumni Association (UOAA) is excited to welcome alumni back to campus with the Oregon Alumni Band Reunion, Black Alumni Reunion, and a combined 50th reunion for the 1972 and 1973 classes.
July 18, 2022
The long legacy that women have made in sports at the UO and beyond.
July 4, 2022
The Data Science Initiative graduated their first group of undergraduates. Seven undergraduate data science students walked the stage this spring to collect their diplomas, an exciting moment for the university’s new data science degree program.
June 23, 2022
The scientist studying astronaut health earned a Silver Snoopy for work with the International Space Station.