The Center for Civic Engagement sought nominations from our community for students who are leading in their community through various forms of civic engagement (direct service, philanthropy/giving, activism/advocacy, etc.). The criteria for students is not based upon held leadership roles, but rather a devotion to social change and bettering their community. Read on to learn about the students being spotlighted this term.

Isamar Chavez

Isamar Chávez

Isamar Chávez embodies civic engagement in every aspect of her personal and professional life. Chávez is from McMinnville, Oregon and transferred to OSU last year from Chemeketa Community College. She is now pursuing a double major in Education and Ethnic Studies with a minor in Peace Studies. Her experiences working in her own community made her realize that she wanted to dedicate her life to ensuring that education and knowledge is accessible for everyone, especially those who have been displaced from society.

Chávez is now involved with the her studies,  Diversity and Cultural Engagement, ADELANTE,  MEChA de OSU, Allied Student for Another Politics, and OSU Peace Studies Student Association. She offers her voice to speak out about issues that impact students whenever she can. Her core values are central to her work and include empathy, responsibility, equity, and connectedness. Chávez strives to connect with others to deconstruct the walls that prevent people from understanding each other. She also believes it is important to validate the experiences of others because they are different from her own.

In her future life beyond university, Chávez aspires to incorporate civic engagement into her life every single day through educating others, starting community organizations, and potentially going to law school or becoming a librarian. Whatever she ends up doing, she will fight for others to have access to information so that they have the knowledge, skills, and motivation to achieve the life they desire.

Isamar Chávez is recognized for her positivity, courage, and passion for serving others, as well as her commitments to social change and community betterment.

Khiem Lam

One would be hard pressed to find a student more civically active and involved at Oregon State than Khiem Lam. Originally from Hillsboro Oregon, Khiem has always held a passion for scientific research; an interest which stems from participation in various science fairs and robotics competitions in high school. This passion for science then brought him to Oregon State as a first generation college student

Since his first year at OSU, Khiem Lam has strived to connect his major in biosciences to a lifestyle rich in civic involvement. Khiem is currently highly active in a number of different clubs and organizations which all share a similar theme: serving underrepresented groups on campus. One such group, MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture. Natural Resource Related), works to educate students on food insecurities through the lens of more marginalized groups. Khiem is also an officer for SACNAS,a club which helps diversify the biomedical field; which ties directly to Khiem's major.

On a fundamental level, Khiem values contributing positivity to our world. He seeks to broaden his peers’ minds to new perspectives through his organization involvement. Khiem seeks to create equality for all; a principle which shows itself in his commitment to serving underrepresented populations.

Beyond his undergrad years, Khiem plans to pursue a PhD. Ultimately, Khiem hopes to bring accessible healthcare to all those who need it.

Khiem Lam