Beaver Tales (formerly referred to as Create Your Own Story) is a story sharing initiative designed to recognize OSU student leaders who are making positive change. Each Tale includes a podcast interview with the participant where we ask them to share their accomplishments, leadership philosophy, and more. Check out the stories below to hear from our past participants and get inspired in your own leadership!

Sean Maston (he/him)

2024 Schoenstein Scholarship Winner

Sean Maston (he/him) is a senior at Oregon State University studying botany with a concentration in marine ecology. Sean started his college career at City College of San Francisco during the pandemic, then, following an overseas move to Amsterdam, enrolled in OSU’s Ecampus program. During his first year in the program, he was accepted onto the Ecampus Student Advisory Board, a group of students who work with university staff and faculty to improve the Ecampus student experience. As a science student, Sean is passionate about using his position on the board to improve hands-on research opportunities for undergraduate students pursuing online degrees, as well as addressing pressing issues like tuition costs, mental health, and community building. He envisions a world where academic resources are readily available and students can feel a sense of belonging even from afar. 

Sean’s leadership philosophy was inspired in part by his six years of service in the US Coast Guard. The mantra of “leave it better than you found it” was ingrained in him, inspiring him to strive to improve the communities he found himself in. He values hard work and pursuing involvement directly, and advises his fellow students to “seek out opportunities. Don't always wait for them to come knocking on your door.” He also recommends students check out OSU Ecampus’s “Going Online” podcast, which highlights advice and resources geared towards online students.

Kawaiala Husen (she/her)

2024 Schoenstein Scholarship Winner

Kawaiala Husen (she/her) is a fourth-year student at OSU studying marketing with a minor in Spanish. As a fourth generation OSU student, Kawaiala knew that she wanted to use her time in college to connect with people across the community. After getting involved in Greek life her freshman year, she later held positions as the Director of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) for her sorority and the VP of Education and Diversity for the OSU Panhellenic Council. In these positions, she aimed to promote resources and create events surrounding DEI efforts within the community. Beyond Greek life, Kawaiala has been involved with CEL, OSUAA Homecoming Court, volunteering as a Spanish teaching assistant at Lincoln Elementary, and many more programs on campus and beyond. During 2023-2024, she served as the Marketing Lead for Orange Media Network. 

Kawaiala’s identity as a mixed-race woman of color has inspired her passion for diversity education and representation. In her many roles on campus, she has used her resourcefulness and connections to spread awareness of resources and create new initiatives to uplift people of different cultural backgrounds. Kawaiala believes that anyone can be a leader, regardless of their official position or title. Her leadership philosophy is rooted in authenticity and compassion: “You just have to show up every day as authentically yourself and willing to help others. And that's really all you need to do to be a leader.” 

Jenny Trinidad (she/her)

2024 Schoenstein Scholarship Winner

Jenny Trinidad (she/her) is a sophomore at OSU studying kinesiology with a minor in psychology. Her journey with community engagement began with participation in her high school’s Key Club and developed into a variety of involvements upon beginning college. From being a mentee in the College Assistant Migrant Program (CAMP) to mentoring high school students through the Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute to leading the Alternative Break and Saber es Poder programs through CEL, Jenny’s leadership has impacted community members across OSU and beyond. As a leader, Jenny values kindness, inclusivity, and authenticity, and is inspired by her family’s work ethic. She recognizes the importance of adding fun into student projects, and encourages fellow student leaders not to be afraid of making mistakes— “it makes it seem like you’re a human.” Jenny’s perseverance and optimism are contagious: she believes that “what's meant for you will be meant for you,” a saying that she relies on when she encounters hard times. Jenny’s advice to fellow students is to get involved in their communities however they can, even if it’s just a little bit at a time. 

About

Information on past participants can be found here on the archived Create Your Own Story page.

The Schoenstein Scholarship is a yearly scholarship through the OSU Alumni Association that recognizes current OSU students who are making a difference on campus and beyond through community building and leadership. Applications are reviewed by a committee consisting of OSUAA and CEL staff members. Each year, five recipients are announced towards the end of Winter term and are automatically asked to participate in the Beaver Tales program. Learn more about the Schoenstein scholarship here