Your future begins after graduation. Dive in.
Susan Eskridge ’84 didn’t hesitate to explore every opportunity that came her way. And as a result, her path has led to a thriving career in physical therapy and research.
The first opportunity came when it was time to choose a college. Intrigued by her brother’s and grandparents’ positive experiences as Oregon State students, Eskridge decided to follow their lead. She took a chance and left her hometown of Walnut Creek, California for Corvallis. And it was there that she found her niche.
A pre-physical therapy major, Eskridge worked closely with her advisor, Velda Brust. In addition to guiding her through coursework, Brust opened another door: volunteer experiences caring for children with special needs.
”She was an excellent teacher and advisor and helped me confirm my decision to become a physical therapist,” Eskridge says.
In addition to assisting others with physical health, Eskridge took care of her own through her extracurricular activities. A member of the Oregon State varsity swim team, she bonded with her teammates and traveled to swim meets at other universities. Eskridge says swim team, along with her involvement in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, were crucial to her integration on campus and greatly contributed to her enjoyment of OSU.
Following graduation, Eskridge was immediately accepted to physical therapy school.
“I was told that acceptance was a result of Oregon State’s excellent reputation,” she says.
After working as a physical therapist, Eskridge decided to pursue a new road – research epidemiology. She had always desired to be more active in research, and that self-motivation guided her to earn a Ph.D. in public health and epidemiology from the University of California San Diego/San Diego State University. Today, Eskridge works as a contractor for the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego.
When she isn’t making research discoveries, Eskridge volunteers for the OSU Alumni Association, hosting events like Summer Send-Off for incoming first-year students.
“I really enjoy meeting and talking with the next generation of Beavers," she says.
Eskridge has been able to maintain a close connection with Oregon State through these experiences, as well as her long family legacy of Beaver alumni. After her daughter graduated from Oregon State in 2015, that connection only grew stronger.
“Every time I walk on campus, I feel like I’m coming home,” she says.
Sue is pictured with her husband Randy.