Hosted by the OSU Alumni Association, the Changemakers program celebrates Beaver alumni who foster meaningful and impactful transformation in their communities or fields of interest. Driven by passion and commitment, these inspiring individuals are blazing a path toward justice, equity, strong communities, human rights and health equity, climate change solutions and so much more. Whether they’re making a difference through their careers or volunteer work, our 2024 Changemakers underscore the profound impact that even modest efforts can have.

Do you know someone creating change in their community? Share their story with us to be considered for the OSU Changemakers recognition.






Derek Abbey, ’99
College of Liberal Arts

Derek Abbey found himself in Corvallis through the United States Marine Corps. Selected for a commissioning program after enlisting, he was sent to OSU to earn a bachelor's degree. Upon graduating, he became a ground officer and was chosen for an aviation contract. After serving 23 years, Derek retired as a major in 2014. He has dedicated his post-military career to furthering veterans' programs. As the president & CEO of Project Recover — a nonprofit bringing missing-in-action fallen soldiers home — Derek is giving closure to grieving families. Amongst this, his dedication to OSU remains strong; he is an avid champion of OSU veterans' projects, a frequent supporter of the OSUAA and a volunteer with the Beaver wrestling program.




Mar'quis Bryant-Morgan, ’21
College of Engineering

As an undergraduate, Mar'quis Bryant-Morgan redefined service leadership. He co-founded the Distinguished Scholars Initiative, served in leadership roles for the National Society of Black Engineers and Engineering Student Council, became a charter member for the OSU fraternity chapter (Gamma Upsilon Gamma) of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and participated in the Black Student Union. His commitment to the community and OSU didn't end when Mar'quis left Corvallis. Today, he is a member of the OSU Student Affairs and OSU Black Alumni and Friends Network leadership councils. Since 2020, Mar'quis, with the support of his family and friends, has provided financial assistance to Black OSU students amidst COVID-19 by awarding over $12,000 in financial assistance to deserving students.




Sonia Camacho, ’21, MEng ’22
College of Engineering

As an undergraduate, Sonia Camacho began documenting her passion and struggles as a Latina woman in STEM. Drawing on personal experiences, she launched an online community sharing daily engineering and computer science activities. Sonia continues encouraging underrepresented students to explore STEM through her volunteer work. For two years, she served as a member of the board for Local Grown — an organization dedicated to providing community-funded scholarships to Oregon students of color — and helped establish the BIPOC Women in STEM Scholarship. Along with serving as a speaker for Latinas in Tech and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, she has been featured on the website Girls Who Code and in the book International Women in Engineering.




Jeanne Carver, M.S. ’79
College of Education

While she may not have set out to make an extraordinary impact on the ecosystem and sustainability in fashion, that is precisely what Jeanne Carver is doing as the founder and president of Shaniko Wool Company. Jeanne's passion for reviving local agriculture and domestic supply chains is inspirational and has caught countless brands' eyes. Shaniko's wool is used globally, including by Ralph Lauren in Team USA's 2014, 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics uniforms. As an award-winning agricultural entrepreneur, Jeanne continues to work with research and extension groups, share her experiences and journey through the Oregon State Innovation & Design Network and co-authored Stories of Fashion, Textiles, and Place with esteemed OSU faculty.




Dave, ’18, and Lois Cho
College of Agricultural Sciences

Having launched CHO Wines during a global pandemic, Dave and Lois Cho — the first Korean American winemakers in Oregon — are taking the wine scene by storm. Known for its balance of tradition and innovation, CHO Wines is infusing new life into the classic pinot noir grape. In 2023, Dave and Lois were named to Wine Enthusiast’s Future 40 list and honored as a Drinks Innovator by SevenFifty Daily. Together, they launched the Oregon AAPI Food and Wine Fest in 2021 to introduce different cultural backgrounds to the world of wine. Amidst this success, Dave and Lois continue to support Oregon State students and the larger Beaver community.




Emily Darchuk, M.S. ’15
College of Agricultural Sciences

When Emily Darchuk was researching the impact of milk hauling while earning her master’s degree at OSU, she never thought her experience would be helpful in her future role as an entrepreneur. Her company — Wheyward Spirit — has lived up to its name, disrupting the industry with its sustainable specialty spirits upcycled from whey. Since its launch in the fall of 2020, Wheyward Spirit has received over 467 million impressions. It leads the conversation around upcycling and innovation in the dairy and spirit sectors through collaborations and partnerships with Ben & Jerry’s and Fever-Tree. Emily was named a Grist 50 Environmental Fixer and one of 20 women revolutionizing the alcohol industry.




Brandon Larrabee, ’19
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

An enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Brandon Larrabee is putting his OSU geology degree and geographic information systems (GIS) certificate to work as a GIS specialist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Using mapping technology, his work is a part of rebuilding tribal homelands nationwide, boosting habitat restoration, increasing food sovereignty and supporting tribal land management practices. Brandon works closely with his Tribe to rebuild first food networks and restore critical wetland habitat through the building of beaver dam analogs (human-generated beaver dams). He serves on his Tribe's Cultural and Heritage committee, on the Mid-Coast Watersheds Council, as a team lead for the inter-tribal Indigenous Gardens Network, and as chairman and co-founder of Nvn-nes-'a, a newly formed Indigenous-led land trust working to restore safe tribal access to traditional and reservation lands.




Adrienne Livingston, ’96
College of Business

For over 25 years, Adrienne Livingston has dedicated her career to advancing human rights. Her incredible career includes nine years as the executive director of the Black United Fund of Oregon, co-chair of Multnomah County’s Victims Services Implementation Team and co-developer of the Girl Empowerment Curriculum — a sex trafficking and domestic violence prevention curriculum for middle and high school girls. Adrienne currently serves as the director of anti-sex trafficking initiatives with World Venture. She uses her voice to amplify the issues of sex trafficking and exploitation as the producer and host of the Justice Hope Freedom Podcast. Her meaningful work is changing the lives of millions of women worldwide.




Kathleen “Kae” McCarty, Ph.D. ’22
College of Health

Kae McCarty, a first-generation college graduate, has an innate passion for disability justice and health equity. Her work with the College of Health’s IMPACT program (Individualized Movement and Physical Activity for Children Today) was the catalyst she needed to enter the kinesiology and adaptive physical activity doctoral program at OSU. While in Corvallis, she served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Scholar and Fellow focused on access to sports and physical activity opportunities for collegiate students with disabilities. Kae has transitioned her academic learning to her professional career as an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of San Francisco, with her research focusing on disability justice within kinesiology, specifically related to adaptive sports.




Michelle Van Hilten, ’18
College of Forestry

With a passion for sustainability and nature, Michelle van Hilten received the 2018 Graduating Class Distinguished Student Award, the top student honor given at OSU-Cascades. Following an impressive academic career — including conducting marine research in Cambodia, working as an environmental educator, traveling to rural Tanzania communities and serving as a trip leader for Cascades Adventures — she seamlessly transitioned to professional success. Working as a senior associate in business development for a global nonprofit, Michelle has successfully contributed to projects on deforestation, ecosystem conversion and human rights through her research, report writing and work advising companies.