Michael Burton

Michael Burton

Student, Class of 2018
Hometown: N/A

Why did you choose Oregon Tech?

I was part of the Dragonfly Transitions program from about 2012 to late 2013. They encourage the students in their program to study part-time at Oregon Tech, which I did. Once I graduated Dragonfly, I chose to remain at Oregon Tech due to the low cost and good-quality education, as well as having a fondness for both the school itself and people within Klamath Falls.

What do you like most about your major?

I like Communication Studies for its broad application across a number of fields, as well as its emphasis on hands-on work outside the college. I have become a good deal better at interacting with people thanks to that major. As for Population Health Management, I have always had a vested personal interest in healthcare and improving health outcomes, and the degree is focused on improving an aspect of the world I find really needs improving – especially within the United States.

What are you passionate about changing within this particular field and why?

I want to eventually help contribute to a single-payer, two-tier, or universal health care system within the United States, something that I believe would be very possible if enough citizens could be educated about the alternatives to the current system. At present, the United States spends the most money in the world on health care and still has the worst outcomes among first world countries. Speaking as someone who was born in the United Kingdom and has dual citizenship, this is not acceptable.

What would be your dream job?

Oddly enough, it would be to write and voice act for videogames. This is just something I have a personal and longstanding interest in, and will likely pursue it on the side.

What have been some of your favorite classes and why?

The recently retired Professor Marilyn Dyrud’s Business Ethics and the Holocaust class is one of the best classes I have taken, period, and I do hope someone picks up the reins on it now that she is gone. I also greatly enjoyed the Negotiation and Mediation classes with Professor Kevin Brown, and the COM 109 class with Professor Franny Howes. The best experience I have had so far overall was my externship.

Is there anything about Oregon Tech that you wish everyone knew about?

We have a student newspaper. It exists! Read it! Pick up a copy or go to theedgeot.com. If nothing else, check out the satire edition, The Ledge, that we put out every so often.

What's your favorite thing to do off campus?

I go to Dean Limb’s Klamath Strength and Conditioning gym about three times a week. I’ve met a lot of great people there, and it is great quality for the price.

Are you involved on campus? If so, how?

I’m the editor in chief of the student newspaper, The Edge, so I’m one of the reasons the bins on campus sometimes inexplicably fill with Oregon Tech related stories or satire some people inevitably think is real. I am also the ASOIT representative for the recently-created Drama Club, and we will be putting on a show of Twelfth Night hopefully in the Spring of 2018, so keep an eye out; we will be holding auditions soon! I am also doing a Campus Maintenance job over the summer, so you can think me for your shampooed carpets.

Have you participated in any internships or externships during your time at Oregon Tech? Did you gain valuable experience from them?

I did two externships through the Population Health Management major. The first was the Park and Play program over the summer of 2016. I got stationed in Stukel Park right across the street from Mills Elementary, and met a lot of great kids. Then, as an excellent segue, I worked with recent graduate and baseball player Wes Loy for my second externship in Mills Elementary, where a lot of the kids already knew me. We worked on reducing the fruit and vegetable waste in the cafeteria, and had a great deal of success in implementing some low-cost measures over the course of three terms! The externship will be continuing next year as well, and we will be presenting our work to a public health conference in Salem this October. I gained a lot of valuable experience from both of these externships and met a lot of really great people. It’s also really funny that when I ride the bus or go to Fred Meyer, I will occasionally get greeted by the kids that I worked with or their parents, some of whom know me by name, some of whom know me as “Park Man.”

Do you have employment/graduate school plans for after graduation?

A few. If I remain in Klamath Falls, I would pursue work at Herald and News and with Blue Zones. I am also considering heading back to work for a wilderness program in Utah, one I participated in during the summer of 2012. I am also thinking about moving back to the United Kingdom, where my family is. I am not sure just yet. Maybe something will crystalize as I begin looking into career opportunities as graduation approaches. Right now, I have some statistics classes to fight through…

Is there anything more that you would like to share with future students about campus, what you wish you knew before attending Oregon Tech or anything else?

You can get an Oregon Tech bus pass at the Financial Office. For $45 you can get unlimited rides for months at a time. Less helpful if you have a car already, but worth bearing in mind since this is the best deal you can get in town period.

Check out Thai Orchid on Main Street for really good Thai food, Sherm’s Thunderbird has better prices for food than Fred Meyer and is just down the street from it, and Wubba’s will sell you a bathtub full of meat for $1000. If, you know, that’s what you want.

The Integrated Student Health Center does counseling if you feel the need, and it is fully confidential. College life can become very stressful, so try not to forget it exists.

All the staff at Oregon Tech are really helpful, so if you have questions about financial aid and such, the best solution is to go down in person to the office and talk to the people there. The hardest part of doing this is looking up what time the office is open.

There are plenty of campus events going on – joining a club or student program is an excellent way of keeping apprised of such activities. Definitely do not miss out on the yearly music festival held by KTEC and CAB.

If you have any interest in liberal arts, I would suggest the Arts, Literature, and Philosophy minor (ALPS) which only takes about a half dozen classes to complete and is a good way to get some mileage out of electives. Professors Yasha Rohwer and Ben Bunting are the people to talk to about this.

The school makes you take Tech Writing because it loves you.

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