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OSU Open Source Lab

A Message from the Director

by Lance Albertson on Tue, Aug 15 2017

Since its creation in 2002, the Open Source Lab (OSL) has been a beacon of innovation, experiential learning, and hosting at Oregon State University and beyond. As Director, I’ve had the pleasure of watching the lab and its employees grow over the years and I’m so grateful to have been given such an opportunity. I want to express why the OSL is important not only to the open source community, but to our larger academic institution and its students.

Becoming director of the OSL has been one of the most rewarding positions I have ever had the pleasure of filling. I have had the opportunity to watch students with amazing potential grow into graduates with incredible opportunities, all because of their hard work. As much as I would like to say the OSL is solely responsible for this transformation, I must give credit where credit is due: The students who come through the OSL are passionate, driven, and highly intelligent. They’re dedicated, patient, and generous in sharing their time and knowledge. Time and time again, I have seen the entire lab band together to help solve some of our most perplexing problems, from the most experienced mentors to the fresh eyes of our newest hires discussing openly and enthusiastically.

OSL Student Employees

We have faced many challenges and changes but the students’ commitment to open source, the lab, and each other has never faltered. In addition, I want to take a moment to recognize the committed full-time staff here at the lab, both past and present. The success and growth of our students is directly related to the dedication of our mentors. Though they bring varying perspectives and skills to the lab, they all firmly believe in the ideology of our community and this passion transcends through the lab from mentor to student and beyond. The prestige and prosperity of the lab would not be possible without their help.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of seeing many of our students grow to be innovative leaders of the open source community’s next generation. For example, Alex Polvi and Brandon Philips co-founded CoreOS, an organization dedicated to open access and internet security. Emily Dunham was nominated for the Women in Open Source Award for 2015 and works at Mozilla on supporting the infrastructure behind the Rust language. Sarah Cooley works for Microsoft as a Program Manager for SQL and Hyper-V and played a major role in the recent open source changes at Microsoft. These are just a few of many former OSL students’ accomplishments. The OSL hopes to continue to provide our current and future students with the tools and skills they need to exceed their goals.

The OSL relies on donations and revenue generating projects to fund our student employees. Recently, we have found ourselves in need of increasingly more donations in order to support our students in the way they deserve for all their hard work. We are currently holding a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to support five additional students for the coming academic year. Our organization also requires dedicated individuals and institutions to help support us year after year. Visit our crowdfunding page to help us now and contact us at donate@osuosl.org to find out how you can become part of our rich community of engaged learners and next generation open source leaders.

Thank you for your support!

-Lance Albertson