The START Team!

We are here to help you as you transition to Oregon State University and orient you to Beaver Nation.

Professional Staff

Melissa Morgan - she/her


Melissa has been a student affairs professional for almost 20 years, and has been with us at Oregon State since 2016.  While she has worked in housing, crisis, care response, and various types of student programming, she has had the opportunity to lead this awesome orientation team since 2020!  Melissa lives in Corvallis and in her free time, enjoys reading a good sci-fi book, gardening, crocheting, and cooking new vegan dishes.


Annie Tarter - she/her

Assistant Director

Annie has worked professionally at Oregon State University since just before finishing her master’s degree here in College Student Services Administration in 2021.  Prior to that, she worked professionally at Portland State University in residential education. Annie is passionate about fostering student belonging, engaging with incoming students, and supporting student staff in the achievement of their goals while celebrating them in the process.

Sarah Wilson - she/her

Office Manager

Sarah is in charge of all our logistics and behind-the-scenes work that makes each START session a success. She also works to lead, and support, our amazing START Office Assistants! For the last 10 years, she has worked in customer-facing and supervisory roles that include transitional support, as well as trauma-informed advocacy. Sarah finds joy in connecting with all types of individuals, especially students, and helping them explore their place in the world. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing trombone, learning Dutch, and playing "cozy" videogames on her Nintendo Switch. 

Student Staff

Anika Phuvasate - she/her

Program Assistant

Anika is a junior studying BioHealth Sciences, with an option in pre-dentistry. She worked as a START Leader during the summers of 2021 and 2022, and has now transitioned to the role of Senior START Leader. Anika helps lead staff training programs and manages our website throughout the year. 



Ashleigh Mifsud - she/her

Program Assistant

Ashleigh is a junior studying Kinesiology and minoring in Spanish, pursuing a career in physical therapy. She worked as a START Leader during the summer of 2022, and has now transitioned to the role of Senior START Leader. Ashleigh is in charge of our parent and family newsletters and START Leader recruitment. 



Estella Ocker - she/her

Office Assistant

Estella is a third-year student studying Nuclear Engineering and has worked in our office since summer of 2023. She spends her time in the office, answering phones and emails, as well as working on projects to help our office and START orientation sessions run smoothly.



Oscar Boots - he/him

Office Assistant

Oscar is a transfer student studying biology with a concentration in marine biology and a minor in entomology. He has worked with START since the summer of 2023 and is found in the office answering emails and phone calls. Oscar enjoys helping the office complete projects and organize START sessions with the rest of the START team.

Julia Adesida - she/her

Senior START Leader

Julia is a Junior majoring in psychology and minoring in marketing and communications. She worked as a START Leader during summer of 2023 and has now transitioned to the role of Senior START Leader. Julia helps run our social media accounts and helps coordinate the Spring Family weekends. 



Trisha Jaelyn Manera - she/her

Program Assistant

Trisha is a Junior majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology. She worked as a START Leader during the Summer of 2022, and was a Senior START Leader in 2023. Trisha helps coordinate our parent and family weekends.



Savannah Fitts - she/her

Senior START Leader

Savannah is a junior studying Political Science and Spanish. She worked during summer 2023 as a START Leader and is currently a Senior START Leader for the upcoming 2024 summer. Savannah helps lead new staff training and works on the Fall and Spring START sessions. While at OSU she has done undergrad research, studied abroad in Mexico, and been a tour guide through the Admissions Department TOUR Program.


Jo Wright - they/them

Senior START Leader

Jo is a transfer student in their senior year studying biology with an option in Pre-Medicine. They worked as a START Leader during the summer of 2023, and transitioned to working as a Senior START Leader during the 2023-2024 year. Jo is in charge of START Leader recruitment as well as overseeing our virtual chat interface.