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Talking Beavers Without Borders with Taylor Kavanaugh

To close out our Beavers Without Borders coverage, we welcome in one of the leaders of the BWOB project, Taylor Kavanaugh:

Q. How did the idea of Beavers Without Borders originate?

A. BWOB originated from the positive things that were already happening within the athletic department. It was based upon an idea that it would be valuable for student athletes to see parts of the world that are different from our own. Together with Todd Stansbury and Marianne Vydra, we came up with the concept last winter of assembling a team to build a home in Guatemala. The first trip was a success. It went from there.

Q. How does the BWOB team decide on the locations of their service trips?

A. So far, the locations have been based off of the opportunities that we have. I had a personal connection in Guatemala. The trip to Macedonia was through Habitat for Humanity. We will continue to utilize these relationships but will also continue to forge new ones as well.

Q. What has been your favorite memory from the two trips you have taken?

A. Watching the teams become close friends. There is a special dynamic that happens when you put a group of people in an unknown and challenging environment. What emerges is very special. A close second is getting to know the families and communities we have served. I’ve learned a lot working with the people of Guatemala and Macedonia.

Q. When Roberto Nelson broke the backboard in the game in Macedonia, what was the reaction immediately after it happened? Concern, stunned silence, laughter?

A. Honestly, that was a scary moment. The last thing we want to do is come home with an injury. Once we confirmed Berto was going to be alright despite a few stitches, everything loosened up and all of us just wanted to see the video footage of the dunk.

Q. Is Beavers Without Borders a team of just current and former Beavers, or can other people join the team as well?

A. My vision is this opportunity is open to all and it is a campus wide initiative. I strongly believe everybody should take part in trips like these. I will continue to work for this if it means that others benefit in this way.

Rest of the interview after the break

Q. On the BWOB Information page, it said that if enough money can be fundraised, the BWOB team would donate 50lb bags of rice to families in Cambodia. Do you have a site or phone number where people can donate money?

A. Our goal is to raise enough money to construct a health clinic in Cambodia this winter. At the opening ceremony, we would in fact like to donate rice as well. Within the month, there will be a link on to donate. For those that can make it to the film premiers and showings of "Guatemala ’11 (The film we produced about our trip to Guatemala), there will be an avenue to donate there as well.

Q. Going away from BWOB for a moment, but what was your favorite memory as a member of the Oregon State Football team?

A. Any year during fall camp. Probably the most unglamorous parts of the season, but I enjoyed living football for that one month a year.

Q. For some Beaver fans that are on the fence about going to see the Guatemala film, what would you like to tell them to convince them to go?

A. If you thought you knew Yvenson Bernard, Markus Wheaton, Lance Mitchell, and many of the other student athletes, think again. This film will give you an insight to the personalities & motivations of these standout athletes. It will change the way you perceive college athletics.

Q. Any final things you'd like to say to Beaver Nation?

A. We can differentiate ourselves and carry our on-field successes extremely far with programs like these. I ask for your support as I can guarantee that the return on investment will make you very proud. Go Beavs.

Once again, the Beavers Without Borders film will debut tonight, August 12th, at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center in Corvallis.

Thanks Taylor!