Jade Valdez

When I first visited Lewis & Clark I immediately felt a sense of belonging and that this was the place I could make my dreams a reality.

Jade Valdez BA '25



Degree and Class Year

BA ’25


Woods Cross, Utah




College Outdoors assistant trip leader; Professor Liere’s lab assistant, contributing to ecological research on insects in urban community gardens.

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

My favorite class I have taken at Lewis & Clark has been Invertebrate Zoology. This class opened my eyes to the importance of preserving invertebrate biodiversity in the face of climate change. Professor Binford’s passion for these often-overlooked animals has completely shifted my understanding of life on Earth. I have come to love and appreciate the millions of species that are hidden in the soil we walk on, and the deep-ocean we have yet to discover. The opportunity to go on an overnight camping field trip to collect live specimens was a learning experience I will never forget. Through an independent curation project, I was able to connect with arachnologists across the country to identify a ground spider that has yet to be recorded in Oregon!

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

Besides my childhood dream of moving to Oregon, when I first visited Lewis & Clark I immediately felt a sense of belonging. I was taken aback by the natural beauty of campus, and I knew it was the perfect place to embark on my passion for science and the environment. I was also drawn to the opportunity to be close to the city, ocean, and Mt. Hood. From my first visit to Lewis & Clark, I felt a sense that this was the place I could make my dreams a reality. 

How did your financial aid package influence your decision to attend Lewis & Clark?

Financial aid allowed me the opportunity to attend a liberal arts college that I previously thought would be unreachable to me. I felt that I could not pass up the opportunity to attend a reputable college that was willing to support my goals and future. The offer knocked all other prospective colleges off of my list. I am forever grateful for the financial aid that I have received as it has changed my life in remarkable ways.