Antonio Torres

Oral History Interview

Interview Transcript


Jacob Dimm, Nick Hawkins, and Jacob Novotny


Biographical Note

Antonio Torres was born in Viña del Mar, Chile, in 1949. He received his undergraduate degree in math and chemical engineering at the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. After being accepted to MIT, Torres moved to the United States and received a master’s in food microbiology and a PhD in food engineering. He has been at Oregon State University since 1984 and now holds the position of associate professor of food processing engineering. Several of his job duties include: research, training, and teaching. He has also contributed to creating a scholarship program for students of diversity. With a love of travel, Torres continues to foster international relationships to places such as Mexico, Spain, and Germany while maintaining his career at OSU.

Interview Summary

Antonio Torres begins by discussing his cultural background, being raised in Chile, and his education from elementary school to his undergraduate degree in Chile, to his masters and PhD at MIT in the United States. Torres then talks about his first mentor, his decision to come to Oregon State University, and his first impressions thereof. After this, he discusses his love of travel before delving into his jobs duties at Oregon State, including his role as a researcher and as an instructor. Because of the community at OSU, Torres notes several people he sees as people of importance to him from EOP and his graduate students. Also included in this is the importance of the creative architecture of some of OSU’s buildings. The interview switches to discuss diversity when Torres details personal experiences he had when first arriving in Corvallis. He has seen an increase in diversity over the years, and he highlights this when discusses the cultural centers. Building on this, Torres articulates Oregon State’s role in supporting faculty and students of color and his recommendations to improve that role. He then expresses frustration over the campus’ overutilization of its buildings before highlighting the differences between teaching in the United States and teaching overseas. He then details his scholarship program and the student successes therein. To end the interview, Torres reveals some of his greatest accomplishments: his students and his kids.

Students’ Response

Antonio Torres story was simply amazing. He is someone that clearly does what he loves to do, and that is teaching. He said that his greatest accomplishments are his students. We all learned a lot from Antonio’s story. One thing that struck us from his interview was his connection to the outside world. He loves to travel the world, and he encouraged us to do so before we graduate college. The take away that we all received from this interview was that life is too short to not do what you love. Antonio has showed us all this very clearly.

The readings and discussions that we have had in class have been very appropriate to what our interview was about. During our interview our interviewee Antonio Torres explained to us the joys and hardships of being from another country and coming to the United States. Antonio came from Chili, and He came to America on a student Visa that allowed him to study food science. This was something completely new to Antonio, because he did not study this in his undergrad. When He first came to Corvallis, OSU was 95% white. This is very similar to what we have been discussing and reading about in class. The OSU cultural centers are now here to help prevent students of color from feeling alone. When we took our tour it was evident that there are many campus resources available to anyone needing help or feeling alone.

More About Antonio Torres

Antonio Torres OSU Profile


Untold Stories: Oral Histories of Faculty & Staff of Color at Oregon State University Copyright © by Made in Collaboration by OSUL&P's Oregon Multicultural Archives & the Students of ALS 199 "Untold Stories: Histories of People of Color in Oregon" U-Engage, Fall Term 2014. All Rights Reserved.


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