Meet the students in UO's new commercial

Meet the students featured in "You Will," the UO's commercial

Rebecca Rodas, 19, is starting her third year at the UO, studying family and human services. A graduate of Phoenix High School in southern Oregon, Rodas said she plans to pursue a master’s degree after she graduates. Rebecca RodasAppearing in the commercial was “really exciting,” she said. “I’m into video production, so it was fun to see how the professionals do it,” she said. “Overall, it was a fun experience working with them and getting to represent the school.”


Michelle FriendMichelle Friend, 22, graduated in June with a degree in dance. A graduate of Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, Calif., Friend served two years as president of Dance Oregon, a student group at the UO. She can be seen dancing in the UO’s previous commercial from 2010, "Be Bold,” and that led to her getting cast in the new commercial.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “It’s funny, because even with the other commercial,” where she’s seen just briefly, “I still get a million text messages. I imagine it’s going to be like that with this one, but a lot more so.”


Josef Khalifeh

Josef Khalifeh, 19, is starting his second year at the UO, majoring in human physiology with a double minor in chemistry and business. A graduate of Glencoe High School in Hillsboro, Ore., he aspires to be a physician specializing in internal medicine.

“I love to help people,” he said.

Originally cast as an extra, Khalifeh became one of the featured students.

“I’ve never been in a commercial before,” he said. “It will be exciting to see how it turns out.”


Emmanuel BagumiraEmmanuel Bagumira, a native of Rwanda, is studying accounting and Spanish. Bagumira grew up in the capital city of Kigali, population 1 million, and said he enjoys the college-town atmosphere of Eugene.

“Besides the rain, I like Oregon. I like Eugene,” he said. “People are so friendly. I like the feel of everything.”

Bagumira is featured on “Many Faces, Many Voices, One Oregon,” a Web project of the UO’s Office of Equity and Inclusion.

— Tim Christie