On the cover: Partnerships in Portland

Oregon State educators and researchers are having an impact in the metro area

Lisa Conroy, a 4-H faculty member in OSU's Washington County Extension Office, leads the innovative Web Wizards program that mentors Hispanic youth with the help of numerous community partners, including Intel and the Intel Latino Network volunteers. The program recently was honored with three national awards, including a Congressional Award presented by the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C. (See OSU Around the State)

Christopher Higgins, an assistant professor of civil engineering, is the principal investigator in a project that partners OSU with the Oregon Department of Transportation to study the structural integrity of bridges in the state. ODOT awarded OSU a $1.6 million grant to examine the severity of cracks that have been identified in more than 500 bridges on Oregon's state and interstate highways. Oregon State researchers, led by Higgins, will develop modeling tools and gather data that will help engineers forecast how these cracked bridges will perform over time. A state-of-the-art 'strong floor' testing laboratory on campus will enable OSU engineers to carry out full experiments on structural elements, including four-foot thick concrete bridge components. "There is almost no data available to determine how bridges actually fail under moving loads," Higgins said. "This grant will give us the unique opportunity to address these kinds of issues."

Jean Moule, an assistant professor of education, has developed an "immersion" program that takes OSU student teachers into Portland to teach in King Elementary School's predominantly African-American classrooms. And each year, busloads of King students visit Oregon State University for exposure to the campus of a major research university. (See Education)