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Two prominent OSU alums to be honored at spring celebration

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:39am
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Two prominent awards are being presented to Oregon State University alumni next month during the Oregon State Alumni Association’s Spring Awards Celebration.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Two prominent awards are being presented to Oregon State University alumni next month during the Oregon State Alumni Association’s Spring Awards Celebration.

Rockne “Rocky” Freitas, chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at West O‘ahu, has been named 2014 recipient of the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award. Penny Yano Atkins of Caldwell, Idaho, is the recipient of the Jean & C.H. “Scram” Graham Leadership Award.

The Lemon award honors alumni “who make significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments and careers bring acclaim to the university.” It is the highest recognition granted by the association.

Freitas is a Beaver football and National Football League great who graduated from OSU in 1968 with a bachelor’s in animal science. He went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and then built a distinguished second career in higher education.

Before being named chancellor of the West O’ahu campus, he was vice president for student affairs and university and community relations for the University of Hawai‘i System. He also was vice president and executive director of the Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation; held leadership positions at Kamehameha Schools and was a trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He is in the Hawai‘i Sports Hall of Fame and the OSU Sports Hall of Fame.

Named for a former alumni director and his wife – who worked and volunteered on behalf of the association and OSU for almost their entire lives – the Jean & C.H. “Scram” Graham Leadership Award honors individuals who give exemplary service to the alumni association.

Atkins, ’79, is a member of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees, is a College of Business graduate who served on the alumni association’s board of directors from 2003-13, including terms in the crucial positions of treasurer and president.

Contributing in many ways, she established a benchmark for service during her decade on the OSUAA volunteer leadership board. Since stepping down and moving on to her position as an OSU Foundation trustee, she has continued to help the association serve OSU friends and alumni in and around Boise, Idaho.

She and her husband, Gary Atkins, live in Caldwell and are members of the A.L. Strand Society.

Freitas and Atkins will be recognized at the alumni association’s Spring Awards Celebration on April 25 at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center on campus. Tickets are available at www.osualum.com/springawards2014.

Alumni Association Source: 

Kate Sanders, 541-737-6220

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Categories: Research news

Noted researcher to speak at OSU commencement in June

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:36am
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Ann A. Kiessling, a leader in both stem cell research and reproductive biology, will give the commencement address at Oregon State University’s graduation ceremony this spring.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Ann A. Kiessling, director of the independent Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation and a leader in both stem cell research and reproductive biology, will give the commencement address at Oregon State University’s graduation ceremony this spring.

Kiessling also will receive an honorary doctorate from the university at its 145th commencement, which begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 14, in Reser Stadium.

“Ann Kiessling is a nationally recognized researcher and pioneer whose work in cutting-edge fields of stem cell research and the HIV virus should make for an enlightening talk for our graduates,” said Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray. “She has had a remarkable career that launched at Oregon State, where she earned her Ph.D.”

Kiessling, who has a doctorate in biochemistry and biophysics from Oregon State, joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1985, specializing in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology, and working in the Department of Surgery. In the early 1990s, she pioneered reproductive options for couples living with the HIV disease and hepatitis C – techniques that led to the successful births of 121 children free of those diseases.

The Bedford Research Foundation was founded in 1996 as a Massachusetts public charity to support research. By the year 2000, the foundation’s research laboratory expanded to include human stem cell research. To date, the foundation has collaborated with more than 60 clinics globally to find treatment for infectious diseases and spinal cord injuries. Foundation officials say their belief is that international scientific collaboration is fundamentally important to rapid biomedical advances.

Kiessling’s book, “Human Embryonic Stem Cells: An Introduction to the Science and Therapeutic Potential,” published in 2003 and re-released in 2006, is the first textbook on the topic.

Before joining the Harvard University faculty, Kiessling had a faculty appointment at Oregon Health & Science University, where she worked from 1977-85.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111; Sabah.randhawa@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU Board of Trustees endorses future tuition levels, funding requests

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 7:25am
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The OSU Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed a plan to continue phasing out the tuition plateau, which gives undergrads who take from 12-15 credit hours a break on tuition.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees on Thursday unanimously endorsed a plan to continue phasing out the university’s tuition plateau, which gives undergraduate students who take from 12-15 credit hours a break on tuition.

The board vote on the tuition plateau Thursday was part of a broader approval by the OSU Board of Trustees to recommend to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education tuition rates and fees for the 2014-15 academic year. While OSU now has its own board, the Board of Higher Education, by law, must authorize any changes in tuition and fees through June 30.

OSU is the last public university in the state to offer the plateau, which has allowed students taking 13-16 hours a term to pay the same tuition as those students taking just 12 hours.

“What the plateau effectively has done is provided a higher tuition rate for students taking class loads above or below the plateau, and a lower rate for students taking 13-15 hours,” said Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for University Relations and Marketing. “This is not equitable.”

Last year, the university’s budget committee, which included student representation, recommended a three-year phasing out of the tuition plateau and in fall 2013, the plateau was reduced from 13-16 credits hours to 13-15 credits. According to the plan endorsed by the OSU board, students next school year will pay reduced tuition for any courses between 13 and 15 credit hours, and then will pay full tuition for all credit hours in the 2015-16 academic year.

Meanwhile, the legislatively mandated tuition freeze will keep Oregon State’s resident undergraduate tuition rate at $189 per credit hour for 2014-15. There will be no increase in “differential tuition surcharges” for high-demand programs such as engineering.

What this means for students taking an average of 15 credit hours per term in 2014-15 is an annual tuition charge of $7,650.

“While this represents an increase from the 2013-14 tuition rate ($6,876 for the year), it is well below the median tuition for Oregon State’s peer institutions, and less than the tuition rate charged by the University of Oregon,” Clark said. The median tuition for OSU’s peer land grant institutions is $9,510; the University of Oregon’s rate in 2013 was $8,280.

The OSU board also voted to increase the tuition rate for most graduate students by 2.1 percent for in-state students, and 3.9 percent for out-of-state students. Tuition for students in pharmacy and veterinary medicine will increase by 3.0 percent, while differential tuition will remain at the same level.

The board also on Thursday unanimously voted to forward a capital projects funding request of $278 million for the 2015-17 biennium to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, which must review the plan and incorporate some or all of the recommendations to its budget request to the Oregon Legislature.

The request includes $171.5 million in state-paid bonds, $7.5 million in bonds that would be paid by OSU, and $99 million in projected grants and gifts. State-funded bond projects include campus accessibility improvements, technology infrastructure upgrades, building and program renewals, and renovation of Fairbanks and Magruder halls.

New building projects that would be funded in part by grants and gifts include a new center for advanced wood materials, a new engineering building, further development of the OSU-Cascades campus, and a new building in Newport that would launch the first phase of the marine studies campus initiative at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

In other action:

  • The board adopted its own policies related to: the roles and responsibilities of board members and officers, board committees, the board’s code of ethics, conflict of interest requirements, associated board travel expenses, attendance at university events, and the board calendar;
  • The board voted to ratify the university’s existing mission statement.
Generic OSU Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Steve Clark, 503-502-8217; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

One in five older Americans take medications that work against each other

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:41am
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Many drugs taken by older Americans who have multiple health problems actually work against each other, and more work is needed to address this problem.

PORTLAND, Ore. – About three out of four older Americans have multiple chronic health conditions, and more than 20 percent of them are being treated with drugs that work at odds with each other – the medication being used for one condition can actually make the other condition worse.

This approach of treating conditions “one at a time” even if the treatments might conflict with one another is common in medicine, experts say, in part because little information exists to guide practitioners in how to consider this problem, weigh alternatives and identify different options.

One of the first studies to examine the prevalence of this issue, however, found that 22.6 percent of study participants received at least one medication that could worsen a coexisting condition. The work was done by researchers in Connecticut and Oregon, and published in PLOS One.

In cases where this “therapeutic competition” exists, the study found that it changed drug treatments in only 16 percent of the cases. The rest of the time, the competing drugs were still prescribed.

“Many physicians are aware of these concerns but there isn’t much information available on what to do about it,” said David Lee, an assistant professor in the Oregon State University/Oregon Health & Science University College of Pharmacy.

“Drugs tend to focus on one disease at a time, and most physicians treat patients the same way,” Lee said. “As a result, right now we’re probably treating too many conditions with too many medications. There may be times it’s best to just focus on the most serious health problem, rather than use a drug to treat a different condition that could make the more serious health problem even worse.”

More research in this field and more awareness of the scope of the problem are needed, the scientists said. It may be possible to make better value judgments about which health issue is of most concern, whether all the conditions should be treated, or whether this “competition” between drug treatments means one concern should go untreated. It may also be possible in some cases to identify ways to treat both conditions in ways that don’t conflict with one another.

A common issue, for example, is patients who have both coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Beta blockers are often prescribed to treat the heart disease, but those same drugs can cause airway resistance that worsens the COPD.

“There are several types of beta blocker that don’t cause this negative interaction, but many of the other types are still prescribed anyway,” Lee said. “It’s this type of information that would be of value in addressing these issues if it were more widely known and used.”

The chronic conditions in which competing therapies come into play include many common health concerns – coronary artery disease, diabetes, COPD, dementia, heart failure, hypertension, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis and others.

This study was done by researchers from OSU and the Yale University School of Medicine, with 5,815 community-living adults between the years 2007-09. The lead author of the study was Dr. Mary E. Tinetti at Yale University, and it was supported by the National Institutes of Health. The analysis included a nationally representative sample of older adults, and both men and women.

The research identified some of the most common competing chronic conditions, in which medications for one condition may exacerbate the other. They included hypertension and osteoarthritis; hypertension and diabetes; hypertension and COPD; diabetes and coronary artery disease; and hypertension and depression. These issues affect millions of older Americans.

“More than 9 million older adults in the U.S. are being prescribed medications that may be causing them more harm than benefit,” said Jonathan Lorgunpai, a medical student at the Yale School of Medicine and co-author of the study. “Not only is this potentially harmful for individual patients, it is also very wasteful for our health care system.”

Direct competition between medications is just one of the concerns, the report noted. Use of multiple medications can also lead to increased numbers of falls and delirium, dizziness, fatigue and anorexia.

The researchers pointed out that the presence of competing conditions does not necessarily contraindicate the use of needed medications, but rather the need for this competition to be more seriously considered in treatment.

College of Pharmacy Media Contact:  David Stauth Source: 

David Lee, 503-494-2258

Categories: Research news

OSU names Susie Brubaker-Cole vice provost for Student Affairs

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 9:27am
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Susie Brubaker-Cole, the associate provost for Academic Success and Engagement at Oregon State University since 2008, has been named OSU’s vice provost for Student Affairs effective July 1.

CORVALLIS, Ore – Susie Brubaker-Cole, the associate provost for Academic Success and Engagement at Oregon State University since 2008, has been named OSU’s vice provost for Student Affairs effective July 1.

She succeeds Larry Roper, the university’s long-time vice provost who chose to return to a faculty teaching position at OSU after more than 18 years in his administrative leadership role.

“Larry Roper’s leadership at Oregon State has been extraordinary and we are grateful that he is remaining at OSU,” said Sabah Randhawa, the university’s provost and executive vice president. “We also are fortunate that Susie Brubaker-Cole has a well-established track record of success as associate provost and will continue advancing student success and the goals of Student Affairs at OSU.”

As associate provost, Brubaker-Cole works closely with Student Affairs, the university’s academic units and the OSU Faculty Senate to guide and implement student success and engagement initiatives. Her most recent focus has been the development of OSU’s First-Year Experience Initiative, which seeks to help students new to the university succeed academically and socially, ultimately improving retention.

As vice provost for Student Affairs, Brubaker-Cole will provide leadership for a range of student-related departments, programs and initiatives, including Career Services, the Memorial Union, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services, Intercultural Student Services, Recreational Sports, Student Media, University Housing and Dining, Student Leadership and Involvement, Dean of Student Life Office, Disability Access Services, Student Conduct and Community Standards, New Student Programs and Family Outreach, and others.

Prior to coming to OSU, Brubaker-Cole worked for eight years at Stanford University as associate vice provost for undergraduate education, and concurrently for five years in Stanford’s Student Affairs division as a live-in resident fellow.

She received her bachelor’s degree in French and comparative history of ideas at the University of Washington, and has master’s and doctoral degrees in French literature from Yale University. Brubaker-Cole also lived and studied for nearly five years in several regions of France.

A native Oregonian from Ashland, she began work at the age of 15 at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival selling programs, which she says sparked her interest in theater and cultural affairs. Now a resident of Corvallis, she is passionate about social justice, food security and environmental stewardship. A committed bicyclist, she commutes to work via bicycle and logs more than 3,500 miles annually, rain or shine.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111

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Categories: Research news

OSU-Cascades to host Geraldine Brooks as Distinguished Visiting Writer

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 3:46pm
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Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will join the faculty of Oregon State University-Cascades in June as a Distinguished Visiting Writer in a residency session from June 9-19.

BEND, Ore. – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will join the faculty of Oregon State University-Cascades in June as a Distinguished Visiting Writer in the Low Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. The residency session takes place from June 9-19.

The Australian-born Brooks is an author and journalist who spent 11 years as a correspondent at The Wall Street Journal, where her beats focused on some of the world’s most troubled areas, including Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East.

Students in the OSU-Cascades creative writing program embark on long-distance and individualized courses of study with faculty author mentors, and join fellow students for two 10-day residences each year at Caldera Arts Center outside of Sister, Ore.  Distinguished writers are invited to join the residencies and guide and nurture apprentice writers.

In addition to her journalism background, Brooks is an accomplished author whose fiction debut, “Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague,” was published in 10 countries and was a 2001 Notable Book of the Year for The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.

Her second novel, “March,” earned Brooks the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Her third book, “People of the Book,” became an instant New York Times bestseller. Her most recent novel is “Caleb’s Crossing.”

While in Central Oregon, Brooks will also participate in the Deschutes Public Library Foundation’s Author! Author! literary series, speaking at Bend High School on June 19. 

OSU-Cascades Campus Source: 

Christine Coffin, 541-322-3152

Categories: Research news

National survey reveals coastal concerns over climate change

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 2:06pm
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A survey by multiple Sea Grant organizations found that coastal managers and elected officials in nine states say they see climate change happening – and believe their communities need to adapt.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The American public may be divided over whether climate is changing, but coastal managers and elected officials in nine states say they see the change happening – and believe their communities will need to adapt.

That's one finding from a NOAA Sea Grant research project, led by Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University. The projected involved multiple other Sea Grant programs, which surveyed coastal leaders in selected parts of the nation's Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf and Great Lakes coasts, as well as Hawaii. 

Three-quarters of coastal professionals surveyed – and 70 percent of all participants – said they believe that the climate in their area is changing.

While national polls dating back more than a decade, including several by Gallup, have revealed some public skepticism and polarization about climate change, the Sea Grant findings are in line with a number of recent surveys – including several by the Yale Project on Climate Change and Communication – suggesting a growing majority of  Americans believes the earth's  climate is changing. However, many express uncertainty that anything can be done about it.

The Sea Grant survey was developed to understand what coastal and resource professionals and elected officials think about climate change, where their communities stand in planning for climate adaptation and what kinds of information they need, said project leader Joe Cone, assistant director of Oregon Sea Grant.

Sea Grant programs in Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois-Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington – states that represent most of NOAA's coastal regions – took part, administering the survey between January 2012 and November 2013.

Among 30 questions, survey participants were asked how informed they felt about climate change in their area and whether they thought that the climate in their area is changing.  Participants identified where their agencies and communities stood in planning to adapt to climate change, and hurdles they have encountered and overcome. They also identified climate-related topics important to their work and how much information they had about those topics.

Overall, three-quarters of the 355 coastal/resource professionals who responded felt that the climate in their area is changing.  Most (68 percent) felt that they were moderately- to very well-informed about the local effects of climate change. A common hurdle respondents encountered was a lack of agreement over the importance of those effects. Shoreline change and flooding concerns were among the topics respondents considered important to their own work.

A newly published report by Oregon Sea Grant  presents the combined results for all survey respondents, as well as the responses from each participating state.  

Cone said this national survey, funded in part by Sea Grant's national focus team on hazard resilient coastal communities, represents an initial attempt to understand the opinions and information needs of coastal/resource professionals regarding climate change adaptation and planning.  Participating Sea Grant programs are already using the survey results to assist communities develop local adaptation strategies. In addition, Cone said he hoped that this survey may stimulate additional survey research by Sea Grant, NOAA, and other coastal interests on this vital topic.

The survey report is available as a free download from Oregon Sea Grant at: http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/s14001-national-climate-survey-report

Oregon Sea Grant Media Contact:  Pat Kight Source: 

 Joe Cone, joe.cone@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

Oregon State ranks seventh worldwide in agriculture and forestry

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:41am
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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has been recognized as a world-class center in agriculture and forestry, ranking seventh in a new international survey of more than 200 schools.

For the second year, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings has compiled a list of top agriculture and forestry institutions. The service considered nearly 3,000 universities in 30 subject areas in its overall review.

In 2013, OSU's agriculture and forestry programs placed eighth in the world.

“Our rising world ranking is a testament to the continued great work of our faculty and researchers,” said Dan Arp, dean of OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.

“We’re excited about another top global ranking that recognizes the breadth and depth of our research and teaching, and our great partnership with the College of Agricultural Sciences,” said Thomas Maness, dean of OSU’s College of Forestry. “It’s very satisfying to see the excellence of our faculty and students recognized internationally.”

Considered one of the most influential and respected firms surveying higher education, QS World University Rankings uses a variety of metrics to score universities in teaching and research, including academic and employer reputation surveys, the number of articles published in academic journals and the amount of citations generated by publications.

As the state's Land Grant University, Oregon State and its agricultural and forestry programs have been a vital component of the school's mission since its founding in 1870. The College of Agricultural Sciences is Oregon's principal source of knowledge and research in agricultural and food systems, environmental quality, natural resources, life sciences and rural economies.

In recent years, OSU's agricultural programs have also received national top-tier rankings from the Chronicle of Higher Education for research, with wildlife science and conservation biology ranking first, fisheries science second, botany and plant pathology and forest resources at fifth, and agricultural and resource economics seventh.

OSU's College of Forestry has also been recognized as the top university program of its kind in North America by the Journal of Forestry.

The College of Forestry is Oregon’s principal forest-related research institution, strengthening understanding of forested ecosystems, helping forest-based businesses compete globally, and informing public policy that balances environmental protection and economic development. 

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Daniel Robison Source: 

Dan Arp, 541-737-1297;

Tom Maness, 541-737-1585;

Bill Boggess, 541-737-2331

Ann Mary Quarandillo, 541-737-3140

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Dan Arp, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, talks with an OSU student on a research farm. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)



OSU Extension Forestry Educator Tim Delano teaches high school students about forestry in the Hopkins Demonstration Forest near Oregon City, Oregon. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Categories: Research news

Cows witnessing wolf attacks suffer symptoms similar to PTSD

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 10:39am
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Unlike cows that haven't ever had a run-in with wolves, ones that have can experience stress-related illnesses and have a harder time getting pregnant – meaning decreased profits for ranchers, according to a new study by Oregon State University.

BURNS, Ore. – Unlike cows that haven't ever had a run-in with wolves, ones that have can experience stress-related illnesses and have a harder time getting pregnant – meaning decreased profits for ranchers, according to a new study by Oregon State University.

"When wolves kill or injure livestock, ranchers can document the financial loss," said Reinaldo Cooke, an animal scientist in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences. “But wolf attacks also create bad memories in the herd and cause a stress response known to result in decreased pregnancy rates, lighter calves and a greater likelihood of getting sick. It’s much like post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – for cows."

After a reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park in the last two decades, grey wolves have dispersed through the West and have hunted in livestock grazing areas. Since then, OSU researchers have heard anecdotes from ranchers that cows that have come in contact with wolves are more aggressive, sickly and eat less.

To measure the stress of a wolf attack on cows – and estimate its lingering effects – researchers simulated a wolf encounter with 100 cows. Half of them had never seen a wolf, and the other half had been part of a herd that was previously attacked on the range.

Cows were gathered in a pen scented with wolf urine while pre-recorded wolf howls played over a stereo. Three trained dogs – German Shepherds closely resembling wolves – walked outside the pen.

Researchers found that cortisol, a stress hormone, increased by 30 percent in cows that had previously been exposed to wolves. They bunched up in a corner, formed a protective circle and acted agitated. Their body temperatures also increased rapidly, another indicator of stress. Yet the cows previously unfamiliar with wolves were curious about the dogs and did not show signs of stress.

Multiple studies from Cooke and other researchers have established a link between cow stress and poor performance traits that can cost ranchers.

A 2010 OSU economic analysis estimated that wolves in northeastern Oregon could cost ranchers up to $261 per head of cattle, including $55 for weight loss and $67 for lower pregnancy rates, according to John Williams, an OSU extension agent in Wallowa County who conducted that study. It can be read online at: http://bit.ly/OSU_WolfCowReport.

"In a herd, if you are not raising calves, your cows are not making you money," said David Bohnert, an expert in ruminant nutrition at OSU's Eastern Oregon Agriculture Research Center in Burns. “With stress likely decreasing the proportion of those getting pregnant and causing lighter calves from those that do, a wolf attack can have negative financial ripple effects for some time.”

Both researchers call for further research into ways of successfully managing both wolves and livestock so they can co-exist.

The wolf-cow simulated encounter study, which was funded by the Oregon Beef Council, was published in the Journal of Animal Science and co-authored by Cooke and Bohnert. The text is available at http://bit.ly/OSU_CowWolfStudy.

College of Agricultural Sciences Media Contact:  Daniel Robison Source: 

Reinaldo Cooke, 541-573-4083;

David Bohnert, 541-573-8910

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Oregon State University researchers simulated a wolf encounter with German Shepherds to measure stress levels in beef cows. (Photo by Reinaldo Cooke.)



David Bohnert works with beef cattle at Oregon State University's Eastern Oregon Agriculture Research Center in Burns, Ore. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Categories: Research news

Playing with Barbie dolls could limit girls’ career choices, study shows

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 9:34am
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In one of the first experiments to explore the influence of fashion dolls, a OSU researcher has found that girls who play with Barbie dolls see fewer career options for themselves than for boys.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – In one of the first experiments to explore the influence of fashion dolls, an Oregon State University researcher has found that girls who play with Barbie dolls see fewer career options for themselves than for boys.

“Playing with Barbie has an effect on girls’ ideas about their place in the world,” said Aurora M. Sherman, an associate professor in the School of Psychological Science at OSU. “It creates a limit on the sense of what’s possible for their future. While it’s not a massive effect, it is a measurable and statistically significant effect.”

Findings of the research, conducted by Sherman and Eileen L. Zurbriggen of the University of California, Santa Cruz, were published today in the journal “Sex Roles.” The study was supported by research and start-up funding from the OSU College of Liberal Arts Dean’s office and the School of Psychological Science.

Barbie, introduced in 1959, was the first “fashion doll,” with an emphasis on her clothes and appearance. Past research has found that the way fashion dolls such as Barbie are physically formed and dressed communicates messages of sexualization and objectification to girls. 

Sherman’s experiment was designed to examine how Barbie might influence girls’ career aspirations.

Most of the past research on fashion dolls has been observational study of children and the toys in natural settings. In an actual experiment, the researcher controls a variable - in this case, the type of toy each child played with. 

Girls ages 4 to 7 were randomly assigned to play with one of three dolls: a fashion Barbie with dress and high-heeled shoes; a career Barbie with a doctor’s coat and stethoscope; or a Mrs. Potato Head with accessories such as purses and shoes. Mrs. Potato Head was selected as a neutral doll because the toy is similar in color and texture, but doesn’t have the sexualized characteristics of Barbie.

After a few minutes of play, the girls were asked if they could do any of 10 occupations when they grew up. They were also asked if boys could do those jobs. Half of the careers were traditionally male-dominated and half were female-dominated. 

Girls who played with Barbie thought they could do fewer jobs than boys could do. But girls who played with Mrs. Potato Head reported nearly the same number of possible careers for themselves and for boys. 

There was no difference in results between girls who played with a Barbie wearing a dress and the career-focused, doctor version of the doll.

Childhood development is complex, and playing with one toy isn’t likely to alter a child’s career aspirations, Sherman noted. But toys such as dolls or action figures can influence a child’s ideas about their future, she added.

More research is needed to better understand fashion dolls’ effect on girls, Sherman said. It is possible that some girls are more vulnerable to adverse messages from fashion dolls such as Barbie, she pointed out.  She is working on two other studies now, including one about girls’ perceptions of weight and body image based on doll size and shape. 

“For parents, the most important thing is to look at the child’s toy box and make sure there is a wide variety of toys to play with,” Sherman said.

College of Liberal Arts Media Contact:  Michelle Klampe Source: 

Aurora Sherman, 541-737-1361 or Aurora.sherman@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU Board of Trustees to consider tuition and fees for 2014-15

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 4:13pm
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The Oregon State University Board of Trustees will meet Thursday, March 13, on the OSU campus to approve tuition and fee levels for the 2014-15 academic year.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees will meet Thursday, March 13, on the OSU campus to approve tuition and fee levels for the 2014-15 academic year.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Willamette Room of the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center, located at 725 S.W. 26th St. in Corvallis.

The board also will review the university’s funding request to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for the 2015-17 biennium, and receive updates on OSU’s strategic plan revision and The Campaign for OSU, which recently topped the $1 billion landmark in fund-raising.

Additional reports to the board will be made by OSU President Edward J. Ray, the chairs of the board’s Executive and Audit Committee and the Finance and Administration Committee, and the chair and executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

On Wednesday, March 12, a meeting of the board’s Finance and Administration Committee will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in the President’s Conference Room on the sixth floor of Kerr Administration Building. The committee will discuss tuition and fee levels, and OSU’s funding request to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and then consider a resolution forwarding those recommendations to the full board on Thursday. This meeting is also open to the public.

People who wish to attend either meeting and need special accommodations should contact Mark Huey in the board’s office at 541-737-8260 at least 72 hours in advance.

Meeting materials for these and other meetings will be posted at:

http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees/meetings.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Steve Clark, 503-502-8217; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

Agricultural Research Foundation funds new OSU research

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 11:55am
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CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Agricultural Research Foundation of Oregon has announced grants totaling $420,314 for projects in agriculture, chemistry, horticulture, and veterinary medicine at Oregon State University.

The 34 research projects funded this year represent a wide range of disciplines, from restoring sustainable environments to fighting disease in food crops, according to Kelvin Koong, the executive director of the Agricultural Research Foundation.

"We support research as broad as possible that enhances productivity and efficiency in agriculture, natural resources and the environment," said Koong. "Research is not restricted to any one college or discipline, as industries use new technology, knowledge and equipment to boost production."

Among the projects selected for the foundation’s funds:

  • The potential for hazelnut livestock feed to improve meat quality, shelf-life and nutrition;
  • Enhancing the nutritional value of oil seeds in poultry diets;
  • Elimination of Vibrio toxins from oysters;
  • Feeding selenium-fertilized hay to pregnant cows to improve calf performance;
  • Activating the immune system of potatoes to control disease;
  • The development of value-added food products from barley.

OSU researchers began using the funds on Feb. 1.

In more than 80 years distributing grants, the Agricultural Research Foundation has given more than $16 million to OSU scientists – in addition to channeling $157 million in donor gifts to the university's researchers.

The foundation is a private, non-profit corporation and an affiliate of OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences. The board of directors is made up of representatives of numerous segments of Oregon's agriculture industry. Grants awarded during 2014-16 are dedicated to its founding members: William Schoenfeld, Ralph Besse, Judge Guy Boyington and R.L. Clark.

For more information about the Competitive Grants Program, contact Koong at 541-737-4066.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Daniel Robison Source: 

Kelvin Koong, 541-737-4066

Multimedia Downloads Multimedia: 



OSU researchers in Astoria make raw oysters safer to eat by removing toxins from the shellfish, a project supported by a grant from the Agricultural Research Foundation. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Categories: Research news

OSU website tracks Oregon's economic, social and environmental health

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 10:46am
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CORVALLIS, Ore. – The gap between the richest and poorest Oregonians has widened over the past 20 years. On a brighter note, the rates of population and job growth have outpaced the national average.

These tidbits and other data are part of a new website created in part by the Oregon State University Extension Service. The Tracking Oregon's Progress website follows 88 indicators that describe economic, social and environmental progress in each of Oregon's 36 counties from 1990 to 2011.

The Oregon Community Foundation, the OSU Extension Service, OSU's Rural Studies Program, OSU's Valley Libraries and the Institute for Natural Resources worked on the project.

People can visit the website at http://bit.ly/1bSCBY6 to download a report. They can also compare conditions and trends throughout the state by creating custom reports. For example, users can view a report and chart that shows that Multnomah County's unemployment rate among Latinos was 10.2 percent between 2007 and 2011 compared with 8.5 percent in rural Oregon in the same years.

The data, which come from the U.S. Census Bureau and a variety of government agencies, are helpful for state legislators, county officials, philanthropists, nonprofit professioaals, state agency professionals, educators and businesses, said Bruce Weber, the director of OSU's Rural Studies Program and lead author of the report.

"If you're in a position to make changes that can improve the economy, society or environment, this gives you some idea of where changes need to be made," said Weber, a professor of applied economics in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.

"It is valuable for the state to have data to look at trends over time across a wide variety of indicators, from environment to education to crime," said Sonia Worcel, research director for the Oregon Community Foundation.

Statewide highlights from the report include the following:

  • For several decades, the numbers of residents and jobs in Oregon have grown faster than the national average. Oregon's share of the nation's population increased from 1.15 percent in 1990 to 1.24 percent in 2011. Its share of the nation's jobs grew from 1.18 percent in 1990 to 1.25 percent in 2011. 
  • Per capita income in Oregon, or total income divided by population, has been dropping relative to the nation since 1990.
  • The unemployment rate in Oregon has risen since 1990, especially for Oregonians of color.  
  • Overall high school graduation rates increased in Oregon between 2010 and 2012, but there are large differences in high school graduation rates across racial and ethnic groups.
  • Oregon adults and teens have been living more healthily and Oregonians have been living longer, but there have been continuing increases in young teen drug use and disparities between racial and ethnic groups in teen pregnancy and low birth-weight babies.   

The site points to some interesting county-level highlights, according to Lena Etuk, a social demographer with the OSU Extension Service and OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Gilliam County, for example, has the lowest income inequality between its richest and poorest residents, while Benton County has the highest.

Hood River County stands out as a county with one of the state's highest Latino populations at 30 percent and the highest high school graduation rate of that ethnic group at 76 percent.

Wallowa, Sherman, Wasco, Gilliam, Deschutes, and Columbia counties have the highest rates of prenatal care usage, at 80 percent or more. Morrow and Malheur counties have the lowest rates of prenatal care usage. Less than 60 percent of pregnant women in those two counties are seeing doctors before their babies are born.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Denise Ruttan Source: 

Bruce Weber, 541-737-1432;

Lena Etuk, 541-737-6121;

Sonia Worcel, 503-227-6846

Categories: Research news

Science of skin to be presented at Corvallis Science Pub

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 10:37am
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Americans spend billions to beautify their outermost organ – to make it softer and younger, to erase wrinkles, conceal freckles, fake a tan, or flaunt a tattoo.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Americans spend billions to beautify their outermost organ – to make it softer and younger, to erase wrinkles, conceal freckles, fake a tan, or flaunt a tattoo.

 

At the March 10 Corvallis Science Pub, Arup Indra of the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy will discuss what scientists know about skin development and what happens when things go awry. The Science Pub presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6 p.m. in the Old World Deli located at 341 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.

 

Indra and his wife, Gitali Indra, collaborate in studies of skin cell development. Their goal is to identify treatment options to help protect against diseases such as skin cancer and eczema. More cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year than of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined.

 

And while skin cancer rates vary geographically, the nation’s highest are in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

 

-30-

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Americans spend billions to beautify their outermost organ – to make it softer and younger, to erase wrinkles, conceal freckles, fake a tan, or flaunt a tattoo.

At the March 10 Corvallis Science Pub, Arup Indra of the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy will discuss what scientists know about skin development and what happens when things go awry. The Science Pub presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6 p.m. in the Old World Deli located at 341 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.

Indra and his wife, Gitali Indra, collaborate in studies of skin cell development. Their goal is to identify treatment options to help protect against diseases such as skin cancer and eczema. More cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year than of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. 

And while skin cancer rates vary geographically, the nation’s highest are in the Pacific Northwest.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

-30-

College of Pharmacy Media Contact:  Nick Houtman Source: 

Arup Indra, 541-737-5775

Categories: Research news

OSU selects public health leader, ecologist for Distinguished Professor Awards

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 2:40pm
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Marie Harvey, a professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and William Ripple, a professor in the College of Forestry, have been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor by OSU.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The leader behind what will become Oregon’s first accredited school of public health and a terrestrial ecologist who identified a new paradigm in wildlife research have been named 2014 recipients of the Distinguished Professor Award by Oregon State University.

Marie Harvey, a professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and William Ripple, a professor in the College of Forestry, will receive their awards this spring and give public lectures on campus.

The Distinguished Professor title is the highest designation Oregon State gives to its faculty.

Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president, said the two faculty members chosen for the honor share similar traits of innovative leadership, internationally recognized scholarship and service to the university and their respective fields.

“Marie Harvey and Bill Ripple exemplify what we hope all of our faculty will strive to become as they develop their careers,” Randhawa said. “They both have revolutionized their fields, drawing respect and admiration not only from their colleagues on campus, but from around the world.”

Harvey is widely known for her pioneering work in reproductive and sexual health, shifting the research from an exclusive focus on women to one that examines the relationship dynamics of couples as it applies to both pregnancy and disease prevention. That shift, along with Harvey’s work in diversity and equity, prompted the American Public Health Association to present her with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I am very pleased that Marie Harvey is being honored with the Distinguished Professor title,” said Tammy Bray, dean of OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. “In addition to her scholarly contributions to the field of public health, I most appreciate her leadership and partnership with me in the effort to transform our college to become the first accredited school of public health in Oregon.”

Harvey has been a faculty member at OSU since 2003 and associate dean of the college since 2011. Her title is Distinguished Professor of Public Health.

Ripple began his career studying old-growth forests and spotted owls and evolved his research to look at the impact of predators. His work led to a new field called “trophic cascades” – or how large predators exert powerful influences on ecosystem structure and function. Examples include the influence of wolves in Yellowstone Park on everything from the composition of hardwood forests to streamside erosion.

His prominence as an ecologist has led to consulting efforts with the National Academy of Sciences, The White House, President Clinton’s Forest Summit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Ripple will be Distinguished Professor of Ecology.

“Bill Ripple has been a fantastic teacher and researcher in the College of Forestry and well deserves being named a Distinguished Professor,” said Thomas Maness, dean of the college. “He is an internationally known leader in the ecology of top predators and his studies on the impact of gray wolves in Yellowstone, along with co-author (OSU professor emeritus) Robert Beschta, have been featured in numerous scientific journals and in popular media. They have directly impacted conservation research and policies.”

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

 Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111; Sabah.Randhawa@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU a partner in $320 million “digital manufacturing” initiative

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 4:28pm
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OSU will be a key partner in a new, $230 million national initiative to support "digital manufacturing," which could revolutionize the way things get built in America.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University and the Design Engineering Laboratory in its College of Engineering have been chosen as one of the key partners in a new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, just announced by President Obama with $70 million in federal support.

The UI Labs in Chicago, Ill., will be the lead institution in this initiative, which is also expected to attract $250 million in support from other academic, industry and government organizations. Collectively, about 70 academic and industry participants hope to revolutionize the way that things get built.

“This is a transformative opportunity to shape the future of American manufacturing,” said Warren Holtsberg, chairman of UI LABS. “We salute the vision of the president.”

OSU engineering experts have been working toward similar goals for several years now, and agree that the potential of the new initiative is extraordinary.

“We now can use sophisticated computer systems and advanced design methods to do mechanical design, testing, and error identification before anything is actually built,” said Rick Spinrad, vice president for research at OSU.

“The advantages in saving time and money on the road to manufacturing the products of the future could be profound,” Spinrad said. “This should increase productivity, make American manufacturing more competitive, and create more jobs – and new types of jobs - both in Oregon and across the nation. We’re excited to be a part of this.”

Key industry investors in the new project include General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, Boeing, Deere, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Illinois Tool Works and PARC. Thousands of small and mid-sized companies will also be involved. And OSU’s research in this field, which will continue to assist regional industries, includes such companies as Daimler Trucks, Blunt, PCC Structurals, ESCO, Intel, Xerox and HP.

Oregon industry members of the Northwest Collaboratory for Sustainable Manufacturing have also expressed interest in participating in the new institute.

“Within minutes of forwarding the news of the selection of UL Labs for the DMDI Institute and OSU’s participation in it, I had calls and emails from our industry partners in the Portland area wanting to know how to get involved,” said Rob Stone, head of the OSU School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

Digital design allows for new product development to be accelerated by up to 50 percent. Most of the initial federal support for this initiative is from the Department of Defense, which envisions ways to create needed military vehicles and other technology much faster and at less cost. But the concepts could ultimately be used to manufacture anything from a tank to an automobile, washing machine, jet aircraft or toaster oven.

According to Matt Campbell, an OSU professor of mechanical engineering and one of the university’s leaders in this field, digital manufacturing is a concept that greatly reduces physical prototypes and testing, as well as time to manufacture.

“In design, the idea is to fail early and often, so that we succeed sooner,” Campbell said. “Our digital tools will predict performance and where failure will occur, and reduce or eliminate the need for costly prototypes. Then we’ll use 3D printers and other tools to automate and streamline actual manufacturing.”

This approach, researchers say, will provide a fundamentally new way for digital information to flow among designers, suppliers, and customers, as well as to and from intelligent machines and workers on the factory floor.

In announcing the grant for this new initiative, President Obama said that digital manufacturing is critical to America’s future.

“The country that gets new products to market faster and at less cost, they’ll win the race for the good jobs of tomorrow,” Obama said. “And if you look at what’s happening in manufacturing, a lot of it is much more specific.  Companies want to keep their inventories low.  They want to respond to consumer demand faster.

“And what that means is, is that manufacturers who can adapt, retool, get something out, change for a particular spec of a particular customer, they’re going to win the competition every time,” Obama said.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, most manufacturing has been done by building a prototype based on an original design, then observe what does and doesn’t work. Clearly this approach can work, but it’s slow, wasteful and expensive.

The technology being created at OSU, and other partners in this initiative, is to translate almost every aspect of a mechanical system into data that can be mixed and matched in sophisticated computer systems – what a part will do, how it will perform, what materials it is made of, how much stress those materials can take before they fail, what will happen at the intersection where one component interacts with another, where failures might occur, and how those failures can be prevented.

“This field holds great promise to design and test completed machines on a computer before they are ever built,” said Irem Tumer, an OSU professor of mechanical engineering and associate dean for research and economic development in the College of Engineering. “We’ll see what works, identify and solve problems, make any changes desired, and then go straight to commercial production.”

In theory, a new machine should work perfectly the first time it is ever built – because that’s what the computer predicted.

Some strengths that the OSU team will bring to this initiative include virtual testing and performance; automated machining and assembly planning; innovation in conceptual design; automation of difficult design decisions; and process model prediction.

Advances already made at OSU include work on failure propagation analysis; a model repository; verification tools that will ensure the model should work; automated machining and assembly planning; and virtual performance of safety and reliability. Continuing work is studying fault behavior, to determine what will happen if a part fails.

“We’ve already done a lot of work with single parts and small groups of components,” Tumer said. “Now we’re taking that complexity to the level of a finished and completed machine, sometimes thousands of parts working together.

“That’s a much more difficult challenge,” she said. “But it’s also why the support from President Obama and the federal government is so important.

“This infusion of federal and private funding should significantly speed progress in the field,” Tumer said.  “We know these systems are going to work, and we really believe the impact on American manufacturing is going to be extraordinary.”

College of Engineering Media Contact:  David Stauth Source: 

Matt Campbell, 541-737-6549

Categories: Research news

Low birth weight reduces ability to metabolize drugs

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 4:01pm
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Pharmacy researchers have discovered that low birth weight may be a factor in how a person metabolizes drugs, and could have effects that last a lifetime.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Researchers have identified another concern related to low birth weight – a difference in how the body reacts to drugs, which may last a person’s entire life and further complicate treatment of illnesses or diseases that are managed with medications.

The findings add to the list of health problems that are already known to correspond to low birth weight, such as a predisposition for adult-onset diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. The implication, researchers say, is that low birth weight may not only cause increased disease, but it may also lessen the effectiveness of the drugs used to treat those diseases.

The research is among the first of its type to implicate low birth weight as a permanent factor in drug response. It was published in the European Journal of Pharmacology, by researchers from Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University. Funding was provided by both universities and the National Institutes of Health.

When more fully understood, low birth weight may be added to the list of factors already being considered in medication dosages, such as age, weight, gender and ethnicity. Some of that is already being done in infants. But right now it’s not one of the factors considered in adults, scientists say, and more work needs to be done before such consideration is warranted.

“Low birth weight affects the development of organs, as the fetus tries to finish development of the brain and, in a sense, sacrifice as necessary the ordinary development of organs such as the kidney,” said Ganesh Cherala, an assistant professor in the OSU/OHSU College of Pharmacy.  “But the kidney is one of the primary filtering agents in the body, and is directly involved in drug elimination.”

The kidneys of low birth weight individuals have a significantly impaired ability to filter and excrete foreign compounds, Cherala said. Since the biologic impact of a medication is affected by its absorption, metabolism and excretion, low birth weight individuals might be less able to excrete drugs.

However, the biologic processes are not that simple, Cherala said. Because of liver metabolism and other issues, in many cases low birth weight individuals end up having less response to a drug, instead of more.

“A pain killer, for instance, might end up being metabolized in the liver instead of making its way to the brain where it is supposed to function,” Cherala said. “You might need more of that same drug in a low birth weight individual to have the same effect.”

The complexities of these processes need additional study before recommendations could be made to alter drug dosages based on low birth weight status, Cherala said. But this issue could be important and should be further explored, he said.

In developed countries about 8-10 percent of individuals are born with low birth weight, but the issue is of higher concern in some developing nations where 20-25 percent of babies are born with this condition. Low birth weight is generally caused by poor nutrition during pregnancy.

College of Pharmacy Media Contact:  David Stauth Source: 

Ganesh Cherala, 503-418-0447

Categories: Research news

Student-directed comedy ‘Beyond Therapy’ opens March 6 in Lab Theatre at OSU

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 3:35pm
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Student Davey Kashuba directs the quirky comedy, which also is the official opening for the newly renovated Lab Theatre in Withycombe Hall.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Performances of the student-directed play “Beyond Therapy,” a comedic portrait of love and neuroses, will begin at 7:30 p.m. March 6-8 and at 2 p.m. March 9 in the Lab Theatre at Oregon State University.

 

OSU Theatre student Davey Kashuba directs the production. The show also serves as the official opening for the newly renovated Lab Theatre in Withycombe Hall, 30th and Campus Way.

 

“Beyond Therapy,” by Christopher Durang, is a quirky, modern love story about the ups and downs of love and dating. The play premiered in 1981 and remains one of Durang’s most frequently produced works.

The cast includes Oregon State students L.J. Duey as Bruce, Melissa Cozzi as Prudence, Sarah Sutton as Charlotte and Kolby Baethke as Bob. Corvallis community members Jonathan Thompson as Andrew and Chris Morrell as Stuart also join the cast.

Tickets are $8 for general admission, $6 for seniors, $5 for students/youth and $4 for OSU students. They are available for purchase through the OSU Theatre Box Office at 541-737-2784 or online at http://www.oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre. There is no reserved seating.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Performances of the student-directed play “Beyond Therapy,” a comedic portrait of love and neuroses, will begin at 7:30 p.m. March 6-8 and at 2 p.m. March 9 in the Lab Theatre at Oregon State University.

OSU Theatre student Davey Kashuba directs the production. The show also serves as the official opening for the newly renovated Lab Theatre in Withycombe Hall, 30th and Campus Way.

“Beyond Therapy,” by Christopher Durang, is a quirky, modern love story about the ups and downs of love and dating. The play premiered in 1981 and remains one of Durang’s most frequently produced works.

The cast includes Oregon State students L.J. Duey as Bruce, Melissa Cozzi as Prudence, Sarah Sutton as Charlotte and Kolby Baethke as Bob. Corvallis community members Jonathan Thompson as Andrew and Chris Morrell as Stuart also join the cast.

Tickets are $8 for general admission, $6 for seniors, $5 for students/youth and $4 for OSU students. They are available for purchase through the OSU Theatre Box Office at 541-737-2784 or online at http://www.oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre. There is no reserved seating.

College of Liberal Arts Media Contact: 

Michelle Klampe, 541-737-0784 or michelle.klampe@oregonstate.edu

Source: 

Elizabeth Helman, Elizabeth.helman@oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

Geochemist to present Condon Lecture

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 4:22pm
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Richard Carlson, a geologist, geochemist, and planetary scientist from the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., will present the 2014 Thomas Condon Lecture at OSU on Wednesday, March 5.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Richard Carlson, a geologist, geochemist, and planetary scientist from the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., will present the 2014 Thomas Condon Lecture at Oregon State University on Wednesday, March 5.

The free public lecture, "A History of Earth Formation," is designed for a non-specialist audience. It begins at 7:30 p.m. in Austin Auditorium of the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus. The Condon Lecture, named after a pioneer of Oregon geology, helps to interpret significant scientific research for non-scientists.

Carlson is a staff scientist at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution. He conducts research on the history and evolution of the crust and interior of Earth, Mars, the moon and different asteroids to understand the mechanisms of planet formation and the way in which planets develop habitable surfaces.

He uses isotope geochemistry to study element formation in stars and how those elements are delivered throughout the solar system. His studies have taken to southern Africa, Brazil, the Arctic coast of Hudson’s Bay, eastern Oregon, and most recently, central Mongolia.

The recipient of numerous awards, Carlson was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.

While at OSU, Carlson will also give a more technical presentation on a related topic. His George Moore Lecture, “Pacific Northwest Volcanism: The Connection of Mantle Dynamics and Continent Formation,”   will be held Thursday, March 6, beginning at 4 p.m. in Kelley Engineering Room 1003.

The presentations are sponsored by the OSU Research Office and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

John Dilles, 541-737-1245 or dillesj@geo.oregonstate.edu

Categories: Research news

OSU responds to NCAA sanction on pitcher Ben Wetzler

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 5:01pm
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OSU officials say the penalty given by the NCAA to OSU baseball pitcher Ben Wetzler is inappropriately harsh, given the mitigating circumstances.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University officials say the penalty imposed Friday by the NCAA staff on pitcher Ben Wetzler, which will cost him 20 percent of his senior season, is too harsh given all of the mitigating factors.

The NCAA began an investigation of Wetzler late last year concerning advice he received from a representative of a sports management group just after the 2013 Major League Baseball amateur draft.

Wetzler will be eligible to resume playing for the Beavers on Sunday, March 2, in the fourth game of a four-game series against Wright State University.

As a college junior last year, Wetzler was chosen in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, but chose to return to Oregon State for his senior season to pursue an NCAA championship with his teammates.

The NCAA notified OSU in late November 2013 of its intent to conduct an investigation involving Wetzler.  Both OSU and Wetzler fully cooperated with that investigation. During the course of the NCAA’s investigation, OSU learned that the charges were related to communications and actions by an adviser that Wetzler had engaged to advise him about his draft options.  Wetzler received no compensation from the adviser.  

“While NCAA rules allow a student-athlete to obtain advising services about the draft and contract offers, the adviser may have no contact with a professional organization,” said Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for University Relations and Marketing.

“Although the evidence was unclear, the NCAA found that Wetzler’s adviser did have prohibited contact and that a violation of the ‘spirit’ of the NCAA bylaw occurred,” Clark said. “It was clear from the beginning, however, that there was no intent on the part of Ben Wetzler to circumvent the rules. He was trying to do the right thing.”

“Oregon State University continues to support Ben in this matter,” said Bob De Carolis, OSU’s Athletic Director. “He is a great example of a student-athlete who turned down a significant sum of money from a professional baseball team to return to OSU to complete his academic degree and collegiate eligibility.”

Oregon State proposed a self-imposed penalty on Wetzler of 10 percent of his team’s games, which apparently was not enough for the NCAA, according to Clark.

“This is really a shame. To be clear, Ben received no money, nor did he enter into an agreement with the intent of hiring an agent to negotiate on his behalf,” Clark said. “The violation was a technicality, and we strongly believe that it is overly harsh for him to lose 20 percent of his senior season because of that.

“Oregon State believes that this penalty does not fairly represent Ben’s culpability in the matter or the seriousness of the violation,” Clark said. “This student was looking for a way to deal with the pressures associated with the situation so he could return to school.”

Clark said the complexity of a student-athlete being able to individually evaluate an offer to become a professional athlete, or instead choose to remain in school, is “incredibly daunting and not something we should expect young people to be able to do on their own.

“This is simply what Ben Wetzler did – he sought to understand his options for a professional baseball career versus completing his education and playing out his senior year,” Clark said. “He trusted his adviser to follow the NCAA rules and not negotiate on his behalf. Once he understood his options, he decided to remain a student-athlete for one more year at Oregon State University.

“Let’s review the facts here,” Clark said. “A student-athlete sought advice on whether to go pro or return to school. He received that advice, and now he is being punished by the NCAA for making a decision to complete his education – a decision that we should all applaud. This is inexplicable.”

Clark said the decision by the NCAA suggests that the organization needs to re-evaluate its stance on how best to help student-athletes determine their futures.

“The NCAA should have the best interests of student-athletes in mind, and it should certainly question rules that produce this outcome,” Clark said. “Having seen these amateurism rules in action, OSU believes the NCAA should take a serious look with an eye toward revising the rules on amateur status and find new ways to help student-athletes navigate the high-pressure negotiations of professional sports to make the best life choices.”

De Carolis said that OSU takes its NCAA obligations seriously and works hard to support the success of its student-athletes on and off the playing field. 

One of the best pitchers in OSU history, Wetzler has a 24-6 all-time record pitching under Coach Pat Casey – just seven wins shy of breaking Oregon State’s school record for victories. Last year, the southpaw hurler from Clackamas, Ore., went 10-1 with a 2.25 earned run average, winning his last 10 decisions en route to being named to the All-Pac-12 First Team.

Generic OSU Media Contact:  Mark Floyd Source: 

Steve Clark, 503-502-8217

Categories: Research news

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