OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Conference at OSU explores intravenous vitamin C as treatment for cancer, sepsis

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Linus Pauling Institute will host its biennial “Diet and Optimum Health” conference Sept. 13-16 at Oregon State University, attracting an international audience of experts in nutrition, preventive medicine and oncology.

The conference will also honor recently retired Linus Pauling Institute director Balz Frei and welcome new director Richard van Breemen.

The ninth edition of the event takes place 100 years after Linus Pauling began his OSU studies as an undergraduate. It also coincides with the ramp-up of the university’s 150th anniversary celebration and the 20th anniversary of the Linus Pauling Institute’s move to Oregon State from Palo Alto, Calif.

The conference will include a day-long symposium on vitamin C with a focus on the micronutrient’s capabilities in treating cancer and sepsis, as well as sessions on dietary components and the microbiome; lipid metabolism; vitamin E; bioactives; and diet, neuropathy and dementia.

“Linus Pauling wanted to cure the common cold with vitamin C, and there’s some indication that by taking vitamin C you can shorten the duration of a cold – this is a natural progression of that idea to preventing bacteria from killing you,” said conference chair Maret Traber, principal investigator and Ava Helen Pauling Professor at the Linus Pauling Institute. “We really are changing people’s lives.”

In addition to the professional conference, the Linus Pauling Institute will host a free public session from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on the OSU campus. It will feature Emily Ho of the Linus Pauling Institute, who will talk about diet and cancer prevention, and Jeanne Drisko of the University of Kansas Medical Center, who will discuss treating cancer with intravenous vitamin C.

“Linus Pauling and his colleagues tried to show people in the 1970s that intravenous vitamin C was beneficial in treating cancer, and they forced the National Institutes of Health to do several clinical trials,” said Drisko, director of KU Integrative Medicine and the Riordan Endowed Professor of Orthomolecular Medicine.

“The Mayo Clinic ran the trials and said vitamin C showed no benefit in double-blind, placebo-controlled testing. It wasn’t until years later that it was found out that Linus Pauling and his colleagues had been giving it intravenously and the Mayo Clinic used only oral vitamin C, and that’s a huge difference. When it’s given in a vein, it makes hydrogen peroxide around the cancer cells, and the hydrogen peroxide kills them.”

Anitra Carr of New Zealand’s University of Otago, chair of the professional sessions on the mechanisms of vitamin C in cancer, said “vitamin C administration appears to have a clear impact on patient quality of life, particularly in those receiving chemotherapy.”

It’s not yet clear, though, which types of cancer respond best to intravenous vitamin C.

“There is also considerable debate around the potential anti-cancer mechanisms by which vitamin C works,” she said. “Future preclinical and clinical studies will help to elucidate these questions through clarifying the mechanisms by which vitamin C works and also if these vary depending on the type of cancer. This will facilitate personalized medicine, whereby the right treatment can be targeted to the right patient.”

Carr is also one of the presenters during the session on intravenous vitamin C therapy for sepsis, as is Berry Fowler of Virginia Commonwealth University.

“Over the past 30 years, over $2 billion has been spent by the National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical industry on over 15,000 patients with sepsis. No treatment has proven effective that doesn’t have side effects,” said Fowler, professor of medicine in the Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine Division and director of the VCU Johnson Center for Critical Care and Pulmonary Research.

“Trials have been predominantly performed with proteins like antibodies and inflammatory protein inhibitors. These protein treatments don’t get transported into the cell where they are needed. Vitamin C is a micronutrient – it’s effectively transported into every cell in the body.”

When vitamin C is infused intravenously, Fowler said, it’s actively moved from the bloodstream into the cells where the injury and damage are happening.

“When it’s there it acts as an antioxidant and, importantly, it decreases the inflammatory process that leads to injury,” he said. “This micronutrient theory may be the secret as to how vitamin C works so effectively. There’s finally a therapy that can be transported into places where it needs to be to be effective as opposed to remaining free in the plasma. That’s what differentiates vitamin C – it’s effectiveness is because the body moves it across tissue planes.”

Carr said critically ill patients with sepsis and septic shock have very low levels of vitamin C and that several recent clinical studies have shown that administration of vitamin C to these patients can significantly decrease organ failure and also decrease death rates by up to 80 percent.

“Sepsis and septic shock are the leading causes of death in critically ill patients and the incidence of severe sepsis continues to rise around the world,” she said. “If these results can be reproduced in other studies, this will be the biggest breakthrough in care for these patients since antibiotics.”

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

Study reveals seven complete specimens of new flower, all 100 million years old

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A Triceratops or Tyrannosaurus rex bulling its way through a pine forest likely dislodged flowers that 100 million years later have been identified in their fossilized form as a new species of tree.

George Poinar Jr., professor emeritus in Oregon State University’s College of Science, said it’s the first time seven complete flowers of this age have been reported in a single study. The flowers range from 3.4 to 5 millimeters in diameter, necessitating study under a microscope.

Poinar and collaborator Kenton Chambers, professor emeritus in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, named the discovery Tropidogyne pentaptera based on the flowers’ five firm, spreading sepals; the Greek word for five is “penta,” and “pteron” means wing.

“The amber preserved the floral parts so well that they look like they were just picked from the garden,” Poinar said. “Dinosaurs may have knocked the branches that dropped the flowers into resin deposits on the bark of an araucaria tree, which is thought to have produced the resin that fossilized into the amber. Araucaria trees are related to kauri pines found today in New Zealand and Australia, and kauri pines produce a special resin that resists weathering.”

This study builds on earlier research also involving Burmese amber in which Poinar and Chambers described another species in the same angiosperm genus, Tropidogyne pikei; that species was named for its flower’s discoverer, Ted Pike. Findings were recently published in Paleodiversity.

“The new species has spreading, veiny sepals, a nectar disc, and a ribbed inferior ovary like T. pikei,” Poinar said. “But it’s different in that it’s bicarpellate, with two elongated and slender styles, and the ribs of its inferior ovary don’t have darkly pigmented terminal glands like T. pikei.”

Both species have been placed in the extant family Cunoniaceae, a widespread Southern Hemisphere family of 27 genera.

Poinar said T. pentaptera was probably a rainforest tree.

“In their general shape and venation pattern, the fossil flowers closely resemble those of the genus Ceratopetalum that occur in Australia and Papua-New Guinea,” he said. “One extant species is C. gummiferum, which is known as the New South Wales Christmas bush because its five sepals turn bright reddish pink close to Christmas.”

Another extant species in Australia is the coach wood tree, C. apetalum, which like the new species has no petals, only sepals. The towering coach wood tree grows to heights of greater than 120 feet, can live for centuries and produces lumber for flooring, furniture and cabinetwork.

So what explains the relationship between a mid-Cretaceous Tropidogyne from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and an extant Ceratopetalum from Australia, more than 4,000 miles and an ocean away to the southeast?

That’s easy, Poinar said, if you consider the geological history of the regions.

“Probably the amber site in Myanmar was part of Greater India that separated from the southern hemisphere, the supercontinent Gondwanaland, and drifted to southern Asia,” he said. “Malaysia, including Burma, was formed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras by subduction of terranes that successfully separated and then moved northward by continental drift.”

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Tropidogyne pentaptera

Richard van Breemen named director of Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has named Richard van Breemen as the director of the university’s Linus Pauling Institute.

Van Breemen, professor of pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will succeed Balz Frei as director and endowed chair of the institute, which studies the role of vitamins and other micronutrients in enhancing health and preventing disease.

Van Breemen characterized his new role as director of the Linus Pauling Institute as a “dream job.”

“Richard brings the prestige and accomplishments we were looking for in a new director,” said Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research at OSU. “He runs a National Institutes of Health-funded center for botanical dietary supplement research and is someone who makes things happen. He is very collaborative and people here already know his work. Richard feels a real passion for the work we do here at OSU and at the Linus Pauling Institute in particular.”

Van Breemen has a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University and was a post-doctoral scholar at Johns Hopkins in mass spectrometry. His undergraduate degree in chemistry is from Oberlin College.

His research includes clinical trials regarding prostate cancer prevention, and the safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements used by women.

At the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he has worked since 1994, van Breemen is the founding academic director of the Mass Spectrometry, Metabolomics and Proteomics Facility for the university’s Research Resources Center. He is also the director of the Botanical Center for Dietary Supplements Research, which has NIH funding through 2020 and has been continually funded since 1999.

From 1986 to 1993, van Breemen was a faculty member at North Carolina State, where he founded and directed the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory for Biotechnology Research.

Linus Pauling, who died in 1994 at age 93, was an Oregon State alumnus and is the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes – for chemistry in 1954 and for peace in 1962. A chemistry professor at California Institute of Technology, he founded what would become the Linus Pauling Institute in 1973.

Pauling bequeathed his vast scientific archives to OSU, and in 1996 the institute moved from Palo Alto, Calif., to Oregon State. The following year, Frei became director and endowed chair, a position he held until his retirement in June 2016.

Van Breemen met Pauling shortly before his death when the Nobel laureate spoke at a symposium at North Carolina State.

“Of course I had followed his work with dietary supplements for years, and I also got to know Balz upon visits to Oregon State,” van Breemen said. “I have visited several times and gotten to know the investigators and other faculty and have always known it to be a wonderful place to live and work. OSU and the Linus Pauling Institute offer a wealth of infrastructure and support that is unparalleled. The institute can help the work I have been doing be even more productive and make a bigger imprint and footprint on society.”

Van Breemen will start Jan. 1, 2018. Fred Stevens, professor of medicinal chemistry in the Oregon State College of Pharmacy, will continue as the interim director until then.

Van Breemen’s appointment at OSU will also be in the College of Pharmacy. 

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Oregon State University agricultural sciences, pharmacy deans transition

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Provost and Executive Vice President Ed Feser announced today that Dan Arp, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Mark Zabriskie, dean of the College of Pharmacy, will step down from these university leadership roles effective June 30, 2018.

Arp, who has been dean since May 2012 and also serves as director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station, will retire. Zabriskie, dean since September 2010, will return to his faculty position.

“Both Dan and Mark have had many outstanding accomplishments in these important leadership roles—not just at OSU but in the agriculture and healthcare industries respectively,” Feser said. “Their contributions to the university and the state of Oregon are significant, and they personify OSU’s commitment to excellence and service to the state.”

Arp joined OSU’s colleges of agricultural sciences and science in 1990 in a joint botany and plant pathology position that was split between the two units. He eventually headed the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology where he earned the honor of “distinguished professor.” In 2008, Arp was named dean of the University Honors College, where he worked closely with students to enhance their learning experience. Four years later, he was appointed as the Reub Long Dean of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station at OSU.

While serving as dean, Arp oversaw record-high student enrollment and the addition of 25 new faculty members in 2015 as the result of increased funding from the state Legislature for statewide public services. He also was instrumental in obtaining more than $40 million in private gifts and industry support for the college. A strong collaborator, Arp developed and enhanced key partnerships with agricultural commodity groups, companies, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. In 2014, he served as a co-chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Genetically Engineered Seeds and Agricultural Products.

“I have tremendously enjoyed my five years of service as dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, and I look forward to doing all I can during my sixth and final year as dean,” Arp said. ”I am extremely proud of the progress the college has made over the past several years and our recognition as one of the world’s top agriculture programs.”

Oregon State has been recognized as a world-class center in agriculture and forestry, ranking 13th this year in an international survey. The listing appeared in the QS World University Rankings of approximately 200 top institutions for agriculture and forestry worldwide.

Zabriskie joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at OSU in 1992. He directed the college’s infectious disease drug discovery program from 2005 to 2010 before being appointed dean. During his tenure as dean, Zabriskie oversaw a strong period of growth and expansion for the college and helped further extensive partnerships, including key collaborations with Oregon Health & Science University. He led initiatives to strengthen OSU’s presence in Portland and further the College of Pharmacy’s collaboration with OHSU. He represented OSU on the construction and management of the Collaborative Life Sciences Building that opened in 2014 on OHSU’s South Waterfront campus in Portland. This facility is a partnership among OHSU, OSU and Portland State University. Zabriskie also oversaw OSU’s role in the new partnership with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute focused on cancer prevention and control.

In the past seven years, the college experienced a 35 percent increase in faculty and staff; a 40 percent increase in external grant support and research expenditures; and doubled the number of graduate research and teaching assistantships. Over the same period, scholarship support for OSU PharmD students (those pursuing professional doctorates to practice pharmacy) increased by 30 percent.

“The opportunity seven years ago to serve at the helm of the college turned into one of the most rewarding times of my career,” Zabriskie said. “Nothing has made the job more fulfilling to me than the support of the outstanding faculty and staff I had the good fortune to serve, and I’m extremely proud of the accomplishments we’ve made together.”

Zabriskie has maintained an active research program while serving as dean and will return to the faculty as a professor of pharmaceutical sciences next July. His research involves the discovery, biosynthesis and development of natural product antimicrobial agents.

Feser will launch national searches for both dean positions immediately.  

Media Contact: 

Annie Athon Heck, 541-737-0790

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Dan Arp, 541-737-2331
Dan.J.Arp@oregonstate.edu;
Mark Zabriskie, 541-737-5781
mark.zabriskie@oregonstate.edu

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OSU inks largest research grant in its history to begin ship construction

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has just received a grant of $121.88 million from the National Science Foundation to spearhead the construction of a new class of research vessels for the United States Academic Research Fleet. It is the largest grant in the university’s history.

This grant will fund the construction of the first of three planned vessels approved by Congress for research in coastal regions of the continental United States and Alaska. When funding for the next two vessels is authorized, the total grant to OSU could increase to as much as $365 million. The first vessel is slated to be operated by OSU for research missions focusing on the U.S. West Coast. The NSF will begin the competitive selection of operating institutions for the second and third vessels later this year – likely to universities or consortia for operations on the U.S. East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.

“Oregon State University is extremely proud to lead this effort to create the next generation of regional ocean-going research vessels funded by NSF,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “Our exceptional marine science programs are uniquely positioned to advance knowledge of the oceans and to seek solutions to the threats facing healthy coastal communities – and more broadly, global ecological well-being – through their teaching and research.”

OSU was selected by the National Science Foundation in 2013 to lead the initial design phase for the new vessels, and to develop and execute a competitive selection for a shipyard in the United States to do the construction. Gulf Island Shipyards, LLC, in Louisiana was chosen and will conduct the detailed design verification over the next year. Officials hope to have a keel-laying ceremony for the first vessel in the spring of 2018, with the ship delivered to OSU for a year of extensive testing in 2020.

This new class of modern well-equipped ships is essential to support research encompassing marine physical, chemical, biological and geologic processes in coastal waters, said Roberta Marinelli, dean of Oregon State’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

“Rising sea levels, ocean acidification, low-oxygen waters or ‘hypoxia,’ declining fisheries, offshore energy, and the threat of catastrophic tsunamis are issues not only in the Pacific Northwest but around the world,” Marinelli said. “These new vessels will provide valuable scientific capacity for better understanding our changing oceans.”

The ships will be equipped to conduct detailed seafloor mapping, to reveal geologic structures important to understanding processes such as subduction zone earthquakes that may trigger tsunamis. The Pacific Northwest is considered a high-risk region because of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which has produced about two dozen major earthquakes of magnitude 8.0 or greater over the past 10,000 years.

The new ships will also be equipped with advanced sensors that will be used to detect and characterize harmful algal blooms, changing ocean chemistry, and the interactions between the sea and atmosphere. The emerging fields of wave, tidal and wind energy will benefit from ship observations. Oregon State is the site of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, which in December was awarded a grant of up to $35 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to create the world’s premier wave energy test facility in Newport.

Some characteristics of the new regional class research vessels (RCRVs), which were designed by The Glosten Associates, a naval architecture firm based in Seattle:

  • 193 feet long with a 41-foot beam;
  • Range of approximately 7,000 nautical miles;
  • Cruising speed is 11.5 knots with a maximum speed of 13 knots;
  • 16 berths for scientists and 13 for crew members;
  • Ability to stay out at sea for at least 21 days before returning to port;
  • High bandwidth satellite communications for streaming data and video to shore;

“This class of ships will enable researchers to work much more safely and efficiently at sea because of better handling and stability, more capacity for instrumentation and less noise,” said Clare Reimers, a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and project co-leader. “The design also has numerous ‘green’ features, including an optimized hull form, waste heat recovery, LED lighting, and variable speed power generation.”

Oregon State is expected to begin operating the first of the new ships in the fall of 2021, after a year of testing and then official Academic-Fleet designation by the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), according to Demian Bailey, also a project co-leader for OSU.

“There will be a full year of testing because there are many interconnected systems to try out,” Bailey said. “Any new ship needs to have shakedown cruises, but we’ll have to test all of the scientific instrumentation as well, from the acoustic multibeam seafloor mapping system to its seawater and meteorological data collection, processing and transfer capabilities.

“These ships will be very forward-looking and are expected to support science operations for 40 years or longer. They will be the most advanced ships of their kind in the country.”

OSU previously operated the 184-foot R/V Wecoma from 1975 until 2012, when it was retired. The university then assumed operations of Wecoma’s sister ship, R/V Oceanus, from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; that ship will be retired when the new ship is ready.

The tentative timetable for the new ships:

  • Ship No. 1 keel laying – spring 2018;
  • Ship No. 1 transition to OSU for a year of testing – fall 2020;
  • Ship No. 1 should be fully tested, have UNOLS designation and be fully operational by fall 2021;
  • Ship No. 2 – Keel laying in winter of 2018, delivery in spring 2021, and UNOLS designation in late spring 2022;
  • Ship No. 3 – Keel laying in fall 2020, delivery in spring 2022, and UNOLS designation in spring 2023.

More information on the ships and the project is available at: http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/ships/rcrv/.

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Mark Floyd, 541-737-0788

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OSU researcher studies cross-laminated timber as seismic retrofit tool

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Safer historic buildings and more jobs for the timber industry are the goals of a partnership between an Oregon State University structural engineering researcher and a newly formed nonprofit group in Corvallis, Oregon.

Andre Barbosa of the OSU College of Engineering is collaborating with Cascadia Seismic Strategies on a $150,000 project to study the use of cross-laminated timber panels for seismic retrofits on unreinforced masonry buildings. 

A grant coordinated through the Downtown Corvallis Association and Oregon Main Street is covering roughly two-thirds of the cost of the project, which will result in mockups of CLT retrofit systems at the 107-year-old Harding Building at Third Street and Madison Street in Corvallis.

“We’ll build prototypes that will provide details that will let engineers and construction folks see how things go together,” said Barbosa, a volunteer with Cascadia Seismic Strategies.

Barbosa is one of the original members of the group, named after the subduction zone that lies off the coast of Oregon. The major Cascadia earthquake that experts say is on the horizon would be particularly damaging to vintage masonry structures like the Harding Building, the cornerstone of the original Third Street business district.

“The DCA is concerned about the potential devastation that a Cascadia Subduction Zone mega-quake would wreak,” said Cascadia Seismic Strategies spokeswoman Roz Keeney. “Members of the DCA’s design committee recruited structural engineers, historic architects and other building professionals to join in a conversation about earthquake preparedness and historic building preservation. This group went on to form Cascadia Seismic Strategies, which is now focused on this cutting-edge project to develop a low-cost reinforcement method using local wood products and off-the-shelf steel connectors.”

Engineering work is scheduled to start in August. The grant for the 34-month project underwrites multiple design and construction strategies for dealing with weaknesses in unreinforced masonry buildings, as well as production of a video demonstrating how to implement upgrades that can serve as a guide for other communities wanting to use similar strategies in preservation and retrofitting efforts.

“This project identifies seismic retrofits for historic buildings that improve their safety performance without compromising their historic integrity,” said project manager and historic preservation architect Sue Licht. “It also demonstrates that historic rehabilitation can create local, site-specific jobs that cannot be outsourced.”

Barbosa notes that OSU is a leader in developing new wood products such as cross-laminated timber and in growing forest-products jobs amid reduced harvest levels.

“It’s important to bring jobs back to the timber industry in Oregon and to find new applications for mass timber,” he said. “This could potentially be one of them, while improving the resiliency of downtowns and the older buildings that give us liveliness and history.”

Portland firm KPFF Consulting Engineers will handle most of the structural engineering, led by Reid Zimmerman, with Barbosa lending his expertise in cross-laminated timber and seismic retrofits.

“This comes from what we’ve been learning by visiting different earthquake sites, like Napa (California) and Nepal,” Barbosa said. “We keep learning and try to bring back that knowledge and share it with communities, including by creating a model for affordable seismic retrofits for historic buildings. This is a grass-roots, community-driven solution for a big problem, a huge Cascadia quake.” 

The primary funding organization, Oregon Main Street, is a Main Street America coordinating program administered by the State Historic Preservation Office. It works with Oregon communities to “develop comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies based on a community’s unique assets, character and heritage.”

Its goal is to build “high-quality, livable and sustainable communities that will grow Oregon’s economy while maintaining a sense of place.”

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Economic issues are key to predicting whether students will graduate college, study shows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Economic issues play a significant role in determining whether first-time students enrolling in a four-year college will complete their degree and graduate within six years, a new study from Oregon State University has found.

The socioeconomic status of the student body and the college or university’s revenue and expenditures serve as a predictors of a student’s chances of success at four-year broad access colleges and universities, said Gloria Crisp, an associate professor in OSU’s College of Education.

Four-year broad access institutions are colleges and universities that accept 80 percent or more of their applicants. The majority of students enrolled in four-year public and private colleges in the U.S. are enrolled in these types of institutions. 

“There are a lot of variables that factor into whether a student will graduate, but many of them are economic,” Crisp said. “That tells us that the way to raise graduation rates is through support, both of the student and to the institution.”

The findings were published recently in the journal Research in Higher Education. Co-authors are Erin Doran of Iowa State University and Nicole Alia Salis Reyes of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

The study is believed to be the first to model graduation rates specifically at four-year broad access institutions. The researchers began studying graduation rate predictors at these colleges and universities in part because they are widely overlooked in research and discussion about college success.

Much of the focus on college student populations, their needs, their graduation rates and their overall success is centered on elite colleges and universities. Elite colleges are those that are very difficult to gain entry to, draw high achieving students, tend to have large fundraising endowments to support scholarships and other services and may also serve fewer students overall.

“The elite universities are considered the best even though they predominately serve the most academically prepared students who are likely to successful wherever they enroll,” Crisp said. “There’s a disconnect between the expectations of those top tier schools, which garner much of the attention, and the broad access institutions, which are serving students who may not be academically prepared for college work upon entering college and are underserved throughout the K-20 educational system including low-income, African American and Latina/o students. Holding them to the same standard doesn’t work.”

Researchers reviewed publicly available student data for more than 400 broad access institutions for the 2008-09 school year and the 2014-15 school year, using Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDS.

The findings also indicated that universities with a religious affiliation, a higher percentage of full-time students and large enrollments were likely to have higher graduation rates.  

However, when the researchers examined underserved populations, including African American and Latino students, on their own, they found that it was predominately socioeconomic factors that affected graduation rates among those groups.

“For those students, resources really matter, in a way that is different from the population as a whole,” Crisp said. “That finding is consistent with the persistent inequities in college completion rates for these underserved populations.”

The new insights about broad access institutions and their students can help education leaders and policymakers better understand how the needs of those institutions may differ from those of elite schools.

“It’s about understanding these institutions, making them part of the conversation, and in some ways, changing the conversation to better reflect the experience of most college students and their universities,” she said. “What are their experiences? What can we do to support them?”

That issue is of particular importance right now as policymakers across the U.S. are being asked to increase college graduation rates, and are also considering in some cases, implementing policies that tie funding for public colleges and universities to performance measures, such as six-year graduation rates, Crisp said.

“This research indicates that approach may be counter-productive if the goal is to see more students complete college,” she said. “More research is needed to better understand how resources should be allocated effectively and efficiently while working toward the goal of higher and more equitable college graduation rates.”

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Michelle Klampe, 541-737-0784

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Gloria Crisp, 541-737-9286
Gloria.crisp@oregonstate.edu

OSU names new public safety leader

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has selected Suzanne “Suzy” Tannenbaum to be its new director of public safety.

Tannenbaum, a public safety lieutenant at the Oregon Health & Science University since 2014, starts at OSU on July 20.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the director of public safety at Oregon State University,” she said. “I have enjoyed my time at OHSU Department of Public Safety, learning as we have grown the police department, having worked with some of the finest officers and staff.

“With 24-plus years of law enforcement and public safety experience as a foundation, I am well equipped to take on this new and exciting challenge. I look forward to working with the wonderful students, dedicated men and women within the department, the fine staff and professionals at OSU, our department partners, and the OSU community at large. I know together we will make Oregon State University a safer place to study, work, play and live.”

Tannenbaum will report to Mike Green, OSU’s interim vice president for finance and administration.

“I am very pleased that Suzy Tannenbaum will be Oregon State University’s new director of public safety,” Green said. “Her many years of experience in the public safety arena along with her vision for this important role and the university’s Department of Public Safety will enable her to lead in effective and transformative ways for the Oregon State community.”

In her role at OHSU, Tannenbaum had public safety oversight of three campuses, as well as university facilities throughout Oregon. She oversaw all aspects of public safety management from hiring and training, to campus safety assessments and community education and outreach.

Prior to working at OHSU, she was director of campus safety at Clackamas Community College and an instructor and administrator at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training police academy. She also held numerous positions with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, including deputy, school resource officer, detective, Drug Enforcement Administration task force agent working undercover and patrol supervisor.

Born and raised in Oregon and a third-generation Oregon law enforcement officer, Tannenbaum received a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University) and her Certificate of Public Management from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

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Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787

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Special Olympians will help OSU researchers gain further health insights

CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than 2,000 athletes will descend on Corvallis on July 8 and 9, competing in the Special Olympics Oregon Summer State Games while also helping to further research into the health of people with intellectual disabilities.

“There still is this misconception that if you have a disability, then you cannot be healthy,” said Gloria Krahn, the Barbara Emily Knudson Endowed Chair in Family Policy Studies at Oregon State University. “I would’ve thought that after 25 years, we would be past some of that. Special Olympics is helping bring about that change.”

Oregon State is hosting the Summer State Games, which feature track and field, bocce, golf and softball, with events split between Corvallis High School and the OSU campus.

Special Olympics Oregon’s Healthy Athletes program will also be part of the Summer State Games, providing free health screenings for the athletes. The screenings involve six areas called Fit Feet, FUNfitness, health promotion, Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes and Special Smiles. Strength, flexibility, balance and endurance will be tested, and athletes will be given a take-home program based on their results that aims to improve and encourage their participation in sports and recreational activities.

Special Olympics Oregon regularly hosts Healthy Athletes programs around the state.

Special Olympics Oregon also provides a program called Oregon Team Wellness for those with intellectual disabilities. The program incorporates incentives and rewards to reach benchmarks, with the ultimate goal of lifelong healthy choices and habits.

The program, which started in Oregon, has spread to other states in the Northwest. Researchers at OSU, including Alicia Dixon-Ibarra, a post-doctoral scholar in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and Krahn, are working with Special Olympics to evaluate the program.

Dixon-Ibarra is working on the research and practical side of the games.

She will gather information used in research designed to further improve the health of people with intellectual disabilities. All the information from the weekend will go into one of the largest data sets for people with intellectual disabilities in the world, and can show discrepancies between different countries and their health issues. One area of the world could have issues relating to tooth decay, for example, while another may have higher rates of obesity.    

“I find this job really rewarding,” Dixon-Ibarra said. “I know there’s a huge need for health care and health promotion for this population based on my own research and the research of others in my area, and that this is a big need that we’re fulfilling with these programs.”

Dixon-Ibarra said a common misconception is that people with intellectual disabilities can’t be as healthy as those without. Also, Krahn notes that until relatively recently, trying to keep a person with a disability active and healthy fell solely on the family, without much help from school districts or other groups that organize sports and other recreational activities.

Helping to change attitudes, the researchers say, are programs like the Special Olympics, founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968. From a small beginning – just 1,000 athletes competed in the first Special Olympics World Games – the Special Olympics are now in 169 nations and encourage more than 4 million people with developmental disabilities to be active and healthy. Shriver will be posthumously honored for her work on July 12 at the 25th annual ESPYS on ABC. 

Athletes and coaches will stay in OSU residence halls during the Summer State Games. Parking is free around Reser Stadium, and admission is free to all events. The public is invited to watch the athletes compete, and a complete schedule of the events can be found here.

People interested in volunteering with the Special Olympics Oregon Summer State Games should contact LouAnne Tabada, senior director of volunteer services for Special Olympics Oregon, at Itabada@soor.org or volunteer@soor.org.    

Media Contact: 

Lanesha Reagan, 425-359-3054

OSU appoints Toni Doolen dean of the College of Education

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Toni Doolen, dean of the Honors College at Oregon State University, has been named dean of the university’s College of Education.

Doolen will continue in her role as dean of the Honors College, while also serving as executive dean of Oregon State’s Division of Arts and Sciences, which includes the colleges of Education, Liberal Arts, Science and the Honors College.

Doolen, who is a professor in the university’s School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, replaces Larry Flick, who has served as the dean of the College of Education since July 2011.

“I am deeply impressed with Dr. Doolen’s ability to articulate the key role that the College of Education must play at OSU,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Ed Feser. “As a professor of engineering, she is a published author in engineering education, and has studied assessment methods and use of technology in instruction.

“She will bring the college experienced, thoughtful leadership and a stellar record as a highly respected contributor to the OSU Provost’s Council and university leadership, in general,” Feser said. “Dr. Doolen has a proven skill in stewarding collaborative decision making around visions, plans and resources, and has demonstrated success in building partnerships with units across the university in her role as Honors College dean. Those abilities and skills will serve the College of Education and the university very well.”

The College of Education has more than 14,000 alumni from throughout the U.S. and 35 nations. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Corvallis, at OSU-Cascades in Bend and online through Oregon State’s nationally ranked Ecampus distance education program.

Graduate degree programs include seven master’s degrees in areas including adult and higher education; school counseling and clinical mental health, as well as doctoral degrees in counseling, adult and higher education leadership; and science and mathematics. As well, the College of Education offers many education certificate programs for educators.

Feser praised Flick’s contributions in advancing the College of Education and extending its impact through partnerships with school districts in Beaverton, Central Oregon and the Willamette Valley. Feser said the college also has engaged in extensive efforts to advance STEM education among its students and teachers throughout Oregon.

The college has 80 faculty and staff members who serve approximately 500 undergraduate and graduate students, conduct research, and are involved in community engagement work throughout the state.

“I am honored to be asked to help continue and grow the impact in teaching, research and service that is being done in the College of Education,” Doolen said. “The mission of the college is to prepare, inspire and support teachers, counselors, educational leaders, researchers and volunteers. This is a very important role and engages Oregon State in working with educators and promoting lifelong learning in K-12 schools, colleges and universities and throughout our communities.

“We will continue to embrace innovation in all that we do in the college,” Doolen said.

Doolen joined OSU in 2001, following several years of manufacturing experience at Hewlett-Packard Company as an engineer, senior member of technical staff and manager. She received a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.S. in materials science and engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in manufacturing systems engineering from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Oregon State. 

Under her leadership, enrollment within the Honors College has grown significantly to 1,057 students or 4.2 percent of all OSU undergraduates – an increase of 3.6 percent from 2015. At the same time, the number of high-achieving freshmen entering OSU – graduates from Oregon high schools with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or greater – grew to 47 percent of all incoming first-time students in fall 2016.

In addition, the Honors College collaborates with every academic college at Oregon State to increase the diversity of high-achieving students enrolling at and graduating from OSU. 

Media Contact: 

Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

Source: 

Edward Feser, 541-737-0733

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