OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

campus life

Noted soprano and scholar of African-American music to come to OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Carren Moham, a professor of music at Illinois Wesleyan University, will come to Oregon State University to lecture on African-American spirituals and perform a concert of songs by African-American composers.

The lecture, “The Importance of Negro Spirituals to the Underground Railroad,” will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the Construction and Engineering Hall at the LaSells Stewart Center. Moham, a soprano, will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in the Memorial Union lounge.

Both events are free and open to the public. They are sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts.

Moham also will appear with the Willamette Valley Symphony Feb. 22 and 23.

Moham’s research into the virtually unknown and unpublished art songs of African-American composers led her to devise two concert series, “Songs by African-American Women” and “Songs by African-American Composers.” She’ll perform the second series at Oregon State. She has performed the series in many major cities in the United States, Europe and South America, and has performed for former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

While at OSU, Moham also will visit classes in the ethnic studies and music departments.

Media Contact: 

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

Source: 

Celene Carillo, 541-737-2137, celene.carillo@oregonstate.edu

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Poet Gary Young to read at OSU on Feb. 7

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Poet and artist Gary Young will read at Oregon State University on Friday, Feb. 7, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda. A question and answer session and book signing will follow. This event is part of the 2013-14 Visiting Writers Series at OSU.

Young has authored seven volumes of poetry including his most recent collection, “Even So: New and Selected Poems” (2012).

Publisher’s Weekly notes that Young “writes with a unique combination of wisdom and terror, engendering a kind of sad calm, a hard-earned acceptance of life’s difficulty and openness to its beauty.”

Young’s honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, the 1992 Pushcart Prize, the James D. Phelan Award for his collection “The Dream of a Moral Life,” the William Carlos Williams Award for “No Other Life,” and the 2013 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.

In 2010 Young was named the Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County, where he teaches creative writing and directs the Cowell Press at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

His print work is represented in collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and The Getty Center for the Arts.

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally-known writers to Oregon State. The program is supported by The Valley Library, the OSU Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and Grass Roots Books and Music.

Media Contact: 

Source: 

 Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817; rachel.ratner@oregonstate.edu

OSU to hold symposium Feb. 14-15 featuring LeGuin, others

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A symposium designed to explore ways to live on Earth without exploiting the planet – featuring speakers ranging from author Ursula K. LeGuin to environmental activist Tim DeChristopher – will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, at Oregon State University.

The conference, “Transformation without Apocalypse: How to Live Well on an Altered Planet,” is at LaSells Stewart Center on campus. The event is free but participants should register on the Spring Creek Project website at http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/centers-and-initiatives/spring-creek-project. Workshop spaces are limited and registration is on first-come basis.

Keynote speakers on Friday include Rob Nixon, author of “Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor,” Susana Almanza, co-director of People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources (PODER), and geographer Carolyn Finney, author of the forthcoming “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors.”

Also on Friday, artist Amy Franceschini will speak on her environmentally related art projects and the work of Futurefarmers, an international collective of artists, activists, researchers and others who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political and environmental organization of space.

Saturday’s speakers include DeChristopher, an environmental activist featured in the film “Bidder 70,” authors LeGuin and Kim Stanley Robinson, eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, author and environmental philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore, and Yes! magazine editor Sarah Van Gelder.

“It’s going to take a powerful surge of human creativity, energy, and commitment to create a socially just and ecologically well-adapted future,” said Charles Goodrich, director of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, the symposium organizers. “So we’ve designed this gathering to bring together a diverse community to imagine tangible visions of new/old ways to live without exhausting the planet.”

“Transformation without Apocalypse” is sponsored by the Spring Creek Project, along with OSU School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture, Anarres Project, College of Liberal Arts, and OSU Arts and Humanities Initiative.

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Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198;  Charles.goodrich@oregonstate.edu

Innovative program producing needed computer science graduates

CORVALLIS, Ore. – An online computer science degree program at Oregon State University – the only one of its type in the nation designed specifically for post-baccalaureate students – has grown rapidly, helping to address a national shortage of computer science graduates.

Although it was launched only 18 months ago by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, by the end of this year the program will allow the school to double the number of its computer science graduates with a bachelor’s degree.

Developed in collaboration with OSU’s highly ranked Ecampus, the program allows students with a bachelor’s degree in another field to complete a degree in as little as 12 months because no general education courses are required. Many students choose a slower pace, however, and the courses are geared to people with no computer science experience.

The program has attracted students with a broad range of previous degrees including accounting, chemistry, engineering, history, journalism, law, psychology, and political science; 39 percent of the students come with backgrounds in humanities and social sciences. The online format allows individuals juggling work and family an easier way to go back to school.

According to a recent survey by the Technology Councils of North America, the entire nation is experiencing a shortage of people trained in computer science. Two-thirds of technology company executives in North America agreed there is a talent shortage, and the crisis is particularly acute in Oregon where 86 percent of executives reported there is a shortage of talent in a survey conducted by the Technology Association of Oregon.

A key strategy in the 2014 Oregon Business Plan is to better connect education with high-paying jobs in science and technology fields, including computer science.

Although the 755 students admitted to the online program are from all over the world, more than half of them are from Oregon, Washington and California, and 23 percent now live in Oregon.

“OSU’s one-year online degree program in computer science is working to help fill some of the gaps by offering students and professionals a flexible way to obtain valuable skills and increase their marketability within the local tech industry,” said Skip Newberry, president of the Technology Association of Oregon.

It’s also making a personal impact on individuals. With an established career in business and two small children, Bental Wong said he would not have been able to return to school to carry out his dream of becoming a software engineer, if it had not been for the flexibility of this program. After completing the program in a year, Wong immediately had three job offers and is now part of a small team at Hewlett Packard in Vancouver, Wash., creating innovative software for HP printers.

“It’s so rewarding to hear about the successes of our students,” said Terri Fiez, head of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “We are proud of the impact this program is having on the lives of our students and the tech industry.”

Media Contact: 

Rachel Robertson, 541-737-7098

Source: 

Terri Fiez, 541-737-3118

OSU Student Success Center will be renamed to honor First Lady Beth Ray

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s First Lady, Beth Ray, will be celebrated Monday, Jan. 13, in a ceremony renaming the OSU Student Success Center in her honor. It will now be called The Beth Ray Center for Academic Support.

The rededication ceremony begins with a reception at 4:30 p.m., followed by a program at 5 p.m. The center is located just south of the parking structure on 26th Street, in the center of campus.

Ray, who is currently battling advanced small cell carcinoma, an incurable cancer, is a greatly loved member of the OSU community, and the push to rename the center in her honor was largely driven by student enthusiasm. After the idea was proposed by OSU Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis, the Oregon State Student Athlete Advisory Committee unanimously supported the idea of changing the name of the center to honor Ray, and the student government organization ASOSU also supported the plan. Support for the re-naming was also provided by the university’s building naming committee and the OSU Faculty Senate and was authorized by Oregon University System Interim Chancellor Melody Rose.

Ray is seen by many students as a mentor and supporter, making the building, which is oriented toward student support, a natural extension of her interest in student success.

“The Beth Ray Center for Academic Support will serve as an essential place where all students can gather throughout the day and evenings to receive personal assistance along their path to graduation,” said Provost and Vice President Sabah Randhawa.

Ray said she was both surprised and excited about the news of the building renaming, and pleased that the honor focused on student support. A former business law professor, academic counselor and assistant dean for academic advising, Ray, 67, has been been teaching and mentoring students for many years.

“Most of my career involves working with students,” Ray said.

In her 10 years at OSU, Ray has seen many of the students she’s mentored go on to graduate and thrive. She keeps in contact with a number of them, taking the opportunity to have lunch and visit when they’re in the area. And each year a whole new crop of students arrives on campus in need of support and advice.

“I would tell freshmen to talk to their professors and advisors, and if they have a problem to share it,” she said. “Most people try to hide their problems, but you shouldn’t feel bad about asking people questions.”

Jaimee Kirkpatrick, executive assistant to Head Men’s Basketball Coach Craig Robinson, was one of the students Ray took under her wing as an OSU student. She said through many challenges and successes, the Rays were always there to support and guide her.

“Beth Ray holds an even more special place in my heart as she was one of the only female adults that took care of me as I went through some major surgeries during my time as a student at Oregon State,” Kirkpatrick said. “While my parents were living in Alaska, Beth took over and comforted, encouraged, and supported me through some very significant challenges in my life to date.”

 The $14 million Student Success Center opened in 2012, and houses programs that provide both the general student population and student-athletes with a range of academic support services. Hundreds of students are served every day in the building. The facility includes classrooms, a computer lab, study lounge and commons area as well as academic counseling and advising offices, meeting rooms and tutorial spaces.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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OSU celebrates legacy of Martin Luther King with month of events

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration begins Monday, Jan. 13, with the theme “Uniting Our Powerful Voices.” Events continue through Jan. 24.

The month-long celebration kicks off Monday with a celebration in the Memorial Union Quad from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be music and refreshments, information on events, promotional items, and more.

OSU’s celebration is one of the oldest continuous MLK events in the state. It is organized each year by a group of OSU community members convened by the Office of Equity and Inclusion. The events are open to the public and most are free.

The highlights of the two-week celebration include a musical event, Music of Hope and Resistance, Jan. 16, 5 p.m., at the Native American Longhouse; Our Powerful Voices in Action Conference for social change from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 17, in the Longhouse and Memorial Union; and the annual MLK Day of Service, Jan. 18, 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m., an opportunity to participate in one of 11 community projects during the day.

The annual Peace Breakfast at 9 a.m., Jan. 20, will feature presentation of the Phyllis S. Lee & Frances Dancy Hooks Coalition Builder Awards. Walidah Imarisha, an educator, writer, poet and organizer, is keynote speaker.

Tickets will be available at the door, but organizers advise patrons to buy tickets in advance from the MU Information Desk, as the event regularly sells out. Tickets are on sale for $10 for general admission and $6 for students; children ages 5-and-under will be admitted free. Call 541-737-4379 for more information. 

This is the 32nd year of the celebration at OSU.

For more information and a full schedule of events see http://oregonstate.edu/oei/mlk-events and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OSUMLKcelebration

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Chris Lenn, 541-737-4379; chris.lenn@oregonstate.edu

OSU, city’s MLK commission bring peace activist John Hunter to Corvallis

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University and the city of Corvallis will celebrate peace and the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., in late January with a series of events coordinated by OSU and the city’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Commission.

John Hunter, author, filmmaker, educator and TED Talk participant, will deliver the annual Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Annual Peace Lecture, which will be held in Milam Auditorium at OSU on Thursday, Jan. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. His talk, “The Seeds of Peace Tomorrow are in the Children of Today,” will focus on Hunter’s work with elementary students and his creation of a World Peace Game, which he uses as an interdisciplinary classroom tool.

The World Peace Game has been hailed as a tool for peace by institutions ranging from the United States Pentagon to the United Nations.

A film screening of the documentary “World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements” will take place on Jan. 22, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Majestic Theatre in downtown Corvallis. The film focuses on Hunter’s work with his fourth grade class as the students discover that they share a deep interest in taking care of the world and each other. 

The screening also will include a welcome by Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning and the announcement of this year’s City of Corvallis Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Commission scholarship winners.

For more information on the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Annual Peace Lecture,  http://oregonstate.edu/cla/pauling-memorial-lectures/

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Joseph Orosco, 541-737-4335; joseph.orosco@oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University Board of Trustees notice of regular meeting

The Oregon State University Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday and Friday, January 9-10, 2014, on the OSU campus.

The meeting will be held in the CH2M Hill Alumni Center, located at 725 S.W. 26th St. in Corvallis. The purpose of the meeting is to orient trustees to their new role and responsibilities and to introduce trustees to the leadership and operations of the University.

Board members may choose to elect an interim chair and vice-chair of the board, adopt bylaws and establish one or more committees. The board’s meeting times are Thursday, January 9, 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., and Friday, January 10, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

An initial meeting of the Board of Trustees was scheduled for December 10-11, 2013, but was postponed because of a snowstorm.

Members of the public who may require special accommodations should contact Mark Huey at 541-737-8260 at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. 

More information about the OSU Board of Trustees is available online at: http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

Dan Larson named head of University Housing and Dining at OSU

Oregon State University has named Dan Larson executive director of University Housing & Dining Services.

Larson, who formerly was associate director for operations and facilities with the department, has worked there for 13 years. He succeeds longtime director Tom Scheuermann, who is transitioning to a teaching role in OSU’s College Student Services Administration graduate program.

Known for his collaborative work, Larson provided leadership in the development of a curriculum for the Weatherford Residential College’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program partnership with the College of Business. The program is known for combining academic pursuits with life skills to provide a holistic experience for students.

He also was instrumental in the construction and design of the International Living-Learning Center, dedicated in fall 2011, and the continued collaboration with INTO OSU to provide a global experience for international and domestic students. 

Larson has represented University Housing & Dining Services and OSU through participation in community boards and discussions, including the Collaboration Corvallis Neighborhood Planning Workgroup.

Media Contact: 

Jennifer Viña, 541-737-8187

Source: 

 Dan Larson, 541-737-4771

Authors Ponteri, Serber to read at OSU on Jan. 17

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Authors Jay Ponteri and Natalie Serber will read from their most recent books at Oregon State University on Friday, Jan. 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda. A question and answer session and book signing will follow.

This event is part of the 2013-2014 Literary Northwest Series,

Ponteri is author of the memoir, “Wedlocked,” (2013) and “Darkmouth Strikes Again,” a chapbook of short prose, which will be released this summer. His essay, “Listen to This” was mentioned as a Notable Essay in “Best American Essays 2010.” Ponteri directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Marylhurst University and Show:Tell: The Workshop for Teen Writers & Artists.

Renee Nicholson of “The Los Angeles Review” writes, “Sometimes filled with raw sexual ambition, other times quietly sad and contemplative, Ponteri dares memoir to go in a bold direction, with precedence on the intimacy between writer and reader."

Serber’s debut story collection, “Shout Her Lovely Name,” (2012) was a New York Times Notable Book of 2012 and a summer reading pick by “O, the Oprah Magazine.” Serber teaches at Marylhurst University and is working on a novel set in Boring, Ore.  

Joan Frank of The San Francisco Chronicle writes that Serber’s story collection “plunges us into the humid heat and lightning of a perfect storm: that of American mothers and daughters struggling for power, love, meaning, and identity…Serber's writing sparkles: practical, strong, brazenly modern, marbled with superb descriptions.”

The Literary Northwest Series brings Pacific Northwest writers to OSU. This program is made possible by support from the Valley Library and OSU Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and Grass Roots Books and Music.

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 Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817; rachel.ratner@oregonstate.edu