OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

campus life

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

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.

Media Contact: 

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

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Arts endowment chairman to speak at Oregon State

CORVALLIS, Ore. – John Frohnmayer, former chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts, will speak about his life experiences and First Amendment issues on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Oregon State University.

The lecture, “Second Thoughts of a First Amendment Radical: Slathering Politics, Religion, Philosophy and Art on Burned American Toast,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Agriculture Production Room at the LaSells Stewart Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Frohnmayer drew national attention during his tenure as endowment chairman because of his thoughts on the First Amendment. He served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush and was removed after he defended the endowment’s decision to grant money to controversial artists like Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano.

His books, “Leaving Town Alive,” and “Out of Tune: Listening to the First Amendment,” explore the national debate over free speech, government funding of the arts, censorship, politics and obscenity.

Frohnmayer is a former affiliate professor of liberal arts at Oregon State, where he taught about First Amendment issues and ethics. Frohnmayer also made a brief run as an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008.

Media Contact: 

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

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Marion Rossi, 541-737-4917, mrossi@oregonstate.edu

OSU receives honor for providing excellent work-life balance for employees

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has earned the Work-Life Seal of Distinction for 2014 from the WorldatWork's Alliance for Work-Life Progress.

WorldatWork is an alliance of independent compensation, benefits and human resources organizations representing professionals around the world. The seal is a mark of excellence designed to identify organizational success in work-life effectiveness. OSU was one of 12 universities to receive the honor.

“OSU prides itself on being a great place to work, learn and flourish,” said Rebecca Warner, OSU’s senior vice provost for Academic Affairs. “We are committed to sustaining a healthy environment that enables community members to live productive, balanced and engaged lives. Receiving this Seal of Distinction is a welcome validation of our efforts. “

OSU has an Office of Work-Life, and offers a variety of resources from flexible policies to accommodate employee needs outside the workplace to childcare and family resource options to help placing dual-career spouses at OSU.

Begun in 2012, the AWLP Seal of Distinction assesses the seven categories of work-life effectiveness that comprise a best-in-class work-life portfolio in today's workplace: caring for dependents; health and wellness; workplace flexibility; financial support for economic security; paid and unpaid time off; community involvement and transforming organizational culture.

This year's winners represent a variety of industries – including education, finance, government, health, law, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. They hail from 20 states and the District of Columbia, as well as four international organizations.  For a complete list of winners: http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=74716&from=press4

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Robyn Pease, 541-737-4852, robynn.pease@oregonstate.edu

History of Oregon State’s African American football players featured in Feb. 18 discussion

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The history and impact of African American football players at Oregon State University is the focus of a panel discussion that begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in The Loge at Reser Stadium on the OSU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Panelists include former Oregon State players Earnel Durden, 1956-58, and Ken Simonton, 1998-2001. Emeritus OSU distinguished professor of English and football historian Michael Oriard, author Herman Brame and sociology professor Dwaine Plaza also will participate. The discussion will focus on the desegregation of football and what is has meant to the Oregon State program.

“Pioneers of Change: Black Football Players at OSU from 1951-Present,” also will include a posthumous tribute to Dave Mann, the first African American football player at the university, who was on the team from 1951-54.

Media Contact: 

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

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Dwaine Plaza, 541-737-5369, dplaza@oregonstate.edu

Pulitzer-winning play ‘How I Learned to Drive’ opens Feb. 13

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “How I Learned to Drive” will show Feb. 13-15 and Feb. 21-22 beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the Withycombe Hall main stage.

A matinee performance will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23 – also at the Withycombe Hall main stage, which is located at 30th and Campus Way in Corvallis.

The powerful exploration of abuse and manipulation blends playwright Paula Vogel’s characteristic wit with raw emotion as she depicts the story of Li’l Bit, a young girl from rural Maryland. Set in the 1960s, Li’l Bit grows up under the shadow of sexual abuse at the hands of her Uncle Peck. The play explores themes of power and control.

“This is a drama about obsession which some compare to Nabokov’s ‘Lolita,’ ” said director Charlotte Headrick, a theater arts professor at OSU.  “But unlike ‘Lolita,’ Vogel has filled the play with sharp, biting humor, which makes the drama all the more powerful.”

OSU student Erin Wallerstein portrays Li’l Bit and Corvallis resident Charles Prince plays Uncle Peck in the production. OSU students Alex Reis, Elise Barberis and Annie Parham are featured as the “Greek Chorus,” and play multiple roles conjured from Li’l Bit’s memories.

The Friday evening performances will include post-show discussions that are open to the public.

The play contains subject matter that is not suitable for children, Headrick said.

Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors, $8 for youth/students and $5 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

Media Contact: 

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

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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: 

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 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

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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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