OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

campus life

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

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 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

Postponed OSU play to be performed in January

CORVALLIS, Ore. – After a successful opening night performance on Dec. 5, the Oregon State University Theatre had to postpone its production of “The King of Spain’s Daughter” because of a major snowstorm that blanketed the area.

The play has been rescheduled for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17-18, at the Lab Theatre in OSU’s Withycombe Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m. An additional matinee performance has been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre in downtown Corvallis.

Tickets for the Lab Theatre production are $5 for general admission and $3 for students. Tickets for the matinee at the Majestic are $8 for general admission and $6 for students. More information is available at: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre. Because of the configuration of the Lab Theatre, latecomers cannot be seated once the production has begun.

“The King of Spain’s Daughter” is a one-act comedy by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy, a prominent Abbey Theatre dramatist of the 1930s. Deevy was deaf and could lip-read in three languages. The OSU production of the play will be unique – for every speaking actor in the production, there will be an interpreting actor using American Sign Language.

Director Charlotte Headrick said this is the first time an OSU production will be “shadowed” by interpreters using American Sign Language.

Jo Alexander, a nationally certified sign language interpreter who manages accommodations at OSU for hearing-impaired students, faculty, staff, and visitors, will interpret the role of Mrs. Marks working alongside actress Vreneli Farber who is her speaking counterpart.

“The King of Spain’s Daughter” follows Annie Kinsella, a young woman with a rich imagination who has to deal with the limited opportunities for young women in 1930s Ireland. Live music before the performance will be provided by Jean Dick on violin playing traditional Irish tunes with Richelle Jean-Bart performing the title song.

Voiced actors are Rick Wallace as Annie Kinsella’s father Peter, Caitlin Reichmann as Annie Kinsella, Michael Beaton as her love interest Jim Sheridan, and Davey Kashuba as Roddy Mann, the loafer. Actors who are interpreting are Cheryl Witters as Annie, Peter Norland as Jim Sheridan, Steve Rianda as Peter Kinsella, and Lee Rianda as Roddy.

The production is underwritten by the office of the Vice-Provost of Student Affairs with the support of the OSU Theatre.

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Charlotte Headrick, 541-737-4918; cheadrick@oregonstate.edu

Bike safety, alternative transportation focus of this year’s OSU Be Bright! Be Seen! event

CORVALLIS, Ore. – In an effort to encourage bike and pedestrian safety on campus and around Corvallis, Oregon State University is inviting the public to the Memorial Union quad on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a special Be Bright! Be Seen! event.

Just in time for Daylight Saving Time on Nov. 3, the Be Bright! event will feature a variety of illuminated giveaways, educational materials, and the chance to get bicycles registered by Campus Public Safety. Additionally, a number of OSU, city and county organizations will be on-hand to give out prizes and discuss a variety of alternative transportation programs available for OSU students, staff and faculty, as well as the general public.

Bike lights, reflective gear and even some coveted illuminated umbrellas will be given away during the event.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 70 percent of pedestrian deaths occur at night, and three out of four occur in urban areas. Making yourself visible as a pedestrian or bicyclist can be a life or death issue.

The Be Bright! Be Seen! public safety campaign is sponsored by OSU and the city of Corvallis, and includes a variety of partners, including the OSU Student Sustainability Initiative, Campus Public Safety and the Alternative Transportation Advisory Committee.

For more information, visit http://oregonstate.edu/main/be-bright

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

Football Hall-of-Famer Dick Butkus to visit OSU Nov. 1

CORVALLIS, Ore. – As a linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Dick Butkus developed a reputation as one of the toughest, most intense players the National Football League had ever seen.

In a story written by Larry Schwartz for ESPN.com, former Green Bay running back MacArthur Lane spoke of the Butkus intimidation factor: “If I had a choice,” he said, “I’d sooner go one-on-one with a grizzly bear. I prayed that I could get up every time Butkus hit me.”

Want to know what makes the Football Hall-of-Fame Dick Butkus tick? You’ll have a chance to ask him a question – about anything.

Butkus will speak at Oregon State University on Friday, Nov. 1, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center (located at 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis). His free, public presentation, which is sponsored by University Relations and Marketing at OSU, is appropriately titled, “Ask Me Anything.”

The event is free and open to the public, and people may submit questions in advance at: http://bit.ly/H0fnmv

There’s a pretty good chance he won’t even tackle you. While intimidating on the gridiron, Butkus is known as an engaging speaker who has channeled his tenacity into a new cause – fighting against steroid abuse in high school sports. He is the founder of the “I Play Clean” campaign.

Butkus was a two-time All-American at the University of Illinois, where he played center on offense and linebacker on defense. As a Chicago Bear, he was named to the All-NFL team seven times and played in the Pro Bowl eight times before his career was cut short by knee injuries.

For the past 29 years, top linebackers around the country have been honored with the Butkus Award, second only to the Heisman Trophy in name recognition, which is given at the high school, college and professional levels.

Later in the day, Butkus will attend the OSU football game against the USC Trojans, which begins at 6 p.m. in Reser Stadium

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Shelly Signs, 541-737-0724; shelly.signs@oregonstate.edu

Botanist and writer Robin Kimmerer to read from her book Oct. 19

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Robin Kimmerer will read from her new book, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants,” on Saturday, Oct. 19, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Oregon State University’s LaSells Stewart Center, C&E Auditorium.

She’ll be joined by poet Alison Hawthorne Deming for an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of OSU Spring Creek Project’s Long-Term Ecological Reflections program. The program is free and open to all.

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the majority of indigenous cultures consider plants and animals to be the oldest teachers. In “Braiding Sweetgrass,” Kimmerer shows how other living things – asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass – offer people gifts and lessons.

Jane Goodall said about “Braiding Sweetgrass,” “Robin Kimmerer has written an extraordinary book, showing how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people.”

Kimmerer is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. Her first book, “Gathering Moss,” was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing.

Since its inception in 2003, Long-Term Ecological Reflections has hosted more than 40 writers-in-residence at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, and sponsored field symposia on challenging topics such as “The Meaning of Watershed Health” and “New Metaphors for Restoration.” 

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

OSU, local agencies to host biohazard emergency response drill on campus Sept. 12-13

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A large-scale hazardous materials emergency response drill will take place on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 12-13, at Oregon State University.

The drill will involve numerous agencies and organizations and is intended to test procedures and facilitate lines of communication among first responders that might be activated during an actual incident, according to Matt Philpott, OSU’s biological safety officer with Environmental Health & Safety.

“We want the campus and community to be aware that there may be a number of emergency response vehicles on campus – especially on Friday – but it is a drill,” Philpott said. “It should have minimal impact on pedestrian and automobile traffic.

“It is important for the public to know that OSU and its many partners regularly collaborate and practice for emergency situations that we hope never happen,” he added.

The drill will include state and federal law enforcement, fire departments, hazard response units, uniformed Oregon National Guard members and others.  Participating OSU units include Student Health Services, Environmental Health & Safety, Public Safety and the Oregon State Police.

The Campus Way bike path (where the covered bridge is located) may have higher-than-usual vehicle traffic on Thursday, and the Reser Stadium parking lot and South Farm area off Brooklane Drive will be used as staging areas for Friday’s activities.

The drill has been organized by OSU’s Environmental Health & Safety office as a way to coordinate and practice responses among the different agencies and departments and be equipped to handle a variety of hazardous material scenarios if they should arise.

In the emergency drill scenario, a biohazard situation will be reported at the South Farm near campus that results in a mass contamination incident near Reser Stadium.  Responding units will have to deal with a scenario of exposure and decontamination, as well as a clandestine laboratory that may have biohazards.

Among the agencies participating are: local fire departments; the 102nd Civil Support Team of the Oregon National Guard, Hazmat teams from Corvallis and surrounding communities, the FBI, Oregon State Police; the Benton County Health Department; OSU Student Health Services, and OSU’s Environmental Health & Safety team.

For questions or more information, contact OSU biological safety officer Matthew Philpott at 541-737-4557.

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Matt Philpott, 541-737-4557; matthew.philpott@oregonstate.edu

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From the 2011 drill

New OSU longhouse features gift of Native American art

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Partially framed with massive Douglas fir beams and sided with cedar planks, Oregon State University’s new Native American Longhouse stands out from the campus’s traditional red brick.

Like a wooden jewelry box, the cultural center holds several significant pieces of art, representing a variety of Native American traditions. Among its treasures are two bronze sculptures by the late Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache artist, Allan Houser. Originally from Santa Fe, Houser is often cited as the “father” of contemporary American Indian sculpture.

The two Houser sculptures – “Mountain Echoes” and the 8-foot, 600-pound “Watercarrier” – were donated to the center by the family of Portland developer and philanthropist John D. Gray. The 1940 OSU alumnus, who passed away last year, and his late wife, Betty, were friends with Houser and avid collectors of Native American art.

Another prominent artwork inside the longhouse is a 12-foot, one-of-a-kind totem pole created by Clarence Mills. A member of the Haida Nation, an indigenous people located in Canada and Alaska, Mills and two assistants carved the totem from an 800-year-old cedar tree that fell in Vancouver, B.C.’s Stanley Park in 2006, and was donated to Mills. Thirteen creatures appear on the 360-degree totem, including a beaver, Oregon State’s mascot.

The totem was commissioned by Vancouver residents Jim and Luana Whyte, who graduated from OSU in 1970 and 1972. Longtime admirers of Native American art, the Whytes also contributed a painting by Haidi artist Bill Reid to the longhouse. Reid is known worldwide for his “Spirit of Haida Gwaii” sculpture, which is pictured on the Canadian $20 bill.

“The idea of carving all the way around the pole was inspired by another artist’s sculpture that’s less than a foot high,” Jim Whyte said.  “Working at a much larger scale was far more difficult. It took 10 times longer than a traditional totem. No one has created a 360-degree, full-size totem before, and I wouldn’t expect others to attempt it; it’s far too expensive.”

Additional artwork in the center by Oregon artists includes paintings by Rick Bartow, of Wiyot and Yurok heritage, and metalwork by Tony Johnson of the Chinook Tribe and Shirod Younker of the Coquille and Coos Indian Tribes.

“We are pleased that we can share art of this quality with the Oregon State community and visitors to our campus, thanks to our generous donors,” said OSU President Ray. “Our longhouse is nicknamed Eena Hawes, or ‘Beaver House,’ signifying that it’s for all Oregon State Beavers. At OSU we believe that art, too, is for everyone. It enriches the experience of students from every major.”

The Native American Longhouse is the first of four new cultural center facilities to open its doors on campus. The initiative got off the ground with a $500,000 gift from the late Portland philanthropist Joyce Collin Furman to create the OSU President’s Fund for Cultural Centers. The 1965 OSU alumna was a strong supporter of her alma mater and served on the steering committee for The Campaign for OSU. 

The cultural centers are among 24 major facility projects that have been completed or are under way at OSU as a result of the current $1 billion campaign.

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Michelle Williams, 541-737-6126 

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New Student Experience Center will boost OSU student programs

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The hub of the Oregon State University campus is getting a remake – and a new home for student programs.

Construction began this month on a $42 million project that will add a four-story Student Experience Center to campus. Located on the site of the old Beaver Store parking lot, the 90,000-square-foot building will house many of the student programs now residing in the Memorial Union, MU East and Snell Hall. Student fees are funding the project.

“In all, some 28 programs will relocate to the Student Experience Center when it is completed,” said Michael Henthorne, executive director of the Memorial Union. “A neat facet to the project will be construction of a plaza, which is an 8,000-square-foot canopy that will link the new center with the Memorial Union and host student and university events.

“A rain-protected, outdoor space was the number one student-requested improvement,” Henthorne added.

Among the programs that will be housed in the new Student Experience Center are the Associated Students of OSU, the Memorial Union Program Council, International Students of OSU, Student Media, Diversity Development, the Student Sustainability Initiative and others.

The building will also include a reflection space and several lounge areas.

The site of the former Beaver Store, which is relocated to a new space at the parking garage, will be remodeled, Henthorne said. When construction is completed, the space will include a 350-seat meeting facility, several student lounges, a new restaurant operated by the Memorial Union called North Porch Café, and a dance rehearsal space that can double as meeting space.

Portions of the Memorial Union will be remodeled, with some projects beginning now, and others after the completion of the Student Experience Center, when student programs and organizations relocate.

Among the new features of the Memorial Union:

  • Many Hands Trading will lease a space beginning this fall;
  • OSU Printing and Mailing will open a new retail and service headquarters this fall, including a full post office and package mailing center;
  • The University ID Center will relocate to the MU in 2015;
  • A new “high-tech” meeting facility will be installed in 2015;
  • A family-friendly study lounge will open in 2015 with child resources for parents accompanied by small children.

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Note to Journalists: This is a sidebar to a main story about summer construction at OSU.

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Michael Henthorne, 541-737-6256

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Construction booming on OSU campus – and more is on the way

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Hard hats have replaced baseball caps as the fashion statement of summer on the Oregon State University campus, as a number of major construction projects totaling about $125 million are under way.

Two other projects totaling $27 million – the new OSU Beaver Store and a basketball center – are wrapping up. A number of other construction projects, with a price tag of about $145 million, are on the horizon – thanks to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who carried them in his budget and the Oregon Legislature, which approved them during the 2013 session.

All told, that is nearly $300 million in construction in the works, funded by a combination of private giving through The Campaign for OSU, matching state funds, student fees, and bonding, according to Brian Thorsness, executive director of Campus Operations.

“This is a busy time on campus, but all of these buildings are important to the mission of Oregon State University,” Thorsness said.

The three biggest projects are also three of the most visible. Workers are clearing the site for a planned Student Experience Center just east of the old OSU Beaver Store and Memorial Union. The $42 million building, which is funded by student fees, will house student government and organizations, student media and other student-related programs. The four-story structure is scheduled for completion in November of 2014.

Austin Hall, future home of the College of Business, is rising rapidly along the north side of Jefferson Way, between Sackett and Fairbanks halls. Construction began in February on this four-story, $50 million building. A $10 million gift from Ken Austin and the late Joan Austin, and a $6 million gift from Pat Reser and the late Al Reser and their family, were the lead gifts on the project – an initiative of The Campaign for OSU. The legislature provided half of the funding for the building during the 2011 session.

The third large project is construction of a new student residence hall on the east end of campus. Located adjacent to Wilson Hall, this $28 million facility is funded through state bonds, which will be repaid by resident fees. The five-story hall will open in September of 2014 and house 324 students, adding to OSU’s on-campus housing capacity.

Aided by an initial gift from the late Joyce Collin Furman, four of the university’s cultural centers are getting new homes. The Native American Longhouse opened in the spring, and construction is beginning on the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center, the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, and the Centro Cultural César Chavez.

Here is a list of recent, current and future construction projects at OSU:

Construction Projects Under Way:

  • Austin Hall – Completion of the100,000-square-foot home for the College of Business is scheduled for fall of 2014.
  • Student Experience Center – Work is just beginning on the $42 million project located just east of the Memorial Union. When completed in November of 2014, this four-story, 88,000-square-foot building will house student organizations and student media. A glass-covered outdoor plaza will connect the building to the east wing of the Memorial Union.
  • Residence Hall – A new $28 million student residence hall is being constructed on the east end of campus, adjacent to Wilson Hall. The five-floor, 76,400-square-foot building, which will house about 324 students, is scheduled to open in fall of 2014.
  • César Chavez Cultural Center – Construction is under way for Centro Cultural César Chavez, located between the parking garage and the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center. The one-story, 3,500-square-foot, $2.4 million center should be completed by Jan. 1 of 2014.
  • Asian & Pacific Cultural Center – Construction is beginning for the one-story, 3,500-square foot center, which will be located just east of the new business building, Austin Hall. The $2.4 million building is scheduled for completion in late fall of 2014.

Construction Projects Nearly Complete:

  • Basketball Center – This $15 million facility adjacent to Gill Coliseum recently had its grand opening and is ready for use. With donor support, construction began in June of 2012 for this 41,000-square-foot building that will be used by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
  • OSU Beaver Store – The store is relocating from the Memorial Union to the ground floor of the parking garage just east of Gill Coliseum. The $12 million project began in July of 2012 and should open this fall. The two-story addition to the parking garage is 45,000 square feet.

Upcoming Construction Projects:

  • Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center – Construction should begin soon on this new cultural center, which will be located on Monroe Street, near the intersection of 25th Street. The $2.4 million, one-story, 3,500-square-foot building should be completed in 2014.
  • Classroom Building – The Oregon legislature just approved bonding for this four-story, $65 million building that will add much-needed classroom space to campus. The 130,000-square-foot building will house 2,300 classroom seats in auditorium and small classroom styles, as well as advanced arena and parliament styles to maximize student engagement. The project will house the University Honors College, Media Services, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and Technology Across the Curriculum groups, and will be located across a new plaza from Austin Hall. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall and be completed in the fall of 2015. Half of the funding for the building will come from non-resident tuition revenues; the project was supported by the Associated Students of OSU.
  • Engineering Building – A new $40 million engineering building will be constructed just north of Kelley Engineering Building. Construction on the three-story, 60,000-square-foot building is scheduled to begin in summer of 2014, and completed in the fall of 2016. During the 2013 session, the legislature approved public bonding for half of the costs with the other half provide by donors to the Campaign for OSU. Peter and Rosalie Johnson contributed $7 million and an anonymous donor gave $10 million.
  • Strand Ag Hall – A major remodeling of Strand Ag Hall, including deferred maintenance and a seismic upgrade, is scheduled between winter of 2014 and fall of 2016. The project will cost nearly $25 million in funding approved by the legislature.
  • Washington Way – Design for the Washington Way realignment project, from 10th Street to 35th Street, will be completed this August. Construction for Phase I – which includes the intersection of 15th Street and Washington Way, to Benton Place – will start in the spring of 2014 and by completed by that fall. Phase I is estimated to cost $3.3 million.
  • Memorial Union East Wing – The space that has been used by the OSU Bookstore, then Beaver Store, will be renovated and redesigned into student activity spaces.
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Brian Thorsness, 541-737-7344

Kirk Pawlowski, 541-737-7695

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