OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Celebrated memoirist Nick Flynn to read at OSU on Oct. 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer Nick Flynn will read from his work on Friday, Oct. 11, at Oregon State University’s Valley Library rotunda. The free public event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Flynn is the author of three memoirs including “The Reenactments” (2013), “The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment” (2010) and “Another … Night in Suck City” (2004). Flynn is also the author of three books of poetry.

Of Flynn’s most recent memoir, “The Reenactments,”  Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Flynn’s determination to better understand his life through the act of writing and remembering has yielded a truly insightful, original work.” Clea Simon of The Boston Globe said Flynn’s writing is “always specific and honest” and “dryly funny.”

His award-winning memoir “Another … Night in Suck City” was turned into the movie “Being Flynn,” starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano. That book recounted his unusual relationship with his alcoholic father and the suicide of his mother.

Flynn, 52, is a professor of poetry and married to actress Lili Taylor.

Flynn has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center.

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally-known writers to Oregon State University. The program is made possible by support from The Valley Library, 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

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Author Paul Bogard to read from his book on Oct. 9

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Paul Bogard, author of “The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light,” will read from his book on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. The reading begins at 7 p.m. at the library, located at 645 N.W. Monroe Ave., Corvallis.

The event is sponsored by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word and Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

In his book, Bogard examines the night and how people experience it, traveling to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Walden Pond, and the Canary Islands to explore degrees of darkness. After talking to astronomers, lighting professionals, nurses, and other night-time workers, Bogard writes about the cultural, social and health implications of a night that’s getting brighter every minute, thanks in part to parking lot lights and streetlights.

Publishers Weekly wrote: “Even readers unable to tell Orion from the Big Dipper will find a new appreciation for the night sky after spending some time with this terrific book.”

A native of Minnesota, Bogard teaches creative nonfiction at James Madison University. He is also editor of the anthology “Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark.” 

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Carly Lettero, 541-737-6198

Girls receive conflicting career messages from media, new research shows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Teenage girls like and feel more similar to women in appearance-focused jobs such as models and actresses, though they find female CEOs and military pilots to be better role models, according to a new study by researchers at Oregon State University.

For the study, 100 girls and 76 boys ages 14 to 18 were shown photographs of model Heidi Klum, actress Jennifer Aniston, CEO Carly Fiorina and military pilot Sarah Deal Burrow. Klum and Aniston represented the appearance-focused careers and Fiorina and Deal Burrow represented the non-appearance focused careers.

Girls generally rated the women in the appearance-focused careers higher on likeability than the women in the non-appearance focused careers. Girls also rated the women in the appearance-focused photos as more competent than the other women. Boys, on the other hand, found the women in the non-appearance focused careers were more competent. The boys also ranked the appearance-focused photos lower on likeability.

The findings highlight the conflicting messages girls receive in the media about careers and success for women, said researcher Elizabeth Daniels, an assistant professor of psychology who studies the effects of media on body image and gender.

“Girls know they should look up to female doctors and scientists, but they also know that women in appearance-focused jobs get rewarded by society,” Daniels said. “It is, therefore, reasonable to think they would prefer women in those jobs.”

But the study also shows that teenage girls, as well as boys, value women in roles that are not appearance-focused and generally find those women to be better role models. That should encourage movie, television and advertising executives to showcase a much wider range of working women and move beyond the “moms and models” that are the most common examples of women in media, Daniels said.

“The dominant belief is that sex sells,” she said. “But our findings show teens have positive attitudes toward other images of working women, providing evidence that there is support for these other images.”

The research was just published in the Journal of Adolescent Research. The co-author is Aurora M. Sherman, an associate professor in the School of Psychological Science at OSU. The study was conducted while Daniels was on the faculty at OSU-Cascades; she’s now working at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

The researchers wanted to study adolescents’ attitudes about working women in part because they are under-represented in the media and are often depicted in stereotyped roles. In film and prime-time television, for example, women are less likely to be shown working in professional roles such as executives at a major corporation. That could send a message to young people that such occupations are unattainable or inappropriate for women.

“We already have a lot of research about the negative effects of sexualized or idealized media images on young women,” Daniels said. “But there is very little research about the effects of other types of positive images of women, such as CEOs or military pilots. We wanted to understand how young people respond to those images.”

The teens in the study were given a brief description of each woman’s occupational accomplishments with each photo. The teenagers then answered a series of questions about the women in the photos, including: likability, competence and similarity to themselves.

The majority of both boys and girls rated the military pilot and the CEO as good role models, at 90 percent and 79 percent, respectively, while 58 percent said the actor was a good role model and 48 percent said the model was.

“The most striking finding is the disconnect between girls’ role model evaluations and their ratings of women’s competence,” Daniels said.

But the research also shows there is interest in and appetite for more diverse images of working women in media and advertising, she said. “Those images are reviewed positively by audiences, but it is really rare to see women featured in their careers.”

Additional research is needed to understand how media may affect the career aspirations of children and adolescents.

“Does it affect the teens’ aspirations of what they can be? Does exposure to a female CEO or military pilot encourage girls to join a computer coding club or take math or science classes? We don’t know yet,” Daniels said.

Future research also could look specifically at why boys downgraded the competence and likeability of women in appearance-focused jobs but teen girls did not, Sherman said.

“We speculate that teens may be receiving some deeply mixed messages about the importance of appearance for femininity that may be at odds with the messages they are learning about competence in occupations,” she said.

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Elizabeth Daniels, 831-345-8447, edaniels@uccs.edu; or Aurora Sherman, 541-737-1361, Aurora.sherman@oregonstate.edu

Student-directed one-act play festival runs June 3-7 at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre’s annual Spring One-Act Festival, featuring four original one-act plays written and directed by OSU students, will run June 3-7 in the Lab Theatre.

The plays, which feature a large cast of OSU students, are:

  • “The Mark,” written by Elise Barberis and directed by Anna Mahaffey, tells the story of Steve, a reluctant cult leader brought into power by a group of well-meaning followers on the morning of Doomsday.
  • “Caffeinated Crisis,” written by Bryanna Rainwater and directed by Teri Straley, follows the adventures of a plucky news reporter who uncovers an absurd conspiracy brought on by the Northwest’s major coffee chains.
  • “Answer Me,” written by Amanda Kelner and directed by Sam Zinsli, features Tegan, who finds herself working for Madam Matilda, an eccentric psychic who actually has the ability to tell the future.
  • “Cheep! Cheep!,” written by Joseph Workman and directed by Alex Reis, is a comic exploration of Maxwell, a stick-in-the-mud employee at a chicken-themed amusement park filled with perky oddballs.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. June 3-6 and 2 p.m. June 7. The Lab Theatre is located in Withycombe Hall, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

Tickets are $8 for general admission, $6 for seniors, $5 for youths and students, and $4 for OSU students. For information or to purchase tickets, contact the OSU Theatre Box Office at 541-737-2784 or visit the website at http://bit.ly/1jdKUgy.

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Hazing remains a concern in college marching bands, new study shows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Nearly a third of college marching band members surveyed in a national study observed hazing in their programs but few of the students reported the activities, often because of fears of retribution or loss of social standing, according to researchers.

Public verbal humiliation and public degradation were the most common forms of hazing reported by the band members, said Jason Silveira, an assistant professor of music education in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University and lead author of the study, published recently in the Journal of Research in Music Education. Co-author of the study is Michael Hudson of the University of Kentucky.

The findings indicate there may still be confusion about what constitutes hazing and band members may need more education to understand what hazing is and why it shouldn’t be tolerated, Silveira said.

“Despite all of our efforts, the message about hazing is still not getting out there,” he said. “Band participants might say it’s no big deal, it’s what we do. It may not be a big deal to that person, but to someone else it may be.”

Silveira and Hudson began investigating marching band hazing after several high-profile hazing incidents at colleges across the country, including the death of Robert Champion, a member of the Florida A&M University marching band who died during a hazing incident in 2011. Silveira had recently finished graduate school at another Florida institution at the time of Champion’s death.

They found that few researchers had examined hazing in the performing arts; the little research that did exist tended to be part of larger hazing studies involving athletics or Greek organizations as well, Silveira said. So Silveira and Hudson set out to learn more about students’ attitudes toward, understanding of and exposure to hazing in their marching bands.

“We wanted to pull back the veil of secrecy and see if there was anything we could do to help prevent hazing incidents in the future,” Silveira said.

With permission from band directors, the researchers queried more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students who participate in NCAA Division I marching band programs in 30 states across the U.S. Student participation in the online survey was voluntary.

Overall, band members reported that they had never been forced to participate in most of the 18 types of hazing incidents listed in the survey. Only four types of hazing had been experienced by at least 10 percent of the respondents.

Nearly 20 percent of band members indicated they had been required to sing or chant by themselves or with selected others while in public and nearly 20 percent reported being yelled at, cursed at or sworn at. Nearly 15 percent of the band members reported that they had been asked not to associate with certain specific people but not others. And nearly 12 percent of the students reported depriving themselves of sleep.

The numbers were even lower when students were asked if they had participated in hazing others. About 3 percent of the survey respondents reported forcing others to participate in a drinking game, for example. Nearly 8 percent reported forcing others to sing or chant in public and 5 percent reported yelling, cursing or swearing at other members.

The vast majority of the students indicated they were aware of their university’s hazing policies and expressed negative views toward hazing activities, Silveira said.

“That’s a promising finding, that hazing is not being supported,” he said.

However, nearly a third of the band members also reported observing some type of hazing. That indicates a possible disconnect in band members’ understanding of what hazing is, Silveira said.

Silveira suggested band directors or other band leaders may need to step up education and reporting efforts to root out hazing in their programs. That might include establishing a system for anonymous reporting of hazing; comprehensive reviews of hazing policies with members; or using role-playing to help members better understand what hazing is.

“There was a sense that band members didn’t see some behaviors as hazing,” Silveira said. “Giving students concrete examples that help delineate what hazing is might help.”

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Jason Silveira, 541-737-2514. Jason.silveira@oregonstate.edu

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Author Claire Vaye Watkins to read at Oregon State May 22

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Author Claire Vaye Watkins will read at Oregon State University on Friday, May 22, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda (201 S.W. Waldo Place, Corvallis).

The event is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the reading.

Watkins is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. She also is the co-director of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.

Watkins’ stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, New Stories from the Southwest 2013, the New York Times and elsewhere. In 2012, she was selected as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.”

Her collection of short stories, “Battleborn,” won numerous awards, including the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Rumpus called Watkins, “Exceptional… A writer of great precision and greater restraint, [she] is a natural storyteller whose material enriches that gift rather than engulfing it… One doesn’t have to be from the Battleborn state to recognize and appreciate literature that resonates like this.”

This event is part of the 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film.

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Oregon State University to host ‘The Co.’ – an interactive event focused on maker culture

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University on May 28 will host “The Co.,” an interactive event showcasing the wide array of “maker” activities happening in and around Corvallis.

The event, which is free and open to people of all ages, will run from noon to 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom, 2501 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis.

Maker culture is a popular movement that honors craftsmanship and technology. It brings together do-it-yourself enthusiasts, designers and engineers to share knowledge, skills and resources – and to collaborate, innovate and create.

The Co. was designed to honor the simple act of creating and to allow campus and community groups to network. It will feature an array of activities including a maker fair, speakers, interactive demonstrations, kinetic sculptures from the da Vinci Days festival and more.

“Our title stems from the prefix of applicable words such as collaborate, co-design, co-create,” said Charles Robinson, the event’s director. “Our goal is to promote an inclusive culture that knocks down barriers and offers instead a collaborative model for making, creating, and hands-on learning.”

Exhibitors at the maker fair include several OSU departments and programs such as wood science and art students from the College of Forestry, the College of Liberal Arts, the Craft Center, robotics, Precollege Programs, the College of Business, and the OSU Solar Vehicle Team.

Community exhibitors include Bricks 4 Kidz, da Vinci Days, NuScale Power, Corvallis Arts Center, the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library and the Pacific Slope Archaeological Laboratory. A “2-D room” presented by the OSU libraries will focus on print technologies.

Scheduled presenters include Frankie Flood, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who teaches jewelry and metal-smith and oversees a digital craft research lab; Barry Kudrowitz, a toy designer, musician and engineer from MIT and the University of Minnesota; and OSU robotics professor Yigit Mengüc. A full list of speakers, times and locations will be posted online: http://gototheco.tumblr.com.

A maker film festival will be held in advance of the event. Maker-themed films such as “Handmade Nation” and “Maker: A Documentary on the Maker Movement” will be screened.  On May 19 and May 26, films will be shown in Owen Hall Room 103; on May 20 and May 27, screenings will be held in Milam Auditorium. All screenings begin at 6 p.m.

Satellite events will be held May 28 in Hood River and in Tillamook through a partnership with OSU’s OPEN Campus network. The Hood River event will be held at Hood River Valley High School, 1220 Indian Creek Road.  The public is welcome from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Tillamook event will be held at Tillamook Bay Community College; details are still being finalized.

For a complete schedule and more information, or to sign up to exhibit at The Co., visit: http://gototheco.tumblr.com.

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Charles Robinson, 541-737-6535, charles.robinson@oregonstate.edu

Auditions for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to be held May 17-19 at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions will be held May 17 through May 19 for Oregon State University Theatre’s upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s quintessential tragedy of star-crossed lovers, “Romeo and Juliet.”

The play calls for a cast of about 25 actors but the spring auditions are to cast 12 principal roles for the production, which will be performed in November. Another round of auditions to fill out the cast will be held in September. Those cast for principal roles will rehearse individually until the end of the spring term, with rehearsals resuming in the fall.

Auditions will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. each day in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis. Auditions are open to all OSU students, faculty and staff and to the community and those interested may attend one or all of the audition sessions.

Those auditioning are asked to read “Rome and Juliet” in advance. Scripts are available online and in libraries and bookstores. Tryouts will consist of group readings from the script. Participants also will be asked to prepare a short, one-minute monologue from any Shakespeare play. The monologue does not need to be memorized.

The performances will be held Nov. 12-14 and Nov. 19-22.

For additional information contact George Caldwell, george.caldwell@oregonstate.edu, 503-931-4222, or Arin Dooley, arin.dooley@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-2853.

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OSU students to travel to Nepal to assist with earthquake recovery efforts, film documentary

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Two Oregon State University students are scheduled to travel to Nepal Friday, May 1, to film a documentary and to aid in humanitarian efforts following the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that occurred there on April 25.

Cole Miller and Christian Nishioka had been planning the trip to Nepal since January. They were set to accompany CardioStart International, a Florida-based aid group that provides heart surgery and teaches local medical personnel advanced cardiac care, on a two-week humanitarian mission as part of a school project.

When the earthquake occurred, the students’ digital arts instructor, Alina Padilla-Miller, was sure the trip would be cancelled. But CardioStart is continuing with the mission, and the students don’t want to stay home when they could be of service in Nepal. 

“I still want to film a documentary, but I’m a lot more concerned about how I can help the people,” said Nishioka, 22, of Sherwood, Ore. “I actually felt like this was an even better time to go and help.” 

“Even if I am scared, I know the people over there are even more scared,” said Miller, 22, of Portland. “I think I would regret it if I had a chance to make a difference in the world and didn’t do it.”

The students’ commitment to the project has impressed their teacher.

“When the students said they still wanted to go, I was just stunned,” Padilla-Miller said. “Their biggest concern was how much aid they could provide.”

Miller, a senior majoring in digital communication arts, has been collecting monetary donations that will be used to purchase supplies needed in Nepal. Nishioka, a senior double-majoring in new media communications and business, has spent the last few days rounding up donations of food, blankets and other supplies and also set up donation boxes at each of Oregon State’s cultural centers. Some of the donations also may be shipped to Nepal, he said.

Officials with CardioStart have assured Padilla-Miller that the team and the students’ safety is a priority on the trip. The emphasis on safety and health is one of the benefits of traveling with a medical-based aid group, she said. Their destination is the city of Dhulikhel, about 38 miles from Kathmandu, where the medical team will work with a local hospital.

“We’re just going to be lending a hand wherever we can,” Miller said. “If we can at least put a smile on someone’s face, it’ll be worth it.” 

The students still plan to gather video footage of their work. They’ll use it to create a documentary as part of a new digital media course that is in development at OSU. A goal of the new course is to give students a chance to develop a project from design through filming and production, Padilla-Miller said.

Miller and Nishioka are the first two students to take the course, which is being offered as a pilot this spring. Footage from the trip also will be used in promotional materials for CardioStart as part of a partnership with the company, Padilla-Miller said.

The students hope their documentary will help demonstrate the need for aid in Nepal and encourage people to volunteer or donate to humanitarian aid efforts through programs such as CardioStart.

“Everyone has their own point of view and perspective,” Nishioka said. “If I show people what I’m seeing, it’s going to be different than what is on the news. And it might encourage people to get involved.”

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Alina Padilla-Miller, 541-514-0349, padillal@onid.oregonstate.edu

Auditions for OSU’s summer Bard in the Quad production to be held May 10-11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Open auditions for Oregon State University Theatre’s popular summer event, Bard in the Quad, will take place on May 10 and May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis. Call-backs may be held May 12, if needed.

Bard in the Quad is an annual production featuring Shakespeare plays in a casual, outdoor summer atmosphere. The 2015 production will be the romantic comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Auditions are open to all OSU students, staff, and faculty and community members. They will consist of cold readings and movement exercises. Director Elizabeth Helman will be casting for a company of 12-14 players.

Performance dates for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are Aug. 6-9 and Aug. 13-16. Rehearsals will begin with a read-through on June 14. Generally, rehearsals will be scheduled 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays until early August. Technical rehearsals will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 1.

All cast members must be available to attend all technical rehearsals and performances. Some conflicts can be worked around during the early rehearsal process. Performers should bring their schedules to the auditions.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/1NbuaeH or contact Helman at Elizabeth.helman@oregonstate.edu.

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