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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Nick Flynn

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

Writer Elizabeth Kolbert of The New Yorker to speak at OSU Feb. 2

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Elizabeth Kolbert, an award-winning staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, will discuss her latest book, “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History,” on Monday, Feb. 2, at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

Kolbert’s talk begins at 7 p.m. in Austin Auditorium at LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St. The event is sponsored by OSU’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, and is free and open to the public.

In “The Sixth Extinction,” Kolbert describes how humans are causing the earth’s next great extinction by altering life on the planet in a way no species has previously.

In a review, The New York Times said: “… the real power of her book resides in the hard science and historical context she delivers here, documenting the mounting losses that human beings are leaving in their wake.”

Kolbert is also author of “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change.” She is a two-time National Magazine Award winner and a recipient of a Heinz Award and Guggenheim Fellowship.

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

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Elizabeth Kolbert

Elizabeth Kolbert

Authors Tracy Daugherty and Wayne Harrison to read at OSU Jan. 30

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Authors Tracy Daugherty and Wayne Harrison will read from their works on Friday, Jan. 30, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

The reading will be held in the Valley Library rotunda, 201 S.W. Waldo Place, Corvallis. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

Daugherty is the author of four novels, four short story collections, a book of personal essays and two literary biographies. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, The Georgia Review and other magazines. “Hiding Man,” his biography of Donald Barthelme, was a New York Times and New Yorker notable Book of the Year. His newest book, “Just One Catch,” a biography of Joseph Heller was excerpted in Vanity Fair. Daugherty helped found the Master’s of Fine Arts program in creative writing at OSU.

Harrison received a master in fine arts degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is an instructor in the School of Writing Literature and Film at OSU. His debut novel, “The Spark and The Drive,” was published in 2014. Harrison’s fiction has appeared in “Best American Short Stories 2010,” The Atlantic, Narrative Magazine, McSweeney’s and other magazines. His work also has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” His short story collection, “Wrench,” was a finalist for the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award, the Spokane Prize and the Iowa Short Fiction Award. 

The reading is part of the 2014-15 Literary Northwest Series, sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. The series brings Pacific Northwest writers to OSU and is made possible by support from the OSU Libraries and 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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Education aids understanding, reduces stigma of facial paralysis, OSU study shows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A little bit of sensitivity training can help people form better first impressions of those with facial paralysis, reducing prejudices against people with a visible but often unrecognizable disability, new research from Oregon State University indicates.

There is a natural tendency to base first impressions on a person’s face, but those impressions can be inaccurate and often negative when the person has facial paralysis, said Kathleen Bogart, an assistant professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University.

“We wanted to see what we could do to change that, and we found that education is a powerful tool,” said Bogart, who directs the Disability and Social Interaction Lab at OSU. “It takes away the uncertainty of how to accommodate the disability.”

The research showed that providing education about conditions that cause facial paralysis helps people correct their misperceptions. Education efforts could be particularly beneficial to health care workers, educators or other groups that are more likely to regularly encounter someone with facial paralysis, Bogart said.

For example, understanding the need to pay attention to other modes of communication could help a doctor develop a better relationship with a patient and more accurately detect when the patient is upset or in pain. It also could help educators avoid the assumption that an unresponsive face means the student is not attentive, and to understand when a child is actually engaged in a task, she said.

Bogart is an expert on ableism, or prejudice about disabilities, and her research focuses on the psychosocial implications of facial movement disorders such as facial paralysis and Parkinson’s disease, which affect more than 200,000 Americans. Her interest stems from personal experience; she has Moebius syndrome, a rare congenital neurological disorder characterized by facial paralysis and impaired lateral eye movement.

For the study, she conducted an experiment where some participants received sensitivity training in the form of educational information about facial paralysis, including the cause and nature of the disability. The information stressed the need to focus on body language and voice cues of people with facial paralysis. Other participants received no information on facial paralysis.

All 110 study participants were then asked to watch a series of video clips featuring people with facial paralysis, both mild and severe, and were asked to rate the sociability of the people in the videos. The people who read the educational information consistently rated people with facial paralysis as more sociable than those in the group that did not read the information.

“We found that awareness and education efforts are effective in reducing stigma related to rare disabilities such as facial paralysis,” Bogart said. “That could have a broad impact on the rare disease community, because many rare diseases are unrecognizable. People who encounter someone with a rare disease may not understand or know how to adapt to communicate with them.”

The findings are being published in the February issue of the journal “Patient Education and Counseling.” Co-author is Linda Tickle-Degnen of Tufts University. The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Bogart is now developing educational materials about Moebius Syndrome targeted to educators and health care providers. She and the students in her lab also are conducting an awareness campaign in conjunction with Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day, which is held annually on Jan. 24.

The awareness campaign is a pilot project. Bogart and her students are encouraging people to take a self-portrait with a sign describing how they express themselves, then sharing the photos on social media sites using the hashtag #moebiusawareness. The Moebius Syndrome Foundation and several other college campuses are also participating in the campaign. For more information on the effort, visit: http://bit.ly/17BMR8o.

In the future, Bogart hopes to study the effectiveness of such educational efforts to determine if more information should be included, if other types of groups might be targeted or if there are other ways to enhance understanding of rare diseases such as facial paralysis.

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Kathleen Bogart, 541-737-1357, Kathleen.bogart@oregonstate.edu

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Kathleen Bogart

New marijuana policy course offered at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Students at Oregon State University will have a chance to help shape policies related to marijuana legalization in Oregon as part of a new public policy course taught this winter on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

“Marijuana Policy in the 21st Century” is a new sociology course developed by Seth Crawford, an instructor in the School of Public Policy in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. The course will examine some of the policy issues facing the state following the legalization of recreational marijuana by Oregon voters in November.

“We will be working with policymakers and stakeholders to help answer some of the biggest questions facing the state following the passage of Measure 91,” said Crawford, who is an expert on the policies and market structure of marijuana in Oregon.

Crawford also serves on the state’s Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana, which advises the director of the Oregon Department of Human Services on administrative aspects of the state’s medical marijuana program. He has provided expert testimony on marijuana-related policies in Oregon.

The new course will examine marijuana control strategies, methods for investigating marijuana markets and recent case studies in legalization. The course will culminate in the presentation of an evidenced-based, student-directed paper on policy recommendations for the OLCC and the Oregon Health Authority, Crawford said. Policies established by the OLCC will determine how marijuana would be produced, sold and distributed in Oregon.

The students will produce a collectively authored white paper of their recommendations; make group presentations that will be recorded and available for viewing by the public and stakeholders; and present findings to policymakers, Crawford said.

The new class is being held this winter term, which is under way and runs through March 20. With 50 students enrolled, the course is at capacity. Enrollees are a mix of graduate and undergraduate students, Crawford said.

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Seth Crawford, 541-760-5419, seth.crawford@oregonstate.edu

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Seth S. Crawford

OSU to host screening, discussion of ‘Paths of Glory’ in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon State University will host a screening and discussion of the 1957 Stanley Kubrick film, “Paths of Glory,” beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the NW Film Center at the Portland Art Museum.

The film will be introduced by Jon Lewis, professor of film studies at OSU and author of eight books on cinema and cultural studies. Lewis will give a brief talk and then he and OSU history professor Christopher McKnight Nichols will lead a discussion with the audience on the film, Kubrick’s work and World War I following the screening.

“Paths of Glory” tells the story of a unit commander in the French army who must deal with the mutiny of his men after a failed attack during World War I. The film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, Adolphe Menjou as General Broulard and George Macready as General Mireau.

The screening is part of a larger initiative at OSU to commemorate the centennial of World War I and to explore that bloody conflict in light of its implications for citizenship in the United States and the world. The OSU series, “Citizenship and Crisis: On the Centenary of World War I," is led by the School of History, Philosophy and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, with additional support from the School of Writing, Literature and Film.

The screening will be held in the Whitsell Auditorium at the museum, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., Portland. Tickets are $9 or $8 for seniors and students. Admission is free for OSU students with valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1HP8e2T or at the door. A reception co-hosted by the OSU Alumni Association and the School of Writing, Literature, and Film will follow the film screening.

For more information on the screening or the event series, visit http://bit.ly/1yAFdps.

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Christopher McKnight Nichols, Christopher.nichols@oregonstate.edu

‘Call to Life,’ a duet of music and words, to be performed Jan. 21 in Corvallis

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer and philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore and concert pianist Rachelle McCabe will present a program in music and words, “In an Age of Extinction, A Call to Life,” on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Corvallis.

The program begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe St.  

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

In the program, McCabe will play Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme of Corelli.” Creating a “duet” of music and words, Moore will speak of the call to save Earth’s lives.

“The truths of our time are deeply challenging,” said Moore, an award-winning author who speaks across the country about the moral urgency of stopping a global carbon catastrophe. “In the face of on-rushing extinctions and chaotic climate change, we must feel called to safeguard Earth’s abundance of lives. Words alone cannot express the urgency for a moral response. And so we turn to music.”

Moore is a philosopher, environmental advocate, and writer at Oregon State whose most recent books are “Wild Comfort,” and “Moral Ground: Ethical Actions for a Planet in Peril,” which gathers testimony from the world’s moral leaders about our obligations to the future. She is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emerita at OSU and also is co-founder and senior fellow of the Spring Creek Project.

McCabe is a concert pianist and professor of music at OSU and has an international career as a concert artist and teacher. As a concerto soloist, she has performed with many orchestras including the Seattle, Pittsburgh, Victoria, and Oregon Symphonies. She has performed recitals in cities including Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Detroit; Seattle; Singapore; and Cambridge, United Kingdom, and has appeared on NPR's Performance Today and the CBC.

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Erin Sneller, 541-737-5592, erin.sneller@oregonstate.edu

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

Women in science and technology focus of January Science Pub

CORVALLIS, Ore. – While schools, universities and government agencies promote science and technology careers to school girls, women still lag men in so-called STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math.

At the Jan. 12 Corvallis Science Pub, Sarina Saturn will review the status of women in these fields nationally and discuss how she and other Oregon State University researchers are attempting to diversify the science workforce.

Last fall, Oregon State received a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to recruit, retain and promote women in STEM fields and the social and behavioral sciences. Saturn, an assistant professor in OSU’s School of Psychological Science, is a co-investigator on the grant.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women comprise about 48 percent of the U.S. workforce but hold only 24 percent of jobs in STEM fields. This disparity is also reflected in higher education. At OSU in 2012, women made up 23 percent of the faculty in STEM fields, including the social and behavioral sciences.

The Science Pub presentation is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. 2nd St. in Corvallis. Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

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Sarina Saturn, 541-737-1366

OSU Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement joins Latino consortium

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement has been selected to join the Inter-University Program for Latino Research, a national consortium of university-based centers dedicated to the advancement of Latino research in the United States.

OSU’s center, also known as CL@SE, is the first Latino research center in the Pacific Northwest to join the prestigious network. The consortium includes 25 university research centers, among them the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at the City University of New York and the Chicano Studies Research Center at University of California, Los Angeles.

Membership in the consortium gives CL@SE the opportunity to partner with other network affiliates to apply for grants and work collaboratively on projects such as community-based research; exploration of the future of Latino/a studies at land-grant universities; and research on issues such as youth and community empowerment; health and wellness; education; socio-economic well-being; and historical and cultural awareness, said Ron Mize, director of the center.

Membership in the consortium, coupled with CL@SE’s community organization partnerships in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Colorado, means the needs of Latinos and Latinas in the Northwest can be heard at the national level, Mize said.

Goals of the consortium include increasing the availability of policy-relevant, Latino-focused research and expanding the pool of scholars and leaders in the field. The organization is headquartered at the University of Illinois at Chicago and also has an office in Washington, D.C.

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Ron Mize, 541-737-8803, ron.mize@oregonstate.edu