OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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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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Writing, publishing a first book the focus of April 24 Editorial Festival at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Visiting Writers Series will host its fifth Editorial Festival on Friday, April 24, in the Memorial Union, 2501 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis.

The annual event is designed to engage students and community members in discussions about contemporary writing, publishing and media studies. This year’s theme is writing and publishing a first book.

At 4 p.m., professional writers and editors Geffrey Davis, T Clutch Fleischmann and Nina McConigley will participate in a roundtable discussion about how their first books came to be, from manuscript to editorial meetings to book launch. Caroline Casey, managing director of Coffee House Press, will moderate the discussion.

At 7:30 p.m., the authors will give readings from their first books. Both events will take place the Memorial Union’s Journey Room and are free and open to the public.

Davis is an OSU alumnus who teaches in the MFA program at the University of Arkansas. His collection, “Revising the Storm,” won the Poulin Poetry Prize. His other honors include the Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, the Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and a fellowship from the Cave Canem foundation.

Fleischmann, of Seattle, is the author of “Syzygy, Beauty” and a nonfiction editor at DIAGRAM. A contributing editor at EssayDaily, Fleischmann’s critical and creative work has appeared in places such as The Brooklyn Rail, the PEN Poetry Series, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

McConigley is the author of the story collection “Cowboys and East Indians,” which won the 2014 PEN Open Book Award and the High Plains Book Award. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Orion, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction and The Asian American Literary Review. She teaches at the University of Wyoming and at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston.

Casey has a background in marketing, publicity, and acquisitions, including stints at Sarabande Books and Stanford University Press, and holds an MFA from the nonfiction writing program at the University of Iowa.

The Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Valley Library and 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.

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OSU Theatre to present ‘Dolly West’s Kitchen’ in May

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will stage a production of “Dolly West’s Kitchen,” May 7-9 and May 15-17 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The World War II-era play by Frank McGuinness explores how Ireland’s neutrality in the war created a difficult atmosphere. It continues the 2014-15 theater season theme of “War and Remembrance.”

In the play, the witty and educated Dolly West has returned to her hometown from Italy to care for her elderly mother and siblings. The town of Buncrana in Northern Ireland sits close to the British port of Derry, where American and British soldiers are gathered in case Hitler makes it that far. In Dolly’s kitchen, Irish men and women, an English soldier and two G.I.s struggle with love, the disastrous effect of the war and the difficult position of remaining neutral.

Guest director Jade Rosina McCutcheon said she is drawn to the blending of human relationships with real world issues in the production. “The cost of war is enormous but so is the cost of losing your country to another,” she said. “This play will give us all plenty to reflect on.”

The cast features Oregon State students Joe Cullen as Marco; Burke De Boer as Jamie; Diana Jepsen as Dolly; Pamela Mealy as Esther; Reed Morris as Justin; Annie Parham as Anna; Alex Small as Alec; and Cory Warren as Ned. OSU Theatre Arts faculty member Charlotte Headrick joins the cast as Rima West.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. May 7-9 and May 15-16, with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 17. Tickets are $12 for general admission; $10 for seniors; $8 youth/student; and $5 for OSU students. They can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1wgmTkJ  or by calling the box office at 541-737-2784. Contact the box office for disability accommodations, faculty/staff discounts or group ticket sales.

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‘Philosophy Talk’ to visit OSU for discussion on science, politics

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The nationally syndicated public radio show “Philosophy Talk” will visit Oregon State University on Wednesday, April 15, for a live taping.

The show will focus on the theme “Science and Politics – Friends or Foes” with featured guest Sharyn Clough, an associate professor of philosophy in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Withycombe Theater, 2921 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis. It is free and open to the public, and there will be an opportunity for audience participation.

Show hosts Ken Taylor and John Perry, both of Stanford University, will lead the discussion with questions such as: Could politics sometimes have a positive effect on objectivity in science? If so, which kinds of politics might have a positive effect and which might not? What criteria could we use to make the distinction? And does 'objectivity' still have meaning in this context?

Clough teaches courses in the study of knowledge with an emphasis on scientific knowledge. Her research focuses on objectivity and values in science. She has written and edited books on feminism and science, and has written a number of scholarly essays on science and values. She is writing a book for general audiences on science and politics.

“I plan to discuss some of the biggest mistaken assumptions in contemporary debates about politics and science – that politics in science is always a bad thing, and that political values are subjective, floating free of considerations of evidence,” Clough said.

“I argue that while science is never without political influences, some politics make science better and some make it worse, and we can tell the difference,” she said. “We might make mistakes and disagree about the evidence in either case, but that shouldn’t stop us from seeing that there is evidence in both cases to consider.”

The show is scheduled to air in June. “Philosophy Talk” airs on dozens of public radio stations internationally, including on the radio network of Oregon Public Broadcasting. On OPB, the show is broadcast at 9 p.m. Thursdays.

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Robert Peckyno, 541-737-8560 or Robert.Peckyno@oregonstate.edu

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Sharyn Clough

Sharyn Clough

Oregon State to host Holocaust Memorial Week events April 13-21

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auschwitz survivor and 2015 Elie Wiesel Award-winner Thomas Buergenthal will speak at Oregon State University in Corvallis as part of the university’s annual observance of Holocaust Memorial Week, April 13-21.

Born in Slovakia in 1934, Buergenthal recounted his survival of Auschwitz in the memoir, “A Lucky Child.” After coming to the United States he became a prominent legal scholar, specializing in international law. He has served as a judge on several panels that have dealt with human rights issues, including 10 years of service on the International Court of Justice.

Buergenthal will speak at 7:30 p.m. April 21 in the Austin Auditorium at the LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. His talk will focus on his experience during World War II and his perspective on international law’s role in combatting persecution and protecting human rights.

For the first time in the event’s 29-year history, Holocaust Memorial Week this year will be expanded to include an event in Portland. Buergenthal and OSU faculty members will participate in a panel discussion on religious and human rights at 7 p.m. Monday, April 20, at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 S.W. Capitol Highway, in Portland. Other panelists are Rena Lauer, Amy Koehlinger, Stuart Sarbacker and Paul Kopperman of OSU.

Holocaust Memorial Week is presented by the School of History, Philosophy and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts in association with the City of Corvallis and School District 509-J. All events are free and open to the public. This year’s program includes a special focus on human rights and women’s rights.

Other Holocaust Memorial Week events are:

  • Human rights lawyer Gabriela Rivera of Guatemala will speak about sexual violence against indigenous women in Guatemala at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, in the C & E Auditorium in the LaSells Stewart Center.
  • A virtual “tour” of Auschwitz will be presented by OSU philosophy instructor Marta Kunecka at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, in the Horizon Room in the Memorial Union at OSU. Kunecka conducted tours of the concentration camp while in graduate school in Krakow, Poland, and will recreate the experience using visual aids.
  • “Watchers of the Sky,” a documentary film about Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term genocide, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, in the C &E Auditorium in the LaSells Stewart Center.
  • Elizabeth Heineman, a feminist historian who has written extensively on the subject of women in Nazi Germany, will be giving a talk entitled “Human Rights Law and the Issue of Violence against Women,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the C & E Auditorium in the LaSells Stewart Center.
  • Two academic conferences, the Social Justice Conference and the International Health Symposium, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the Journey Room in the Memorial Union, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 17, in the Snell International Forum at OSU. Students will present papers on topics such as violence against women, gender rights and human rights, LGBTQ rights and acceptance, and the relationship between gendered violence and genocide. For more information on the conferences, visit http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/sjc.

For more information about the events, visit http://oregonstate.edu/dept/holocaust

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Robert Peckyno, 541-737-8560 or Robert.peckyno@oregonstate.edu

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Thomas Buergenthal

Thomas Buergenthal

Auditions for OSU’s one-act festival to be held April 6-7

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions for Oregon State University Theatre’s spring One-Act Festival, featuring four original comedies by OSU Theatre students, will be held on April 6 and 7.

Auditions will be at 6 p.m. in the Withycombe Hall Lab Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way. They consist of cold readings, no preparation is necessary, and they are open to all OSU students, faculty and staff, and to members of the Corvallis community. Scripts are available to check out from the Theatre Arts office in Withycombe Hall, Room 141.

A variety of roles are available in the Spring One-Act Festival. The plays are:

  • “The Mark,” by Elise Barberis, is an apocalyptic comedy featuring Steve, a former cult member who is relentlessly stalked by the cult's current members. Steve bears a mysterious birthmark that may be the key to saving the world.
  • “Cheep! Cheep!” by Joseph Workman, tells the story of Maxwell, a depressed former paperboy and current employee at a family-owned chicken farm who faces the challenges of weird small-town politics and chronically-giddy fellow employees.
  • “Answer Me,” by Amanda Kelner, features Tegan, a young woman starting a new job as a receptionist for Madam Matilda, a psychic with the unique ability of actually being able to predict the future.
  • “Caffeinated Crisis,” by Bryanna Rainwater, features Linda, an intrepid reporter who stumbles upon a bizarre conspiracy orchestrated by the West Coast's most powerful coffee bean barons.

The Spring One-Act Festival runs June 3 through 6 at 7:30 p.m., and June 7 at 2:00 p.m.

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Low vitamin D levels and depression linked in young women, new OSU study shows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study from Oregon State University suggests there is a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and depression in otherwise healthy young women.

OSU researchers found that young women with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to have clinically significant depressive symptoms over the course of a five-week study, lead author David Kerr said. The results were consistent even when researchers took into account other possible explanations, such as time of year, exercise and time spent outside.

“Depression has multiple, powerful causes and if vitamin D is part of the picture, it is just a small part,” said Kerr, an associate professor in the School of Psychological Science at OSU. “But given how many people are affected by depression, any little inroad we can find could have an important impact on public health.”

The findings were published recently in the journal Psychiatry Research. Co-authors are Sarina Saturn of the School of Psychological Science; Balz Frei and Adrian Gombart of OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute; David Zava of ZRT Laboratory and Walter Piper, a former OSU student now at New York University.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for bone health and muscle function. Deficiency has been associated with impaired immune function, some forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease, said Gombart, an associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics, principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute and international expert on vitamin D and the immune response.

People create their own vitamin D when their skin is exposed to sunlight. When sun is scarce in the winter, people can take a supplement, but vitamin D also is found in some foods, including milk that is fortified with it, Gombart said. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 600 IU per day. There is no established level of vitamin D sufficiency for mental health.

The new study was prompted in part because there is a widely held belief that vitamin D and depression are connected, but there is not actually much scientific research out there to support the belief, Kerr said.

“I think people hear that vitamin D and depression can change with the seasons, so it is natural for them to assume the two are connected,” he said.

According to Kerr and his colleagues, a lot of past research has actually found no association between the two, but much of that research has been based on much older adults or special medical populations.

Kerr’s study focused on young women in the Pacific Northwest because they are at risk of both depression and vitamin D insufficiency. Past research found that 25 percent of American women experience clinical depression at some point in their lives, compared to 16 percent of men, for example.

OSU researchers recruited 185 college students, all women ages 18-25, to participate in the study at different times during the school year. Vitamin D levels were measured from blood samples and participants completed a depression symptom survey each week for five weeks.

Many women in the study had vitamin D levels considered insufficient for good health, and the rates were much higher among women of color, with 61 percent of women of color recording insufficient levels, compared to 35 percent of other women. In addition, more than a third of the participants reported clinically significant depressive symptoms each week over the course of the study.

“It may surprise people that so many apparently healthy young women are experiencing these health risks,” Kerr said.

As expected, the women’s vitamin D levels depended on the time of year, with levels dropping during the fall, at their lowest in winter, and rising in the spring. Depression did not show as a clear pattern, prompting Kerr to conclude that links between vitamin D deficiency and seasonal depression should be studied in larger groups of at-risk individuals.

Researchers say the study does not conclusively show that low vitamin D levels cause depression. A clinical trial examining whether vitamin D supplements might help prevent or relieve depression is the logical next step to understanding the link between the two, Kerr said.

OSU researchers already have begun a follow-up study on vitamin D deficiency in women of color. In the meantime, researchers encourage those at risk of vitamin D deficiency to speak with their doctor about taking a supplement.

“Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and readily available.” Kerr said. “They certainly shouldn’t be considered as alternatives to the treatments known to be effective for depression, but they are good for overall health.”

The research was supported by grants from the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation’s John C. Erkkila Endowment for Health and Human Performance and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

 


About the Linus Pauling Institute:  The Linus Pauling Institute at OSU is a world leader in the study of micronutrients and their role in promoting optimum health or preventing and treating disease. Major areas of research include heart disease, cancer, aging and neurodegenerative disease.

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David Kerr, 541-737-1364, david.kerr@oregonstate.edu

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Students at Oregon State University enjoy a sunny winter day on the Corvallis campus.

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OSU Theatre to present Vietnam-era play, ‘Strange Snow,’ March 5-8

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Theatre’s 2014-15 season, which focuses on War and Remembrance, continues with the Lab Theatre production of Stephen Metcalf’s Vietnam-era play, “Strange Snow,” in March.

The production, directed by OSU Theatre Arts student Bryanna Rainwater, will run March 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. and March 8 at 2 p.m. in the Withycombe Hall Lab Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The play tells the story of a troubled past shared by two Vietnam veterans during a fishing trip on opening day of the season. Relationships develop through humor and heartache as Dave and Megs attempt to move on from a horrific event. The exploration of friendship and the impacts of war upon individuals and families serve as a reminder of the personal sacrifices made in military service.

“This play explores much more than what’s at the surface and reveals a lot about the human condition and what it is like to be vulnerable,” Rainwater said.

The production features the work of Oregon State students Amanda Kelner as Martha, Evan Butler as Megs and Brad Stone as Dave.

Tickets are $8 adults; $6 for seniors; $5 youth/student; and $4 for OSU students. They can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1wgmTkJ  or by calling the theatre box office at 541-737-2784. There is no reserved seating for this production. For more information or DAS accommodations, contact the box office.

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