OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of liberal arts

Annual OSU gathering of ‘world’s largest’ Native American flute circle set for May 12

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The annual gathering of the Oregon State University Native American flute circle, led by instructor Jan Looking Wolf Reibach, is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, in the Student Experience Center plaza, 2251 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis.

The flute circle gathering, thought to be the largest in the world, brings together past and present students of Music 108, one of the most popular baccalaureate core courses at OSU, in a celebration of cultural diversity and togetherness. In May 2016, 375 participants joined in the largest iteration of the OSU event to date.

“Since time immemorial, music has brought people together for many different purposes. The students of the Native American flute course here at OSU are playing their flutes to celebrate cultural diversity and break the world record for the largest Native American style flute circle,” Reibach said. “The circle will consist of many different ethnicities and cultures, all playing together with one heart.”

The gathering is free and open to the public. Participants in the flute circle must be current or past enrollees of OSU’s Music 108 course. For accommodations relating to a disability, please call 541-737-4671.

Media Contact: 

Zachary C. Person, 541-737-4671, zachary.person@oregonstate.edu

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Jan Looking Wolf Reibach, jan.reibach@oregonstate.edu, 971-241-9804

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Students play Native American flutes
Native American Flute

Author Karen Russell to read at Oregon State University May 19

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Author Karen Russell will read at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 19, in the Valley Library Rotunda on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow.

Russell is the author of two collections of short stories, “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” and “Vampires in the Lemon Grove,” and two novels, “Sleep Donation” and “Swamplandia!,” which was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. 

Her short stories have been featured in The New Yorker, Oxford American, Conjunctions, Granta and Zoetrope, and three of her stories have been selected for volumes of “The Best American Short Stories.”

In 2009 Russell was named one of the “5 Under 35” fiction writers by the National Book Foundation, and in 2010 she was included in The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list. She also won the 2011 Bard Fiction Prize and the 2012 National Magazine Award for fiction. 

Russell holds a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Cullman Center, and the American Academy of Berlin, and in 2013 was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She has taught writing and literature at Columbia University, the University of Iowa, Williams College, Bard College, Bryn Mawr College, and Rutgers University.

This reading is part of the 2016-17 Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series, which brings nationally acclaimed writers to Oregon State University. This series is sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at OSU, with 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.

The event is free and open to the public. The Valley Library is located at 201 S.W. Waldo Place, Corvallis.

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Susan Rodgers, 541-737-1658, susan.rodgers@oregonstate.edu

Canadian piano virtuoso Jon Kimura Parker to perform at OSU May 7

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Canadian piano virtuoso Jon Kimura Parker will perform on Sunday, May 7, beginning at 4 p.m. at Oregon State University as part of the Corvallis-OSU Piano International Steinway Series.

A gold medalist at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition, Parker has emerged as an unusually versatile musician with solo credits including performances with the major orchestras of New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and others. He also has jammed with jazz musicians Doc Severinsen and Bobby McFerrin, and collaborated with noted “Police” drummer Stuart Copeland.

The wide-ranging concert program includes three preludes by Sergei Rachmaninoff (the Op. 32 G Major, No. 5, Op. 23 G minor No.5 and Op. 23 B-flat Major No.2 ); Ludwig van Beethoven’s popular Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata”; William Hirtz’s “Bernard Hermann Fantasy”; “Scenes from a Jade Terrace,” a 1996 work by Canadian composer Alexina Louie; “Jeux d’Eau” (“Water Games”) by impressionist composer Maurice Ravel;  and Hirtz’s “Fantasy on the Wizard of Oz,” originally written for four-hand piano and adapted as a solo work especially for Parker.

During his visit to Corvallis, Parker also will present a free master class at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, in Benton Hall Room 303 (1650 S.W. Pioneer Place). In addition to working with invited student performers, he will take audience questions about his upcoming recital and life as an international touring concert pianist.

The Sunday concert will be held in the Austin Auditorium at The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. Tickets are $25 in advance or $28 at the door. Advance tickets are available online at corvallispiano.org or in Corvallis at Grassroots Books & Music and Rice’s Pharmacy.

Students ages 8-18 and all college students with valid ID are admitted free. Corvallis Arts For All discounts apply and are valid for purchase of up to two $5 tickets at The LaSells Stewart Center starting one hour prior to concert with SNAP card. For accommodations relating to a disability, call 541-737-4671, preferably at least one week in advance.

Source: 

Zachary C. Person, 541-737-4671, zachary.person@oregonstate.edu

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Jon Kimura Parker

Jon Kimura Parker

OSU Theatre to present ‘The Upward-Beating Heart’ in May

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present in May the premiere of “The Upward-Beating Heart,” an original, devised work developed by OSU students.

In theater, devised plays are those where the script originates from collaborative, often improvised work by a group of people, rather than by a writer or writers. “The Upward-Beating Heart” is based on Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet.”

Performances will be held May 11-13 and May 19-20, beginning at 7:30 p.m., and on May 21 beginning at 2 p.m. in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The play is a romantic drama set during the historic battle over the town Teruel, Spain, in the winter of 1938. When Federico, a young and aimless poet and musician, befriends a ragtag group of political activists, he is torn between loyalty to his brother, a Nationalist soldier, and the fight against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War.

The tale explores themes of passion, fear and the role of art in political resistance. The script, written by a group of OSU students, includes original music and brings to life the complexities of the intersections of love, politics, and ideals.

“This has been an ambitious year-long project and demonstrates the incredible talent of our OSU students,” said Elizabeth Helman, director and member of the OSU Theatre Arts faculty. “The story is funny, thoughtful, and ultimately extremely moving. I’m very excited to share it with our campus and Corvallis community.”

The cast features OSU students Casey Collins as Hermana Clara; Sedona Garcia as Carla/Emilia; PJ Harris as Carmen; Sydney King as Lucia; Ben Lawrence as Luís; Thomas McKean as Federico; Annie Parham as Ana; Elena Ramirez as Adelita; Alex Small as Desi; Mike Stephens as Guillermo;  Kyle Stockdall as Martín; and Sarah Sutton as Maria. The cast also includes Corvallis community members Matt Holland as Carlos and Rick Wallace as Rico.

Tickets are $12 for general admission; $10 for seniors; $8 for youths/students; and $5 for OSU students. Tickets will be available for purchase online beginning May 1 at: http://bit.ly/1wgmTkJ. They are also available through the OSU Theatre Box Office by calling 541-737-2784. Contact the box office for disability access accommodations and/or group ticket sales.

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OSU Center for the Humanities hosts ‘Blackout’ exhibit featuring work of Kerry Skarbakka

CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Blackout,” an exhibit of work by Oregon State University’s Kerry Skarbakka, is on display at the OSU Center for the Humanities now through June 8. The center is located at Autzen House, 811 S.W. Jefferson Ave., Corvallis. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Skarbakka is assistant professor of photography at OSU and teaches courses in photography and sculpture. Blackout is Skarbakka’s second solo exhibition in Corvallis in the last year. The site-specific installation is comprised of objects of art and understanding, encapsulated in the medium used to line the beds of trucks, and thus blacked out, or rendered void.

Skarbakka said the Center for the Humanities exhibition, which coincides with the March for Science and Earth Day on April 22, provides “a message of solidarity against attempts to defund and silence the arts, the sciences and the humanities.”

Skarbakka’s performance-based photographic work depicting existential anxieties and loss of control through the acts of falling, drowning and fighting have been exhibited internationally including at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Haifa Museum of Art, Israel; and The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.

His work has been featured on the cover of notable publications such as Aperture and The Missouri Review, and in other publications including Afterimage, Art and America and ArtReview International. 

Skarbakka has received funding from Creative Capital, Seattle's 1% for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Skarbakka received his B.A. in studio art from the University of Washington in 1994 and his M.F.A. in photography from Columbia College, Chicago in 2003.For more information, visit www.skarbakka.com

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Kerry Skarbakka, 541-737-1256, kerry.skarbakka@oregonstate.edu

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Stack

stack

Cello

cello

Writer Chris Anderson to read at Oregon State University April 28

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer and Oregon State University Professor Chris Anderson will read from his work at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, in the Valley Library Rotunda on the OSU campus in Corvallis. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow.

Anderson has written, co-written, or edited 14 books in a variety of genres on subjects ranging from writing style to nature to spirituality. 

His most recent book, “Light When It Comes: Trusting Joy, Facing Darkness, and Seeing God in Everything,” is a collection of collage essays published by Eerdmans in 2016. The book draws on an ancient prayer tradition, the Ignatian “Examen of Conscience,” to explore the struggle, joy and doubt of contemporary spirituality.

Anderson’s other books include “Free/Style: A Direct Approach to Writing”; “Edge Effects: Notes from an Oregon Forest,” which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in creative nonfiction; “Open Questions: Critical Thinking, Ethical Writing”; and “Teaching as Believing: Faith in the University.” He has also published two books of poetry, “My Problem with the Truth” and “The Next Thing Always Belongs.” 

Anderson is a professor of English at OSU, where he teaches a variety of courses in writing, pedagogy and literature in translation. In addition to his doctorate in English from the University of Washington, Anderson holds a master’s degree in theology from Mount Angel Seminary and serves as an ordained Catholic deacon.

The reading is part of the 2016-17 Literary Northwest Series, which brings accomplished writers from the Pacific Northwest to OSU. This series is sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at OSU, with 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. 

The event is free and open to the public. The Valley Library is located at 201 S.W. Waldo Place, Corvallis.

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Susan Rodgers, 541-737-1658, susan.rodgers@oregonstate.edu

OSU’s 2017 EdFest to focus on literary citizenship

CORVALLIS, Ore. – EdFest, a biennial festival that brings in panels of editors, publishers, agents and writers to address a range of topics related to professional development for emerging writers, will be held Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21 in Corvallis.

This year’s events explore the theme of literary citizenship. EdFest is hosted by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. Events include: 

  • Writer Aaron Burch will read from his book “Stephen King’s The Body” at 6 p.m. April 20 at the Darkside Cinema in Corvallis. A screening of the film “Stand by Me” will follow. The theater is located at 215 S.W. 4th St., Corvallis.
  • Amanda Bullock will facilitate a panel discussion on “Opportunities in the Literary World Beyond Writing and Teaching” at 4 p.m. April 21 in the Valley Library Special Collections Room. The library is located at 201 S.W. Waldo Pl., Corvallis. 
  • Authors Wendy S. Walters, Caryl Pagel, and Kevin González will read from their work at 7:30 p.m. April 21 in the Valley Library Rotunda.

The events are free and open to the public. 

EdFest is part of the 2016-17 Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series, which brings nationally acclaimed writers to Oregon State University. This series is sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at OSU, with 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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Susan Rodgers, 541-737-1658, susan.rodgers@oregonstate.edu

Brain imaging shows alcohol dependence severity relates to impulse-control deficiency

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Would you rather receive $55 today or $75 two months from now? 

If you chose the former – and if you’re severely alcohol dependent – functional magnetic resonance imaging would likely show that you hadn’t activated the “cognitive control” region of your brain as much as someone with a lower level of dependency would have.

Research at Oregon State University sheds new light on what happens in the brain when a person with alcohol use disorder, or AUD, is presented with an opportunity for “delay discounting” – forgoing a larger reward later in favor of a significantly smaller one sooner.

The findings are important because they suggest that more effective AUD treatment could involve neuropsychological tasks designed to help patients train themselves to make more-reasoned, better-planned decisions by using cognitive control to rein in impulses.

The collaboration among psychological scientist Anita Cservenka of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts and researchers at UCLA involved 17 alcohol-dependent individuals making decisions similar to the $55 vs. $75 choice while their brain activity was monitored with functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI.

As they lay still in the MRI tube, each subject read a series of 27 questions on a screen and had five seconds per question to answer via an electronic pad resting on his or her stomach. Choosing a smaller amount of money sooner was categorized as an SS response; a larger amount later was classified as LL.

On average, participants gave an SS response not quite two-thirds of the time.

“If you just look at the behavior of individuals, those with more severe alcohol use disorder had a trend toward steeper delay discounting,” Cservenka said. “How much they preferred smaller, immediate rewards was not significant, but it was a trend; the severity of the alcohol use disorder was positively associated with the wanting of smaller, immediate rewards.”

The fMRI scans showed that in the brains of alcohol-dependent people, severity of dependence negatively correlates with activity in the cognitive control regions when participants make impulsive decisions – the more dependent someone is, the less active the control part of his or her brain is.

The scans also indicated dysregulation in other regions associated with decision making and higher-order cognition. The alcohol-dependent individuals showed greater activation of the brain’s reward-evaluation regions during “delayed decisions” – choosing the larger, later prize. Activation of those regions during delayed decisions is positively associated with alcohol dependence severity, suggesting individuals with greater dependence may need to activate those areas more to make less impulsive decisions.

“Most people are naturally driven to rewards, but in certain disorders such as AUD there’s a tendency to display even greater orientation toward ‘meaningful’ rewards,” Cservenka said. “For example, someone with alcohol use disorder might display much greater orientation to an advertisement for alcohol than an individual who did not have that disorder. However, in this study we found deficits in cognitive control may be more related to impulsive decision making than reward-driven behavior.”

Cservenka notes that impulsivity tends to decline with age but that adults with severe alcohol use disorder can show heightened levels of impulsivity compared to individuals without alcohol use problems.

“That’s one of the key research questions: Were these individuals who have severe alcohol use disorder especially impulsive as children, prior to the onset of dependency?” she said. “It could very well be that more impulsive individuals have more of a tendency to engage in problem drinking. That’s something that long-term studies that track individuals over time are aiming to answer: How much is impulsivity a predictor of alcohol use disorder severity as opposed to it being a result of using alcohol?”

Findings were recently published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse supported this research.

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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anita cservenka

Anita Cservenka

Diversity within Latino population may require more nuanced public health approaches

CORVALLIS, Ore. –Not all Latinos face the same health challenges, suggesting that public health approaches may need to be tailored based on needs of the diverse groups within the Latino population, new research from Oregon State University indicates.

Much of the health research today tends to focus on Latinos as a single racial/ethnic group. But in reality, that group includes people from a diverse range of backgrounds, including Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Central American and South American, and the health risks they face may vary from group to group, said lead researcher Daniel López-Cevallos, assistant professor of ethnic studies in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. 

“What we found is that it’s important to be careful not to make assumptions that everyone who is considered Hispanic or Latino can be put into the same basket,” he said. “There are differences within the group that are important to take into consideration when it comes to addressing public health issues such as cardiovascular health.”

The study was published this month in the journal Ethnicity and Health. The findings underscore the need for further examination of differences within the Hispanic/Latino population, particularly when developing medical treatments or public health interventions, said López-Cevallos, who also is associate director of research for the Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement at OSU

“As the Latino population continues to grow, these differences between groups will be more and more important to addressing health needs,” López-Cevallos said.

The Hispanic/Latino population is the largest and one of the fastest-growing racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death among Hispanic/Latinos. 

López-Cevallos set out to examine the relationship between wealth and cardiovascular disease risk factors, including obesity and high blood pressure, and wealth among Hispanic/Latinos of diverse backgrounds.

Past research has shown that increased wealth – defined as the accumulation of property such as homes and cars, savings and more - has been linked to better cardiovascular health across various racial and ethnic groups. But among Hispanic/Latinos, the association between wealth and heart health has been inconsistent. 

An analysis of health data for nearly 5,000 Hispanic/Latino people ages 18 to 74, collected for the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos and the Sociocultural Ancillary Study, showed that on whole there was no strong association between wealth and cardiovascular health among Hispanic/Latinos.

More than a third of the participants, about 37 percent, had low wealth, while 45 percent were in the middle wealth category and 18 percent were in the high wealth category. Among Hispanic/Latinos with high wealth, Mexicans were the largest group represented, with 55 percent, and Central Americans had the lowest share of high wealth, at 4 percent.

As researchers began to examine the links between health and wealth among subgroups of the Latino population, they found that health and wealth were closely associated for some groups but not others. For example, wealthier Central Americans were less likely to be obese, while wealthier Puerto Ricans were more likely to be obese.

“Within this group, there is a diversity of experiences,” he said. “What is it about the experience of wealthy Puerto Ricans that is different from the experience of wealthy Central Americans? Unless we explore those differences further, we won’t be able to understand and address health risk factors appropriately.” 

Further research is needed to understand and tailor public health messaging and health interventions for sub-groups within the Hispanic/Latino population, López-Cevallos said.

“As the Latino population continues to grow, these differences within groups will become more and more important,” he said. “We really need to amp up our study of these deeper differences.”

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Daniel López-Cevallos, 541-737-3850, Daniel.lopez-cevallos@oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University to observe Holocaust Memorial Week events

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Lucille Eichengreen, a Holocaust survivor who endured the Lodz Ghetto and the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, will speak at Oregon State University April 25 as part of the university’s annual Holocaust Memorial Week.

Eichengreen was born as Cecilia Landau in Hamburg, Germany, in 1925. Her father and sister were murdered in the concentration camps and her mother died of starvation in Lodz. After liberation, Lucille assisted the British in identifying and bringing to justice more than 40 people who had oppressed prisoners in the Nazi camps. Her work drew death threats and she later moved to the U.S.

Eichengreen has spoken widely of what she saw and experienced during the war and has been much honored for this educational work, particularly in Germany. Her memoir, “From Ashes to Life,” tells her story in detail.

The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Auditorium at the The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. The event is free and open to the public but attendees are encouraged to obtain free tickets in advance to ensure a seat. Tickets are available online at: http://bit.ly/2nYJLoz. A book-signing will follow.

Holocaust Memorial Week is presented by the School of History, Philosophy and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. All events are free and open to the public. The program will include a theme of genocide and a focus on human rights.

Other Holocaust Memorial Week events are:

  • Monday, April 24: A public talk by Sarhang Hamasaeed, “The Wars in Iraq and Syria – National, Regional and Global Implications,” 7:30 p.m. in the Construction and Engineering Hall at The LaSells Stewart Center. Hamasaeed, director of Middle East Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, will examine the complexities of the wars in Iraq and Syria and discuss their implications for the region and the wider world.
  • Wednesday, April 26: Discussion, “Religious Prejudice on the Contemporary Scene: How Great is the Threat?” at 7:30 p.m. in the Milam Auditorium. Hilary Bernstein, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, will discuss recent indicators regarding the level and intensity of anti-semitism, while Amarah Khan, associate director of global diversity initiatives at OSU, will speak to the issue of Islamophobia, both locally and more generally. Weather permitting, a candlelight vigil affirming religious and cultural understanding will follow in the MU Quad from 9:15-10 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 27: A public talk by Anne Kelly Knowles, “The Transformative Power of the Holocaust,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Construction and Engineering Hall at The LaSells Stewart Center. Knowles, a professor of history at the University of Maine, is among the foremost proponents of geographic information systems, a methodology that bridges geography and history. Knowles will explore “the power of confinement, relocation, forced labor, and the constant threat of violence to change the everyday worlds of Jews throughout Eastern Europe.” The talk is co-sponsored by the OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
  • Friday, April 28: The sixth annual Social Justice Conference on Human Rights, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Native American Longhouse Eena Haws. Students will read papers and discuss issues relating to human dignity, focusing on rising nationalism in the United States and Europe and how it may impact politics, international relations, and minorities. The event is co-sponsored by the OSU School of Public Policy and the Office of Diversity & Cultural Engagement.

For more information about the Holocaust Memorial Week events, visit http://holocaust.oregonstate.edu.

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Paul Kopperman, 541-737-1265, pkopperman@oregonstate.edu