OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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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

Auditions for OSU’s one-act festival to be held April 16-17

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions for Oregon State University Theatre’s Spring One-Act Festival 2017 will be held from 6-8 p.m. April 16 and April 17 in the Withycombe Hall Lab Theatre.

The 2017 One-Act Festival will feature three original plays written and directed by OSU Theatre students. The line-up includes “The Two Minds of Mr. Coffan,” by Hannah Fretz; “Skinner,” by Mike Stephens; and “Love Games,” by Heaven Carreon. Roles are available for twelve performers.

Auditions will consist of cold readings and short games. They are open to all OSU students, faculty and staff and to members of the Corvallis community. The theatre is located at 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

Rehearsals for each play will be scheduled by individual directors. All performers cast must be able to attend company run-throughs May 22-25, tech rehearsals May 27-28 and all dress rehearsals and performances May 30 through June 4.

Scripts will be available for check-out in Withycombe Hall, Room 145, during regular business hours. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/1NbuaeH.

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Works by artist Betty LaDuke to be featured in OSU’s Little Gallery

CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Bountiful Harvest & Border Crossings,” an exhibition of works depicting the stories of Latino farmworkers, by Ashland artist Betty LaDuke, is now on display in the Little Gallery at Oregon State University.

An opening reception will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. April 27 in the gallery, 210 Kidder Hall, 2000 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis. The artist will be on hand and the public is welcome to attend. The exhibit runs through June 16. 

The Little Gallery is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is free and open to the public.

LaDuke’s wood panel murals document and narrate the stories of Latino farmworkers who work in Oregon’s Rogue Valley. The aim of the work is to give recognition to those who live and work on the fringes of society. 

“My intention is to portray farmworkers and their families with dignity and appreciation for their work,” LaDuke said. “We all need a fair chance to feel visible, be paid a living wage and be respected for the work we do.”

LaDuke, who had a long career teaching art at Southern Oregon University, has traveled extensively around the world. Her work reflects the folk art traditions of the countries she has visited. Her body of work invites the viewer to celebrate the beauty of other cultures while recognizing mankind’s enduring hardships. 

Her work is on permanent display at the Medford Airport. She has also shown work at the Capitol Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas; The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago; and elsewhere.

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Helen Wilhelm, 541-737-2146, helen.wilhelm@oregonstate.edu

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"Flower Harvest" by Betty LaDuke

Flower Harvest

OSU Music, Corvallis Repertory Singers present David Maslanka’s Mass

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The West Coast premiere of composer David Maslanka’s Mass will be presented at Oregon State University on Thursday, April 20, featuring the OSU Wind Ensemble, the OSU Chamber Choir and the Corvallis Repertory Singers.

The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Auditorium at The LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus in Corvallis. Chris Chapman, director of bands at OSU, will conduct.

Tickets are $18 to $25. OSU students with identification and K-12 youth will be admitted free. Corvallis Arts for All discounts apply. Advance tickets are available online at repsing.org or in Corvallis at Grass Roots Books and Music, Troubadour Music or Schmidt’s Garden Center, or in Albany at Sid Stevens Jewelers.

Maslanka is widely regarded as one of the greatest wind band composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. From a catalog of more than 130 major works, more than 40 have been composed specifically for the wind ensemble.

The Mass, based on the transformational aspects of the Latin Mass, shows his distinctive compositional style. Scored for 36 instrumentalists, two vocal soloists, mixed choir and children’s choir, the 1994-95 work is one of only a handful of choral-wind ensemble works written by a major composer.

The Mass premiered in 1996 at the University of Arizona in Tucson and three more performances were given in 1998 by Illinois State University. Maslanka made substantial revisions to the work prior to a 2005 performance at Festival Miami in Miami, Florida.

The Corvallis performance will use the 2005 revision. Only two complete recordings of the work currently exist: one of the original version of the work and another of the 2005 revision. In addition to the performance on April 20 the performers will record the work under supervision of the composer for release as part of the “David Maslanka Composer Series” on Mark Records of Clarence, New York.

Chapman conducts the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds groups at OSU. In spring 2016, he and the Wind Ensemble recorded Maslanka’s “Saint Francis” for future release on Mark Records. The Corvallis Repertory Singers are led by Steven M. Zielke, director of choral studies at OSU.

The performance also will feature soprano soloist Amy Hansen, who joined the OSU vocal faculty in fall, 2016; and baritone soloist Nicolai Strommer, who earned his undergraduate degree at OSU and earned a graduate degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

For accommodations relating to a disability, call 541-737-4671, preferably at least one week in advance. The LaSells Stewart Center is located at 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

 

Source: 

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

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OSU Wind Ensemble

OSU Wind Ensemble

David Maslanka

David Maslanka

Artist Hank Willis Thomas to speak at OSU April 19

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Hank Willis Thomas, a photo conceptual artist who works primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture, will speak April 19 at Oregon State University.

The talk, “Divided We Fall,” will be at 6:30 p.m. in Construction & Engineering Hall at The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. A reception with the artist will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Myrtle Tree Alcove. The reception and talk are free and open to the public.

Thomas also will be in residence on campus April 18-19 and will spend time visiting art classes and reviewing and critiquing student art work. His visit and lecture are part of the School of Arts & Communication’s Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series.

Thomas has exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad, including at The International Center of Photography, The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

His monograph, “Pitch Blackness,” was published by Aperture. His work is in numerous public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and more.

In 2015, Thomas co-founded “For Freedoms,” the first artist-run super PAC. He is currently represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City and Goodman Gallery in South Africa.

Thomas received the BFA in photography and Africana studies from New York University and the MFA/MA in photography and visual criticism from the California College of Arts.

The Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture series brings world-renowned artists and scholars to the OSU campus to interact with students in the art department so they can learn what is required of a professional artist or scholar. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2dVv5kW and http://www.hankwillisthomas.com/

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

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Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas

"I Am. Amen." by Hank Willis Thomas

I am. Amen.

"Amandla" by Hank Willis Thomas

Amandla

OSU to host events celebrating hands-on learning and maker culture April 14-15

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will host The Co., a  two-day event celebrating hands-on learning and maker culture, April 14-15 on the Corvallis campus.

“SEA Through the Eyes of an Artist” will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 14 at Furman Hall. The fourth-annual Corvallis Maker Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 15 in the Memorial Union Ballroom and the Student Experience Center Plaza. Both events are free and open to the public.

“Maker” culture is a popular movement honoring craftsmanship and technology and the sharing of knowledge, skills and resources. The Co. event offers the OSU community and the public an opportunity to collaborate, innovate and create. The event also provides a forum for teaching the value of hands-on learning in classrooms from kindergarten through college.

“SEA Through the Eyes of an Artist” is a new event this year, hosted by the College of Education in conjunction with The Co. and SPARK, OSU’s year-long celebration of the arts and science. All events are free and open to the public. The schedule is:

  • 9:30 a.m. to noon: Activities for K-12 students including a Muddy Creek project demonstration; SMILE (Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences);  StreamWebs; Art at Sea; and Storytime with Judy Li. Furman Hall.
  • 1-2 p.m.: Keynote speaker, Brownwyn Bevan of the University of Washington College of Education, who will deliver an interactive keynote presentation on makerspace research in the Learning Innovation Center, Room 100.
  • 2-5 p.m.: Activities for the OSU community, including an earthquake/tsunami activity station; an “interpret your research” competition for graduate students to demonstrate their dissertation or capstone projects through music, dance, painting or other art forms; and happy hour with Bevan. Furman Hall.
  • 5-9 p.m.: Activities for families and the community, including a COSIA activity station. Furman Hall.

Other activities include an arts and science geocaching quest throughout the OSU campus; panels to inspire women and girls to enter STEM fields, presented by the campus groups Women in Science and Women in Engineering; and a show focused on arts and science presented by the Corvallis Public Library. A full schedule of events is available online: http://www.corvallismakerfair.org/the-co-2017/sea-through-the-eyes-of-an-artist/.

At Saturday’s Maker Fair, attendees can talk to experts in the arts, crafts, technology, and sciences and leave with unique souvenirs such as Michael Boonstra’s laser-etched cedar selfies.

Visitors can also tie flies with OSU Fly Fishing, experience virtual reality gaming with Solid Fuel Studios, help build a Mars lander based on the actual Viking design plans with the Viking Mars Mission Preservation and Education Team, learn basic programming concepts with the OSU Open Source Lab, find out about the process of creating pigments with the Mobile Color Lab and more.

The Co. is organized by a team of OSU faculty, staff, and students and professionals from the Corvallis area. Sponsors and partners for the 2017 event include HP, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, OSU College of Education, OSU College of Forestry, OSU Division of Outreach and Engagement, OSU College of Liberal Arts, OSU Libraries and Press, and SPARK.

Registration information, a complete schedule, exhibitor list and additional details about the events are available on the event website, www.corvallismakerfair.org.

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