OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of liberal arts

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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Author Jenny Boully to read at Oregon State March 6

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Author Jenny Boully will read from her works on Friday, March 6, at Oregon State University’s Valley Library rotunda on the Corvallis campus beginning at 7:30 p.m. A question and answer session and book signing will follow.

Boully is the author of four books, most recently “not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them,” from Tarpaulin Sky Press. Her other books include “The Books of Beginnings and Endings,” (Sarabande Books) “[one love affair]* (Tarpaulin Sky Press), and “The Body: An Essay,” (Essay Press, first published by Slope Editions).

Boully’s chapbook of prose, “Moveable Types,” was released by Noemi Press. Her work has been anthologized in “The Best American Poetry,” “The Next American Essay,” “Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present,” and other places.

Boully was born in Thailand and raised in Texas. She attended Hollins University and went on to receive her M.A. in English Criticism and Writing. She also earned a master of fine arts from the University of Notre Dame and holds a Ph.D. in English from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and daughter and teaches at Columbia College Chicago.

The reading is part of the 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. The series brings nationally known writers to Oregon State University.

The event is free and open to the public. The program is supported by OSU Libraries and Press, the School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele and Grass Roots Books and Music.

The Valley Library is located at 201 S.W. Waldo Place on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

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Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to give Pauling Peace Lecture March 4

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Activist, writer and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz will give the annual Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

The 32nd annual lecture, “The Future of the United States,” will be held in the Austin Auditorium at LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St. The event is free and open to the public. 

Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the international indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her commitment to national and international social justice issues.

After earning a doctorate in history at University of California, Los Angeles, Dunbar-Ortiz taught in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, and helped found the departments of ethnic studies and women’s studies.

Dunbar-Ortiz is the author or editor of several books, including “Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico,” and most recently, “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.”

The OSU lectureship honors Linus Pauling, an OSU graduate and two-time Nobel Prize laureate, and his wife, Ava Helen Pauling, a noted peace activist. It is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts.

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Richard Clinton, 541-737-6246, Richard.clinton@oregonstate.edu

Study: Identifying population of mentally ill ‘frequent fliers’ first step to reducing police contact

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Identifying the population of people with mental illness who have frequent contact with police could help law enforcement officials and community agencies allocate limited resources to those with the highest needs, new research from Oregon State University indicates. 

These individuals, often referred to as “frequent fliers” because of their repeated interaction with law enforcement, can consume a large amount of police time and resources, according to researchers in the School of Public Policy in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts.

Identifying and understanding the population can aid policymakers as they work to reduce the frequent and time-consuming interactions, sociologists Scott Akins and Brett Burkhardt said.

“This contact is rarely criminal in nature at the outset,” said Burkhardt, an assistant professor of sociology. “It’s usually a peace officer custody arrest, which is a type of arrest that occurs because a person is believed to be a danger to themselves or others due to a suspected mental illness. But there’s a limited amount of resources, so if we identify people with the highest needs, we can focus resources on those folks.”

Once a local region has identified its population of frequent fliers, community agencies and policy-makers can use the information to change or implement policies to assist those with the highest needs, the researchers said.

“It’s a strategic way to create a more cost-effective and humane way to assist the mentally ill,” said Akins, an associate professor of sociology.

For example, some communities may benefit from the use of mental health courts to address criminal charges for people with mental health needs, he said. Typically in such courts, a collaborative team that includes attorneys, parole and probation representatives and mental health agency representatives work together to address the individual’s needs. That may include a referral for counseling or substance abuse treatment.

Burkhardt and Akins began researching frequent fliers in 2012 in collaboration with law enforcement officials in Corvallis and Benton County. Law enforcement officials had noticed what they believed was an increase in calls related to suspected mental health issues.

They asked Akins, Burkhardt and a team of graduate students to determine if that was in fact the case and, if so, to assist with some potential responses to the trend. The researchers’ findings and recommendations were published recently in the journal “Criminal Justice Policy Review.”

The study was co-authored by Charles Lanfear, who worked on the project as a graduate student at OSU. The research was supported by OSU as well as by the Benton County Sheriff’s office, which provided funding for a graduate student internship related to the research.

Akins and Burkhardt reviewed six years of records, from 2007 through 2012, from the Corvallis Police Department and Benton County Sheriff’s Office and found that peace officer custody arrests increased dramatically from 2011 to 2012, jumping from 144 to 245.

They also found that time spent on mental-health related calls – those where the subject was believed to have a mental illness or mental health crisis – nearly doubled during the six-year period, going from 248 hours annually to 489 hours.

In addition, the researchers determined that of the 697 people placed in peace officer custody for mental health issues, about 17 percent were taken into custody multiple times. A smaller group of 38 frequent fliers had multiple mental health-related arrests in a 14-day span.

“This study validated our perspective that law enforcement contacts with community members having a mental health crisis have significantly risen over the past few years,” Corvallis Police Chief Jon Sassaman said. “It also showed how important it is that we work with all community assets to support individuals in need to prevent situations from generating a law enforcement response.”

While the research focused on Corvallis and Benton County, the method used to identify the frequent fliers is easily replicable by other agencies, the researchers said. That’s important because the rise in police contact with the mentally ill is not unique to Corvallis and Benton County. People with mental illness are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system across the country, Burkhardt said.

Police interaction with individuals with mental health issues can be time-consuming and frustrating for law enforcement officials, who may have some crisis intervention training but are not experts in working with the mentally ill, the researchers said. In addition, the contact can have the potential to become volatile.

The researchers’ findings highlight the need for ongoing collaboration and communication between law enforcement officials and health agencies that are likely to encounter the frequent flier population, the researchers said. In Benton County, local agencies are now exploring the feasibility of a mental health court and are looking at ways to maximize existing systems that have been under-used in the past, Sassaman said.

Akins and Burkhardt said agencies may want to make the monitoring of their frequent flier population part of their regular data collection. They also recommend studying any policy changes made based on the data, to see if the changes have a positive effect in reducing police contact with the mentally ill.

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Scott Akins, 541-737-5370, sakins@oregonstate.edu; or Brett Burkhardt, 541-737-2310 or Brett.burkhardt@oregonstate.edu

Auditions for OSU’s production of ‘Dolly West’ to be held Feb. 22-24

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions for Oregon State University Theatre’s spring production of “Dolly West’s Kitchen” by Frank McGuinness will be held at 6:30 p.m. each night Feb. 22-24 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The play, set in a small Irish town during World War II, tells the story of a family that faces personal conflicts when allied troops cross the border and enter their home.

Those auditioning are asked to prepare a two- to three-minute monologue. Auditions will also consist of cold readings from the script. There are roles available for three women and five men; the role of Rima has already been cast.

Scripts are available for check-out to read from the Theatre Arts office in Withycombe Hall 141. Auditions are open to all OSU students, faculty and staff and to the community. Performances will run May 7-9 and May 15-17.

For more information contact the director, Jade McCutcheon, at jrmcreative@gmail.com.

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OSU recognizes climate scientist, computer expert with Distinguished Professor awards

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has named Peter Clark and Margaret Burnett as its 2016 Distinguished Professor recipients, the highest academic honor the university can bestow on a faculty member.

“Both Peter Clark and Margaret Burnett are visionary scientists whose careers are affecting people all over the world,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president.

“The work of Dr. Clark is cutting-edge science that helps everyone better understand what climate change may mean to them, using the past as a powerful guide to help predict the future. And we live in a world where computers are pervasive, used by everyone from elementary school students to retirees. An expert in visual programming languages, Dr. Burnett has made those instruments more user-friendly, interactive and dependable for all people.”

Burnett, a professor of computer science in the College of Engineering, has been a pioneer in making computers more useful for everyone. As a leader in several gender diversity activities, including advancing STEM education, Burnett was awarded the 2015 undergraduate research mentoring award from the National Center for Women & IT.

She helped develop the entire field of “end user” software engineering, which allows millions more people to successfully produce computer programs that are dependable and of high quality. Burnett has also tackled the problem of a computer world in which software is often designed by men and fails to acknowledge the different ways in which men and women communicate and process information.

This field of “gender-inclusive” computer study is also critical in bringing more women into technology, a goal which Burnett has worked toward for decades. She is an award-winning mentor to graduate, undergraduate and high school students.

Burnett received her doctorate in computer science from the University of Kansas and has been at OSU since 1992.

Clark, a professor in the OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, is an international leader in the study of past climate change to help understand what the future may bring. He has had numerous studies published in the most prestigious academic journals in the world, such as Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Clark also was a lead coordinating author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

With more than $4 million in research funding brought to OSU, Clark has studied glaciers and ice sheets, both those of today and from the distant past, to help determine what may be the long-term impacts of anthropogenic warming, rising greenhouse gases, and sea level rise. He’s also an award-winning teacher, recipient of 11 other major awards, has organized 20 symposia, and his professional work has generated literally thousands of citations.

Clark received his doctorate in geology from the University of Colorado and has been at OSU since 1988.

This honor will be permanent as long as the recipient remains at OSU. Both professors will give public lectures this spring on topics related to their field of study.

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Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111; sabah.randhawa@oregonstate.edu

OSU Theatre to present ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Feb. 12-14 and Feb. 20-22 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage theater, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The theatrical adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman, chronicles the true story of Anne’s time in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

Anne was a clever, creative, and spirited 13-year-old girl when she, her family, and four other Jews were forced to go into hiding in a secret annex behind her father’s office building in the heart of Amsterdam in 1942. She turned to her diary as a source of comfort and inspiration.

The diary was first published in 1947 as “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.” It inspired a Pulitzer Prize-winning stage adaptation and an Academy-Award winning film.

The OSU production is directed by Theatre Arts faculty member Elizabeth Helman and features an original score composed by Oregon State University students.

“This is such an important story; it reminds us of the complexity and fragility of human life,” Helman said. “Each character in this play really lived, suffered, and died because of intolerance and racism. Genocide still happens all over the world. We can’t forget that.”

The cast features OSU students Daniel Barber as Otto; Elise Barberis as Margot; Burke DaBoer as the officer; Emily Gassaway as Miep; Brian Greer as Peter; Diana Jepsen as Edith; Annie Parham as Anne; Alex Small as Mr. VanDaan; Sarah Sutton as Mrs. VanDaan; Cory Warren as a man; and Joseph Workman as Mr. Dussel. Corvallis community member Ricky Zipp joins the cast as Mr. Kraler.

Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 12-14 and Feb. 20-21, with a matinee beginning at 2 p.m. Feb. 22. Tickets are $12; $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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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

Kathleen Bogart