people programs and events

OSU celebrates grand opening of Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center’s new building

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center has a new home, and the community is invited to celebrate at a grand opening event beginning at 3:30 p.m. on April 15, at 100 S.W. Memorial Way (corner of Memorial Way and Monroe).

The BCC, as it is known, is one of four OSU cultural centers that has a new space.  The Native American Longhouse moved into a new building in 2013, and the Cesar Chavez Centro Cultural opened the doors of their new building in 2014. The new Asian & Pacific Cultural Center also just opened and will hold its grand opening April 29.

Construction of the four cultural centers was funded with a combination of private gifts and university funds. Groundbreaking for the BCC took place in June 2013.

Justeen Quartey is one of the BCC’s peer facilitators, and is a freshman in public health management and policy. She and fellow peer facilitator Osenat Quadri, a pre-nursing student at OSU, were two of the students who provided input as Jones & Jones Architecture of Seattle designed the new cultural center building.

“We wanted it to be a home away from home,” Quartey said. “We wanted warm colors, and paintings and artwork that were relatable.”

The new building is located in the same spot as the former BCC, which was a converted older house with plenty of charm but limited programming space. Bigger events at the old BCC usually involved people crammed together in small rooms and narrow halls.

Now expansive meeting rooms, study spaces and a large kitchen provide plenty of space for all kinds of activities.

“It was amazing watching us have input and seeing it turn out how it did,” Quartey said.

In addition to programming, study space and various resources, the center provides peer tutors to OSU students, thanks to a grant.

The Meyer Memorial Trust grant has given the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) the opportunity to provide academic mentors, tutors, and study tables in all cultural centers including the BCC. Academic mentors are peer educators who help students with academics, connect to resources, and partner with the Academic Success Center’s Learning Campaign.

Quadri said having a black cultural center is important to student retention on campus.

“We represent about 1 percent of the student body,” she said of black students. “I feel like this center can build that sense of community students need. When they don’t feel that they have that community, they leave.”

The original Black Student Union Cultural Center was formed on campus in 1975, and later renamed the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center after the first director of the Educational Opportunities Program, who helped increase recruitment and retention of black students at OSU.

Special guest speaker at the open house is Jaymes Winters, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Blue Leopard Capital, a Portland-based private equity and fund specializing in middle market acquisitions, mergers and investment banking. Prior to founding Blue Leopard, he was the founder and CEO of United Energy Inc., which for seven consecutive years was one of the largest African American business on the west coast with revenues of nearly $100 million and 1,000 employees. 

Winters has a previously served on a number of local charitable boards, including the Urban league of Portland, The Austin School of Entrepreneurship at Oregon State University, Self Enhancement Inc. and the Portland Art Museum.

To learn more about the BCC: http://oregonstate.edu/bcc/

Media Contact: 

Dominique Austin, 541-737-0706; Dominique.austin@oregonstate.edu

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OSU honors Sexual Assault Awareness Month with series of events

Oregon State University will hold a number of events in April commemorating Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The month-long series begins April 8 with a screening of the documentary “Miss Representation” and culminates with the university’s annual “Take Back the Night” event on April 29, during which students, staff, faculty and community members offer support for survivors of sexual assault and demonstrate that OSU does not condone sexual violence.

A full list of the April events can be found online at: http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/prevention-center/saam-2015

Kelsey Greer, OSU’s sexual violence prevention coordinator, said recent media attention to campus sexual assault nationally has opened the doors for dialogue – not only for understanding the dynamics of sexual assault, but for what campuses can do to eradicate it.

“This attention has provided folks who work in the field of sexual violence prevention and survivor advocacy with a platform to build support and momentum for programming aimed at educating campus and surrounding communities in primary prevention efforts,” Greer said.

OSU is working to make the most of the momentum that has been created in recent months, Greer said. The Alcohol, Drug, and Violence Prevention Center housed in Student Health Services is revitalizing the prevention education curriculum available to students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, partnerships have been forged with fellow campus departments and community organizations to better reach and meet student needs.

“The ADVPC is working to create curriculum that provides a holistic approach and understanding to sexual violence through engaging workshops and presentations,” Greer said. “This programming will take a turn by discussing these topics through a truly preventive lens through discussions on consent, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention.”

OSU is taking steps to address the needs of survivors of sexual assault, including the creation of an on-campus center called The Advocacy Center for Survivors of Sexual Violence. It will be housed in Student Health Services and resources will be available to survivors 24 hours a day.

The center will provide students with a sexual violence response advocate whose primary purpose will be to provide students with support and informed options following any sexual assault. “This person will not only provide services to students who have experienced a sexual assault, but sexual harassment, stalking, domestic and dating violence as well,” Greer said. 

Services will also be available to individuals who have experienced trauma, whether they are student or staff. The advocate will play a key role in creating connections between survivors and the confidential services already available on campus such as Sexual Assault Support Services, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, and Counseling and Psychological Services; as well as provide options available to survivors who wish to report incidents, which include the Office of Equity and Inclusion and Oregon State Police.   

Media Contact: 

Kelsey Greer, 541-737-7880; Kelsey.greer@oregonstate.edu

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

Media Contact: 

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

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Thomas Buergenthal

Thomas Buergenthal

World of craft beer label art on display at Valley Library

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new exhibit that showcases the art and design of craft brewing will open Wednesday, April 1, in the Valley Library's Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

It will be open through May 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended hours on each Tuesday until 8 p.m. 

“The Art of Beer: What's on the Outside?” includes examples of the talents of bottle and label artists from breweries such as Deschutes, Gigantic, Hair of the Dog, Hopworks Urban Brewery, McMenamins, Ninkasi, Oregon Trail, and Rogue.

Also included in the exhibit are:

  • Sections on the process of fine art and graphic design from John Foyston, Eric Steen, the mural artists at McMenamins, and Karl Edwards;
  • The art of video documentaries about the craft of brewing from Hopstories;
  • Items like clothing, coasters, growlers, glasses, and stickers;
  • Several panels from a 2014 Springfield Museum exhibit Beyond the Label;
  • Items from the OSU Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives collections.

The Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives was established in 2013 to collect, preserve, and share the story of the hops and craft brewing industries in Oregon. Additions to the collection are welcome.

 More information is available online at http://bit.ly/1j3XVPP


Media Contact: 

Tiah Edmunson-Morgan, 541-737-7387

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The ephemera of Rogue

Doctor, investigative journalist to speak at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Dr. Richard Besser, a physician, former administrator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nationally-known investigative journalist will speak at Oregon State University on Monday, April 13, as part of the Provost’s Lecture Series.

Besser will present “A View From Both Sides of the Camera: Using Television to Promote Public Health.” The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Austin Auditorium of the LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., on the Corvallis campus. It is free and open to the public.

Besser has covered major medical news stories around the world for ABC, including several recent trips to Liberia to cover the Ebola outbreak. At the CDC, Besser was director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. His previous medical work included the epidemiology of food-borne diseases and pediatric tuberculosis.

His reporting has received numerous awards, including an Emmy nomination in 2011 for a piece on umbilical cord blood banking. He received two Peabody Awards as part of his work at ABC, and published his first book, “Tell Me the Truth, Doctor: Easy-to-Understand Answers to Your Most Confusing and Critical Health Questions,” in 2013.

Creating healthy people, a healthy planet and a healthy economy are top priorities for OSU, which has the state’s first accredited school of public health. For more on health-based research at the university, see the winter edition of Terra Research Magazine.

Media Contact: 

Shelly Signs, 541-737-0724; shelly.signs@oregonstate.edu

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Richard Besser Dr. Richard Besser

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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Siuslaw National Forest transition from timber to ecology to be focus of April 2 public meeting

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The Siuslaw National Forest has seen a transition from timber production to restoration ecology and has now hit a “sweet spot” that combines both, says Jim Furnish, former supervisor of the Siuslaw and retired deputy chief with the U.S. Forest Service. Furnish describes his own journey during the tumultuous decades of the Northwest timber wars in a new book, Toward a Natural Forest: The Forest Service in Transition, published this spring by the OSU Press.

In the 1990s, the Forest Service took a “radical departure” from its emphasis on timber to other priorities, Furnish said. “My memoir relates the journey from despair to hope, building a new forestry paradigm based on restoring naturalness to a landscape,” he wrote on an OSU Press blog, “Future of the Forest.”

On April 2, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, Furnish will participate in a panel discussion on the dramatic shift in forest management. The meeting is open to the public and will include the premier showing of a new 25-minute documentary, Seeing the Forest, by independent journalist and filmmaker Alan Honick of Seattle.

In addition to Furnish, panelists will include Jerry Ingersoll, supervisor of the Siuslaw National Forest; Norm Johnson, distinguished professor of forestry at Oregon State University; and Chandra LeGue, Western Oregon field coordinator of Oregon Wild. Gordon Grant, research hydrologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Lab, will moderate.

Furnish will have copies of his book available for sale through the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Library.

He is a consulting forester in the Washington, D.C., area following a 34-year career with the Forest Service. He was instrumental in creating the roadless area conservation rule and garnering support for a policy that favored restoration over timber production in the Siuslaw National Forest.


About the OSU Press: The OSU Press plays a vital role in the cultural and literary life of the Pacific Northwest by providing readers with a better understanding of the region. The press specializes in scholarly and general interest books about the history, culture, literature, environment, and natural resources of the state and region.

Media Contact: 

Jim Furnish, 240-271-1650

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OSU names Susan Tornquist dean of veterinary medicine

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Susan Tornquist, who has been interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine  at Oregon State University since October of 2013, has been named dean of the college.

Tornquist has been on the faculty at Oregon State since 1996 and previously was associate dean of student and academic affairs in the college, where she also is a professor of clinical pathology.

“Sue Tornquist has been a very effective leader for the College of Veterinary Medicine over the past 17 months, and has demonstrated that she has the very best interests of the college at heart and the skill set for enhancing the college’s education, clinical services, research and outreach,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU’s provost and executive vice president.

While Tornquist was interim dean, the college surpassed its fund-raising goal of $47 million through The Campaign for OSU; again received full accreditation in 2014 from the American Veterinary Medicine Association; launched a new graduate program in comparative health sciences; and saw the class of 2014 achieve a 100 percent pass rate for the national board exam for veterinarians.

Tornquist said the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine has a bright future.

“We are looking forward to great opportunities for research and strengthened clinical capabilities in oncology and infectious diseases and continued collaboration with Oregon Humane Society in providing experiential learning opportunities for veterinary students while providing needed veterinary services for animals in need,” Tornquist said.

“There are also new opportunities and initiatives in One Health for undergraduate students,” she added. “We hope to see expansion in both instructional and clinical facilities in the next five years.”

As associate dean, Tornquist helped the college grow its enrollment, coordinate student internships, build partnerships with the Oregon Humane Society and other organizations, and make student experiential learning a hallmark of the program.

Tornquist received her veterinary medical degree from Colorado State University and her doctorate in veterinary pathology from Washington State University. Her research interests have focused on immune responses to infectious and metabolic diseases in animals, particularly llama and alpacas.

Before coming to Oregon State, she was on the veterinary medicine faculty at Washington State University from 1990-96. She also has been a research associate in New Mexico’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services office; an associate veterinarian in private practice in New Mexico; and a teaching and research assistant at the University of New Mexico.

Tornquist succeeds Cyril Clarke as dean, who resigned in 2013 to become dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

Media Contact: 

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

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Susan Tornquist

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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