people programs and events

Artist Ben Buswell to speak at OSU, exhibit work at Fairbanks Gallery

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Ben Buswell, an award-winning sculptor and multimedia artist, will speak and exhibit work at Oregon State University as part of the School of Arts & Communication’s Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series.

Buswell will exhibit embellished photographs, mixed media drawings, sculpture and acrylic on canvas in the Fairbanks Gallery on the OSU campus in Corvallis May 2 through May 25.

On Wednesday, May 4, he will give a talk in Fairbanks Gallery at 5 p.m. A reception will be held prior to the talk at 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Buswell also will speak in art classes and critique student work that day.

Buswell, a native of Dallas, Oregon, received a bachelor of fine arts from OSU in 2001. He went on to study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned a master’s degree in 2004 and a master’s in fine art in 2005.

His work is temporal in nature, spanning a variety of media, from ceramics to incised photographs, using processes such as doubling and repetitive mark-making.

“I am always touching the world in an effort to build an intuitive sense of how materials communicate through their presence,” Buswell said in an artist’s statement about his work.

“I have a firm belief that we exist only through our bodies, that we are wholly physical things. So material and sculptural presence, as surrogates for this idea, are embedded in the way I think about content. My work is the interaction of the spaces between things: more specifically the space between us. I am looking for the space right before the story is told, the place where we agree to listen.”

Buswell has received a Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts, supported by the Ford Family Foundation. His work appears in numerous public and private collections and has also been supported by grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the Oregon Arts Commission. He lives and works in Portland and is represented by Upfor Gallery.

The Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The School of Arts & Communication’s Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture series brings world-renowned artists and scholars to campus to interact with students so they can learn what is required of a professional artist or scholar.

Story By: 

Michael Boonstra, 541.737.5017, michael.boonstra@oregonstate.edu 

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"Wasps," graphite on paper, 2008. Photo by Mario Gallucci, courtesy of the artist and Upfor Gallery.


The Phi Beta Kappa Society to install new chapter at OSU April 28

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society, will install a new chapter at Oregon State University at a special ceremony on Thursday, April 28.

The Epsilon of Oregon chapter will become the 286th Phi Beta Kappa chapter installed in the society’s 240-year history. The installation, led by Phi Beta Kappa President Catherine White Berheide, begins at 6 p.m. in Room 100 of the Learning Innovation Center on OSU’s Corvallis campus. It is free and open to the public.

Immediately following the installation, the new chapter will induct its first class of members. About 200 Oregon State University juniors and seniors will be recognized for their accomplishments in the liberal arts and sciences.

The new chapter also will induct four notable individuals as members, called Foundation members, selected in honor of their achievements, as well as their ongoing commitment to the arts and sciences. They are: writer, journalist, and educator Ta-Nehisi Coates, and OSU graduates Jon DeVaan, Patricia Reser and Patrick Stone. A chapter many induct chapter Foundation members only at installation.

Coates will offer a video message at the ceremony; he is planning a visit to OSU in the future to acknowledge his induction, meet with students and give a public lecture.

OSU President Edward J. Ray, who has been a member of Phi Beta Kappa since he was inducted during his studies at Queens College in the City University of New York, will also provide remarks at the event.

“I am genuinely pleased that we are now able to offer Phi Beta Kappa membership to some of Oregon State’s many high-achieving students,” Ray said. “Becoming a member of Phi Beta Kappa had a profound impact on my life and on my career as a higher education leader.”

When Ray was in college, he could not afford the membership fee, but a family friend generously paid it for him. That inspired Ray and his late wife, Beth, to set up a fund to make sure OSU students with similar financial limitations aren’t prevented from becoming members.

The Kay Bowers Fund for Phi Beta Kappa Students, established by the Rays, will provide assistance for eligible students who don’t have the resources to pay the society’s lifetime membership fee.

Because of the generosity of the Rays and with support from OSU administrators Larry Rodgers, Sastry Pantula, Toni Doolen and Susie Brubaker-Cole, OSU is covering membership fees for all students in the inaugural class of inductees, said Christopher McKnight Nichols, an assistant professor of history at OSU and vice president-elect of the new chapter.

“The level of commitment OSU has displayed in encouraging and advancing student achievement is truly remarkable,” said Phi Beta Kappa Secretary John Churchill. “The faculty and staff have worked together to create an environment that embodies academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. OSU Phi Beta Kappa graduates will be tomorrow’s critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers. We are very pleased to recognize OSU’s commitment and look forward to the chapter’s bright future.”

Only about 10 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities shelter Phi Beta Kappa chapters. Prospective inductees are usually seniors among the top 10 percent of their graduating class who have completed a broad range of liberal arts and science coursework, including foreign language study and mathematics. Exceptional students meeting the society’s requirements may also be considered as juniors.

Story By: 

Tara Williams, 541-737-6412; tara.williams@oregonstate.edu; Christopher McKnight Nichols, 541-737-8910, Christopher.nichols@oregonstate.edu

OSU Theatre to host reading of ‘La Gringa’ in its 20th anniversary season

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The longest running off-Broadway Spanish language play, now in its 20th season, will be the focus of a public reading on Wednesday, May 4, at Oregon State University. 

“La Gringa” is the story of a young woman from New York who goes to Puerto Rico in search of her roots by finding her extended family. Her over-enthusiasm for what she calls her “homeland” leads to an array of complications and comic dialogue.

A cast of OSU students, faculty, staff and community members will present the reading, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Withycombe Lab Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way. It is free and open to the public. Because of the set configuration, latecomers cannot be seated.

The cast includes Mayela Delatorre (Maria), Laura Galindo (Iris), Kerstin Colón (Norma), Oscar Montemayor (Victor), Eldon dela Cruz (Ramon), Steven Evans-Renteria (narrator), and Juan Guzman (Manolo). The reading is presented by OSU’s School of Arts & Communication’s University Theatre.

“La Gringa” premiered in New York City and is still being presented there by Repertorio Español Theater. The OSU reading is the fourth and final installment of OSU’s Latin@ Theatre Project, funded through the Memorial Union Foundation Pepsi Endowment. 

Susana Rivera-Mills, OSU’s vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies, said the series has been transformational.

“Theater provides a safe place in which to reflect on one’s experience, confront difficult human realities, and challenge our own sense of identity and knowledge of others as not being set in concrete, but always evolving and adapting,” Rivera-Mills said. “Latina plays give voice to a population that isn’t always seen or heard.

“I believe that these artistic expressions of diverse perspectives will help us better understand the experiences of our various campus communities.”

Other plays in the series have been readings of Elaine Romero’s “Wetback,” Milagro Theatre’s “Broken Promises” and Josefina Lopez’s “Real Women Have Curves.”



Story By: 

Charlotte Headrick, 541-737-4918, cheadrick@oregonstate.edu

OSU student media earns national, regional honors

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Society of Professional Journalists has named The Daily Barometer the best all-around daily student newspaper in Region 10, which includes Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska.

The Oregon State University student newspaper also took first place in sports column writing and other honors for breaking news and sports writing.

Additionally, members of Oregon State student media’s Orange Media Network have received a number of other recent awards:

  • KBVR-TV's "Beaver News" won best public affairs program - non-commercial, from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters 2015 OAB "Awards for Excellence” 
  • KBVR-TV (Producers Gabe Fremonti and Sean Watson) have been nominated for a NATAS Northwest (College Emmy) Award for short form non-fiction for State of the Arts: Episode 2 - Evelyn Kritler (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF_EU2apbK4)
  • KBVR-FM took first place in the College Media Association Apple Awards (a national contest) for best radio promo; DAMchic took second place in design in this contest, and The Daily Barometer took third place in social media.

"Media is a constant evolution, and our Orange Media Network teams are at the start of their own revolution,” said Steven Sandberg, Orange Media journalism coordinator and adviser for The Daily Barometer, KBVR-TV, KBVR-FM.

“This year, those big steps were about investing in their skills. They now hold daily reviews with reporters, have regular critiques with advisers and lead their own workshops with staff. Our students' willingness to learn and try new things has increased the quality of their work, and these awards show that.”

Story By: 

Candace Baltz, 541-737-4615; candace.baltz@oregonstate.edu

“Loosely Bound: A Ten-Year Creative Journey” opens for first public viewing

CORVALLIS, Ore. – This year’s fiber show, “Loosely Bound: A Ten Year Creative Journey,” will be displayed at Oregon State University from April 26 through May 26.


The exhibit will be in the Giustina Gallery at The LaSells Stewart Center. A free reception will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, to celebrate the show’s opening and introduce the artists.


Nancy Bryant was inspired to start a fiber group in 2005, and members chose the name “Loosely Bound.” It reflects the ties they have to each other and the traditions they come from, but also the respect they have for their differences in design, interests, technique, and palette.


“Our original members all knew someone who was interested in joining the group and soon we had to limit the number of members to about 10-13 artists to keep the momentum and energy,” Bryant said. “It started out as mostly ‘art quilts’ but we do more than just quilts.”


Some of the artists use a variety of painting and felting techniques. Bryant is experimenting using alcohol inks.


“You can scrunch plastic wrap around the fabric and get all these unique forms and patterns,” she said.


She is often inspired by leaves, trees and flowers and tries to capture the color and texture of nature’s bounty.


Member Cheryl Jordan uses a combination of techniques.


“I don’t have to use traditional methods,” Jordan said. “I can glue, sew, slash, etc. There are so many options.” She enjoys experimenting with a variety of construction and surface design techniques to create pattern and texture.


This show is a culmination of projects from the last 10 years.  The group works together collaboratively on challenges or large group pieces for exhibitions. A member will often present an idea and then see who is up for a challenge. All members are not required to participate.


Challenges can take up to a year to complete. The Whisper Challenge has been one of the most creative pieces the members created. The first person works from a picture and starts a piece, then the second artist is given the first piece without seeing the original image. After about a month a third artist is given only the second artist’s creation without seeing the original. Each artist creates a piece based off the previous artist’s interpretation of the theme.


The 2008 group project entitled “Benton County Vistas Mary’s Peak” is an example of how each artist was giving part of a photograph and was able to create their own interpretation of the piece or panel they were given. Their recent group challenge “Abundance” was exhibited at the Canby Public Library and was also part of the Quilt County Exhibit.


More information about the group and examples of their work can be found at http://looselybound.net

The Giustina Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is located on the OSU campus at 875 S.W. 26th Street. Parking is available in the Reser parking lot across the street for $1 per hour from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


For more information about this show and upcoming exhibits is available at http://oregonstate.edu/lasells/gallery

Story By: 
Media Contact: 

Tina Green-Price, 541-737-3116, tina.green-price@oregonstate.edu


Lauri Morris, 541-737-8947, lauri.morris@oregonstate.edu

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Benton County Vistas Mary's Peak

Mary's Peak

Oregon State names Jennifer Dennis dean of the OSU Graduate School

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jennifer Dennis, who came to Oregon State University last summer as associate dean of the OSU Graduate School, has been named vice provost and dean of the graduate school. Her appointment is effective Monday, April 25.

Before coming to OSU, she was on the Purdue University faculty for 11 years with a joint appointment in the departments of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Agricultural Economics, with an emphasis in specialty crops and consumer behavior.

Dennis succeeds Brenda McComb, dean of the graduate school since 2011, who in January was named senior vice provost for Academic Affairs at OSU. “Dr. Dennis is an innovative leader, with a natural ability to build alliances and advance the goals of the Graduate School,” said McComb, who recruited Dennis to Oregon State. “She is exactly the correct person to lead our efforts to ensure that every graduate student has the opportunity to succeed.”

As vice provost and dean of the Oregon State Graduate School, Dennis will provide leadership for graduate education and serve as an advocate for graduate students. She was active at Purdue in mentoring graduate students, as well as post-doctoral researchers, junior faculty and students of color. She was an adviser to the Black Student Union and the Black Graduate Student Union at Purdue and is the adviser for the Black Graduate Student Association at Oregon State.

“In the few months she has been here, Dr. Dennis has shown a wonderful balance of leadership, advocacy and passion for graduate student education,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president. “She brings a strong commitment to our institutional values of collaboration, shared governance, diversity and inclusivity.

“She will help Oregon State University continue to advance interdisciplinary graduate education and develop and foster our graduate student community.”

Dennis has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in horticulture from Michigan State University with a minor in marketing and consumer behavior.

Oregon State University has more than 4,500 graduate students, comprising nearly 15 percent of the overall student body. About 30 percent of the graduate students at OSU are international students. The university conferred nearly 1,100 graduate degrees and 82 graduate certificates at its 2015 commencement ceremony.

Graduate education and research are among the university’s foremost missions, Randhawa said. The university offers 77 majors at the master’s level, 57 majors at the doctoral level, 84 graduate minors, and 12 graduate certificates across its 11 colleges.

Randhawa said graduate students “are critical to the success of OSU’s research enterprise,” which last year brought in $308 million.

Story By: 

Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111

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Jennifer Dennis

OSU history professor awarded prestigious Carnegie fellowship

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Christopher McKnight Nichols, an assistant professor of history at Oregon State University, has been chosen as a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, a prestigious academic fellowship for social sciences and humanities scholars.

The Carnegie fellowship, supported by the Carnegie Corp. of New York, assists scholars, journalists and authors whose work in the social sciences and humanities distills knowledge, enriches culture, and equips leaders in fields of science, law, technology, business and public policy.

In all, 33 distinguished scholars from across the nation were selected from more than 200 nominees. Each will receive up to $200,000 to fund one to two years of scholarly research and writing aimed at addressing some of the world’s most urgent challenges to U.S. democracy and international order.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow,” Nichols said. “The package of support this fellowship offers is unique for an historian or humanities scholar. Carnegie assistance is going to allow me to pursue an ambitious research and writing agenda as well as a plan for outreach and engagement on a set of historical issues with clear contemporary relevance, which I otherwise could not do.”

Nichols plans to research and write a book entitled “American Isolationism,” about isolation and internationalism in foreign affairs, from the founding of the United States to the present. It also will examine how American foreign relations affect domestic policies. In addition, he plans to host a summer institute on ideas and foreign policy and a conference on isolationism, democracy and international order.

“Though Professor Nichols is early in a very promising career, he has already become a national leader in the intellectual and political history of United States foreign relations,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “Beyond the originality and scope of his project, Professor Nichols’ work promises to richly inform our present debates about the proper role of United States intervention abroad.” 

Nichols teaches in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. He is an expert on the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world, particularly in the areas of isolationism, internationalism and globalization, and is the author numerous works, including the book “Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age,” which traces the origins of modern American isolationism and internationalism.

He also launched the “Citizenship and Crisis” initiative at OSU in 2014. The initiative began as an effort to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I and has expanded to now include a wide array of programming focused on domestic and global aspects of citizenship as well as engaged democracy. The goal of the initiative, which includes a series of lectures, town halls and other events, is to examine how the concept of citizenship has changed over time and in moments of crisis.

Nichols, who joined OSU in 2012, earned his doctorate at the University of Virginia. He was recently elected as a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, non-partisan organization that serves as a think tank and educational resource on foreign policy and international issues.

Story By: 

Christopher McKnight Nichols, 541-737-8910, Christopher.nichols@oregonstate.edu 

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Christopher McKnight Nichols

Christopher Nichols

OSU to observe Holocaust Memorial Week events May 1-6

CORVALLIS, Ore. –Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor will speak at Oregon State University in Corvallis and in Portland as part of the university’s 30th annual observance of Holocaust Memorial Week May 1-6.

Kor, a Rumanian Jew, and her family were transported to Auschwitz in 1944, and her parents and two older sisters were killed in the camp. Kor and her sister Miriam were spared because they were twins. They were turned over to Joseph Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor, who performed experiments on them and other twins.

After the war ended, Kor spent time in Israel and later immigrated to the U.S., where she settled in Terre Haute, Indiana. In 1984, she founded the organization CANDLES, or Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors, and located 122 other living survivors of the Mengele twin experiments.

She will present the talk “The Triumph of the Human Spirit: From Auschwitz to Forgiveness” at events in Corvallis and Portland. She will speak at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at Congregation Beth Israel, 1972 N.W. Flanders, Portland; and at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 2, in the Austin Auditorium at the LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

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: 

  • Close to Home: Eugenics in the United States – and at Oregon State: A panel discussion featuring Kristin Johnson, Linda Richards and Michael Dicianna, focusing on the period from 1900 to 1970, when eugenics, including forced sterilization to eliminate undesirable traits from the gene pool, was taught at Oregon State. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, Construction and Engineering Auditorium in the LaSells Stewart Center.
  • What Have We Learned About Genocide Prevention?: A talk by Professor Scott Straus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison focusing on the causes of genocide and what can be done to reduce the likelihood of genocidal campaigns in the future. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, in the Construction and Engineering Auditorium.
  • Building the Case Against Perpetrators of Genocide: Lawrence Douglas, the James J. Garfield Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College, will discuss how prosecutors gathered and used evidence in the Nuremberg trials and later in the trials of Adolf Eichmann and John Demjanjuk. He will also examine how the trials shaped historical memory. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, in the Construction and Engineering Auditorium.
  • Social Justice Conference on Human Rights: Students will read papers and discuss issues relating to dignity at the annual conference. This year’s event will focus on immigration and questions of migration, borders, marginality and identity. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 6, in the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, 311 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

For more information about the events, visit holocaust.oregonstate.edu.

Story By: 

Natalia Bueno, 541-737-8560, Natalia.Bueno@oregonstate.edu

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Eva Mozes Kor

Eva Mozes Kor

“Entrepreneurs in residence” will expand assistance to new, high-growth potential companies

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Advantage Accelerator/ RAIN Corvallis team at Oregon State University has hired two “entrepreneurs in residence” to expand current programing, support program graduates, and help identify and assist new, high-growth potential ventures. 

The two executives will provide guidance to companies during the critical early-startup growth stage, help develop ideas and guide companies toward making these ideas a reality, officials say. 

"EIRs have been hired to do three specific tasks for the OSU Advantage Accelerator program,” said Karl Mundorff, co-director of the program. “We want them to help determine the viability of research projects, act as mentors to our mentors, and provide mentoring to our rapidly growing range of client companies.”

It’s also possible, Mundorff said, that the executives could take a “deep dive” into a promising, high-growth venture and act in an interim, senior executive role as the company works through a particular market challenge, or just needs some additional talent at a critical time. EIRs can bring significant value to early stage ventures and help bridge the gap between initial company viability and quality market traction, he said.

The new “entrepreneurs in residence are:

  • Erick Petersen, an entrepreneur in Portland and Bend for more than 15 years, part of the founding team behind the Bend Venture Conference and an active angel investor. Petersen, an OSU alumnus, spent 10 years as an executive at Planar Systems, and most recently was an executive at a successful Bend company in the solar power industry.
  • Mike Magee, a serial entrepreneur for more than 30 years in the Corvallis area and a champion of entrepreneurship, launched the first “Startup Weekend” and mentored a wide array of founders and their firms. His own successful technology ventures have ranged from hardware, software and services, to synthetic fuels and Belle Vallee Cellars, a successful local winery.

The OSU Advantage Accelerator is one component of the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, or Oregon RAIN. With support from the Oregon legislature, collaborators on the initiative include OSU; the University of Oregon; the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis and Albany; and other economic development organizations.

All the participants are focused on creating new businesses, spinning out technology from OSU, expanding existing local business, creating jobs and helping to build the Oregon and national economy.


Story By: 

Anna Walsh, 541- 368-5206


OSU Goes Beyond Earth Day

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s annual Earth Day celebration will take place April 18-29. Called “Beyond Earth Day,” the two-week celebration will feature more than 20 events that focus on environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

“Beyond Earth Day gets its name from the recognition that sustainability is more than just about the environment, but also social and economic sustainability,” said Kyle Reed, outreach assistant for campus recycling. “The name also reflects that we couldn’t possibly fit all of the festivities and workshops into a single day.”

One of the largest events during the celebration will be the 16th Annual Community Fair on Tuesday, April 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Student Experience Center Plaza. The fair will feature more than 40 campus and community groups hosting booths and activities geared toward holistic sustainability.

The annual HooHaa will take place starting at 3:30 p.m., on Earth Day, April 22, at the Organic Growers Club farm. It will offer free food, music, a silent auction, and a chance to enjoy the company of the community while planting onions. A free shuttle will leave every 15 minutes from the OSU Bookstore from 3:30-7 p.m. 

Another event, the Earth Day of Service, will offer OSU students and staff volunteer opportunities with several different service projects. Times and locations for the service projects vary, but all will take place on Saturday, April 23. Further details and sign-ups for each of the service projects may be found at http://sli.oregonstate.edu/cce/events/earth-day

Other events will include movie screenings, workshops, an Earth Ball, and the construction of the Earth Justice Mural. A full listing of events, including times and details, may be found at http://tiny.cc/earth-calendar

Beyond Earth Day is an annual celebration sponsored by several OSU groups, including Campus Recycling, the Student Sustainability Initiative, and the Sustainability Office. More information about Beyond Earth Day may be found at: http://tiny.cc/beyondearthday


Story By: 

Andrea Norris, 541-737-5398, andrea.norris@oregonstate.edu