OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of liberal arts

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 names Karplus, Lewis as 2015 Distinguished Professors

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has named Andrew Karplus and Jon Lewis as its 2015 Distinguished Professor recipients – the highest honor the university can give to faculty members.

They will carry the title as long as they are actively engaged as faculty members  at Oregon State.

“Andy Karplus and Jon Lewis exemplify excellence, collaboration and leadership,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president. “In addition to making significant contributions in their respective fields, they are constantly engaging and challenging students and providing them with experiential learning opportunities. They also are caring mentors – to newer faculty as well as students.”

Karplus is a professor in the College of Science, where he has earned a reputation as one of the best structural biologists in the world – a description cited in his selection as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014. His research, which focuses on enzyme catalysis, protein evolution and structure, and crystallography, has been cited more than 15,000 times by other scientists.

He is known for his high standards in teaching, yet consistently gets top ratings from student evaluators. Karplus teaches a range of courses, from core offerings in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, to a course on protein evolution – his department’s most influential advanced elective.

Karplus also has been praised for his work as an academic adviser, research mentor and collaborator.

An OSU faculty member since 1999, Karplus has received numerous awards include a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health, three Alexander von Humboldt fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Lewis is a professor in the College of Liberal Arts who has written a dozen books on film studies, including two new books coming out this summer. He also is the editor of a ground-breaking 10-volume series of academic books on the history of the U.S. film craft that was underwritten by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He has been editor and advisory board member for the field’s leading peer-reviewed academic journal – the Cinema Journal – and has served as a juror for the American Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in the student film category. Lewis excels at taking students behind the scenes of the film industry and was executive producer for a video production series on major figures in the U.S. industry.

An OSU faculty member since 1983, Lewis has received numerous awards for his books, including the New York Times New and Noteworthy Paperback for “Hollywood v. Hard Core”; the Booklist Medal for “For Whom God Wishes to Destroy” and the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award for “Romance and Ruin.”

Both professors will give public lectures on campus this May 21 on topics related to their expertise.

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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

New marijuana policy course offered at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Students at Oregon State University will have a chance to help shape policies related to marijuana legalization in Oregon as part of a new public policy course taught this winter on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

“Marijuana Policy in the 21st Century” is a new sociology course developed by Seth Crawford, an instructor in the School of Public Policy in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. The course will examine some of the policy issues facing the state following the legalization of recreational marijuana by Oregon voters in November.

“We will be working with policymakers and stakeholders to help answer some of the biggest questions facing the state following the passage of Measure 91,” said Crawford, who is an expert on the policies and market structure of marijuana in Oregon.

Crawford also serves on the state’s Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana, which advises the director of the Oregon Department of Human Services on administrative aspects of the state’s medical marijuana program. He has provided expert testimony on marijuana-related policies in Oregon.

The new course will examine marijuana control strategies, methods for investigating marijuana markets and recent case studies in legalization. The course will culminate in the presentation of an evidenced-based, student-directed paper on policy recommendations for the OLCC and the Oregon Health Authority, Crawford said. Policies established by the OLCC will determine how marijuana would be produced, sold and distributed in Oregon.

The students will produce a collectively authored white paper of their recommendations; make group presentations that will be recorded and available for viewing by the public and stakeholders; and present findings to policymakers, Crawford said.

The new class is being held this winter term, which is under way and runs through March 20. With 50 students enrolled, the course is at capacity. Enrollees are a mix of graduate and undergraduate students, Crawford said.

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Seth Crawford, 541-760-5419, seth.crawford@oregonstate.edu

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Seth Crawford

Seth S. Crawford

OSU to host screening, discussion of ‘Paths of Glory’ in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon State University will host a screening and discussion of the 1957 Stanley Kubrick film, “Paths of Glory,” beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the NW Film Center at the Portland Art Museum.

The film will be introduced by Jon Lewis, professor of film studies at OSU and author of eight books on cinema and cultural studies. Lewis will give a brief talk and then he and OSU history professor Christopher McKnight Nichols will lead a discussion with the audience on the film, Kubrick’s work and World War I following the screening.

“Paths of Glory” tells the story of a unit commander in the French army who must deal with the mutiny of his men after a failed attack during World War I. The film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, Adolphe Menjou as General Broulard and George Macready as General Mireau.

The screening is part of a larger initiative at OSU to commemorate the centennial of World War I and to explore that bloody conflict in light of its implications for citizenship in the United States and the world. The OSU series, “Citizenship and Crisis: On the Centenary of World War I," is led by the School of History, Philosophy and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, with additional support from the School of Writing, Literature and Film.

The screening will be held in the Whitsell Auditorium at the museum, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., Portland. Tickets are $9 or $8 for seniors and students. Admission is free for OSU students with valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1HP8e2T or at the door. A reception co-hosted by the OSU Alumni Association and the School of Writing, Literature, and Film will follow the film screening.

For more information on the screening or the event series, visit http://bit.ly/1yAFdps.

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Christopher McKnight Nichols, Christopher.nichols@oregonstate.edu

‘Call to Life,’ a duet of music and words, to be performed Jan. 21 in Corvallis

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer and philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore and concert pianist Rachelle McCabe will present a program in music and words, “In an Age of Extinction, A Call to Life,” on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Corvallis.

The program begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe St.  

The event is sponsored by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, and the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. Admission is free and the public is welcome.

In the program, McCabe will play Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme of Corelli.” Creating a “duet” of music and words, Moore will speak of the call to save Earth’s lives.

“The truths of our time are deeply challenging,” said Moore, an award-winning author who speaks across the country about the moral urgency of stopping a global carbon catastrophe. “In the face of on-rushing extinctions and chaotic climate change, we must feel called to safeguard Earth’s abundance of lives. Words alone cannot express the urgency for a moral response. And so we turn to music.”

Moore is a philosopher, environmental advocate, and writer at Oregon State whose most recent books are “Wild Comfort,” and “Moral Ground: Ethical Actions for a Planet in Peril,” which gathers testimony from the world’s moral leaders about our obligations to the future. She is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emerita at OSU and also is co-founder and senior fellow of the Spring Creek Project.

McCabe is a concert pianist and professor of music at OSU and has an international career as a concert artist and teacher. As a concerto soloist, she has performed with many orchestras including the Seattle, Pittsburgh, Victoria, and Oregon Symphonies. She has performed recitals in cities including Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Detroit; Seattle; Singapore; and Cambridge, United Kingdom, and has appeared on NPR's Performance Today and the CBC.

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Erin Sneller, 541-737-5592, erin.sneller@oregonstate.edu

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Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198, Charles.goodrich@oregonstate.edu