college of liberal arts

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.

Media Contact: 

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.

Media Contact: 

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.

Media Contact: 

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.

Media Contact: 

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


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

Women in science and technology focus of January Science Pub

CORVALLIS, Ore. – While schools, universities and government agencies promote science and technology careers to school girls, women still lag men in so-called STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math.

At the Jan. 12 Corvallis Science Pub, Sarina Saturn will review the status of women in these fields nationally and discuss how she and other Oregon State University researchers are attempting to diversify the science workforce.

Last fall, Oregon State received a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to recruit, retain and promote women in STEM fields and the social and behavioral sciences. Saturn, an assistant professor in OSU’s School of Psychological Science, is a co-investigator on the grant.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women comprise about 48 percent of the U.S. workforce but hold only 24 percent of jobs in STEM fields. This disparity is also reflected in higher education. At OSU in 2012, women made up 23 percent of the faculty in STEM fields, including the social and behavioral sciences.

The Science Pub presentation is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. 2nd St. in Corvallis. Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Media Contact: 

Sarina Saturn, 541-737-1366

OSU Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement joins Latino consortium

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement has been selected to join the Inter-University Program for Latino Research, a national consortium of university-based centers dedicated to the advancement of Latino research in the United States.

OSU’s center, also known as CL@SE, is the first Latino research center in the Pacific Northwest to join the prestigious network. The consortium includes 25 university research centers, among them the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at the City University of New York and the Chicano Studies Research Center at University of California, Los Angeles.

Membership in the consortium gives CL@SE the opportunity to partner with other network affiliates to apply for grants and work collaboratively on projects such as community-based research; exploration of the future of Latino/a studies at land-grant universities; and research on issues such as youth and community empowerment; health and wellness; education; socio-economic well-being; and historical and cultural awareness, said Ron Mize, director of the center.

Membership in the consortium, coupled with CL@SE’s community organization partnerships in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Colorado, means the needs of Latinos and Latinas in the Northwest can be heard at the national level, Mize said.

Goals of the consortium include increasing the availability of policy-relevant, Latino-focused research and expanding the pool of scholars and leaders in the field. The organization is headquartered at the University of Illinois at Chicago and also has an office in Washington, D.C.

Media Contact: 

Ron Mize, 541-737-8803, ron.mize@oregonstate.edu

Author Kazim Ali to read at Oregon State on Nov. 21

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Author Kazim Ali will read poetry at Oregon State University on Friday, Nov 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library Rotunda. A question and answer session and book signing will follow this free, public event.

Ali is a poet, essayist, fiction writer, and translator. He has written several volumes of poetry, including “Sky Ward,” “The Fortieth Day,” and “The Far Mosque,” which won the Alice James Books New England/New York Award.

Of “The Far Mosque,” Lucille Clifton said: “The author has managed to render into the English language the universal inner voice. These poems talk to the reader from the realm in which we are all human.”

Ali’s work in translation includes “Water's Footfall” by Sohrab Sepehri and, with Libby Murphy, “L’amour,” by Marguerite Duras. His novel, “Quinn’s Passage,” was named one of the “Best Books of 2005,” by Chronogram magazine. His books of essays include “Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence,” and “Fasting for Ramadan.”

Ali, an associate professor of creative writing and comparative literature at Oberlin College, is also a contributing editor for AWP Writers Chronicle and associate editor for the literary magazine FIELD, as well as founding editor of the small press Nightboat Books.

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 program is supported by OSU Libraries and Press, the School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, OSU’s Center for the Humanities, 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.

Media Contact: 

Contact: Karen Holmberg, Karen.holmberg@oregonstate.edu

Auditions for OSU production of ‘Anne Frank’ to be held Nov. 16 and 17

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions for Oregon State University Theatre’s winter production, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 17 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

Auditions are open to all OSU students, staff, and faculty and Corvallis community members. Auditions will consist of cold-readings from the script. Scripts are available to check out from the Theatre Arts office in Withycombe 141.

The play is a new adaptation by Wendy Kesselman of the original by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. It tells the true story of a young Jewish girl and her family in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands from June, 1942, to August, 1944.

Roles include the title character, Anne Frank; her father, Otto; her mother, Edith; her sister, Margot; Miep Gies; Peter Van Daan; Mrs. Van Daan; Mr. Dussel; Mr. Kraler and three male Nazis.

A read-through of the play will be held in early December and regular rehearsals begin in January, 2015. Rehearsals will be held from 2-6 p.m. Sundays and 6-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday each week.  Performances will be held Feb. 12-14 and Feb. 20-22, 2015.  

For more information, contact Director Elizabeth Helman at Elizabeth.helman@oregonstate.edu

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OSU Theatre to present ‘Mother Courage’ in November

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present Bertolt Brecht’s classic anti-war fable, “Mother Courage and Her Children.” Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13-14 and Nov. 21-22, and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 16 and Nov. 23 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

“Mother Courage and Her Children” is the first production of the 2014-15 OSU Theatre season, which has the theme, “War and Remembrance.” The play, originally written in the late 1930s as an anti-war play, is a powerful and thought-provoking drama that grapples with themes of family, survival and the true cost of war.

The production captures the human drama and collateral damage of armed conflict through a tight ensemble of performers and embraces Brecht’s vivid, theatrical style.

“Indeed, Brecht tells us virtually nothing of the war, but rather uses it as a loose background to present the personal and emotional impact that battle has on its victims, perpetrators and especially profiteers,” said director George Caldwell, a member of the OSU Theatre faculty.

A small core of Oregon State Theatre ensemble players will portray a total of 36 characters. Never leaving the stage, ensemble members perform a variety of roles, change costumes, move scenery and create sound effects before the audience, creating a kind of dynamic production rarely seen on stage. The production also includes original music composed by OSU music faculty member Tina Bull and student J. Garrett Luna.

The cast features OSU students Kolby S. Baethke, Daniel Barber, Elise Barberis, Grant Burns, Burke DeBoer, Sidney King, Anna Elise Mahaffey, Luis Miranda, Alyssa Monning, Emily Peters, Alex Reis, Alexandria Shonk, Alex Small, Teri Straley, Sarah Sutton, Kelsea Vierra and Cory Warren. Community members Angie DeMorgan and Scott Trout also join the cast.

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 541-737-2784.

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Oregon State University to offer religious studies degree program

CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than 20 years after the religious studies degree program was eliminated, Oregon State University is bringing it back. OSU students will be able to declare religious studies as a major beginning with the upcoming winter term.

The religious studies degree will emphasize religious literacy, helping students understand how religion shapes the world and affects society, said Amy Koehlinger, an assistant professor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion in the College of Liberal Arts at OSU.

“Religion is one of the most powerful social, economic and political forces in the world,” she said. “Given how fast globalization is occurring, religious literacy is becoming more and more important.”

Religious studies is the study of religion in an academic setting, with an emphasis on skills such as critical thinking, discernment, deliberation, responsibility, courage and civility. The program will emphasize how religion is used to make sense of the world, in good ways and in bad, Koehlinger said.

“A religious studies major gives students the opportunity to have a deep understanding of religion as a powerful social force,” she said. “Students are trained to think critically and neutrally, and with a lot of subtlety about religion.”

The religious studies program is housed in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion, but faculty members from throughout the College of Liberal Arts will teach courses for the new degree, Koehlinger said. The interdisciplinary approach to the study of religion will include courses in history, philosophy, anthropology, art, literature and film.

One area of emphasis is on the religions of Southeast Asia, including Budhhism, Hinduism and Islam. Associate Professor Stuart Sarbacker is an expert on the religions of India and Associate Professor Hung-Yok Ip is an expert on China.

Another area of emphasis is on religion and ethics as they relate to sexuality, friendship, forgiveness, end-of-life issues, the environment and medicine, said Courtney Campbell, the Hundere Professor in Religion and Culture at OSU.

The new program is well-suited to students who are interested in working internationally, in business, international relations or other fields; it’s also a good choice for students interested in graduate school in law, medicine or politics, Koehlinger said.

Students can earn a bachelor of arts, a bachelor of science or an honors bachelor of arts or science degree in religious studies. A minor in religious studies is also available. The new degrees were approved by the OSU Board of Trustees over the summer, with final approval from the state Higher Education Coordinating Committee, Campbell said.

The 2014 Ideas Matter lecture series sponsored by the Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture will help showcase and celebrate the new major. The lecture series, titled “Healings and Hurtings: Religion, Self and the Body,” will focus on the connection between religion and the body.

Lectures are scheduled for Oct. 27, Nov. 5, Nov. 10 and Nov. 18. All events are free and open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Journey Room in the Memorial Union on the OSU campus in Corvallis. For a full listing of speakers and topics, visit http://bit.ly/ZtmVYj.

Media Contact: 

Amy Koehlinger, 541-737-3433 or amy.koehlinger@oregonstate.edu; Courtney Campbell, 541-737-6196 or ccampbell@oregonstate.edu