Latest news from the UO

  • SAIL launches 500 students on a course toward college

    First published in around the O on August 23rd. When Marissa McDaniel was a sophomore at Springfield High School, she was interested in college but wasn’t sure what to expect. “I had no reference for college,” she said. “I already knew I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t have a reason to.” But after three summers participating in the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning on the UO campus, McDaniel had a change of perspective. “It helped me see I could have a future,” she said. “It made me feel like I had a purpose.” McDaniel is about to start her second year at the UO and served this summer as a SAIL counselor. This summer marked SAIL’s 13th year at the UO. Founded by economics professors Bruce Blonigen and Bill Harbaugh, and funded largely by private gifts, the mentoring program is aimed at middle and high school students from underrepresented backgrounds, including lower-income and first-generation homes. The goal is to expose them to college life and encourage them to pursue higher education. Last spring, of the 98 high school seniors who participated in SAIL, 97 enrolled in college, including 41 at the UO, said SAIL Executive Director Lara Fernandez. “We believe in them,” she said. “We want to provide connections and show them all the opportunities that are here.” About 500 students registered for the week-long SAIL programs this summer, up 30 percent from last year, Fernandez said. Students participated in 18 different areas of study, including biology, product design, performing arts, environmental studies, physics and human physiology. “It’s all very experiential,” she said. “They’re doing.” That might mean walking along the Willamette River, working in a chemistry lab, identifying mutations in the zebrafish lab or participating in a music recording camp. Or even paying a visit to the UO’s cadaver lab. The lab, located in the basement of Klamath Hall, houses up to eight human cadavers, donated each spring to the UO so students taking advanced anatomy can dissect them. As SAIL students filed into the lab, graduate student Alia Yasen told them to take no photos and to respect the cadavers, reminding them the bodies were once someone’s mother, father, brother, sister. By turns, the students handled bones, brains and hearts before Yasen began opening the eight metal caskets to reveal cadavers that had been dissected by UO students earlier in the spring. Some students hung back, while others moved in to examine the bodies and touch organs and muscles. Emmy Sanchez, a South Eugene High School student, confessed to being a bit shocked by the sight of the bodies. But she’s interested in a career in a health profession so she knows understanding human anatomy is important.   Participating in SAIL has helped to bring her dream of a college education closer to reality, she said. “Doing SAIL has made me a lot more comfortable about coming here,” she said. “It’s a good bridge to understanding and being more comfortable around a university setting.” —By Tim Christie, University Communications

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  • Science Museum heads to the ballpark for UO STEM night

    First published in Around the O. The UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History is taking it to the ballgame. On Aug. 27, the museum’s educators will set up shop at PK Park, giving fans a sampling of their national award-winning, hands-on science outreach programs. The event, sponsored by Student Services and Enrollment Management, is designed to inspire participants to delve into studies and careers related to science, technology, engineering, and math — collectively known as the STEM fields.   “We want to celebrate and share what goes on under the university’s STEM umbrella with future scientists, engineers and mathematicians,” said Susi Thelen, the division’s outreach events coordinator. Thelen said the Duck will be there to welcome fans and families to the event. At the museum’s tables, attendees can explore volcanoes, earthquakes and other geologic processes; learn how the first Oregonians built homes and hunting tools thousands of years ago; and participate in a kid-friendly engineering challenge. “The museum’s outreach program travels to classrooms, libraries and events around Oregon, making science accessible and fun for people all over the state,” said Ann Craig, the museum’s public programs director. “We’re excited to partner with Student Services and Enrollment Management and share these programs with local baseball fans of all ages.” The UO campus community and friends are encouraged to join in the fun. Discounted tickets are available now. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7:05 p.m. —By Hannah Kruse, Museum of Natural and Cultural History 

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  • Eugene’s millrace getting makeover thanks to UO's Knight Campus

    First posted on August 22nd in the Register Guard, by Saul Hubbard. For the long-neglected Eugene Millrace, the University of Oregon’s new Knight science campus could be an unexpected boon. The narrow waterway, which runs between Franklin Boulevard and the Willamette River, has a rich history. In recent decades, however, it has been best known for its murky and stagnant water, its blackberry- and horsetail-covered banks, and as a receptacle for garbage, dirty stormwater from nearby parking lots, and the occasional pledge from UO fraternities. The millrace runs only a few feet from the under-construction first building of the new $1 billion Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact and that proximity to the UO’s new crown jewel is already paying dividends. The UO has been quietly planning a $1 million enhancement project on a short stretch of the millrace directly adjacent to campus, with new bridges and a new boardwalk, as well as environmental work to improve the water’s quality and nearby vegetation. After decades of fruitless talk about the millrace’s potential and how to revive it, the UO’s project is the first actual action — albeit on a limited scale. Following the recent controversy about the university tearing down its nearly century-old Hayward Field, Mike Harwood, the UO’s vice president for campus planning, said the restoration of another historical asset feels like “one of those win-wins for everybody.” “I think it’s the right thing to do,” he added. “It helps the university but it’s a win for the community because it’s a part of our heritage that we have kind of ignored.” Eugene’s earliest white settlers dug the millrace in 1851 to spin waterwheels that powered the city’s first industrial development. The waterway soon became a major recreation canal for city residents and the university community, with boathouses renting out skiffs and canoes to coeds and townsfolk starting in the 1890s. An annual Canoe Fete on the Millrace was a major fixture of the city’s calendar for 50 years, with elaborate floats drifting on the waterway. The millrace was even prominently featured in a 1929 silent picture called Ed’s Coed. But in the post-World War II era, it was partially buried and slowly allowed to deteriorate. “There was definitely a post-WWII fade of the millrace,” said Bob Hart, executive director of the Lane County Historical Society. Subsequent restoration plans “all shipwrecked,” he added. “The millrace is one of those historical legacies that never seems to get high on anyone’s agenda.” The UO’s new project touches only about a 600-foot stretch of the 2-mile-long waterway, but the changes will be significant, according to an application submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The work won’t start until next summer at the earliest, after the Knight Campus building is complete. The UO will, in fact, be drying out the millrace in that stretch later this summer and diverting the water downstream through a large pipe, so crews can use the millrace’s bed as part of their work on the building. “There’s gonna be some warts before the really nice stuff happens,” Harwood said. “We’re going to make it look worse before it looks better.” Eventually, the university plans to dredge up 2,800 cubic yards of silt and sediment from the bottom of the waterway — potentially weighing 4,000 tons — deepening the channel from an average of 2 feet to 7 feet for most of the stretch. It will also be re-grading the millrace’s banks, and installing logs with root wads, boulders, and coir soil wraps to limit erosion. The changes should enhance the water quality and the habitat potential for fish and amphibians. Native plants — sword fern, kelsey dogwood and fruited bullrush, among others — will then be planted on the banks, and vegetated water treatment areas will be added to improve the quality of the stormwater runoff. “The deeper the water, the healthier it is because it doesn’t get affected so much by sunlight,” Harwood said. “The water (now) is shallow and you get a lot of algae and stuff because it gets so warm” and it’s less attractive to fish. Harwood said the UO is also considering whether to increase the millrace’s flow by pumping more water from the Willamette River into the channel. That could further improve the stream’s quality. Tests by the UO found excess nutrients, dissolved oxygen, and heavy metals in the waterway. Next to the Knight Campus building, the project will build a 360-foot long concrete decking boardwalk for pedestrians and cyclists, along with a new pedestrian bridge and a rebuilt bridge across the millrace. Plans for a section of “stadium steps” to jut out overlooking the millrace have likely been scrapped, however, due to cost constraints, UO officials said. The bigger vision, from Harwood’s perspective, is eventually restoring the full stretch of the millrace on UO property. (The university isn’t planning to be involved in any work on sections south of Franklin Boulevard). Harwood said he could even see sections, including the Mill Pond, where canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards could be re-introduced. “How can we break the remaining sections into discrete projects that make sense?” he said, when asked about next steps. “Because there’s no way we’re going to be able to go to the city, the state, the university administration and say we want to fund it all at once.” No recent cost estimates have been made for restoring the millrace, but, even back in the 1990s, the work was projected to cost $22 million. Harwood completed a similar project when he worked at North Carolina State University, although he warned it was “a 10-year slog” and involved cobbling together local, state and federal funds. Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis said it’s heartening that the UO is kick-starting work on the millrace. “There are citizens who have been advocating for improvements and we have been eager to upgrade the millrace for many years,” she said. “Fundamentally we are appreciative of the university’s efforts to invest in that part of our urban landscape.” But she added that the council doesn’t have any discussions about other millrace work “on our immediate agenda.” “We do have a lot of other projects going on at the moment,” she said. “It may come up at a later point.” Jerry Diethelm, a longtime leading advocate for restoring the millrace and a former UO professor, said he hadn’t heard anything about the new project. “Hope it indicates a commitment to more,” he said. Hart, of the historical society, said he felt the UO deserves “a pat on the back” for doing some “actual preservation” of the millrace, especially given the school’s “reputation of ‘knock it down, build it up.’” But he said he feels Eugene residents more generally should take some ownership of the project. “We seem to be more present-oriented here,” compared to other communities in the Willamette Valley, Hart said. “We seem to lack an appreciation sometimes of what you can gain by looking back.”

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  • UO Welcomes Our New Stamps Scholars

    First published in Around the O on August 13th 2018. Recipients double for 2018, include five out-of-state students It’s an exciting time for the University of Oregon, as this year’s Stamps Scholars prepare to arrive on campus this fall. In partnership with the Atlanta-based Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, the UO has increased its number of scholarships to 10 — five to in-state students, as it has since 2013, and five additional awards to out-of-state students. These 10 incoming freshmen will make a total of 28 Stamps Scholars currently enrolled at the UO. “The Stamps Foundation has been a great partner with us,” said Roger Thompson, vice president for student services and enrollment management. “By being able to offer five more scholarships, we’re able to bring even more amazing students to the UO.”   23 Current Stamps Scholars  10 Stamps Scholar Alumni $1.76M Given to Stamps Scholars Our Largest Class Yet This year the UO has partnered with the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation to expand our number of awards. This prestigious scholarship covers tuition, fees, and other academic expenses—approximately $125,000 over the course of four years. How to Apply Request Information Apply to the UO Visit Us   Meet Our Incoming Stamps Scholars Parsa Aghel Zoë Arnaut Temerity Bauer Morgan Darby McKenzie Davis Zina Dolan Amahn Enayati Allison Gerhardt Brielle Thomas Rebecca Vance

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  • Student and professor write essay on Cascadia megaquake research

    First published in around the O on August 7th. Miles Bodmer, a doctoral student in the UO’s Department of Earth Sciences, and Doug Toomey, a UO seismologist, recently wrote an article for The Conversation revealing new information about the Cascadia Subduction Zone. A small oceanic plate called the Juan de Fuca plate is being forced underneath the larger North American plate. This creates an earthquake-prone subduction zone along the Pacific North Wes. Bodmer and Toomey discussed their recent research that used seismic energy caused by nearby earthquakes with a magnitude 6 or higher. “By measuring the arrival times of seismic waves, we create 3D images showing how fast or slow the seismic waves travel through specific parts of the Earth,” the researchers wrote. These signals allow geologists to understand unseen parts of the Pacific Northwest that may be more susceptible to a large seismic event. The research Bodmer and Toomey share shows that seismic waves moved more slowly than expected in the northern and southern regions of the subduction zone. “Unfortunately, our results can’t predict when the next large Cascadia megathrust earthquake will occur,” the article stated. “Our work does suggest that a large event is more likely to start in either the northern or southern sections of the fault, where the plates are more fully locked.” The article, originally published through The Conversation, has been posted on the websites of several newspaper outlets, including the Daily Mail, Los Angeles Times, Chicago, Tribune and Scientific American. To view the article, see “Parts of the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia fault are more seismically active than others – new imaging data suggests why” The research also was covered in an Around the O story.

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  • UO Housing’s Capital Construction gives students hands-on experience

    First published in the Daily Emerald on August 4th, 2018. “I love to encourage dreams, but they also have to be able to answer ‘What is it going to cost?’ and ‘How long is it going to last?’” said Opp-Beckman. Five years ago Opp-Beckman partnered with the College of Design to find a new way to engage students. The first project Opp-Beckman recalls doing with the Capital Construction team is creating residential hall identities, which included boards for each residence hall with carpet samples, paint swatches, photos, and color schemes. “Blue, green, brown” read Hamilton Hall’s board, which is displayed in the office. Students on the team have flexible hours but typically work 10-12 hours per week during the school year and up to 40 hours a week in the summer. Though the students don’t earn any college credit, they have a paid part-time job and gain hours of experience. These hours can be significant for some students. According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Board, those wanting to become licensed should complete The Architectural Experience Program (AXP), which includes a 3,740 hour experience requirement. Stacks of black wall signs to be put in Bean Hall covered the conference table in the office. Some have a four-digit room number with braille underneath and others have floor numbers or were bathroom signs. Irikaa Pilania, a graduate student on the Capital Construction team helped design some of Bean Hall’s furniture including the signs.“After we choose the furniture, we get to go out and call vendors for products and sometimes we see product launches,” said Pilania. When the furniture for Bean Hall arrives, one of Pilania and other team members’ responsibilities will be to assure everything was delivered and is correct, said Opp-Beckman. Each student on the team typically has their own project, and rarely does the entire team work on the same one. In addition to Bean Hall’s furniture design, Pilania is designing the seating in the soon-to-be renovated Knight Library Cafe. Another graduate student on the Capital Construction team, Alexa Stewart, is currently working on a project for Earl Hall. What started as a window leak complaint led to a long-term “replacement skin,” a redesign for the building’s exterior. Senior Stella Christ is working on a renovation in Carson Hall, which will include “creating a new look” and turning the laundry rooms into lounge or study spaces. Stewart usually gets to the office around 7:45 a.m. and leaves around 4 p.m. Her day consists of computer-aided design (CAD), drawing, research, site visits and making changes when parameters shift, “which they do, always” the Capital Construction students collectively agreed. “You really learn how to be adaptable,” said Stewart.Christ said it’s nice to get to experience the real-life thing instead of theoretical ideas that typically happen in a classroom.“They learn about cost and durability of furniture and fabric, create bulletproof things, and have be be cost-conscious through it all…they take a designer’s vision and blend with it,” said Linda Zimmer, associate professor and head of interior architecture.The Capital Construction team works under UO Housing so maintaining strong relationships with residence life, custodial services and dining services is important to the team said Opp-Beckman. “David will come to me about positions he needs for his team and I help get the word out,” said Zimmer, who recommended four people to Capital Construction this past year.When Opp-Beckman is first approached with a project, the first step is a meeting with the students on the Capital Construction team. Next, he said, they establish loose parameters. Opp-Beckman is typically on-site and not in the office so the students are able to work independently. “This is a reflection of the work that we could be doing in the real world, except we get to dabble in new things and be in the familiarity of campus,” said Stewart, who previously worked in an architecture firm for two years. “You can’t get any closer to the hands on architecture experience; we’re in the thick of it.”A monthly meeting with Opp-Beckman is held to check on progress and to regroup as a team.“Things are never a one-person decision because there’s always many factors involved and people making sure you have all your boxes checked,” said Stewart. One of the team’s recently completed projects was the conceptual design of Kalapuya-Ilihi. The task was to create the “best room design that can be a single, double or triple.” The team created two versatile room designs, but received a call with a change to the parameters. “…when more rooms had to be changed into triples, we were able to confidently do it,” said Opp-Beckman.

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  • UO Students' Climate Change Lawsuit will move forward

    First published in the Daily Emerald on July 31st, 2018. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay, or a halting of legal proceedings, in the Juliana v. United States climate change lawsuit on Monday. The lawsuit, whose plaintiffs include two University of Oregon students and 19 others, claims that climate change and carbon emissions violate the plaintiffs’ fifth amendment rights to life, liberty, property and due process. The court also upheld the trial date of Oct. 29. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is set to retire today, stated that the “breadth of respondents’ claims is striking, however, and the justiciability of those claims presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion.” Julia Olson is the chief legal counsel for Our Children’s Trust, the group helping to bring forth the lawsuit. “This decision should give young people courage and hope that their third branch of government, all the way up to the Supreme Court, has given them the green light to go to trial in this critical case about their unalienable rights,” Olson wrote in a press release. Oral arguments for the lawsuit took place at Eugene’s Wayne L. Morse Courthouse on July 18 and a crowd of about 40 supporters gathered outside of the building to support the plaintiffs. During the arguments, attorneys representing the government said that the plaintiffs’ claims violated the separation of powers, or the distinct constitutional duties of the federal government’s legislative, judicial and executive branches, because the courts would be dictating national energy policy. Olson, who represented the plaintiffs in court, said that the plaintiffs’ rights to life, liberty and property were compromised by the effects of climate change, such as flooding. Olson also offered a rebuttal to the government’s assertion that there was an issue with the separation of powers by bringing up previous cases that warranted the court’s intervention, such as voting, housing and prison. The Emerald will continue to report on this story as the lawsuit proceeds.

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  • 20x21EUG Mural Project brings international art to Eugene Walls

    First Published in the Daily Emerald on July 30th, 2018. In the upcoming week, Eugene will be transformed with a colorful array of new murals, street art installations and gallery walks during 20x21EUG Mural Project’s Eugene Walls, which is part of the Downtown Visual Arts Festival. From July 27 to Aug. 3, artists from around the world will be creating murals and street art as part of 20x21EUG’s initiative to add 20 murals by international artists to Eugene by the year 2021. The goal of the 20x21EUG Mural Project is to showcase art from around the world when athletes converge on Eugene for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in 2021. The project began in 2016 with a goal of 10 murals to showcase international artists, and is well on its way to surpassing its new goal of 20 murals this year. “Eugene has always been on the map for track and we’re having this great championship coming in the year 2021,” said Jessica Watson, EUG Mural Project coordinator. “We’ve always tried to be a place for arts and culture, so when the world comes to Eugene in 2021, they’re going to see world class artists.” The Downtown Visual Arts Festival will be the first of its kind in decades, said Watson. During the week, the City of Eugene will be hosting a plethora of gallery tours, walking public art tours and artist meet-and-greets. Muralists this week include Alexis Diaz from Puerto Rico, AIKO from Japan, WK Interact who is based in New York but originally from France and Bayne Gardner from Eugene. Artists Kiran Maharjan “H11235” from Nepal and Shamisa Hassani from Afghanistan will be painting murals later this summer.  Local artists Bayne Gardner and Justin Bauer began their day of painting at 5 a.m. Artists have begun painting new murals for this year’s festival and will continue until Aug. 3, 2018. (Henry Ward/Emerald) In addition, artist Matt Small from the UK has already created a mosaic-style street art portrait of Jesse Owens, the American Olympic track and field gold medalist, using recycled material found around Eugene, including pieces from the Hayward Field stadium. Martha Cooper, a world-famous street art photographer from New York, will have a storefront street art photography exhibit and will be documenting the mural-making process. Debbie Williamson Smith, director of communications for 20x21EUG, encourages people to watch the mural making process throughout the week. The 20x21EUG website has a map of each new and existing mural location. There will be refreshments and guides at new locations. In addition, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is hosting an artist reception on Aug. 1 from 6-8:30 p.m. It will be an opportunity to meet the muralists and will offer a beer and wine garden in front of the museum. The event is free and open to the public. “That will be your chance to see them one-on-one as opposed to you on the ground and them on a scissor lift way up tall,” said Williamson Smith. “We want the whole community to come out.” Among other events, PeaceHealth is offering bike tours on Aug. 1 and 2. On Aug. 3, Lane Arts Council will host a First Friday Art Walk tour of several murals and art installations. By the end of summer, 20x21EUG will have 18 out of 20 murals by both local and international artists completed to reach their goal. Local artist Bayne Gardner said it’s like a dream to be painting murals in a large-scale festival in his hometown. He’s keeping his project largely underwraps for now. “Let’s just say it might get a little weird,” he said, “but not too weird.” He plans to incorporate “local imagery,” nature and a few messages into his mural. Gardner is “a huge fan of public art,” he said. “It changes the landscape, hopefully brightens someone’s day or makes them smile and makes them feel good […] It turns the city into a gallery.”

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  • Duck grad rises above adversity to help others do the same

    First published in around the O on July 30, 2018. On a sunny summer day in Seoul, DaHyun Kim is going over paperwork and preparing for her only clients of the day — a group of young defectors from North Korea. The recent UO grad will be their guide, bringing them to the United States, and training them for three months to assimilate into a new life. The process is part of her work with nonprofit Liberty in North Korea, an organization that helps refugees resettle in a safe place; provides transportation, clothes, documents, medical checkups and work; and sometimes reconnects them with loved ones. “Millions of North Koreans have fled the country, but even after they were able to escape through the most guarded border on earth, they are still at risk of exploitation and capture because they cannot afford the journey to a safe country,” Kim said. “Many make it to China, but that country repatriates hundreds back. Others are forced to work illegally and are exploited and abused. Half of our refugees are children.” Liberty in North Korea works exclusively through donations. It costs $3,000 to rescue one refugee and set them on a path to a new and safe life. So far, the organization has assisted more than 756 North Korean refugees. In August, Kim will return to the U.S as a project coordinator at Liberty in North Korea, which has its headquarters in Los Angeles, teaching young refugees English, training them in public speaking and working with local media to tell the story of young North Korean defectors. Ironically, Kim’s own personal path had plenty of obstacles, and despite the empowering and courageous work she does today, she wasn’t always so sure of her own future. Kim is a survivor of domestic violence and was raised by a single mother and moved a lot during her childhood. She was born in Bucheon but lived for a long time in Suwon, in northwestern South Korea. Her mother happily remarried before the family finally settled in the town of Daejeon. “Growing up, I never knew what I wanted to do,” Kim said. “I never thought I was good enough for anything. I grew up by myself. My mother was always working, like, 20 hours a day as a hair designer, server and cook. I had no support or care at home. I just thought I would become whatever my mom would tell me to be.” As a teenager, Kim had low hopes for herself. When given the opportunity to learn English at school, she didn’t care for the class because she never imagined leaving South Korea. “The idea of going to Oregon didn’t come to me until the last year of high school,” Kim said. Kim’s mother contacted her only sister, who has lived in Salem for more than 30 years. The aunt sponsored Kim for a visa so she could attend Chemeketa Community College and learn English. In March 2011, three months after graduating from Banseok High School, Kim arrived to an unseen Oregon with one suitcase, no English skills or experience of another culture, and $5,000 — her mother’s life savings. After a term of English courses, Kim transferred to Portland Community College. As a student worker at PCC, she worked a lot with the international students office. That experience and her work as a student ambassador sparked an interest in international studies. In fall 2015, Kim transferred to the UO, having earned a scholarship through the International Cultural Service Program. She served as a student ambassador promoting Korean culture and participating in discussions of international issues across campus.In February 2017, Kim earned a grant for a six-month professional media internship at the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The trip would prove a catalyst for her international career and an eye-opening experience on the kind of work she would end up doing. “From the moment I got to Kenya, I wanted to see how people lived,” Kim said. “From the moment I landed, I was very excited.” But as Kim found out, once diplomats, visitors and interns arrive in Nairobi’s Green Zone, they are advised not to leave the area without a security escort, and some areas of the city are forbidden to U.N. visitors. As the first weeks went by, Kim met a lot of diplomats and officers at the U.N.’s environment headquarters. She even met U.N. Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres. However, she felt unsatisfied with the experience. “At the time I wanted to go out and deny all of the bad media I had seen about Kenya,” said Kim. “But every official simply scared me with ideas about going out of the green zone.” Kim shared her frustrations with a German graphic designer in the office named Viola Kup. She didn’t know Kup was also the founder of Usanii Lab, a graphic design collective that teaches practical design skills to youngsters in the slums as a way to overcome poverty. Kup snuck Kim into Mathare Valley, a slum east of Nairobi that is home to more than 500,000 people and is one of the oldest slums in Africa. “They train the kids to learn photography, how to use Photoshop and do graphic design,” Kim said. “Once they are done, they recruit a new cohort and have the former team teach the same skills to newcomers. Along the way, hopefully they raise a little bit of money to keep the whole thing going.” But Kim soon found a harsher reality in Nairobi. Her homestay mom, Anika, was a volunteer at local orphanage, Toto Angel Centre, and around the middle of her stay in Nairobi, Kim once again snuck out of the U.N. safe area. This time it was to visit the orphanage in a town named Buruburu, an area known to have one of the highest numbers of gangs in Kenya. “Most of the children in the orphanage were born in the town, but their parents simply cannot afford to take care of them,” Kim said. “Instead of seeing their kids suffer, the parents send the children to the orphanage to get a meal, learn something and play. The sad part is you cannot take out the orphanage out of the city and at the same time it is surrounded by violence.” The experiences of a single place with different needs made an impression on Kim and shaped her professional agenda to become a social problem solver, not a diplomat. “I think everyone needs someone who believes in them,” she said. Kim left Kenya and returned to Oregon in fall 2017 to complete her bachelor’s degree in international studies and a minor in economics. She graduated last spring. Looking out of the window of her office, DaHyun Kim seems to reflect on much of what has happened in her life. But quickly she turns to the task at hand. She shuffles a few folders in her hands and straightens them up, ready for her clients.  A smile on her face, a streak of light comes through her window. —By Chakris Kussalanant, University Communications

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