Latest news from the UO

  • With the turn of a shovel, a new chapter opens in UO history

    First published in Around the O on October 17th, 2018. It was a moment that, looking back, will be seen as pivotal in the university’s history: Students, faculty, alumni, donors and UO officials broke ground on the long-anticipated Black Cultural Center last Friday under a glorious fall sky. Among the alumni on hand were those who laid the first blocks of the center’s foundation 50 years ago, as well as founding members of the Black Student Task Force who were instrumental in getting the process underway more recently. All looked on with pride as ceremonial shovels of dirt were turned, and the center’s construction phase officially began. The groundbreaking was part of a historic week of events on campus that included the inaugural Black Alumni Reunion and Black Student Convocation, a Freedom of Expression Series panel on protest featuring Danny Glover, and this year’s kickoff event in the UO African-American Workshop and Lecture Series. Applause and cheers of support were interspersed throughout Friday’s event as speakers discussed the long and winding path that led to the groundbreaking, and what the center will cultivate once its doors open next fall. “While it’s important to understand what will be located within the place, in my opinion, it’s even more important to understand what will come out of the Black Cultural Center,” said Vice President for Student Life Kevin Marbury, who has played a key role in the center’s development. He noted the transformative power a similar center had on the campus where he spent his days as an undergraduate and foresees the UO center having the same effect here. “The students that went into that space as young men and women were launched into adulthood because they had a place to breathe, to be, to grow,” he said. Speakers pointed out that the Black Cultural Center’s roots can be traced back to 1968, when members of the Black Student Union protested and asked for programs dedicated to their distinct needs. The effort gained traction in 2015 when members of the Black Student Task Force rallied on the steps of Johnson Hall with a list of 12 demands that included a cultural center. The task force met with President Michael Schill, which led to the creation of committees that sought ways to enact the group’s ideas and set the university on the path to Friday’s ceremony. Once complete, the 2,700-square-foot, $2.5 million facility at the corner of 15th Avenue and Villard Street will serve as a home base for academic and social activities for black students and showcase artwork that celebrates black heritage. “This day and the days to come are also, and should always be, about those who have advocated and organized in order to make it possible. To be clear, black students on this campus willed us to this day,” said 2016 alumna Shaniece Curry, who spoke at Friday’s event and whose work as president of the Black Women of Achievement helped spark the 2015 effort that led to Friday’s groundbreaking. “We are foremost here as function of the strength, courage and selflessness of Shaniece Curry and Black Women of Achievement,” added Jaleel Reed, also a 2016 alumnus and an original member of the Black Student Task Force. “We are here because of the collective work of the task force. We are here because of the Black Student Union of 1968. And we are here on behalf of all those that provided support, encouragement, resources and guidance. This cultural center is a testament to that collective work and that support.” Schill noted the significance of Friday’s ceremony, while acknowledging the work that lies ahead. “Breaking ground on the Black Cultural Center marks an important milestone in the evolution of our university and community,” he said. “It is both the culmination of an incredible amount of work and collaboration, as well as the beginning of an exciting journey that will continue to improve our campus community and culture. It is by no means the end of our collective work to ensure equity and inclusion is achieved at the University of Oregon.” In attendance were several donors whose generosity made the center possible, including Nancy and Dave Petrone, who gave a lead gift of $1 million; as well as Mariann Hyland, representing the Oregon Community Foundation; Janine and Joe Gonyea; and Jamie Smith Carr. Junior business major Maria Mbodj, who also spoke at the groundbreaking and is a member of the center’s planning committee, said the building’s influence will be immediate. “When I started out here, I wanted to find my community, and find my people,” she said. “When the center is complete, people won’t have to look that hard anymore to find community, because we’ll have the Black Cultural Center, and it will be a safe haven for them.” After the event, Curry said the process may have gained visibility thanks to her and her fellow students on the task force, but she said credit also goes to those who preceded her. “The conversation started way before my time,” Curry said after the event. “But as the conversation built up and gained momentum during my time on campus, I didn’t see how it was going to happen exactly. But I knew we had some students that were dedicated to it, and I knew we had some administrators that were dedicated to it. “But we did have a vision, and here it is.” The week was historic on multiple levels. It started with a freedom of expression panel discussion, “The Role of Protest in Transforming Education,” featuring civil rights activists Kathleen Cleaver and Danny Glover, hosted by the Black Studies Program. Earlier last Friday, the UO African-American Workshop and Lecture Series got underway with a speech by political strategist and commentator Angela Rye. The inaugural Black Student Convocation took place shortly after the groundbreaking at Gerlinger Hall. The event welcomed new and returning black students, as well as new black faculty and staff, to campus. Another first was the Black Alumni Reunion, with events held throughout the weekend, including a networking event, campus tours, tailgating prior to Saturday’s football game and Soul Sunday Brunch. Ericka Warren, president of the Black Alumni Network, said the groundbreaking was one aspect of what was truly a memorable weekend. She reflected on the role she played as a link connecting those courageous students who first protested in 1968 to those who are on campus today planning what will take place inside the center when it opens. “When reflecting on the past, there is a sense of sadness it has taken so long,” Warren said. “Yet this weekend represents a huge victory in the fight against racism, injustice and inequity.” She also was buoyed by the opportunity to build community: “One of the best parts of the weekend was to see the smiling faces of black students as they came in contact with hundreds of people who looked like them and being able to provide a forum for them to gain personal and professional guidance from alumni who had successfully navigated being a black student at the UO.” —By Jim Murez, University Communications

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  • Senator Ron Wyden, and Representative DeFazio Register Students to Vote on Campus

    First published in the Daily Emerald on October 16th. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Peter DeFazio  encouraged students to register to vote while on the University of Oregon campus Tuesday morning. The last day to register to vote in Oregon before the midterm election in November is Tuesday. “You always hear from politicians, ‘this is the most important election in your lifetime,’” DeFazio said to Charlie Butler’s Media and Social Action ARC seminar in Allen Hall. “Well, this one actually is.” Wyden and DeFazio, both UO alumni, spoke in front of two classes and encouraged students to register. In their comments, they focused on national issues that have gained public attention recently, as well as the impact of voting on college affordability. “Students are really facing enormous economic pressures, and the challenges are really hard,” said Wyden in an interview. “There’s something students can do that’s easy to make sure their voice is heard and they can make a difference.” Sen. Ron Wyden speaks to a political science class about the importance of registering to vote on Oct. 16 — the last day to register in Oregon in 2018. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald) The pair was on campus supporting the efforts of VoteORVote, the Oregon Student Association’s campaign to get college students in Oregon registered to vote. The non-partisan group also informs them of the impact electing “pro-education” officials can have on student life, according to ASUO’s Internal Vice President Imani Dorsey. “It’s really important that students vote just to make sure they’re keeping their elected officials accountable to them,” said Dorsey. “Here at the U of O, we can see [tuition] increases to like 10%, like we saw two years ago because the state didn’t fund us at a level that we wanted.” The Congressmen stood in front of the opening slide of Gerry Berk’s Contemporary U.S. Politics lecture as they spoke to his class. The first point on the overview slide was “low turnout,” referring to the historic pattern of low voter turnout in midterm elections. “We’re faced with the question of women’s privacy, Judge Kavanaugh going on the bench, we’ve heard what Donald Trump is talking about,” said Wyden. “Day after day, I watch the powerful come in and they get their goodies.” DeFazio shared his personal experience taking out student loans. ”I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t gotten a little help, I took out in those days what were a lot of loans,” said DeFazio, “but my loans totaled about half of what most of you are going to graduate with.” When the Congressmen asked students who was already registered to vote, the majority raised their hands. Students in each class asked questions ranging in topics from climate change, net neutrality and immigration, to the impact of Michael Cohen’s re-registration as a Democrat. The pair remained on campus briefly after speaking to classes and tabled with student organizers at the corner of 13th avenue and University street, before they headed to Oregon State University in Corvallis for the afternoon. “It is important,” DeFazio said in an interview, for students, in particular, to get out and vote. “I would say the most direct link that all students would agree on is the affordability of a college education.” Political science students raise their hands in response to being asked if this is the first time they’ve registered to vote. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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  • Legislators tour UO Oregon Resource Schools Network site

    First published in theworldlink.com on October 12th, 2018. COOS COUNTY – State senators spent two days touring local school districts this week. The 79th Legislative Assembly Joint Committee on Student Success ended its statewide tour in Coos County, having already traveled 2,678 miles from Salem and taken testimony from over 273 Oregonians. The purpose of the tour was to gain insight on how to improve public education and provide better funding. On Wednesday, the JCSS began the Coos County tour at the Coquille School District. “This has been an excellent way for us to see what is happening in the schools,” said Lew Frederick, State Senator for District 22 in Portland. “This is the last full tour . . . and this has to be one of my favorite things as a senator. We start off talking with a group of students, asking how they feel about things, what they think is working and not working, and we have heard powerful insights.” Though The World spoke with Frederick before the committee heard from Coquille School District students, he recalled some of the testimonies from students across the state. “Without fail, they talk about the fact that they feel they are over-tested and that the tests don’t tell them anything,” he said. “They don’t get information from the test and spend too much time preparing and cancels out other things they would like to be learning.” Oregon students have told the JCSS their concerns on mental health issues and the fact that schools lack mental health professionals. While at the Coquille School District, the JCSS took a look at how the district has improved its early learning. They also sat through a presentation at the Coquille Junior and Senior High School where they learned about the district’s participation in a new program through the University of Oregon. Professor of Practice Nancy Golden explained that Coquille High School is one of four schools in the state working with the university to “do our part to help high school kids graduate,” she said. The other schools in the pilot program include Roosevelt High School, Pendleton High School, and North Eugene High School. Essentially, the University of Oregon works with a well-respected teacher from each of these schools and makes them into a courtesy clinical professor. From there, they work together on issues the schools are having and come up with innovative ways to solve them. “That’s the big vision,” Golden said. From Coquille, Jennifer Sweeney is the teacher on special assignment. She has brought the district’s chronic absenteeism to the table and is working on ways to fix it with these other professionals. “In Coquille High, about 30 percent of our students are chronically absent,” Sweeney said. “Though the district is growing, the high school is declining. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, so our goal is to see why they aren’t going to school and my job is to help teachers solve the problem.” Golden hopes to expand the program to later include 10 high schools. “We’re learning from each other,” she said. “We included Coquille in the pilot because we wanted to be geographically diverse. We wanted to find a place where there is high respect for the superintendent, and here Tim Sweeney is superintendent of the year. He is known as an innovative leader and someone who understands curriculum instruction and assessments at a deep level.” District 5 Senator Arnie Roblan said the tour went well in Coquille. “Coquille is a good example of what creative school districts are doing to meet the need of some of our earliest learners,” he said. “Coquille was also clear they have work to do with attendance, and they have building needs but have been creative in solutions and in finding teachers.” He and Frederick addressed the teacher shortage and that they hope to find more resources to keep teachers in Oregon. “Right now we’re identifying the needs, what they cost and then how to get the revenue,” Roblan said. After the tour, Roblan said there are three workgroups that will put together ideas on what needs to be seen all over the state, cost estimates, and what the options are to make changes happen. “Our goal is to have policies and revenue in place by the end of the next session, so the beginning of the next school year,” he said. “That’s a big order.” The JCSS also met with the business community at Marshfield High School’s Pirate Hall, where professionals from places like the Bandon Dunes and Bay Area Enterprises met. “From the business community, we want to find out what they think the schools are doing,” Roblan said of the business round table. “Many are school board members, so they have perspective on how it works.” Local business members that spoke to the committee said that they would like to see students graduate high school trained to work with money, in the trades, and also have their driver’s licenses. During the tour, Frederick and the committee also saw that not every school had equal opportunities. He recalled during some student discussions, Career and Technical Education Programs were brought up by one student and another said they didn’t know they could take college level courses in high school. “That happened on a regular basis,” he said. Frederick hopes that the tour will result in positive change for Oregon schools, including putting counselors and mental health professionals in every school. “I think we can do that if we set it up with the community care organizations,” he said. “We can have CCO’s take that role and take the burden off the regular schools and education funding. I also think we need to find some way to increase revenues and not try to do this cheap approach to education.” Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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  • UO scientists help pave the way in quantum science efforts

    First published in around the O on October 11th, 2018. UO researchers on the forefront of quantum information science continue to make major strides toward passing legislation, and last week three of them were awarded a major grant to pursue studies in quantum science. UO physicist Michael Raymer, a Philip H. Knight professor in the Department of Physics, and two colleagues, chemistry professor Andy Marcus and physics professor Brian Smith, have been awarded a $997,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The award is part of a $31 million NSF program for fundamental quantum research that, together with $281 million in Department of Energy investment, aims to help the United States take a leading role in the fast-evolving quantum technology revolution. “This is no longer exploratory physics research,” said Raymer, who has been instrumental in efforts to establish a federally funded National Quantum Initiative. “We’re now thinking about building applications and technologies, and it represents a huge leap from where we were just a few years ago.”  Quantum technology uses quantum physics principles and advanced engineering to solve real-world issues. It requires manipulating the smallest possible units of energy and matter. It is already in limited use, but is expected to take off in the coming years as scientists around the world compete to leverage the promise of quantum technology. The U.S. has been put on notice by the U.K., European Union and China, which in the past few years have invested or committed an estimated $420 million, $1 billion and $10 billion, respectively, for quantum technology development. The three UO researchers will seek to use “quantum-entangled” states of light to enhance the sensing of remote objects and to probe the structure and behavior of molecules. Remote sensing can be used to determine how far away and how fast a distant object is moving, while quantum-enhanced spectroscopy can answer questions such as how are molecules arranged and how they pass energy from one to the other in processes such as photosynthesis.   “The project aims to combine concepts from engineering, physics and chemistry to advance quantum science across these disciplines,” Marcus said. “Chemistry, for example, can provide methods and theory for understanding and designing controllable molecular networks that can be interfaced with quantum optical systems. What might emerge potentially are new quantum-based design principles that chemists can exploit.” The NSF award announcements were coordinated with a Sept. 24 summit on quantum information science convened by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It included leaders from federal agencies, higher education and industry to discuss how to accelerate progress in quantum information science. The White House also released a “National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science” that outlines a plan for advancing the field. David Conover, UO’s vice president for research and innovation, and UO physicist and Nobel laureate David Wineland attended the summit, where they helped make the case for federally funded research in quantum information science. “It’s gratifying to see such excitement and widespread bipartisan support for quantum science research and development,” Conover said. “We were invited to this White House meeting because the UO’s expertise in quantum information science is now widely recognized. Such national visibility is largely due to the scientific leadership and lobbying efforts of the UO’s Michael Raymer.” Raymer and University of Maryland physicist Christopher Monroe co-authored the original proposals for a National Quantum Initiative that became the basis for federal legislation introduced in June. The National Quantum Initiative Act would establish a comprehensive national program to accelerate research and technology development in this emerging area. Its goals are to advance the country’s economy and national security by securing the U.S.’s role as the global leader in quantum information science. Following the White House summit, a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing held the next day reviewed the Department of Energy’s role in quantum science and made clear that the legislative push to launch a National Quantum Initiative is continuing to gain momentum. Earlier this month, the National Quantum Initiative Act, House Res. 6227, passed the House without objection. The bipartisan bill is cosponsored by Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, and ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Texas Democrat. On Sept. 28, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology announced it had signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the nonprofit SRI International to lead a consortium focused on quantum science and engineering. At the White House Summit, Smith said he hopes the full Congress will pass the National Quantum Initiative Act before the end of this year. In the meantime, many unknowns remain, including the question of how best to begin to train the next-generation workforce that will confront the technological challenges head-on in the coming years. That’s one area where institutions such as the UO can play an important role, UO researchers say. “Industry needs trained applied quantum scientists,” UO physics professor Brian Smith said, “So we also need to develop new educational and training programs at the UO and elsewhere.” Companies and universities aren’t sure yet what an “applied quantum scientist” actually is, Smith suggested, so part of the task ahead is to flesh out that job description and fashion new academic programs in response. —By Lewis Taylor, University Communications

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  • Historic weekend includes Black Cultural Center groundbreaking

    First published in Around the O on October 8th, 2018. The second weekend of October will see several historic firsts on the University of Oregon campus, including a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new $2.5 million Black Cultural Center. The free public event will take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at the site of the new building at the corner of 15th Avenue and Villard Street. It will mark the end of the design phase of the project, which was a direct response to a demand made by the Black Student Task Force following a 2015 demonstration. Programming for the center will be funded through an allocation from the Presidential Fund for Excellence. The 2,700-square-foot facility also has been widely embraced by donors, who have provided $1.66 million in gifts to date, including a $1 million gift from Nancy and Dave Petrone. All told, the project has received 167 gifts from 134 donors. “We have focused on designing a facility that maximizes flexibility to accommodate a wide array of activities,” said Kevin Marbury, vice president for student life. “Designed to serve as a home base for academic and social activities for black students, it will also serve as a portal of black culture to all members of the community. We hope everyone will join us for the groundbreaking ceremony and take advantage of this great space for many years to come.” Designed by Architecture Building Culture in collaboration with The Maxine Studio, the center also will showcase artwork that celebrates black heritage. Also this weekend, the Black Student Task Force is partnering with the UO Black Male Alliance to present the Black Student Convocation from 4-6:30 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Woodruff Gym in Gerlinger Hall. At the event, black faculty cluster hires will be honored and recognized, as well as students in the Umoja Pan-African Scholars academic residential community and other individuals and groups from the UO and the community. Oct. 12 will also be the launch of the 2017-18 UO African-American Workshop and Lecture Series. Angela Rye, a political strategist and commentator, will speak at 10 a.m. in Beall Hall in the Frohnmayer Music Building  Her talk is also part of the Black Alumni Reunion. Rye is principal and CEO of Impact Strategies, a political advocacy firm in the nation's capital. She is a CNN political commentator and NPR political analyst. She has been featured as an influential lawyer and advocate by several publications and outlets from Marie Claire to Ebony and the Washington Post. A prominent strategist, Rye has offered on-air commentary for several media outlets, including BET, CNN, NBC, HBO, ABC, MSNBC and TV One. She has discussed issues ranging from political campaigns to complex legislation and administration policies that have long-term implications nationally and internationally. In addition, the first UO Black Alumni Reunion will take place Oct. 11-14. The weekend promises great alumni engagement through a series of events, including: Welcome reception. Campus tours. An alumni, student, faculty and staff networking event. Tailgating prior to the Oregon vs. Washington game. After game party Soul Sunday Brunch featuring John Gainer and the UO Gospel Ensemble Reunion Choir. Alumni are encouraged to return to the Eugene campus and see all that has changed.

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  • Zebrafish from UO helped find cause of Saul-Wilson syndrome

    First published in Around the O on October 8th, 2018. A line of zebrafish specially generated at the University of Oregon had a key role in discovering the cause of Saul-Wilson syndrome, a rare disease seen in just 15 cases worldwide. The discovery was detailed Oct. 4 by an international team of scientists in a paper published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Human Genetics. Researchers found that the disease — marked by dwarfism, microcephaly, hearing loss and developmental delays — results from an alteration in a gene that codes for a protein that is part of a stacked pancake-like structure known as the Golgi complex that directs protein traffic. “This has been a disease with no known cause, so our discovery can provide great relief to affected families,” said Monte Westerfield, a UO professor in the Department of Biology and member of the Institute of Neuroscience. “They now know that the problem is genetic and not due to problems with pregnancy, infectious disease or other environmental causes.” Westerfield and his research associates Aurélie Clément, Bernardo Blanco-Sanchéz, Jennifer Phillips and Jeremy Wegner, led the UO’s contribution to the study and were among a long list of co-authors from both inside and outside the United States. The UO-produced zebrafish mimicked the short stature, developmental delays and other affects characteristic of the disease. “Children with Saul-Wilson syndrome and their parents live with many unanswered questions,” said Dr. Carlos R. Ferreira, a medical geneticist with the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, which primarily funded the research. “Knowing the underlying cause of the condition is a major step forward for these individuals and could help scientists find a treatment for the disease.” The finding also advances the understanding of how Golgi complexes affect human health and may apply to additional skeletal disorders. For families affected by Saul-Wilson syndrome, Westerfield said, knowing the cause will allow for genetic testing to help rule out the likelihood of passing the disease on to other children. The research focused on a genetic analysis of 14 people with Saul-Wilson syndrome, which was first defined in 1990. All had the very same change in just one copy of the gene that codes for a specific protein, COG4, in the Golgi complex. Additional details are available in a news release issued by Sanford Burnham Prebys in LaJolla, California.

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  • Conover to discuss the successes and future of UO research

    First published in Around the O on October 5th, 2018. UO research and innovation will take center stage at 3 p.m. Oct. 15 when David Conover, UO vice president for research and innovation, delivers his annual talk, “State of Research 2018: Building for the Future,” in the Erb Memorial Union Crater Lake rooms. “This past fiscal year was a time of renewed growth and major impact for our research enterprise,” Conover said. “This is an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of our dedicated faculty and their outstanding commitment to research, scholarship and creative activity.” Open to all members of the university community and the public, the talk will mark some of the major accomplishments during 2017-18 and cast an eye to the future as the UO looks ahead to an anticipated 30 percent growth in research and innovation activity. UO research is on an upward trajectory in productivity, as evidenced by the news that investigators and scholars received 568 grants, contracts and competitive awards totaling $121.9 million during the fiscal year ending on June 30, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. Innovation has also been on the uptick, and the university has seen an increase in patent applications and agreements involving the exchange of proprietary materials such as data, software and research materials. Other encouraging signs are on the horizon for UO research and innovation, and Conover will highlight those in his talk. The 2019 fiscal year is off to a strong start in terms of major grants received, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation will continue to broaden its services and its investment in infrastructure as it grows to meet the needs of an expanding pool of new faculty members. “The University of Oregon continues to evolve as a major research institution,” Conover said. “Regardless of whether you’re a staff member, faculty or a student, discovery and innovation will impact you in exciting and unforeseen ways in the days ahead.” —By Lewis Taylor, University Communications

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  • Breaking Trail: PathwayOregon at 10

    First published in Around the O on October 3rd, 2018. Brianna Hayes was at a restaurant with her dad when the letter arrived. The first-generation college student from Portland had been active at President Ulysses S. Grant High School, earned a solid GPA, and been accepted to the UO. But she had no idea how to afford college, and she was feeling down. Then her mom called. “You just got a piece of mail from something called PathwayOregon,” she said. “Your tuition and fees are paid for.” “I’m just sitting there screaming in the middle of the restaurant, and then I started crying,” says Hayes, a member of the class of 2018 who studied political science and philosophy. “My dad asked, ‘What is wrong with you? What’s going on?’” “I said, ‘I’m going to college. It’s going to work out.’” For the last 10 years, high school seniors from across Oregon have begun their college journeys like Hayes, with a PathwayOregon letter from the University of Oregon. The unconventional scholarship program is funded by UO donors, the Oregon state government, and millions of dollars allocated by the university through the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. The program helps the UO leverage Federal Pell Grant funding, combining these resources to make the most of each. Years before the first PathwayOregon freshman arrived on campus, UO administrators posed the question: How can the state’s flagship university remove financial barriers to college for Oregonians with lower income and help them succeed once they’re here? The answer was a comprehensive approach that offers financial access, along with support that helps students succeed once they’re here—practical assistance to help students meet academic requirements, manage their finances, overcome common challenges, link their majors to future careers, and more. PathwayOregon—an innovative and unconventional scholarship program—was among the first of its kind at a public institution in the United States and was the first one in the state of Oregon. Although the funding varies for each PathwayOregon scholar, the promise is the same. The university guarantees that tuition and fees will be covered for four years as long as the students meet benchmarks on the path to success. The model allows for students to apply for other scholarships and grants, while simplifying what is often a complex financial puzzle. Freed to focus on their studies, and with guidance from the program’s academic advisors, students are more likely to graduate on time and with less debt. For many, this freedom makes it possible to study abroad, participate in internships or student-leadership activities, and explore ways to match their education and interests with a future career. A decade after it started, the program has cleared the path to the UO for more than 5,000 Oregonians—inspirational stories that began with a letter. For more information: around.uoregon.edu/pathwayoregon2018 —By Ed Dorsch, BA ’94 (English, sociology), MA ’99 (journalism), University Communications Oregon Quarterly

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  • Campus street scene gets lively with new welcome-back party

    First published in Around the O on October 3rd, 2018. Friday, Oct. 12, will be a busy day on the UO campus. The ASUO Street Faire, Black Alumni Reunion, Duck Preview and Board Summit will bring hundreds of future and forever Ducks to campus. UO athletics will be preparing for Matt Knight Madness that evening and the next day’s football matchup against rival University of Washington Huskies. It’s the perfect time for a party. To that end, the city of Eugene and the UO will host a community welcome event, EUGfun! Campus, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. that Friday. The family-friendly block party is free and features live music, arts and crafts activities, a beer garden, a PeaceHealth Rides mural tour and much more. “EUGfun! Campus will be an opportunity for university and city leaders as well as alumni, friends and community members to welcome back students to Eugene and celebrate the beginning of another exciting academic year,” said Matt Roberts, senior director of UO community relations. The block party marks a change in format for an annual tradition: Started in 2009, the Community Welcome saw city and university leaders visiting off-campus student residences on foot. The annual stroll helped foster university-community relationships and provided students information about respectful and safe off-campus living. The inspiration for the reconfigured event was a pep rally at an out-of-state university Roberts visited. The evening before a rival football game, streets were closed off, vendors and information tables were set up and a stage featured live entertainment. While pep rallies focus on athletics, the way the event brought community members and students out of their homes and residence halls to celebrate together gave Roberts an idea: Why not repurpose the structure for the Community Welcome event? Roberts brought the idea to colleagues at the city and UOPD, and both were immediately enthusiastic about the reimagined event. EUGfun! Campus will allow students and community members to meet and interact in a casual, festive environment, in large part due to a partnership with the city. “The city of Eugene is excited about this new opportunity to partner with the University of Oregon in connecting students and the campus experience with the broader Eugene community,” said Jason Dedrick, who works in the city manager’s office. “Our goal is to provide a welcoming space where students and community members can come together to learn about city services, how to get involved with their neighborhood associations and also just have fun.” To make room for the party, East 13th Avenue will be closed between Alder and Kincaid streets, and Kincaid Street will close between 12th and 14th avenues starting around 6 a.m. Friday. The Associated Students of the University of Oregon will extend its Street Faire hours on Friday to allow participants to enjoy both their vendors and the EUGfun! Campus activities. Businesses along East 13th Avenue will also open their doors, with some offering free samples and raffles for gift cards and other prizes. Musical acts Ratie and Friends and Soul Vibrator will take to the main stage starting at 4 p.m. Attendees can get creative with hands-on activities at the Art Hub or take a guided tour of the 20x21 mural project on a PeaceHealth Rides bike. Mayor Lucy Vinis and UO President Michael Schill will address the crowd around 5 p.m. with a welcome message, and city councilors will be available for drop-in conversations throughout the event. Afterward, participants are encouraged to make their way to Matt Knight Madness, a preview of the 2018-19 season for the Duck men’s and women’s basketball teams. The free event begins at 6 p.m. at Knight Arena and will feature a three-point shooting contest, a dunk contest and scrimmages by both the men’s and women’s teams. EUGfun! Campus is open to all UO students, faculty members and staff, as well as community members. No registration is necessary. To learn more, visit the Facebook event or contact Larissa Ennis, assistant director of community relations, at lennis@uoregon.edu.

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