Latest news from the UO

  • UO researcher influences federal quantum physics legislation

    Originally published in Around the O on July 4, 2018. A call to action by a UO professor has helped catalyze bipartisan legislation recently introduced in Washington, D.C. Physics professor Michael Raymer and University of Maryland physicist Christopher Monroe authored proposals for a National Quantum Initiative that is the basis for federal legislation introduced this week. The National Quantum Initiative Act will 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 United States’ position as the global leader in quantum information science. “It’s vital for the U.S. to move into a national quantum science and technology program with a unified vision and approach, with the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Department of Energy working collaboratively as equal partners under the leadership of a national coordinating committee,” Raymer said. The legislation calls for an investment up to $1.27 billion over five years. It would create a number of focused research and education centers around the country to advance quantum information science and technology and help create a workforce in this new area, Raymer said. The goal of quantum information research is to use the physical laws that apply to elementary particles of nature to revolutionize how information is stored, processed, communicated and retrieved. If successful, it could produce computers that store vastly larger amounts of data and carry out more complex calculations than today’s semiconductor-chip-based computers. And quantum computers would be impossible to hack, Raymer said. Quantum information science is an area of growing research expertise at the UO. In addition to Raymer, the university’s quantum information researchers include 2012 Nobel laureate David Wineland, who recently joined the Department of Physics as a Philip H. Knight Distinguished Research Chair; Brian Smith, newly recruited from the University of Oxford and part of the U.K.’s quantum initiative; Hailin Wang, who holds the Alec and Kay Keith Chair in Physics; and Steven van Enk, director of the Oregon Center for Optical, Molecular and Quantum Science. The House bill, H.R. 6227, was introduced June 26 and immediately referred to the House Science Committee for mark-up the next day. The bill advanced with unanimous bipartisan support.     On the Senate side, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation also introduced National Quantum Initiative legislation. The Senate is expected to consider the legislation sometime later this summer. Raymer noted that the National Photonics Initiative has led the advocacy effort for the National Quantum Initiative. The National Photonics Initiative is a collaborative alliance among industry and academia and raises awareness of the impact of photonics — the application of light — on the economy and on everyday life. This isn’t the first time Raymer’s work has been recognized by a member of Congress. In October 2017 U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, an Oregon Democrat, recognized Raymer’s work on the National Quantum Initiative during a hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. In addition, in February Raymer hosted a visit by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, another Oregon Democrat and UO alumnus, to share groundbreaking photonics and quantum physics research being done by UO faculty members.

    Read More
  • Martha Walters Sworn In

    First published in the The Oregonian/OregonLive on July 2nd, By Lydia Gerike. For the first time in history, a woman is leading the Oregon Supreme Court. Martha L. Walters, 67, was sworn in Monday as chief justice and will preside over the seven-member court for the next six years. "It's just wonderful to have the support of so many people and the opportunity to serve," Walters said. After graduating from University of Oregon School of Law in 1977, Walters worked as a lawyer in Eugene and built up a specialty in employment law, according to the Multnomah Bar Association website. She was part of the legal team that won a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court case on behalf of professional golfer Casey Martin, who sued the PGA Tour over its requirement that players must walk during tournament play. The court ruled that Martin, whose circulatory disorder made it difficult for him to walk, was protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and must be allowed to use a golf cart. Though she has spent years on the bench, Walters said her time as a lawyer has prepared her to make sure the people of Oregon are being properly served by the courts. "I know ... how important it is to have someone listen to them," Walters said. She said she plans to use her new role to ensure Oregonians have access to a fair and impartial justice system. "We are at the forefront of the problems the people in our society face," Walters said. Walters was elected by her fellow justices to succeed Thomas Balmer, who has served on the court since 2001 and will remain on the bench. "She's enthusiastic and smart and hardworking, and I think she has a terrific skill set to serve as chief justice," Balmer said. It is well past time for Oregon to have a female chief justice, Balmer said, noting there were no other women justices when Walters joined the court in 2006. Now there are five. "She will set a high bar for the next chief justice, whether it's a man or woman, because she will do a great job." Walters sees her role as chief justice as a chance to help change the norms of gender in government. The year she graduated law school, Betty Roberts became the first woman appointed to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Roberts went on to become the first woman on the Oregon Supreme Court in 1982. Walters said she looked up to Roberts and knows she may now become part of the dream of other women who wish to follow in her career path. "You're just an infinitesimal part of the cosmos, but just being able to be that part is a pretty special thing," Walters said.  

    Read More
  • UO's Urbanism Next research is featured in Capitol Hill briefing

    June 27, 2018 - 5:00am First published in around the O. Few American cities are prepared for the changes already taking place because of rapid shifts in transit and technology, a UO professor said at a recent briefing for lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Architecture professor Nico Larco, who also directs the UO’s Urbanism Next Center, discussed the potential collateral effects of autonomous vehicles and other transportation changes at the Capitol Hill briefing. The briefing was arranged by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat and a longtime advocate for livable communities, who kicked it off with introductory remarks. Larco’s research centers on how changes in technology are reshaping the ways people “live, move and spend our time in cities,” according to the Urbanism Next blog. The research doesn’t address only city infrastructure needs once autonomous vehicles arrive but also secondary effects. Those include changes to retail business, city design and revenues, transit, and current planning and policies. “Most cities are unprepared for the impacts of new types of mobility,” Larco said. Even with bus ridership already diminishing due to the increased use of ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber, the conversations between the federal government and cities aren’t happening, he added. “Bus ridership in big cities is dropping, car ownership is dropping. What are governments doing to get ahead of this problem?” Larco asked. “Cities, states and federal governments are mostly focused on how to get autonomous vehicles on the road and are not thinking systemically at all. They are fixated on the technology itself.” During the briefing he presented new research, focusing on the positive and negative secondary effects of autonomous vehicles and new mobility in addition to proposing approaches to the technology Congress can use to shape cities of the future. “I talked about Urbanism Next work and focused on federal, state and local regulatory needs,” Larco said. “We had a great list of attendees, including people from a number of congressional offices as well as research entities from around D.C.”  After the briefing, Larco met with staff members from Blumenauer’s office and the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to discuss federal policy initiatives that could help communities prepare for changes. The staff of U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the top Democrat on the committee, arranged to hold the briefing in the committee’s hearing room. Larco also discussed his research and possible urban changes with Washington, D.C., city leaders, speaking with 30-40 people about the effects of emerging technology on cities and how Washington should be preparing for the coming shift. The group included the directors of the city’s planning, transportation, and energy and environment departments and several chiefs of staff from the mayor’s office.   Larco, who was recently featured in Wired magazine in a story about the effects of autonomous vehicles on municipal budgets, also gave a June 21 TEDx Talk in College Park, Maryland, just outside Washington. Entitled “How Will Autonomous Vehicles Transform Our Cities?” the talk was a chance to “pull back the curtain to preview how autonomous vehicles will shape the future planning of our parks, cities and life as we know it.”  Afterward, Larco said he’s enthusiastic about sharing Urbanism Next’s research and using it to plan for shifting city landscapes. “There is a growing awareness and interest in the serious impacts emerging technologies are going to be having on cities,” he said. “This series of meetings and presentations in D.C. was a great example of how Urbanism Next and the University of Oregon are shaping the conversation with the federal government, cities and the general public.” —By Laurie Notaro, University Communications

    Read More
  • President's year-end message cites progress and work remaining

    First published in around the O on June 13th 2018. UO President Michael H. Schill sent the following message to the campus community June 13: Dear University of Oregon community members, As we close out the 2017-18 academic year, I offer my warm congratulations to all of our graduates. I also want to thank everyone—faculty, advisors, graduate instructors and researchers, and staff—who helped our graduates reach the finish line. I look forward to standing in Matthew Knight Arena and watching those caps fly, as the class of 2018 prepares to take flight. Together, we accomplished quite a bit this year. We took big leaps forward in advancing our academic enterprise: we broke ground on the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact and hired a permanent executive director to lead this extraordinary effort to further the mission of science in the service of society; we invested in promising new academic programs—from data science and science media to embedding education researchers in high schools—and we continued to hire and invest in world-class scholars in fields such as obesity prevention, Black studies, anthropology, and volcanology to name a few. It is fitting that the year was bookended at the start by the groundbreaking for Tykeson Hall and at the end by the announcement that we will hire two dozen new advisors to work in that same building when it opens in 2019 as part of our new expansion and integration of academic and career counseling. I am incredibly excited to join with the College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Studies, and Student Life in an initiative that will support student success from the moment they step foot on campus to the time students leave and beyond. There is nothing more important. As someone who will probably go down in history as the least athletic University of Oregon president, I joined with many of you in cheering on the achievements of our scholar-athletes, both on the field and off. In particular, I was thrilled and inspired by our Pac-12 champion softball and women’s basketball teams who demonstrated the very best in intercollegiate athletics time and time again. I also enjoyed watching our students excel in activities as varied as producing art, making music, and acting. For our university to soar we need to become more diverse and inclusive. Toward that end, over the course of the past year every school, college, and administrative unit created Diversity Action Plans in their corner of campus. We opened a new Native American academic residential community, announced that we would build a Black Cultural Center, and redoubled efforts to recruit and support underrepresented students, all of which was on display during last week’s Showcase Oregon. Like most universities across the United States, we experienced tension between the rights and values of free expression and the need to create a safe and inclusive environment on an increasingly diverse campus. With few exceptions, these tensions were resolved in a way that should make us proud. We also held robust discussions from a variety of perspectives and disciplines during our Freedom of Expression Event series that explored our differences and commonalities. As I wrap up my third year as president, I have been reflecting on what I’ve learned about our students and this paragraph is specifically addressed to them. You are impressive, brilliant, passionate, and entrepreneurial. While the vast majority of you love being part of our UO community, some of you feel marginalized and unsafe on our campus. Some of you do not feel heard or supported, or fear speaking up for what you need or believe. I am reminded that we, as an institution, and I, personally, need to listen more, engage with you in a more supportive way, and strive to better understand all perspectives and needs. This will be a priority for me and everyone on our campus going forward. I want all of you—every student and every member of our campus community—to benefit from the amazing wave of success our university is riding. We have some of the greatest minds solving big problems—from protecting our earth and making our bodies work better to creating new products and advocating for justice. We are making a difference, making the world more beautiful and interesting, and preparing a generation of leaders. We are, in short, part of something really special here at the University of Oregon. I am proud to be your president. Thank you for a wonderful academic year. Enjoy the summer. Sincerely, Michael H. SchillPresident and Professor of Law

    Read More
  • Seniors from the Class of 2018 reflect on their years as Ducks

    June 5, 2018 - 5:00am First published in Around the O. It seems like only yesterday when the class of 2018 arrived on campus for Week of Welcome, moved into the residence halls, and ate their first Cheesy Grillers. The memories of these years will live on — the first time they wandered across the river on a fall afternoon with friends for some Autzen madness. Finding the perfect study spot and surviving first Finals week. Waking up to a blanket of snow on the ground. Coming back from spring break and finding a sun-drenched campus in bloom. These were their seasons. Along the way, they found their way, not in a straight line, but one that meandered. They discovered new places, met new friends, learned new ideas. This was the path that led to these finals days of college. Now they’re getting ready to carve a new path. They’ll be leaving behind this leafy campus and embarking on new adventures, knowing the best lies ahead. That’s why it’s called commencement — it’s the start of something, not the end. Name: Taylor Jackson Major: Business Administration with a concentration in operations and business analytics. Outside the classroom: She enjoyed mentoring for the Building Business Leaders program for two years, serving as a student ambassador for the Athletic Department, and spending 70 percent of her college career in the Lillis Business Complex. Influencers: Without a doubt, Taylor said it was the people she surrounded herself with. “The people I've met along the way inspire me to continue to push the boundaries for myself and my community." Dorm life: Taylor was appreciative of her first-year dorm experience where she roomed in the Business ARC residence hall Earl. There, she made many long-lasting friends and felt she had jump-started her career within those walls. Why she's proud to be a Duck: Taylor said she loved to see the drive all her classmates put forth to go conquer or change something out in the world, and of course she enjoyed the comradery and excitement of all the sporting events. What's next: Because of her time with the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, she snagged a job in Chicago to work for Amazon as an Associate Account Executive in their Amazon Media Group. Name: Keene Corbin Major: Geography with a minor in food studies. Outside the classroom: Served as an RA for two years, participated in Geography Club's "Map by Northwest," and worked as a teacher's assistant for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Favorite memory: That time one of his residents ate two Big Mouth burritos in under four minutes. Did you know? Keene ran the Eugene Half Marathon three times and his favorite spot on campus is the Urban Farm. Favorite professor/instructor: In the Geography Department, Shaul Cohen, Chris Bone, and Leslie McClees, and also Harper Keeler in Landscape Architecture. Advice to his freshman self: Keene would have spent more time at Saturday Market and got more involved in Eugene community events. He recommended all students check out the Craft Center in the EMU at least once. What's next? He aspires to work for National Geographic and has applied to work for Harley-Davidson this summer as a cross-country social media influencer. Is there anything cooler than riding a motorcycle across the USA? ​​​​​ Name: Raquel Ortega Major: Advertising. If she knew then what she knows now: Raquel would tell her freshman self to surround herself with people who were doing work that she wanted to be doing. "Courage and motivation are contagious when everyone around you is working to better themselves every day." Outside the classroom: She worked with Pac-12 Networks, Oregon Athletic Department, Emerald Media Group, Allen Hall Advertising, and the Division of Equity and Inclusion. Favorite spot on campus: Raquel would sometimes wait up to 30 minutes to sit in the big chair in Erb Memorial Union to study and decompress after class. Professional highlight: Serving as an Art Director for Allen Hall Advertising and working on the Reset the Code campaign. "Seeing your work go up for everyone to see and for the chance for it to make a difference, nothing can beat that.” What’s next: This summer she travels to Seattle (for the first time!) to begin a career as Art Director Intern for the advertising agency WongDoody. The best part? The agency was founded by a UO alum — Tracy Wong! ​​​​​​ Name: Giselle Sheeran Major: Interior Architecture. Advice to her first-year self: "Relax! You're right where you need to be.” After applying for a random roommate, she was surprised to be matched with one of her best friends from high school. The match went so well that they're even planning to live with each other post-grad. What she likes about Eugene: Giselle can proudly proclaim that she went to school in the weirdest town in America. "I wouldn't trade the last five years and the friendships I've made for anything.” Favorite spot on campus: She only revealed the location to her secret spot because she's graduating. It's the perfect lunch spot, and nobody is ever there —  a little nook near the Columbia fountain nestled between the trees and Pacific Hall. What’s next: Giselle admitted she can't sit still for long and hopes to travel to many places in the next 10 years, specifically to Austin and Tokyo. In her immediate future, she hopes to land an interior design job in Portland. Name: Christopher Holloway Major: General Social Science: Applied Economics and Business. Why he’s proud to be a Duck: “Because the University of Oregon has provided me the opportunity to be the first male in my family to attend and graduate a four-year university.” Outside the classroom: He joined many groups that "promote inclusive education, diversity cultural awareness, and overall equity for Black students," such as the UO Black Student Task Force, where he was the Associate Leader for two years. Advice to his freshman self: "While I would encourage my first-year self to draw strength from my community and use it as an inspirational catalyst to explore the world, I would encourage and obligate my first-year self to keep a tethered link to my community, never forget where I came from, and use the education I will get from the UO to give back to my community and by helping underprivileged African-American youth of Northeast Portland." What's next: He will work at Nike World Headquarters as a Global Marketing Specialist Intern for Jordan Brand. He also plans to pursue concurrent degrees in Masters of Education and a Juris Doctorate degree. Name: DaHyun Kim Major: International studies with a minor in economics. Advice for fellow transfer students: Don’t get overwhelmed and recognize that Oregon is another school where they can explore and achieve great things. Did you know? DaHyun is originally from South Korea, and she had many opportunities to share her culture with the Eugene and Springfield community. Kenya connection: She also fell in love with the east African nation during college. After coming back from Kenya, DaHyun continued to learn Swahili which allowed her to maintain her cultural connection to the country. "Professor Mokaya, who teaches all Swahili course at UO, has been a great mentor in my last year of college, and he indeed played a significant role navigating my life.” Why she’s proud to be a Duck: Because of all the amazing and supportive alumni. "Shout out to all of the amazing Ducks!" What’s next: She’s interested in working for international NGOs. "I want to give back what I learned from college. I am searching for an opportunity that will ensure a chance to experience firsthand how my small contributions will impact the world.”

    Read More
  • Trustees to get closer look at academic investments, funding

    First published in Around the O on June 5th 2018. The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon will take a deep dive into how the university invests in academics during the regular spring meeting, June 7-8. The Academic and Student Affairs Committee will hear details on the recently unveiled 2019 Institutional Hiring Plan that authorizes 56 searches for faculty members across a variety of disciplines. According to Jayanth Banavar, provost and senior vice president, the plan is not only a reflection of the president and provost’s priorities for the university but also each dean’s academic vision. The plan also includes prospects for collaboration and synergy among schools and colleges that emerged during the dean and faculty group discussions. It is intended to be a continuation of efforts to hire tenure-track faculty who will enhance the UO’s scholarly profile and academic excellence and who will share a commitment to student success. Banavar will later talk with the Finance and Facilities Committee on the new academic allocation model, in which each school or college is given a single operating allocation for the fiscal year based on a number of core components. The model will make schools and colleges responsible for creating an internal, balanced budget based on its operating allocation. Previously, the university followed an activity-based budget model, primarily driven by student activity such as student credit hours, the location of enrolled majors and graduate students, and earned degrees. In addition to academic-specific funding, the trustees will consider a proposed fiscal year 2019 budget and related expenditures. The expenditure proposal includes more than $1 billion in operating expenses and $183 million in capital expenses. Other items under discussion by trustees: Student success initiatives. Presidential initiative in data science. University Housing capital plan. Student conduct code revisions. Transform IT implementation. Full agendas and board materials are available at https://trustees.uoregon.edu/node/26. Committee meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 7, and the full board begins at 9 a.m. Friday, June 8, all in the Guistina Ballroom in the Ford Alumni Center.

    Read More
  • Hiring a Diversity Officer Is Only the First Step. Here Are the Next

    First published by Martin León Barreto for The Chronicle. Hiring a Diversity Officer Is Only the First Step. Here Are the Next 7. By Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh  In today’s season of #MeToo, Dreamers, Black Lives Matter movements, and radical-right backlash, colleges are adding chief diversity officers to the list of essential employees. However, hiring a skilled diversity professional is just the first step. To be most effective, chancellors, presidents, and provosts must join with diversity officers to build campus environments where equity, inclusion, and diversity become a part of everyday campus life. Otherwise, they are only setting up their chief diversity officers — and their institutions — for failure. I hope the following strategies will help college leaders better position their diversity officers for success: Go first. It’s unreasonable to hold others accountable for diversity when your own staffers look just like you. So if you want more diversity on your campus, start by diversifying your own staff at the highest levels and treating its members with respect. If you do that, others are more likely to follow, and your campus will be better for it. Manage expectations. When it comes to chief diversity officers, there are almost as many expectations as there are constituencies. Don’t assume that everyone knows what the chief diversity officer’s duties are. Develop a good relationship with the officer as a basis for establishing ground rules and a mutually agreed upon agenda to promote a culture of equity and inclusion. Then, make that agenda clear and accessible. It should include the scope of the officer’s responsibilities and a reasonable timeline for achieving benchmarks. Communicate the diversity officer’s work broadly and frequently through routine campus communications and encourage the officer to push back when the scope of duties is inappropriately constrained or expanded by others. Develop meaningful measures of success. Just as chancellors, presidents, and provosts are assessed by standards that are linked to campus success, it is important to develop objective measures of performance for chief diversity officers. Those standards should be aligned with campus strategy and designed to provide incentives for faculty, staff, and students. After adopting the necessary structures and processes, assess the diversity officer’s role in working with others to create a more diverse culture, promoting innovations in programming and policies, and providing support for underrepresented people on campus. Additional guidance is available through the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the pre-eminent voice for best practices, standards of professions, and programming in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Engage faculty members. Faculty members are often among the most powerful constituents on campus. They virtually own the curriculum, and, with students and staff, they produce the knowledge upon which many campus rankings are based. They share responsibility for guiding various aspects of campus policies and governing processes; therefore, any sustainable change in diversity requires the cooperation and support of the faculty. Fix systems, not people. For decades, well-meaning college leaders have invested money in programs aimed at "fixing" and "orienting" underrepresented faculty, staff, and students. Workshops and programs on mentoring, climate, and service are just a few. While these efforts are admirable, they focus on only one aspect of the issue. After all, when underrepresented faculty and staff leave campuses, they rarely complain about a lack of training or workshops; instead, they point to unchecked discrimination, harassment, and unfairness that are often part of the day-to-day campus culture. That is why the most effective way to enhance diversity is to "fix" the systems that undermine success for underrepresented groups. For example, fix the performance-review processes that are blind to issues of departmental climate so that managers, department chairs, and deans are better able to develop respectful working environments for all. Replace antiquated tenure and promotion processes that discount innovative research and teaching in favor of the status quo. Dismantle personnel processes that wink at sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and ADA violations, while penalizing underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are trying to navigate hostile campus climates. Crippling systems have to change, but the chief diversity officer’s success in making that happen begins with the community’s recognition of these barriers and partnerships aimed at eliminating them. Provide adequate support. Effective results in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion take time and resources. Leaders must provide both for effective staffing, programming, and innovation. They should bring innovative diversity ideas to donors, who are often overlooked as a resource for endowed faculty positions, lectureships, and student spaces. And diversity offices should be in locations that signal their importance in daily campus life. In addition to money and space, access is equally valuable: Diversity officers need regular access to senior leaders for education, planning, and information sharing. LACE up. Create environments based on trust, in which the values of love, authenticity, courage, and empathy — LACE — are in full view. Here’s how: Love: Be kind in the face of spitefulness, forgiving in the midst of pain, hopeful when all seems lost, and patient with people, but not with ignorance or injustice. Authenticity: Authentic leaders have a firm grasp on their personal strengths and weaknesses. Admit your missteps and acknowledge when you are looking to others for support. In doing so, you invite others to be authentic as well, creating a more welcoming campus in the process. Courage: Acknowledge fear, but move forward anyway. When the going gets tough on the diversity front, take a stand and defend it, rather than using the chief diversity officer as a shield. Empathy: Take time to feel alongside the students, faculty, and staff that you serve. Seek to understand other perspectives, even when you disagree. Creating more diverse, equitable, and inclusive campuses is a transformative process. Hiring a chief diversity officer is a good first step, but without the proper infrastructure and genuine support from an institution’s top leadership, it’s little more than a doomed public-relations stunt. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh is vice president for equity and inclusion and a professor of political science at the University of Oregon.

    Read More
  • The UO and the Duck get on the summer parade bandwagon

    First published in Around the O on June 1st, 2018. As summer arrives in Oregon, so does the parade and festival season. The UO is building bridges, recruiting future students and highlighting the university’s presence in communities across the state by joining the fun at all sorts of summer events. In some cases participants can do more than just watch; UO friends, students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited to march in festival parades and volunteer at UO booths. “By sponsoring and participating in these popular summer events, we hope to create good will and demonstrate we value the unique geography, history and culture of Oregon that shapes our identity and spirit,” said Matt Roberts, senior director of community relations. The Portland Rose Festival was first organized to brand the city as “summer capital of the world.” More than 100 years later, the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, June 9, will include the Duck, the Duck Truck, cheerleaders and an alumni band. The parade start time is 10 a.m. The 4.2-mile route winds through city streets and across the Willamette River on the Burnside Bridge, adjacent to the UO Portland campus. The Duck, UOAA Central Oregon Ducks and the Duck Store will participate in the Sisters Rodeo Parade, the highlight of Sisters Rodeo Weekend since 1940. Featuring a grand marshal, rodeo queens, classic cars, floats, musical groups, horses and more, the June 9 parade makes its way through historic downtown Sisters beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Cascade Avenue. The rodeo runs June 8-10. The UO, recognized by BestColleges.com as the most LGBTQ-friendly college in Oregon and on the list of Campus Pride’s top 25 most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities, is a sponsor of Pride Northwest in Portland, June 16-17. The UOAA Pride alumni group and Student Services and Enrollment Management will host a booth at the waterfront festival from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. Sunday in the North Park Blocks on West Burnside Avenue and ends at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to participate by taking a volunteer shift at the booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign-up link. The UO is the presenting sponsor of the annual Good in the Hood multicultural music, arts and food festival taking place in northeast Portland June 22-24. Established in 1990, Good in the Hood is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a creative medium where Portland residents, businesses and organizations can share music, food, and resources and engage in experiences that strengthen and unify the community. The parade, which takes place Saturday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is the largest community parade in the Northwest, will include the UO cheerleaders, the Duck and an alumni band. The route starts at Legacy Emmanuel Center on the corner of North Williams and North Russell streets and ends at King School Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to join the parade and volunteer at the UO booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign-up link. For the first time, the UO is sponsoring the Springfield Utility Board Light of Liberty Fourth of July celebration, from 4 to 10 p.m. at Island Park in Springfield, just up the Willamette River from the UO’s main campus. The event benefits Project Share, a fund that helps low-income Springfield residents with winter heating emergencies.   The family-friendly event features live music and Kids Nation, where sponsors and vendors will have activities for kids up to age 12. Come out and visit UO’s Team Duckling, a group of UO researchers who will have engaging and educational activities for kids. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the gate, and children 5 and under are free. The UO is the official university sponsor of Fiesta Mexicana in Woodburn, which began in 1964 as a celebration of the end of the harvest season. The festival, which takes place Aug. 3, 4 and 5, will feature a parade, folkloric dances, salsa dancing, comedy acts, live performances, lucha libre and the crowning of the Fiesta Court in Legion Park. The parade, which will include the Duck Truck, The Duck and an alumni band, begins at the Woodburn Aquatic Center at 11 a.m. Aug. 4 and ends at Legion Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to take part in the parade and volunteer at the UO booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign up link. “These events really help build and strengthen bridges with Oregon communities,” said Roger Thompson, vice president for students services and enrollment management. “Not only that, but we’re able reach out to young students and their families to help illustrate how they can access higher education and its importance in positively affecting their futures.”

    Read More
  • UO SOJC professor shares NSF-funded research findings with federal policy makers

    First published in around the O. Donna Davis, assistant professor in the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), traveled in May to Washington, D.C. to share with policy makers her research studying the effects of embodiment, creativity and community in virtual worlds for people with disabilities.  The research project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Davis and her research colleague, Thomas Boellstorff of the University of California, Irvine, presented their findings at a May 9 congressional briefing hosted by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).  The congressional briefing featured an excerpt from a recently released documentary about the research.  The same day they participated in a Coalition for National Science Funding’s annual exhibition of research and education projects supported by the NSF. Davis and Boellstorff also met with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) as well as California lawmakers to discuss the impact of NSF funding from the Directorate of Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences and showcase their research. This collaborative research grant allowed the researchers to explore the experiences of people with disabilities in on-line, virtual worlds. During the course of their recently concluded, three-year study, they discovered that using an avatar in a virtual world can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life. More details about this research is found at Around the O.

    Read More