Social Sciences Speaker Series: Crickette Sanz on wild chimpanzees and gorillas.

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/4fwG8D)

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Social Sciences Division will host anthropologist Crickette Sanz of Washington University in St. Louis for her talk, “Comparative Studies of Chimpanzees and Gorillas in the Congo Basin,” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, in Room 305 of the Hannon Library.

The talk is free and open to SOU students, staff, faculty and the public.

Sanz is co-director the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project in the Republic of Congo. The project was initiated in 1999 to enhance knowledge of chimpanzees and western lowland gorillas in the Congo Basin, and to improve their conservation status. Sanz’s research focuses on primate behavioral ecology and cognition, the evolution of sociality, ecosystem health and emerging diseases, and climate change.

The Goualougo Triangle research prompted the Republic of Congo to enlarge its Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park boundaries six years ago to include the Goualougo Triangle – a remote forest that is home to several communities of chimpanzees with little exposure to humans.

Sanz earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in experimental psychology from Central Washington University, and her doctorate in biological anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Eleven trustees appointed to SOU Board

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(Ashland, Ore.) – Five new and six continuing members have been appointed by Gov. Kate Brown and confirmed Wednesday by the Oregon Senate to serve on the Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees.

The new trustees are SOU faculty member Deborah Rosenberg; Jonathon Bullock, executive director of the Redmond Proficiency Academy; organizational development consultant Megan Davis Lightman; SOU alumnus Shaun Franks, who works in the solar energy industry; and Barry Thalden, a retired architect and local philanthropist.

“The Board of Trustees is excited to welcome these fine Oregonians to SOU,” said Bill Thorndike, the board’s chairman. “The individual expertise of each will enhance and complement our board’s composition.

“We appreciate Gov. Brown’s appointment and legislators’ confirmation of these community leaders to our board,” Thorndike said. “Trustee service allows SOU to continue nimbly preparing for and responding to the changing landscape of higher education and the unique needs of our students.”

Returning to serve second terms as trustees are Thorndike, who has served as the board’s chair since its inception; fellow original board members Lyn Hennion, Les AuCoin, Paul Nicholson and Steve Vincent; and Sheila Clough, who was appointed last year to fill a board vacancy.

The terms of all new and reappointed trustees begin July 1 and run through June 30, 2022, except for that of the faculty member, Deborah Rosenberg, whose term is two years.

Outgoing SOU faculty member Dennis Slattery and community members April Sevcik, Teresa Sayre and Shea Washington are completing their service June 30 as members of the SOU Board of Trustees.

“I thank those trustees who are retiring from our board for their dedication and contributions to the good of the university,” Thorndike said. “SOU is stronger today because of their service.”

Continuing trustees are student Shanztyn Nihipali, SOU alumnus Daniel Santos of Salem and SOU staff member Joanna Steinman.

On behalf of the university, I would like to thank all of our trustees – whether new, continuing or retiring – for their commitments to serving SOU,” President Linda Schott said. “As we continue our journey of advancement at SOU, we recognize the essential role of our trustees in helping advance our higher education goals in the region and state.”

SOU was granted authority by the state to form its own independent Board of Trustees beginning July 1, 2015, following the legislature’s dissolution of the Oregon University System and State Board of Higher Education. SOU’s board is responsible for governance and oversight of the university.

Trustees are gubernatorial appointees, subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate. As many as 11 at-large trustees serve four-year terms and one position each is reserved for an SOU student, a faculty member and a non-faculty staff member, each of whom serve two-year terms.

Trustees are limited to serving two consecutive full terms. The university president serves in a non-voting, ex officio capacity on the board, bringing total membership to 15.

New trustees

Deborah Rosenberg
Rosenberg is a professor who teaches costume design, costume construction, stage makeup and costume history in the SOU Theatre Department. She is the outgoing chair of the university’s Faculty Senate. Rosenberg served previously as costume designer and costume shop supervisor at Ithaca College in New York, and has designed costumes for the State University of New York at Brockport and at New York’s Niagara University. Her professional credits include costume designs for the Alley Theatre in Houston; the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Mass.; and Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Mass. Rosenberg holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Trent University in Ontario and a master of fine arts degree in costume design from North Carolina School of the Arts.

Jonathon Bullock
Bullock is executive director and co-founder of the Redmond Proficiency Academy, a Central Oregon charter school that emphasizes proficiency-based learning in a personalized environment. He served the Oregon Association of Student Councils as a counselor and motivational speaker, and is a past executive council member for the National Association of Student Councils. Bullock has also taught administrative and teacher preparation courses at Portland’s Lewis & Clark College and Concordia University. He received his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and sciences from Oregon State University, his master’s degree in secondary education from Willamette University and his doctorate in learning assessment and system performance from the University of Oregon.

Megan Davis Lightman
Davis Lightman is the CEO and founder of The Davis Consulting Group, Inc., a Medford organizational development consulting firm for boards of directors and leadership teams nationwide. She has led the strategic transformations of various companies and non-profit organizations. She serves on the boards of directors of the Rogue Community College Foundation and the Chicago-based SmithBucklin management company, and serves on the Southern Oregon Leadership Council for the Oregon Community Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University and her master’s degree in organizational development from the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.

Shaun Franks
Franks is a 2014 SOU alumnus who studied business, environmental studies and corporate sustainability. He studied renewable energy in Germany in 2011 through the SOU School of Business. As director of sustainability for student government a year later, he helped establish the SOU Green Fund, which invests student fees in local energy, water and campus sustainability projects – including three solar installations at SOU, the purchase of water offsets and creation of The Farm at SOU. Franks works in sales and marketing for True South Solar, an SOU alumni-owned local business in Ashland. He serves on the policy committee of the Oregon Solar Energy Industry Association; is a founder and board treasurer of Rogue Climate, a local environmental nonprofit; and is chair of the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation’s grant-making committee.

Barry Thalden
Thalden and his wife, Kathryn, retired to Ashland in 2012, after he founded and guided the Las Vegas architectural firm Thalden Boyd Emery Architects for 43 years. The firm – which also had offices in St. Louis, Tulsa and Phoenix – specialized in designing resorts, casinos and other large-scale projects. Thalden is a retired member of the American Institute of Architects and was elected as a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects after serving as its national vice president. Since moving to Ashland six years ago, the Thaldens’ generosity has led to the flower basket program in downtown Ashland; murals outside the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and on Calle Guanajuato on the Ashland Plaza; and an Ashland-themed mural in Ashland’s Mexican sister city of Guanajuato. Their philanthropy is responsible for the new Thalden Pavilion at The Farm at SOU. Thalden received a double degree in architecture and engineering at the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in planning at the University of Michigan.

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SOU’s Hannon Library celebrates 65 years as a free home for federal publications

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/3YRTFs)

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Hannon Library will celebrate its 65th anniversary as a Federal Depository Library on Thursday, April 26, with a day of presentations, exhibits and an open reception. The festivities will run from 2 to 7:30 p.m.

Federal Depository Libraries are the backbone of a U.S. government program intended to make federal government publications available to the public at no cost. The U.S. government is the world’s largest publisher, and its materials are available in a variety of electronic and paper formats at more than 1,200 depository libraries in the U.S. and its territories.

SOU’s Hannon Library is one of 20 depository libraries in Oregon – 16 of them at colleges or universities. Hannon Library received the program’s Depository Library of the Year Award in 2004 for its digital collections of significant government publications about the unique Southern Oregon bioregion. Those collections will be featured in the anniversary celebration, along with displays addressing the importance of free access to government information, especially congressional information for student research.

Guest speakers at Thursday’s event will include SOU professors and students, a representative from the Bureau of Land Management and exhibiting artists from the BLM-sponsored Artist-in-Residence program in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Presentations and displays will highlight the history, geology, archaeology, biology and environmental education activities in the Cascade-Siskiyou bioregion. Speakers and exhibitors, in alphabetical order, include SOU faculty and staff members Jad D’Allura, Linda Hilligoss, Stewart Janes, Jeff LaLande, Dotty Ormes, Michael Parker, Chelsea Rose and Darlene Southworth; students Hope Braithwaite, Suphasiri Muttamara and Elizabeth Schyling; the BLM’s Christine Beekman; Ashland artist Mabrie Ormes; and Ashland photographer Matt Witt.

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SOU’s “boundary-breaking” Oregon Fringe Festival begins on Tuesday

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/7ZYgms)

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Oregon Fringe Festival – a distinctive blend of visual, musical and theatre arts presentations – will kick off its 2018 lineup with Gallery Openings at Southern Oregon University’s Center for the Visual Arts at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24. The six-day arts celebration will continue with shows and exhibitions on and around the SOU campus through Sunday, April 29.

The Oregon Fringe Festival, established in 2014, is described on its website as a “boundary-breaking platform for artists creating unconventional work in unconventional spaces,” and as a “celebration of zany, alternative (art) forms.” It encourages bold content from courageous artists of all ages and in various stages of their careers.

All of the festival’s presentations are free and open to the public. A full schedule of this year’s events is available online.

Visual arts highlights include exhibitions from current SOU students, visiting master students from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and headlining artist Ruth Lantz.

Musical highlights include performances by current SOU students and alumni, and visiting headliners such as Grammy Award-winning Third Coast Percussion and flautist Tessa Brinckman. SOU’s Left Edge Percussion Ensemble will perform Michael Gordon’s iconic “Timber,” and the vocal octet Desiderata will premiere a new work from composer Judd Greenstein that was commissioned by the Oregon Fringe.

This year’s theatre highlights include performances from current SOU students and alumni, a headlining performance of “The Truth” by Ashland’s A Muse Zoo, a staged reading of Stephanie Neuerburg’s “Ella Enchanted” and the one-woman show “Artichoke Hearts” by Sarah Mitchell.

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SOU Honors College hosts high school students for problem-solving

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/FSX9W9)

(Ashland, Ore.) — About 150 high school students from throughout southern Oregon will try their hand at resolving some of today’s most troubling issues when Southern Oregon University Honors College students lead their annual Democracy Project symposium on Tuesday, April 24.

The event – “Truth and Reconciliation: A Model for America?” – will prepare high school students to use the conflict-resolution model developed as South Africa emerged from apartheid in the early 1990s. The students will then attempt to settle the U.S. First Amendment issues of athletes kneeling in protest during the national anthem, the appropriateness of confederate monuments and the proliferation of “fake news.”

Tuesday’s daylong symposium will include guest speakers Ernle Young, a retired bioethicist from Stanford University who was a white South African and Methodist pastor who opposed apartheid; and Albert Munanga – originally from nearby Zambia and currently the Zambian Embassy’s honorary consul for Washington state – who serves as regional director of quality improvement for Era Living, a Seattle-area developer of retirement communities.

This year’s third annual Democracy Project symposium is being organized by SOU Honors College students Rebekah Krum and Megan Godsby. All members of the Honors College will participate in the day’s events, helping to facilitate and moderate the various presentations and activities.

The symposium will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Democracy Project is an ongoing effort by SOU’s Honors College to comprehensively examine international democracy. It is intended to offer emerging leaders an understanding of conflict resolution and how democracy is understood, implemented and promoted around the world.

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SOU’s new Thalden Pavilion to be dedicated on Friday

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/2XZ4zN)

(Ashland, Ore.) — SOU’s new Thalden Pavilion has lived up to its tagline – “dedicated to outrageous innovation in sustainability and the arts” – and the just-completed venue for information, education and performance will be recognized in all its audacity at 10 a.m. Friday, April 20.

The dedication ceremony will serve as an introduction of the visually stunning structure, which was made possible through the generosity of Barry and Kathryn Thalden of Ashland. Speakers at the event – at The Farm at SOU, on north Walker Avenue – will include SOU President Linda Schott, the Thaldens and Ashland architect Chris Brown of Arkitek Design and Architecture.

Performers from the SOU Music Program will provide entertainment.

The Thaldens and SOU saw the pavilion as a facility at The Farm that would bring together the university, local schools, the city, the business community and local theaters for various events and opportunities.

Donations from the Thaldens have covered the project’s design and construction costs, and their enthusiasm for the concept led them to commission Brown’s architectural firm to bring their vision to reality. Barry Thalden is a retired architect who designed casinos throughout the West, and Kathryn Thalden is a landscape architect who had her own firm in Kansas City before becoming a Unity minister and founding the Unity Church of Las Vegas.

Since moving to Ashland six years ago, their generosity has led to the flower basket program in downtown Ashland and murals outside the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and on Calle Guanajuato on the Ashland Plaza. They have recently commissioned an Ashland-themed mural to be painted in Ashland’s Mexican sister city of Guanajuato.

The Farm is a student-led agricultural and learning center at SOU. The 3 ½-acre property on Walker Street in Ashland serves as an organic farm for the production of healthy, sustainable food for the SOU community. It is also a center for sustainability and a hub for education, student and faculty research, and community outreach to the Rogue Valley.

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SOU’s Hawai’i club offers annual lu’au and performance

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/8MWm8n)

(Ashland, Ore.) — The 22nd annual lu’au and hō’ike (feast and performance) by Southern Oregon University’s Hawai’i club will be an event with a purpose. This year’s celebration has a theme of Hoʻolaha Ana I Naʻokoʻa Me Ke Aloha – spreading diversity with love.

The lu’au will be from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, at The Hawk dining facility off Wightman Street in Ashland, and the hō’ike will begin at 4:30 p.m. at SOU’s Music Recital Hall.

The meal will be $12.25 per person and the dance presentation will be $10 per person, and both are open to the public. Students who have paid for SOU meal plans will be able to use their cards to “swipe in” to the lu’au.

The two-part program is presented each spring by the Ho’opa’a Hawai’i Student Union – one of five multicultural student clubs and organizations that are part of SOU’s Multicultural Resource Center. The Hawai’i club works to educate and inform students and community members about Polynesian culture while helping first-year members of the club in their transitions to life on the mainland.

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SOU’s Spring Powwow to be presented by Native American Student Union

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Native American Student Union will share native culture with the campus and greater community when it presents the 26th annual Spring Powwow on Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15, at the Phoenix High School gymnasium.

The event will include drumming, dancing and cultural sharing from tribes throughout the Northwest. Aztec dancers will perform and Native American arts and crafts will be available.

The grand entry ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday.

The family-friendly powwow is free and open to the public. No alcohol or drugs will be permitted. Phoenix High School is located at 745 North Rose St., in Phoenix.

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SOU’s Latino Youth Leadership Conference addresses equity, racism, barriers

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/QaogiL)

(Ashland, Ore.) — More than 350 Latino youth from Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lane county high schools will meet on the Southern Oregon University campus on Friday, March 9, for the seventh annual César E. Chávez Leadership Conference.

The event – which this year will feature Hispanic civil rights advocate Luis Avila as keynote speaker – celebrates the heritage of César E. Chávez and teaches young people to carry on Chávez’ legacy of leadership.

This year’s conference will include 22 workshops in the areas of leadership, college and career, culture, identity and arts, and life skills. The workshops are intended to inspire Latino youth to become leaders and work for social justice, and to empower them to pursue higher education.

The event is particularly relevant in a year when immigration and racial issues are at the forefront of national conversations. Students at the conference will learn how to ensure that their voices are heard.

Avila, an advisor with 270 Strategies, most recently served as the national program director at Stand for Children – a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school education.

While at Stand for Children, Avila worked with immigrant parents to mobilize thousands of voters and protect funding for their children’s schools. He was awarded the agency’s National Leadership Award for his work supporting, coaching and developing organizers around the country.

Avila serves on the executive board at the National Council of La Raza, the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., and is on the board of TNTP – an organization focused on ending educational inequality.

A record number of high schools and participants are expected at this year’s event. Students are nominated to attend by teachers and counselors at their high schools.

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SOU professor promotes peace through education in Central African Republic

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/hEL6JW)

(Ashland, Ore.) — A Southern Oregon University faculty member returned last week from the war-torn Central African Republic (CAR), where he served as an English language specialist on a project to equip students with the communication skills necessary to promote peace and conflict resolution.

Bryce Smedley, an assistant professor in SOU’s Education Department, visited students at the University of Bangui and elsewhere during his two-week stay in the CAR. He conducted an education needs assessment, offered teacher trainings and promoted the development of English Language Clubs in the country that is rated as the world’s poorest and the lowest in human development.

Most schools in the CAR have no books, teachers have little training and many schools have remained closed due to insecurity in a nation that has been at war off-and-on since 2004. English language learning allows students to better understand American foreign policy and provides skills that can help them gain upward social mobility.

Students in Smedley’s upper-division multiculturalism class at SOU are paired with students from the CAR to share their life stories, dreams and educational challenges.

“We need to encourage our students to be bold, compassionate and excited to explore cultures, languages, teaching and service-learning in a global context,” said Smedley, who served as an international mentor at Kabul Education University and a faculty member at American University of Afghanistan before joining the SOU faculty last summer.

“My work in Africa is continually connected back to my classroom teaching at SOU,” he said. “These types of educational experiences are transformative, and help develop students’ cultural competence in a global world.”

The CAR project is considered a medium for promoting security, peace and conflict resolution while teaching about democracy, gender and human rights, and restorative justice. The program was organized by the U.S. Embassy of Bangui in conjunction with the English Language Specialist program, which sends academics throughout the world to help strengthen education.

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