Recognitions to lead off SOU commencement event

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Seven alumni of Southern Oregon University will be honored – two with special posthumous recognitions and five with annual awards – as part of Saturday’s 2018 commencement activities.

All of the awards will be presented at the Pre-Commencement Alumni Breakfast on Saturday morning.

Steven Nelson, who passed away this spring, will be posthumously recognized when a President’s Medal is presented to his family. Nelson, a financial advisor and former banker, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at SOU, and served nearly 20 years as a volunteer leader at Jefferson Public Radio and the JPR Foundation. His work contributed to JPR’s growth and expansion, restoration projects at the Cascade Theatre in Redding and the Holly Theatre in Medford, and the development of the radio station’s new home in the SOU Theater Building.

Edrik Gomez, who was a high-achieving SOU student when he died in a helicopter crash while on a firefighting crew at northern California’s Iron 44 blaze in 2008, will be honored posthumously when a Certificate of Achievement is presented to his mother. He was majoring in communication and political science, had a 3.72 grade point average and had been admitted into the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at the time of the accident that claimed nine firefighters’ lives. Gomez, who was from Coquille, was involved in SOU’s Multicultural Center, the Latino Student Union, and the Ecology and Sustainability Center.

Recipients of this year’s annual alumni awards are Jeff Brady, for Distinguished Alumni; Amanda MacGurn, for Young Alumni; Malcus Williams and Tim Williams, for the Stan Smith Alumni Service Award; and Betsy Bishop, for Excellence in Education.

Brady, who earned his SOU bachelor’s degree in communication in 1995, is a national desk correspondent in Philadelphia, focusing on energy issues for National Public Radio. He is credited with helping to demystify an industry that can seem complicated to many listeners and to establish NPR’s Environment and Energy Collaborative for reporters at NPR member stations around the country.

MacGurn, a 2006 French language and culture graduate at SOU, taught English in Costa Rica and Chile before joining the Peace Corps and ultimately earning her master’s degree in public health from Emory University. An internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led her to a full-time position in the health agency’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. MacGurn was deployed to West Africa four times during the Ebola outbreak, and continues to work in the region where her French skills are critical.

Malcus Williams, who died while on a call for the Ashland Police Department in March, played football and met his wife, Ona, while a student at SOU. He became a reserve officer and then was sworn in as a full-time Ashland Police officer during the 1996 flood. He completed his degree in criminology and criminal justice in 2008, while serving as a full-time officer, and served on the department as a school resource officer, firearms instructor, patrol officer, sergeant and Citizen’s Academy diversity instructor. He also served in the community as a youth sports coach.

Tim Williams was a forward on the nationally ranked SOU basketball team of the late 1990s before earning his bachelor’s degree in criminology in 1999, then moving on to earn his law degree at the University of Oregon School of Law in 2003. He is a partner in the firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, has been recognized as one of the best trial lawyers in the country, has held a variety of posts in the Oregon State Bar and has advocated justice for the economically disadvantaged. He has also served on the board of directors of the Ronald McDonald House of Central Oregon, the Sparrow Clubs of Central Oregon and other nonprofit organizations.

Bishop received her undergraduate degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., before earning her master’s degree in teaching at SOU in 1977. She taught 10 years at Monrovia High School in California, and has taught English and theatre at Ashland High School since moving back to Ashland in 1988. She has maintained a 25-year school and business partnership with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, has been recognized with four statewide teaching awards and earned two national awards in 2016.

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SOU internet marketing class features real-life experience

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Undergraduate- and graduate-level business marketing students at Southern Oregon University will complete their first interactive, real-time and real-life Internet Marketing and e-Commerce course this month.

Karen Fronek

The innovative course – designed by SOU Adjunct Instructor Karen Fronek, the president of Make It Happen Marketing in Medford – has taken students from the classroom to the virtual workplace as they built a marketing website (www.SOU436536.com) using weekly lessons in real-time.

Joan McBee, chair of the SOU Business Department, oversaw the project and described Fronek’s approach as unique, with an element of modern marketing not typically available to university students.

“It’s exciting to be part of a course that is specifically designed to propel students from the classroom to the modern workplace,” McBee said. “This is what higher education is all about, and what SOU is committed to achieving. Preparing students for the transition to the next phase of their lives is one of the most important objectives we can accomplish.”

The goal for Fronek’s course was to find a way to properly prepare students for the current work environment in the field of marketing. The SOU436536.com website was created specifically for the Internet Marketing course by Fronek and web administrator Kevin McMillian of Core Business Services in Medford.

“As the owner of a marketing agency and as their instructor, I felt it was my responsibility to introduce these future marketing professionals to our world as we live and work in it every day – the real world of business marketing,” Fronek said. “That means learning the intricacies of one of the most important message outlets in today’s workplace – an organization’s website.”

The university’s previous curriculum didn’t allow for a comprehensive, hands-on approach using current marketing tools, because internet marketing changes daily, she said. Students in the new course learned week-by-week the art of creating relevant and engaging content for social media channels, videos, blogs and vlogs, and writing effective emails. They learned search engine optimization and created a product for ecommerce with web-optimized graphics. Each completed assignment was posted live online to students’ personal branded pages at SOU436536.com.

The curriculum also included instruction on using video editing phone apps to film, edit, and upload videos quickly. Students achieved Google AdWords awards by studying and passing Google Adwords Fundamentals and Google My Business exams through Google’s Academy For Ads.

“I loved watching the students gain confidence and hone their skills during this course,” Fronek said. “Students had to think like real internet marketers. They learned about Ideal Customer Avatars (ICA), creating messaging specifically for their ICA audience. They had to be creative, agile and resourceful in what they produced, and they had to work in teams. The best part is that they were not just learning new marketing concepts, they were actually applying those new-found skills weekly.”

Fronek is currently designing a version of the Internet Marketing course for SOU’s new Online MBA Program, serving as many as 100 students nationwide.

“Making this course relevant is my highest priority,” she said. “As a business owner, being able to bridge students into modern marketing methods is the best I can do for them. My goal is that when they graduate, they are a benefit to any organization immediately. That’s my ultimate reward.”

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Three SOU arts leaders accepted as fellows in international council

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Three Southern Oregon University faculty members – the largest contingent from any college or university in the world – have been accepted into the 2018-19 Fellows Program of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD).

SOU’s new ICFAD fellows are music professor Terry Longshore, director of SOU’s Percussion Studies program; Deborah Rosenberg, professor of costume design in the university’s Theatre Program and past president of the Faculty Senate; and Scott Malbaurn, director of the Schneider Museum of Art. In addition, David Humphrey – director of SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts – has been invited to serve as a mentor for a fellow from a different institution.

The international council offers a fellows program every third year as a professional development opportunity for talented arts administrators considered ready to move into leadership positions.

This year’s program for the 19 fellows who were accepted from around the world will begin in October with an education program, “Strategies for Developing Leaders,” at the ICFAD’s Annual Conference in Seattle. Each fellow will also be assigned a mentor from an ICFAD member institution other than their own.

The International Council of Fine Arts Deans was established in 1964 to facilitate the sharing of information and ideas among deans and other arts executives in higher education. ICFAD is the only organization that focuses solely on issues that impact higher education leaders in creative areas including fine and performing arts, arts education, art history, architecture and communication.

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About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

Elite drum and bugle corps makes SOU its “spring training” home

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For immediate release: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

For further information, contact:
Joe Mosley, Director of Community and Media Relations
Phone: (541) 552-6719 | Cell: (541) 729-2860 |
mosleyj@sou.edu

Elite drum and bugle corps makes SOU its “spring training” home

(Ashland, Ore.) — The elite Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps has found its tempo at Southern Oregon University, drilling for long hours each day and staying in a university residence hall for its three-week “spring training” before beginning its 2018 national tour next month.

The corps – based in Santa Clara, California – is made up of 154 college-age brass players, percussionists and color guard members from throughout the U.S. and other countries. Another 40 support staff members are with the group for its stay in a block of rooms at SOU’s Greensprings Complex.

Neighbors throughout Ashland’s university area can hear snippets from the practice sessions of Vanguard’s drum and horns sections, but will have opportunities in the coming weeks to hear and see the finished product. The group will offer a free, public thank-you performance at 8 p.m. on June 7 in SOU’s Raider Stadium and will also return for Ashland’s Fourth of July Parade. It is providing clinics for the SOU music program while in town, and will offer a day-long youth clinic at Ashland High School on June 2.

The public is also welcome at the drum and bugle corps’ practice sessions on the SOU athletic fields, but photos and videos are not allowed for licensing reasons.

The Vanguard brass and color guard sections have been at SOU since May 19, and the drum corps arrived a week later. The entire group will leave June 8 to prepare for its competitive national tour – 15,000 miles and 26 performances, from June 22 to Aug. 11.

“We researched dozens of possible spring training sites all over the country and chose Ashland, Oregon, because of the culture and atmosphere,” said Shaun Gallant, the Santa Clara Vanguard Corps Director. “One thing we really strive for is these relationships to be mutually beneficial and that is what we have created with the city of Ashland.”

The Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps has won six Drum Corps International World Class Championship titles and is the only corps to make the DCI finals every year since the competition began in 1972. More than 800 performers auditioned for this year’s Vanguard touring corps.

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

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(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

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(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

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(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

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(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

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(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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