Interim diversity and inclusion director named at SOU

NEWS BRIEF (available online at https://goo.gl/hx1ZR1)

(Ashland, Ore.) — Shenethia Manuel, a respected higher education administrator, has accepted an offer to serve as Southern Oregon University’s interim Director of Diversity and Inclusion from July through December as the university launches its search for a permanent director.

Marjorie Trueblood Gamble, who has served in the SOU position for the past seven years, will leave June 29 to become Dean of Multicultural Life at Macalester College in Minnesota.

Manuel will work remotely through July, then will be on the Ashland campus from August through the end of the year. The university will launch a nationwide search for its permanent Director of Diversity and Inclusion in August.

“Shenethia is well-respected in higher education and highly qualified to step right in to help SOU maintain its positive momentum in diversity and Title IX matters,” SOU President Linda Schott said. “Strong leadership in those areas is critical as we begin implementing various components of our new strategic plan.”

Manuel served as vice president for human resources, equity and inclusion at Missouri University of Science and Technology from 2008 until last September, when she took emerita status and began her own consulting firm in Norman, Oklahoma. She worked previously as director of personnel and affirmative action officer at Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

SOU worked with a search firm to identify Manuel as a candidate for the interim SOU position, and she was offered the job following an interview process that included members of the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Title IX team and Cabinet.

She received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Oklahoma, her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and her master of arts in ministry and culture degree from Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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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.