Climate action leader to discuss solutions at SOU talk

NEWS RELEASE (online at https://goo.gl/PT3tHz)

(Ashland, Ore.) — KC Golden, a longtime leader in the U.S. climate action movement, will visit Southern Oregon University on March 9 for a talk that explores the need to turn a corner on the climate crisis and focus on solutions.

His free presentation, “Climate solutions: We have met the hero, and it is us,” will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 151 of the SOU Science Building. The talk comes as the city of Ashland works on its Climate and Energy Action Plan, and just a few weeks after SOU was one of six U.S. colleges and universities recognized with Climate Leadership Awards at the Presidential Climate Leadership Summit.

Golden will talk about the movement toward climate solutions that has begun over the past five years. The climate crisis has become real, and the cost of impacts is growing too high to ignore. He says a clean-energy revolution has been launched by the strong, citizen-driven climate movement that is challenging the status quo use of fossil fuels.

Climate change is coming to be understood as a moral watershed for our times, and Golden asks how we can drive the transition as fast and as far as is necessary.

Golden, who will speak on Jefferson Public Radio prior to his SOU presentation, is the current board chair of 350.org – a worldwide organization that seeks collaboration among activist groups to focus attention on climate change issues.  The organization’s name is derived from the goal of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the current level of more than 400 parts per million to fewer than 350 parts per million.

He also helped Seattle City Light become the country’s first major, carbon-free electric utility in the late 1990s. He was named one of the “Power 25” most influential people by Seattle Magazine, and was the magazine’s “Eco-Hero.”

Golden has served as the Seattle mayor’s special assistant for clean energy and climate protection initiatives and directed Washington’s Energy Policy Office as an assistant director in the state’s Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development. He was the executive director of the Northwest Energy Coalition – an alliance working for clean, affordable energy – from 1989 to 1994.

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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.

SOU recognized with Climate Leadership Award

NEWS RELEASE (online at https://goo.gl/Hz6vZs)

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University is one of just six U.S. colleges and universities that will be recognized this week with Climate Leadership Awards at the 10th annual Presidential Climate Leadership Summit of the nonprofit organization Second Nature.

SOU and three other colleges or universities will receive honorable mentions during the three-day leadership summit’s awards luncheon on Tuesday. Two institutions – Arizona State University and Johnson County Community College in Kansas – will be named winners of the 2017 Climate Leadership Awards.

Second Nature, which was formed in 1993 to mobilize higher education toward the goal of sustainability, hosts the leadership summit each year as a touch-base opportunity for its Climate Leadership Network – made up of more than 600 colleges and universities in every state and the District of Columbia.

Member institutions each commit to take action on climate issues and prepare students to solve current and future challenges. Members may make a “Carbon Commitment” to work toward carbon neutrality; a “Resilience Commitment” to focus on climate adaptation; or a “Climate Commitment” to do both.

SOU and 14 other public and private colleges and universities in Oregon are Climate Leadership Network members, and SOU is one of four institutions in the state that have made the Climate Commitment.

SOU has also been honored with the Best Case Study Award by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, was the nation’s first certified Bee Campus USA and offers LEED Gold campus housing at its Raider Village complex.

The Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards recognize leadership in sustainability, climate mitigation and resilience. The awards are made in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools.

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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.

SOU receives third Tree Campus USA designation

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

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has received recognition for the third straight year as a “Tree Campus USA.” The Arbor Day Foundation honors select U.S. colleges and universities with the Tree Campus designation, based upon management of their urban forests and efforts to engage students and staff in conservation.

SOU first received the designation for its efforts in 2014, and the 2016 honors were announced last week. The university has ramped up its Arbor Day activities as part of its ongoing campaign to become and remain a designated Tree Campus – 24,000 plants and 173 large trees have been planted on campus by volunteers during the past three annual celebrations, and a five-acre arboretum has been created.

“We have had a combined Arbor Day outreach of over 2,000 volunteers who have participated in everything from tree planting, pollinator garden creation and planting, botanical tours, pruning demonstrations and world-renowned educator presentations,” said Mike Oxendine, SOU’s landscaping, equipment and motor pool superintendent.

All trees planted at SOU’s Arbor Day celebrations have been donated by Plant Oregon, a Talent nursery that specializes in native plants, shrubs and trees. SOU offers free t-shirts to its Arbor Day volunteers, and those interested in participating can find more information on the SOU Landscape facebook page. This year’s Arbor day is on Friday, April 14.

The Arbor Day Foundation created its Tree Campus USA program in 2008. For 2016, 296 campuses nationwide received the recognition – including four universities and one community college in Oregon.

To qualify for the honor, colleges or universities must meet five standards: maintain a tree advisory committee, employee a campus tree-care plan, dedicate funding each year to the campus tree program, observe Arbor Day and engage students through a service-learning project.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $46.7 million in campus forest management efforts during 2016.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.

 

SOU center offers free presentation on debt-reduction for businesses

NEWS BRIEF (online at https://goo.gl/Fp4J2Z)

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Small Business Development Center will offer a free presentation, “For Love & Money:  Reduce Debt and Increase Cash Flow in Your Business,” from 12:15 to 1:15 on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Room 132 of the RCC/SOU Higher Education Center, at 101 S. Bartlett St., in Medford.

Certified financial coach Kathy Kali will serve as presenter at the session. She has been helping small business owners to grow and manage their income for 10 years.

Attendees will learn how to reduce debt by following the “seven baby steps to wealth-building in business,” retain earnings and pay themselves for their work, and use a monthly budget to maximize profit and cash flow.

Space for the presentation is limited, so those who are interested are advised to register ahead of time at www.sou.edu/sbdc.

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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.

Statement on immigration and support for all students

ANNOUNCEMENT

The following statement was sent this morning from SOU President Linda Schott to all students, faculty and staff.

Dear students and colleagues,

Southern Oregon University is a place where diverse backgrounds intersect and where all members of our academic community are supported and respected – as are their thoughtfully shared views on any issues they consider important.  We do not apply religious tests before admitting students or hiring employees, and we do not discriminate against people based on their nationality, race, gender or sexual orientation. Students and employees who come to SOU – whether from Medford or Mexico, Salem or Somalia – all have the right to be treated fairly and to be valued for who they are.

SOU does not stand alone but is part of a larger network of higher education institutions spread across our nation.  Many of these universities are stepping forward at this point to reiterate their commitments to liberal education and democracy. For example, President Muriel Howard of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities – of which SOU is a member – has issued a statement asking the Trump Administration to reconsider its recent executive order suspending the U.S. refugee program and banning travel into this country for the citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.

“America’s state colleges and universities have been strengthened by the presence of students and faculty from around the globe, including those from the seven countries specifically targeted by the president’s executive order,” President Howard wrote. “We share in the collective commitment to protect our national security while at the same time enriching our nation with invaluable contributions from abroad.”

I share President Howard’s support for diversity – geographic, religious and otherwise. Although SOU has few students from the list of seven countries affected by the executive order, we have many international students who now wonder about their futures in our nation.  Thus I want to be clear that during this period of uncertainty and unrest, as we have throughout the history of our institution, SOU will continue to support all students and employees who wish to learn, grow, and make contributions to our campus and communities. 

Each morning, I walk into Churchill Hall under an inscription that reads, “The difficulties of democracy are the opportunities of education.” As we listen to our political leaders disagree about policies and principles and as we watch protestors take to the streets; as we pen our individual letters to elected officials or otherwise demonstrate our personal political views, it is apparent that our democratic system is being tested. It has been tested before, and we have always emerged from those tests with a new appreciation for both the daunting difficulties and amazing possibilities of self-governance. That self-governance is made possible at least in part by an educated populous and by the schools, colleges and universities providing that education. We at SOU are engaged in a serious, vital endeavor. We will continue our efforts, with renewed commitment, mutual respect and vigorous care for each other.

Respectfully,

Linda Schott
President, Southern Oregon University

The Farm at SOU to have “farm mentor” for five-month appointment

NEWS BRIEF (online at https://goo.gl/HUog5W)

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Farm at SOU will have a new staff member from March through August – a “farm mentor” who will be employed by AmeriCorps and will help inspire a generation of ecologically committed leaders to live and work sustainably.

The farm mentor will work full-time for five months, and will receive a monthly stipend, health insurance coverage and a $2,865 educational award upon completion of the appointment. He or she may also be eligible for childcare assistance.

The mentor will design a master action plan for The Farm’s mentorship program, reach out to local human services programs to recruit participants in the program and develop cohorts based on shared goals and needs. The mentor will also work with the participants on projects that help build life skills, evaluate the program’s effectiveness and coordinate with other staff members at The Farm.

The SOU facility is student-led, organic agricultural project that serves as a hub for education, student and faculty research, and community research.

Those who are interested in the position may apply on the AmeriCorps website. Applicants will be reviewed by Nancy Shea, coordinator of the SOU Center for Sustainability, then will be vetted by AmeriCorps. Shea will make the final selection by mid-February, and the successful applicant will begin March 1.

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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.

SOU’s groundbreaking football coach passes away at age 64

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

(Ashland, Ore.) — Craig Howard, the head football coach who raised the bar at Southern Oregon University and earned the love of his team for the family culture he instilled, passed away Thursday night in his home. He was 64.

The Howard family has asked for privacy but will announce services in the coming days. Grief counseling is available on campus today for students and for faculty and staff.

Coach Howard joined SOU as head football coach six years ago, coming home to Southern Oregon following a successful career as a high school coach in Florida. He grew up in Grants Pass and played high school football there, then played at the collegiate level at Linfield College in McMinnville.

He was hired in February 2011 to take over a team that averaged three wins per year in the eight seasons prior to his arrival, and predicted he would bring the university its first NAIA national championship. He did that in 2014, when he was also named the Rawlings NAIA Coach of the Year. He took the Raiders back to the championship game in 2015, falling just short of back-to-back championships.

SOU President Linda Schott referred to Howard as “a terrific leader for our university and its Athletic Department” in a memo to campus.

“In both of those runs through the NAIA playoffs, Coach Howard instilled confidence in his players that allowed them to overcome others’ expectations of them,” the president said. “His teams were underdogs in six of their eight playoff games during those two years.”

After his team won SOU’s first NAIA football title in Daytona Beach, Fla., Howard stripped down with his team and for a triumphant plunge into the Atlantic Ocean – delivering on a promise he’d made at the beginning of that week.

“Coach Howard was energized, passionate and as full of love as ever,” SOU Director of Athletics Matt Sayre said Friday. “He loved his team, his coaches, the recruits he and his staff were talking with and signing, and – above all – his family.

“He was an amazing man,” Sayre said. “He was an inspiration to all those who knew him. He molded men of character, strength and honor and always placed that above winning football games. We will miss him dearly, but are thankful to have had him as our friend, mentor, coach and role model. We are all better people for having Coach Craig Howard in our lives.”

He compiled a record of 50-23 with the Raiders, giving him the best win percentage (.685) in school history.

Prior to winning the 2014 championship, the Raiders had never been past the second round of the 16-team playoff.

Howard’s previous college coaching experience included two stints as defensive coordinator for Oregon Institute of Technology in the late 1970s and 1980s, two years in the same position at Portland State University and two years as Oregon Tech’s head coach from 1991 to 1992.

As a high school coach in Florida, his teams went 76-23 from 2003 through 2010, went to the state championship game three times and won the state title in 2005. His high school athletes included eventual Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.

Howard spent his final hours Thursday doing what he loved: recruiting, and familiarizing future Raiders with the “Character, Strength and Honor” mantra he popularized at SOU.

He is survived his wife, Valerie; daughters Amy and Emily; sons Bo, Jordan and Ryan; and five grandchildren. Bo Howard is an assistant football coach at SOU.

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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.

Chief of staff for late State Sen. Alan Bates shifts to SOU government relations

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

(Ashland, Ore.) — Julie McFadden, who served most recently as chief of staff to the late State Sen. Alan Bates, has been hired to serve as Southern Oregon University’s liaison with state and federal lawmakers. She began work at the university on Monday.

As SOU’s new Director of Government Relations, McFadden will work with elected officials, legislative staff members and others on measures that will benefit the university, its students and the state of Oregon.

“I look forward to helping deliver the messages that higher education is vitally important to Oregon’s future, and our region relies absolutely on what SOU produces – about a thousand graduates each year who are well-prepared to innovate and lead,” McFadden said.

She has spent the past two years as Bates’ chief of staff and served as a field organizer to promote state and local measures.  McFadden’s previous experience includes work as a teacher, executive director of a non-profit and geriatric care manager.

“Working with Senator Bates was an honor, filled with learning and growth opportunities,” she said. “He embodied integrity and commitment to service; he saw us as people first and politics after. I strive to bring what I learned from him, as a legislator and a person, to all my work.”

As the head of Bates’ legislative office, McFadden developed and maintained working relationships with state and federal legislators and administrative staff, lobbyists, union representatives, local leaders and other stakeholders. That position also involved researching policy concepts and law to ensure the passage of effective policies.

“I have enjoyed rich relationships in the Capital as well as in our local community,” she said. “I am proud to bring a pillar of my local community together with my Capital family.”

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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.

SOU small business leader to address entrepreneurs

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NEWS BRIEF (online at https://goo.gl/A5DpTF)

(Medford, Ore.) — Going up? Three easy steps to creating an elevator speech – a brief pitch to sell yourself to clients – will be outlined on Thursday, Jan. 12, when Simone Stewart of Southern Oregon University’s Small Business Development Center addresses the Women Entrepreneurs of Southern Oregon.

Stewart will discuss how to create a persuasive elevator speech and when to use it. A compelling conversation as brief as 30 seconds is often the tipping point for a business person seeking to gain a client or investor, she says.

As the SBDC’s client services manager, Stewart’s work is aimed at community outreach and economic development. She is a member of the planning committee for the SOU Women’s Leadership Conference and is a Medford Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. She previously owned and operated a consignment and antiques shop in Ashland, and most recently served as director of operations and marketing for a technology services company.

The cost of the Women Entrepreneurs’ January dinner and program – which is open to all – is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. A $3 discount is available for online registration and prepayment, and reservations should be made by 9 p.m. on Jan. 9. The event at the Rogue Regency Inn, 2300 Biddle Road in Medford, will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and include networking, dinner and the program. For questions or reservations by phone, call Carol Vandell at (541) 292-6326.

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About Southern Oregon University
As a public liberal arts university, SOU focuses on student learning, accessibility and civic engagement that enriches both the community and bioregion. The university is recognized for fostering intellectual creativity, for quality and innovation in its connected learning programs, and for 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, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU professor’s research published in European journal

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

(Ashland, Ore.) —A research paper on the solution chemistry of aluminum, authored by Southern Oregon University professor Anna Oliveri, was published in the current edition of the peer-reviewed periodical “Chemistry – A European Journal.” Oliveri also provided artwork for the journal’s cover.

The paper describes fundamental research on the molecules present in solutions with high aluminum and amino acid concentrations. Understanding the actual structures of the molecules in solutions can lead to a better understanding of the toxicity, bioavailability and reactivity of the solutions.

chem201605388Colgate Palmolive, which provided funding for the research conducted by Oliveri’s team, uses aluminum in consumer goods such as deodorants and cleaning products. Other potential real-world applications for the research include environmental monitoring of sites near abandoned mines, where acid-mine drainage is creating highly acidic pools with much higher-than-natural metal concentrations.

The research led by Oliveri, an inorganic chemistry professor at SOU, resulted in the first observation of the alpha-isomer of the aluminum molecule in solution. This specific structure had been hypothesized to exist for decades but remained elusive until her observation. A goal of Oliveri’s continuing research is to isolate the alpha-isomer for future studies.

The cover artwork is Oliveri’s second such piece to be featured on the cover of a scientific journal this year. She is enthusiastic about branching out into scientific art to complement her research.

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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.