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.

SOU receives NEH grant to preserve “common heritage” histories

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NEWS RELEASE (online at https://goo.gl/sHH5QE)

(Ashland, Ore.) — The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Southern Oregon University a $12,000 Common Heritage grant to collect and preserve agricultural and logging family histories in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

horsedrawn-plow-hillcrest-circa-1910 Co-investigators Maureen Battistella (assistant professor affiliate and research anthropologist at SOU) and Victoria Sturtevant, Ph.D. (SOU sociology professor emerita) will work with SOU students, the OSU Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, local libraries, historical societies and youth groups to identify heritage families for the project.

“This project is important because it helps Southern Oregon’s largely rural communities trace, preserve and share their heritage,” Battistella says. “It will document how and why population growth, economic development and new agricultural opportunities have affected Southern Oregon’s heritage industries.”

loggingnearbuttefalls-circa-1940Stories, photographs and memorabilia discovered during heritage day events will be digitized and made available to the public thanks to the expertise of SOU librarians and the Southern Oregon Digital Archives (SODA) at Southern Oregon University’s Hannon Library. Retired U.S. Forest Service archaeologist Jeff LaLande, Ph.D., is a consulting historian on the project; his papers and photographs are already in the SOU SODA collection.

Southern Oregon’s landscape has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. Historical family farms have yielded to housing developments, pear trees have been pulled out to plant vineyards, and timber is nearly played out.

The Legacy Labor project is designed to document a way of life that is nearly lost to memory because of cultural, political and economic pressures. It is intended to increase awareness of heritage agriculture and timber occupations and draw attention to the importance of preserving and sharing community values. The project will build upon and extend the heritage preservation model developed for earlier grants awarded to SOU by the Oregon Heritage Commission, the Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association and the Erath Family Foundation.

For more information about the NEH Common Heritage award to SOU and the Legacy Labor project, contact Maureen Flanagan Battistella at (541) 552-0743 or battistem@sou.edu.

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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.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

SOU’s Small Business Development Center offers business workshop

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

(Medford, Ore.) — The Small Business Development Center at Southern Oregon University’s Higher Education Center in Medford will host a free, one-hour workshop on “The Art of Buying or Selling a Business” at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15.

The workshop will be held at the Higher Education Center, at 101 S. Bartlett St., in Medford.

Gary Einhorn, who operates the Entrepreneurial Ear business coaching service in Ashland, will be the featured presenter. He will discuss how to determine what a business is worth, when may be the best time to buy or sell, and the pros and cons of using a business broker to facilitate a sale.

Einhorn has created, owned and managed seven successful businesses over the past 35 years and has faced many of the same challenges as other business owners. He also hosts a local radio show called “The Entrepreneurial Ear” on KSKQ 89.5 FM.

The workshop is presented by SOU’s Small Business Development Center and sponsored by Umpqua Bank. To register or for more information, call (541) 552-8300.

The Small Business Development Center, which offers no-cost guidance to business owners and prospective entrepreneurs, is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. A total of 293 clients met with the center’s counselors in 2015, and 671 people attended its 48 public events.

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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 offers “Working in the Wine Industry” course to community

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

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University is making one of its winter term courses available to the public. “Working in the Wine Industry” will be offered for credit to admitted SOU students, and will be available at a special tuition rate as a non-credit class for community members who are not admitted SOU students.

“This is in direct response to the needs of our community,” said SOU Professor Greg Jones, director of the university’s Division of Business, Communication and the Environment. “The wine industry is booming in Southern Oregon, and more and more people are turning to the industry for employment. We want to make sure that not only our students, but anyone in the community interested in a career in this exciting field has the opportunity to learn the basics through this course.”

The seminar-style “Working in the Wine Industry” course will focus on the many facets and possibilities of pursuing and performing employment in the wine industry. The course covers vineyard operations, winemaking, and the marketing and selling of wine. Wine’s place in history, culture, science and economics also are incorporated into the curriculum.

“Anyone who is interested in wine and would like to have a more robust understanding of it will benefit from this course,” Dr. Jones said. “But it is particularly well-suited for those working in the hospitality and tourism industries who would like to expand their skillsets.”

“Working in the Wine Industry” will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 to 3:20 p.m., Jan. 10 through March 21 on SOU’s main campus in Ashland.

A special tuition rate of $300 has been established for community members who sign up for the course. Admitted students taking the class for credit will pay the standard tuition rate. Anyone interested in learning more or registering is encouraged to contact Connie Lynn in SOU’s Continuing Education Division at (541) 552-6899 or by email at lynnc@sou.edu.

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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 joins ranks of bike-friendly universities

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NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University joined 163 other visionary colleges and universities around the country today when it was recognized as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists.

SOU was recognized at the “silver” level of the league’s four-tiered system for bicycle-friendly designation. Only 23 institutions were recognized at the “platinum” or “gold” levels, while 46 received silver-level awards. Another 95 received “bronze” awards.

SOU’s ECOS Sustainability Resource Center first applied for bicycle-friendly designation three years ago, but fell just short of the list and received an honorable mention. This year’s designation follows a significant upgrade to the SOU Bike Program over the past two years: after receiving startup capital from the SOU Green Fund, the program has gone from six rental bicycles to a fleet of 42 Trek commuter bikes that are available to students for term-by-term rental. The program also hired a dedicated student bicycle mechanic and student program coordinator, and has developed programing and curricula to integrate bicycling into the campus culture.

“We hope to continue to build on the momentum of this new effort and expand our service to the SOU community,” said Joseph Stout, student coordinator of the SOU Bike Program.

Stout said he hopes to expand the program to include hands-on maintenance workshops for students, group rides and easily-available information about the environmental and health benefits of bicycling. “Our rental program is extremely popular and we are also working on bolstering and expanding this, to provide bikes for even more students,” he said.

The Bicycle Friendly University program is now in its fifth year. The League of American Bicyclists is leading a movement to create a “bicycle-friendly America.” The organization also sponsors Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State and Bicycle Friendly Business programs.

“We applaud this round of Bicycle Friendly Universities for raising the standard and being innovative in making bicycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable option for students, staff and visitors alike,” said Bill Nesper, director of the league’s bicycle-friendly programs.

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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 Workshop to Help Small Business Owners

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NEWS RELEASE (online at https://goo.gl/jhw10V)

(Medford, Ore.) — An event to be offered this Friday in Medford will be aimed at local entrepreneurs who love creating and owning their businesses, but could benefit from improved understanding of their enterprises’ finances.

The Southern Oregon University Small Business Development Center (SOU SBDC) will present the workshop, “Understanding Financials for the Everyday Business Person.” Facilitators Jack Vitacco and Russ Kennedy will speak in down-to-earth terms that will increase participants’ confidence in managing their money and businesses.

The three-hour, interactive workshop will cover:

  • Why business owners must understand income statements, balance sheets and cash flow analysis
  • How to use financial statements to make intelligent business decisions
  • How to determine if a business is fiscally fit and sustainable

“The ‘Understanding Financials’ workshop is part of our ‘Fueling Up!’ series, where we offer in-depth information on topics our clients most often request,” says Jack Vitacco, SOU SBDC director. “Managing expenses and income are essential to the health of any business.”

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 2 at the SOU Higher Education Center in downtown Medford. The investment is $40 for those applying for a scholarship made possible by Umpqua Bank (without a scholarship the fee is $75). Register online and download a scholarship application at sou.edu/sbdc/fuelingup.html

About Southern Oregon University Small Business Development Center
The SOU SBDC is partially funded by the Small Business Administration and the Oregon Business Development Department. In-depth and confidential, no-cost business advising services and affordable workshops, presentations and access to business resources are available.

SOU SBDC Director Jack Vitacco has worked with small business owners throughout his career. Areas of expertise include business start-up, marketing, sales, distribution and strategic planning. Russ Kennedy, an SBDC Business Advisor, was chief financial officer for various Silicon Valley businesses and is a former CPA. He has extensive experience in financial planning, business buy-outs, high-tech start-up companies, business planning and international finance.

For SOU SBDC information
Contact Simone Stewart, (541) 552-8300, stewartv@sou.edu or 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.

Record number expected for SOU Preview Day

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

(Ashland, Ore.) — About 600 high school students are expected to be on the Southern Oregon University campus on Friday (Nov. 18) for Preview Day, the institution’s main Fall Term college visitation event for prospective students.

Currently, the record number of Preview Day attendees is the 469 who visited during last year’s event.

Preview Day activities introduce students to various aspects of campus life, to the opportunities an SOU education can make available to them and to the people that make the university a special place. Prospective students will tour the campus and residence halls, meet with faculty in academic areas that are of most interest to them, explore resources and facilities, and dine on campus. 

schott-photo-smAll participants will take part in a session at the Music Recital Hall from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. Music will be provided by SOU’s acclaimed Left Edge Percussion group; President Linda Schott will welcome the visitors; and Lee Ayers, director of the Undergraduate Studies Division, will discuss the university’s House Initiative – which offers opportunities for students to collaborate on big ideas in either the Green House or the Skeptic House.

Students will split into smaller groups for the remainder of the day for a variety of discussions, tours, faculty presentations, contests, workshops and informational sessions.

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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.

Veterans and the SOU Community

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NEWS BRIEF

(Ashland, Ore.) — On Veterans Day, some pertinent notes about veterans and Southern Oregon University:

  • SOU’s Veterans Resource Office will host a Veterans Day Reception at noon today in the Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Union. Speakers will include SOU President Linda Schott.
  • rotcA total of 247 of the 6,200 students at SOU this term are military-affiliated – primarily, either veterans or dependents who are eligible to receive veterans’ benefits. About 30 of them serve as cadets in SOU’s Army ROTC program. SOU also has a robust Military Science Program, which offers about 10 courses and serves in the neighborhood of 150 students per term.
  • Innovative Educators, a Colorado firm that supports academic and professional growth in higher education, honored four veteran students from around the U.S. in its online newsletter this week. Two of them – veteran U.S. Marine Corps infantryman Justin Jones and veteran U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chris Vorgang – are SOU students.

Here is what Innovative Educators said about Jones and Vorgang:

Justin Jones, Southern Oregon University 
Justin Jones is currently enrolled as a full time student at Southern Oregon University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Prior to this venture, Justin served as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Serving for a single enlistment, Justin received an honorable discharge after 4 years active duty. Currently, Justin is employed at the Veterans Resource Office at SOU where he assists fellow veterans in utilizing VA educational benefits. Future aspirations include attending graduate school at Portland State University with the desired goal of employment within the finance sector of the automotive industry. Justin also has a strong passion for flight and is hoping to earn his pilot’s license in the near future. In his free time, Justin enjoys long walks with his German Shepherd, Mattis.

Chris Vorgang, Southern Oregon University
Chris Vorgang was born in Anaheim, CA in 1983, but was raised in Medford, OR most of his life. After dropping out of college in 2004, Chris joined the Army and was trained as an Intelligence Analyst. He deployed twice to Iraq and implemented his training to triangulate cell phones. Chris spent the last three years of his eight-year enlistment in the Army at the Defense Intelligence Agency in D.C. as an Iraqi Security Forces Analyst contributing to the President’s Daily Brief. In 2011 he met his stunningly beautiful wife, Jill. After his military service, Jill followed him back to Medford where they began raising their daughter Scarlett, and three years later their son Ivan. Realizing he wanted to contribute to the Social Work field, he quit his job and returned to Southern Oregon University to finish his degree in Psychology and started working at the Veterans Resource Office (VRO) on campus. After his deployments he tended to avoid social situations and kept to himself. Fortunately, he started hanging out at the VRO more and more. It felt great to be around like-minded individuals that could understand how difficult the transition to civilian life can be. He now manages the VRO, and is able to certify student Veterans who want to pursue their educational goals. He realized that supporting Veterans was a passion of his. Chris is almost done with his Psychology degree, and is planning to attend Portland State University to pursue Social Work.

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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.