New esports website brings academic and competitive information together

Everything esports: new SOU website covers academic minor and esports gaming

A minor in esports management? Information about the soon-to-be-launched Esports Hub in SOU’s Student Recreation Center? The university’s new esports website brings all the information about SOU’s trend-setting programs together in one place.

The university is launching both an academic program and a competitive team in esports this fall, becoming one of the first institutions on the West Coast to offer both. Esports is a billion-dollar global enterprise, and SOU’s combination of programs will position students for future employment in the growing industry.

The new website offers details about both the academic and competitive sides of esports at SOU, from course descriptions and faculty profiles to timely information for those interested in joining the university’s esports teams.

SOU’s academic minor in esports management is one of just a handful that are offered nationally. It is offered through SOU’s Business Program and includes curriculum in business, marketing, digital media and communication. The minor consists of two core courses – Introduction to Esports Management and Contemporary & Ethical Issues in Esports – and four elective courses.

The Esports Hub in SOU’s Student Recreation Center will feature 12 top-end computer gaming stations, one of which will be reserved for streaming and esports commentating – known as “shoutcasting.” The hub, which will be open before Thanksgiving, will be used for intercollegiate competitions, intramural gaming and open play for all SOU students and SRC members. The computers are in place and an order of chairs for the facility arrived recently; painting touch-ups, installation of the main video screen and other detail work will occur over the next few weeks.

Esports team tryouts will begin Oct. 26. Students who are interested in joining the SOU team are invited to sign up online.

SOU’s intercollegiate Esports team is expected to compete in the Collegiate Starleague (CSL), which hosted the first collegiate competition in 2009 and has grown to include teams from 1,800 college campuses across North America. The CSL offers leagues under several titles and platforms, for players at all skill levels.

Student Quinn Barrabee credits SOU's University Coaching and Academic Mentoring program

SOU’s University Coaching and Academic Mentoring program brings results

SOU student Quinn Barrabee was nearly finished with a term paper but couldn’t quite get over the hump, so he turned to his academic lifeline – the University Coaching and Mentoring (UCAM) program and academic coach Jade Severson.

“Jade said that ‘If you come in first thing tomorrow, I bet we could finish it,’” Barrabee said. “I did just that and an hour later I finished and turned in my paper, and got an ‘A’ on it.”

The University Coaching and Academic Mentoring (UCAM) program is a small, closely knit campus initiative that provides one-on-one support to a group of roughly 50 students. It can take students from their transition into college all the way through to their capstone, and no program like it is offered at any other West Coast university.

“We help students in planning their term, breaking large tasks into manageable pieces, learning time management, organization and how to study, and in writing papers,” Severson said. “We also really focus on building a UCAM community – our students learn to support one another and even become roommates and friends.”

UCAM connected the dots for Barrabee – a Communications student with a focus on social media and public engagement – who just needed someone to keep him on track.

“When I first met Jade, it was like finding the last piece of the puzzle you have been working on forever and finally finding it,” he said. “There are no amount of words that I could say that convey how much she helped me, both academically and growing as a person.”

UCAM academic coaches are the key to the program, helping students write papers, facilitating study sessions, triaging late assignments and more.

Improved study skills and academic persistence are common among students in the program. An average of 95 percent of UCAM students over the past three years have continued their academic journeys at SOU from one term to the next, and they graduate at a rate 25 percent higher than the general student population.

Barrabee credits the incredibly positive relationship he’s built with Severson.

“I would go so far to say that without UCAM by my side I would be lost,” he said. “Thanks to them, my writing ability has improved significantly.”

All students are welcome at UCAM, but the program can be of particular help to those with disabilities such as ADHD, ASD and executive dysfunction. UCAM connects those students to SOU’s Disability Resources office for help with academic accommodations. UCAM coaches try to help all students find strategies that work for them, but are constrained by the program’s size.

“We would love to improve access to our program so that anyone who wants to participate is able,” Severson said. “Right now, all of our funding is generated from the fees that we charge for services, which has limited our ability to expand and offer more scholarships to students.”

Severson and the other UCAM coaches hope to diversify their funding model, but the program’s tight budget means that two of the three coaches are 10-month employees, making it difficult to find time for grant applications. That said, UCAM coaches prioritize helping students and keeping their doors open during the academic year.

“UCAM is not just a place to get help with your homework, it’s a community of many people who just want to help you (and) see you succeed in your academic goals and beyond,” Barrabee said.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

Program for non-traditional students receives five-year grant

SOU awarded $1.6 million to help first-generation and non-traditional students

(Ashland, Ore.) — The TRIO-Student Support Services (SSS) program at SOU, which helps non-traditional students succeed and graduate, has received a five-year, $1,627,990 federal grant renewal to keep the program in operation through 2026.

The U.S. Department of Education grant will provide $325,598 per year in funding for SOU’s Success at Southern/TRIO Program, which is limited to 190 students per academic year and has served more than 1,500 since 1994.

The SOU program offers services including academic advising, tutoring, personal education plans, career guidance, preparation for graduate programs and financial aid information. The program is free and intended for first-generation, low-income, disabled or other non-traditional students.

Students must apply to participate in the Success at Southern/TRIO-SSS program and those who meet eligibility requirements are invited to interviews about their educational goals, career ambitions and academic barriers. Students who are accepted into the program must each attend a mandatory orientation session and an initial personal education plan meeting, then become eligible for all of the Success at Southern/TRIO-SSS services.

The federal TRIO programs, which were created following passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965, are intended to help disadvantaged students progress through the academic pipeline from middle school through graduate school. There are currently eight sections of TRIO, and the SOU grant is part of the Student Support Services Program. SOU also participates in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program – a separately funded TRIO program – which prepares eligible undergraduate students for eventual doctoral studies.

TRIO’s programs help students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with disabilities, to negotiate obstacles that may hinder their academic progress.

Peter Wu's passion is to teach physics and do research

Peter Wu has found his calling: to teach physics and do research at SOU

Peter Ka-Chai Wu has worked in factories and mailrooms, and has held positions ranging from security guard to researcher. But the opportunity to teach physics is what brought him to SOU as a young academic and it’s what has kept him on the STEM faculty for 25 years.

“(Teaching) is rewarding and challenging,” Wu said. “Seeing your students enter the next phase of their life and hoping that what you helped them learn may aid them in their new adventures.”

Wu teaches courses in physics, mathematics and electronics while studying biomaterials. He has served as a program coordinator for physics at SOU and is a professor on the Chemistry Department faculty.

He received his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at Macalester College, and both his master’s degree and doctorate in materials science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As a researcher, Wu studied biomaterials, thin film, polymer/metal adhesion, ferroelectric materials and fullerenes.

He saw Ashland and SOU as a stable environment to raise his child, and continues to find fulfillment and inspiration.

As a teacher, Wu fosters a creative and understanding space for students to apply what they learn – where he asks students to listen, review material, ask questions and work hard. He teaches algebra and calculus-based physics classes, and general physics. And he particularly enjoys branches of physics that deal with the electromagnetic spectrum.

“If you want to achieve a basic understanding of how nature works, physics is it,” he said. “Physics opens my horizon, deepens my understanding and makes me humble.

“I like electricity and magnetism including electronics – those are my favorite subjects. As a teacher, if you are excited about the subject, it helps.”

Wu has continued his research while at SOU – filing patents, publishing scientific papers and book chapters, and speaking at numerous conferences. One of his recent papers is “Electrospun gelatin biopapers as substrate for in vitro bilayer models of blood-brain barrier tissue,” which Wu co-wrote with seven other authors.

The paper found that through a fiber production method called electrospinning a more effective material could be created on which to test the blood-brain barrier – a function of blood vessels that prevents large molecules, including many medicines used to treat brain disorders, from entering the brain. Wu’s electrospun “biopapers” were found to have improved electrical resistance, decreased permeability, and permitted less separation between cells.

Wu is currently doing research on acoustics as he continues to teach physics and other STEM courses.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

SOU Leadership Begins Here Header Logo

Image: Southern Oregon University Leadership Begins Here

Sean O'Skea

SOU’s Sean O’Skea: from historic preservation to theatrical scene design

After moving back-and-forth – between the East and West coasts, and between theater stage design and historic preservation – Sean O’Skea has settled into his role at SOU as a professor of scenic design, which he’s held for the past 13 years.

O’Skea became interested in scene design after taking drama classes in high school and realizing he was more interested in creating evocative environments than in performing. To that end, he worked toward a bachelor’s degree in theatre at the University of Portland. But he started to have a change of heart while working on his graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, deciding to work instead toward a master’s degree in historic preservation.

“My degree in historic preservation was a bit of a rebellion against working in theatre,” O’Skea said. “I had worked my first year in grad school at University of Wisconsin-Madison and was really having second thoughts. I’ve always been interested in history and architecture, and so jumped into the program at Ball State.”

He worked in Indiana for about a year as a historic preservationist, but found after moving back to the West Coast that historic preservation work is rarer than it was on the East Coast.

“While I was trying to find more work in historic preservation, I kept getting offered design jobs and adjunct teaching in theatre, and after a while I just sort of found myself back in theater full-time again – so I went to University Portland to finish my MFA,” O’Skea said.

“I was accepted for a tenure-track job at Alfred University in New York,” he said. “So we moved back across the country. I was at Alfred for three years when my wife was offered a fantastic job in PR for Microsoft. Our life has been alternating between my school and jobs taking us east, where we were never really happy, and my wife’s jobs bringing us back to Oregon.”

In Oregon, O’Skea spent a couple years raising his daughter as a stay-at-home dad, before applying for teaching jobs at nearby universities – including SOU, where he was eventually hired.

“My wife has always dreamed of living in Ashland, and Southern Oregon felt very familiar to my Sonoma County (California) childhood home,” O’Skea said. “(SOU is) big enough to have a real college experience but not so big that you get lost. Ashland has the best of both worlds – great culture, progressive community, much that you’d find in a big city, but we are minutes away from some of the most beautiful landscapes in the nation.

“I was impressed with the department and hit it off with the faculty, I met some students that were really excited and committed to their studies and we decided to just go for it.”

O’Skea teaches courses in the SOU Theatre Program including elements of design, which introduces the digital and hands-on processes of design; scenic design, which explores the principles of scene design in enhancing theatrical performances; computer aided design, which focuses on digital modeling and rendering techniques in the creation of physical artistic spaces; and drafting, which examines the techniques of drawing stage scenery and properties.

O’Skea uses a direct teaching style, assigning projects in his classes that get his students to develop the technical skills required in set creation. He advises students to be determined if they want to find academic success.

“Self-motivation is essential; your professors can only be your guides, you have to take the lead on your learning,” he said.

O’Skea enjoys gardening and traveling, when not working. While much of his travel to the East Coast is for work, he also vacations with his family during winter breaks – recently going to England and Italy. His travels help inspire his work as a scene designer.

“Everything influences my designs and as most of our travel is to historically juicy places I spend a lot of time filling sketchbooks, and taking reference photos,” he said. “It drives my wife and daughter crazy as we will be walking somewhere and suddenly I’m not there and they find me half a block back taking a photo of an interesting door knocker or a picturesque cracked wall, or something.”

O’Skea has published “Painting for Performance: A Beginner’s Guide to Great Painted Scenery (Routledge-2016),” an educational book that focuses on giving beginners the terms and techniques to paint stage scenery.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

Kempner studies role of women in Saudi universities

SOU’s Ken Kempner studies role of women faculty in Saudi universities

Southern Oregon University emeritus professor Ken Kempner, a former dean of social sciences at SOU, has continued studying the role of higher education in developing countries – most recently, the role of women in Saudi Arabia’s universities.

Kempner’s research was cited last month in a story in the life sciences magazine The Scientist about women faculty members at Saudi universities.

“I have been most surprised in our research that the level of education and inclusion of women in Saudi society was much more than I realized,” Kempner said. “Women are highly discriminated (against) and marginalized in Saudi society, but ironically, because of the gender apartheid there is a great need for women professors, doctors, lawyers and school teachers.

“There are some extremely brave women out there who struggle against great odds to even show up to class,” he said. “We found women professors in Arab countries outside of Saudi Arabia face daily harassment and physical violence just by teaching their classes.”

Kempner said he has worked with several Saudi students during his career at Portland State University, the University of Oregon and then SOU. One student – Sana Almansour – studied under Kempner in a doctoral program at PSU and is now a professor at Princess Nora University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The two have collaborated on various projects over the years, including the essay – “The Role of Arab Women Faculty in the Public Sphere” – that was cited by The Scientist. The paper focuses on the involvement of women professors, both in their universities and in larger society.

“I am a Western Male and am unable to interview women in many Arab countries,” Kempner said. “For this reason my colleague, Sana, had to do all the interviews and translations. She has access to women in countries I would not be allowed to travel –Iran, in particular.

“Therefore, my role in our research is as the conceptual scholar and synthesizer of the interviews Sana conducts. I formulate the questions for Sana and she tells me which questions are politically too dangerous to ask. And there are many.”

Kempner began his faculty career at Portland State, then moved to the UO before becoming SOU’s dean of social sciences, education, and health and physical education in 2001. He took emeritus status in 2012.

He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach at the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; a fellowship at the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico; and was a Yamada Scholar in Japan.

“My writing and research has always focused on the role of higher education in developing countries,” Kempner said. “I’ve been most interested in how universities contribute to social and economic development, and the role universities play in equity and social justice for women and under-represented groups.”

Kempner has continued to advise international students since his retirement and serves on several department committees.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

Esports management minor is coming to SOU

Esports team and esports management minor coming to SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University will be among the first universities on the West Coast to offer both an academic program and a competitive team in esports when both are launched this fall. Esports is a billion-dollar global enterprise, and the programs will position SOU students for future employment in the burgeoning industry.

The University of California, Irvine, has an existing continuing education program in esports and a growing number of universities are exploring academic or team esports programs. SOU’s academic minor in esports management will be one of just a handful nationally.

The combination of competitive esports and the academic minor may help to attract more nontraditional students to SOU, President Linda Schott said.

“By offering a new academic minor, the university can meet the needs of students and the demands of a rapidly growing industry,” the president said. “Our new esports team will provide competitive, non-traditional sports offerings to students, which has the potential to increase student recruitment, engagement and retention.”

The academic minor – offered through SOU’s Business Program – will include curriculum in business, marketing, digital media and communication. Preliminary plans for the program call for new courses including Introduction to Esports Management and Contemporary & Ethical Issues in Esports.

SOU business faculty member Jeremy Carlton is organizing the esports management minor. Students can enroll for classes that begin this fall.

“The minor will help prepare students to be an integral part of the action in a field that values quick and strategic thinking, mental agility, intellectual curiosity and creativity,” Carlton said.

The university will also open an Esports Lab in its Student Recreation Center. The lab will house multiple computer gaming stations, one of which will be reserved for streaming and esports commentating – known as “shoutcasting.” The lab will be used for intercollegiate competitions, intramural gaming and open play for all SOU students and SRC members.

The university anticipates that its intercollegiate team will compete in the Collegiate Starleague (CSL). Collegiate esports started with CSL, which hosted the first collegiate competition in 2009 and has grown to include teams from 1,800 college campuses across North America. The CSL offers leagues across several titles and platforms, for players at all skill levels.

The CSL’s leagues and tournaments award scholarships to top-rated student gamers each year, and the organization is expected to eclipse the $1 million mark in scholarships in 2020.

SOU has elected to have members of its intercollegiate team help choose which games it will play. A survey conducted earlier this year indicated that students were most interested in “Apex Legends” and “Call of Duty.”

An important focus of the SOU team will be on health and well-being.

“This is a new sport, which means we have asked our campus recreation program to ensure that our players can perform at the highest levels,” Schott said, noting that there is a wellness and physical activity component required for students who participate on the competitive team.

“Our team members will engage weekly as part of a mandatory wellness component,” she said.

-SOU-

Student teachers in SOU's School of Education are working remotely

SOU’s graduating student teachers provide value in varied settings

(Ashland, Ore.) — Even the most seasoned educators are currently navigating uncharted territory. But for student teachers in Southern Oregon University’s School of Education, unusual classroom circumstances are coinciding with the culmination of college journeys.

Teaching placements have gone ahead as scheduled – though not exactly as planned – for 110 SOU students who are either seniors or on track to complete the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) or Special Education programs this spring. They’re spread across 60 K-12 schools in 12 different districts, from Coos Bay to Klamath Falls and all over the Rogue Valley – with all learning delivered through a variety of remote formats.

John King – SOU’s director for the Division of Education, Health and Leadership – was among those figuring out logistics as the extent of disruption caused by COVID-19 was becoming apparent prior to spring term.

“Fortunately, we have great relationships with the districts and principals, and these (student teachers) are the people they’ll be hiring in the fall, so we’re working towards the same goals,” King said.

“What we’re trying to do is ensure our student teachers are providing added value for schools and students,” he said. “They need to satisfy degree requirements, yes, but we want to make sure they’re not just an extra burden because these schools are already under such enormous pressure in having to redesign a lot of their own work.”

Under normal circumstances, student teachers spend full days during the spring in their respective classrooms, delivering instruction and developing original curriculum. They’re now limited to remote instruction and finding classroom-to-classroom variations in approach, from face-to-face video instruction to packet pick-ups and online work.

MAT candidate Lauren Perkinson falls closer to the latter category in teaching anatomy and physical sciences at North Medford High School. Though she records herself giving lectures, the majority of her work goes into a weekly “learning grid” of activities that includes six options, from which students are asked to complete two.

“Everyone is affected differently and struggling to some extent, especially when it comes to students you have no contact with, but it’s a good lesson in the importance of adaptability as an educator,” Perkinson said. “One of the biggest takeaways is seeing teachers work together and support each other and students however they can, because they care so deeply about them.”

That support extends back to SOU, where ideas and experiences are shared in weekly Zoom classes.

“We’re trying to give them a menu of possibilities based on what each school is doing,” King said. “We have 110 different examples, so it gets incredibly complex very quickly, but that means they’re being equipped not only for their own classrooms, but also hearing experiences of others and seeing how these systems can work together.”

With subject knowledge testing centers closed, King is working with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission to offer alternatives for soon-to-be-graduates to complete their state licensure requirements.

“We certainly haven’t figured everything out,” he said. “But we’re trying to approach the situation with generosity and grace and patience, and we’re all learning together.”

Story by Josh McDermott, SOU staff writer

-SOU-

SOULA staff work on Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project

SOULA wins Oregon Heritage Excellence Award for Chinese immigrant research

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) has won a 2020 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award for its work on the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project. Students worked with faculty on the project as part of a Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN) summer archaeological field school in 2019.

“The (Oregon Heritage Excellence Award) recipients represent the extraordinary efforts to preserve Oregon’s heritage,” said Beth Dehn, coordinator for the Oregon Heritage Commission. “They also serve as models for others on how to develop new ideas, approaches and innovations.”

The Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project is one of only 10 projects to receive the award. The grassroots archaeology partnership of federal, state and local agencies examined the Chinese diaspora – or dispersed population – in Oregon, and challenged stereotypes that have been historically assigned to the immigrants.

The project is led by Chelsea Rose of SOU Laboratory of Anthropology, who partners with archaeologists from state and federal agencies on archaeological sites across Oregon.

The ongoing project has involved digging, interpreting and touring nine archaeological sites where Chinese immigrants worked and lived; and searching historical records such as censuses, community records and data from the Kam Wah Chung Museum in John Day. Research findings have been publicized through lectures, tours, theses, digital “story maps” and will be presented in an upcoming volume of the Oregon Historical Society’s quarterly journal. Local involvement with volunteer projects has been encouraged through the cultural heritage program Passport in Time and other public archaeological events.

“It is exciting to see how far this project has come, and how much can be accomplished when agencies work together toward a common goal,” Rose said.

SOULA started the partnership with the Malheur National Forest, and it has since expanded to include Oregon State Parks, the Medford District of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Oregon Historical Society, and other local and regional organizations.

The lead editors of the Chinese in Northwest American Research Committee – Chuimei Ho and Bennet Bronson – wrote one of three letters recommending the OCDP for the Oregon Heritage Excellence Award.

“Very few heritage efforts in other places have been as effective and innovative,” the letter from Ho and Bronson said. “Nothing like it currently exists in California or elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. The OCDP’s research subject is vast, still largely untouched, and of great importance to all Chinese Americans.”

The historic population of Chinese immigrants in rural Oregon was high, but there are few descendant communities because of anti-Chinese violence and the federal Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The OCDP offers Oregonians a deeper sense of their shared heritage by discovering and publicizing Chinese achievements.

Don Hann, project co-director with the Malheur National Forest, has used innovative Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology to document historical Chinese mining sites. LIDAR, which sends a laser pulse through the surface of the ground, has allowed OCDP archaeologists to map over 1,000 acres of mining complexes hidden in the forest within an accuracy of 10 inches. The new maps highlight a system of dams, reservoirs and ditches that provided water for mining.

These complicated water systems reveal a picture of 19th century Chinese immigrants as entrepreneurs who had experience organizing gold mining operations in foreign countries.

SOU students participated in the OCDP last year by taking the class SOAN 375. The four-credit, four-week course – the archaeological field school – introduced methods of excavating, mapping, recovering and recording artifacts from prehistoric or historic sites.

“It was an incredible project for SOU staff and students to be a part of, and we are continuing to work and expand our research across the state,” Rose said.

She and other members of the SOULA staff have also worked on the Cangdong Village Project, a Stanford-led transnational research project looking into the five-county area that was home to most Chinese Immigrants during the 19th century. SOULA partnered with the Hannon Library and PAR Environmental in 2018 to create the Chinese Material Culture Collection – a digital archive of artifacts commonly found on 19th and 20th century Chinese archaeological sites in the American West.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

-SOU-

Virtual meeting of SOU Percussion Ensemble

SOU music ensembles get creative in their new, virtual reality

With some schools cancelling ensembles altogether, Paul T. French – Southern Oregon University’s Director of Choral Studies and Vocal Studies – had doubts about the spring ahead for his corner of the Music Program in the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU. The idea of taking the choir virtual was especially daunting, with the experience rooted in collaborative rehearsals and harmonious performance.

“I didn’t even have a Google calendar,” French joked, “so we’re all kind of crawling forward and learning this together.”

SOU’s Chamber and Concert Choirs are joined for now and still rehearse twice weekly online. With upwards of 50 people on the screen, French and concert choir director Kendra Taylor watch as the singers mute themselves in their homes and perform individual parts to a piano accompaniment written by French’s wife, SOU instructor and staff pianist Jodi French.

Once they’ve learned and perfected the parts, they’ll record and send them to Taylor, who will plug them into and arrange them on an online music platform called Soundtrap.

“It calls for a lot of accountability from individual students because they can’t lean on other people, so the bar is higher and their own contributions are that much more meaningful,” Paul French said. “I’m proud of the students because they’re compassionate when we screw up and want to do whatever it takes to move forward, and after our second rehearsal the chat bar was full of all these tremendously positive and excited comments.”

The recording will be released later this spring. They hope to add a video component and perform the piece live in the fall, if all goes well.

Terry Longshore, SOU’s director of percussion studies, is taking a similar, virtual tack. Originally, he and SOU Raider Band director Bryan Jeffs had been invited to take 17 students to New York City in May for the inaugural “Long Play” music festival by the renowned contemporary music organization Bang on a Can.

In lieu of that trip, and considering the limitations some students have without access to their instruments, they’re working on an 18-minute piece in which 16 performers will pour dry rice over various materials – metal, wood, and leaves, to name a few. It will explore textural changes created by the rate at which the rice is falling. They will eventually turn their individual recordings into a video collage, and will later have the chance to interview the piece’s composer, Michael Pisaro of the CalArts School of Music.

Their other ideas include breaking into small groups that will create original soundtracks to short, silent films.

“They’re excited about the projects because they get to take advantage of what we have and try to make lemonade out of it while still learning something, having a unique creative experience and putting something out in the world that we’re proud of,” Longshore said.

French concurred with the sentiment.

“Given how isolated we feel, we’re not together, but we can see each other and create something together,” he said. “We still need art and this is what we can do.”

Story by Josh McDermott, SOU staff writer