Jason Mendoza appointed to SOU Board of Trustees

Current chair and university employee appointed to new terms on SOU board

(Ashland, Ore.) — Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek has appointed Jason Mendoza, an area coordinator for Southern Oregon University’s Housing Department, to serve on SOU’s Board of Trustees, and reappointed current board chair Daniel Santos to his second full, four-year term. Both were confirmed on Friday by the Oregon Senate and their service to the board begins immediately.

Mendoza will serve a two-year term as the new non-faculty staff member of SOU’s governing board. He is an SOU alumnus, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice seven years ago, and he held criminal justice positions in Jackson and Klamath counties before taking his current position with SOU’s University Housing.

“SOU holds a very special place in my heart, as it is where I met my wife and we started our family prior to graduating,” Mendoza said. “This opportunity brings me full-circle at SOU, where as a student worker in University Housing, my wife and I received the support we needed to graduate. I will be pleased to join the board in advocating for and supporting first-generation students like myself.”

Santos is also an alumnus, receiving his bachelor’s degree in criminology at SOU in 1975, before earning his law degree at Willamette University College of Law. He has remained involved in education throughout his career, serving as a founding member of Scholarships for Oregon Latinos, and in guiding roles with Willamette University’s Willamette Academy for students from underserved communities and the Leadership Council for Oregon Mentors. He has served on the SOU Board of Trustees since 2016 and currently is the board’s chairperson.

“I am excited to continue my service to SOU, and I am looking forward to working with Jason and all of our fellow board members,” Santos said. “Our role is to keep the institution on a solid, sustainable path and ensure access to future generations of students. SOU is headed in the right direction, both academically and fiscally, thanks to the innovative, responsible guidance of our board and university leaders.”

Santos is a retired associate dean for the Willamette University College of Law, where he oversaw student affairs and administration. He has served in various capacities for Oregon governors Neil Goldschmidt, Barbara Roberts, John Kitzhaber, Ted Kulongoski, Kate Brown and Tina Kotek. His roles included service as Roberts’ legal counsel and Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision chair, and as a senior policy advisor for Kulongoski.

He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Mid-Valley Literacy Council, among others.

Mendoza is a member of the city of Ashland’s Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee, which assesses and makes recommendations to the City Council on housing and human service needs. He is an advisor for both the SOU Ho`opa`a Hawai`i Club and Samoan Club, and is passionate about helping underrepresented populations – especially the Polynesian community.

He has worked with the SOU Admissions Department in the recruiting and retention of Pacific Islander students, including traveling to American Samoa, and has helped Phoenix High School students learn about Samoan culture during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Mendoza also helped to organize the United Pacific Islanders of Southern Oregon (UPSIO) Pacific Islander Summer Celebration in August – an event that was hosted by the Samoa Pacific Islander Coalition (SPDC).

SOU was granted authority by the state to form its own independent Board of Trustees beginning July 1, 2015, following the legislature’s dissolution of the Oregon University System and State Board of Higher Education. SOU’s board is responsible for governance and oversight of the university.

Eleven at-large trustees serve four-year terms, and one voting position each is reserved for an SOU undergraduate student, an SOU graduate student, a faculty and a non-faculty staff member – each of whom serve two-year terms. One non-voting undergraduate student member also serves on the board for a two-year term.


Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at SOU

Indigenous Peoples Day to be observed at SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) — The annual Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Southern Oregon University will return on Monday, Oct. 9. Indigenous Peoples Day amplifies Indigenous voices and celebrates the historic, cultural and contemporary presence of Indigenous peoples and Tribal Nations, who have persevered in the protection of Indigenous rights and cultural sovereignty, and continue to make significant contributions to the world.

Indigenous Peoples Day at SOUSOU alumna Lupe Sims – a descendant of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and adoptive daughter of Mark and Felcia McNair of The Klamath Tribes – partnered with the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee in 2016 to petition for recognition of Indigenous sovereignty. Formal observation by the university was declared in June 2017, and the Ashland City Council voted two months later to follow suit.

This year’s celebration – the sixth official observation of Indigenous Peoples’ day by SOU and the city of Ashland – will begin at 11 a.m. with a salmon bake on SOU’s Stevenson Union Courtyard (plates are $8 cash only, no charge for Elders). Sims, who is coordinating this year’s celebration, will deliver opening acknowledgements, followed by an honor song by host drum Screaming Eagle (the Jackson family of Klamath Falls), who were present at the first formal Indigenous Peoples Day event in 2017.

David West, a citizen of Potawatomi Nation and director emeritus of the Native American Studies department at SOU, will deliver the opening prayer and Ed Little Crow (Lakota and Dakota) will offer a traditional meal blessing. SOU Provost Susan Walsh will read a Land Acknowledgement and SOU President Rick Bailey will share remarks during the formal flag dedication.

The celebration will continue with remarks from revered Tribal Elders; Oregon State Rep. Tawna Sanchez, D-Portland (Shoshone-Bannock, Ute, and Carrizo); Terry Cross, member of the Seneca Nation and founder and senior advisor of the National Indian Child Welfare Association; and Shane Lopez-Johnston, member of the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, who will represent Native American Rehabilitation Association Northwest. The speakers will address continued stewardship of voices for equality within – and in support of – Indigenous communities.

SOU student-driven initiatives during the event will include a formal dedication of Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes, to be led by David West and Ed Little Crow, with appointed Tribal Council and/or Tribal community member dignitaries from each of the nine Tribes.

The Klamath Tribes Youth Council will share a cultural presentation and community round dance, and stand in support of the Tribal youth presenting from the Ashland School District’s Native American Student Unions. Children’s cultural activities will also be available in the Stevenson Union ASSOU center.

The student-led projects represent progress SOU has made in the past six years toward honoring the stewardship of the protection of Indigenous cultural sovereignty.

Everyone is welcome and will have the opportunity to gather in community, and stand in solidarity, with Indian country and Native/AI/LatinX Indigenous peoples. This is a drug-and alcohol-free event. Contact coordinator Lupe Sims at (541) 264-9408 for more information.


SOULA and partners work on Tragedy at Tunnel 13 commemoration

Collaborative events to commemorate historic “Tragedy at Tunnel 13”

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) and Jefferson Public Radio (JPR) are part of a nationwide consortium commemorating the 100th anniversary of the “Tragedy at Tunnel 13” and its legacy. The project includes a variety of live and virtual events that memorialize what may be southern Oregon’s most infamous true crime, its victims and the far-reaching efforts to solve it.

Oct. 11, 2023, marks the 100th anniversary of the attempted robbery of Train 13 at Tunnel 13 in the Siskiyou Mountains. The crime led to the brutal murders of postal clerk Elvyn Dougherty, brakeman Coyl O. Johnson, engineer Sydney Bates and fireman Marvin Seng. The holdup led to a global manhunt, with more than 2.5 million wanted posters and a cost of more than $6 million in today’s money to catch the three DeAutremont brothers who were responsible for the crime.

The case is considered to represent the birth of American criminal forensics. The DeAutremont brothers – Ray, Roy and Hugh – were identified following a painstaking investigation, then captured after a four-year manhunt, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

SOULA and its partners in the commemoration been working for months to plan and create resources, podcasts, exhibits and live events that will focus on a variety of aspects of the historical crime and its legacy. SOULA has used archaeological tools and public outreach to revisit and reframe the case and its relevancy today.

“While to many this case evokes romantic images of the old timey train robberies and elaborate chases, the story is actually more about innovation, collaboration and the modernization of the world around them,” said SOULA research archaeologist Chelsea Rose. “On that fateful day in 1923, the DeAutremont brothers entered Tunnel 13 in one era, and came out in another.”

SOULA, which has played a central role in the Tunnel 13 commemoration, has collaborated with agencies including the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS), the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture (BBRC), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Oregon Historical Society (OHS), Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), the Southern Oregon Railway Historical Society, and the United States Fish & Wildlife Forensics Laboratory.

The U.S. Postal Service will make a commemorative pictorial cancellation – the postal marking that prevents a stamp from being reused – featuring original art by retired Postal Inspector, Dan Mihalko.

“As a Postal Inspector, a history buff and an artist, I was always intrigued by the DeAutremont case,” Mihalko said.

“In 1998, I did a painting of the robbery entitled, ‘The Last Great American Train Robbery,’” he said. “So, I was thrilled when offered the opportunity to design the pictorial cancellation for the 100th anniversary.”

The cancellation will be available on the anniversary at the Ashland post office and at an Underground History Live event at the Ashland Hills Hotel.

A commemoration of the Tragedy at Tunnel 13 was first suggested by Bruce Shoemaker, board member of the BBRC, which preserves and promotes railroad culture.

“The Tunnel 13 tragedy is a true story worthy of a major motion picture and the single most dramatic incident in the history of railroading in our region,” Shoemaker said. “The murder of the three Southern Pacific trainmen is also a reminder that railroad work has traditionally been – and remains – a dangerous occupation.”

View the full list of Tunnel 13 commemorative events.


Friends of Hannon Library speaker series

Friends of Hannon Library announces speakers lineup

The Friends of Hannon Library has announced its 2023-24 Speakers Series Speakers Series – a total of six events on literary and historic topics.

Friends of Hannon Library lecture series, LaLandeOn Oct. 12, 2023, at 5:30 p.m., Jeffrey Max LaLande will talk about his book, “The Jackson County Rebellion, and his journey to bring awareness to near-forgotten episode in Southern Oregon’s history. LaLande has a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Oregon and worked for over 30 years with the U.S. Forest Service as an archaeologist and historian.

On Nov. 9, 2023, at 5:30 p.m., writer and librarian Thomas A. Dodson will give a reading from his short story collection, “No Use Pretending,” to be published in October by the University of Iowa Press.  His work has appeared in The Missouri Review, Gulf Coast, The Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere, and “No Use Pretending” was selected by Gish Jen for the Iowa Short Fiction Prize.

On Jan. 11, 2024, at 7 p.m., the Friends and emcee Amy Miller will present the William Stafford Birthday Celebration, with featured poets and an open mic.

On Feb. 8, 2024, at 5:30 p.m., Caroline Lion will discuss her book, “Reading Shakespeare in Jewish Theological Frameworks: Shylock Beyond the Holocaust,” published by Routledge. Lion holds a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham and is a Visiting Research Associate at the New Swan Shakespeare Center.

On Mar. 14, 2024, at 5:30 p.m., John Pratt will speak on “Why The Rogue Valley Is A Treasure In The Climate Changing Wine World.” Pratt is the owner of Celestina Vinyard and president of the Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association.

Friends of Hannon Library lecture, WrightOn April 11, 2024, at 5:30 p.m., author Jan Wright will talk about the research behind her book, “Oregon Outcast: John Beeson’s Struggle for Justice for the Indians, 1853-1859.” Wright is the Southern Oregon Historical Society archivist and also serves as the archivist for Harry & David.

All events are free and open to the public in the Southern Oregon University library’s Meese Room (#305). Zoom links will also be available on the Friends website. Metered parking is available for those visiting campus to attend the event in parking lots 1, 12, 29, 36, 37 and 41.

Those who need disability accommodations to participate in the event may contact SOU’s Disability Resources office at (541) 552-6213. For more information on the event, contact Hannon Library staff at libraryevents@sou.edu or (541) 552-6816.

Friends of Hannon Library was established in 1974 by a group of SOU librarians, faculty members, and interested citizens to raise money to enrich the library’s collections and support library activities.

Solar arrays surround President Rick Bailey and Sustainability Director Becs Walker

New solar arrays move SOU toward energy self-sufficiency

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University is taking big strides toward becoming the first public university in the U.S. to produce all of the daytime electricity used on its campus, with a $1.56 million contract signed this month to install new solar arrays and a battery storage facility, and on-site construction work set to begin this winter.

The new installations on Lithia Motors Pavilion and The Hawk Dining Commons will increase SOU’s photovoltaic output by 86 percent – from the current 455 kilowatts to a total of 848 kilowatts.

The two new solar facilities, combined with nine existing arrays, will enable the university to generate just over 12 percent of the electricity it uses. The contract with Ashland’s True South Solar also includes a battery storage bank that will be built adjacent to The Hawk, enabling SOU to support community resilience by providing power in The Hawk, if needed, in the event of an emergency.

“This is truly a monumental step toward our goal of energy self-sufficiency,” SOU President Rick Bailey said. “We have spent much of the past year working with state and federal lawmakers to identify and secure funding for these projects – and that work will continue. But now we will begin to enjoy some of the fruits of our labors.

“These projects not only demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, but our eventual energy independence will save us at least $750,000 per year in utility costs. Each new array that we bring online will immediately start reducing that overall energy bill.”

The university anticipates generating 100 percent of its own electricity by 2033, and is already planning subsequent rounds of solar expansion. Another project whose contract has not yet been awarded – the first of several SOU arrays that will be built on parking lot structures – will add 340 kilowatts of generating capacity and bring the university to nearly 17 percent of its overall electricity usage.

SOU has been awarded $1 million in each of the past two years from the Oregon Department of Energy’s Community Renewable Energy Grant Program and received a $2 million appropriation from Congress last December. That total of $4 million in state and federal funding will pay for the lion’s share of work under the current contract, and for the initial parking lot array. The Student “Green Tag Fee” – an assessment of $14 per student each term, approved in a student vote several years ago – is also contributing $51,000 toward the cost of the current project, demonstrating student support for SOU’s generation of renewable energy.

“The campus-wide support for sustainability initiatives – in particular, our conversion to solar power – has been overwhelming,” SOU Sustainability Director Becs Walker said. “Students, faculty and staff are helping in whatever ways they can as we ramp up our efforts and transition to renewable energy.

“This entire process is valuable, with many learning opportunities for those who choose to become directly involved.”

True South Solar and its subcontractor, Welburn Electric of Phoenix, began design work for the current phase of solar expansion immediately after the contract with SOU was signed on Sept. 1. Drawings, specifications and permit work will take a couple of months, and orders for solar and battery storage equipment will extend into the winter months before site work begins.

The Lithia Motors Pavilion solar array is expected to be completed in early 2024, and the more-complex solar array and battery storage project at The Hawk Dining Commons is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2024.

Solar energy production is one of the initiatives that SOU is currently pursuing in its effort to be more entrepreneurial in its approach to revenue generation. Achieving the energy-independence goal will also contribute to a reduction in SOU’s greenhouse gas emissions.

SOU currently has nine solar arrays on campus, plus an array at the Higher Education Center in Medford and a pole-mounted array installed last year by a nonprofit on land leased from the university. SOU has added five arrays over the past three years, with funding by private investors, grants, the student government and university administration.

SOU will continue to implement energy conservation and energy efficiency measures as it increases its solar power production. For instance, The Hawk Dining Commons and McLoughlin Residence Hall each have solar hot water systems installed to augment their natural gas domestic water heating, and the campus has three net-zero buildings – they create as much or more energy than they use.

The university is also a partner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, which supports SOU’s 2033 goals to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from a 2018 baseline, and to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent from a 2022 baseline.


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.

SRC open for smoke respite

SOU opens indoor track for smoke respite

(Ashland, Ore.) — Campus Recreation at Southern Oregon University is continuing to help community members find refuge from the area’s wildfire smoke.

The Student Recreation Center (SRC) will offer free admission for the general public to its elevated, indoor walking and running track – a popular smoke-free haven ­– for two-hour windows Monday through Friday, from noon to 2 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m., when the air quality is at unhealthy levels (101+ AQI). Photo ID and a signed waiver will be required at check-in.

For those wanting full access to the SRC during regular operating hours, day passes can be purchased onsite. You can find more information on SRC passes and memberships at recreation.sou.edu/memberships.

The SRC will be closed for annual maintenance from Saturday, September 9, through Wednesday, September 20.

SOU has made its Student Recreation Center available as a community resource during local wildfire smoke events over the past five years. The facility features high-efficiency air filtration and air conditioning systems.


Southern Exposure switches to summer schedule

Southern Exposure published biweekly for summer

Southern Exposure, Southern Oregon University’s curated e-newsletter, will switch to an every-other week publication schedule for the rest of the summer, following today’s issue. Its next installment will be published on Tuesday, July 11.

Southern Exposure has been delivered by email to all SOU students and employees on Tuesdays since February 2021. It offers a mix of featured stories and reader-submitted announcements with each issue, along with links to the latest mentions of SOU in media outlets nationwide and to the university’s events calendar.

The publication’s featured stories are primarily from SOU News, the website that serves as a source of timely news and information about the university, its programs and its people. Other featured stories are curated from a variety of SOU websites and publications – from departmental blogs to alumni news to Jefferson Public Radio and the Siskiyou student newspaper.

Those who wish to suggest a featured story for SOU News can do so by reading and filling out the online submission form. Submissions for the announcements section of Southern Exposure can be made on a separate form up until noon on the Monday before the next issue is published.

Southern Exposure will resume its regular, weekly publication schedule in September.

New solar arrays to be installed at SOU

SOU receives additional $1 million in state support for solar arrays

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University continues to leverage state and federal support for renewable energy projects, with the Oregon Department of Energy announcing last week that the university will be awarded a $1 million grant for the second straight year to build solar arrays on campus. SOU also received a $2 million congressional appropriation in December to help pay for its bid to become the nation’s first public university to produce all of the daytime electricity used on its campus.

The energy department’s Community Renewable Energy Grant Program awarded a total of $12 million to 39 recipients – Tribes, public bodies and consumer-owned utilities – to support planning and construction of renewable energy or energy resilience projects. SOU’s is one of seven projects that were awarded grants in the neighborhood of $1 million each.

“This grant award speaks volumes about our identity as a public university,” President Rick Bailey said. “This is who we are – fiscally innovative, environmentally sensitive and always mindful of our students and their experiences on our campus.

“This grant and other current and future funding opportunities will allow us to reduce our dependence on tuition as a revenue source, and increase accessibility and affordability for students throughout our state and region.”

The most recent ODE grant will help pay for SOU’s first parking lot solar array, which will consist of solar panels on steel structures in a lot adjacent to The Hawk Dining Commons. The structures will provide shading in addition to power generation, and the project will also pay for eight new electric vehicle charging ports – expanding the university’s total number of EV ports to 20.

Last year’s first-round grant in ODE’s Community Renewable Energy Grant Program – along with federal funding and a contribution from the Student Green Fund – will pay for solar installations on The Hawk Dining Commons and the Lithia Motors Pavilion/Student Recreation Center complex, and a battery storage facility to enhance community resilience. The $2 million congressional allocation will help pay for additional solar arrays on SOU’s parking lots and rooftops.

“Our momentum toward energy independence is very exciting and will be a game-changer for our university,” SOU Sustainability Director Becs Walker said. “We plan to be producing all of our own electricity within about 10 years, and ultimately to become a carbon net zero campus . This progress demonstrates our leadership in sustainability and the transition of the energy infrastructure.

Energy self-sufficiency will save SOU at least $700,000 per year in utility costs and President Bailey plans to expand the program from there, with additional solar installations and partnerships to further build energy and community resilience. He achieved that on a smaller scale at Northern New Mexico College, where he served as president before being hired at SOU in January 2022.

The current solar projects will increase SOU’s generating capacity to about 16 percent of the electricity it uses on campus.

The university has nine solar arrays on its Ashland campus with a total output of 455 kilowatts, plus an array at the Higher Education Center in Medford and a pole-mounted array installed by a nonprofit on land leased from SOU. The two new arrays supported by the state grants will increase SOU’s solar capacity by a total of 359 kilowatts.

SOU will continue to implement energy conservation and energy efficiency measures as it increases its solar power production. SOU’s Hawk Dining Commons and McLoughlin Residence Hall each have solar hot water systems installed to augment their natural gas domestic water heating, and the campus has three net-zero buildings – they create as much or more energy than they use. The university is also a partner in the DOE’s Better Climate Challenge, which supports SOU’s 2033 goals to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from a 2018 baseline, and to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent from a 2022 baseline.

Solar energy production is a key part of SOU’s plan to develop new, entrepreneurial revenue streams and reduce dependence on the two traditional funding sources for public higher education nationwide – tuition and state funding. The university has also begun a project to demolish the vacant Cascade housing complex and replace it with a senior living facility that produces partnerships between its residents and the university. Funding for the demolition has been approved by the state and is expected to begin in the next several months.

Other projects that will produce revenue or reduce expenses for SOU include the establishment of a University Business District in southeast Ashland – discussions are underway with the local business community – and replacement of its operational software with the cutting-edge Workday platform, which eventually will save the university about $750,000 per year in recurring costs.

ODE’s Community Renewable Energy Grant Program was created by the 2021 Legislature, which set aside $50 million for projects throughout the state over three years – with $12 million available in the current funding cycle. The program is intended to build energy and community resilience in rural, underserved areas, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to rewire America through the expansion of solar energy generation and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.


EV charging station survey

Campus survey to help steer expansion of EV charging stations

Southern Oregon University is seeking input on the expansion of its electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure on campus. The university is increasing its EV charging capacity and wants to hear from students, faculty, staff and community members about where and how they would like to see the charging stations located.

The survey, which can be found here, asks respondents about their EV ownership, their charging habits and their preferences for EV charging locations. The survey is open to everyone, regardless of whether they own an EV.

SOU aims to strategically plan and identify optimal locations for charging stations as the demand for electric vehicle charging increases on campus. The intent is to accommodate the distinct charging needs of students, employees and visitors to campus.

SOU currently has 12 charging ports – six double stations – on campus, plus a single charger for its partnership project with the City of Ashland for an EV carshare program funded by Forth Mobility.

One challenge that SOU faces is an electrical infrastructure and connection points that vary in quality and capacity at different locations across campus. That means installation costs for the charging equipment will differ, depending on the sites that are chosen.

The university’s Solar Power and Rechargeable Cars Committee (SPARC) – made up of faculty, students and staff members – will address that issue and others as its members develop a strategy to expand the EV charging infrastructure. The EV Charging Survey was developed by Marissa Defazio, a student representative on SPARC and director of the Associated Students of SOU’s Environmental Affairs Committee.

The survey aims to gather opinions and suggestions from the SOU community to ensure that the expansion aligns with needs and preferences.

The university is working to secure funding for the additional charging stations. SOU has already received support from the Oregon Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy to install EV charging stations, and funding from the Student Green Fund to install EV charging at the Student and Family Housing complex.

The university is committed to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. By expanding its EV charging infrastructure, SOU is making it easier for students, faculty, staff and community members to drive electric vehicles.

The university is asking for help to make the expansion project a success. All are encouraged to take the survey and share it with friends, family and colleagues.

The Creativity Conference at SOU is this week

Fifth year of Creativity Conference at SOU to unfold this week

(Ashland, Ore.) — The fifth annual Creativity Conference at SOU will begin a four-day run on Thursday, May 18, with a lineup of 123 presenters, including seven keynote speakers. The conference is expected to draw many of the world’s top scholars, researchers and practitioners in the field of creativity, along with a wide variety of working professionals looking for ways to bring creativity into their work.

The conference, first held in 2018, will be presented in a hybrid format. Thursday, May 18, will be reserved for remote presenters and those presentations will be livestreamed via the conference app. In-person attendees will have the option of watching the streams for those events in designated rooms on SOU’s campus. In-person presentations will be held Friday, May 19, through Sunday, May 21, in Southern Oregon University’s Stevenson Union, but all of those sessions will also be livestreamed and available to remote attendees. Attendees will also be able to view archived versions of all presentations.

Registration remains open for the event, which begins with an 8:30 a.m. “kickoff” address on May 18 by Mark Runco of SOU, who co-created the conference with Dan DeNeui, SOU’s Associate Provost.

“This conference features internationally renowned speakers and presenters who are prominent in the study of creativity,” DeNeui said. “The material they present will spark imagination and cause attendees to rethink how they approach their work.

“This year we are featuring a keynote address and numerous presentations on the role of artificial intelligence and creativity.”

Individual events at the conference will again be held in any of four formats: 60 minute panel presentations by two or three people; 40- to 50-minute presentations by individuals; 15-minute “boom talk” presentations that quickly get to the “so what” of their topics; and poster presentations. All varieties of presentation formats will all offer time for questions and answers.

This year’s keynote speakers are Arthur I. Miller, emeritus professor of the history and philosophy of science at University College London ; Ivonne Chand O’Neal, founder and principal of the creativity and arts impact research firm Muse Research, LLC; Roger Beaty, and assistant professor of psychology at Penn State University and director of PSU’s Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity Lab; Roni Reiter-Palmon, Varner Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology and director of the I/O Psychology graduate program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; and Ted Adams, founder of Clover Press, author of graphic novels and member of the SOU Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Mark Runco will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from SOU at the 2023 Creativity Conference. He is past president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 10 and editor of the Journal of Creativity. He is editor emeritus of the Creativity Research Journal and has co-edited three editions of the Encyclopedia of Creativity. His creativity textbook has been translated into over a dozen languages (the 3rd edition is due out any day). Runco was previously the Torrance Professor of Creative Studies at the University of Georgia and is currently director of creativity research and programming at SOU.

The SOU Creativity Conference is an international event that provides cutting-edge information and resources for those who are interested in learning more about the science and application of creativity research. The conference provides an opportunity for creativity researchers to collaborate and broaden their networks.

SOU’s strategic plan specifically emphasizes creativity, innovation and other human skills that augment technical skills and are particularly valued by employers.

Those with questions about the conference may reach out to either Mark Runco at runcom@sou.edu or Dan DeNeui at deneuid@sou.edu.