Human Rights Advocate to Speak at SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) – Enrique Morones, the founder of Border Angels, a non-profit organization attempting to prevent migrants from dying as they cross the U S Mexican border, will speak at Southern Oregon University next week. Morones will appear Wednesday, October 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Union. It’s part of Hispanic Heritage Month activities at the university, and this year’s SOU campus theme, “Being Human.”

Since 1986, Border Angels volunteers have been supplying hundreds of rescue stations along the US Mexico border region with water, food and blankets in an ongoing effort to save the lives of migrants crossing the mountains and deserts of the Southwest. Morones contends that ever since a steel wall was built from the Paciific Ocean to California’s Imperial Valley, ten thousand migrants have died while bypassing the wall and attempting to cross into the United States through the desert.

Last year Morones was the first non-Mexican to receive Mexico’s Human Rights Commission Award, presented by President Felipe Calderon. A San Diego native, Morones was also the first two-time President of the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a former Vice President of the San Diego Padres baseball team.

Hispanic Heritage Month activities are sponsored on campus by SOU’s Multicultural Resource Center and the Latino Student Union. “Being Human,” SOU’s campus wide theme, is sponsored by the SOU Arts and Humanities Council, the Office of Student Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Provost’s Office.
For more information, contact Marvin Woodard at 541-552-8791 or email to

Major Bequest Creates Scholarships for Nontraditional SOU Students

James and Betty Akerill Memorial Scholarship provides full in-state tuition and fees
(Ashland, Ore) The Southern Oregon University Foundation has received more than $1 million for scholarships from the estate of the late Betty and James Akerill. The gift will provide scholarships for nontraditional students. Both Akerills received degrees in education from Southern Oregon College and became teachers.

“The unusual feature of this scholarship is the focus on ‘nontraditional students’,” says SOU President Mary Cullinan. “Five years ago students age 26 and older were one fourth of our student body. This fall one third of our enrollment will be nontraditional students, the highest proportion in SOU’s history. Older students may have tremendous talent and capacity, but they may lack the financial resources to attain a university degree. This gift presents an opportunity for students who pursue higher education later in life.”

James Akerill was a nontraditional student from Grants Pass, Ore. who served in the U.S. Navy in 1945 directly after high school. Using GI Bill benefits, he attended Southern Oregon College, and then taught at Hoover Elementary School in Medford for 35 years.  Betty Akerill was from Klamath Falls and taught at Lincoln and Briscoe Elementary Schools in Ashland.

“This generous gift honors the memory of the Akerills and will impact the lives of many students,” says Sylvia Kelley, VP for Development and Executive Director of the SOU Foundation. “We are so grateful that this gift will support students who may not otherwise be able to obtain a college education.”

The James and Betty Akerill Memorial Scholarship is available beginning fall 2010 to nontraditional students with financial need, based upon competitive applications.
For more information or to apply for the Akerill scholarship, contact Sarah Kassel at (541) 552-6127 or

Acclaimed Physicist to Speak at SOU About Human Origins

(Ashland, Ore.) – Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss, the author of more than 300 scientific publications and popular articles on physics and astronomy, will make two public appearances at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Ore. next week. On Thursday, October 14, Dr. Krauss will trace the biography of a single atom from the beginning of the universe until the end, as imagined today.  The talk, titled An Atom from Oregon: Human Origins from the Beginning to the End of Time, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Rogue River Room in the Student Union (note new location). On Friday, October 15, at 3 p.m. in the Science Building lecture hall 118, Dr. Krauss will speak about Life, the Universe and Nothing: A Cosmic Mystery Story. Both presentations are free and open to the public.
Professor Krauss is the Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department, and the Inaugural Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. Professor Krauss is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gravity Research Foundation First Prize Award (1984), and the Presidential Investigator Award (1986). In February, 2000, Dr. Krauss was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 1999-2000 Award for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology. He is the author of many acclaimed popular books including The Fifth Essence: The Search for Dark Matter in the Universe (Basic Books, 1989), which was named Astronomy Book of the Year by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Professor Krauss’s discussions are part of the SOU campus wide theme series entitled On Being Human. The series is sponsored by the SOU Arts and Humanities Council, the Office of Student Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Provost’s Office.
For more information, contact Dr. Daniel Morris at (552-6740) or Dr. Prakash Chenjeri at (552-6034).

Southern Oregon University College of Arts and Sciences Announces Free Friday Seminars Schedule for Fall Term

(Ashland, Ore.) – From cosmic mystery stories to biological laser printing, from measuring fog content in redwood tree rings to the ethics and risk of emerging technologies. This is the scope of fascinating topics to be covered in the fall term Friday Seminar series offered by the Southern Oregon University (SOU) College of Arts and Sciences.
The seminars are held from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Science Lecture Hall, Room 118, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland, Ore. Refreshments and socializing precede the talks at 2:30 p.m. in the Science building foyer.
The sessions are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michael Parker at, 541-552-6796.
The series begins this Friday, October 8, with Carl Skinner, Geographer and Forest Ecologist, Pacific Southwest Research Station. His talk is titled:
Fire Regimes of the Klamath-Siskiyous:  Is the Ashland Watershed Unique?
Forests of the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion were historically shaped by fire.  It is widely held that frequent, low-intensity fires promoted large tree dominated old growth forests, particularly those located in drier portions of watersheds throughout the region. A primary focus of Carl Skinner’s research has been how fire regimes and historic changes in land occupancy have influenced forest dynamics. In this seminar, Dr. Skinner will discuss historic fire regimes of our region and compare them to characteristics of the Ashland watershed. His presentation is co-sponsored by the Southern Oregon University College of Arts and Sciences and the Ashland Forest Partnership.

Future Friday seminars include:

Oct 15 Lawrence M. Krauss, Foundation Professor of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics, and Director of the Origins Project, Arizona State University.
Title:  Life, the Universe and Nothing:  A Cosmic Mystery Story
Oct 22 Bill Kastenberg, Distinguished Professor of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Title:  Ethics, Risk, and Emerging Technologies:  Are We Ready?
Oct 29 John Roden, Professor of Biology, Southern Oregon University
Title:  Stable Isotope Technology at SOU:  Research Applications in Ecology and Forensics
Nov 05 Prakash Chenjeri, Professor of Philosophy, Southern Oregon University
Title:  Scientific Literacy and Democracy: Why it Matters
Nov 12 Peter Ka-Chai Wu, Professor of Physics, Southern Oregon University
Title:  Biological Laser Printing and Some Applications: Tissue Microdissection, Bacteria Sorting, and Engineering a Human Vascular Network
Nov 19 Darlene Southworth, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Southern Oregon University
Title:  Biocomplexity and Ecology of Oak Woodlands

SOU Welcomes Large New Class of Freshmen and Transfers

(Ashland, Ore) Southern Oregon University will welcome what could be a record-setting new class this week. Official totals from the Oregon University System won’t be known until mid-November, but early registrations and new student housing contracts are very encouraging.
In her opening remarks to faculty and staff this morning, SOU President Mary Cullinan noted that “SOU’s enrollment will be impressive this fall. However, we need to remember that we’ve been making steady increases-last year’s enrollment and retention numbers were also strong. Last spring, our headcount was almost 6% over the previous spring’s. Our retention rate has been improving for three years now. And Fall 2009 was the most diverse fall term in SOU history.”
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs James Klein said SOU has been working hard to increase enrollment. “We’ve simplified the transfer process for students at a growing number of community colleges in our region,” says Klein. “We’ve also extended WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange) scholarships to California students who are having trouble with affordability and access in their home state due to the California budget crisis.”
As a result, the number of new transfer students is on track to be the largest in SOU’s history, and the number of California students could also be the biggest ever. Early registration in other categories is also up including new freshmen, graduate students, continuing students, students who had stopped out but are returning, and Hispanic students.
It’s especially good news for student housing. “We could be looking at the most students living on campus in almost two decades,” says Director of Residential Education and Services Jason Ebbeling. “We still have room, but we’re getting very close to full.” New student move in day is Thursday, September 23.
New academic programs are also very popular. For the first time this fall, SOU will offer a bachelor’s degree in outdoor adventure leadership. The School of Business is offering a new one-year master’s in business administration program and a master’s of applied science in management at the Higher Education Center in Medford, as well as a master’s in management program at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.
New students will be busy. Orientation is Friday, September, 24, the home football opener for the nationally-ranked Raiders is Saturday, September 25, community service projects, a downtown Ashland scavenger hunt and outdoor activities for new students are Sunday, September 26, and the new fall term begins Monday, September 27.

SOU Builds Bridges to China

(Ashland, Ore) Officials from Southern Oregon University and the Zhengzhou University of Light Industry (ZULI) in China will sign an agreement Tuesday, September 21, to provide a joint degree program between the two schools. The official signing ceremony will be at 11:30 a.m. in the DeBoer Room of Hannon Library.
This agreement is the latest in a series of initiatives SOU has undertaken to build relationships in China. SOU President Mary Cullinan just returned from a two-week visit to China, as part of an Oregon legislative and trade delegation, which included renewing the Memorandum of Understanding between SOU and Fujian Normal University (FNU).  The FNU relationship began 20 years ago with a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development and has included numerous faculty exchanges between the universities over the years.

“I was delighted to plan further collaboration with administrators at FNU,” noted President Cullinan. “And I’m so pleased that I was able to participate in the delegation. Our Oregon legislators are very supportive of SOU’s work to build partnerships in China.”

Last year SOU’s School of Business signed an agreement with Henan Normal University to jointly administer a program in tourism and hospitality management. Arrangements are underway between the two universities to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in aging services as well.
Also in 2009, SOU began offering Mandarin Chinese in collaboration with the Confucius Classroom at St. Mary’s School. Twenty-eight Chinese high school students who are attending St. Mary’s currently live in SOU student housing. With the addition of Chinese to the curriculum, SOU becomes the only regional university in the Oregon University System to offer Chinese and Japanese.
Several Southern Oregon University professors have long had significant ties to China and have committed themselves to support and participate in the activities of the Confucius Institute.
Dr. Gary M. Miller, SOU’s Director of International Programs, has extensive experience in international education, at the local, state, national, and global levels.  His Chinese experience dates from the mid-1980s when he created, negotiated, and directed a program that included faculty exchanges, joint research projects, and a study abroad program at Southwest China Normal University (now Southwest University) in Beibei District, Chongqing Municipality.  This early experience in working closely with Chinese counterparts provides SOU with valuable practical knowledge to ensure its success.  Dr. Miller holds the rank of Professor in the Department of History and Political Science.
Professor Alexander Tutunov is Professor of Piano and Artist in Residence at Southern Oregon University and was recently named Associate Director of the Chinese-American International Piano Institute in Chengdu.  He is widely recognized as one of the most outstanding virtuosos of the former Soviet Union.  Dr. Tutunov maintains a busy performing schedule in Europe, China, Mexico, and the United States as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and on radio and television. Dr. Tutunov is also in demand as an adjudicator for piano competitions.
Dr. Rhett L. Bender, is a Professor of Music at Southern Oregon University Department of Music where he teaches saxophone, clarinet, and music theory and serves as Graduate Coordinator.  He frequently teaches as saxophone artist/teacher-in-residence at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China.  Professor Bender’s Saxophone Quartet toured Sichuan in 2005, and performed at the China Music Trade Show in Shanghai and Yantai in 2007.
Dr. Steve Thorpe, is a Professor of Education at Southern Oregon University and an expert on the Chinese educational system and pedagogy. He took part in the teaching exchange at Fujian University and has returned many times to China as a research scholar.  Dr. Thorpe teaches courses on Chinese history and on the educational system in China.  He trains middle school and high school Social Studies teachers on how to teach about China, using China as an example of a major non-Western country and a socialist country ruled by a Communist Party.  Dr. Thorpe also does cultural presentations to elementary and middle school student groups on China, and presents a special curriculum unit, “Demystifying the Chinese Language,” to a minimum of four elementary classrooms each year.
SOU is working to attract international students to study in Ashland.  The new Intensive English Program (IEP) has admitted ten Chinese students for the Fall term.  These students will pursue a variety of majors once their academic English language skills have reached a high level.  The Chinese will join fellow students from over thirty nations in pursuing their education at SOU.

"Futurizing the News" Workshop Brings High School and University Journalism Programs Together

(Ashland, Ore.) –  Tim Harrower, nationally recognized author, award-winning designer, and journalism educator, will present “Futurizing the News” a daylong workshop at Southern Oregon University. The workshop will be on Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Churchill Hall, Room 230.
More than 70 high school and college students will participate in the workshop, which explores changes in journalistic practice in a digital age. The “Futurizing the News” workshop is part of a long-term collaboration between Ashland High School’s Rogue News and the Journalism program at Southern Oregon University.  Since 2006, SOU has provided mentors, guest speakers, and hands-on digital skills training for high school students.
Harrower will talk about the future of journalism and how to make newspapers and websites more reader-friendly.
Contact: Dennis Dunleavy, Ph.D. for more information at 541.778.6271or Bill Gabriel at 541.261.5225

SOU Marks Constitution Day with Library Display

(Ashland, Ore.) – In recognition of Constitution Day, Southern Oregon University will host activities on the Ashland Campus commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. An exhibit in the lobby of the Lenn and Dixie Hannon Library honoring the signing of the U.S. Constitution is currently on display.
On Monday, September 20th, programs featuring Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will play continuously from 10:30am to 3:00pm in lobby of the Southern Oregon University Lenn and Dixie Hannon Library.  The first program, Our Constitution: A Conversation, features Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discussing why we need a Constitution.  The second program, A Conversation on the Constitution:  Judicial Independence, features Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer, and retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discussing judicial independence. The third program, Key Constitutional Concepts, a three-part series examining the guiding principles of the constitution, will also be featured.  A fourth program is a documentary that tells the story of a 1991 landmark Supreme Court case involving the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
Copies of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights will be available in the Government Publications Section of the Hannon Library at SOU, which is the Government Documents Depository for Oregon’s Second Congressional District.
These activities are free and open to the public.
Across the country on the week before or after September 17, education institutions host events to remember the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The federal government has asked that all institutions receiving federal funding sponsor some type of event.

SOU Archaeologists Will Do 'Open Site' Dig at Britt Homestead in Jacksonville

(Ashland, Ore) The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) will conduct an archaeological dig next week on the site of the historic Peter Britt homestead in Jacksonville (ca.1850s-1960s). The excavations will be conducted in conjunction with Jubilee Week celebrating Jacksonville’s 150th anniversary, September 20th -24th. SOULA’s project partner, the Southern Oregon Historical Society, will provide volunteers to help with research and excavation during the week-long public archaeology event.
Peter Britt was an early settler in the Rogue Valley and is best known for his early photography and his agricultural innovations that helped spur the wine and pear industries in southern Oregon. The project is part of park restoration by the City of Jacksonville. Historians have researched and identified many of the traditional Britt plantings, and the city is updating the park to restore the gardens to their Britt era splendor.
The Britt homestead burned down to its foundation more than 50 years ago. The archaeological investigations will be concentrated around the foundation of the house and the lower orchards, and are expected to provide information on the daily lives of the Britt family, as well as more general information on life in 19th century Jacksonville. The Britt homestead is one of the most significant historical sites in southern Oregon due to the lasting contributions of Peter Britt to the industry and culture of the Rogue Valley. Investigations into well known historical figures such as Peter Britt can be particularly rewarding as archaeologists can use existing documents such as photographs, diaries, and oral histories in conjunction with archaeological findings to obtain information on specific aspects or events in the person’s life.
There will be an ‘open site’ on Monday, September 20th, from noon to 4 p.m., and Friday, September 24th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when the public is welcome to talk with archaeologists and historians, see the excavation, get site tours, learn about the Britt family, and see what the archaeologists have been pulling from the dirt. A curator from the historical society will be on site Friday afternoon to see if any artifacts were found that match items in the museum’s Britt collection, and “Peter Britt” himself will be visiting the site both days to talk about his life and history.
SOULA will also host a free public talk on Tuesday, September 21st, at 4 p.m. at the Old City Hall: “Preserving our Hidden History: Archaeology and the City of Jacksonville” featuring: Chris Ruiz, University of Oregon; Dr. Mark Tveskov, Southern Oregon University; and Dr. Dennis Griffin, State Historic Preservation Office.
About Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology
The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology conducts archaeological research throughout southwest Oregon. Our work in the field and in the lab allows students to gain practicum experience towards the anthropology major and the Cultural Resource Management certificate. Consequently there is an applied orientation to our work, and each project is conducted in collaboration with federal and local agencies and Indian Tribes.  We currently have ongoing research projects with the Coquille Indian Tribe, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Medford District Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon State Parks, Jackson County, and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.
About Southern Oregon University
As the public liberal arts university of the West, Southern Oregon University 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 is 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.