SOU Offers Business Degree Programs in Coos Bay

(Coos Bay, Ore.) Southern Oregon University (SOU) is now offering the bachelor’s degree in business administration in Coos Bay at the Southwestern Oregon Community College (SOCC) campus. Students can earn their degree in accounting or management by taking classes in both the face-to-face and online formats. An advisor is on campus each term to meet with students.
The core business classes meet several Saturdays each term. Students already enrolled in the program say they appreciate the options offered by the online and face-to-face format.

“I like the fact that one class gets together once a month to discuss the class,” says Kory Isley, one of the first students in the program. “I joined the hybrid program because I didn’t want to leave town to get a bachelor’s degree, nor did I want to quit my job.  I also didn’t want to completely lose the face-to-face interaction with teachers and students.”

Valarie Zito, a student working on the accounting option, believes this degree will give her greater financial stability and a broader range of job opportunities. “The hybrid program in Coos Bay gives me the freedom to follow my dream of getting my degree of choice without moving to a city with a university.”
The Coos Bay program began last spring and has grown to 12 students.  “Each term new students join the program, and I hope to have 20 by spring,” says Joan McBee, the coordinator of the SOU program.  “People in Coos Bay don’t have much choice when it comes to earning a bachelor’s degree. Having been an instructor at SOCC at one time, I’ve seen how excited students are when they get their associate’s degree.  They want to continue on and get their bachelor’s, and I’m glad we can provide them with a few more choices.”
For more information, contact Dr. Joan McBee, 541-552-8151 or

Nationally Syndicated Cartoonist to Speak at SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) – Syndicated cartoonist Leigh Rubin will present a free, funny, illustrated talk about his one-panel comic, “Rubes,” in the Meese Room of Southern Oregon University’s Hannon Library on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m. Rubin’s presentation is co-sponsored by the Medford Mail Tribune and the SOU Communication Department.
“Rubes” is published in The Ashland Daily Tidings and 400 newspapers worldwide. Sometimes described as a “sit-down comedian,” Rubin finds inspiration in everyday life, from dogs, cats and cows to kids, religion and quirky people in general.
Rubin’s talk is called “A Twisted Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste: The Creative Process and Cartooning Techniques.” His new book, which will be available for purchase and signing at the talk, is a 25th anniversary collection titled “The Wild and Twisted World of Rubes.”
The public is also invited to attend Rubin’s presentation earlier in the day to students in SOU’s Digital Media Foundations class. The class will meet at 10:00 a.m., Nov. 10, in the Meese Auditorium in the Center for the Visual Arts.

SOU Archaeologists Discover Original Peter Britt Cabin: One of The Earliest Known Pioneer Cabin Sites in the State of Jefferson

(Ashland, Ore) The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) announced the discovery of Peter Britt’s original log cabin at the Jacksonville City Council meeting at 7:00 p.m Tuesday (Oct. 19) night. Select artifacts from the archaeological excavation were on display during the meeting. Peter Britt built the log cabin on the hill overlooking what is now Jacksonville when he came to Oregon in 1852. According to Mark Tveskov, the director of SOULA and an associate professor of Anthropology at SOU, the cabin site is “rare and highly significant, as it is one of the earliest known cabin sites yet discovered and professionally excavated in the State of Jefferson.” Britt used this cabin as his primary residence until 1856 when he began work on a larger home. The discovery was made during recent archaeology work done in the Britt Gardens, in conjunction with the Jubilee Week, September 20th -24th, 2010. SOULA archaeologists worked with SOU students and volunteers from the Southern Oregon Historical Society on the excavations. Analysis of the hundreds of artifacts recovered from the two-week excavation is ongoing at SOU.

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. Peter Britt documented Southern Oregon and its residents during the dynamic frontier period, and is credited with taking the first photograph of Crater Lake. The project is part of a park restoration plan 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. Archaeologists dug more than 40 holes across the site, and will use this data to investigate how the Britt family lived and used the landscape over time. Artifacts recovered from two “trash pits” on the site will allow archaeologists to compare changes in the Britt Family diet over time, and personal items such as toys, pipes, and jewelry, will help illustrate the daily lives of the family.
SOULA will continue to work on the site during park reconstruction, and will use data recovered from the September excavations to target key areas such as the 1852 cabin. 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. According to SOULA archaeologist Chelsea Rose, who is leading the project, “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.”
For more information, contact Mark Tveskov at 541-552-6345 or Chelsea Rose at 541-261-3087 .
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, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Jackson County, and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

SOU Receives Grant to Upgrade Biotechnology Research Center

Karen Stone

(Ashland, Ore)  Southern Oregon University Associate Professor of Biology Karen Stone (right) has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant through the Academic Research Infrastructure: Recovery and Reinvestment program for “Reinvigorating Biotechnology at Southern Oregon University.” The award was funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The $218,786 grant will be used to modernize the lab space in the Biotechnology Research Center where undergraduate students learn how to use molecular methods in research projects. Improvements include the modernization of the Center, installation of a fume hood, DNA extraction room, microscopy space and vacuum lines with HEPA filtration.
“This grant will allow SOU faculty and students the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research,” says Professor Stone. “The Biotechnology Research Center is a key reason that SOU biology and chemistry students are successful in gaining admission to top-notch graduate and professional programs.”
Collaborators on the proposal include Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Alissa Arp, Associate Professor of Chemistry Gregory Miller, and Emeritus Professor of Biology Darlene Southworth.

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.