Faculty Research Brown Bag Series

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is proud to host a faculty research brown bag series. These informal sessions serve as an opportunity for faculty to share their research with colleagues, staff, and students from across the College and the University. The sessions are casual and collegial, allowing for presenter and audience to engage in discussion about the topic. 

The brown bags are in a flexible format and occur during the lunch hour. For the 2017-2018 year, they will be held in conjunction with the Research Rounds Speaker Series, and will be planned for months where a CLAS faculty member is not speaking at the Research Rounds. All are welcome to attend. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch. For questions about the CLAS Faculty Research Brown Bag, please email clas@pdx.edu

2017-2018 Faculty Research Brown Bag Series


Thursday, December 7
12pm – 1pm
Smith Memorial Student Union 298

How Conceiving Migration as a Crisis Harms Migrants and Undermines Global Justice

Dr. Alex Sager, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Media, policy makers, humanitarian organizations, and academics inundate us with news about the “Global Refugee Crisis,” the “Syrian Refugee Crisis,” the “2014 American Immigration Crisis,” the “European Migrant Crisis,” “Mediterranean Migration Crisis,” and more. Though it may seem perverse to see the forced displacement of 65.3 million women, men, and children around the world as anything else, we must critically analyze the category of crisis. Crisis is an evaluative term, representing an event as dangerous, difficult, and exceptional. It focuses attention to migrants, rather than the causes of the journeys, feeds the politics of fear, justifies drastic and harmful enforcement measures, and prevents reform.

Friday, February 16

Smith Memorial Student Union 298

Finding History on the Margins: Writing Society's Outcasts Back into Jewish History at the New York Public Library

Dr. Natan Meir, Lorry I. Lokey Chair in Judaic Studies and Associate Professor of Judaic Studies

Dr. Meir recently spent a sabbatical as a fellow at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. In this talk, he will discuss his experience as a fellow and how the library's resources supported his current research project, "Stepchildren of the Shtetl: The Destitute, Disabled, and Demented of Jewish Eastern Europe."


Thursday, April 12
Smith Memorial Student Union 296

The Origins of Life on the Earth

Dr. Niles Lehman, Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Lehman will discuss the general problem of the study of life’s origins on the Earth some 4 billion years ago, and present how his research team at PSU is tackling the problem using short pieces of recombining RNA molecules.


Thursday, May 10
Smith Memorial Student Union 294

The Intersection of Socioeconomic Status, Race, and Disability Status in US 9th Graders’ Math and Science Academic Readiness and Attitudes

Dr. Dara Shifrer, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Diversifying the pool of youth pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations is a federal priority. Racial minorities and youth with low socioeconomic status (SES) are under-represented in STEM fields, and disproportionately experience disability. Dr. Shifrer will talk about her research using multilevel regression modeling with data on around 19,400 9th graders from the nationally representative High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 to investigate how SES, race, and disability intersect to influence 9th grade STEM academic readiness and STEM attitudes.