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February 16, 2009

Call for Carter partnership award applications

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter will announce three awards for campus-community partnerships at the University’s annual Simon Benson Award Dinner, April 7. Applications for the awards—one for $10,000 and two in the amount of $5,000—are being accepted until Feb. 27 from all academic departments and interdisciplinary teams and their community partners. For application instructions, visit the Center for Academic Excellence Web site.

Carter is the keynote speaker for the Simon Benson Award Dinner, which honors Oregon philanthropists. This year’s recipient is Fariborz Maseeh ’80, MS ’84. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event, the evening will also feature a retrospective of all previous honorees.

This year’s Excellence in Departmental or Interdisciplinary Campus-Community Partnerships award is a first for the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation. In June, both the Carters presented representatives from Portland State’s Community Watershed Stewardship program with their foundation’s national award for campus community collaboration. The foundation is collaborating with the Center for Academic Excellence and University Development to make the upcoming April awards.

Budget plans shared with campus

Last week, the campus community received an e-mail message from President Wim Wiewel on the University’s budget. He discussed the need to cut Portland State’s current budget by 3 percent for teaching units and 5 percent for non-teaching units, and for these units to plan for reductions of 7.5 and 12.5 percent for the 2009-11 biennium. Read the letter >

Faculty Favorite favors civic participation

Teaching students about civic participation, often through hands-on projects, is a passion for Stephanie Blackman. The education instructor and PSU graduate will share her enthusiasm at a free Faculty Favorite Lecture Thursday, Feb. 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Women’s Resource Center, basement of Montgomery Court. Blackman will talk on “Exploring the Current and Historical Role of Women in Service and Civic Affairs.”

Blackman graduated from Portland State with a master’s in education in 2004 and a graduate teaching degree in 2005. She has a background in sociology and a strong commitment to exploring social justice issues in her classes. Her research interests include civic engagement, political participation, and service-learning in the classroom as ways of building democracy and creating social change. Blackman sees engaged learning as the key to personal and social transformation.

Thomas Friedman to give free lecture on the ‘Green Revolution’

Free tickets for the March 9 talk by Thomas Friedman, best-selling New York Times columnist, are now available at the PSU Box Office in Smith Union. Friedman’s noon lecture in the Stott Center is on the promise of green-related economic innovation, based on ideas contained in his new book, Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America. Read more >

Finalists on campus for sustainability director’s post

Three finalists for director of Portland State’s Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices will be on campus beginning next week. Faculty, staff, and community members are invited to presentations and informal meetings with each candidate. The first presentation is from John Gordon, a Yale University professor emeritus, Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. in 327 Smith Union. A coffee session with Gordon is planned for Feb. 19 at 8 a.m. also in 327 Smith Union.

A presentation from candidate Patrick Condon, a senior researcher at University of British Columbia, is Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. in 236 Smith Union. Sim Van der Ryn, University of California - Berkeley professor emeritus, will speak March 2 at 2 p.m. in 294 Smith Union.

The Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices, established in 2006, is the University’s coordinating unit for a broad range of sustainability-related instruction, research, and outreach. Jennifer Allen currently serves as the center’s acting director. Read more >

Are lectures and textbooks becoming obsolete?

Kansas State University students recently produced a video depicting the gap they experience between receiving and using information in their personal lives and how they experience its use in the classroom. Faculty are invited to a showing of their video, A Vision of Students Today, and a Kansas State faculty companion video, Academia 2.0, Thursday, Feb. 26, from 3 to 5 p.m. in 236 Smith Union. A discussion on what this gap means for student learning and faculty teaching practices will follow along with a wine and cheese reception. RSVP to the Center for Academic Excellence at 5-5642 or

Halfway in RecycleMania competition

In week five of RecycleMania, PSU Recycles! is focusing on reusable items—mugs, bags, to-go containers—as a method to reduce waste on campus. “Imagine a campus where these are the norm not the exception,” say organizers. PSU Recycles! hopes to bring home the RecycleMania trophy from the 10-week competition.

To learn more about ways to reduce waste on campus, visit the PSU Recycles! table between Smith Union and Cramer Hall this week. For PSU stats, rankings, and recycling information visit

Scandinavian Sampler next week

Iceland takes center stage at this year’s Scandinavian Sampler Feb. 27 and 28 in 171 Cramer Hall. Richard Ringler, Scandinavian scholar and honorary consul for Iceland, will give the Friday night lecture, “Jonas Hallgrimsson: The National Poet of Iceland,” and the Saturday noon address, “Iceland: My Other Homeland and How the Past Fifty Years Have Changed it.”

An introduction to Danish and Swedish languages and 20-minute sessions on Scandinavian history, art, music, geography, and current events are planned from 9:45 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. on Saturday. For a full schedule of events >

Charitable Fund Drive a success

Portland State staff and faculty donated $56,631 to nonprofits in Oregon through the campus 2008 Charitable Fund Drive. This was a 2 percent increase over the amount of money raised for the 2007 drive.

Proud to be a loser

For the third year, staff volunteers are organizing a PSU Fitclub Biggest Loser competition around group fun and activities. Campus community members and their friends and family are invited to an information session Thursday, Feb. 19, from noon to 1 p.m. or Friday, Feb. 20, from 10 to 11 a.m. Both sessions are in 236 Smith Union. Those who donate five pounds of canned or boxed food at the meeting will receive a prize.

Activities and weigh-ins will start in March, and there is a new category of involvement—those who do not want to participate in the competitive weight loss can take part in the group activities in a just-for-fun category. Organizers for this year’s Biggest Loser are Kristine Wise and Tiah Marston.

Ooligan Press in the news

The soon-to-be published book, Oregon at Work: 1859-2009, from PSU’s own Ooligan Press, is featured in the Oregonian article “150 Books for Oregon’s 150th Birthday.” The book list, compiled by the Oregon State Library, also includes five other works from Ooligan, which is an official partner of the Oregon 150 Commission.

Oregon at Work, by Art Ayre and Tom Fuller, is being published in collaboration with the Oregon State Department of Labor and will have its release party at the capitol rotunda. The foreword is by Gov Ted Kulongoski. The other five Ooligan books on the Oregon State Library list are: Heart for Any Fate, by Linda Crew (at press); Dear Drink the Moon, edited by Liz Nakazawa; Dreams of the West: A History of the Chinese in Oregon, 1850-1950, by Ooligan and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association; The Portland Red Guide, by Michael Munk; and Ricochet River, by Robin Cody.

For February 2009

Notices | People | Presented | Published/Exhibited | Grants