A Language Shared: Journalists, Veterans, and PTSD
Monday, February 24, 2014 - 7:00pm

The 2nd Annual College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 

 Classroom to Community Lecture:


A Language Shared: Journalists, Veterans, and PTSD

FEATURING assistant professor at Columbia College Chicago and 
former Baghdad Bureau Chief for the Washington Post
Jackie Spinner

Monday, February 24, 2014 
7 p.m. | Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
This event will be free and open to the public 

With more student veterans than any other university in Oregon, Portland State University has a historic and growing commitment to educating our nation's veterans. In keeping with this commitment, the 2014 Classroom to Community Lecture will address the challenges that many soldiers and journalists face as they reintegrate into civilian life. 

The event will also feature a Q&A with our GUEST PANEL:

  • Mike Francis, Journalist for The Oregonian
  • Leslie B. Hammer, Ph.D, Professor of Psychology at Portland State University and Principal Investigator for the Study for Employment Retention of Veterans
  • Sean Davis, Purple Heart Recipient and author of The Wax Bullet War
  • Rebekah-mae Bruns, Veteran and educator
  • M. Carolina Gonzalez-Prats, Veteran and Graduate Assistant at the PSU Veteran Resource Center

About the Speaker:
Jackie Spinner is an assistant professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She was a staff writer for The Washington Post for 14 years and covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jackie left the Post in 2009 and founded Angel Says: Read, an international literacy project based in Belize, Central America. In 2010, she returned to Iraq to start the award-winning AUI-S Voice, Iraq’s first independent student newspaper at The American University of Iraq. She was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Oman and taught journalism at Sultan Qaboos University in 2010-2011, where she founded Al Mir’ah, the university’s first independent student newspaper. In 2011, she was named Fishback Visiting Writer at Washington and Lee University. She has contributed to the Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy magazine, Slate, Glamour, Aswat al-Iraq, American Journalism Review, Defense Quarterly Standard and U.S. Catholic News. She is the author of Tell Them I Didn’t Cry: A young journalist’s story of joy, loss and survival in Iraq (Scribner 2006). Jackie has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Oman, Ecuador, Hungary, Spain, Morocco, Finland, Iceland, Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian Territories and Kuwait. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Journalism and Women’s Symposium and Military Reporters & Editors Association. She is co-director of Conflict Zone, a groundbreaking multimedia exhibit from the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. 

About the Panel:

Leslie B. Hammer, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology at Portland State University. She is the Director of the Center for Work-Family Stress, Safety, and Health, funded by grants from the National Institute for Child and Health and Human Development and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Most recently, Dr. Hammer was awarded a grant from the Department of Defense to study ways to increase supervisor support and enhance employment for veterans reintegrating into the workforce. Read Dr. Hammer's full bio here

Sean Davis is a Purple Heart recipient, a talented artist, and a gifted writer. He attended art school before earning his bachelor’s degree in English from Portland State University and an MFA in Writing from Pacific University. He published the novel Motivation and Toleration under the name Ian Avi and has contributed to numerous publications including the Willamette Week, Portland Mercury, Nailed Magazine, and The Good Men Project. He has also appeared on 60 Minutes and is co-founder of Hubris Press. His memoir The Wax Bullet War will be in bookstores April of this year. Read more about Sean here

Rebekah-mae Bruns is an Iraq war veteran with 15 years of service. During her time in the service she worked as a truck driver, psychological operations specialist, photojournalist and traveled to many exotic places. After leaving the service, Rebekah-mae received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Southern Illinois University and a Master’s in English Language Learning from St. Martin’s University. Her experiences in war led her on a mini-obsession to discover what caused wars and how they could be prevented. Upon discovering that women’s education played a key role, she went to Tanzania where she engaged in Participatory Action Research with high school girls to explore possible barriers and solutions to women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa using such mediums as photography, film and word. She currently resides in Spokane, WA., and enjoys exploring alternative photography processes.

M. Carolina Gonzalez Prats: Since completing her military service in 2004, Carolina has focused her advocacy and research on the unique challenges of veterans transitioning from the military to their civilian communities. She proudly serves as a member of the Veteran Resource Center (VRC) team that provides coaching, mentorship, and case management support to other student veterans at PSU. Drawing from her five years in the Army as well as her extensive work experiences in the education, non-profit and corporate sectors, Carolina is actively collaborating with various campus and community partners to enhance the student veteran experience at PSU. Carolina is currently a student in the Ph.D program in Social Work and Social Research at PSU.

Mike Francis is a journalist and has covered military and veterans' issues for The Oregonian since 2004. He has embedded with Oregon troops in Iraq on three occasions in 2004, 2005 and 2009. Mike also served on the board of directors for Military Reporters and Editors for two years. 



About the Classroom to Community Lecture:
The Classroom to Community Lecture, founded by Dean Susan W. Beatty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is a free annual lecture that strengthens the connection between Portland State University, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the region. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences represents over 26 departments and programs from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. 

For more information about this event, please contact