Faculty Feature

Faculty Feature

Sarah Newlands

Sarah Wolf Newlands is an artist who has been actively involved in museum education since she began giving tours at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in the mid-1990s. Sarah's students at Portland State collaborate with local schools and museums (Portland Art Museum, Childpeace Montessori School, The Museum of Contemporary Craft, and The Portland Classical Chinese Garden.) Students who work on these community-based learning projects design and lead tours, and create videos, blogs, visual and time-based art. Sarah received an MFA from Portland State University and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her own artwork brings together the language of formal abstraction with commonplace everyday things, using repetition and process as methods of transformation.

Sarah Newlands

History, Involvement, and Achievements as a PSU-UNST Faculty Member

In her Work of Art FRINQ course, Sarah Wolf Newlands has cultivated a partnership among the Portland Art Museum's College School Guide and Peer-to-Peer Mentorship program, Portland State University, and Molalla High School. This year-long partnership brings PSU students and the rural high school together for a collaboration involving over 90 students and three institutions.

During the fall term, PSU Work of Art and Molalla High School students spent time studying artworks at the Portland Art Museum. In addition to looking at art, PSU students learned about museum professions from various staff members at the Museum. 
In the winter, Work of Art students served as interpretive guides for groups of PSU and Molalla High School students at the Portland Art Museum. The PSU students then visited Molalla High School, where Molalla students taught them how to make screen prints. 

PSU Work of Art students made silkscreen prints in response to artwork in the Constructing Identity exhibition. Constructing Identity demonstrates the diverse voices, perspectives, and stories of African-American artists, and offered us a fresh view of how American values are reflected in their experiences. PSU student exhibited their work with Molalla High School students’ artwork in an on-campus exhibition. 

For the final day of the program, Molalla High School and PSU Work of Art students visited both the Portland Art Museum and the PSU campus. They explored the Constructing Identity exhibit, ate lunch together at Victor's, and then attended a PSU Advising and Career Services workshop. 

Chimamanda Adichie’s 2009 TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” and Constructing Identity: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art provided common ‘texts’ for everyone involved. Adichie explained in her talk that single stories are “incomplete.” They create stereotypes causing one story to “become the only story.” She believes that we “regain a kind of paradise” by rejecting the single story. 

The Peer-to-Peer project forced each of us to rethink single stories about art museums, colleges, high schools, rural and urban cultures, and how we learn.


Dr. Oscar Fernandez

Dr. Óscar Fernández

Among his many projects, Dr. Óscar Fernández writes a Race and Social Justice Blog showcasing the work of the dialogue series presented by University Studies and sponsored by the Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion and the School of Gender, Race, and Nations.  


History, Involvement, and Achievements as a PSU-UNST Faculty Member

Dr. Óscar Fernández (Comparative Literature Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University; National Institutes of Health PHRP Certification Number 2257106; State of Oregon Qualified Health Care Interpreter:  ID#010489, osf@pdx.edu).  

Born in San José, Costa Rica, Dr. Fernández specializes in inter-American studies, literary theory, and the intersection of culture, sexuality, and representations of disease in literature. With more than 15 years of university teaching experience in private and public institutions—in Oregon, he has taught at Reed College and Portland State University—and community advocacy work here in the Portland area, his teaching trajectory, in both English and Spanish, has been delineated along three main paths: (1) interdisciplinary and general education studies, (2) literary theory and Comparative Literature studies—with an emphasis in Latin American literature—, and (3) Spanish language, Heritage-language pedagogy, and advanced rhetoric and composition in both English and Spanish.  His teaching philosophy challenges students to see the world differently and to question at-face-value approaches.  In this pedagogical “contact zone” of alternative and taken-for-granted worlds, he positions his teaching practice, his students, and himself. Portland State University (PSU) students have honored him with M.E.Ch.A.'s Community Service Award (2006). 

He is currently a translation and interpretation volunteer for BRAVO Youth Orchestras (an afterschool music program in North Portland).  Currently, he is a University Studies core faculty member at PSU.  In 2014-2015, he co-authored and piloted a new Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ) course—Immigration, Migration, and Belonging—for PSU's University Studies.  His published work appears in Comparative Literature Studies, Oregon Literary Review, and PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association).   Dr. Fernández is a holder of a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Practicum Grant, a Folger Institute Faculty Weekend Grant from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and more recently, a 2017 grant recipient from Bringing Theory to Practice's 2017-2018's "Campus Dialogue Grants:  Realizing Higher Educator Greater Purposes."