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Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak, Dark Horse Comic's Mike Richardson and More at PSU Weekend's "Seminar Day"
Author: Angela D. Abel, Office of University Communications, 503-725-8794
Posted: September 21, 2006

Ten Free Seminars and Brunch with NPR's Scott Simon Offered on Oct. 21

PSU Weekend’s “Seminar Day” brings ten free lectures and seminars to the Portland State University campus on Saturday, October 21, 2006. The seminars are free and open to the public and will be held in the Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU-1825 S.W. Broadway).

PSU Weekend is Portland State’s nontraditional homecoming organized by the PSU Alumni Association and has been dubbed “Portland State’s gift to the city.” This year, PSU Weekend will be held October 20–21, 2006. The highlight of Seminar Day is the keynote brunch from 10:30–noon with Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio’s popular program “Weekend Edition” and author of Brooklyn Knight, his new book on Jackie Robinson. Tickets for the luncheon are $30; lecture-only admission is $15 and $10 for students.

Seminar Day will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the second floor of SMSU. Listed below are the events for Seminar Day. For more information on the free seminars and PSU Weekend events please visit For more information about PSU Weekend or to pre-register call 503-725-4949 or e-mail

Saturday, October 21
8:30 a.m.
“Afghanistan Update” — Grant Farr, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, PSU

Professor Farr gives a candid look at Afghanistan today, including a report from his latest trip to Kabul and a discussion of the success, failures and remaining impediments to creating a stable Afghanistan.

“Backstage at the PSU Opera” — Christine Meadows, artistic director, PSU Opera
Opera aficionados and novices will delight in this rare glimpse behind the scenes as Portland State University students offer operatic samplings during this dynamic presentation.

“Fuel for Thought” — Robert Bertini, director, Center for Transportation Studies, PSU
Global dependence on crude oil and the vast price fluctuations have everyone wondering whether there is a viable fuel alternative. Transportation expert Robert Bertini looks at alternative fuel possibilities that will keep everyone mobile and may be closer to the mainstream than people think.

9:30 a.m.
“Stretch Yourself: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Practice of Yoga” — Jane Carleson, yoga instructor

It is safe to say that yoga is more than a fad. But why is yoga so popular? Jane Carleson explains the philosophical basics of yoga, various styles and how it is practiced today. You will experience some simple asanas (physical exercises) and pranayama (breathing exercises) to better understand the benefits of hatha yoga. Come as you are, no particular clothes or shoes required.

“Origins and Eruption of the Lebanon Crisis” — John Damis, director, Middle East Studies Center, Portland State University
This Middle East expert will talk about Lebanon’s weak central government and its inability to prevent foreign intervention, making it a victim of both internal and regional crises.

“Oregon: Picture Perfect” — Steve Amen, executive producer and host, Oregon Field Guide on OPB
Enjoy a fast-paced, beautiful visual tour of Oregon as seen through the eyes of Oregon Field Guide’s award-winning photographers. You won’t believe what some people do to have fun.

10:30 a.m. – Noon
“Insights from Behind the Microphone: Bad Interviews, Big Mistakes and How It All Turned Out,”
keynote brunch with Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition.” Tickets for the brunch are $30; lecture-only admission is $15 and $10 for students.

“My Aunt’s Three-Pastry-Solution to the Middle East Conflict: A Reading from The Language of Baklava” — Diana Abu-Jabur, author and associate professor, Portland State University

It was never easy growing up in an Arab-American family, but Diana’s relatives believed there was nothing that couldn't be solved by a delicious meal—even world crises. Enjoy a reading from Abu-Jabour’s book The Language of Baklava.

“Comics as the New Literature” — Mike Richardson, '77, founder and president, Dark Horse Comics
Comics aren’t just for kids. The founder of Dark Horse Comics and PSU alum examines the merits of comics as an accepted form of literature.

“Recognizing and Evaluating Leadership: Risk Taking or Rhetoric?” — Governor Barbara Roberts
Former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts provides tools for recognizing true leadership qualities versus political “theater” in community leaders.

1:00 p.m.
“Victory in Iraq: You Can’t Get There from Here“ — General Merrill “Tony” McPeak

Appointed Air Force Chief of Staff by President George H. W. Bush in October 1990, General McPeak assisted in the overall strategic planning for Operation Desert Storm. Gen. McPeak is also one of 27 signatories to the statement of the Committee of Diplomats and Commanders for Change. Gen. McPeak shares his views on Iraq.

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For Immediate Release (#06-111)

Source: Jim Turner (503-725-8210)
PSU Alumni Relations