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Portland's Bicycling Culture, Opera Showcase, Glaciers and More at PSU Weekend's "Seminar Day"
Author: Haili J. Graff, Office of University Communications, 503-725-3711
Posted: October 1, 2007

PSU Weekend’s Seminar Day brings ten free lectures to the Portland State University campus on Saturday, October 27, 2007, from 8 a.m.–2 p.m. The seminars are open to the public and will be held in the Smith Memorial Student Union (1825 SW Broadway).

PSU Weekend is Portland State’s nontraditional homecoming, organized by the PSU Alumni Association and dubbed "Portland State’s gift to the city." This year PSU Weekend will be held October 26–27, 2007. The highlight of Seminar Day is the keynote brunch from 10:30 a.m.–noon with Frances Moore Lappé, co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and the bestselling author of "Diet for a Small Planet." Tickets for the brunch are $30; lecture-only admission is $15 for the general public, $12 for PSUAA Members, and $10 for students.

For more information or to register for PSU Weekend, call 503-725-4949, e-mail, or visit

Saturday, October 27

8:30 a.m.
“Political Polling by the Numbers” – Lisa Grove, pollster

Ask Portland pollster Lisa Grove to describe her job and she’ll tell you it’s like being “the head chess player” in a campaign. Grove, the founder of the Grove Insight consulting firm, has been a lead strategist for political candidates, nonprofit organizations and politicians ranging from Al Gore to former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria.

“The Literary World of Paul Collins” – Paul Collins, author, assistant professor of English, PSU
Paul Collins is an author specializing in science writing, antiquarian literature, reviewing and memoir. In addition to regular appearances as a “literary detective” on NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” Collins edits the Collins Library imprint of McSweeney’s Books. His recent freelance work includes articles for The New York Times, Slate, Smithsonian and New Scientist.

“A Tandem Look at Portland’s Bicycle Culture” – Commissioner Sam Adams and Jennifer Dill, associate professor and director, Center for Transportation Studies, PSU
How do the decisions people make about travel and location impact the environment? How does urban planning impact the decisions people make? Commissioner Sam Adams and transportation director Jennifer Dill answer these questions and more as they explore how Portland’s bicycle culture contributes to the city’s urban identity.

9:30 a.m.
“Economics of Aging: What Baby Boomers Should Know About Retirement” – Jost Lottes, director, Senior Adult Learning Center, PSU

Gerontologist Jost Lottes takes a deeper look at the economics of aging, focusing on the demographics and economics of aging in America, as well as exploring retirement, work, and volunteer opportunities for Baby Boomers.

“Sacred Space, Common Places: The Cemetery in the Contemporary American City” – Thomas Harvey, professor of Geography, PSU
Thomas Harvey offers a fresh look at cemeteries as evolving urban spaces that increasingly provide historic, scenic, and ecological value to communities, in addition to their traditional function as sacred spaces. Harvey has worked in historic preservation and as a city planner. His teaching and research emphases are urban geography and sustainability.

“Crime and Punishment in PDX” – Michael Schrunk, district attorney, Multnomah County
Michael Schrunk has been the elected district attorney in Multnomah County since 1981. Multnomah County encompasses the largest metropolitan area in the State of Oregon and has a population of 672,161. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has over 200 staff members, including 90 attorneys.

10:30 a.m. – Noon
Keynote Brunch
“Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, & Courage in a World Gone Mad” – Francis Moore Lappé

Keynote brunch with the best-selling author of “Diet for a Small Planet.” Tickets for the brunch are $30; lecture-only admission is $15 for the general public, $12 for PSUAA Members, and $10 for students.

“Glaciers on the Rocks” – Andrew Fountain, professor of Geology, PSU

This Ice Man travels the world to study glaciers, including the one named after him—the Fountain Glacier in Antarctica. His early career exploring atmospheric ice crystals, lake ice, and sea ice naturally led to an interest in glaciers, and he is currently leading a project on glacier change in the western United States. Join Fountain as he discusses the future of one of the geological world’s endangered species.

“The People’s Voice: A Populist Cultural History of Modern America” – David A. Horowitz, professor of History, PSU
The latest book by PSU’s award-winning historian starts with the legacy of 19th-century giants Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and Stephen Foster and then delves into our current national culture as expressed through film, television, music and more. According to Horowitz, it “chronicles the outpouring of cultural expression in America . . . addressing the everyday experiences, aspirations and problems of ordinary people.”

“Ripening Support for Portland Public Market” – Ron Paul, restaurateur, director, Portland Public Market Foundation
Ron Paul has been on a seven-year mission to establish a public market in Portland. Now, the Portland Public Market Foundation has set its sights on a historic landmark with great visibility at the hub of transportation crossroads: Union Station.

1:00 p.m.
PSU Opera Showcase – Christine Meadows, artistic director, PSU Opera

Opera aficionados and novices alike will delight in this rare glimpse behind the scenes as Portland State University’s nationally ranked opera program sings selections from Cosí fan tutte (Mozart), L’elisir d’amore (Donizetti), L’itialiana in algeri (Rossini) and from their upcoming 2008 production, La Boheme (Puccini).

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