Willamette In the Media

Of the hundreds of media mentions each month, find selected highlights below or subscribe to In the Media via RSS. Publishers may remove or archive stories, so please check back frequently or subscribe.

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What makes a Nobel Peace Prize laureate?
Statesman Journal (Oct 18)

"This month's announcement that the Nobel Peace Prize would be awarded to two of the world's most visible children's rights advocates, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, should have been met with worldwide jubilation and appreciation.

Instead, the integrity of the Nobel Committee's historic selection was questioned, and both Ms. Yousafzai and Mr. Satyarthi were slandered, including by many within their own countries. Why?"

Personalized Medicine for Breast Cancer
Robb Report (Oct 17)

"HICKS: I’m a molecular geneticist, a DNA guy. Back in 2004 at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), I started applying then-novel genomic techniques to breast-cancer samples with the goal of finding new markers for personalized treatment. Another BCRF investigator—Michael Wigler, PhD—and I worked together and discovered that a single surgical specimen was often made up of many distinct genetic lineages. We realized we had to look more deeply if we were to understand the biology. This so-called cancer heterogeneity—or variety of cancer lineages—eventually led to honing our genomic analysis down to the level of single cancer cells, profiling one cell at a time. Once we nailed the method, it seemed ideal to apply it to characterizing rare cancer cells, the type that can be found in the blood of cancer patients, so I started talking to the folks who had ways of isolating them."

Are Jason Lee and John McLoughlin out of date?
Portland Tribune (Oct 13)

"Gov. John Kitzhaber has stepped into a debate about who should represent Oregon in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. He issued an executive order creating a nine-member panel to consider whether the current statues should be replaced, who should be substituted instead, and what to do with the statues that may return to Oregon. It is chaired by Jerry Hudson, chairman, former president of Willamette University."

Performance added for one-woman play at Willamette U.
Statesman Journal (Oct 13)

"Damaris Webb will debut her one-woman play 'The Box Marked Black: Tales from a Halfrican American growing up Mulatto. With sock puppets!' at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 and 25 at M. Lee Pelton Theatre, Willamette University, 900 State St. According to the box office, the performance Oct. 24 is sold out, but the recently-added performance Oct. 25 has many tickets available."

Researcher helped bring IPM to tree fruit
Capital Press (Oct 7)

"Jay Brunner has been a leading researcher in Washington’s tree fruit industry for years. As he approaches retirement he’s concerned about the future of an innovation he’s been instrumental in developing — integrated pest management, also known by its initials, IPM.

Brunner, 67, has been an entomologist at the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee for 36 years. He was the center’s first graduate student 44 years ago."

Ebola is deadly -- and in the U.S. -- but odds are good something else will kill you -- science roundup
The Oregonian (Oct 5)

"'I am not worried about Ebola in Oregon because our weak social and economic ties to West Africa means the total number of travelers is very low, and now that a case has been detected, vigilance is going to be very high ... Past outbreaks of SARS, H1N1 swine flu and H1N5 bird flu were of much greater concern given our strong ties to Asia ... The potential for H1N5 bird flu to make as few as 5 mutations and be successful jumping in aerosol form from human to human is much more scary than Ebola,' David Craig, a biology professor at Salem's Willamette University, said on a Facebook in response to the query."

Willamette University campus
Statesman Journal (Oct 2)

"A large grassy space on the Willamette University campus was scattered with people sitting and enjoying the beautiful autumn day."

Oregon gay marriage case: NOM says emails show AG's office too chummy with advocates
The Oregonian (Sep 26)

Gwynne Skinner, a Williamette University law professor, said some of the emails may be embarrassingly chummy but she didn't see anything improper in them.

'I think they're grasping at straws,' Skinner said of NOM. 'I don't think they have a claim at all.'

New Court of Appeals judge named
Portland Tribune (Sep 25)

"Flynn was named Thursday by Gov. John Kitzhaber to succeed Judge Robert Wollheim, who will retire Oct. 31. Kitzhaber appointed Wollheim, then a Portland lawyer specializing in workers’ compensation appeals, to the court in 1998.

Flynn would be up in 2016 for a full six-year term in the nonpartisan position.

Flynn has been part of the Portland law firm Preston, Bunnell and Flynn. She has specialized in cases before the Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Willamette University in 1989. She earned her law degree from Gonzaga University in 1992, when she was admitted to the Oregon State Bar."

Award-winning authors to speak at Willamette University
Statesman Journal (Sep 22)

"The Hallie Ford Literary Series will feature three dynamic writers who have achieved regional and national recognition.

Award-winning poet Marilyn Chin will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2. Chin's books are already considered Asian-American classics." 

Winners & losers in the news
Statesman Journal (Sep 20)

"Comments on the first Statesman Journal story about the houseboat showed support for the vessel and its owner. Some commended him for not buying into societal values, others said people need to mind their own business and let him be.

Susan Smith, a professor of law at Willamette University and director of the Sustainable Environmental, Energy & Resources Law program, said that the state has the constitutional power to regulate how state waterways are used.

In this case, the state's actions convey that no one has exclusive use to the waterway, she explained."

Conner Mertens reflects on life since coming out to his Willamette teammates
Fox Sports (Sep 18)

"As I stand and look back over this journey, I can't help but smile. This thing that caused severe depression, anxiety and self-loathing has now become an integral part of my everyday life. No longer in hiding, I am able to live my life openly and unapologetically. I look forward to the day when "coming out" is no longer a step in the life of an LGBT person. The day when our families, churches, sports and social interactions are not latent with efforts to preserve our competency and character by concealing our sexuality. Call me an optimist or call me crazy, but I firmly believe that we will see this in my lifetime ... and it will be beautiful."

Shanty boat moves down Willamette River
Statesman Journal (Sep 17)

"WINNER: Willamette University physicist David Altman was named a Scialog fellow for his “high risk, highly impactful discovery research on untested ideas in cell biology.” The Scialog program enables scientists engaged in unusual research to collaborate on new avenues of study. Altman studies myosin, the protein responsible for muscle movement. His recent work explores diabetes-related foot pain."

Revenue agency to replace computers
Portland Tribune (Sep 16)

"In addition to improving efficiency, the new system will enable the agency to participate fully in the Treasury Offset Program of the U.S. Treasury, which aims at catching those owing taxes.

'More than anything else, what’s needed here are information system upgrades at Oregon’s Department of Revenue,' writes Fred Thompson, a professor at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University.

Thompson made his comments a year ago on the Oregon Economics blog maintained by Oregon State University."

Ideas man: Patent attorney Stewart Myers finds inspiration working with inventions
Gazette-Times (Sep 10)

"After just five years of private practice as a patent attorney, Stewart Myers can’t really claim to have seen it all. But he’s seen an awful lot of things he never expected to see."

Mark Hatfield's life gets film premiere
Portland Tribune (Sep 8)

"Hatfield, a Republican, died in Portland in 2011 after a long illness. He was 89. He held public office 46 years, including the governorship from 1959 to 1967, and U.S. senator from 1967 until 1997.

He was born in Dallas, Ore., in 1922, and grew up in Salem. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Willamette University, he was in the Navy during World War II. He witnessed the after-effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and the French recolonization of Indochina — events that shaped his later opposition to nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War — before earning a master’s at Stanford University and returning to teach at Willamette University.

He remains the youngest Oregonian ever elected governor — at 36 — and the longest-serving Oregonian in the Senate."

Huge bronze sculpture arrives at Hallie Ford Museum
Statesman Journal (Sep 4)

Photo gallery on

Willamette archaeology students pictured in NatGeo
Statesman Journal (Aug 31)

"Did you know that playing in the dirt can land your picture in National Geographic? It did for Jessica "Jo" Heupel, a 2014 graduate of Willamette University's archaeology program. Her picture was featured in "Before Stonehenge," National Geographic's August cover story that has been years in the making.

Heupel was one of 10 Willamette archaeology students who accompanied Scott Pike, chair of Willamette's archaeology program, to the Orkney Islands off Scotland's northern coast this summer. They spent four weeks working in the field with a team of international archaeologists excavating the Ness of Brodgar, a Neolithic site dated to 3200 B.C."

Oregon House names acting chief clerk
Portland Tribune (Aug 29)

"Before he worked in the Washington House, Sekerak was a staff attorney for the Washington Senate and an attorney for the Washington Department of Revenue. He also worked at a Portland law firm.

Sekerak earned bachelor’s and law degrees from Willamette University. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science, with an emphasis on philosophy and economics, in 1987. His law degree came in 1992.

He graduated from South Salem High School in 1983."

Gun control: Legal expert describes 3 ways Multnomah County ordinance could land back in court
The Oregonian (Aug 25)

"Dailey’s ruling didn’t address the merits of either side’s argument but instead focused on whether the plaintiffs were harmed by the county ordinance and had grounds to sue. It effectively keeps the law in place but leaves room for a more suitable plaintiff to challenge the county in court.

Paul Diller, a law professor at Willamette University who specializes in local government law, said there are three ways that legal questions surrounding the gun control measure could come back before a judge for resolution."

Good things to know when engaging police
Statesman Journal (Aug 23)

"Appleman brought up a good point: most interactions that people have with police are in their cars, where it would be difficult to record an encounter.

And what about the right to refuse consent to a search?

'You do not have to consent to a search, and if the police threaten to get a warrant, you can certainly tell them to go get one,' she said. 'If the police go ahead and search you without a warrant, don't resist. Simply say you're not consenting.'

Consent is an exception to the requirement of a warrant in a police search, O'Ferry said."

Lake Oswego man makes 'Dark Dungeons' movie
Lake Oswego Review (Aug 21)

"What’s the best place to debut a film about role-playing games and dark magic?

For Lake Oswego High School graduate J.R. Ralls, the answer was Gen Con, the best-attended gaming convention on the globe, which drew more than 50,000 enthusiasts to Indianapolis.

There, Ralls, 36, got the chance to show off his first film, “Dark Dungeons,” which is based on Jack Chick’s eponymous 1984 comic about two girls, Debbie and Marcie, who are drawn into the occult world of role-playing games. The girls become addicted to the games, and Debbie taps into dark magical forces."

Mary Kay Inc. Names Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility
Yahoo! Finance  (Aug 20)

"Webb is chairman of HeROS (He Respects Others), the men’s auxiliary for Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas and was recently appointed to the board of the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin. He sits on the Communications Council for the Dallas Regional Chamber and the Executive Forum at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. Webb received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He and his wife, Nikki, have three sons."

5 Northwest Colleges Team Up To Offer Unique Course On Food Systems
KPLU: 88.5 Seattle (Aug 11)

"Student Tim Daly, 22, says the course has been transformative. A visit to an 8,000-acre wheat farm in the Palouse was particularly memorable to the Willamette University senior, who has long been wedded to the idea of finding a career in organic or small-scale agriculture.

'It's been incredible. It's the first time I'd seen a conventional [large-scale] farm, really,' Daly said. 'I wanted something that pushed me out of that comfortable norm that I'd developed, those insulated ideas that 'organic is the purest,' or 'organic is the best,' and it's done exactly what I've wanted it to do.'"

Fun with math: What those MathFest conference topics were all about (videos)
The Oregonian (Aug 6)

About "A Borsuk-Ulam Equivalent that Directly Implies Sperner's Lemma" (from Kathryn Nyman of Willamette University), reader KN said this: "Sperner's Lemma is more fun that it sounds; it can be used to divide cake (or rent, land, chores, etc.) among a group of people so that everyone thinks they got the best piece."

Dunkers put on an air show at Hoopla
Statesman Journal (Aug 4)

"Three teams of students in Willamette University's American Studies Program (Tokyo International University) are participating in Hoopla for the first time. They are joined by two Willamette students, Kevin Lyman and senior guard Joseph Jackson.

Two teams are entered in Division III (3 Amigos and Nippon), and one in Division IV (GBM's).

'They've been practicing the last three months or so since we told them about it,' Jackson said. 'They don't have anything like this in Japan. It's really a big American culture event for them, and they've been loving it.'"

County Vs City Laws
Oregon Public Broadcasting (Jul 29)

"According to Willamette University’s Associate Professor of Law Paul Diller, these clashes between city and county governments have raised interesting legal questions, especially surrounding what’s known as “home rule.” Diller also tells OPB that the outcome of these two cases could open up more legal questions." 

Liberal-arts consortium knits together 5 small colleges
The Seattle Times (Jul 21)

"The first class to be offered by the consortium is a three-week course on food systems that will be taught by Whitman, UPS and Willamette. Students will travel across the Northwest, visiting a wheat farm in the Palouse, urban farms in Tacoma and the Zena Forest & Farm owned by Willamette University as they learn about how food is grown and its impact on people, politics and the economy."

Why major party candidates want Independent nomination
Statesman Journal (Jul 11)

"There are other candidates who pursue the Independent Party nomination as a way to avoid a primary fight in their own party.

'If you have a crowded primary field that you don't think you can win but you do think you could win the general election, then you might pursue an Independent candidacy,' Buis Michaux said. 'The primaries tend to push candidates to satisfy an increasingly polarized base, but general elections — especially in moderate or close districts — are often about capturing the middle or independent vote.'"

David Sarasohn: The Hobby Lobby decision and the legal battles ahead
The Oregonian (Jul 4)

'Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community,' wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in dissent. '... The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.'

The minefield leads directly toward us.

'I believe religious claimants now have a strong argument to raise that there is a federal constitutional basis' for breaking through state laws, Steven Green, professor of law and director of the Center for Religion, Law and Democracy at Willamette University, told the Statesman Journal. 'It's almost kind of a back door way of this applying to places like Oregon.'

What Hobby Lobby ruling means for Oregon
Statesman Journal (Jul 1)

"The court ruled in the companies' favors Monday, expanding RFRA to include commercial businesses that are closely held — meaning more than half of their stock is owned by fewer than five people.

And it ruled that the contraception mandate violated the religious liberties of those companies.

'The immediate takeaway is that this is limited to only federal regulations — not state regulations,' said Willamette University Professor Steve Green. 'I think it's going to raise some confusion at about what types of claims businesses can raise on religious grounds.'"

U.S. Supreme Court Wraps With Hobby Lobby And Union Cases
Oregon Public Broadcasting (Jun 30)

"The Hobby Lobby case is one of the most anticipated of the year. At issue in the case is whether the Hobby Lobby corporation must comply with the mandates of Obamacare that require employers to offer contraceptive coverage in the health plans they offer to employees."

Busy mom fits in time for her intricate collage art
Statesman Journal (Jun 22)

"Next month at Salem Art Fair & Festival, Rigsby will display her paper and acrylic collages for the fourth year in a row. For any artist, this accomplishment is no small feat. For a mother of three young boys, it's almost superhuman.

Roughly 600 artists apply for the fair, according to Debbie Leahy, development director of the Salem Arts Association. Only about 200 survive a blind jury to make it. The daughter of a successful wood sculptor, Rigsby understands that her four-year streak is special.

'My dad did it for years, and every so often, he wouldn't get in,' Rigsby said. 'I've been fortunate.'"

Hallie Ford exhibit reflects exuberance of artist
Statesman Journal (Jun 19)

"At the Hallie Ford Museum of Art last week, I did something I never imagined I do in a museum. I held a flashlight against my forehead between my eyebrows. I looked like an awkward spelunker, but when I stepped into the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery and my flashlight’s beams bounced from the works of the current exhibit, 'Richard C. Elliott: Primal Op,' I didn’t care. Like a kid in a candy store, I found myself in the midst of a visual wonderland."

Why Being Short Can Help in Soccer
The Atlantic (Jun 12)

"There are several reasons for the rise of soccer's little big stars, but the main one is that being close to the ground is a major advantage for midfielders and forwards. Shorter people have a "quicker stepping pattern," Stasinos Stavrianeas, a professor of exercise science at Willamette University, told me. Essentially, they're spry: They can change directions much faster than tall folks, and they have better control over their limbs.

'That's what makes them more elusive for the defender, and that's what makes them a better threat,' Stavrianeas said."

Growing religious divide on America’s highest judicial body
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Jun 11)

"Andrew West spoke to Professor Steven Green, director of the Centre for Religion, Law and Democracy at Willamette University in Oregon, about the implications of the case. Prof Green was one of several scholars who filed an amicus – or friend of the court – brief in that case."

From the Fields to Washington, the Son of Farmworkers Becomes an Advocate
The Chronicle of Higher Education (Jun 3)

"During summers growing up, Yonny Castillo would join his parents, immigrant farmworkers from Mexico, out in the fields, picking blueberries to help provide for his family. This summer Mr. Castillo, a rising junior at Willamette, will intern for the advocacy group Farmworker Justice, where he hopes to focus on such issues as poor working conditions and low pay."

Salem ahead of the class in volunteer tutoring, teaching
Statesman Journal (Oct 18)

"'Students make significant contributions that translate to thousands of hours of service that translate into thousands and sometimes millions of dollars in benefit to the community,' [Eric Lassahn, director of Community Service Learning at Willamette University] said.

Undergraduate students at Willamette volunteered 64,018 hours of service last year and many logged time at local schools, including Bush Elementary. That's where a dozen Willamette students run the Tiger Club, an afterschool program that focuses on reading, writing and math.

The school was a natural fit for sophomore Kanika Meister who volunteered at local elementary schools during high school.

'It was really fun getting to know the kids and learning how their brains work," she said, "and how the activities we were doing enhance their education.'"

Nick Symmonds Launches Run Gum
KEZI (Oct 14)

"Tuesday, he’s launching his invention called Run Gum, which is manufactured in Eugene. It’s now available online and in running stores come 2015.

'It’s a revolutionary new delivery system for stimulants. It’s chewing gum fortified with caffeine, taurine, B vitamins. It’s a phenomenal product. I’ve been working on it for years, putting together my experience on the track and my degree in biochemistry from Willamette University finally getting some play,' Symmonds said."

Take a stroll through Willamette and bring an appetite
Statesman Journal (Oct 13)

"Salem and Willamette University offer comfort in the tight-knit vibe they emit, and a walk through campus to see the changing leaves contrasted with the old brick buildings is a great way to spend your lunch hour.

I chose to pick up lunch at Goudy Commons, Willamette University's cafeteria. I've heard astounding reviews from all who have eaten there, so it only makes sense to stop for some food on my lunch hour."

Trio’s collaboration results in big sound
Spokesman-Review (Oct 9)

Weyerhaeuser and Hicks met in a choir class at Willamette University, eventually starting their own a cappella group, an experience he describes as 'hilarious and cheesy.'

“We had this wonderful entrepreneurial experience with that,” Weyerhaeuser said. 'It was fun creating that from nothing and having this small liberal arts school rallying behind you. I think that was our initial inspiration – what if we started our own band and wrote our own music? A lot of the ingredients in the current sound are group vocals and vocal harmonies, so that’s kind of where it all started.'"

Cover Oregon health exchange legal costs top $1.1 million; any winnings likely split
The Oregonian (Oct 7)

"The tally is significant because the state and Oracle haven't yet completed round one: a battle over whether the case will be held in state or federal court. Arguments to settle that issue will be heard Nov. 21.

The case is at an early stage, and the spending so far has achieved the equivalent of laying the foundation for a large building, said David Friedman, a Willamette University law professor who has been following the case closely. That means there's a lot of costly lawyering yet to be done.

'It's going to be expensive,' he said, adding that an appeal of any initial ruling appears likely. 'This could go on for years.'

One of the wild cards in the case is what happens if Oregon eventually does win money from Oracle."

Is 'Macbeth' cursing Salem's theater productions?
Statesman Journal (Oct 1)

"Jonathan Cole, associate professor of theater at Willamette University who teaches theater history, explained that 'Macbeth' is a dangerous play, because it involves numerous fight scenes and murders. Overly aggressive actors can easily inflict injuries.

'Everybody's got a Macbeth story. I think it's a whole bunch of hooey,' Cole said. 'I've worked on the production over and over again and I've never seen any horrible accidents befall people.'"

Willamette University campus
Statesman Journal (Oct 2)

"A large grassy space on the Willamette University campus was scattered with people sitting and enjoying the beautiful autumn day."

Is An Oregon Equal Rights Amendment Necessary?
OPB (Sep 26)

"Norman Williams directs the Center for Constitutional Government at Willamette University. He says the men who wrote that provision weren’t trying to protect equal rights; they were worried about government corruption.

'That kind of makes sense for an agrarian state with a bunch of farmers and ranchers and timber barons fearful of a competitor getting a favor from the governor,' he said."

Aspen Institute Business and Society Program Announces 2014 Faculty Pioneers
International Business Times (Sep 24)

"Faculty Pioneer Award Winners and Finalists will be recognized at an award ceremony in New York on Thursday, October 16.  The ceremony will be part of a symposium on business education, organized by the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program and hosted at the Ford Foundation.  The symposium will focus on how business schools can most effectively prepare students to lead companies in ways that produce a vibrant economy that works for all.

Finalists for this year's faculty pioneer awards are: 

  • Anat R. Admati, George G.C. Parker Professor of Finance and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
  • Tim Johnson, Assistant Professor of Public Management and Public Policy, Atkinson Graduate School of Management,  Willamette  University"

Willamette football cruises to 2-0
Statesman Journal (Sep 21)

"Willamette University rolled to a 42-24 road victory over California Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, Calif. by virtue of a powerful rushing attack that scored seven touchdowns and netted 455 total yards."

Oregon Trail Live grows in silliness at heritage center
Statesman Journal (Sep 20)

"Williams Brown said the event attracts a combination of people: those who genuinely love the game and those who are interested in Oregon history.

Volunteering at the animal hunting station was Willamette University history major Mele Ana Kastner. The challenge required participants to use Nerf guns to shoot at pictures of animals.

'We go for pure authenticity: bright blue and orange Nerf guns,' Kastner laughed."

Classic feminist play at Willamette University
Statesman Journal (Sep 18)

"Willamette University Theatre Arts will present "Top Girls" Sept. 25 through Oct. 11 at Willamette University, M. Lee Pelton Theatre, 289 12th St. SE. Written by Caryl Churchill and directed by Susan Coromel, the play is considered one of the 20th Century's most important feminist plays. The political comedy follows the new managing director of Top Girls Employment Agency, who throws a party for an array of mythical and literary women."

State budgets $2 million for Cover Oregon lawsuit
KGW (Sep 14)

"With the competing lawsuits, the resolution to the Cover Oregon debacle could become as messy as the project itself. Willamette University College of Law professor David Friedman said it could take years to resolve the two lawsuits.

It isn't unusual for two parties to sue each other, he said. However, it's far less common for one to sue in federal court and one to sue in state court."

Leverage MBA Mentors to Reach Career Goals
U.S. News (Sep 11)

"When it comes to pairing MBA students with a mentor, Beth Ursin believes a mismatch is the best kind of match. Ursin, the director of career management at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management, is more inclined to connect a student interested in finance with a marketing mastermind. The student itching to get into marketing is more likely to get a finance executive as a mentor.

Putting together people who have what appears to be similar career interests doesn't always make for a strong mentor-mentee relationship.

'Students come in and say they’re interested in finance, and then they take a marketing class and they get excited about marketing,' she says. 'If I've already matched them with someone in finance then that relationship’s no longer relevant. So I match them based on what they want to get out of the program.'"

Second annual Salem Sunday Streets takes over downtown
Statesman Journal (Sep 8)

"Asked if they'll be back in coming years, newcomers Rich and Sharon Schieber said the event brings a needed element to the capitol block. The couple spent the afternoon along with roughly 100 others enjoying free admission to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, another staple of the event."

Note: Check out the gallery to see City of Pieces, featuring chemistry's Karen McFarlane Holman on guitar.

Wade Brooks, Portland educator and entrepreneur, to keynote Great Plains Capital Conference
Wichita Business Journal (Sep 4)

"Startups, investors and others at the Great Plains Capital Conference will hear a keynote presentation from longtime entrepreneur Wade Brooks, who co-founded and leads the Willamette University Angel Investment Fund in Portland.

According to organizers of the Sept. 25 investment conference in Wichita, the fund Brooks co-created was the first graduate school angel fund in the nation.

Willamette University says it operates an experiential learning program that brings MBA students into the deal flows of angel groups. Students have the opportunity to analyze and invest in local startups with guidance from an advisory board."

How Angels Can Enjoy The Best Returns -- Financial And Otherwise
Forbes (Sep 4)

"Let’s start with the largest study and what we can learn from it to enhance financial returns.  Rob Wiltbank, CEO of software company Galois and professor at Willamette University, collected data on exits – good and bad – from hundreds of angels in the Returns to Angel Investors in Groups.  The study found that the overall return for the 1,100 plus exits in the dataset was 2.6 times the invested money in 3.5 years, or about 27% gross Internal Rate of Return."

Many Bald Eagles Are Victims of Lead Poisoning, but This One Got Intensive Care
National Geographic (Sep 29)

"It was a Friday evening and Jason Jones, the center's program director and master falconer, was out of town. That left program associate Meghan Warren in charge of admitting sick raptors. She was 24, just a few years out of studying biology at Willamette University in Oregon, returning to work at the raptor center where she had been a volunteer.

What Warren lacked in experience, she made up with pluck. She grew up in Sedona, Arizona, catching snakes and tarantulas. She spent summers in Wyoming's Wind River Mountains at a wilderness camp run by her parents, and began at a young age to rescue sick and injured animals, bringing them to the nearest vet.

As soon as she lifted the eagle out of the crate, Warren suspected lead poisoning. The raptor had the classic symptoms. Instead of strutting, chest out and scrappy, it had rounded shoulders and its wings drooped under their own weight. It had trouble lifting its head. Bright green, bile-stained diarrhea soiled its white tail feathers."

Panel to consider Oregon statues in U.S. Capitol
Portland Tribune (Aug 29)

"In 2013 and 2014, the Oregon House passed bills sponsored by Rep. Vic Gilliam, R-Silverton, to replace the statue of Jason Lee with one of Mark Hatfield. Gilliam once worked for Hatfield, a former governor and U.S. senator who died in 2011."

Willamette University move-in exciting, bittersweet
Statesman Journal (Aug 22)

"Thursday was move-in day for students at Willamette University, many of them bright-eyed and anxious freshmen. More than 500 students were on campus settling into their dorms, touring campus with dewy-eyed parents and attending any number of orientation events to welcome them back to school.

As the family moved quickly along, Sarah explained that she had actually visited the campus three ('Or was it four?') times prior. She liked the size and how familiar it felt to her arts high school in Tacoma, Wash. She was planning to study history.

'It just felt right,' she said. 'I visited a few times and loved it. You just know.'"

Educating angels: How a local university is building the next generation of entrepreneurs
Portland Business Journal (Aug 20)

"While the latest funding round for PayRange included a number of big names, one of the lesser known investors may be the most interesting.

Included in the round was the Willamette University Angel Investment Fund, a fact that was pointed out to me by fund advisor Rob Wiltbank, who himself is a noted angel investor and researcher."

Sparks Athletic Center
Statesman Journal (Aug 20)

"Willamette University Athletic Director Dave Rigsby talks in the Prothero Classroom while giving a tour of the $6.5 million renovation of the Sparks Center on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. The classroom is named at Stephen K. Prothero, a Willamette University professor and coach for 40 years."  

Vadio secures $2 million to mix radio, music videos
Los Angeles Times (Aug 14)

"Vadio, a start-up that integrates music videos into online music streaming services, has raised $2 million in seed funding from individual investors including former media and entertainment executives, the company said Thursday.

Vadio, headed by Willamette alumnus Bryce Clemmer '10, pulls music videos from video-hosting services YouTube or Vevo and airs them when songs play on a radio station’s online broadcast or on an online-only music service."

The Great Lakes: Home to 'South Bay Bessie' and the Most Active Angel Investors in the Country
Inc. (Aug 7)

"Robert Wiltbank, a contributing associate professor at Willamette University, who worked on the report, says it's too soon too tell if the spike in Great Lakes deals is a one-time phenomenon or the beginning of a trend. But he does say some angels in the region did some "really solid, co-invested deals" with early-stage venture capitalists this time around, in both the medical devices and the technology industries."

Meet biggest donors to Mid-Valley races for 2014 campaign
Statesman Journal (Aug 5)

"'They often think, and it seems true, that large donors to specific candidates could get access they wouldn't get otherwise,' said Melissa Buis Michaux, a political science professor at Willamette University.

Oregon is one of four states in the nation with no limits on campaign contributions, which leaves the door open for a donor to bankroll a candidate. And it raises the issue of what is the return on that kind of investment.

'One of the big questions in political science is does the money influence individual legislators or does the money go to legislators they would have supported otherwise,' Buis Michaux said."

Scotland’s Stone Age Ruins: Archaeology Everywhere
National Geographic (Jul 23)

"Cloistered within those walls were dozens of buildings, among them one of the largest roofed structures built in prehistoric northern Europe. It was more than 80 feet long and 60 feet wide, with walls 13 feet thick. The complex featured paved walkways, carved stonework, colored facades, even slate roofs—a rare extravagance in an age when buildings were typically roofed with sod, hides, or thatch.

Fast-forward five millennia to a balmy summer afternoon on a scenic headland known as the Ness of Brodgar. Here an eclectic team of archaeologists, university professors, students, and volunteers is bringing to light a collection of grand buildings that long lay hidden beneath a farm field. Archaeologist Nick Card, excavation director with the Archaeology Institute at the University of the Highlands and Islands, says the recent discovery of these stunning ruins is turning British prehistory on its head."

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Gun control: Confusion over Multnomah County ordinance complicates legal case
The Oregonian (Jul 13)

"Paul Diller, an associate law professor at Willamette University, said if the judge believes the ordinance doesn’t pose a threat to the plaintiffs, she could decline to answer the broader legal question about the limits to county authority over cities.

'Courts don’t decide these questions in the abstract, generally,' he said. 'They only like to decide these when they’re dealing with real parties, bearing real consequences.'"

Multnomah County Gun Law Challenged In Court
Oregon Public Broadcasting (Jul 8)

"Whether the gun ordinance applies in the cities is a critical question for both law enforcement and for gun owners. That’s because more than 95 percent of the people in Multnomah County also live in a city like Portland, Fairview or Gresham.

Paul Diller, a professor of law at Willamette University who studies local governments, says the case raises an interesting question.

'I can’t think of a precedent where county and city authority have clashed like this.'

Diller says the Oregon Constitution gives both cities and counties the right to self-rule. And the law hasn’t clarified how county laws apply within city limits."

What Hobby Lobby ruling means for Oregon
Statesman Journal (Jul 1)

"The court ruled in the companies' favors Monday, expanding RFRA to include commercial businesses that are closely held — meaning more than half of their stock is owned by fewer than five people.

And it ruled that the contraception mandate violated the religious liberties of those companies.

'The immediate takeaway is that this is limited to only federal regulations — not state regulations,' said Willamette University Professor Steve Green. 'I think it's going to raise some confusion at about what types of claims businesses can raise on religious grounds.'"

Skipping performance reviews has few consequences
Statesman Journal (Jun 29)

"Susan Wilson, an associate professor at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management, said feedback and performance management are hugely important, but annual reviews are just one way to accomplish that.

Managers need to set clear expectations, provide ongoing feedback and help employees work toward their goals, she said.

Some of the problem with performance reviews arises when some of that performance management hasn't been done, Wilson said. Workers may not understand their manager's expectations, or the manager may feel uncomfortable giving honest feedback."

The most important law you didn’t know about
Statesman Journal (Jun 20)

"'The importance of that attorney fee provision cannot be overstated,' said Gwynne Skinner, a law professor at Willamette University. 'In my own practice, I could tell you there were so many cases I wouldn’t have taken if I did not have the potential of recovering fees.'

Here’s how it works: Civil rights cases like the one argued earlier this year about the federal constitutionality of the Oregon law limiting marriage to one man and one woman are long, complicated legal fights that often come with plaintiffs who aren’t seeking monetary damages."

Willamette University biologists pull in some big bucks for science: science roundup (links, video)
The Oregonian (Jun 15)

"'The fact that our department — a very small group at only eight professors, working at a small liberal arts college — has received two Career awards in back-to-back years is, in my view, nothing short of extraordinary ... (T)he number of small liberal arts colleges where faculty have received funding through the Career program is very small indeed (Reed College is also a school with a Career award winner, Sarah Schaack),' Smith said in an email. 'To me, that we have been so successful in this competition positions Willamette as a national leader in the integration of teaching and research.'

Bringing sports to El Salvador
Orange County Register (Jun 11)

"[Tony Krikorian] and his former teammate at Willamette, Scott Schoettgen, traveled to El Salvador from Feb. 21 to March 9 to form the Central America Sports & Education Project.

The pair wanted to improve the quality and accessibility of sports in El Salvador, while focusing on three main issues: help alleviate gang violence, encourage female empowerment and increase access to education.

'We understand that sports is a very powerful tool to change not just individuals but also the community you live in, the city you live in,' said Krikorian, who currently serves as the wide receivers coach for the football team and assistant coach for the basketball team at Costa Mesa High."

Child refugees need legal help
Statesman Journal (Jun 11)

"Providing refuge to orphans and unaccompanied children is part of America's history and cultural heritage. For those who consider the arrival of the Mayflower the beginning of the creation of our nation, remember that the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth nearly 400 years ago with two orphans in their care, as well as two unaccompanied children. Apparently, even America's earliest founders realized that, as noted by Mahatma Gandhi, 'A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.'

Warren Binford of Salem is an associate professor of law and teaches the child and family advocacy clinic at Willamette University College of Law. Email her at"

Farmers face conflicting rulings on H-2A family housing
Capital Press (Jun 2)

"Administrative law judges with the U.S. Labor Department have made several contradictory rulings on the issue this year, and legal experts say farmers may not get any clarity on the matter until 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides the issue. Such a decision, they say, may be a long time coming.

'That question won’t have a definitive answer until the 9th Circuit weighs in,' said Keith Cunningham-Parmeter, a labor law professor at Willamette University.

The disparate rulings 'seem to be crying out for guidance from the federal circuit court of appeals,' he said.