Willamette In the Media

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Salem-area students share passions at Science Expo
Statesman Journal (Apr 17)

"Jason Niedermeyer, a biology teacher at South Salem High School, helped start the science festival, which he referred to as 'Darwin’s Discovery Day.'"

'Hair' as relevant today as it was in 1967
Statesman Journal (Apr 16)

"'It has such a cultural mystique. It is this radical piece of theater,' Kinsman Steck said. 'The average theatergoer in Salem is over 60. For the baby boomer generation, this play hits home, but at the same time there is this cultural memory of the piece that it is so radical. It is done in progressive high schools a lot these days.'

Another element to consider, Kinsman Steck said, is who attends.

'Who is there is also going to reflect the relevance of the piece,' Kinsman Steck said. 'It is one of the things that makes theater exciting. The reaction of audience is so radically important. Live music, theater, dancing, all interacting with each other and the audience. It is going to change every night.'"

Investing in Dreams: Northwest Programs Educate New Angels
Xconomy (Apr 14)

"The United States already has hundreds of angel groups—and many have always worked hard to educate potential investors. What’s new is that a few groups with the explicit intent to educate newcomers have taken root, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. “These are rare,” says Robert Wiltbank, a professor at Willamette University who studies angel investing and is a board member at the Angel Resource Institute. 'This is actually kind of a Northwest thing.'"

Willamette University hosting free Wulapalooza music and arts festival
The Oregonian (Apr 11)

"This year Wulapalooza is featuring a sonically and geographically diverse lineup, made up of Portland band Radiation City, Seattle hip-hop group The Physics, Walla Walla rock band Chastity Belt, New Orleans bounce artist Katy Red and New York City cave music trio Moon Hooch.

Willamette University musicians will put on a full set themselves, headlined by student band HD Laundry and jazz group [Deadly] Infunktion, who doesn't have much of an internet presence but apparently travelled to Nepal recently to play at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory."

What will Supreme Court's refusal to hear gay marriage snub case mean for Oregon? 

"Among the legal minds listening to Scheck speak were current Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Balmer, former Oregon Chief Justice Paul De Muniz, and the law school’s Dean Curtis Bridgeman.

De Muniz, who helped orchestrate Scheck’s appearance and introduced him, talked about how recent statistics demonstrate that the Innocence Project has exonerated 25 individuals in the first quarter of 2014 alone."

A Legacy of Place 

"Unlike Oskar Schindler, whose story became the hit film 'Schindler’s List,' Sendler faded from history after the war. That is, until three schoolgirls in rural Kansas heard about her and decided to research her life for a school project in 1999.

Now 'Life in a Jar,' the play these girls wrote, is coming to Salem for two performances, Friday at Willamette University and April 13 at Temple Beth Sholom. Samuel has worked 1½ years to bring this about in observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah)."

To Win Union Endorsements, Jim Francesconi Made Big Promises 

"A new study finds what we've know for a while now: the video game industry is sexist. When a huge swath of people working in the field were asked if they had 'experienced, to some degree, sexual harassment either at my office, or in another game industry gathering,' the divide was clear: 60% of women agreed and only 20% of men. To get behind the numbers and learn more about how sexism is affecting one of the world's largest entertainment industries, I sat down with the lead researcher, Jennifer Allaway, a delightfully brash undergrad studying at Willamette University in Oregon." 

DE comes out with Mertens' support
ESPN (Mar 31)

"Mitch Eby, a junior defensive end at private Chapman University in Orange, Calif., found the courage to tell his teammates he is gay after a talk with Conner Mertens, the Willamette University kicker who announced in January that he is bisexual.

Eby reached out to Mertens for guidance before talking with his coach and teammates, and their discussion, Eby said, helped him deal with the stigma he carried about gay athletes."

Oregon students spend spring break transforming a Boise garden (Mar 24)

"A dozen college students from Oregon are spending their spring break in Boise volunteering.

The Willamette University students are helping the Cathedral of the Rockies transform an empty parcel of land into a fruit orchard and walking garden. The land is at 11th and Fort streets."

Life advice from a Harvard mom
Statesman Journal (Mar 22)

"You have heard a lot from the self-appointed 'Princeton Mom' this past year who exhorts you and other young women to devote 75 percent of your energy in college to finding a husband. She warns that if you don’t snag an Ivy League husband before you graduate, you risk marrying a guy from a 'state school' who is not 'worthy' of you, or worse, finding yourself old, infertile and alone one day.

The 'Princeton Mom' assures you that she is sharing this advice with you because you are the daughters she never had. Fortunately, you and your girlfriends already have mothers, and we hope you will never forget what we have tried to teach you since the day you were brought into our arms and our lives."

Human trafficking a big problem, panel says
Statesman Journal (Mar 20)

"Whether they are undocumented immigrants exploited for their labor or youths from other states exploited for sex, human trafficking is a big problem in the Northwest, a panel at Willamette University concluded Thursday."

Science Night looks at decision making
Statesman Journal (Mar 19)

"'Science Night' is 7 to 9 tonight at Gilgamesh Brewing — The Campus, 2065 Madrona St. SE.

Emma Coddington, assistant professor of biology at Willamette University, will discuss how we make decisions, examining animal drive, emotion, abd problem-solving skills, as well as how humans weigh options, imagine potential outcomes and arrive at a choice."

Chemawa archives rich in history
Statesman Journal (Mar 17)

"Yearbook pictures, driver’s education classes and school dances have been cherished high school memories for generations in Salem-Keizer — even at a school that’s unfamiliar to many, Chemawa Indian School.

Willamette University Professor Rebecca Dobkins will share the school’s history from the 1880s to the present at a 7 p.m. talk on Wednesday at Salem Public Library."

ACLU responds to suspensions of McKay students over Twitter
Statesman Journal (Mar 15)

"Green raised further questions about whether the simple act of retweeting was enough to be considered as additional bullying.

'One student could have tweeted to another, 'Hey, did you see this? I can’t believe this,'' Green said as an example. 'Does that constitute additional bullying? Or what if they showed it to a parent? Or showed it on their phone to another student? Is any sharing or transmission the equivalent of bullying? School districts are going to be protective of their employees and claim it is bullying, but all of these are still very open questions in the law.'

Author speaks on immigrant rights at Willamette University
Statesman Journal (Mar 14)

"Seth Holmes said after a talk at Willamette University that some immigrant-rights advocates feel so strongly about his book that they raised the money to distribute copies to all 535 members of Congress, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

'Even though there are broad statements in the immigration debate about immigrants deserving this or not deserving that, their hope is that the stories I tell about actual individual immigrants will encourage some policymakers to talk about immigrants more as people,' said Holmes, a doctor and anthropologist who teaches at the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley.

Woodburn alumnus to attend global leadership conference
Woodburn Independent (Mar 12)

"'Last year was the first time ever that any individual from Willamette University had the opportunity to be a part of the Clinton Global Initiative,' Ayala said. It was Ayala’s good friend and fellow student Reynaldo Goicochea who attended last year.

But it is the strength of their project, Prisoner’s Poetry, that clinched their acceptance into the conference. Prisoner’s Poetry, founded last year by Goicochea with the help of Ayala, is a poetry class taught by Willamette University students to Latino inmates of the Oregon State Penitentiary."

Mid-Valley's 'Monuments Men' helped rescue plundered art from Nazis
Statesman Journal (Mar 9)

"Olbrantz met Sponenburgh in 1998, soon after coming to Willamette University’s new art museum. Olbrantz and art professor Roger Hull drove to Sponenburgh’s home on the coast for the first of many visits. Eventually the conversations turned from art to Sponenburgh’s work with the Monuments Men — especially his role in transporting priceless treasures from the Altaussee salt mine.

That connection sharpened Olbrantz‘s interest in the little-known story of how Europe’s art was saved during and after World War II. Olbrantz read an early book on the subject, Lynn H. Nicholas’ 'The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War.' When Robert Edsel’s 'The Monuments Men' was published in 2009, Pam Olbrantz bought it for her husband, who devoured it.

The result was that Olbrantz brought Edsel to Willamette for a 2010 lecture, 'Is Art Worth a Life? Hitler, War and the Monuments Men.' Sponenburgh, 94 at the time, was too frail to attend. But the event closed a circle, honoring the Hallie Ford museum’s benefactor for his and his colleagues’ wartime service."

Could a religious protection bill like Arizona's happen in Oregon?
Statesman Journal (Feb 28)

"The business owners in these cases believe same-sex unions are a sin, and they claim participating in these unions in any way violates their constitutional rights to the free exercise of their religion.

It basically means the defendants 'wanted to be exempt from public accommodation laws' the same way churches and other religious institutions are, said Steve Green, the director for Willamette University’s Center for Religion, Law and Democracy.

What’s the legal argument against it?

The equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the rights of commercial businesses, Green said."

Saxton selected for Because She Cares project
Molalla Pioneer (Feb 27)

"Lynne Saxton, executive director of Youth Villages Oregon, has been selected as one of 24 female nonprofit leaders from across Oregon to be represented in Portland mixed media artist Theresa Weil’s Because She Cares project.

Weil’s portraits were displayed Tuesday at the State Capitol galleria lobby with opening remarks scheduled from Secretary of State Kate Brown."

State of the County address: Read Marissa Madrigal's complete speech
The Oregonian (Feb 25)

"In Natividad's case, he didn't start with a college legacy in his family. When your parents have gone to college, you have a built in network of advisors. If your high school counselor sucks, no problem, mom knows how to interpret college entrance standards. If you want to go Ivy, Uncle Alex went to Harvard and can tell you how he played the game, starting with expensive SAT prep courses. Although Nati's family provided a loving, stable environment, when it came to college stuff, he was on his own. But in Salem, Willamette University has partnered with private donors to provide a college readiness program called: Willamette Academy.

From middle school through high school, Willamette Academy provides homework help, takes kids to visit college campuses, and has them work with Willamette professors. Nati says, 'Willamette Academy gave me an opportunity I might have never had. The opportunity to have a college education. The opportunity to realize my dreams. An opportunity that has forever changed my life and the life of my family.'"

Willamette takes on an air of African culture
Statesman Journal (Feb 19)

"Celebrate African culture through dance, music, sports, art and lecture at Willamette University’s ninth annual Celebration of Africa 'Africa on the Move.'

'Africa on the Move’ is a unique opportunity to learn about the rich and diverse African continent,' president of the Willamette African Studies Club Mariah Grubb said." 

Masei happy with decision to stay close to home
Statesman Journal (Feb 13)

"When Alika Masei first moved to Salem while in middle school, he swam at Willamette University’s pool as a member of the Bearcat Swim Club.

As a freshman in college, he swims at Willamette’s pool as part of Willamette’s team.

Masei, a graduate of West Salem High School, is one of the rare high-level club swimmers from Salem who chose to stick around town to compete at the college level, and he’s been one of Willamette’s top swimmers."

Iconic Mojave Joshua trees in race against extinction
Review-Journal (Feb 3)

"This spring, a pair of researchers will go looking for clues to the Joshua tree’s fate in a lonesome valley 140 miles north of Las Vegas. And they’re inviting interested 'citizen scientists' to join them in their search.

Henderson-based ecologist Todd Esque, from the U.S. Geological Survey, and evolutionary biologist Chris Smith, from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., are offering a four-day course in March called 'The Race North: Population Ecology of Joshua Trees In an Era of Climate Change.'"

Conner Mertens came out to his college football team last night. Now he comes out publicly.
Outsports (Jan 28)

A place kicker at Willamette University in Oregon, Mertens came out as bisexual to his team last night. He now comes out publicly in hopes of inspiring other LGBT athletes to come out and be true to themselves.

Panelists discuss minorities in law
Statesman Journal (Jan 25)

A district attorney, a judge and a business lawyer spoke to Willamette University law students about how Oregon’s legal system must adapt as Oregon’s population grows more diversified.

College students and staff ready to serve community on MLK Day
Statesman Journal (Jan 18)

More than 500 local college students from around the Mid-Valley will volunteer Monday doing everything from sorting food to building raised beds in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

It’s part of a growing trend among colleges and universities to not only encourage students to volunteer, but also organize projects and even incorporate them into the classroom.

Twenty years ago Congress designated the holiday a national day of service, and five years later college and university presidents signed the Campus Compact to promise greater civic involvement across the board. Eventually more than 1,100 schools signed, including Willamette University, Chemeketa Community College and Western Oregon University.

Contemporary art show coming to Hallie Ford
Statesman Journal (Jan 11)

"'Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth,' the most recent show at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, looked back on art as ancient as 6,000 BCE. The upcoming show focuses on art so contemporary that the artist still is creating some of it.

"'Whiting Tennis: My Side of the Mountain' is a solo show of work that Tennis, a Seattle artist, has created over the past 10 years. It opens Saturday and continues through March 23.

Willamette University remembers alumnus, Nobel Prize winner
Statesman Journal (Jan 9)

Willamette University announced the passing of a renowned alumnus and Nobel Prize winner Thursday morning at age 74.

Dale Mortensen graduated from Willamette with a bachelor’s degree in economics and math. He was senior class president, participated in theater and various other groups, including Beta Theta Pi and Young Democrats, according to a press release from Willamette University.

President Obama Announces Another Key Administration Post
The White House (Jan 8)

Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:

  • Heidi Biggs – Member, Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service 

Heidi Biggs is the Executive Director for the Community Foundation of the Klamath Basin, a role she has held since 2013. Previously, she served as Project Director for Hire Calling Public Affairs from 2004 to 2009.  Before that, she worked in public affairs for JELD-WEN, Inc. from 1998 to 2004 and as assistant corporate counsel from 1997 to 1998.

Ms. Biggs previously worked for Mills & McMillin, P.C. as an associate attorney from 1992 to 1997 and as a law clerk from 1990 to 1992. She has previously served on the Board of Directors and as past president for the Klamath-Lake Child Abuse Response & Evaluation Services. Ms. Biggs received a B.S. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Willamette University.

Nick Symmonds Leaves Oregon Track Club, Signs with Brooks
Runner's World (Jan 2)

"Seattle’s Brooks Beast will be a part of his life, but the one constant will remain Sam Lapray, whom Symmonds calls his best friend. They’ve known each other since Symmonds was a student at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and Lapray was a coach. More recently, he was an assistant to Rowland at the OTC.

'For now, Sam Lapray is going to be my mentor as he’s always been for the last ten years and help guide this transition phase,' says Symmonds. 'He’s has seen me through the transition from college to professional and the transition from Coach Gags [Frank Gagliano, the earlier OTC coach] to Coach Rowland.'"

Engaging an entire community
Polk County Itemizer-Observer  (Dec 30)

"The Independence City Council made a goal to better engage the city's Latino community. To accomplish that goal, City Manager David Clyne and Economic Development Director Shawn Irvine recruited the help of intern Elizabeth Calixtro.

Calixtro, a student at Willamette University in Salem, will spend about nine months on the three-phase project.

'I think the main point of importance for the city is that they are bringing in somebody to explore these issues,' she said. 'I can do what I can to create better communication. I think it's a great initiative for the city.'"

KMUZ marks second birthday with big plans
Statesman Journal (Dec 18)

In 2009, when the founders of Salem’s community radio station were scrounging their first donations, it took true optimists to envision KMUZ 88.5 FM as a reality. Now supporters are celebrating two years on the air. They have about 75 volunteer disc jockeys who run talk shows or spotlight such musical genres as punk, zydeco, Russian rock, accordion and classical...

Bill Smaldone, a history professor at Willamette University, has been serving on the board, but someday he’d like to do a show of his own. He already has picked out a title: “History Matters.

Building KMUZ, he said, “is one of the most important things you can do to build community. It gives a voice to people who would have no way to express their ideas or share their culture.”

Winning lottery or killed by asteroid
KOIN 6 News (Dec 13)

"If you buy a ticket every second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would take you eight years to—by chance—to get the winning ticket,' said Josh Laison. 'And in that time?' Chris Woodard asked. 'You would have spent something like twice the jackpot to get the winning ticket, " said Laison. 

Twitter CTO Adam Messinger: Q&A on his roots in eastern Oregon and the future of tweeting
The Oregonian (Dec 8)

"The Oregonian: How does somebody come from small-town, rural eastern Oregon, and a liberal arts school in Salem, get to California and a top job at one of the tech industry’s hottest companies?

Adam Messinger: My parents were a non-negligible part of that. My dad has a master’s degree in forestry, my mom, before she had kids, was a teacher. They were foundational. We traveled a lot, even though we lived out there. That made it possible for me to imagine it.

I loved growing up there, but I always knew that I was going to end up getting a job in technology.

I went to Willamette because it seemed like the best school for me in Oregon. I started there as a physics major, I worked at a couple physics labs over the summer and I found myself rewriting their software all the time. And I decided I would do that. I’m very happy I have a physics degree. It’s great training to think."

Willamette's basketball team powered by Samoans
D3 Hoops (Dec 4)

"Ioane’s Samoan heritage helped him connect with Manu and Smith, who are both starters for the Bearcats this season.

Manu’s father came to the United States from America Samoa while Smith grew up on the Islands before traveling to the U.S. to attend college.

Ioane said being Samoan helped both families feel comfortable sending their sons to play for Willamette.

'The parents obviously trusted me, knowing my background. They know our program is based on that same family concept of big brothers taking care of smaller brothers and respecting your elders,” Ioane said. 'I think that was easy for the parents … to trust me with them 10 months out of the year.'"

Ask The Experts: Can Employers Screen Job Applicants Based on Criminal Records?
Card Hub (Dec 2)

"If an employer in Colorado, for example, disqualified all convicted felons regardless of the crime or time of its commission, how could that possibly be fairly applied to a person who had been convicted years ago for the felony of marijuana possession with the intent to distribute for a job waiting tables in a State that no longer even criminalizes simple possession of marijuana? An employer would be hard pressed to challenge enforcement of Title VII against it if the policy operates to disqualify applicants for such a job, particularly if people of color had disproportionately been arrested and convicted for such a crime."

Pros sign up for Wulapalooza music
Statesman Journal (Apr 17)

"Wulapalooza, a student-run event at Willamette University that joins music, art and Mother Earth, celebrates its sweet 16 this year.

The 12-hour festival will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday with activities organized by students, clubs and community groups, so come prepared for nonstop fun at this family-friendly festival. Activities range from face painting to a bike-powered blender, slip-n-slides and a buffalo wing contest."

Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson fires back against negative campaign mailer
Statesman Journal (Apr 15)

"A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1995 called McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission stated that denying a person the right to send anonymous campaign literature violated the first amendment, said Norman Williams, who specializes in election law at Willamette University...

State law requires that a donation of this kind be disclosed if it clearly identifies a candidate and recommends a course of action, like vote or don’t vote for this person.

'The context matters,' Williams said. 'If this isn’t urging the defeat of Janet Carlson, I don’t know what type of postcard would be deemed urging her defeat.'"

Combining careers: practicing lawyer is also a registered nurse
Statesman Journal (Apr 12)

"The Willamette University College of Law brought him to Salem, which he has called home ever since. He worked part-time at Salem Hospital while going to law school and clerked for Anunsen during his second year. He graduated in 1990 and began leveraging his knowledge of both professions to be successful in personal injury, medical negligence and wrongful death cases."

Innocence Project: Founder calls on Oregon stakeholders to come together to free wrongly convicted 

"'You’re trying to put into fixed language a regulatory scheme that goes into a world that may look different in the future,' Willamette University law professor Paul Diller said. 'That’s why we need a well functioning legislative system so our Legislature can continue to revisit problems that arise from earlier Legislatures.'"

Canyon arts supporters bring Holocaust heroine's story to Salem 

"Steven Green, who directs Willamette University’s Center for Religion, Law and Democracy agreed.

'It has really no meaning,' Green said. 'You don’t know why they denied cert (a document seeking judicial review). If you want to try to read some tea leaves you could say that maybe the court thinks the Hobby Lobby decision (expected this summer) may address some of the questions that are presented in the wedding photographer case.'"

Helping the Game Industry Face Itself 

"'When the museum idea first was glimmering,' Hull recalls, 'I had no idea it would develop into such a significant cultural resource for Salem and the region.'

The institution gained momentum when Hallie Ford, who served on the board of trustees at Willamette University, provided funds for the purchase and initial renovation of the old telephone building at the corner of State and Cottage Streets.

Open six days a week, the Hallie Ford Museum is now the third largest art museum in Oregon."

To Win Union Endorsements, Jim Francesconi Made Big Promises
Willamette Week (Apr 1)

Keith Cunningham-Parmeter, an associate professor at Willamette University College of Law, says no matter how much public officials may like or dislike unions, they must remain neutral. That means not using the public’s checkbook to help unions add members.

'The law says employers cannot use public funds to encourage or discourage union membership,' he says.

Cunningham-Parmeter says, in his opinion, Francesconi appears to be offering a quid pro quo.

'The candidate is saying that with greater union support for him will come greater rates of unionization for them,' he says."

Brahms concerto marks a high point of Willamette pianist's career
Statesman Journal (Mar 29)

"When Anita King looked for a way to cap her 33-year career as a Willamette University music professor, she thought big.

Bigger than a party. Bigger than a billboard. Bigger than a month in Europe.

She tackled the massive Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 — one of the giants of the piano repertoire. She’ll play it for the April 6 Salem Chamber Orchestra concert, where she’ll be the featured soloist."

Professor gets noticed for Supreme Court brief in Hobby Lobby case
Statesman Journal (Mar 23)

"When the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday on whether two companies can opt out of providing contraceptive care for religious reasons, Willamette law professor Steven Green will be anxiously awaiting the audio.

The professor has never been employed by the cabinet company Conestoga Wood Specialties or the arts and crafts chain known as Hobby Lobby. And Green isn’t worried about his access to contraceptive coverage.

What he’ll be looking for in the recording is whether his arguments — filed with the court in an amicus brief — have had an impact on the anticipated swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy."

Oracle contract might prevent recovery of Cover Oregon costs
Statesman Journal (Mar 21)

"Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum may have a difficult road ahead if she decides to sue Oracle — the contractor hired to build the Cover Oregon website — given the way the state handled the contract with the company.

'It’s going to be a painstaking piece of litigation, which if it’s not settled, will take years to figure out,' said David Friedman, a professor at the Willamette University College of Law. 'This is the secondary mess the state has created.'"

Ukraine conflict threatens Willamette's exchange program
Statesman Journal (Mar 20)

"When Emily Guimont went from Willamette University to spend fall term at Taurida National University, Ukraine was not in the world headlines.

When Irina Balashova and Michail Pinkevych came from Taurida to Willamette earlier this year, Ukraine was in the headlines — but Simferopol, home of Taurida, was not.

What a difference a few months — or a few days — can make."

Willamette fraternity to sponsor memorial run as fundraiser for leukemia, lymphoma society
Statesman Journal (Mar 18)

"One Willamette University fraternity will be holding a memorial run April 6 to raise money for the Oregon Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The Tracy Hoffman Memorial Run is being sponsored by Willamette University’s Kappa Sigma Fraternity, but all community members are invited to join. The run will be held at Bush’s Pasture Park on April 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m."

Willamette University jazz lovers to teach, jam in Nepal
Statesman Journal (Mar 15)

"Nine Willamette University faculty and students will travel for 28 hours, across 13 time zones, to share their love of jazz with their counterparts in Nepal.

'They told us to expect to be shocked,' said one of the students, senior Sean Edging. 'I’m prepared for my musical concepts to change a lot — I’m not sure how.'"

Campaign finance now an election battleground
Statesman Journal (Mar 14)

"'An increasing number of these complaints smell of an opponent trying to gain a tactical political advantage by trying to smear or tar and feather their opponent with political laws,' said Norman Williams, who specializes in election law at Willamette University. 'It’s not enough to challenge your opponent on (his or her) education policy, you have to question (his or her) honesty.'"

Willamette Academy guides students to reach college
Statesman Journal (Mar 14)

"It wasn’t pluck, hard work or intelligence that changed Nati Zavala’s life.

Those things helped, but what really made the difference was a program that walked Zavala through every step of the way from seventh grade to college. Willamette Academy volunteers helped him with homework, challenged him to do better and held him accountable when he didn’t."

An inside look at Willamette University's secret side
Statesman Journal (Mar 9)

"The campus at Willamette University is alluring, if only because of the picturesque stream that curls through the 60-acre spread.

It also is inviting, not far from the heart of downtown Salem and right across the street from the State Capitol. Practically anyone can take in an exhibit at Hallie Ford Museum, grab lunch at Goudy Commons, or attend the symphony at Smith Auditorium."

Willamette University holds 12th annual Pow Wow
Statesman Journal (Mar 8)

"Men and women in traditional Native American regalia danced, sang and drummed at the 12th Annual Social Pow Wow at Willamette University Saturday.

The event is a social opportunity for different tribes to join together and celebrate their history. It was also an event to honor Native American educators, namely April Campbell, Oregon’s first Indian education specialist.

Co-coordinators and Willamette students Felicia Garcia and Sara Cordes said this year’s event brought a surprising turnout. There were 23 vendors in all, and some had to be turned away."

Lawmakers urge Ore. to review child 'deportation' case
USA Today (Feb 27)

"Professor Warren Binford, who teaches international children’s rights at Willamette University’s College of Law and runs the child-advocacy clinic there, said there are a limited number of parties who can appeal the court’s decision.

She said the child’s court-appointed attorney represents the child, and that he or she can appeal, but the representation is challenging because children cannot make fully informed decisions without all the information.

'But giving children all of the information can be traumatic for them, so therein lies the challenge of representing children,” Binford said. 'Without a doubt DHS and the court should be looking at the dad, but there are so many red flags here. It deeply concerns me.'"

Holznagel: 'I'll take history for $1 million'
Molalla Pioneer (Feb 26)

"A 1979 graduate of Forest Grove High School with a history degree from Willamette University, Holznagel parlayed his acting experiences at FGHS and Theatre in the Grove — and his ability to learn and retain information — into a job with Will Vinton Productions in Portland, where for a time he rode the wave of the California Raisins’ popularity.

In 1992 he wrote a script for a CBS program, 'A Claymation Easter Celebration,' and won an Emmy award for best animated special of the year. That’s where his career trajectory took a fateful and fortuitous turn."

Willamette singers eager to share Mozart's 'Marriage of Figaro'
Statesman Journal (Feb 22)

"Robb Harrison, a 2006 Willamette grad, plays her intended bridegroom. During his student days, he pursued a conducting major until vocal instructor Allison Swensen-Mitchell dared him to try opera.

'She was the person who told me I had the voice and could do it,' said Harrison. He has gone on to sing professionally in musical theater and opera, as well as teach in Salem-Keizer schools."

Willamette's Conner Mertens talks about coming out as bisexual
Sports Illustrated (Feb 14)

Conner Mertens was watching TV and hanging with his soon-to-be fraternity brothers on Sunday night when his phone buzzed with a text message. "Get your popcorn ready," it read. "And turn to ESPN."

Mertens, a kicker at Division III Willamette University in Salem, requested a channel change. About 10 minutes later, he sat stunned and happy as Michael Sam, the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and an NFL draft hopeful, said these landmark words: "I'm not afraid to tell the world who I am. I'm Michael Sam. I'm a college graduate. I'm African-American, and I'm gay."

Read More:

The Conner Mertens Story
Fox Sports Live (Feb 9)

"His story is one of exceptional courage and honesty. Conner Mertens of Willamette University became the first athlete at any level to come out as bisexual, and hasn't looked back."

Oregon Senate's 'quieter' leader
Statesman Journal (Feb 2)

"Taylor grew up near Grants Pass, went to Brown University and worked at the Congressional Budget Office before returning to Oregon to obtain a law degree at Willamette University and practice at a private firm in Portland.

'I decided I enjoyed the public service that I did at the Congressional Budget Office,' he said in explaining why he applied for his current job."

Paroline decision will have worldwide impact
Statesman Journal (Jan 25)

Four Willamette University law students worked with former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Paul De Muniz, law professor Warren Binford and others to prepare a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence Against Children.

Ore. law students get their day in Supreme Court
USA Today (Jan 19)

When the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case about how much possessors of child pornography must pay their victims, two Willamette University law professors and four law students will be in the chambers.

New 'Red light, green light' record set in NW
KOIN 6 (Jan 14)

"Willamette University in Salem, Ore., is headed for the record books.

The Guinness Book of World Records now confirms the school hosted the largest game of 'Red light, green light' in history."

Dale T. Mortensen, Top Labor Economist, Dies at 74
The New York Times (Jan 10)

"Dale Thomas Mortensen was born on Feb. 2, 1939, in Enterprise, Ore. His father, a Danish immigrant, was a forest ranger, and Dale developed a love of the outdoors as a child that continued through his final days, his son said.

He graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., with a bachelor of science degree in economics, and earned his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon. He joined the Northwestern faculty in 1965 and stayed at the university for his entire career except for a stint as a visiting professor at a university in Denmark. It was during a luncheon on a return trip to Denmark for an academic conference that he learned he had won the Nobel."

Two weeks of MLK events coming to Willamette
Statesman Journal (Jan 9)

Willamette University is hosting a number of activities honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., beginning Monday.

Highlights of the celebration include a screening of MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, a night of live entertainment and the annual “Stride Toward Freedom” 5K run/1 mile run/walk.

Salem authors are finalists for Oregon Book Awards
Statesman Journal (Jan 7)

Two Salem authors once again are listed among the state’s best, as finalists for the prestigious Oregon Book Awards.

They are Scott Nadelson, for his memoir “The Next Scott Nadelson” (Hawthorne Books), and Scott William Carter, for his children’s book “Wooden Bones” (Simon & Schuster).

They’ll find out if they won at the 27th Oregon Book Awards ceremony March 17.

Nadelson holds Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Chair in Writing. He won an Oregon Book Award in 2004 for “Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories,” and he was a finalist in 2006 for “The Cantor’s Daughter.”

Suzanne Allen-Guerra, a Breckenridge architect, combines works and passion
Summit Daily (Dec 29)

"Allen-Guerra’s college education took her to Willamette University in Salem, Ore., and then on to The American University in Cairo, Egypt, studying art, architecture and economics. She eventually relocated to the Centennial State, where she received her master’s degree in architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver...

While comfortable working on large houses and sprawling acreage, Allen-Guerra’s crew doesn’t work only on the big projects. Recently, the company provided its services free of charge to help out a local Blue River family.

The couple was introduced to Allen-Guerra through a client. They had spent about four years saving for, buying and improving a lot of land in Blue River, just south of Breckenridge. Although both hold steady jobs in the county, earning enough to build their own house was out of reach, financially.

Allen-Guerra was impressed with their story, the fact that they were working hard to pursue their dream, and decided to help out. She donated the company’s services to help from the ground up, from architecture to engineering. The house is currently undergoing construction."

Japanese students complete study abroad program
Statesman Journal (Dec 13)

"When Tokyo International University student Tomoaki Ramon arrived at Willamette University in February, he was immediately taken out of his comfort zone.

'At first I had a lot of culture shock because Japan and America is so different,' he said.

Now Ramon, who completed the American Studies Program at Willamette University on Friday, says his English has improved and he’s more outspoken in class."

The Advocate: Nick Symmonds
Runner's World (Dec 10)

"'People laughed at me when I decided to go to a Division III school and not go Division I,' says Symmonds, who attended Willamette University. 'They laughed when I turned down medical school to chase my dream of running in the Olympics. They laughed when I lost at USAs this year after coming in unprepared. But these tough decisions have taken me to where I am today, and I'm very happy about where that place is.'"

Ancient art brings new visitors to Hallie Ford museum
Statesman Journal (Dec 8)

"In the three months that ended Nov. 30, 8,571 people viewed the show of ancient Near East art at the museum, 700 State St. That’s more than twice the number who visited the museum from September through November 2012, said Andrea Foust, the museum’s membership and public relations manager.

Estimates are that yearly attendance will hit 30,000, up from about 24,000 in past years."

Oregon newlyweds stop in Texas for breakfast
San Antonio Express-News (Dec 2)

"For the past four months, the couple from Portland have been driving around the country in a beige 1997 Ford Aerostar, having breakfast with interesting strangers and listening to their stories.

'It’s been a wonderful honeymoon. I don’t think I could have envisioned anything better, although someone did tell me I was a van wife,' said Dillard, 41, who teaches communications at Willamette University.

The idea behind the whimsical journey of discovery was to challenge the sense that America is increasingly a divided country, where strangers are dangerous and people have stopped talking to each other."