Willamette University media update

June 2010  |  407 citations

Melissa Witkow's research on adolescent behavior was covered widely. "‘We found that within an adolescent's friendship group, those with a higher proportion of friends who attended the same school received higher grades," Melissa R. Witkow, an assistant professor of psychology at Willamette University.'"

Politics' Richard Ellis discusses ballot initiatives with The Register Guard. "‘I suspect that the regulatory changes are less important than the particular circumstances of those who have worked with the initiative process in the past,' said Ellis, a professor at Salem's Willamette University and the author of a book on the initiative system."

Economist Nathan Sivers Boyce writes an op-ed about the real cost of oil. "Images are not so easily dismissed as abstractions, and we are seeing ‘external costs' distilled and given comprehensible form. So don't change the channel. Remember what you have seen when the urgency of this crisis has passed; when you fill up your gas tank, when you buy your next car and when energy policy makes its way again into the national conversation. Let these images remind you that although fossil energy seems cheap, it is not."

Next academic year's Atkinson lecturers are announced. "WINNER: Willamette University's Atkinson Lecture Series. The university is bringing two outstanding journalists to campus for public lectures during 2010-11: David Rohde on Nov. 2 and David Brooks on Feb. 17."

Center for Religion, Law and Democracy's Steven Green comments on a legal decision about whether a public university can require a non-discriminatory membership policy.  "‘The court is saying, "We're not interfering with your organizational rights,"' said law professor Steven Green, director of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University. ‘This is unlike the Boy Scouts case from years ago where the Boy Scouts had a gun to its head, going to be forced by the State of New Jersey to admit gays. CLS can still be CLS. It just may not be able to receive the government benefit.'"

College of Law's Norman Williams talks about a civil tobacco lawsuit in The Oregon Politico. "Williams said that juries in cases like this ‘typically act reasonable and don't award mammoth punitive damage awards,' but large defendants like tobacco corporations, motor companies and insurance providers were equally likely to be hit by a ‘runaway jury.'"

Williams also commented on an article about the Oregon Department of Justice in The Oregonian. "Norman Williams, a Willamette University law professor who runs a center on legal issues facing Oregon government, said the departures of three top Kroger assistants appear to be ‘bad luck.' He said the Justice Department is so large that key departures shouldn't affect its ability to function. ‘I would be shocked if there's any significant or material disruption in the work of the department,' Williams said. He compared the situation to a naval officer leaving a ship. ‘The ship's still going to sail.'"

Atkinson Graduate School of Management's Debra Ringold discusses Brooks Sports' marketing in The Oregonian. "Debra J. Ringold, dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University, said the tour could be an effective way to reach out to a broader audience. ‘The reason people like events is that they do have the capacity to get the consumer's attention,' she said. ‘It's hard to ignore a double-decker bus.'"

Alumnus Butch Pribbanow was featured in the Oregon State Bar Bulletin. "Butch Pribbanow knows what it's like to be hampered by transit that is not accessible to those with disabilities. A spinal injury from a dune buggy accident put him in a wheelchair 35 years ago. The Willamette University law school grad now oversees accessibility issues for TriMet as eligibility coordinator for the transit agency. Pribbanow joined TriMet's legal department in 1991 - a year after the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted, and he has seen many changes come about because of it."

Alumnus Henry Nothhaft Jr.'s software application is featured in The New York Times. "SRI's newest venture is a Web-based personalized news feed, Chattertrap, that monitors what people are reading to learn what they like, and then serves up articles and links that suit their interests."

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