Spring 2008 Edition
Text Size:

Tidbits & Briefs

All Things Oregon

Linda Tamura

Linda Tamura

When did northern Oregon become the state of Washington? Why did Russian immigrants come to Oregon? What effect does the “Pineapple Express” have on Oregon’s climate? How did music help turn a near–ghost town into a successful tourist spot?

You’ll find the answers to those questions and many more in the Oregon Encyclopedia — a free online reference on all things Oregon. Available next year, in time for the state’s sesquicentennial, the encyclopedia contains 3,000 entries and essays on Oregon people, places, events, institutions, art, flora and fauna, folklore and more. Special efforts were made to include traditionally underrepresented populations including women and ethnic minority groups, as well as all geographic areas of the state. A print version will follow in two years.

Willamette University is well-represented in the development of this resource: President M. Lee Pelton is on the advisory board; faculty members Rebecca Dobkins (anthropology) and Roger Hull (art) are on the editorial board; College of Liberal Arts Dean Carol Long as well as Patricia Alley (faculty research and resources) and Mike Bennett (University relations) are advisors; School of Education Associate Dean Rita Moore is on the education advisory council, and faculty member Linda Tamura (education) is one of three coeditors, along with WU alumnus William Lang ’64, history professor at Portland State University (PSU).

Primary partners for the project are PSU and the Oregon Historical Society, with sponsors including the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Oregon Heritage Commission and the Oregon Council for the Humanities.


Farewell to Faculty

Join the University in wishing the best to College of Liberal Arts and Atkinson Graduate School of Management faculty retiring in May. The stellar group has contributed a combined 214 years of service to Willamette.

Farewell to Faculty

Top: Cagle, Doolittle, Gates
Bottom: Hawke, Hey, Thorsett

  • Russ Cagle, professor of exercise science since 1985
  • Carol Doolittle, professor of sociology since 1977
  • Bruce Gates, professor of quantitative methods and public management since 1974 — the last original AGSM faculty member to retire
  • Lou Goble (not pictured), professor of philosophy since 1986
  • Scott Hawke, professor of biology since 1971
  • Steve Hey, professor of sociology since 1982
  • Grant Thorsett, professor of biology since 1967

There are no faculty retirements this year from the College of Law or the School of Education.


Barth Takes Grammy

Molly Barth

Willamette Music Instructor Molly Barth and new music sextet eighth blackbird won a Grammy Award in February. Founded by Barth, the group won the award for Best Chamber Music Performance for its album Strange Imaginary Animals.

The group has been the subject of profiles in The New York Times and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. It has also been featured on Bloomberg TV’s Muse, CBS’s Sunday Morning, St. Paul Sunday, Weekend America and The Next Big Thing, among others. Members have been praised for virtuosic flair and for efforts to make the new music genre more accessible.

Strange Imaginary Animals was recorded before Barth moved to Salem in 2007. Based in Chicago, eighth blackbird tours internationally up to eight months of the year, and Barth performed with the group for a decade before moving to Oregon for a life off the road. She now teaches at Willamette, plays with the Oregon Symphony and the Eugene Symphony, and serves as principal flutist with the Salem Chamber Orchestra.

Barth also performs with Fear No Music and with Beta Collide, which she started. She is described as “ferociously talented” by The Oregonian, which wrote, “Barth gave an electric performance... effortlessly leaping across registers and conveying a sense of intense dialogue.” Her new music repertoire draws from both classical and jazz influences.


Zerzan Earns Prestigious NCAA Award

NCAA Award

Hot on the heels of winning her second straight NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country National Championship, Sarah Zerzan ’08 became one of just eight student-athletes from the NCAA’s overall membership to receive the NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award for 2007.

Zerzan and seven other athletes nationwide were selected for the prestigious award based on their athletic and academic achievements, as well as their character and leadership. This fall, Zerzan became only the third athlete to repeat as the women’s Division III cross country champion in the 27-year history of the competition.

Zerzan has a 3.93 cumulative grade point average and is majoring in biochemistry. She is a member of the Chemistry Club, serves on the steering committee for Willamette’s chapter of the Student Global AIDS Campaign, and has volunteered in local schools as a Russian-English and Spanish-English mentor.


Focus the Nation Features Symposium, Video Contest

Willamette University students, faculty, staff and community members gathered on campus Jan. 31 for a daylong symposium on problems and solutions surrounding global climate change. The discussions were part of a nationwide project called Focus the Nation, with more than 1,200 colleges and universities participating.

Discussions focused on a wide range of topics, including the health effects of climate change, the challenge of teaching climate change in schools, the relationship between faith and climate change, and private-sector contributions to sustainability. Panelists included state agency representatives, community educators, students and faculty.

Willamette also hosted a contest to create a video for the original song “Oceans Rising,” written by Willamette Vice President Kristen Grainger and performed by Grainger and guitarist Dan Wetzel, her husband. The winning video, created by Katie Salisbury ’08, a religious studies major, was shown at a free concert in Smith Auditorium. View Salisbury’s video at www.willamette.edu/go/oceans_rising.


ABC’s of Alaska

School of Education Associate Dean Rita Moore and Assistant Professor Robin Fromherz were awarded a Lilly Grant from the University for their proposal “ABC’s of Alaska.” The grant will provide funding for several MAT candidates and instructors to travel to Alaska this spring to work with rural schools.


Indian Country Conversations Series

Scaffold, James Lavadour (detail)

Scaffold, James Lavadour (detail)

A forum on “Art/Culture/Homeland: Voices from the Umatilla Reservation” featured leaders from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) as part of Founders Day celebrations in February.

Speakers Roberta “Bobbie” Conner MBA’84, director of the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, Antone Minthorn, chairman of the CTUIR board of trustees, and Donald Sampson, executive director of the CTUIR, joined nationally known Oregon artist James Lavadour for discussions on the tribes’ history, philosophy and approach to the environment and self-governance.

The forum coincided with the opening of Lavadour’s “The Properties of Paint,” displayed at the Hallie Ford Museum through the end of March. Lavadour’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is part of the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Seattle Art Museum and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, among others. In 1992 Lavadour founded the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, whose mission is to provide social, economic and educational opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development. Located on the Umatilla Reservation, Crow’s Shadow is known for its promotion of traditional arts as well as its outstanding printmaking facilities.

A symposium with Lavadour and Willamette faculty was held March 13 to discuss the physical and philosophical properties of paint and the interconnectedness between art, geology, the environment, physics and human creativity. Rebecca Dobkins, faculty curator and associate professor of anthropology, facilitated the conversation.


Willamette Ranks High with Peace Corps

Willamette ranks No. 3 on the Peace Corps’ Top 25 list of small undergraduate schools producing Peace Corps volunteers, moving up six spots from 2007.

Only the University of Chicago and Gonzaga University rank ahead of Willamette among colleges and universities with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates. Currently 27 Willamette alumni serve as Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, 275 Willamette alumni have joined its ranks, making the University one of the Peace Corps’ top 200 all-time producers of volunteers in a list of nearly 3,000 schools of all sizes.

Willamette also was recognized this fall for sending alumni abroad for Fulbright grants. An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education noted that Willamette is among the top producers of U.S. Fulbright Fellows, with three students and alumni winning the award in 2007–08. Willamette was one of just two Oregon schools in the listing of top universities.


Longtime Career Services Director Retires

Nancy Norton

Nancy Norton, director of career services, will retire at the end of June after 20 years of service to the University. Prior to joining Willamette, her career included directing career services at Cornell College in Iowa, working in the career development center at Utah State, and serving as a children’s librarian in Logan, Utah, and in university libraries in Australia.

Norton began at Willamette as career development coordinator, a member of the counseling and career development center located in the old Bishop Health Building. That building was replaced by the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center, but Norton continued to shepherd students as part of the Campus Life division in the Putnam University Center. Under her guidance the Career Services office has become one of the most frequented and most valued on campus.

While Norton says she will not miss the 12-hour days, she will miss the people: “Willamette is a very special family, and I am honored to have been a part of it.” A farewell party will be held April 11, 3–5 p.m., in the Willson Room at Goudy Commons.


Ringold Named Atkinson Dean

Debra Ringold

Debra J. Ringold has been appointed dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. A professor of marketing at Willamette since 1994, Ringold will lead Willamette’s MBA and Executive Development programs for the next 18 months, expanding the visibility and viability of the school. She is the first woman to serve as dean in AGSM’s 33-year history.

Ringold completed her tenure as chairperson of the board of directors for the American Marketing Association last summer and was recently appointed to the U.S. Census Bureau Advisory Committee. Her accolades include the Willamette University Administrator of the Year Award and United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching.

Ringold’s research interests include integrated marketing communications, marketing and public policy, nonprofit marketing and research for marketing decision-making.

The University will launch a national search next spring with the goal of having a new dean in place no later than fall 2009.


On the Road to National Accreditation

The School of Education was recently awarded pre-candidacy status for national accreditation through the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE). The achievement is an auspicious step toward gaining greater national and international recognition and visibility for the school.

NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting body for colleges and universities that prepare teachers and other professional personnel for work in elementary and secondary schools. Through its voluntary peer-review process, NCATE ensures that accredited institutions produce competent, caring and qualified teachers and other professional school personnel.

Special Education Endorsement Off to a Running Start

The first class offered as part of the School of Education’s Special Education Endorsement wrapped up this fall. It was taught in a hybrid format, with half the classes held on campus and half online. The model worked well and met the needs of the in-service teachers enrolled.

The cohort begins officially in July. Classes will be held on campus before moving to online courses during the academic year, with practica held in the schools of participating candidates. The program focuses on valuing a variety of viewpoints while enhancing the overall plan for students with disabilities. Its multidisciplinary approach emphasizes cooperation and communication in modeling professional teamwork.


University Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

University Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

Service, social justice and continuing the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. were the themes on campus in late January as the Willamette community celebrated the civil rights leader’s birthday.

A full week of events featured a 5K run/walk, a civil rights film series, and lectures and workshops led by Jamie Washington, president and founder of Washington Consulting Group, a multicultural organizational development firm in Baltimore, Md. Students, faculty and staff signed the Willamette University Pledge, which encourages adherence to the belief that all individuals are valued. About 170 students and employees also participated in Into the Streets, volunteering at 14 Salem sites, including Family Building Blocks, Marion Polk Food Share, the Jason Lee Methodist Retirement Center and the Union Gospel Mission (see back cover for more on this program).

The week culminated with a celebration Friday evening at Smith Auditorium featuring world-renowned poet Nikki Giovanni and Rainbow Dance Theatre (pictured above). Giovanni is a widely read American poet, commentator, activist and educator who has authored some 30 books for both adults and children. Rainbow Dance Theatre fuses West African, Haitian, hip-hop, martial arts and American modern dance with computer animation and aerial choreography.


Museum Features Works of Senior Art Majors

Museum Features Works of Senior Art Majors

Senior Show, April 12-May 11

The annual exhibition of work by Willamette’s senior art majors will be on display April 12–May 11 in the Melvin-Henderson Rubio Gallery at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. The exhibition includes artwork in a variety of media and also features senior theses in art history.

Showing simultaneously will be Andries Fourie: Recent Work, with pieces from Willamette’s newest art faculty member (for more on this exhibition, see the feature article later in this issue).

Museum Features Works of Senior Art Majors

Andries Fourie, April 12-May 11

Other museum exhibitions this spring and summer include the following:

  • Betty LaDuke: Prints, through May 10, lobby and Print Study Center, prints and etching plates about African culture
  • Piranesi: Views of Rome, March 22–May 18, Study Gallery, prints depicting Rome’s majestic ruins
  • Adam Bacher: Earth, Water and Sky, May 24–July 27, Study Gallery, Portland photographer’s pictures of wilderness of the Western U.S.
  • Michael Dailey: Color, Light, Time and Place, June 7–Aug. 31, Melvin-Henderson Rubio Gallery, large-scale abstract landscapes from a Seattle painter

Honoring the Trees

Honoring the Trees A small group of faculty, students and administrators gathered for a ceremony in early December to honor the trees on the northeast corner of campus. The trees were removed in January to make room for the construction of Ford Hall, the new academic building. Some trees were transplanted, and all salvageable lumber from the others will be milled for use in Ford Hall as building materials or furnishings.


Atkinson Grad Appointed to National Office in Kazakhstan

Galym Pirmatov MBA’01 was appointed vice minister of economy for the Republic of Kazakhstan in December 2007. He will oversee all international economic relations for the country and be responsible for the management of state assets.

Previously Pirmatov worked as managing director and head of investment banking at Halyk Savings Bank of Kazakhstan and as a chief financial officer and a chief commercial officer for financial institutions in Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, Russia and the United States.

“We’re very proud of Galym and his great accomplishments,” says Michael Dothan, Guy F. Atkinson Professor of Economics and Finance. “He is living proof of Atkinson’s global reach and the applicability of skills learned here to any global organization.”


First Chapter for Women MBAs

Atkinson’s Business Women’s Forum recently received a charter through the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA), establishing the organization’s first chapter in Oregon and one of only two in the Northwest.

NAWMBA is a national organization comprising student and professional chapters dedicated to “empowering women MBAs and graduate women in business in order to propel more women into leadership positions in corporate America and to enhance the diversity of the nation’s workforce.” The organization is open to men and women and provides a national network of resources.

As part of the charter, the Atkinson chapter plans to expand its efforts to connect students to women in the community. It will also coordinate and sponsor events and speakers at Willamette and in the greater business community in Oregon.


Willamette he yokoso! (Welcome to Willamette!)

Tokyo International Tokyo International Tokyo International

On Feb. 4 the Willamette community welcomed 113 students from Tokyo International University — the largest group of TIU students to participate in the one-year American Studies Program at TIUA in 15 years. This is the 20th class to participate in the program, which has brought 1,959 students to Willamette since its inception.

TIUA students take residence in halls across campus as Willamette roommates and other students help them transition from their commuter campus in the Tokyo area to life on a residential campus.

Through the end of spring semester, TIUA students will be concentrating on English language classes in listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar skills. Most are held at Kaneko Commons, but many involve activities on and off campus. Some classes involve collaborative study with the University and area high schools.

The students will also participate in a variety of co-curricular activities including clubs and community service learning projects such as Into the Streets (see back cover for photos) and Take a Break. Around mid-semester, students will have an opportunity to be matched with Tomodachi (friendship) families, helping them become members of the local community and learn more deeply about the diversity of American society and culture while sharing their own experience. This is not a “host family” program, but a chance for cultural exchange throughout the year. With such a large class, additional Tomodachi families are needed. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact Barby Dressler, TIUA director of university relations and special programs, at bdressler@willamette.edu or 503-373-3300.


Guest Artists Inspire Listeners and Performers

St. Lawrence String Quartet

The Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series stepped out on a musical limb in November when the St. Lawrence String Quartet performed Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, the splintered melodies of which still stun listeners 180 years after they were composed.

The quartet was joined by clarinetist Todd Palmer for Osvaldo Golijov’s composition for string quartet and klezmer clarinet, The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. “The way the klezmer and classical traditions blended made for a stunning performance, really, a spiritual experience,” says Music Professor Dan Rouslin. “The group went to extremes of passion and energy on one hand and then to sound so pale and white, one had to strain to hear it at all. They were willing to take those risks.”

The guest artists encouraged Willamette student musicians to take risks too, in string and woodwind master classes coordinated by Rouslin and Anita King, Distinguished Artists Series director. “They weren’t afraid to say, ‘You can do so much more than you’re doing,’” Rouslin says. “They got our students to play everything with more character, not to worry about being correct. You could hear an immediate difference.”

The guest artists have inspired audiences across the globe, with The Washington Post calling the quartet “fearless musicians” who probe “music’s imaginative limits.”