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Volume 3, No.5 | March 2008

A Vision for the Sciences

 Marvin Kaiser

CLAS Dean Marvin Kaiser

CLAS Alumni & Friends,

These remain important days in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at PSU. At the instigation of the Oregon University System, we have been involved in developing an expanded vision for higher education in Portland. We are pleased with the key role that PSU plays in helping to spearhead the implementation of this vision. While there are many identified needs and opportunities, three stand out. The first is the opportunity to work in partnership with OHSU and the other Oregon higher education institutions to significantly grow the education, research and outreach of the life sciences in Portland through a partnered expansion of our science facilities and programs to the South Waterfront. The second part of the vision includes the expansion of programs that ensure that every citizen in our community has the opportunity to participate in some phase of higher education. We believe that this opportunity is central to the future growth of our individual citizens and of our community. Finally, this vision confirmed our commitment to developing higher education's potential to create a sustainable community and world.

I will expand on the leadership role of the College on these and other initiatives in future newsletters. We are very pleased to have a key role in these commitments to partnered science education, research and outreach; to student access and success; and to sustainability. Each of these is a vital link to Portland and the region's future. Each also reaffirms the centrality of a vigorous and engaged higher education presence to our community's future.

Marvin A. Kaiser
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Business and the Environment Can Co-Exist

Elise Granek

Elise Granek

Professor Elise Granek participated in a study just published in Science Daily regarding environmental changes in tidal mangroves in coastal Thailand. Brian Silliman, a University of Florida assistant professor of zoology, coauthored the study. Professor Granek said the paper grew out of an NCEAS (The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis) Working Group that began January 2007, where Professor Granek is the lead Project Investigator.

Shrimp farmers in Thailand are destroying acres of mangroves to create shrimp farms which is making the coastal regions more vulnerable to flooding from storms and tsunamis. This study looked at the preservation of the mangroves but with less density so their protection from tsunamis and habitat for native fish can be preserved along with the shrimp farming.

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Silvia Boero, New Italian Professor

Silvia Boero

Silvia Boero

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, with funding support from the Circle of Friends of Italian Studies, has hired its first tenure track professor of Italian. Professor Silvia Boero, a native of Genoa, received her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 2006 and taught last year at Duke University. Besides teaching Italian at PSU, she is also a scholar of 20th Century Italian literature and specializes in women writers in Italy during the 1930s. She is now writing a book on Paola Masino, an Italian novelist and playwright.

Professor Boero reports that she loves Portland and that with its hills and urban parks Portland reminds her of Genoa. She loves to cook and enjoys the many good Italian restaurants in Portland. In fact, she confesses that her favorite job would be to be a chef.

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Nobel Laureate Douglas C. North at PSU

Douglas C. North

Douglas C North

Nobel Laureate Douglass C. North was the guest of the PSU Economics Department's Second Annual Harold G. Vatter Lecture on Friday, February 15th. Professor North spoke on "The Natural State or Why Economic Development is so Difficult to Achieve." Dr. Harold Vattner, for whom the lecture is named, was an eminent economic historian and faculty member at Portland State University from 1965 until his death at the age of 89 in 2000.

Professor North is well known as a pioneer in the "new economic history," which uses economic theory and econometric statistical techniques to investigate historical questions. Professor North has also been a leader among economists, championing the recognition of the key role of legal and social institutions in economic development.

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Ooligan Press Publishes Fort Clatsop: Rebuilding an Icon

Cover of Fort Clatsop: <em>Rebuilding an Icon</em>

Portland State University's Ooligan Press and the Daily Astorian have collaborated to publish Fort Clatsop: Rebuilding an Icon. This is a story that spans two centuries revealing the three phases of the fort. The book is written in a journalistic style which brings to life the original events of creating the fort as well as the recent fire and the rebuilding of the historic landmark.

Tom Bennett and photographer Lori Assa contributed to the coverage of the Fort Clatsop story along with Sue Cody who was the Deputy Managing Editor of the project.

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Japan Night

Takohachi Taiko Drumming

Takohachi Taiko Drumming

Several PSU exchange students and their friends held an event in February called "Japan Night". The evening consisted of; Taiko drumming, a comedy act, marshal arts demonstration, hip hop dancing, Japanese influenced rock music, and a Japanese fashion show. This lively colorful event filled the hall to capacity.

The exchange students are coming to the end of their year long stay and wanted to showcase some Japanese culture. They enlisted many of their American friends to help them create the evening. They also enlisted the services of Professor Larry Kominz as stand up comedian. His wife, Ms. Toshimi Tanaka, helped with the delicate task of tying the kimonos. Several of the key organizers were Shen Ma, Izumi Nakashima, Aua Shibaskaki, Aya Shibasaki, Saori Oguri, and Raisa Trifanov (soon going to Waseda University). Rachel Miller was the event photographer.

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Douglas Osheroff Speaking on How Advances in Science are Made

Douglas Osheroff

Douglas Osheroff

Douglas Osheroff will speak on How Advances in Science are Made, Friday, April 18th at 5pm in Hoffman Hall. The Gurevitch Lecture Series is put on by the PSU Physics Department and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Osheroff shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1996 for work he did while he was a graduate student at Cornell University. He is currently at Stanford University.

His discussion will address the complex issues of the benefits of scienfific descovery to mankind. Dr. Osheroff has said that scientific discovery is seldom done by one person, but rather by a community, asking questions and developing new technologies.

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PSU Telefund

In the coming weeks, a PSU student may call to ask for your support of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Please take a moment to speak with the student and participate in the fund drive. No gift is too small; every gift counts.

Make your gift online anytime >

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