PSU Logo College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
September 2006 Volume 2, Number 1

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Portland OR 97207

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P.O. Box 751
Portland OR 97207-0751



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Our Students Excel

Dean Kaiser As this fall term begins, I'd like to boast about the academic success of our students. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with its exceptional academic programs, is attracting some of the highest caliber students in this nation. Many of our recent graduates are continuing their education by pursuing advanced masters or doctoral degrees, with some of them being accepted for specialized studies at schools outside of the US, such as the University of Cambridge, Oxford University, the University of Glasgow, and Bath Spa University among others. We are very pleased that two of our graduates who were accepted at Cambridge this year are instead returning to PSU for their graduate studies. They both decided that PSU better met their academic needs. We are justifiably proud of all of our students!

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

Best College Accolades Received By PSU

PSU "Best College" Portland State University has been ranked among the best colleges in the United States in two separate reviews. The Princeton Review, for its 2007 edition, has cited PSU as a "Best Western College" based on student opinion data. PSU is one of only 123 schools receiving this designation. In addition, U.S. News & World Report considers PSU's curriculum among the best in the nation, for the fifth-consecutive year. In the 2007 edition of this magazine's annual publication, "America's Best Colleges," Portland State is featured under the section "Academic Programs-Programs to Look For" in five categories: First-Year Experiences, Internships/Co-Ops, Learning Communities, Senior Capstone and Service Learning. This recognition places Portland State University among the top universities in the nation in these categories.

Congratulations PSU - we already knew you were the best!

PSU Professor Modifies Drug to Overcome Resistance of Malaria Parasite

David Peyton
Chloroquine (CQ) is one of the safest and most effective drugs ever developed to treat the most common strain of malaria, but resistance has emerged against it. David Peyton, professor of chemistry, has successfully developed a way to modify CQ to overcome the resistance that the malaria parasite has developed to it. Work is ongoing to develop these drugs into a practical and inexpensive treatment for malaria, a disease that is actually a growing worldwide problem. The results of Peyton's work were published in the August 12, 2006 online edition of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
Read an abstract of the article
Read more about Dr. Peyton's work

Connecting Educational Communities in Guatemala

Maria Del Carmen
Over the summer term, a group of sixteen PSU students, three K-12 teachers, an adult education coordinator from Clackamas Community College, PSU Instructor Manya Wubbold from the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, and PSU Research Assistant Mark Wubbold from the Finance and Administration Department traveled to the state of Sololá in Guatemala to immerse themselves in this Spanish-speaking environment and to provide services to schools in three Mayan communities: Maria Del Carmen, Secun, and Caliaj. With the help of local educators, the group was able to set up a much needed computer lab in each of the communities, with equipment donated by the PSU Finance Department and their own fundraising efforts. Offered as an undergraduate course each summer in the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, this Connecting Education Communities program is doing great things to support the PSU president's Internationalization Initiative, which focuses on internationalizing the curriculum of the campus and enhancing the international opportunities available to faculty, staff, and students.

Please support this program by purchasing some of the authentic Guatemalan products which this group brought back with them, and which are for sale at the Portland State University Bookstore.
Read more about Connecting Educational Communities

Biology Department's Alumni Reception at PSU Weekend

Biology Collage
The Biology Department is holding its 8th Annual Alumni Reception on the 20th of October as part of PSU Weekend. The highlight of this year's event is the presentation by alumna Dr. Leslee Parr, '00 ESR/Biology, who is currently at San Jose State University. Dr. Parr's talk, entitled "From Manatees to Crabs: Implications of Marine Population Phylogeography to Conservation," will take place at 4 PM in Science Building 1 (room 107). A reception with food and beverages will follow from 5 to 8 PM in the foyer of Science Building 2 on the second floor. All are welcome! For more information contact Michael T. Murphy ( or 503-725-8734).
Find out about other PSU Weekend events

Geography Field Studies in Northwestern Oregon

Geography Field Studies Keith Hadley, Associate Professor of Geography, and Martin Lafrenz, Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography, co-taught a two week, field based class looking at changes in vegetation and geomorphology in western Oregon. The summer class focused on learning field methods including plant identification, GPS, field mapping, vegetation sampling, soil profiles, channel profiles, tree density measures, and basic quantitative interpretations of field data. Excursions included the Bridge of the Gods and the basalts of the Columbia River Gorge, Old Maid Flat in the Portland Basin, analysis of vegetation characteristics in the alpine old growth forest around Lost Lake on the slopes of Mt. Hood, alpine processes on Mary's Peak in the Coast Range, and a look at coastal geomorphology at Cape Perpetua on the Oregon Coast. This course continues a long tradition of hands-on summer field work courses in the Geography Department.
Visit the Geography Department's website

Installation of New Dual Beam Focused Ion Beam

Dual Beam FIB System The future of nanotechnology is at PSU, in the form of a Dual Beam Focused Ion Beam (FIB) system which was installed over the summer at PSU's Center for Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication (CEMN). An FIB system uses a beam of gallium ions to create an image of its target, which results in extremely high magnification that allows it to reveal the detail of very small objects. To give you an idea of size, 1 meter is 1,000,000,000 nanometers (1 nm = 10-9 m). It is similar to an electron microscope with its ability to image on a nanometer scale, but use of gallium also enables milling capabilities that make it possible to nano-machine, and cut and grow metal and glass, on that same microscopic scale. This particular system has many optional components which extend its microscopic and nanofabrication capabilities.

The FIB was funded with the help of an NSF government grant, funds from the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), and matching funds from PSU. This equipment is available for use by companies and other scientists who have undergone proper training to use it. Contact Chunfei Li, Assistant Professor of Physics and Microscopy Center Manager, at 503-725-9712 for more information.

The FIB and other state of the art equipment are located in the basement of Science Building 1. The FIB is the newest addition and an integral part of PSU's CEMN, which is a leading Northwest Signature Research center for ONAMI.
Read more about PSU's CEMN
Learn about ONAMI

Center for Spatial Analysis and Research (CSAR)

Center for Spatial Analysis and Research The Center for Spatial Analysis and Research (CSAR) in the Geography Department provides consultation, production services, and education in geospatial technology for researchers and organizations in the greater Portland area. CSAR's capabilities include expertise in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing as well as mapmaking. CSAR-affiliated faculty and staff employ the tools of spatial modeling, digital image analysis, GPS, digital map design, and quantitative spatial analysis to a wide variety of geographical research problems in both the natural and social sciences. CSAR projects and short courses allow students to gain practical experience analyzing and solving real-world problems under the supervision of affiliated faculty and staff.

If you would like to discuss a project that uses GIS or remote sensing for analysis, or if you would like a custom map made, email us at or call David Banis at 503-725-8903.
Visit the CSAR website

Geography Department Colloquium

Geography Colloquium During the fall and winter terms, PSU's Geography department offers a series of presentations by various speakers, on a variety of interesting geographical topics. This Geography Department Colloquium is of interest to both geographers and the general public. Colloquia are free and open to the public, and are held on Wednesdays from 4 to 5 PM starting October 4th, in Cramer Hall 418. For more information, contact the Geography Department at 503-725-3916.
See the schedule of upcoming presentations

The Biology of Fish

Alaska Fishing Rejuvenating between academic terms, PSU Biology professors Stan Hillman and Larry Crawshaw, along with retired PSU registrar Bob Tufts, journeyed to Petersburg, Alaska over the summer to try their luck at game fishing. Along with a colleague from San Francisco, they managed to return with 800 pounds of game fish, including halibut, salmon, and lingcod. Professor Hillman, former chair of the Biology department, who caught the largest halibut (on the right in the picture), claims that the successful catches were due to a knowledgeable guide and pure luck. But maybe, just maybe, their collective expertise in the biology of fish had just a little influence on the outcome.

Faculty/Department Notes

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers over 24 bachelor's degree programs, 20 master's degree programs, and 9 doctoral degree programs. We are proud of our diverse departments that offer these programs and the faculty who teach them. These faculty members, and the departments they are part of, have a commitment to teaching, mentoring, research, and service to PSU, their profession, and the community.

Click here to see this month’s faculty and departmental achievements
Visit our departmental websites

You Can Make a Difference

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences provides the intellectual heart of an excellent education in any discipline by exploring ideas that influence, teach and expand our knowledge of ourselves, our society, our world and our future. Please consider supporting the college by making a gift to one of the following funds:

The Dean's Fund for Excellence helps strengthen academic programs, provides scholarships for students, improves classrooms and laboratories, advances the excellence of our faculty and helps the college reach out to our alumni and friends.

The Dean's Fund for Scholarships responds to the extensive growth of promising students who seek financial assistance. Scholarship support helps the College to recruit, retain and reward the best and brightest students.

Make your investment in a bright future by giving to one of these funds.
Thank you!
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