OSU students in the College of Health and Human Sciences work one-on-one with special-needs kids to improve skills and self-confidence.
Most Friday evenings, as many as 80 children and young adults excitedly congregate in the OSU Women’s Building gymnasium to do things that most of us take for granted. Catching a ball. Swinging a bat. Climbing warily atop a balance beam.
It’s part of the Special Physical and Motor Fitness Clinic offered by the College of Health and Human Sciences. Benton County United Way and Hewlett-Packard sponsor the clinic, which is designed to help children with all kinds of disabilities work on fitness, motor skills, and aquatic skills. But mostly they just have fun.
The skills these youngsters develop will help them with day-to-day life in their classrooms, on playgrounds, and at home. An even deeper imprint is made on the undergraduate and graduate students who work with children in the clinic. In the photograph, Lai Saeturn, a student in the college, works on hand motor skills with Kaycee Settlemire.
Oregon State is becoming nationally known for its Movement Studies in Disability program, and top doctoral students are lured to campus by this reputation and by outreach programs like the clinic. Undergraduate students in a variety of fields gladly give up their Friday evenings for the chance to work with the kids.
“It’s hard to say who gets more out of it–the OSU students or the kids,” says Jeff McCubbin, who directs the clinic and the movement studies program. “I think it’s safe to say everyone comes out a winner.”
OSU English professor Jon Lewis explores the symbiotic relationship between film and culture in America.
With wry wit and an academic’s analytical mind, professor Jon Lewis has taught film and cultural studies in the OSU English Department since 1983. He cheerfully admits that he has one of the best jobs at Oregon State University.
Lewis has a growing national reputation as an author and a critic of the film industry. He was recently named the editor of Cinema Journal, the nation’s leading critical and scholarly journal in film studies. Cinema Journal is sponsored by the Society for Cinema Studies, a group that includes university faculty, graduate students, archivists, filmmakers, and others in the film industry.
Lewis also served as editor and contributor to The End of Cinema as We Know It: American Film in the 90s (NYU, 2002), an anthology of essays on American film in the 1990s. The book covers a variety of topics, including film censorship and preservation, the changing structure and status of independent cinema, the continued importance of celebrity and stardom, and the sudden importance of alternative video.
An earlier book that examined the Hollywood rating system, Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle Over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry, was favorably reviewed in The New York Times and other national publications. Lewis is the author of two other books on Hollywood: Francis Ford Coppola and the New Hollywood and The Road to Romance and Ruin: Teen Films and Youth Culture.
Large trees are a valuable habitat component for a variety of forest wildlife.
The Ecological Society of America recently determined that Oregon State University is the best in the nation in the field of forest ecology.
When it looked at faculty producing published new research on critical environmental issues, the society found that OSU is No. 1 in forest ecology and 11th in the broad fields of ecology, evolution, and behavior. That puts OSU on a par with Stanford and the University of Washington, and well ahead of most Ivy League schools.
The College of Forestry has world-class facilities and forest properties that enable OSU to deliver a first-rate educational experience, while conducting innovative basic and applied research. It helps, of course, that OSU is located near a wide array of forest ecosystems, from the coast to the mountains to the high desert.
In one aspect of research, Oregon State ecologists are investigating effects of managed forests on wildlife populations Wildlife ecologist Chris Maguire, an assistant professor in OSU’s Department of Forest Science, focuses her research on wildlife habitat relationships in forest environments, animal responses to environmental change, and the comparative importance of dead wood to terrestrial vertebrates across a variety of forest types.
“Oregon State is an incredible place to be for leading-edge environmental research,” Maguire says. “I consider myself fortunate to be involved in projects that have such immediate relevancy to how we manage forests in the Pacific Northwest.”
OSU marine biologist Bruce Mate helps protect earth’s largest animals by studying their critical habitats and migration patterns.
Bruce Mate made national news in 2002 with his landmark study of massive blue whales. The director of OSU’s Marine Mammal Program at the Hatfield Marine Science Center also was featured in the BBC television production “Blue Planet,” airing on the Discovery Channel.
“We’ve focused on finding critical habitats, including where blue whales breed and calve,” Mate said. “We hope to reduce the impact of human activities on their recovery.”
Since 1993, Mate and colleagues have tagged 100 blue whales off California’s coast and tracked their movements by satellite. They found that the whales travel farther and faster than previously thought–seeking fertile upwelling zones for their krill diet–and that they feed throughout the year.
Even though the whales are the earth’s largest animals–up to 100 feet long and 100 tons–little was known about their migration and winter habits. Mate and his staff have developed state-of-the-art satellite-monitored radio tags and use other new technologies in their research. The ongoing studies have resulted in discoveries that dramatically increased the current level of knowledge about several species. Mate’s research is funded by the Marine Mammal Endowment at OSU and the Office of Naval Research.
Oregon State educators and researchers are having an impact in the metro area.
Lisa Conroy, Christopher Higgins, and Jean Moule are only a few of the links that give OSU an important and visible effect in the Portland area and around the state.
Conroy, a 4-H faculty member in OSU’s Washington County Extension Office, leads the innovative Web Wizards program that mentors Hispanic youth with the help of community partners, including Intel and the Intel Latino Network volunteers.
The students learn emerging technologies from their Intel mentors. In return, they teach computer skills to community members. Participants in the 4-H Web Wizards program have a 95 percent graduation rate, and 98 percent pursue post-high school education. More information
Higgins, assistant professor of civil engineering, is principal investigator in a project teaming OSU with the Oregon Department of Transportation to study the structural integrity of bridges. ODOT gave OSU $1.6 million to examine the severity of cracks in more than 500 Oregon bridges. An on-campus laboratory will enable OSU engineers to conduct full experiments on structural elements. “There is almost no data to determine how bridges actually fail under moving loads,” Higgins says. “This grant will give us the opportunity to address these issues.” More information
Moule, assistant professor of education, developed an “immersion” program that takes OSU student teachers into Portland to teach in predominantly African-American King Elementary School. And each year, busloads of King students visit OSU for exposure to the campus. The program began in spring 1998 and focused on the best ways to teach math and science to culturally diverse students. Moule says some differences in learning, such as emphasis on family or age, can be culturally based, and new teachers need to be aware of these differences. More information