Kasey McCabe and his friends dreamed of making movies when they were little kids growing up in Portland, and now they are making those dreams reality.

McCabe, a liberal studies major and 2010 graduate of Oregon State University, and his friends Tyson Balcomb and Chapin Hemmingway, created their own company, Exterior Films, in 2005. Their second full-length feature, “The Gray Area,” premiered on June 18, at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland.

McCabe said he started making short movies at OSU, combining the critical theory and historical knowledge he gained in Professor Jon Lewis’ film classes with the technical know-how he accrued from his New Media Communications classes.

“I hadn’t seen a movie made before 1950 until I took classes with Jon Lewis,” he said. “I really learned about film history from him. And in New Media, I got the hands-on skills in production and editing that I needed.”

With a small budget of $45,000, the team used Portland casting agencies to hire professional actors and help from the Oregon Film & Video Office to gain permits for shooting on location. McCabe said the generosity and community-oriented spirit of Oregonians is what allowed them to shoot their film on such a tight budget.

“A film like this would cost at least $100,000 in Los Angeles,” he said. “Portland is a great place to make movies because it is such a close-knit community and everyone goes out of their way to help independent filmmakers.”

“The Gray Area” is about three childhood friends who come together after one of their buddies is found dead, apparently from an overdose. As the story unfolds, the men start to investigate whether their friend’s death had suspicious motives.

The film stars former OSU student and working actor Gavin Bristol, who has already been featured in Portland-based productions such as the popular “New Moon” film from the Twilight series as well as the TNT series “Leverage.”

“The Gray Area” will show for June 18-24 at the Hollywood Theatre. After that one-week Portland engagement, McCabe said the team plans to self-distribute it to theaters throughout the West Coast.

Tickets and showtimes to “The Gray Area” are available now.

Astronaut Donald R. Pettit, Expedition 6 NASA ISS science officer, photographs his helmet visor during a session of extravehicular activity (EVA). Pettit's arms and camera are visible in the reflection of his helmet visor. Astronaut Kenneth D. Bowersox, mission commander, is also visible in visor reflection, upper right.

NASA astronaut Don Pettit (OSU ’78), veteran of multiple space missions, one including a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station, delivered the 2010 commencement address at Oregon State. The 55-year-old chemical engineering graduate of OSU has served as an astronaut for the past 14 years and is recognized not only for his longevity and success in the space program, but his innovation in space, which has included such in-space inventions as the “zero-g” coffee cup. Pettit was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree.

Pettit logged 250 orbits of the Earth and more than 6 million miles on his most recent trip into space in 2008 as a part of the STS-126 Endeavour. During that 16-day trip he operated the robotic arm for a total of four spacewalks performed by three fellow crew members. STS-126 also brought a new crew member to the International Space Station.

Pettit is perhaps most famous for being 240 miles above the Earth, serving as the International Space Station’s science officer, in February 2003 when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated on reentry, killing its crew of seven and causing NASA to suspend shuttle flights. That left Pettit and his two crewmates with no scheduled ride home. They eventually used a backup system, crash-landing in a Russian capsule in the Russian wilderness after 161 days in space.

While in orbit as the International Space Station’s science officer, Pettit demonstrated experiments for schoolchildren around the world in a series of shows called “Saturday Morning Science.”

In 2006 Pettit traveled to Antarctica as a part of an exhibition to gather meteorites – because despite Antarctica’s remoteness the rocks are most easily found there. There, he resorted to poetry to describe a type of meteorite commonly found in the open, on top of the snow and ice. Asked whether there are many poets in the astronaut corps, Pettit said his colleagues defy the single-minded stereotype epitomized in books and movies.

“You would be surprised at how many folks in the office sneak into cultural events outside the range of what the public labels one with the ‘Right Stuff,’” he said. One of Pettit’s Antarctica poems appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of the Oregon Stater. “I have written poetry since I first learned to write,” he said. “Whether or not I am a poet, I guess rests in the ear of the beholder.”

Ordinary Chondrite

By Don Pettit

I’m just an ordinary chondrite,
a small piece of rock,
left over as construction debris from when the solar system was built.

A brick that would not fit in.

Locked within my lattice are stories,
are tales,
of where we came from and thus who we are.

I wandered for billions of years,
and then visited a planet with a fiery welcome.

My skin crazed like pottery fired in a kiln that was too hot.

Sizzling, I sank in glacier ice,
only to surface in a thousand years.

King Arthur was but a lad.

Each sunrise and sunset was like a year,
and they passed by in numbers too many to count.

Then came a gentle touch of a hand,
followed by an exam that would make any doctor visit seem welcome.

And now under glass-masked gazes,
I hear children say,

“It’s just a rock.”

How Oregon State’s library is leading the digital revolution.

Michael Boock
Michael Boock

When Oregon State became the first university to join Flickr Commons, a public domain photo archive, word traveled fast on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. And the buzz was positive. Likewise, the library faculty is the world’s first to pass an open-access mandate for their own scholarly work. And its open-source search tool, LibraryFind, is the first of its kind in the nation.

Clearly, Oregon State University is right out in front of the digital information revolution.

“The driving idea at OSU Libraries is to make information retrievable wherever people are searching,” says Michael Boock, head of Digital Access Services for OSU Libraries. “Our goal is to make all of our collections findable through the Internet.”

The idea that everyone from an OSU student working on a term paper to a cattle rancher in Central Oregon to a schoolgirl in central Africa can access its collections via the Internet is something Oregon State wants to celebrate. And that zeal for open access — especially universal access to taxpayer-funded research — will be visible all over campus. During Open Access Week, experts from OSU Libraries will be staffing “traveling tables” to answer questions about implications for author rights, peer review and traditional academic publishing models. Mid-week, a panel of experts from OSU and University of Oregon will talk about each of their groundbreaking efforts to make an entire unit’s research output freely available online upon publication.

Capping off the week’s events is a presentation by nationally known public-domain advocate Carl Malamud. As the founder of public.resource.org, Malamud is an impassioned champion of making all publicly funded information — including databases, court decisions and research findings — free and easily accessed by anyone.

“Research is the raw material of innovation, creating a wealth of business opportunities,” says Malamud, noting that government information is a form of essential infrastructure, right along with highways and electrical grids. What he terms the “Internet wave of transformation” will, he insists, help ensure the health of a democracy that is indeed of, by and for the people.

Oregon State is embodying that idea. Another innovation is that all OSU master’s theses and doctoral dissertations are submitted electronically to the university’s own ScholarsArchive. Last year, the online graduate papers were downloaded 100 times each, on average. In contrast, paper versions typically are checked out from the library rarely, if ever. In just three years, grad-student studies that would otherwise have languished on library shelves have been downloaded nearly a half-million times.

OSU also joined 17 other U.S. research universities in a letter to Congress earlier this month, encouraging passage of bipartisan federal legislation (the Federal Research Public Access Act) to guarantee speedy public access to research findings funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. The National Institutes of Health already requires public access to its funded research projects.

Boock sums up the push this way: “We want to put the content where the people are.”

Read about OSU students’ experiences as they travel through the Middle East.

Oregon State student Sarah Sheldrick is among the students who traveled to Israel and Palestine this term. In this photo she stands on the border of Syria.
Oregon State student Sarah Sheldrick is among the students who traveled to Israel and Palestine this term. In this photo she stands on the border of Syria.

Imagine a dry, ancient place that is known mostly for its modern-day political strife and bloodshed. Imagine several sources of water — all precious and needed — that ignore political boundaries. And imagine conflicts over water like we experience in Oregon, between rural and urban users and concerned environmentalists. But imagine them in an area of absolute scarcity, where some people don’t even have enough water to drink.

Then imagine going there to learn how people manage these issues in their day-to-day lives. That’s what a group of 19 Oregon State University students is doing right now, as they travel through Israel and Palestine studying the geography and geology of the Middle East’s water supply and sources, as well as how those factors affect cities, agriculture and, ultimately, politics.

“It felt natural to take the students there to look at these separate issues, and then look at them together,” says geosciences professor Aaron Wolf, who lived in Israel for 10 years, and who is the faculty adviser for the group. “I think all of them will get a much more nuanced view of the region.”

The group, all of whom are members of the Oregon State Geo Club or Hydrophiles, is blogging about the trip, which includes meeting with stakeholders, as well as with groups like Friends of the Earth Middle East, an organization that makes tremendous progress in water conflict management.

“It’s stuff you never hear about, which is so sad,“ says Wolf. “But day in and day out, there is a huge amount of interaction and cooperation with resource management that nobody here knows about because the conflict supersedes everything.”

Read the Geo Club and Hydrophiles’ Trip Blog.

OSU and The Oregonian host the Newspaper Institute for Minority High School Students.

OSU hosts the Newspaper Institute for minority high school students
OSU hosts the Newspaper Institute for minority high school students

This June, Oregon State University and The Oregonian invited 18 high school students to the OSU campus to take part in the Newspaper Institute for Minority High School Students. The Institute had been a longtime dream of Frank Ragulsky, OSU’s director of student media, and a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation in Oklahoma City made it possible.

The teenagers, who are all from Oregon or Washington, spent a week reporting for and producing their own newspaper, The Pride. They also delved into new media — blog posts, video and photos — that chronicled their experience.

“Why a journalism camp for minorities? Why not open it up to everyone,” wrote David Austin, a reporter for The Oregonian and the camp’s director, in the 2008 issue of the Pride. “The answer is simple: Those camps already exist,” he writes. “But many of them are expensive or not easily accessible to many minority high school students. In some cases, minority students don’t know about the opportunities because some educators don’t see them as potential journalists.”

For more about the students’ and camp counselors’ stories, experiences and work, visit the Oregonian’s Journalism Camp 2008 blog.

Photos courtesy of The Oregonian.

OSU’s Robotics Team Takes First in National Competition.

OSU Quad Rover
OSU Quad Rover

The core members of the OSU student team that won the 2008 University Rover Challenge could have been characters in an action movie. There was Ben Goska, who’s been programming computers since the age of 10, and Jordan Levy, who’s been assembling gadgets for just as long. Ryan Albright knows mechanical design software and how to manufacture professional-grade parts. Matt Shuman organized the group and kept their goals in focus. All four are students in OSU’s College of Engineering and members of the OSU Robotics Club.

Their challenge was to brave the harsh, Mars-like terrain at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.

They outstripped the competition when their “Parallax Quad-Rover” beat teams from the University of Nevada, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Brigham Young University and others. “The rover competition promotes innovation within engineering, challenging engineers to find solutions that improve their engineering abilities,” says Shuman. The team adapted their rover to perform tasks such as construction, soil analysis and navigation in extreme conditions.

“It’s just dust and rocks,” says Shuman. “The entire valley is in a rain shadow and funnels light right into your eyes. It makes you realize you don’t need a rover that can get over plants and bushes.”

The event that helped the OSU team clinch victory was finding and delivering supplies to a “distressed astronaut” — in this case a real, but empty astronaut suit lying on the desert floor. The team’s Quad-Rover used a gasoline-powered hydraulic drive system, the first of its type ever used in this competition. It provided far more power than some of the other systems that were run on electrical batteries.

“We were able to go over and through rocks instead of weaving around them in places where many teams got stuck,” says Shuman.

The key, says Shuman, is teamwork. “It’s a challenge at first to communicate with three other people who are focusing on a small aspect of the project. We needed to communicate through documents, schematics and instructions. Documents allowed us to use each other’s strengths and understand what teammates had built.”

It still wasn’t an easy process. “We made a firm commitment to publicly showcase our rover a month before Utah,” says Shuman. “But the dress rehearsal failed horribly.” Once the team got the wheels of the rover moving and increased the throttle, the gasoline engine shook so much it disconnected a vital power cable. The pitfall motivated them to find and fix problems, which was crucial to their success.

Robotics TeamIt also made them realize that they needed to bring in more varied talents before the competition. “Anyone with enough motivation was welcome to help, says Shuman. Nearly a dozen did, supplying the team with t-shirts, maps of the Utah terrain and even expertise in constructing robotic arms. Most were engineering students also involved in OSU’s Robotics Club, and several accompanied the original team members on the 16-hour drive to Utah.

The team credits the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium, Parallax, Inc., a Sacramento, Calif., robotics firm and AJK Sheet Metal with providing sponsorship and valuable parts. Design instructor Donald Heer also helped the team stay on course.

As a result of winning the Rover Challenge, the team will receive support to attend the 11th annual Mars Society Convention to be held this summer in Boulder, Colo. They’re also looking forward to next year’s competition. “The whole team will be back next year,” says Shuman. “It’s amazing to compete and see how many ways there are to solve a problem.”

OSU honors WWII-era students of Japanese ancestry.

Student photos
Student photos

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the lives of 42 Oregon State University students of Japanese ancestry changed irrevocably. All of them were forced to leave school during World War II because of President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066. Many ended up in internment camps, and most were unable to return to OSU to complete their degrees or participate in commencement.

Now, more than six decades after the end of the war, those students will be recognized at OSU’s June 15 commencement ceremony. Most of these former students since have died. But several will return to campus and many others — both living and deceased — will be represented by family members during the ceremony, where they will receive their honorary degrees.

Jack Yoshihara
Jack Yoshihara

One of those students is Noboru Endow, who was a sophomore studying chemistry when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Even though Endow was harassed in his dorm immediately afterward, he never wanted to leave OSU. But the choice wasn’t his to make. In the spring of 1942, he received an official letter informing him that he had five days to leave campus and board a bus that would take him to a Portland detention center. He was devastated.

After spending a couple of days at the center, Endow was sent to a sugar beet farm in eastern Oregon and was later allowed to attend the University of Utah, where he earned his degree in chemistry. Endow, who is 85 and now lives in Santa Clara, Calif., thinks it is important for OSU to be granting the degrees. “It’s good that they are having this to recognize people who were studying, and it is worthwhile for everyone to recall those events. It’s hard how government acts during war. You want to be patriotic, but also reserve judgment; you can lose your civil rights easily,” he says.

OSU President Ray says public recognition of the sacrifices these students made is overdue. “It is a great privilege for all of us at Oregon State University to honor our former students with their degrees,” Ray said. “A great wrong was done to them and it is never too late to do the right thing. More importantly, we should use the memory of this sad and unconscionable chapter of our history to strengthen our resolve to stand up for each and every member of our community when we are tested, as we surely will be in the future.”

The impetus for granting the degrees came from two OSU students, Andy Kiyuna and Joel Fischer. Both played key roles in pushing the idea for such action into law, and state representatives Tina Kotek of Portland and Brian Clem of Salem co-sponsored the bill. In may of 2007, Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed Oregon House Bill 2823 into law, granting honorary college and university degrees to former students of Japanese ancestry who were displaced by the war.

On December 12, 1941, a mere two months before Executive Order 9066 went into effect, many of OSU’s students of Japanese ancestry, including Endow, composed, signed and sent a letter to then OSU President F.A. Gilfillan. They wanted to assure Gilfillan of their loyalty to OSU and their pride in their country. “We will deeply appreciate any opportunity to prove our mettle and our devotion to the College and to our State and Nation. We hope that the trial of this supreme national test will prove a unifying and enlightening influence upon all Americans and their resident relatives from foreign lands,” they wrote.

Kay Kiyokawa
Kay Kiyokawa

After 65 years, their sentiments will finally be honored.

Those receiving honorary degrees at OSU’s commencement will be:

Noboru Endow
Raymond Hashitani*
Roy R. Hashitani*
Shigeru Hongo*
Kate Iwasaki*
Masao Kinoshita*
Kay Kiyokawa
Sigeo Kiyokawa*
Taro Miura
Kay Nakagiri
Tom Namba*
Jack Nomi
Todd Tadao Okita*
Lena Kageyama Omari*
Tommy Ouchida
Carl Somekawa
Aiko Sumoge*
Mabel Sadako Takashima*
Masao Tamiyasu*
Edward Ko Yada*
Mary Takao Yoshida
Jack Yoshihara
Robert Yoshitomi

* deceased

Photos for this feature were generously provided by OSU Libraries University Archives.

Distinguished Professor Tracy Daugherty balances his writing and teaching lives.

Tracy Daughtery
Tracy Daughtery

Tracy Daugherty always knew he wanted to be a writer. Books like “Charlotte’s Web” and “Little House on the Prairie” came alive when his teachers read them aloud to their elementary school classes. Daugherty remembers reading the speeches his grandfather, an Oklahoma politician, wrote, and later hearing how they could capture a crowd. “Early on, I was impressed how language is communicative, that it’s a living, communal thing,” he says.

Growing up in Texas, Daugherty read as many novels as he could. He wrote them, as well, in the Ray Bradbury, sci-fi style that often captivated adolescent boys. “I was writing space novels, and they were terrible,” he says. At 11, he had yet to develop the strong sense of place that characterizes his mature work.

Teaching came later, when Daugherty was a Ph.D. student at the University of Houston. He knew he would have to couple teaching with writing to make a living, but at first teaching terrified him. “I had all these faces staring at me, expecting me to give them something, and I had no idea what to do,” he says.

But the terror didn’t last long. Soon Daugherty could tell he was making an impression on his students — their writing improved. “You can see that students are grateful,” he says. “They’re able to communicate things that they didn’t think they could communicate. And you can see that very tangibly.”

Daughterty’s longtime success in both arenas has earned him the title of “distinguished professor,” the highest honor a faculty member can receive at OSU. “Tracy’s impressive record in teaching, publication and academic program building deserved this kind of recognition,” says Distinguished Professor of American Literature David Robinson, who nominated Daugherty for the award.

Throughout his teaching career, Daugherty, who joined the OSU faculty in 1986 and now chairs the Department of English, has remained a disciplined and prolific writer. His fluid style and natural dialogue distinguish his eight books, 25 short fiction works and numerous essays, interviews and magazine articles. He won the Ken Kesey Award in 2005 for his novel “Axeman’s Jazz” and has earned the Oregon Book Award three times, among many other honors.

Daugherty was also instrumental in developing OSU’s Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, a process that took more than a decade at a university sometimes more acknowledged for science and engineering.

The program now attracts applicants from all over the country — more than 100 a year for only six spots. “The program is flourishing, and it’s a wonderful thing to have happen in an unlikely spot. We started out as underdogs, and we’ve come a long way,” Daugherty says. The students who seek Daugherty’s mentorship tend to reflect his varying and sometimes contradictory styles, from straightforward narratives to fragmented stories that follow their own non-linear chronologies.

As a teacher, Daugherty is dedicated to an atmosphere of extensive dialogue between professors and students, as well as among the students themselves, says Robinson. “The one thing that makes this program distinctive is that we work hard developing a very intimate, supportive community,” Daugherty says. He also gives his students plenty of his personal time.

“Tracy teaches in a way that inspires in students a true love for writing,” says Larry Roper, vice provost for Student Affairs and interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Daugherty’s next book, “Hiding Man: A Life of Donald Barthelme,” in fact, is a biography of one of his former University of Houston professors. “Hiding Man,” which is due out next year from St. Martin’s Press, is Daughterty’s first excursion into biography and a trip he never intended to take. But when some of Barthelme’s work began going out of print and a different biographer had dropped the project, Daugherty decided to write about his old mentor.

Daugherty’s presence as a teacher comes in part from emulating Barthelme’s emphasis on rigor and tradition, as well as the older writer’s habit of making himself available to his students. “Teaching writing is a one-on-one proposition, really,” Daugherty says, “It takes a lot of individual attention. I saw Barthelme do that with students, and I do that with our students.”

The U.S. Postal Service Honors Linus Pauling

Linus Pauling Commemorative Stamp
Linus Pauling Commemorative Stamp

When Linus Pauling enrolled at Oregon Agricultural College — Oregon State University’s predecessor — in 1917 to study chemical engineering, he was taking the first steps on a path that would lead him to Stockholm, Sweden, in 1954 to accept the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

By the time Pauling died in 1994, he was not only the first person ever to win a second individual Nobel, but one of the most decorated and respected scientists of the 20th century. The U.S. Postal Service recently recognized Pauling’s lifetime of achievements with a new set of “American Scientists” stamps honoring Pauling, biochemist Gerti Cory, astronomer Edwin Hubble and physicist John Bardeen.

To celebrate the stamp’s official March 6 release, OSU hosted an unveiling in the Memorial Union Ballroom featuring Linus Pauling Jr. and Corvallis Postmaster John Herrington, who stamped envelopes with a commemorative postmark (PDF) designed specially for the occasion. More than 300 people attended the event, and the city of Corvallis sold out of American Scientist stamps by the end of the event. “The way that Linus Pauling has taken off here at OSU is extremely rewarding, and OSU has my eternal thanks,” said Pauling Jr.

Linus Pauling

Pauling was known for working successfully in different disciplines throughout his life — physics, chemistry and biomedical research, to name a few. His stamp honors one of his most significant discoveries in molecular biology — a field he pioneered. Pauling’s studies of hemoglobin led to his 1948 discovery of the molecular nature of sickle cell anemia. “That discovery made him look into the scientific, social and political aspects of that kind of work,” says Cliff Mead, head of Special Collections for the OSU Valley Library. It was because of Pauling’s discovery, Mead says, that sickle cell anemia became treatable.

Though Pauling earned his bachelor’s degree in 1922 and spent the rest of his academic and professional life at California universities and research centers, his fondness for OSU never waned. In 1986, he donated his papers to OSU; the collection numbers more than 500,000 items, and it includes material on Pauling’s research into human blood and sickle cell anemia.

Linus Pauling

Two years after his death, the Linus Pauling Institute, which he helped to create, was moved from California to OSU, where it continues Pauling’s scientific legacy through internationally acclaimed research on vitamins and essential minerals. The institute was named a center of excellence for complementary and alternative medicine by the National Institutes of Health in 2003 — a status renewed recently with a $6-million grant from the NIH.

Pauling’s legacy lives on in many other ways at OSU as well, from the annual Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace to the Linus Pauling Chair in Chemical Engineering, held now by Dr. Philip Harding.

“Linus Pauling placed an enormous amount of trust in OSU to serve as the guardian of his legacy,” says Mead. “We take that responsibility very seriously, and we honor the faith he invested in OSU through our efforts to make his knowledge available to scholars around the world.”

Video Clip Pauling’s Interest in Sickle Cell Anemia

Audio Clip Molecular Disease Lectures Given at SUNY, New York, November 1970

Terry Christensen, with the help of his guide dog, Dutton, is earning a Ph.D.

Terry Christensen and Dutton
Terry Christensen and Dutton

For OSU History of Science Ph.D. candidate Terry Christensen, daily life is filled with rigors many doctoral students can relate to – 900 pages of reading a week, 25-page reading lists, and, of course, a dissertation. But unlike most doctoral students, Christensen meets those challenges without his eyesight. “Imagine looking at the world through waxed paper,” says Christensen, who is legally blind. Yet with support from Dutton, his guide dog, plus courage, mentors and OSU, Christensen is on his way — and winning awards in the process.

In 1994, Christensen had been a U.S. Merchant Marine deck officer for 13 years and a maritime science faculty member at Clatsop Community College for four. Before classes at Clatsop began that fall, Christensen noticed a problem with eye fatigue. By November he had a diagnosis: Leber’s optic neuropathy, a degenerative disease in the optic nerve. A month later, his visual acuity was below 20/200 – the threshold for legal blindness.

Christensen had been the kind of captain people trusted to navigate through the stormy Bering Sea, and he taught classes like celestial navigation and radar observer. Navigation, at least as he had known it, was out of the question. “I went through a time period when I thought if I couldn’t be a captain, I couldn’t be anything,” he says.

But Christensen — a physics major in college — was inspired while listening to a book by physicist Kip Thorne, who thanked his mentor, John Archibald Wheeler, in his acknowledgements. “It reminded me how much I missed physics and how much I enjoyed teaching,” says Christensen. “I wanted to get back to it.” When he did, Christensen also decided to focus his research on Wheeler, a theoretical physicist who revitalized the topic of general relativity and mentored 50 Ph.D. students, including Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman.

Christensen started at OSU in 2003 after earning a Master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at Marylhurst University. His research on Wheeler is based on the idea that a skillful, proficient mentor may have a multiplicative influence through generations of scientists.

His work on Wheeler is attracting attention — in the past year, Christensen has received awards and honors from the National Science Foundation, the American Institute of Physics, the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science and the American Philosophical Society.

The awards have helped Christensen conduct research all over the country. “He’s got a lot of courage, just setting out with a guide dog, getting on a train, getting on buses, getting on planes, doing what needs to be done,” says Mary Jo Nye, Horning Professor of the Humanities and Christensen’s mentor and adviser.

“It’s good to know that I’m doing something important and that the quality of my scholarship merits support,” says Christensen. But he won’t acknowledge his success without noting the people — and dog — that support him. Staff at Disability Access Services provides him with equipment and scanning services that let him keep up with his reading. Nye has been a patient mentor who believes in him. His wife, Betsy, is steadfastly encouraging. Dutton has been — in Christensen’s words — his pilot. “There is no better place to be a visually impaired scholar than Oregon State University,” says Christensen.

College of Liberal Arts
Disability Access Services
The OSU Award for Outstanding Service to Persons with Disabilities
Mary Jo Nye home page feature
Guide Dogs for the Blind
National Science Foundation
American Institute of Physics
Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science
American Philosophical Society