Anna Murphy, Senior Business major and president of the University of Portland Speech and Debate Union, advanced to the semifinals placing 3rd in the Pi Kappa Delta, National Debate Tournament held in Lexington Kentucky last week. Congratulations Anna!
Paul Munn (senior, double-major in German Studies and Engineering) has been accepted to a competitive and prestigious Cultural Vistas Summer Internship in Germany for summer 2016. After making it through a rigorous selection process that involved writing a c.v. and statement of purpose in German, Paul was chosen to complete a paid summer internship with a German engineering firm. (The placement is not yet finalized, but he has been contacted by two firms so far.) It is such a terrific opportunity for a student who has been so hardworking in two disciplines.
He will also be speaking about his experiences with German and Engineering at Founder’s Day, on our panel “Expand Your World: Combining Language Study with a Second Major” during Session I, 10:15-11:05, in Franz 026. We’d love to see you there!
Junior Parents and Families Weekend 2016
Students, their parents, and interested faculty and staff filled the University’s primary convocation hall, Buckley Center Auditorium, on Saturday morning, February 20th, 2016 for an Academic Showcase spotlighting the College of Arts and Sciences. The Office of Student Activities hosted the Showcase and featured thought-provoking “Ted Talks” styled presentations presented by expert faculty in the humanities, social, and natural sciences showcasing the wide variety of expertise in the College of Arts and Sciences. Through hearing from different disciplines, the speakers gave the audience a chance to sample the offerings a core education provides to students.
Dean Michael Andrews was acting MC for the showcase, and began the event reminding those present of the University’s mission, the education of the head, heart and hands, and what a benefit this mission is to our students. CAS pulls together a required 39 credits of core classes that are the life blood of the University. These core education classes are an important part of a Catholic education which prepares students to be successful throughout their lives. The average graduate today faces a future in which they will change careers a minimum of 5 times. To add to the challenge, changing technology means we don’t even know how that future will look. Our job in the College is to help envision that future. Today’s graduates will live their lives in a world of knowledge we can’t begin to imagine. A strong core education is the best preparation for the challenges our graduates will face.
Dean Andrews shared what a privilege it is for CAS students to associate with the best faculty and the best students. He said faculty members don’t even wait for office hours, they sit with door open, and they want to know “what are you thinking about.” CAS faculty help studentss with the question “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?”
Dr. Elinor Sullivan, introduced by Dean Andrews, recently received a NIMH grant of almost $4 million, a Bill & Melinda Gates grant and a Murdock Life Science Grant. Dr. Sullivan’s presentation: “Physiology: The Study of How Our Body Functions” included a slide show giving a visual view of our cells and showing the effects of the obesity epidemic on our bodies and the long-term impact of maternal obesity on the mental health and physiology of the developing offspring. Obesity leads to inflammation and there is increasing evidence that this inflammation damages the body’s ability to function and, importantly, maternal obesity exposes the developing offspring to elevated levels of inflammatory factors that negatively impact the development of critical organs such as the brain. She emphasized that studying maternal obesity does not place any blame on mothers, but rather that we are trying to understand the process by which maternal obesity impacts the developing offspring so we can develop effective therapeutics and preventative interventions. The results of our studies can also be used to provide information to physicians so they can most effectively advise pregnant patients and to policy makers to allow them to create policies to improve our nation’s health.
The second speaker, Dr. Kevin Jones, who is the Social Work Practicum Director, presented on research concerning the relationship between Native American values and Social Work. Dr. Jones mentioned his interest in foster care and other challenges in our society, creating a demand for Social Workers. He proceeded by presenting for the audience “The Circle of Courage in College: Integrating Native American Cultural Principles into Social Work Education.” Dr. Jones introduced research into how Native American concepts can be beneficially applied to the field of Social Work. These Native American values create an environment where every member of the tribe belongs. For example, they don’t even have a word for cousin; those who are related to each other as cousins refer to each other as brother and sister. This belonging environment develops trust, inclusion, warmth, friendship, cooperation, and finally mastery, yielding a positive cascading chain of events that help to develop a whole person who is well-rounded, competent, generous, able to identify their feelings, offers complements, and works well with others. Dr. Jones reviewed each of these attributes and what they look like, such as how true generosity involves real sacrifice. What this means is learning to cope with adversity, deal with competing tasks and priorities, to learn and do better and to develop independence, not as self-sufficiency, but rather the ability to make decisions with the support from belonging.
The final speaker, Dr. Alex Santana spoke of how the core curriculum exposes and engages students in metaphysics. This emphasis on metaphysics is distinctive to the University of Portland and gives students an exposure they otherwise would not have an opportunity to experience. Metaphysics is the study of the nature of the constitution and structure of reality. The study of what “is” is called ontology and the question “is it real” is called cosmology. The question “Is there God?” is ontology and the question “What is space and time?” is cosmology.
Dr. Santana’s presentation was titled “Some Aztec Metaphysics.” The Aztec view of reality was that universal change is how the universe works, that stability is an illusion. The Aztec had a word “teotl” for the one and only primordial cosmic energy force or power that underlies all existence. This teotl is the underlying of all existence and is entirely non-personal in the same way that electricity is impersonal. Teotl neither likes, loves, nor hates, it just is and should be respected, channeled and nourished. Teotl is the power that makes the universe and all of us go.
The final presentation was followed by a Q&A session in which audience members raised several important points, including some tough questions to the panel.
The CAS Showcase was closed by a thank you to the audience from Dean Andrews. He reminded us again that the goal of UP’s humanities-based, liberal arts University Core Curriculum is to partner with students and parents, that we all want to help students become the kind of people they want to be, the kind of people their parents want them to be, and the kind of people God wants them to be.
Junior Parents and Families Weekend is an annual tradition hosted by the Office of Student Activities and includes presentations from the College of Arts and Sciences and each of the professional schools of the University of Portland. Again this year the presentations gave students and their parents an opportunity to experience first-hand the joy of the University of Portland’s Catholic and Holy Cross mission.
On the evening of Saturday, January 23, 2016, over 400 students, faculty, and guests packed Buckley Auditorium for a special showing of “The General,” a classic black and white silent film staring Buster Keaton that featured a full film score written by Environmental Studies major Dana Coppernoll-Houston as her senior capstone student research project. Under the directorship of Dr. David DeLyser, the film score was performed live by the UP Orchestra. Sponsored by the McNerney-Hanson Endowed Chair in Ethics, Dr. Andrews, Dean of CAS, noted that, “The General explores ethical themes of war, love, death, honor, loss, and joy. Produced in 1926, it is a film that critics have called the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made. The film and orchestral score invite us to enter-into a work of art in order to be transformed by it. The film raises the question of the relationship between ethics and art. Why do human beings create art / music / poetry / drama / theater at all? The General illuminates for us deep, moral truths about the human condition. It is no accident that artists, ranging from Plato’s Republic down to our own American democratic experiment, are often viewed as perhaps the single most dangerous element in society. After all, artists speak thru the discourse of symbol, illusion, metaphor. On the other hand, ethics, the Greeks remind us, entails rational discourse amidst the search for virtuous action. As a work of art, The General pushes rational discourse to its absolute limit. Think of Greek tragedy, the medieval passion play, 19th and early 20th century Italian and German opera, the works of Moliere and Jean-Paul Sartre and Chekov, improvisational jazz, contemporary RAP music, etc. In the College of Arts and Sciences, this uneasy relationship between ethics and art underlies what is principally meant by the ‘liberal” or ‘liberating’ arts. It is what makes the humanities and the liberal arts possible, it is what animates the Catholic sacramental imagination and the Holy Cross mission of this University.” Edmund Stone, national film score expert, presented a pre-concert film and music talk.
Every Wednesday, the music department hosts an event featuring musicians from a variety of different musical disciplines. See the schedule below or visit the music department’s website for more information about music at midweek events.
Music at Midweek Schedule for Spring Semester:
- W, 1/20/16 Ryan Walsh, Guitar
- W, 1/27/16 Marla Fogderud, Soprano & Susan McDaniel, Piano
- W, 2/3/16 Arnica String Quartet
- W, 2/10/16 DUO Stephanie and Saar
- W, 2/17/16 Zachary Spellman, Tuba & Karen Hutchinson, Piano
- W, 2/24/16 Julia Hawakyu Lee, Deborah Cleaver, Harold Gray, Alexander Schwarzkopf, Pianists
- W, 3/2/16 Portland Opera Young Artists
- W, 3/16/16 Allen Saunders, Baritone and Jeffrey Peterson, Piano
- W, 3/26-4/20/16 UP Student Performers
University of Portland hosted the 40th Murdock conference on November 6th and 7th. Two University of Portland students earned the Murdock Poster Prize award in Environmental Science. Their poster was titled: “Performance of a Vegetated Roof with Xeric Species in Portland, OR” and was co-authored by Calli VanderWilde and Brooke Holmes. Ted Eckmann acted as their faculty advisor.
Dear Friends of the College of Arts and Sciences,
As we enter deeper into fall semester and anticipate the reflective cycle of Advent and the birth of a new year, let us remember to take time to be grateful for the many gifts of mind, body, and spirit that are ours. Over and over we are called to be faithful to the call of the prophet Micah: “Act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.” In the spirit of sharing and building community, I invite you to catch-up on a number of important initiatives of the College by perusing the CAS Dean’s Report, which is attached below as a download.
This has been a very busy Fall Semester! We welcomed 368 freshmen into the College of Arts and Sciences Class of 2019 in August. I am deeply grateful for the good work of the associate deans and the dean’s office staff, the faculty, and our CAS Office Managers for preparing the academic programs offered through the College’s fifteen departments and five interdisciplinary minors. Also, my gratitude to the upper administration’s strong support in helping us meet our academic responsibilities to serve our majors, minors, and the University Core Curriculum. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in helping ensure that every UP student continues to receive the very best Holy Cross liberal arts education possible in the humanities and the natural and social sciences.
Integrative Conversations: Students, faculty, and staff packed the University of Portland Bookstore on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 for the second Integrative Conversations event hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, the McNerney-Hanson Endowed Chair in Ethics and the Catholic Studies Program. Dr. Michael F. Andrews (Dean, Philosphy), Dr. Gary Malecha (Political Science), Dr. William Barnes (Economics), Dr. Tina Astorga (Theology), and Dr. Steve Kolmes (Environmental Studies) gathered in the newly renovated bookstore to discuss the implications of climate change on the environment, society, and the entire world. Their discussion was guided by Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment. Dean Andrews was acting MC for the night, and began the event by comparing the integration of disciplines present at the event to the integration of the College of Arts and Sciences curriculum. Through hearing from different disciplines, the speakers gave the audience a chance to understand climate change through multiple different lenses. Please read the full story of this event, below.
CAS faculty searches: Currently the College of Arts and Sciences is conducting six replacement faculty searches for AY16. Since I have the privilege of meeting with all of the final candidates from each search, I know full well the amount of hard work and effort that departments and individuals and search committees consistently extend. As the dean, I believe there is no single work more important to our academic mission than the hiring of excellent faculty, teachers, researchers, mentors, and colleagues.
Congratulations to nine CAS faculty members granted sabbatical during one or both semesters of AY2016: Profs. Christin Hancock (HST), Greg Hill (MTH), McRee (SOC), Curtis (POL), Downs (PSY), More (PHY), Orr (ENG), McDonald (ENG), and McLary (ILC). We wish them success in their scholarly endeavors and look forward to learning more about their research and writing projects when they return to campus.
Program Review is now underway for the Department of Biology. Thanks again to everyone involved in Biology’s program review and planning for the external visit. Last year’s Program Reviews for Theology and Sociology were very successful and will be helpful for future planning and assessment. These two departments are awaiting the President’s Response to the External Visitor’s Report; then each department will be invited to share its final reflections in order to close the loop. Special thanks to Associate Dean Norah Martin for helping keep everyone involved, focused, and on-track throughout the ongoing process of assessment.
I am pleased to report that an updated CAS Mission Statement is now posted online. The Dean’s Task Force met numerous times over the course of eighteen months, reviewing several drafts. Under the able guidance of Steve Kolmes (Molter Chair in Science), other members of the Task Force included Ed Valente (Chemistry); Cara Hersh (English); Laura McLary (International Languages & Cultures); Dann Pierce (Communication Studies); and Anne Santiago (Political Science). The Task Force presented the fifth working draft in Spring Semester 2015, which was distributed for comments and recommendations to the faculty. Dr. Kolmes presented the sixth draft at All-College Meeting on August 27, at which time faculty were given an opportunity to review the statement and share additional comments before a final draft was completed. The updated CAS Mission Statement is now available on the College’s website.
2015 Murdock College Science Research Conference: Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s annual Murdock Student Research Conference on November 6-7, 2015, co-hosted by the University of Portland in Vancouver, WA. All of the UP student presentations and poster sessions were excellent. Special congratulations to UP students Calli VanderWilde and Brooke Homes and Dr. Ted Eckmann, ENV faculty advisory, who received a Murdock Poster Prize in Environmental Science for excellent student poster presentations in the life sciences: “Performance of a Vegetated Roof with Xeric Species in Portland, OR”
The second CAS All-College Council will take place on Friday, January 22, 3:30-5PM. This is meeting of all CAS department chairs, program directors, and directors of minors provides an annual gathering of CAS academic leadership.
Some special CAS Faculty to Congratulate:
Congratulations to Dr. Robert Butler (Environmental Studies) who has been awarded the 2015 Neil Miner Award in honor of his exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth sciences. Dr. Butler is a professor of science in the Department of Environmental Studies and received the Fred Fox Distinguished Service to Science Education Award from the Oregon Science Teachers Association in October, 2014. Bob will be officially retiring from UP at the end of fall semester, and we look forward to celebrating this important occasion with him later in the year.
Dr. Christina Astorga’s (Chair, Theology) second book, Catholic Moral Theology and Social Ethics: A New Method, won third place in the Catholic Press Association book Award for 2015. Tina also received the 2014 College Theological Society Best Book Award.
Dr. Alice Gates (Sociology and Social Work), is this year’s winner of the Marie O. Weil Outstanding Scholarship Award, co-sponsored by the Association of Community Organizations and Social Administration (ACOSA) and Taylor & Francis Publisher. Dr. Gates’ article, “Integrating social services and social change: Lessons from an immigrant worker center,” was based on her multi-year ethnography of an immigrant workers’ organization in southeastern Michigan. The award recognizes outstanding scholarship published in the Journal of Community Practice and is based on contributions to the field, scholarly approach, and promotion of macro practice values.
Michael F. Andrews, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
McNerney-Hanson University Endowed Chair in Ethics and
Professor of Philosophy
Students, faculty, and staff packed the University of Portland Bookstore on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 for the Integrative Conversations event hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, the McNerney-Hanson Endowed Chair in Ethics and the Catholic Studies Program. Dr. Michael Andrews (Dean, Philosphy), Dr. Gary Malecha (Political Science), Dr. William Barnes (Economics), Dr. Tina Astorga (Theology), and Dr. Steve Kolmes (Environmental Studies) gathered in the newly renovated bookstore to discuss the implications of climate change on the environment, society, and the entire world. Their discussion was guided by Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment. Dean Andrews was acting MC for the night, and began the event by comparing the integration of disciplines present at the event to the integration of the College of Arts and Sciences curriculum. Through hearing from different disciplines, the speakers gave the audience a chance to understand climate change through multiple different lenses.
Though climate change is often viewed as an environmental issue, the discussion proved that its effects reach much further. The topics discussed included environmental impact, political implications, gender issues, economics, power disparities, theology, ethics, anthropology, and many more.
Dr. Malecha spoke to the political agenda present in the Encyclical and how it is an encompassing document that offends every political party in the United States. He also mentioned how this document covers more than just climate change—but rather the character of the world and how we act towards it. Dr. Malecha argued that the Encyclical more than anything is a political document and wonders how we can all discuss the matters of climate change when we are all speaking different languages and are unable to hear views that dissent from our own.
Dr. Barnes viewed the Encyclical as document that engages social questions and he used economic theory to touch on these social questions. One of his major points was that future generations are not only going to carry a bigger burden of trying to deal with and find solutions for climate change, but they are also going to bear a greater economic burden in doing so. Dr. Barnes viewed this document as a call to action and based his discussion mostly around societal and economic implications that the ever-changing climate has on the world.
Dr. Astorga discussed how the Encyclical is more than just a political statement, but rather it brings social justice issues into question. She talked mostly about the disadvantages that this global crisis has on the poor and underprivileged nations. Dr. Atorga is from the Philippines, and discussed her views of American culture and consumerism from the view of experiencing them all for the first time, and comparing them to what she experienced growing up in the Philippines. She also talked about how the larger nations are in a way outsourcing the climate crisis to other nations by moving factories and thus waste to underprivileged nations. Her overarching question of the night was how should human kind relate to the earth and how should we see ourselves in relation to the earth. She argues that the Encyclical, more than anything is a religious document.
Dr. Kolmes discussed how humans act as if we made the Earth and treat it as so, when the Earth is a gift that is given to everyone. Although Portland is a small place in the scheme of the world, it is a good place to start implementing environmentally conscious ideas according to Dr. Kolmes. He talked about how there is always a discussion about protecting the Earth for our grandchildren, but claimed that this is not an issue that the college aged generation should be concerned as much about, but it is rather his generation that should be focusing on working on solutions now because the new generation of people in college are his grandchildren—and the older generation is failing them by waiting for them to make the changes.
A 45-minute student / faculty Q&A session raised several important points, including that not everyone sees the world the same way and so we must be able to understand and to be open to perspectives that are different from our own. This is one of the goals of UP’s humanties-based, liberal arts University Core Curriculum, namely, that until we learn to have integrated conversations about these issues, we will just be shouting past one another rather than having productive conversations with each other.
This event was the second Integrative Conversations event hosted at the University of Portland by the McNerney-Hanson Endowed Chair in Ethics, The Catholic Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Collaborative for Reason, Ethics, and Faith (REF). Based on the tremendous success of both events, additional “Integrative Conversations” topics and events will be planned. Also, Dean Andrews will be hosting a series of follow-up discussions concerning Pope Francis’ Encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home,” with faculty and students from the College and the professional schools as an ongoing activity of the McNerney-Hanson “Ethics Across the Curriculum” initiative. To read the Encyclical and to learn more about this ongoing conversation, visit this link.
–Written by Joanna Monaco, Class of 2017
Just as midterms wrap up and the rush of finals is ever too near, make sure to set a chunk of time aside to meet with your advisor and work on a schedule for next semester. With registration for the Spring Semester beginning next week, be sure that you have met with your Academic Advisor to receive your Registration PIN. For more information on the Registration Process, the Registrar’s Office has a step-by-step guide on registration. If you have any questions, don’t be shy–contact the College’s Advising Suite by visiting Buckley Center 216, calling 503-943-7221 (or ext. 7221, on campus), or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and there will be someone to help you though each step of the registration process
Unsure of who your academic advisor is? You can find that information on Self-Serve, through PilotsUP.
Simply go to: Student > Student Records > View Student Information > Select the appropriate term > and your Primary Advisor will be listed.
If you have met with your advisor and still have questions about your progress towards a degree, or you credit fulfillment, check out degree works. You can visit the office of the Registrar website for more information about how degree works operates and how to access your student account.
UP prides itself on being ranked third in the nation among producers of Fulbright Scholars. The path to teaching or doing research in a foreign country after graduation requires months of preparation, as seniors find out through working on Fulbright applications.
Dylan Vahradian, a triple major in Spanish, philosophy and political science, applied for a research Fulbright in Chile, approaching it as a jumping off point for figuring out what kind of education he wants to pursue in the future.
“I didn’t feel ready to go immediately into graduate school. I don’t quite have a good understanding of what I want to do,” Vahradian said. “The Fulbright will hopefully allow me to explore an avenue that otherwise I wouldn’t have the opportunity to.”
In his research, Vahradian is especially interested in land right issues of indigenous people in Chile. Having started the application process halfway through his junior year, he describes the process as hectic, but simultaneously rewarding because it pushed him academically.
“It definitely has been the thing that I have put the most effort into in my entire life,” Vahradian said.
Vahradian noted that researching his subject and developing his ideas took up most of his time, but that the process provided him with clarity, allowing him to already narrow down what he wants to do with his life after graduation.
Fatima Scotto-Rodriguez, a Spanish major, applied for an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grant in Spain. She hopes to learn from different teaching styles abroad to become a better teacher in the future.
Working on the grant proposal was the hardest part of the application process for Scotto-Rodriguez. The grant proposal is a two-page outline for students to explain the purpose and vision they have for their projects.
“You are like, ‘How do I sell myself?’ But at the same time it helps you build confidence,” Scotto-Rodriguez said. “Now I know how to really express why I’m a better candidate than other people.”
In being forced to reflect on herself and working closely with several professors at UP, Scotto-Rodriguez said that the application process has already yielded valuable results.
Augustus Leveque-Eichhorn, a political science and Spanish major, applied for an ETA in Spain after he found out about Fulbright from professors. In his grant proposal, he pitched the idea of teaching ballroom dance to Spanish students learning English as a second language.
“I thought that it’d kind of be an informal way for students and the community at large to continue their English language learning,” Leveque-Eichhorn said.
He believes that the international outlook gained from participating in community projects and teaching abroad will be beneficial for the career he aspires to have in politics.
“I do think that that being able to say that I’ve been part of an international community, been able to assimilate into a new culture is something that will help me in the long run,” Leveque-Eichhorn said.
The applications were due on Oct. 13 and award recipients will be announced between March 2 and May 29, 2016.
–Story from the Beacon by Alina Rosenkranz