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
Gary Malecha, a longtime professor of political science at the University of Portland, has received a 2014 Spirit of Holy Cross Award. The award is given annually to lay collaborators of the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers. The award recognizes lay collaborators who devotedly work to make Blessed Basil Moreau’s vision and mission to “make God known, loved, and served” a reality at the Congregation’s education, parish and mission apostolates.
Malecha was one of six award recipients announced on Sept. 15 by Rev. Thomas O’Hara, C.S.C., provincial superior of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers, to mark the Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows.
“On our Congregation’s feast day — the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows — we thank our lay collaborators who are living examples of stewardship to the Word of God and the embodiment of Our Lady’s love for all her children,” Fr. O’Hara said. “This year’s Spirit of Holy Cross recipients live their vocation through their work with Holy Cross. May God continue to bless them as they give of their time and talents.”
Malecha, who has been a professor at the University since 1992, served as chairman of the Department of Political Science for 13 years and currently serves as the NCAA faculty athletic representative for the University. He earned a bachelor’s of political science, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. (1976); a master’s of science in political science from Notre Dame (1978); and a doctorate in political science from Notre Dame (1987). He also has served as a lecturer, teaching assistant and assistant or associate professor at Purdue University North Central; Indiana University South Bend; Notre Dame; University of Northern Iowa; California Polytechnic State University; Trinity College; and Weber State University. He has been married to Linda Gammill, Ph.D., for 27 years.
Malecha was nominated by Rev. Jeffrey Allison, C.S.C., on behalf of the Holy Cross Community at the University of Portland. Fr. Allison said Malecha is supportive of the mission of Holy Cross and is deeply committed to students at the University.
“He is highly regarded by the faculty and students here,” Fr. Allison said, noting that Gary won the Becky Houck Award for Excellence in Advising and the James Culligan Award, the highest award a UP faculty member can receive. “In many ways, Gary embodies the Spirit of Holy Cross. His concern for educating the whole person is evident in his genuine concern for his students both in and out of the classroom.”
The 2014 recipients are:
Holy Cross at University of Portland will formally honor Malecha at Mass and a dinner in January, 2015 as part of the celebrations of Blessed Moreau’s life (Father Moreau died on January 20, 1873 in Le Mans, France). Honorees will receive a proclamation of gratitude signed by Provincial Superior Fr. Tom O’Hara on behalf of the entire U.S. Province.
The College of Arts and Sciences is happy welcome six nine new CAS faculty members into the UP community.
Aarti B. Arora, Ph.D, Visiting Lecturer, Communication Studies
Born and raised in India, Aarti B. Arora received her doctoral degree at the Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University, and earned her master’s degree in Communication Studies from Marshall University. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Child Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, and earned credits towards her undergraduate degree by attending Harvard Summer School at Harvard University. Her primary interest lies in uncovering what motivates people to choose complementary and alternative medicine and how culture and communication influence such choices.
Christina A. Astorga, Ph.D,Chair, Professor, Department of Theology
Christina A. Astorga previously taught at Gonzaga University. She was the first woman and layperson to serve as Chair of the Theology Department of the Ateneo de Manila-Loyola Schools, and completed her doctoral degree at the Loyola School of Theology in 1992. She did her post-doctoral study as a visiting scholar at Weston Jesuit School of Theology from 1996-1997, was a Fellow at the Jesuit Institute of Boston College in 2003, and at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in 2004. She was the Founding Director for the Center for the Study of Catholic Social Thought of Duquesne University from 2007-2011. Her second book, Catholic Moral Theology and Social Ethics: A New Method, received the 2014 College Theology Society Best Book Award. Astorga was the recipient of the National Outstanding Teacher Award in the Philippines in 2000.
Gregory May, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychological Sciences
After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Portland, Gregory May completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Pacific University’s School of Professional Psychology. May has been a professor since 2008, teaching undergraduate and graduate level psychology courses at both his alma maters. He has a clinical practice in Vancouver, Washington, specializing in traumatic stress response, relationships, psychoeducational and vocational assessment, and organizational consulting. His background in Montessori education provides the foundation for creating collaborative learning environments, fostering andragogical learning by placing an emphasis on experiential opportunities.
Matthias Kullowatz, M.S., Visiting Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Matthias Kullowatz has taught mathematics and statistics at the University of Porltand, as well as at Portland State University, Washington State University, and the Portland Jewish academy. In the past five years, he has worked in various capacities with students ranging in age from three to 60 years old. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Lewis and Clark College and his master’s degree from Portland State University, where he taught as a graduate assistant. Matthias spends his free time playing sports and writing about statistical trends in sports. In 2013 he started a website dedicated to the analysis of Major League Soccer, and he thinks that Sporting Kansas City—not the Seattle Sounders—are the plurality favorites to repeat as MLS Cup Champions in 2014.
Jen McDaneld, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, English
Jen McDaneld comes to the University of Portland from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She holds a Ph.D. in American literature from UNC and a Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies from Duke University. Her research examines how narratives about the early U.S. women’s rights movement circulate in twentieth and twenty-first century American cultural discourse, with essays recently published and forthcoming in journals like Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Her current project explores first-wave feminist memoir as a way of theorizing the relationship between U.S. feminism and American literary history.
Jeffrey W. Meiser, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Political Science
Before joining the Political Science Department at the University of Portland, Jeffrey W. Meiser was an Associate Professor at the College of International Security Affairs in the Regional and Analytical Studies Department and Director of the South and Central Asia Program. At CISA he has taught Methods of Analysis and Argumentation, Research Methods, American Way of War, Strategic Thought, and Frontline of Global War: South Asia Since 1979. He previously taught courses on American foreign policy and energy and environmental security at the University of California, Santa Barbara, The Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Mannheim. Meiser’s book Power and Restraint: The Rise of the United States, 1898-1941 will be published next year by Georgetown University Press. He grew up in Western Washington and is happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest after nine years of exile in Washington, DC.
Susan Murray, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biology
Susan Murray has been interested in the immune system since the summer following her junior year in college when she foreswore waitressing at Marc’s Big Boy Restaurant to take a job in an immunology laboratory at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, she obtained a Ph.D. from Oregon Health & Science University in 2002. Following a one-year hiatus as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Portland, Susan completed a post-doctoral fellowship at OHSU and went on to become a research assistant professor in the department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. During this time, she also taught immunology at the University of Portland as an adjunct faculty member. Susan is excited to be back at UP full-time as an assistant professor in the biology department. She maintains close contacts with her immunology colleagues at OHSU and is an affiliate member of the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology department there.
Sruthi Rothenfluch, Ph.D, Visiting Assistant Professor, Philosophy
Sruthi Rothenfluch completed her doctoral degree at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln in 2011, and is a 2003 alumna. Before joining the Philosophy Department, she taught at Pacific University, Lewis and Clark College, and at the University of Portland as an adjunct professor. Her research interests lie primarily in epistemology and, more recently, neuroethics. Rothenfluch is a Portland native, living in the northwest with her husband and daughter, and is happy to have settled in Portland after stints in the mid-west and Washington state.
Valerie Walters, Ph.D., Instructor, Chemistry
A native of Michigan, Valerie Walters received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University. Since then she has taught chemistry at Lafayette College (where she was awarded tenure), Haverford College, Willamette University and, for the past two years, as an adjunct and visiting instructor at the University of Portland. She was the owner of a consulting business specializing in chemical education. After teaching for many years and fueled by an additional interest in chemical information, she earned an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Drexel University. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Special Library Association (Chemistry Division). She has lived on both coasts and in the Midwest, but loves the Pacific Northwest region most of all.
The policical science department will mark Constitution Day with a lecture by UP political science professor Gary Malecha, titled “Congressional Elections in a New Political Environment.” Malecha will discuss the upcoming 2014 congressional elections and how they might impact presidential-congressional relations and policy which will make up the rest of the Obama presidency. His lecture, free and open to all, is set for Wednesday, September 17, at 6 p.m., in Shiley Hall room 101.
For more information contact political science at 7274 or email@example.com.
Students in diverse fields, from political science to environmental studies to education, had a chance to meet with former Reps. Gil Gutknecht (R-Minnesota) and Martin Lancaster (D-North Carolina). On Feb. 24 in the Bauccio Commons, the UP community gathered for a Q-and-A session, focusing mainly on the current state of Congress, how it has changed and the role it plays in American life.
Gutknecht compared his time in the House of Representatives to his time in the Minnesota state legislature, and spoke of the differences in debate between the two. According to him, there is a lack of debate in Congress.
“Essentially, what happens in Congress is members just get up and read speeches, unfortunately very often written by their staffs, and there isn’t the give and take,” Gutknecht said. “Members are seldom persuaded by the debate on the floor of the House. In fact, members rarely even listen to the debate that’s going on in the floor of the House.”
Both former congressmen spoke with dismay over the loss of collegiality and bipartisanship they see in today’s politics, and blamed the lack of opportunities for representatives across the aisle to get to know each other.
“There’s very little opportunity for members of Congress to get to know each other on a personal level,” Lancaster said. “There’s less fact-finding trips when members of both parties can get to know each other. There’s just a different atmosphere now.”
Senior Leah Becker asked the congressmen to speak about the lack of women, and how it can be improved.
“Find stronger women. We win with the people who show up, we need to find good candidates who will set up and run,” Gutknecht responded. “There are some good backbenchers on both sides of the political aisle today … There are some pretty strong women in politics today that you will see coming and I think will be stepping up in a few years.”
After the event, Becker was still mulling over Gutknecht’s response before she and the German Culture Club met with both congressmen.
“I was frustrated that their answer was to find strong women when we clearly have strong women continually running who aren’t being voted in and are harshly being depicted in the media, and I was a little frustrated that that wasn’t addressed or maybe even not known by (former congressman) Gutknecht,” Becker said.
Junior Josh Cleary questioned Gutknecht and Lancaster about the importance of civics education, and whether it should be emphasized in the education system from elementary school through grade school.
Lancaster said he views civics education as very important, and mentioned the law in North Carolina requiring one year of civics education for students.
Gutknecht mentioned his own experience of having good social studies teachers. He also highlighted the importance of morality education. He spoke of his dismay at Catholic schools not teaching his own children what he believed should be taught in terms of morality.
“If I were to say anything, now I paid a lot of money in tuition to various schools for my kids. I can say I’m embarrassed to say how little they learned that I thought they needed to learn about morality,” said Gutknecht. “For example, and I asked some classes earlier today (at UP). Even in parochial schools, they don’t teach the Seven Deadly Sins anymore. They don’t teach a lot of the things that we were taught growing up. They’re Seven Deadly Sins because they are deadly. They’re not seven kind of mistakes. I think kids need to understand that.”
Political science professor Gary Malecha closed the event by asking a question he’s always wondered about, concerning the controversial relationship between the House of Representatives and the Senate.
“How do the folks in the in the House of Representatives feel about the Senate?” Malecha said, meeting some laughter from the audience.
“There’s always been, in my belief, (the feeling) that the enemy was not the other party, but the other body,” Lancaster said. “It’s just a natural fact of political life that the House and Senate just don’t get along. It’s been true back through my legislative career, so for the last 20-plus years, there’s been incredible tension between the House and the Senate.”
Some students were glad to have the chance to discuss political issues with people who have served in political positions.
“It’s so rare that university students get to talk to people who have been in government,” Cleary said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Sourced from Beacon
Oregon humanities is looking for people eager to traverse the valley, mountains, and deserts of Oregon’s thirty-six countries, bringing neighbors, friends, and strangers together to exchange words and ideas.
Since 2009, the Conversation project has worked with nearly 200 nonprofits across the state to offer more than 400 discussions on topics as varied as race, land-use policies, gender, censorship, and the future of rural communities.
What happens when people sit together and talk? the world becomes a more connected, more interesting, more vital place.
Be part of this movement to engage Oregonians with one another. Apply to be a Conversation Project leader today. Visit Oregonhumanities.org to read full Request for Proposals and apply online. THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 14, 2014.
For questions, contact Director of programs Jennifer Allen at (503) 241-0543 or (800) 735-0543, ext. 118, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Portland will welcome former congressmen Gil Gutknecht (R-Minnesota) and Martin Lancaster (D-NC) on Monday, February 24, at 7 p.m., in the Bauccio Commons. The event is free and open to all. The former congressmen will discuss the important role that Congress plays in the American political system and the challenges it confronts in carrying out that role.
Gutknecht and Lancaster will be on campus for two days visiting classes and meeting with student leaders, clubs, and programs. The visit is made possible through the Congress to Campus program, created by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress in an effort to improve college students’ understanding of Congress and American government, and to encourage them to consider careers in public service. The program sends bipartisan pairs of former Members of Congress – one Democrat and one Republican – to visit college, university and community college campuses around the country.
From UP Beat
Vail Fletcher and her communication studies students received a competitive Oregon Humanities Conversation Starter Project grant to host a program titled, “Beyond Bars: Rethinking Our Reliance on Prisons” on Thursday, November 21, 7-9 p.m., in the Bauccio Commons. It will be an interactive conversation focused on considering the following questions: What role do prisons serve in our country? Is it possible to envision a world where people are safe and secure, and where there is accountability, without prisons? Does our prison system, in some cases, actually cause rather than reduce crime? The event is sponsored in part by the Garaventa Center, the Department of Social Justice, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of Communication Studies. The event will be immediately followed by a dessert reception. All community members are welcome. Please contact Fletcher at email@example.com with any questions and/or if you plan on bringing your class.