Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

College of Liberal Arts News

Students, faculty write essays for second Campus Conversations

The second edition of Campus Conversations, a collection of Willamette-produced essays meant to engage the campus in larger discussions on diversity and social justice, is now published online.

Students, faculty and staff submitted proposals on the theme, "Who is my neighbor? What is the relationship between the individual and community (considered locally, nationally and globally) and what duties and rights obtain in this relationship?"

The nine essays in the collection address everything from the culture of volunteerism in America to the exercise of free speech in a democracy to the practical difficulties of foreign aid.

The essayists are MaryAnn Almeida '09; Anya Ballinger '09; Daniel Bullard '10; Mark Conliffe, Russian professor; Ivo Dimitrov '08; Jim Frew, economics professor; Albert Furtwangler, independent scholar; David Gutterman, politics professor; and Nicholas Robinson '09.

The essayists were recognized at a celebration Friday, April 2, in Ford Hall.

Willamette author tells stories of those who confronted Hitler

Willamette University history professor William Smaldone's latest book, "Confronting Hitler: German Social Democrats in Defense of the Weimar Republic, 1929-1933," tells the stories of how ten Social Democratic leaders addressed the impending threat of Nazism and communism.

Full of relevant historical context, the book explores the constraints and political choices these leaders made in the shadow of Hitler's chancellorship and their struggle for political freedom and social justice. The book examines how circumstances and events shaped party leaders' perspectives and decisions.

It reveals a complex situation, in which democratic leaders faced a broad array of economic, political and social challenges in a deeply divided populace - with potential comparisons for the contemporary world.

"I hope my book offers a historical perspective that provides insight into modern political dilemmas," Smaldone said. "A lot has been written about Hitler, but this book deals with individual opposition-party leaders and what shaped their actions - or inactions."

The book is now available in paperback and can be purchased at Willamette's bookstore and at Amazon.com.

Willamette debate squad wins Ethics Bowl competition

Students from Willamette defeated Marylhurst University recently to win the Oregon Independent College Foundation's Fifth-Annual Ethics Bowl.

Willamette, which won the championship in 2007, also competed against strong teams from Linfield College and Concordia University to become the first repeat winner in event history.

The team members were Angelika Orletsky '10, an economics and Russian major; Marta Tarantsey '11, a French and rhetoric and media studies major; Tejeswara Reddy '12, an economics and environmental science major; and Rafael Baptista '12, a politics major. Faculty advisors were Willamette Professor Robert Trapp and Hilary Jones, director of development for the International Debate Education Association.

Hosted by University of Portland, the Ethics Bowl matched student teams from the OICF's ten member colleges and universities in five rounds of case debates on a variety of contemporary ethical dilemmas.

Competitors grappled with real-world ethical questions that challenged their thinking on topics such as the use of animals in research, university admission, coaches' compensation and a host of other timely issues.

Teams of three to five students competed in head-to-head team matches that were judged by panels of distinguished leaders from across Oregon and Washington, who listened to team presentations and offered reactions to students.

"The Ethics Bowl allows many of the brightest students from Oregon's foremost independent colleges to work with some of the region's most recognized business and community leaders," said Mohan Nair, chair of the OICF board of trustees. "This is a fabulous event that provides students with the opportunity to have in-depth discussions with business leaders that would rarely occur otherwise."

For the fourth year in a row, the Ethics Bowl was sponsored by Regence. For more information, including a list of judges, visit the OICF website.

Coquille Indian Tribe members to discuss tribal culture, history and future

Coquille Indian Tribe members will come together for a dialogue about the nation's history and current direction as part of Willamette University's Indian Country Conversations series.

"Dialogue Across Generations: Voices from the Coquille Tribe" will take place in Ford Hall at 7 p.m. April 9. It is free and open to the public.

Three generations of leadership are represented in the group, and members will speak in order of seniority, with George Wasson Jr. speaking first. Wasson is an elder, former Coquille tribal council member and retired University of Oregon staff member.

Wasson will be followed by Don Ivy, who researches and teaches cultural traditions of the Coquille people as Cultural Resources Coordinator for the tribe.

Shirod Younker, program manager of "Journeys In Creativity: Explorations in Native American Art and Culture" at Oregon College of Art and Craft, will follow. Younker is involved with other tribal members in the contemporary renewal of Coquille canoe traditions.
The Indian Country Conversations series was established in 2005 by Willamette President M. Lee Pelton to bring guests to the campus and broader Willamette Valley for dialogue, teaching and learning.

The series is sponsored by the President's Office and the College of Liberal Arts. It is coordinated by anthropology Professor Rebecca Dobkins, in consultation with the university's community-based Native American Advisory Council.

Salem Chamber honors Willamette alumni with service award

The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce recently honored Fred VanNatta '60 and Ryan Collier JD'97 with Distinguished Service Awards.

A political science major at Willamette, VanNatta went on to earn a master's degree in political science and found VanNatta Public Relations in Salem. He is a founding member of SEDCOR (Strategic Economic Development Corporation) and the Oregon State Capitol Foundation, and is a charter member of Salem City Club and the Oregon Small Business Coalition.

VanNatta began a 40-year career as a lobbyist in 1965 in the Oregon Legislature. In 1968 he served as the western region director for the Ronald Reagan presidential campaign and chief of staff for the Republican Governor's Conference in California.

Collier, who earned a law degree at Willamette, was honored as Salem's first outstanding young professional. His Salem law office serves clients in Oregon and Washington with an emphasis in estate planning, probate and trust administration. He has received the Carson Award for Extraordinary Service to the Bar and was named Lawyer of the Year by the Marion-Polk Volunteer Lawyer Project.