Select December media clippings

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Engaging an entire community
Polk County Itemizer-Observer  (Dec 30)

"The Independence City Council made a goal to better engage the city's Latino community. To accomplish that goal, City Manager David Clyne and Economic Development Director Shawn Irvine recruited the help of intern Elizabeth Calixtro.

Calixtro, a student at Willamette University in Salem, will spend about nine months on the three-phase project.

'I think the main point of importance for the city is that they are bringing in somebody to explore these issues,' she said. 'I can do what I can to create better communication. I think it's a great initiative for the city.'"

KMUZ marks second birthday with big plans
Statesman Journal (Dec 18)

In 2009, when the founders of Salem’s community radio station were scrounging their first donations, it took true optimists to envision KMUZ 88.5 FM as a reality. Now supporters are celebrating two years on the air. They have about 75 volunteer disc jockeys who run talk shows or spotlight such musical genres as punk, zydeco, Russian rock, accordion and classical...

Bill Smaldone, a history professor at Willamette University, has been serving on the board, but someday he’d like to do a show of his own. He already has picked out a title: “History Matters.

Building KMUZ, he said, “is one of the most important things you can do to build community. It gives a voice to people who would have no way to express their ideas or share their culture.”

Winning lottery or killed by asteroid
KOIN 6 News (Dec 13)

"If you buy a ticket every second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would take you eight years to—by chance—to get the winning ticket,' said Josh Laison. 'And in that time?' Chris Woodard asked. 'You would have spent something like twice the jackpot to get the winning ticket, " said Laison. 

Twitter CTO Adam Messinger: Q&A on his roots in eastern Oregon and the future of tweeting
The Oregonian (Dec 8)

"The Oregonian: How does somebody come from small-town, rural eastern Oregon, and a liberal arts school in Salem, get to California and a top job at one of the tech industry’s hottest companies?

Adam Messinger: My parents were a non-negligible part of that. My dad has a master’s degree in forestry, my mom, before she had kids, was a teacher. They were foundational. We traveled a lot, even though we lived out there. That made it possible for me to imagine it.

I loved growing up there, but I always knew that I was going to end up getting a job in technology.

I went to Willamette because it seemed like the best school for me in Oregon. I started there as a physics major, I worked at a couple physics labs over the summer and I found myself rewriting their software all the time. And I decided I would do that. I’m very happy I have a physics degree. It’s great training to think."

Willamette's basketball team powered by Samoans
D3 Hoops (Dec 4)

"Ioane’s Samoan heritage helped him connect with Manu and Smith, who are both starters for the Bearcats this season.

Manu’s father came to the United States from America Samoa while Smith grew up on the Islands before traveling to the U.S. to attend college.

Ioane said being Samoan helped both families feel comfortable sending their sons to play for Willamette.

'The parents obviously trusted me, knowing my background. They know our program is based on that same family concept of big brothers taking care of smaller brothers and respecting your elders,” Ioane said. 'I think that was easy for the parents … to trust me with them 10 months out of the year.'"

Ask The Experts: Can Employers Screen Job Applicants Based on Criminal Records?
Card Hub (Dec 2)

"If an employer in Colorado, for example, disqualified all convicted felons regardless of the crime or time of its commission, how could that possibly be fairly applied to a person who had been convicted years ago for the felony of marijuana possession with the intent to distribute for a job waiting tables in a State that no longer even criminalizes simple possession of marijuana? An employer would be hard pressed to challenge enforcement of Title VII against it if the policy operates to disqualify applicants for such a job, particularly if people of color had disproportionately been arrested and convicted for such a crime."

Suzanne Allen-Guerra, a Breckenridge architect, combines works and passion
Summit Daily (Dec 29)

"Allen-Guerra’s college education took her to Willamette University in Salem, Ore., and then on to The American University in Cairo, Egypt, studying art, architecture and economics. She eventually relocated to the Centennial State, where she received her master’s degree in architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver...

While comfortable working on large houses and sprawling acreage, Allen-Guerra’s crew doesn’t work only on the big projects. Recently, the company provided its services free of charge to help out a local Blue River family.

The couple was introduced to Allen-Guerra through a client. They had spent about four years saving for, buying and improving a lot of land in Blue River, just south of Breckenridge. Although both hold steady jobs in the county, earning enough to build their own house was out of reach, financially.

Allen-Guerra was impressed with their story, the fact that they were working hard to pursue their dream, and decided to help out. She donated the company’s services to help from the ground up, from architecture to engineering. The house is currently undergoing construction."

Japanese students complete study abroad program
Statesman Journal (Dec 13)

"When Tokyo International University student Tomoaki Ramon arrived at Willamette University in February, he was immediately taken out of his comfort zone.

'At first I had a lot of culture shock because Japan and America is so different,' he said.

Now Ramon, who completed the American Studies Program at Willamette University on Friday, says his English has improved and he’s more outspoken in class."

The Advocate: Nick Symmonds
Runner's World (Dec 10)

"'People laughed at me when I decided to go to a Division III school and not go Division I,' says Symmonds, who attended Willamette University. 'They laughed when I turned down medical school to chase my dream of running in the Olympics. They laughed when I lost at USAs this year after coming in unprepared. But these tough decisions have taken me to where I am today, and I'm very happy about where that place is.'"

Ancient art brings new visitors to Hallie Ford museum
Statesman Journal (Dec 8)

"In the three months that ended Nov. 30, 8,571 people viewed the show of ancient Near East art at the museum, 700 State St. That’s more than twice the number who visited the museum from September through November 2012, said Andrea Foust, the museum’s membership and public relations manager.

Estimates are that yearly attendance will hit 30,000, up from about 24,000 in past years."

Oregon newlyweds stop in Texas for breakfast
San Antonio Express-News (Dec 2)

"For the past four months, the couple from Portland have been driving around the country in a beige 1997 Ford Aerostar, having breakfast with interesting strangers and listening to their stories.

'It’s been a wonderful honeymoon. I don’t think I could have envisioned anything better, although someone did tell me I was a van wife,' said Dillard, 41, who teaches communications at Willamette University.

The idea behind the whimsical journey of discovery was to challenge the sense that America is increasingly a divided country, where strangers are dangerous and people have stopped talking to each other."