Select April 2011 media clips
Inc. Magazine names Rob Wiltbank’s class one of the top 10 entrepreneurship courses of the year. “So while half his M.B.A. candidates at Willamette, a small liberal-arts school in Salem, Oregon, are launching start-ups, the rest are evaluating start-ups while embedded with angel groups. ‘We are learning entrepreneurship from both sides of the table,’ says Wiltbank, an associate professor at Willamette.”
Las Vegas paper and Nevada NPR outlet cover Christopher Smith’s yucca moth and Joshua tree research. “It's what he calls a ‘textbook example of co-evolution,’ the process by which two or more species mutually adapt to one another. And Smith means that literally. In evolutionary biology textbooks, the section on co-evolution often features a picture of the Joshua tree and the yucca moth. ‘The current best estimate’ is that the unusual relationship between yuccas and yucca moths has been around for about 30 million years, said Smith, who is an assistant professor of biology at Willamette University in Salem, Ore.”
Statesman Journal publishes an editorial about the importance of the presidential search. "Willamette has made tremendous gains, ranging from the arts and academics to diversity and student volunteerism, during Pelton's tenure. He came to Salem as an outsider — an East Coaster (despite his Midwest roots), an Ivy League scholar and an African-American in a city that in 1998 included far fewer people of color. He leaves as a president admired not only for his academic skills but also for his civic leadership."
Willamette commemorates students who were incarcerated during World War II. “On Friday, a cherry blossom tree, a bench and plaque by the Mill Stream were officially dedicated to the 10 Japanese American students who had to leave Willamette during World War II. The ceremony, held in Jackson Plaza, was led by university President M. Lee Pelton.”
University hosts Darwin’s Discovery Day, a science expo in which students also become the judges of professional scientists’ work. “This year the event has grown into a larger festival called Darwin's Discovery Day that also features work from Willamette University students, professors and scientists in the field. ‘We're wanting people to recognize that discoveries are being made by people of all ages,’ said Jason Niedermeyer who teaches science at South Salem High School and is one of the organizers. ‘Some are making discoveries that are unique to the planet, and it's happening in Salem.’”
Theatre’s Death of a Salesman features guest artists. “Rod Ceballos, the guest director, has led Shakespeare festivals in Chicago, Cincinnati and Boise, Idaho, and he frequently travels from his Toronto, Canada, base to direct nationwide. Guest actor Mikel MacDonald of Coquille has performed for a combined 14 seasons with Shakespeare companies in Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Virginia and Texas. ‘We have the opportunity to learn so much from all these different people,’ said Josh Rice, 20, the junior theater major who plays eldest son Biff. ‘That's what education is about.’”
Art History’s Ann Nicgorski discusses Ethiopian Christian art at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, and the museum is named a reason to love the Mid-Valley. “Nicgorski hopes that many people will visit the show, even if they're new to the Hallie Ford museum. ‘This is a unique opportunity to see art from Africa and particularly from Ethiopia,’ she said. ‘The history of Christianity in Ethiopia is pretty remote from the Pacific Northwest. This is an opportunity to learn about an ancient Christian tradition.’”
Willamette Academy supports access to college. “‘My siblings see (the Academy) and they are like, “I want to go to college, too,”’ Academy graduate and freshman at Willamette University Delia Olmos said. ‘Willamette Academy is the ripple effect.’ Olmos cited her experience at the Academy as what ensured her success. ‘I feel like I would have had the drive and the motivation but not the resources,’ Olmos said. ‘The Willamette Academy is the reason I am at Willamette.’”
Physics’ Rick Watkins ends year’s Science Pub at the beginning. “Happily, cosmology and beer will exist in the same room Tuesday, when Willamette University physics professor Richard Watkins helms Science Pub. The monthly event, put on by OMSI and Willamette, is a casual talk with a question-and-answer period; no science background is needed. Tuesday's installment is titled ‘The Big Bang and Beyond: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe.’”
Anthropology’s Peter Wogan discusses compliments. “You’d think we would be better at receiving [compliments], considering how often they’re given. ‘It’s almost a barrage of compliments between females,’ says Peter Wogan, an associate professor of anthropology at Willamette University in Oregon. For a study published in 2006, Wogan and his team observed 270 compliments among students, and found that most compliments given to women were about appearance.”
Law’s Symeon Symeonides returns to teaching and reflects on school’s accomplishments. "Bar passage, an important measure of success for any law school, was at 69.5 percent when he arrived, below the state average of 74.6 percent. He showed me a chart that depicts a rise in Willamette bar passage to 82.8 percent. The faculty has grown from 24 to 28 during his tenure, and members now have a reputation of not only being excellent teachers but also terrific scholars. Symeonides proudly reports that Willamette ranks as the best law school in Oregon in per capita publications in top journals."
Alumnus Punit Renjen is named chairman and chief executive officer of Deloitte Consulting LLP. “He currently serves on the DTTL board of directors and Global Consulting Executive Committee. Previously, he was the DTTL's global consulting strategy and operations leader and mergers and acquisitions consultative services leader. Renjen is an active speaker on college campuses and is a member of the board of trustees of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where he earned his master's degree in management with honors.”
Alumna Missy Samiee’s independent study project turns into successful local business. “Fresh out of college at Willamette University, Samiee had completed an independent study project her last year in school on how to build a boutique-style snowboard/skateboard shop. The project was called Exit Real World, and while it may have been a research assignment for class credit, Samiee was confident it was applicable to real life—And she was right.”
Carnegie Mellon magazine features alumnus and Nobel Prize winner Dale Mortensen. “It's a glorious day in Salem, Oregon-the kind when the spring sunshine lights up the capitol building across the street from campus. As always, crowds are milling around in the quad, the heart of Willamette University. A particular group of young men flock around economics professor Richard Gillis. He's arguably the most popular teacher at school, with his quick wit and outgoing charm-a bit of a pied piper.”