Ava Howard Teaches Research Skills with BI409 Practicum

Dr. Ava Howard is a Biology professor at Western Oregon University who recently taught a field research practicum course over the summer. She has been teaching plant biology and ecology at WOU for 13 years. In addition to teaching, she is also involved in creating scholarship and research opportunities for students, which she is very [more…]

WOU Alum Greg Garcia Wins Oregon History Teacher of the Year Award

Greg Garcia
Greg Garcia, an alum of Western Oregon University and teacher at Franklin High School with Portland Public Schools, was named the 2021 Oregon History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in July. To honor this inspiring achievement, we want to share the highlights from our interview with him.  When [more…]

Willamette Promise Student Leadership Institute Brings Students to Campus

In partnership with the Willamette Education Service District, WOU hosted the Willamette Promise Student Leadership Institute in August. I interviewed Addie Howell, the Accelerated Learning Manager at Willamette Promise, about the program, and what it aims to do for students. Ok, big picture: What is the Willamette Promise? What is its mission? The Willamette Promise [more…]

MLK Celebration Week at WOU Promotes Black Excellence Through Storytelling

MLK week banner
Western Oregon University’s week of activities celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is Jan. 17-21. I interviewed Alexis Larson, a member of the 2022 MLK Jr. Celebration Week Planning Committee, about the inspiration of the events of the week. The overarching theme of this year’s celebration is promoting Black excellence [more…]

WOU Instructors Play Major Role in Expansion of Protactile Language

Three women using protactile language as another looks on
Western Oregon University’s DeafBlind Interpreting National Training & Resource Center was recently awarded a five-year, $2.1 million grant for interpreter training. OPB’s Think Out Loud filmed a show about the grant and Protactile in November, which ran Jan. 5. DBI’s lead educator, Jelica Nuccio, is a DeafBlind leader in the Protactile movement and is among those [more…]

National Student Exchange Program Creates Opportunities for Students

Student in front of palm trees
The National Student Exchange (NSE) program is hosting several informational sessions this January for all who are interested! In anticipation of these sessions, I had the pleasure of interviewing NSE coordinator Emmanuel Macías and Liam Birr, a NSE participant, about the wonderful opportunities made possible through the program. NSE is a domestic collegiate study-away program, [more…]

Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship: Melanie Landon-Hays

A photo of the Western Oregon University sign on campus.
The Mario and Alma Pastega Awards of Excellence were given in June 2021, but because of timing issues, three faculty profiles were not included in the Commencement program. They are offered here instead and on the Pastega Award web page. —- The Award for Excellence in Service recognizes faculty accomplishment in service, honoring work that engages [more…]

WOU Men’s Rugby Team to Compete in National Championship

picture of WOU Men's rugby team celebrating
The WOU Men’s Rugby team has gone undefeated in all of its conference matches this year!  As conference and regional champions, the team has qualified for the National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) championships in Houston, Texas. There they will compete with the champions from the other three regions for the title of national champions.  I had [more…]

Forensic Anthropology Professors Host Podcast

Title card for Cabin Femur: Forensic Anthropology in the Age of Quarantine
Dr. Misty Weitzel and Jerielle Cartales teach forensic anthropology here at WOU who have started a podcast together titled Cabin Femur: Forensic Anthropology in the Age of Quarantine. The following is a curated version of my interview with them about the podcast and forensic anthropology in general.  Jasper: Okay, why don’t we just hit the [more…]

New Destination Western Program Succeeds in Preparing Students

Destination Western Participants
Destination Western (DW) is an all-new two-week residential program that wrapped up prior to the start of the 2021-22 academic year. I had the dual pleasure of not only participating in the program itself, but also interviewing some of the brilliant minds behind it. Megan Habermann is the director of new student and family programs [more…]

Linguistics Professor David Hargreaves Publishes New Poetry Collection

Patan, Nepal
Dr. David Hargreaves has been a professor of linguistics here at WOU since 1998. He has recently published a collection of original poems, titled Running Out of Words for Afterwards. I had the pleasure of interviewing him about this new book, and how it was inspired by his experiences studying the Nepal Bhasa language in [more…]