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October 2014

Latino Mentors Program partners with City of Salem


WOU’s Latino Mentors Program, led by Professor Maureen Dolan (Sociology), is partnering with the City of Salem’s Cultural and Tourism Advisory Board to place WOU student interns with Salem cultural sites to provide professional translations of informational materials and serve as cultural ambassadors to Latino visitors.  


Also involved are Spanish faculty Patricia Gimenez-Eguibar and Jaime Marroquin, and WOU student Matias Trejo de Dios.  WOU’s Spanish program is developing a certificate in Spanish translation.  Students in the program will have the opportunity to do real-world translations through this partnership.  Mr. Trejo de Dios serves on the City of Salem’s Cultural and Tourism Advisory Board, and has played a key role in linking this opportunity to the Latino Mentors Program. 


This project expands the reach of the Latino Mentors Program, which has long provided valuable service learning and professional experiences to WOU’s students.


September 2014

Linguistics Professor Cornelia Paraskevas named to WOU Governing Board


In September 2014, the State Board of Higher Education appointed Dr. Cornelia Paraskevas to WOU’s governing board.  She will begin serving on July 1, 2015. 


Dr. Paraskaves, professor of English and Linguistics, has been teaching at WOU for 25 years. During her tenure, she has served as department chair, faculty senator, member of the Western Oregon University Faculty Union (WOUFT) bargaining team, writing coordinator, and editor of accreditation reports (1996 and 2013). In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Paraskevas actively serves Salem-Keizer schools conducting writing and language workshops for K-12 grades.


In the early 2000s she helped develop a unique four-year partnership with the Oregon Department of Education. Through this partnership, WOU students enrolled in writing and education courses were given the opportunity to score essays written by K-12 grade students as part of the Oregon State test. She co-wrote Western’s dual-credit partnership document with the Hillsboro School District, in support of the state’s 40-40-20 initiative.


Paraskevas said, “I am honored to serve on the board of trustees for Western Oregon University. I believe that as an independent institution, we need to position ourselves as the Liberal Arts alternative to high‐price private institutions. To ensure our success, we will need to balance the focus and interests of our students, our institution, our faculty, and our continued service to Oregonians.”


Paraskevas earned her doctoral degree in linguistics from the University of Kansas.


WOU LAS faculty and students published in Willamette Valley Voices  


The Fall issue includes articles by Max Geier (History), Kylie Pine (Anthropology), and Greg Garcia (MA graduate, History).  


In addition, Greg Garcia and Travis Cook (also from the WOU History MA program) were named recipients of the 2014 Graduate Student Scholar Award from the Willamette Heritage Center based on their authorship of articles published in the journal.  Greg Garcia's article is at the link above, and Travis Cook's article is at:


LAS welcomes new tenure-track faculty


Three new tenure-track faculty join WOU in Fall 2014. 


Dr. Jaime Marroquin is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in our Department of Modern Languages.  Dr. Marroquin earned his Ph.D. at University of Texas-Austin and taught at George Washington University before coming to WOU. 


Dr. Melinda Shimizu is an Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Systems in the Department of Earth and Physical Sciences.  She earned her PhD from Arizona State University.


Amy Stutzenberger joins us as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice.  She is completing her PhD in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati.


WOU faculty consider quantitative literacy across the curriculum


What’s math got to do with it?  In September, WOU faculty met to consider the role of quantitative literacy at WOU. 


In many subjects, students have opportunities to work with quantitative data.  They hone computational skills along with other key competencies including interpreting and representing data, analyzing assumptions about data, and communicating about quantitative data.  These skills are highly valued by employers.  They also contribute to informed conversation about important political and social issues facing our world.


In the workshop, faculty considered different levels of quantitative literacy, and how these skills can be developed over the course of a student’s college career.  They also shared assignments used in math, biology and earth science classes.   The workshop was an outgrowth of an OUS-sponsored meeting on writing and quantitative literacy across the curriculum.  


August 2014

LAS faculty provide leadership to Willamette Promise project


In Spring 2014, a group of higher education and K-12 partners came together to form the Willamette Promise, an innovative project to expand dual credit opportunities to high school students in the Mid-Willamette Valley.


The project, coordinated by the Willamette Education Special District, developed an innovative, proficiency-based approach to granting college credit, allowing high school students who develop college-level skills to receive college credit.  


College faculty and high school teachers worked closely to identify college level proficiencies and develop assessment tools.  Participating LAS faculty include: Erin Baumgartner (Biology), Scott Beaver (Math), Kate Connolly (Spanish), Avery Cotton (Math), Ray Dandeneau (Chemistry), Patricia Gimenez-Eguibar (Spanish), Carol Harding (English), Christine Horning (Writing), Meg Artman (Writing), David Olson (Computer Science), Nick Backus (Communication Studies), Gianna Martella (Spanish) and Cornelia Paraskaves (Linguistics).


As a result, eighteen dual credit courses are now available in the proficiency model, including courses in Writing, Math, Spanish, Communications, Computer Science, Biology and Chemistry.  The courses are being piloted this year, with more courses in development.


October 2013

Edward B. Wright Center for Computing Sciences Dedicated on October 17th


The newly renovated computing facility will be dedicated in honor of former faculty member Dr. Edward B. Wright, thanks largely to a generous donation from former State Senator Frank Morse and wife Linda Morse to support student scholarships in computer science. The Edward B. Wright Center for Computing Sciences (EBWCCS) is located on the top floor of the Instructional Technology Center (ITC).  Renovations in excess of $1.2M were completed over the past two summers to reconfigure and modernize lab spaces and to provide break-out areas for students to assemble to work on team projects.


Read more about the new center and the dedication here.



September 2013

The New DeVolder Family Science Center Opened on September 24


The DeVolder Family Science Center is now open! The building will provide WOU with new opportunities for science education, more diverse teaching methods, more hands-on science experience, and modern laboratories. You can read more about this modern science teaching facility and its construction at the Science Center's website.


See a quick video showing off some of the new lab facilities


The College of LAS Announces its New Tenure-Track Appointments

We wish to congratulate our faculty who have been appointed to tenure-track positions, and welcome those new tenure-track faculty who are now joining us.

Paula Bauldwin, Jamie Cloud, Kathleen Connolly, Stephanie Hoover, Bojan Ilievaski, Justin Lewis, Margaret Manoogian, Matthew Nabity, Elizabeth Swedo, and Robert Troyer.


Click here to read the full list of faculty and their brief biographies.



August 2013

Appointment of Sue Monahan as Dean of LAS

Susanne Monahan appointed as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences beginning August 16, 2013.

Sue MonahanAn organizational sociologist by training, Sue’s research focuses on complex organizations, including churches, hospitals, professional associations, policing organizations, the military and for-profit organizations.  Her work has appeared in journals including Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Review of Religious Research, Justice Quarterly, Theoretical Criminology, Addiction, Addictive Behavior and Journal of Studies on Alcohol.  She has also published more generally on sociology of religion, and is co-author of Religion Matters: What Sociology Teaches Us About Religion In Our World and co-editor of Sociology of Religion: A Reader.  Sue came to Western Oregon University from Montana State University, where she served as Chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Acting Director of Liberal Studies and Associate Dean for Program and Curricular Development.  While at Montana State, she was involved in institution-wide initiatives to reshape general education, advance gender equity, enhance research in the social and behavioral sciences, and strengthen the relationship between academics and athletics.  An enthusiastic teacher, Sue regularly taught sociology courses at both the introductory and advanced levels, and co-taught a seminar on Religion and Science with a colleague in the biological sciences.  She received her BA from Swarthmore College and PhD from Stanford University.  





College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Location: HSS 234  |  Phone: 503-838-8226  |  or e-mail:
Dean: Dr. Sue Monahan,  |  Administrative Assistant: Debbie Braun,