This story was published by the Register Guard on July 21, 2014.
By Alan Sylvestre
With hundreds of young athletes from dozens of countries arriving in Eugene for the World Junior Championships track meet this week, how might the University of Oregon best promote its international reach in academia?
Well, how about a portable exhibit that features a 70-inch touchscreen, encased in a cedar housing, where users can watch videos that feature professors and their international research?
Such is the inspiration of the university’s Office of International Affairs, which commissioned the exhibit.
It will be showcased at the Tracktown USA tent next to Hayward Field for the duration of the world championships, which begin Tuesday.
“This (track) event allows us to use our university’s international influence as a way to bridge the gap between academics and athletics,” said Dennis Galvan, vice provost for international affairs. “This is a really nice synergy.”
Galvan and his team have named the exhibit the Global Scholars Expo, with the hopes of allowing international visitors the opportunity to take in not only the culture of track and field, but the university’s growing international presence.
Chakris Kusslanant, director of marketing and communications for the Office of International Affairs, said the exhibit idea came about as several folks gathered to brainstorm possibilities. “We collectively came up with the idea that we should promote the research that our professors do overseas,” he said.
Some of the exhibit’s featured professors include Brendan
Bohannon, whose research focuses on microbial diversity in the rainforests of Brazil; Peter Walker, whose research addresses liberation issues in Ghana; and John Postlethwait; who has made frequent expeditions to Antarctica to study the embryotic effects of bone loss in ice fish.
In total, the exhibit will feature 174 videos, each about a different professor and his or her work overseas.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that we have professors who do research in all parts of the world,” said Galvan said. “I think it’s important for people to know that.”