The Pacific Authors Celebration honors the scholarly achievements of university faculty, staff and administrator authors.Wanda Laukkanen
The Pacific University Library in Forest Grove celebrated a year’s worth of creative and scholarly achievements March 8 at a reception honoring university faculty, staff and administrator authors.
The Pacific Authors Celebration will continue at the Hillsboro Campus Library, 222 SE 8th Ave., Hillsboro, with a reception Wednesday, April 16, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
The event at the library at the Forest Grove Campus featured talks by Pacific professors Christine Guenther, Lorely French, Todd Schultz and Graham Erickson, who participated in the library first authors’ celebration 15 years ago. At that time, noted library director Marita Kunkel, 30 authors from the university were honored in a small conference room in the previous library.
This year, 120 authors who published material during 2013 are being honored with their work being displayed at both the Forest Grove and Hillsboro campus libraries in much larger settings.
The authors contributed to a total of 191 publications, including 18 complete books and 131 articles during 2013, Kunkel said. “This in an incredible broad reach of research that is represented.” A list of the publications is available at http://www.pacificu.edu/library/2014PacificAuthors
“The event is a celebration of the tremendous scholarship that takes place here and is so part and parcel of who we are and the mission of Pacific,” university president Lesley Hallick told the gathering.
Part of the growth of scholarship publication at Pacific is also due to the debut of Common Knowledge five years ago, said John Miller, provost and vice president of academic affairs.
Common Knowledge, which serves as Pacific’s institutional repository, is a website dedicated to sharing scholarly work of students, faculty, staff and their collaborators. Librarian Isaac Gilman was instrumental in beginning the repository.
Miller showed a screen of the website for Common Knowledge, which features a map of the world with real-time indicators of where material from the website is being downloaded. To date, he said, nearly a million downloads of scholarship material by Pacific University authors from the Common Knowledge website have occurred.
“We have a lot of hits out of Ukraine – that’s kind of fascinating,” he said to laughter from the audience.
The four faculty members, Guenther, French, Schulz and Erickson, spoke about their research and experiences in writing and publishing from different perspectives.
Guenther, a mathematics professor, talked about the “beauty of mathematics" and how it has influenced her.
Schultz, a professor of psychology who has written a biography of deceased musician Elliott Smith, said his work was “the writing experience of a lifetime.”
French, professor of world languages and literature, noted that her research into her family history of being related to the Romanian people in Europe has been part of her inspiration.
Erickson, an optometry professor, said his experiences with research on the visual experiences of athletes has led to improvements in how to improve their vision.
The final speaker of the evening, Chris Wilkes, vice provost for research, spoke at the gathering about reading the writings of Jane Austen for the last three years. The experience, he said, “has had a profound effect on me.....It was a delight,” he said. “I fell into the arms of Jane Austen and never left.”