Calligraphy and Manuscripts | Themes in Humanities: HUM 300

New OQ explores the developing brain, timber history and more

The kind of motion we use while interacting with a baby — when, say, feeding them or presenting a toy — can nurture a young mind. Motion that is demonstrative, exaggerated or even theatrical helps a growing brain break complex information into bite-size chunks.

That’s among the findings of UO faculty members who are making inroads in understanding youth and the developing mind. In the new issue of Oregon Quarterly, available now, researchers Dare Baldwin, Jeff Measelle, Jennifer Pfeifer and Justin Caouette are featured for their work on the role of the mind in child behavior and development.

In a related profile, Atika Khurana, of the College of Education, shares insights on youth and risk-taking.

Steven Beda, an assistant professor of history, is featured for his upcoming book, “Strong Winds and Widow Makers: A History of Workers, Nature, and Environmental Conflict in the Pacific Northwest Timber Country, 1900 to Present.” Beda examines how loggers have shaped nature over the past century and how nature has shaped their politics and values, including values that align with those of environmentalists.

On the lighter side, you’ll find alumni features on professional photographer Sol Neelman, a 1994 journalism graduate, and Dave Depper, a 2002 grad in computer and information science. The former has found a niche filming obscure sports such as Big Wheel racing; the latter claims an academic path that wound through the School of Music and Dance and the College of Arts and Sciences while setting him up for a career as a guitarist with the rock band Death Cab for Cutie.

Also in this issue: Will Johnson, assistant vice provost in the Division of Global Engagement, mentors students exploring peace-building in the Balkans; Google advisor Stephen Gillett, a 1998 political science graduate, relates to the importance of serendipity; and a Duck Tale remembers a UO scientist on a tragic trip to the top of Mount Rainier more than 100 years ago.