OQ: UO will have strong presence at world championships

Devon Allen lifting weights

If all goes according to plan, former University of Oregon track and field great Devon Allen will pull off a rare double play this summer: win a medal in a major international track and field meet and win a spot on an NFL roster.

Allen, who earned a degree in business administration at the UO in 2017, is one of the luminaries competing at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, coming to Hayward Field July 15-24. The summer issue of Oregon Quarterly, available now, features the UO’s footprint at the world championships, from the track and field legacy and current stars like Allen and Raevyn Rogers to the relentless quest for discovery that makes the UO a top public research university.

Students and professors are making the most of the massive international event coming to campus. Faculty are working with colleagues around the world to study air quality issues. College of Design landscape architecture professor Michael Geffel and campus collaborators are studying small landscapes in an innovative outdoor “land lab” that will be readily available to track fans at the world championships

Also, students from the UO’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center are working in paid positions helping to organize the event, and 200 more will gain global and cultural literacy serving as envoys to the visiting international delegations.

This issue of the university magazine also marks a milestone: Chuck Lillis, who earned a doctorate in marketing at the UO in 1972 and has served as the first chair of the UO Board of Trustees for eight years, is stepping down. Stories capture how Lillis and his wife, Gwen, an emerita trustee of the University of Oregon Foundation and past chair, have helped the UO and its students reach new heights of achievement and opportunity.

Also in the new OQ: Damien Callahan, an assistant professor of human physiology, examines the role of cellular muscle proteins in soft tissue injuries in female athletes, and a virtual reality simulation designed by Daniel Pimentel of the School of Journalism and Communication explores conservation values by “placing” participants in the body of a loggerhead sea turtle.

The issue is capped in an essay by six-time All American Rudy Chapa, a 1981 graduate in management, who ties the history of Hayward Field to the excitement in store as the reimagined stadium prepares to host the world championships.