Portland-based presidential lectures showcase UO innovation

A limited number of tickets are on sale for the inaugural Wings: UO Presidential Speaker Series on Jan. 16 at University of Oregon Portland.

Presented by UO President Michael H. Schill, the intimate evening will feature curated talks and a musical performance. Guests will enjoy live music, appetizers and a hosted bar.

“We are excited to showcase in Portland the research, innovation and creativity that abounds at the University of Oregon,” Schill said. “This series — which we are calling Wings — will feature some of the UO’s best thinkers, doers, makers and creators. Wings is about ideas that will take flight, improve our community and advance society.”

Schill will welcome guests and provide a short update on initiatives and priorities for the UO. David Rae, co-founder and president of 503 Media & Events will host the talks. The program will feature:

  • Donna Davis, assistant professor and director of the strategic communications program. Davis’ research explores virtual worlds and the communities that form there, specifically related to people with Parkinson’s disease who use virtual reality to improve their quality of life.
  • Melissa Baese-Berk, associate professor of linguistics. Baese-Berk’s research focuses on speech perception and production, including a deeper look at Neil Armstrong’s famous line, “That’s one small step for man…”
  • Richard Taylor, professor and director of the Materials Science Institute. Taylor is an expert in chaos theory, fractals and the artist Jackson Pollock. His latest research focuses on using bio-inspired retinal implants for those facing vision loss from retinal diseases.
  • Kodi Whitfield, graduate student in Sports Product Design. Whitfield is part of the first class for this innovative master’s program.
  • Wonkak Kim, assistant professor of clarinet, will perform. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center.

The event will take place at the White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch St., Portland. A cocktail reception is from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with the program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.

Proceeds will benefit the UO RAINMaker Endowment Fund. Sponsors are King Estate Winery, Widmer Brothers Brewing and Curate.