University of Oregon

See What Our Faculty is Up to

Food Arts Impact


Photo of BLT taken from Food Arts Impact blog

Julie Voelker-Morris, professor of Portable Life Museum, has started a new blog along with colleagues Kassia Dellabough and Scott Huette from the AAA and AAD departments dealing with the influence of food and its relationship to art on the human experience on individual, cultural, and global levels. The project was started as an addition to a presentation the group is giving at the e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies Conference on “Stories of Food: How auto-ethnographies of family rituals and celebrations of food increase cultural awareness in an online arts and culture class.” The group is also asking that those interested share stories about the impact food and art play in their lives. To check out the blog or share your stories of “Food Arts Impact” click here.



FIG Faculty Co-Leading a Multi-National Study on Sleep Quality and Cognition

JoshSnodgrass_0As we are reminded time and time again, a good night’s sleep is vital to our problem solving, time management, and other cognitive tasks. Professor Snodgrass, a co-author of this study and FIG faculty for Paging Dr. Darwin, has been conducting research along side Theresa Gildner, the project’s lead author, through the Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE). Professor Snodgrass praises SAGE, saying

“it will allow anthropologists to explore cultural factors that may contribute to sleeping and health patterns.”


In some ways, the study reaffirms findings from smaller studies across the world, but its multinational scope and focus on “aging, particularly dementia and cognitive decline as people get older, and the importance of sleep” is in many ways unique. Additionally, the team’s consideration of cognitive performance across different sexes could provide great insight into how educational accessibility, social support, and sleep quality correspond with cognitive performance.

For more information on SAGE, this study and the team that produced it, please click here.


Let the FIGs Begin!

Are You Still Looking For a FIG?

We still have plenty of spaces in a number of different FIGs. A FIG guarantees you a space in two high-demand courses taught by some of the most popular instructors on campus. Connect right away with your professor and a peer mentor in a small class with other first-year students.

Check us out on twitter for an updated list of open FIGs. If you see a FIG you would like to join, call our office at 541-346-1131, and we will be happy to help you. The FIG experience is something we encourage all first year students to have. Some FIGs to consider are:

Art, Culture, and Comics

Art of Expression

Breaking the Wall

Culture at the Crossroads

Digging Up History

Face to Face

Hidden History

Human Hierarchies

Justice Matters

Oregon Outside

Papas o Patatas

Portable Life Museum

Roots of Civilization

Shakespeare’s Stage

Silk Road

Social Progress, Social Change

Speaking in Time

Stories We Tell

Students Without Borders

Urban Garden

Vamos la Brasil!

Visualize a Better World

What’s Art?


Already in a FIG?

Great! Make sure to check the “Meet Your FIG” page for your welcome letter. Here you will find your summer assignment to get the ball rolling. You can also find the contact information for your FIG Assistant. Send them an e-mail introducing yourself! Our FIG Assistants love to hear from their students over the summer. If you were not one of the lucky students who met their FIG Assistant at IntroDUCKtion, you will meet your FA as well as your fellow FIGmates during Week of Welcome or WOW. Check your welcome letter to see the time and place of your first FIG meeting. We can’t wait to get started, class of 2018!


FIGs Get a Special Shoutout in Umpqua Post


Our office was pleasantly surprised this morning after stumbling upon FIGs in the Umpqua Post! Rachel Lacewell, an incoming Freshman, gives us a “play-by-play” of her experience at IntroDUCKtion.

After shaking off some of her initial anxiety, Rachel chose to sign up for Vamps and Vampires (good choice!), but admits that she had no intention of doing so when she first began registering for Fall 2014. Speaking like a true Duck, Rachel continues:

“[T]hat is the great thing about college; I get to try new things I have never even considered!”

We couldn’t have said it better, Rachel! We’re excited to see you in the fall and hope Vamps and Vampires is everything you hope for, as well as nothing you ever considered!

Click on the link below to learn more about Rachel’s IntroDUCKtion session and how FIGs can be a part of your first year.

New Video – “Why FIGs?”

Are you still asking, “What can a FIG do for my first term at the UO?” We recently finalized this video answering that very question. Of course, we at the FYP office know why you should sign up for a FIG, and chances are you heard us list these reasons time and time again at IntroDUCKtion (if you missed IntroDUCKtion, don’t worry the video can help fill you in). This video, however, offers a different take by asking our faculty and FIG Assistants what they find valuable about the program. Hint: they love FIGs just as much as we do!


Some news regarding our amazing faculty!

Jennifer O’Neal (left), who works with our Hidden History Freshman Interest Group, receives a national diversity award from the Society of American Archivists. Another Faculty member who has worked with First-Year Programs, Katie Meehan (right), was named a Fulbright Nexus Regional Scholar for 2014-16.

Jennifer O'NealKatie Meehan in Mexico


We are so delighted to be working with such accomplished faculty members. Congratulations!

Three Days Until Introducktion!

We hope all of you incoming ducks are preparing yourselves for Introducktion! If you hit a streak of bad luck during our online FIG registration, we are happy to announce that there are still some seats left! Come talk to one of our FIG Assistants (look for the green FA shirts) at lunch on Thursday or in the EMU ballroom on Friday from 9-4.

pie-3partsImportant to note, all FIG lecture classes satisfy general education requirements. There are three subcategories that makeup your major (as shown to the right) and FIGs fit right in. For example, this week’s feature FIG, War and Peace, can help you towards any major because it consists of 4 Social Science credits and 4 credits in Arts & Letters – two out of the three general education fields. Beyond getting you one step closer to your degree, this FIG gives students a great window to explore an additional minor or major by drawing from history and literature to better understand the day-to-day life and culture of Russia.


Click on the image below to learn more about War and Peace, the incredible faculty and FIG Assistant

War and Peace Handout

Are you an incoming first-year student interested in architecture?

Maybe you are interested in design and would love to learn more about how buildings or interiors are created. Is it possible you wanted to apply to the architecture program and hesitated or felt like you would rather explore the program before committing? We have good news for you, then! If you are an incoming first-year student for fall 2014, we have a FIG designed just for your interests. As long as you are not an admitted Architecture Major, you can sign up for the Inside Architecture FIG. this FIG gives you an inside look at the world of architecture and interior design. You will learn how to put together portfolio and meet instructors and students in the program. While you are at IntroDUCKtion, visit First-Year Programs at lunch or during advising for more information.



Incoming Students Get IntroDUCKted to First Year Programs

Are you still looking for a FIG or Freshman Seminar to kick off your first year at the University of Oregon? Well, you are in luck! We are halfway through IntroDUCKtion sessions, yet still have plenty of spots in a number of different FIGs. Yesterday, incoming students flocked to the EMU  ballroom and signed up for just the right FIG. Some students even had the fortune of meeting their FIG assistant during their orientation. If you are joining us for your orientation soon, make sure to come to our interest session where you can learn about the great experience you will have in a FIG or Freshman Seminar or both! After the interest session, come see us at lunch where you can see our board of open FIGs with descriptions of each one and helpful staff to answer any of your questions or concerns. With each new member of the class of 2018 we meet, the more we look forward to the fall. Call (541-346-1131) or email ( our office with any questions or concerns.


FIG assistant Timmy Thomas meets his new FIG student.


Come learn about Freshman Seminars from our helpful FIG Assistants.

Open FIGs!

IntroDUCKtion-Picture2-2fzqlz0As of this morning, here is a list of FIGs that currently have openings. If you see one you like, come find us tomorrow in the EMU Ballroom from 9-4, but we suggest showing up as early as possible since there is usually a line. If none of the FIGs below strike your interest, then come by our table anyway and talk one-on-one with some of our FIG Assistants. Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@UOfigs) as we will be tweeting FIG openings in real time throughout the day! Happy Introducktion and we will see you tomorrow!


Carnegie Global Oregon

Cultural Encounters

Connected Characters

Digital Humanitarians

Hip Hop and the Politics of Race

Inside Architecture

Justice Beauty and Nature

Modeling Life

Moving to MTV

Thinking About Teaching

War and Peace


Art, Culture and Comics

Ancient Stories

Bella Italia

Breaking the Wall

Culture at the Crossroads

Digging up History

Got Opinions?

Hidden History

Justice Matters

Modern Families

Paging Dr. Darwin

Papas o Patatas

Portable Life Museum

Roots of Civilization

Shakespeare’s Stage

Silk Road

Social Progress, Social Change

Social Services

Speaking in Time

Stories We Tell

The Far Side


Urban Garden

Vamos La Brasil

Vamps and Vampires

Visualize a Better World

Vive La France

What’s Art?

If you’re looking for the inside scoop, here is a list of FIGs that our FIG Assistants have found particularly interesting and fun! Please click the titles to find out more about their courses, faculty, and FIG Assistants.

Culture at the Cross Roads

This FIG explores the complex history of the African Diaspora in America by focusing on the diverse and profoundly influential music known as the Blues.

Connected Characters (Residential)

A fresh inter-disciplinary exploration of some of the ways in which Chinese script, some society, fascinating historical personalities, and notions (Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist) of personhood and have shaped both the East Asian macro-culture and the civilizations of China and Japan.

Global Oregon (Residential)

In association with the New York-based Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, this FIG meets with scholars and leaders from a variety of fields to explore the role of ethics in global, national, and local issues. The CGO is unique because it continues for three terms. After the fall FIG courses students enroll in 1-credit seminars in winter and spring, and the majority of CGO students remain active in this vibrant learning community throughout their years at the University. This provides a supportive mix as sophomore, junior, and senior CGO members join us weekly for class and a meal while we explore areas of ethical concern.


Inside Architecture (Residential)

This course introduces students to architectural education through the exploration of topics and issues salient to making places.  We communicate and test our explorations using drawings, models, short essays, and class discussions. A field trip is planned to explore, experience and record a significant place.

Moving to MTV

The exploration of music and motion: live, video, and historical sources and experiences.

Papas o Patatas

Why don’t all members of a linguistic community speak the same way? What is a ‘dialect’? This FIG will explore how variation within a linguistic community illuminates our understanding of what human language is, with a focus on the different varieties of Spanish around the world.

Shakespeare’s Stage

Shakespeare’s Stage is an in-depth study, analysis, and review of Shakespeare’s plays that also examines the exciting and dynamic Elizabethan and Jacobean periods in English history and theatre.

What’s Art?

In this FIG, students will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the visitors to our university museum by writing their own wall texts for select artworks on view in the Japanese galleries, while exploring firsthand the visual qualities and meanings of traditional Japanese religious objects.

War and Peace

The 2 lecture courses in this FIG offer disciplinary introductions to literature and history and ask basic questions about social, political and technological change. They converge in an exploration of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.