University of Oregon

First UO Hip Hop Jam is a Big Hit

On November 23rd the Hip Hop & Politics of Race FIG held University of Oregon’s first ever Hip Hop Jam featuring local artists displaying an array of talents from dance crews and djs to spoken word and live painting. The FIG usually goes to see a hip hop performance, but this year they decided to organize their own event and make it open to the public. The Emerald covered the event and created a video featuring our own FA Desmond Harvey and faculty member Loren Kajikawa. Click here to see the video.


HH Jam Final 2


Register for a Winter Term Freshman Seminar!

Registration for winter term is coming very soon, and that means you have another chance to enjoy the Freshman Seminar experience. Here’s what you need to know!IMG_7962

Q: What Freshman Seminars can I take next term?

A: This year’s winter Freshman Seminars include topics like the evolution of warfare, teenage life in books and movies, American popular music, and several others. As you plan your schedule, take a look at all of the Freshman Seminars offered next term.

Q: I found a Freshman Seminar that I want to take winter term! How do I register?

A: You can register for Freshman Seminars starting Wednesday November 26th at 3pm on Duckweb.

Q: Am I eligible to take a Freshman Seminar?

A: You are eligible to register for a Freshman Seminar if you graduated high school in 2013 or 2014 AND are in your first year of college. First-year students who have sophomore standing due to AP or college credits taken while they were in high school are eligible to register. Transfer students and international students who have college credits from another college or university are not eligible to register for a Freshman Seminar.

Q: I’m not really sure what a Freshman Seminar is. How is it different from other classes?

A: Freshman Seminars are smaller than many classes you will take as a freshman because they are limited to a maximum of 23 first-year students. Freshman Seminars introduce first-year students to thought-provoking, unique subjects in an instructor’s special area of interest. They are designed to promote faculty-student and student-student interaction, focusing on writing, communication, and critical thinking.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about a specific Freshman Seminar or the program in general?

A: Please call or email Drew Brandel, the Freshman Seminar Coordinator, at (541) 346-1136 with any questions you may have. You can also stop by our office at 470 Oregon Hall.

Remember to register for a Freshman Seminar on Duckweb on Wednesday November 26th at 3pm!

October Outings!


The beautiful fall colors mixed with the crisp autumn air make for Octobers in Oregon to be a wonderful setting to explore. FIGs were very busy for the first half of the term. Whether it be venturing out to Portland to look at the famous Japanese Gardens, or staying on campus to watch some cool documentaries, the students, FIG Advisers, and Faculty members have been out and about enjoying the fall season. Check out what these FIGs have been up to!    On the top left, COLLEGE: A Screwball Comedy is navigating a corn maze at a farm nearby.

Blog postThe picture on the top right shows the Connected Characters FIG in the Portland Japanese Garden with their FIG Faculty, Professor Goble. The bottom left picture shows students in the Oregon Outside FIG on the Oregon coast during their annual camping trip. Last, the bottom right picture is FA Nicole Guzoleck picking out some cute pumpkins at the Saturday Market in Downtown Eugene.

Wayne Morse Scholars Program

Wayne Morse

The Wayne Morse Scholars program is an excellent opportunity for sophomores and juniors to study public affairs and political science from a different perspective. Scholars will get the chance to attend a “democratic dilemma” seminar by the Wayne Morse Senior Faculty Fellow Dan Tichenor. Additionally, Scholars will be invited to events with distinguished speakers throughout the year. The program is designed to inspire undergraduates to strive to be future leaders in law, business, education, government, journalism, academia, and other fields.

The program is looking for undergraduate sophomores and juniors who excel academically and who have experience in public service to apply. If you are interested, applications are due October 24 by noon.

There is an information session on October 14 at 4 pm in 241  UO Knight Law Center.

For more information please visit


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.



Freshman Seminar Professor Earns Art Educator of the Year Award

Lisa Abia-SmithHeadShotThe First-Year Programs team would like to congratulate Dr. Lisa Abia-Smith, one of our own veteran Freshman Seminar instructors, on her award as Art Educator of the Year award through the Oregon Art Education Association (OAEA).

We are very proud of the work Dr. Abia-Smith contributes to the Eugene community through her work at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the several courses she teaches here at UO.

This term, a full class of first-year students is exploring Writing for Art/ Art of Writing with Dr. Abia-Smith in her fall term Freshman Seminar. Please find more information about her recent award through the link below.

#TBT- Food Connections- You are What You Eat

Today we are throwing it back to November of 2010 when Professor Galen Martin took his freshman seminar, Food Connections- You are What You Eat- PPPM 199, to his very own farm near Eugene to give the students some hands on learning about how to understand exactly where their food comes from. This eye-opening Freshman Seminar will be offered again this spring. Look out for it in the upcoming registration!

Milk 2

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.