Vladimir Sovyak - page 2

Vladimir Sovyak has 25 articles published.

What is a provost? Why are we about to have one?

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    Debra Thatcher will receive the Provost Search Committee's recommendation on March 23.

The selection for a provost is underway. The first candidate of five, Daniel Findley, PhD, spoke at a forum on March 7. Four other candidates have been scheduled to speak at UCC, but due to its publication date, the Mainstream was only able to cover the first candidate.

The provost will replace the positions of vice president of Student Services and vice president of Instruction and their executive assistants. The dean of Students will assume some the current responsibilities of the vice president of Student Services.  For example, Student of Concern forms and other complaints will be directed at the dean of Students after a provost is officially hired. In short, three administrators will remain by fall 2017 in the place of four current administrative positions.

At its core, the provost requires a high level of organization and communication between numerous departments. With budgetary concerns, however, some from the UCC community have expressed concern over the increase in cost that accompanies the incoming Provost.

UCC President Debra Thatcher, PhD, clarified that the expense of a provost is outweighed by what a provost can offer in terms of social expertise and long-term budgeting. “When you report to multiple people, you tend to stay in-house,” said Thatcher. For example, without the provost, when student services staff have questions have problems, those problems tend to stay within the student services department.

Findley, one of the five candidates, had a similar take on the importance of synergy. “Having student services and academic discussions in isolation from each other creates problems,” said Findley.

Thatcher is looking for specific skills in the provost candidate.

“Being able to reach people in a number of ways, and engaging as many people as possible,” said Thatcher in regard to skills an incoming provost should possess. “Even though they are responsible for all things related to students, the provost has to communicate all sorts of matters across the campus community,” said Thatcher.

While it may seem basic, the ability of the provost to relay information through a number of avenues is vital to the efficacy of the position. “We need someone who will be able to communicate face-to-face talks with students around campus, text, email, meetings and through other methods depending on your audience. Still, not everyone will be informed,” said Thatcher. Thatcher hopes that more of the campus populace will be more informed due to the provost communicating with the community ad nauseum, not just about their own programs, but about more opportunities and resources that have gone underutilized.

While patience was not specifically mentioned by Thatcher of Findley, both implied that an effective provost should be highly patient. Above all, Thatcher wants something very basic, albeit important, from the incoming provost: “We want somebody that listens well, because it’s a matter of a lot of give and take.”

“If I ask a number of people about governance on our campus, there will be a number of responses, with some very passionate about their opinions,” said Thatcher. The need to synergize communication between student services and academics was repeatedly brought to the table by Thatcher and Findley as a governance need. Good communication and cooperation between administrators of varying offices was also emphasized as essential, even in time periods with healthy and balanced budgets.  Lack of communication or cooperation can easily lead to the misallocation of funds throughout a campus, or even an adversarial relationship between administrators, faculty, staff and students. Both also consider being patient and creative as foundational to troubleshooting budgetary concerns and student complaints and requests.

Findley gave an example of searching out help for a student in need when he worked at Portland Community College. The student had essentially stopped by Findley’s office to say that after failing the same math course four times, she thought she should let go of becoming a fitness technician.

“Time out,” Finley said.

He asked the student to give him time to organize a plan to coordinate meetings between instructors and administrators in physical education and math, the offices of financial aid and academic advising, and of course, the student. The student did her finish her math requirement and fitness technician program.

“Every student is a round character,” said Findley. Findley said this in contrast to the idea of students being “flat” or “static.” He then discussed the need for faculty, staff and administration to treat students according to their specific needs. That need to be addressed may be as easy as the right tutor, or as hard as a safe home to go to at the end of the school day.

Findley continued on to say that a student’s only interaction with any college official may be when they sit at the professors’ lectures, and he hopes to change that. While never speaking with campus administrators may sound normal to many students, both Thatcher and Findley expressed that students should work with campus administration to create a better future.


Campus Visits:

 Tues, March 7 – Dr. Daniel Findley

 Fri, March 10 – Dr. Daniel Koopman

 Mon, March 13 – Dr. Tammy Frankland

 Tue, March 14 – Dr. Cherilee Walker

 Mon, March 20 – Dr. Kacy Crabtree

Mystery, romance and wit: Theatre Arts at UCC produces the award-winning musical “Curtains”

in Review by
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    The Centerstage Theatre buzzed with excitement between cast and audience members immediately following the curtain call of the musical on Feb. 18.
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    The Centerstage Theatre buzzed with excitement between cast and audience members immediately following the curtain call of the musical on Feb. 18.
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    Jacob Mills (ensemble) and Aaron Carter (choreographer and ensemble) were not quite ready to stop practicing their blocking by the end of their Feb. 19 performance.
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    Jacob Mills (ensemble) and Aaron Carter (choreographer and ensemble) were not quite ready to stop practicing their blocking by the end of their Feb. 19 performance.

The Tony Award-winning musical “Curtains” delivered laugh after laugh at the Centerstage Theater this winter. The show opened Feb. 17 and runs through March 5. The direction, stagecraft, casting and acting all worked cooperatively under the direction of Stephanie Newman on the night of Feb. 18 to deliver a memorable performance to the audience members.
The story of “Curtains” unfolds entirely within Boston’s Colonial Theatre in 1959 as the theatre company attempts a Western production “Robbin’ Hood.” Every member of the production gets detained by Lt. Frank Cioffi, played by Matthew Campbell, due to the onstage murder of their star actress Jessica Cranshaw, played by Chantelle Smith. A murder investigation will take place, love brews on the horizon for some, and the show must turn its ratings around in 24 hours to continue production of the brand-new musical.
Smith’s role as Cranshaw was both brief, but pivotal, to the rest of the play; the role had to nonverbally communicate her unpopularity among her company in order to make the play believable. She needed to convincingly and safely dance, scoff, and bump into her fellow thespians to set the stage for this ‘whodunit,’ and Smith made it abundantly clear that Ms. Cranshaw’s nose was turned up so high that she may have been liable to drown in a rainstorm.
Songwriter Georgia Hendricks, played by Cristina Bayardo, was appointed to the leading role of “Robbin’ Hood” not long after the murder. Bayardo delivered the Hendricks’ complex character from start to finish. She shared her deep thoughts with her separated husband and composer, Aaron Fox, played by John Davis. On the other hand, Hendricks clearly gave her affections to the much less serious choreographer and male lead of “Robbin’ Hood,” Bobby Pepper, played by Ben Ruggles.
Early in the play Bayardo, Davis and Ruggles showed that they were clearly immersed in their respective characters for their performance of “Thinking of Him” through their choreography and emotive delivery of lyrics. The melancholy for what was but could not be expressed by both Bayardo and Davis informed the audience that “Curtains” would deliver both comedic and romantic plots and themes.
Most members of the tumultuous production make pun after pun about Cranshaw’s murder. These quips usually dealt with the way the star murdered the careers of her associates, how she strangled the show itself, and generally destroyed any and every pillar of acting while she was alive. The ridicule of the late actress highlights how chaotic Lt. Cioffi’s job becomes apparent upon his entry to the Colonial Theatre, but despite all of the caustic remarks tossed at his murder victim, no one safe from verbal inferno.
While it would be hard to find a consensus on which singular character best exemplifies shamelessness, the play’s director, Christopher ‘Chris’ Belling, played by Travis Newman, liberally applies both intellect and cruelty in his speech. Newman gave a soulful performance of the melodramatic Belling through his mannerisms, as well as an exuberant delivery of the character’s emotionally and tonally complex lines.
For example, Chris wanted a tune from his songwriters that is “catchier than pink eye.”
In another instance, the play’s financial backer and general manager, Oscar Shapiro, played by Conner Arrant, said to Belling: “I’ll make sure to put my money where your mouth is.”
“Just make sure you launder it first,” Belling replies.
Arrant walked the fine line of embodying a dubious career businessman while oddly having earnest and forthright intentions about the play within the play.
Before long, Cioffi found that he had fallen quickly for the understudy to his murder victim, and murder suspect Niki Harris, played by Alyssa Longoria. Cioffi habitually asks Harris out on a date to be continually reminded by Ms. Harris: “But you won’t let me leave.” Despite the obvious windup to this joke multiple times in both acts, both Campbell and Longoria brought out laughter from the audience on each occasion.
Detailed stagecraft and choreography were obvious from the opening moments of “Curtains”— the vivid sets in the opening number “Wide Open Spaces” throws the audience immediately into the production of the play within a play.

During the musical number “A Tough Act to Follow,” which starts out as a duet between Cioffi and Harris, a curtain reveal instantly becomes a fantastic vision complete with an ensemble and a gorgeous backdrop made entirely of strung gold beads with the dance ensemble on multiple levels. The rise of the pair’s emotions was timed with the reveal of the backdrop, and the deflation of their fantasy was marked by a curtain close. The synchronization of emotions and aesthetics was one of the most impressive features of the production.
Campbell’s labor to portray protagonist Lt. Cioffi as a meticulous character with awkward mannerisms and hidden talents kept the production tightly bound onstage in both acts. Cioffi’s overtly anxious yet calculated speech, mannerisms and actions were clearly expressed by Campbell. Had Campbell chose to play the actor primarily as a ‘tough guy,’ the charm of the play would have been hampered.

Free admission was made available to UCC students from Feb. 17 to Feb. 19, thanks to ASUCC Student Weekend. The play can still be seen through Sunday, March 5. Go find out whodunit!

QSA prepares for 2017 events

in Campus Life/Events by
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Queer Students Advocacy discussed logistics for upcoming events during their recent club meeting held Feb. 7. High on this list was the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus performance at Jacoby Hall on March 26. Planning for the event has been in the works since Nov. 2016. Ticket proceeds from the event primarily fund the Douglas County HIV Alliance.

The group also looks forward to producing their drag show scheduled for the latter part of spring term. For now, karaoke is the most probable performance medium for the event, but short skit performances are another possibility.

On Valentine’s Day and the day before, QSA will sell candy for 50 cents a piece with a valentine in the Student Center. QSA hopes to fund one or more scholarships with the money from Valentine’s Day and future funds from the choral performance in March. Activities Coordinator Renee Thompson also proposed displaying an anonymous question box and information on romantic orientation awareness at the event.

“Romantic orientation” describes an individual’s patterns of emotional attraction to others. Distinct from sexual orientation, romantic orientation is fundamentally emotional, not necessarily sexual. For example, an individual could be romantically and emotionally engaged with another while not experiencing sexual attraction to that same person. The converse describes an individual who is “aromantic,” which is defined as the absence of romantic experience.

Thompson proposed an event thematically based on the importance of acceptance. Thompson gave this advice to fellow students about being supportive of everyone: “Number one is be respectful. Number two is self-education.” Thompson’s statements communicated acceptance and understanding of the richness of human identity and sexuality as key to working towards a safer future.

Thompson is recommending “The Human Rights Campaign” and the series “Gaycation”as educational resources. Thompson expressed that staying updated on vocabulary can get confusing, but these new terms express key distinctions between, and within, individuals.  “Pronouns and assuming gender or sexual orientation may not be a big deal to some, but they matter to others,” Thompson said.

“Pronouns and assuming gender or sexual orientation may not be a big deal to some, but they matter to others” —Renee Thompson, Activities Coordinator


Caution advised during steelhead run

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    ODFW is using new counting methodology at the local Winchester Dam. Vladimir Sovyak / The Mainstream

Dedicated steelhead anglers face a strong steelhead run despite this winter’s high water, unfavorably cold water temperatures and poor water visibility.

“We do anticipate that the run will be similar to last year’s. This run has been consistent over time and is likely due to steelhead’s life history that allows them to be more adaptable to environmental factors such as ocean conditions and drought, particularly when compared to other salmonids such as coho,” said Greg Huchko, a biologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Anglers that were frustrated by chinook this past fall are likely to be more successful fishing for steelhead this winter.

The state strongly suggests that anglers should be extra cautious this winter. Even though accessing gravel bars and riffles to reach steelhead is less risky for shore anglers than accessing the main river channel for chinook, Huchko stresses the importance of anglers maintaining an awareness of river levels, safety equipment and boating hazards. He also encourages anglers to “make sure they have a solid understanding of the regulations and know that they can call ODFW if they do not understand them.” The Roseburg office of the ODFW can be reached at 541-440-3353.

Water temperature, along with high water, have not helped local anglers this winter. “Temperatures have been a bit lower than average this winter, ranging in the upper-30s to mid-40s. This has seemed to have a negative effect on the ‘bite’ so far this year but I suspect once temperatures warm a little, the fish will become more receptive. Generally, there is no rule of thumb for the best temperature to fish for winter steelhead, but a slight (1-2 degree) increase can trigger fish to become more active,” said Huchko.

Although river conditions hamper some anglers, others have had notable success. Plunking for steelhead remains the best choice for results when dealing with high water and low water visibility. Lures and other common fishing methods tend to be ineffective in such conditions. The well-developed olfactory system of migrating salmonids is drawn to the smell of salmon roe, which is often accompanied by attractants, night crawlers or other pungent bait.

Huchko reiterated a well known, less practiced law as the basis for individual steelhead conservation. “The number one rule to remember for winter steelhead is that only hatchery fish may be harvested,” said Huchko.

Effective conservation of steelhead has taken long-term effort and cooperation from numerous parties. “ODFW’S Conservation Strategy and our Western Oregon Stream Restoration Program are great examples of effective conservation programs. Details of both of these can be found on our website and Facebook site (particularly the ODFW Conservation page), but the primary driver and reason these are successful is the partnerships between ODFW, other state and federal agencies, non-profit groups, private organizations and individuals,” said Huchko.

Concerning further conservation efforts anglers may want to take, Huchko said: “We always encourage anglers to release wild fish as quickly as possible and not leave them out of water any longer than absolutely necessary. In addition, joining local angling and/or conservation groups can be rewarding for both the fish and for anglers.”

Coho Information:

This time of year, some anglers, hunters, and hikers may see coho in areas such as the North Umpqua tributaries. However, coho numbers are currently difficult to estimate when compared to last year’s coho numbers. “It is too early to predict. We should have a better idea of that sometime in April,” says Huchko

ODFW is using new counting methods at the local Winchester Dam. “Our counting methodology has changed recently. Due to budget limitations, the position has been reduced to half-time. This has led to changes in how the counts are generated. Counts are now estimates based on a sub-sampling of video counts at the dam instead of 24/7 counts. This has allowed us to maintain very accurate counts and work within the current budget constraints,” said Huchko.

Threat assessment and security training continue

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    New campus safety threat assessment training may mean the clouds of the past are heading towards the horizon. Photo provided by Pixabay, flickr

While it has been over a year since the events of Oct. 1, campus safety is no less of a priority. Currently, internal national tension is exceptionally high within the U.S., and this tension affects every town and city. U.S. presidential campaign promises specifically regarding immigration from President-elect Donald Trump, have led to marches around the state and worries locally about violence.

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Low numbers of fall chinook: Regional ocean temperature in warm phase

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    Vladimir Sovyak / The Mainstream

Numbers have not been impressive for fall chinook this year and chinook anglers are likely to have more frustrating runs to come.

Aiding salmon populations is no linear tasks.  Even programs designed to aid salmon can be harmful to salmon. “If not managed correctly, hatchery fish may detrimentally affect wild populations . . . we are seeing very few hatchery adult chinook at spawning grounds, which is what we want to see,” said Jason Brandt, Roseburg’s ODFW Assistant Biologist. The concern with hatchery fish in spawning grounds is that they can outcompete and alter the genetics of the wild salmon populations.

In addition, Brandt pointed to predation by smallmouth bass and cormorants as threats to young salmon. “We did remove the bag limit and size limit on smallmouth bass. Maybe anglers will be more likely to keep their bass and make some fish tacos,” said Brandt.

These more localized impediments to salmon spawning are overshadowed by the regional issue of ocean temperature. Changes in the Pacific Ocean’s surface temperature are highly influential over the ability of salmon to maintain or grow their populations. The Pacific Ocean’s surface is currently in a strong warmer phase since early 2014, according to the Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s web article “Pacific Decadal Oscillation.”

This climate index is abbreviated as PDO and its effects are becoming observable to the average salmon angler in Oregon. The article explains that Nathan Mantua, PhD., was the first to show the correlation between ocean temperature and numbers of returning salmon: “the cool PDO years of 1947–1976 coincided with high returns of chinook salmon and coho salmon to Oregon rivers. Conversely, during the warm PDO cycle that followed (1977–1998), salmon numbers declined steadily.”

Warm and cold phases have alternated far more frequently since 1998 compared to relatively slow phase changes in the latter half of the 20th century. “The cause of that is debatable,” said Brandt in regard to why warm and cold phases have become shorter. Due to this, returning salmon anglers are liable to see larger runs within years, not a decade or more.

The warm phases of the PDO are about as exciting as tax information to the average angler, and probably most dull among the problems living and future salmon face, but the PDO is highly reliable. The PDO shows yearly averages of slight variations in temperature. It is a climatic pattern that influences salmon populations not just in the Umpqua, not only just in Oregon, but the Northern Pacific and Pacific Northwest.

Spooktacular Fun Horse Show at the Douglas County Fairgrounds

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    Vladimir Sovyak / The Mainstream

The Spooktacular Horse Show at the Douglas County Fairgrounds scheduled 42 classes for Oct. 29.  Riders ages ranged from under five to over fifty.  The show started with English Riding Classes, followed by Showmanship, Trail, and Western Classes.

Three age groups were organized for the event: 13 and under, 14-18, and 19 & over.  The most attended classes for the show were in the 13 and under category. The Costume Class Ride was held at the end of the day, but it was also the finale for the event as a whole. Costumes ranged from a horse dressed as a car with working headlights to a dragon with a princess, a horse dressed as a frog with a princess rider, and even a rider with taped glasses atop a “nerd” horse with Einstein’s theory of special relativity painted on to the horse. Out of the entire day, crowd support was also most apparent during the Costume Class Ride for the under 13 group.

To clarify, all “classes” at the show in each age group were ranked competitions with ribbons handed out to the first through fifth place contestants.
“I’ve been involved with horses for about 11 years now. I’ve been doing the show down here pretty much since I was in fourth grade, as soon as I was old enough to do 4-H I got involved with the show,” Estan Hughey said, a Forest Management major at UCC. Hughey primarily volunteered this year, but he also participated in Western classes.

“Even if you have no idea what you’re doing when you show, it’s a great place to come down and see what it’s about. It’s a schooling show, not a high-end show,” Hughey said.

Hughey competed for nine years at the Spooktacular before this year’s event. “Working Pairs is my favorite [class]. We and one of my friends who moved usually got first or second,” Hughey said. Working Pairs is a class in which paired riders coordinate the paired horses which mirror each other through various speeds of riding, as well as stopping and directional changes announced by the judges.

Jasmyn Antos, a Dental Assisting major at UCC and avid equestrian, also attended the event. Like Hughey, Antos has been around horses for over a decade. Antos participated for five years in the Spooktacular. Antos spectated this year, and she noted some of the differences in how classes were judged this year compared to recent years. “The judges asked a lot more than usual of the riders, but the riders were also given more feedback than at previous events,” Antos said.
The show took place without any major equine incidents. A couple of more frustrated horses crow hopped, albeit infrequently, but no truly unruly horses had to be removed. There was one incident of minor kicking from a horse during the Western Pairs Open class, but the kick did not stop the rider from finishing the class.

Locals interested in showing their horse or horses for the first time may want to keep their calendar open for next Halloween.  If that is too long to wait, the Hearts and Hands show in February is another chance to participate in a local horse show.  The Spooktacular was organized by Norma Talburt and judged by Cheryl Briggs.

I am UCC

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    Jared Norman, 33-year-old nursing student, learned to push his own boundaries in his life journey.

Joy, Adversity, and Inspiration

Jared Norman’s road to UCC nursing program

Halfway through a year-long backpacking trek a few years ago, Jared Norman realized his calling.  He knew that becoming a pediatric oncology nurse would be his career path. To clarify, the practice of pediatric oncology deals with treating children with cancer.

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