‘Green screen’ installed in SMSU

New display points out inefficiencies in buildings
A “green screen” was installed in Smith Memorial Student Union Oct. 18, which displays the building’s water, electricity and gas usage and updates its report every 15 minutes. The green screen allows “both the university and the building users to see exactly how the building is performing over time,” said Mark Gregory, associate vice president of finance and administration, in an email.

Changes to state health plan raise employee blood pressure

Members will see increased deductibles and surcharges
As of January 2012, the Public Employees’ Benefit Board is making changes to benefit plans for state employees, which will impact approximately 3,000 workers at Portland State. State employees who are members of the PEBB’s health insurance plan are being asked to voluntarily participate in a new program called the Health Engagement Model. According to PEBB, the goal of the model is to encourage members to make healthier choices and “take action in areas where simple steps can reduce health risks.” In addition to the HEM, there will be a $25 per month surcharge for smokers, and a $50 per month surcharge for spouses and other family members who opt out of coverage from their own employer in favor of family coverage provided by the member’s insurance.
E.B. Brown, lead sales and service agent at the University Station Post Office, sorts packages.

University Station Post Office may be moving soon

USPS may not renew lease, PSU Mail may step up services for students, staff
Many Portland State students and faculty may soon require a new method of getting their postal service needs met. The University Station Post Office, located just a block away from campus at 1505 SW Sixth Ave., could very well be relocating or even closing down in the near future. USPS’s lease on the building is nearing its end (with a listed expiration date of “early 2013”), and questions abound over what could happen once the lease concludes.
A PSU student sorts his food waste in the Viking Food Court.

In race for innovations in sustainability, PSU behind

Portland launches residential composting but PSU won’t follow suit anytime soon
Audrey Wimmer is one of many Portland State student living on campus who has a compost bin in her kitchen but doesn’t know where to take it when it’s full. “My compost is piled up right now. I haven’t yet brought it anywhere and I’m not sure where I’m going to bring it,” Wimmer said. “I took one handful of compost, mostly jasmine [tea] leaves, and dumped it in the bushes a while ago.”

Oregon short on tuition equity

As California joins trending states, Oregon’s chasing
In the shadow of California’s landmark passage of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) lies Oregon’s dead Senate Bill 742, which would have granted resident tuition at Oregon University System schools to illegal immigrants who live in the state.

Academics don’t slow Professor Lindberg down

PSU professor competes in World Duathlon Championships
On Sept. 24, the Duathlon World Championships were hosted in Gijon, Spain. Debra Lindberg, an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Portland State, participated in the race and placed 22nd in the world in her age bracket. The duathalon consisted of a combined 9.3 miles run and a 23.9 mile bicyce course.

PSU launches Research and Strategic Partnerships

What the new office means for Portland State’s future
The office of Research and Strategic Partnerships is devoted to growing PSU’s public-private partnerships and helping its researchers attain funding by facilitating the grant process. Led by Jonathan Fink, the office is relatively new to the university; its creation in a time of economic uncertainty marks it as a sign of PSU’s long-term goals.

Simon Benson Awards dinner raises $465,000

Condoleezza Rice’s speech praised U.S. philanthropy, universities
The 12th Annual Simon Benson Awards dinner held Wednesday night was a huge success for Portland State, netting $465,000 in funds raised. The money goes towards supporting PSU students and faculty, according to the PSU Foundation, the organization which planned the event. Named after the late local philanthropist Simon Benson, the event honors the Furman and Mark families for their contributions to the arts, as well as education and nonprofit organizations.
Merk Weislogel mans the Capillary Channel Flow experiment

Portland State in Space

PSU wraps up one of several experiments on the International Space Station
Oct. 16 marked the end of an experiment Portland State had been conducting on the International Space Station. This experiment created a unique opportunity for students and staff: Students had the opportunity to have hands-on experience operating the complex equipment onboard the station.

PSU professor receives nearly $1 million grant

Study will focus on the link between alcohol consumption and suicide
Portland State professor of public health Mark Kaplan will be the chief investigator of a new study researching the connection between acute alcohol use and suicide. The project will be funded by a $953,459 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an institute within the National Institutes of Health.

ISS hires new director

Robert Costanza replaced by Jennifer Allen
On Oct. 12, after only a year of service, the director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Robert Costanza, was replaced by Jennifer Allen. Costanza’s position was changed to professor of sustainability, and Allen was named acting director.

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