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Adventurous Learning

October 25, 2016

This past summer, KGW-TV interviewed Professor Bryan Sebok about his international-prize-winning new documentary, Food Truck: The Movie, and why Portland is a great incubator for entrepreneurial endeavors.

During that interview, he said, “Portland is, more than anything else, full of adventurous people, people who are just willing to go out and try something new.”

It may lack the bumper sticker appeal of “Keep Portland Weird,” but “adventurous people willing to go out and try something new” nicely captures our city’s intrepid spirit. It also serves as an apt description of what happens at Lewis & Clark every day.

As the stories in this issue of the Chronicle illustrate, learning at Lewis & Clark—whether classroom based or community focused, local or global, formal or informal, structured or organic—is rooted in adventurous people and bold ideas. It’s the very essence of our three schools.

You’ll read about Samantha Robison B.A. ’08, who had the audacity to think that public, participatory art could be transformative in war-torn parts of the world. She founded aptART, an organization of artists and activists working with marginalized youth in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Turkey, and other areas beset by conflict.

And faculty such as Jessica Kleiss, assistant professor of environmental studies, who engage their students as full partners in learning through project and research pursuits that change our understanding of what we think we know.

People, too, such as Laura Russell J.D. ’16, whose passion for public health and social justice inspired her while a law student to collaborate with Oregon Health & Science University and others to develop and launch Oregon’s first medical-legal partnership.

And there are ideas such as our graduate school’s new problem gaming program, which builds on our Community Counseling Center’s expertise and success in treating problem gambling and underscores our position at the forefront of educating the next generation of counselors.

These stories demonstrate how we demand that our students always be in and of the world in which they will graduate—and ready to take on its seemingly intractable issues and challenges. Just as vital is the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, which develops and sharpens skills such as critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and cross-cultural communication. We know that employers highly prize these skills, and they lay the foundation for our graduates to become more effective in all of their endeavors.

Every adventure in learning begins with the hope and goal of a successful outcome. At Lewis & Clark, we build that success with a community of people who are not only willing but well equipped to dare to try something new.

Barry Glassner, President

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