From plastics to nanotechnology

Imagine a future 25 years from now: Many forms of cancer have a cure, every house glistens with solar panels providing carbon-free energy. Water is filtered by nanoparticles. It is a golden age of science and medicine.

Dire times for global warming? Not yet.

If Dr. M. Aslam Khan Khalil’s students are representative of the general public’s attitude toward global warming, then getting support to pay for programs to cut carbon dioxide emissions will be a challenge.

Mindfulness in the classroom

When Dr. Rob Roeser faces his class as an associate professor of psychology, he tells his students, “this is about you, it’s experiential. Keep a journal and practice.” He takes them on a journey of mindfulness with meditation as a skill to achieve awareness, which he said focuses on breathing, feelings and sensations in the body.

Child of war turned peacemaker

Dr. Harry Anastasiou grew up when conflict between the Greeks and the Turks was a way of life on his home island of Cyprus. He wondered why any parent would want their children to inherit the life of war and mistrust in society.

Rock solid professor

Scott Burns, a youthful 61-year-old, will tell anyone who listens that “geology rocks!”
He has been teaching the subject to undergraduate and graduate students for 19 years at Portland State and 39 years overall and still finds it “fun and exciting.”

A life spent changing minds

A passion for civil rights is what Elizabeth Furse hopes to instill in her students at Portland State as director of the Institute for Tribal Government. She has been an activist all her life.

Into the food fray

Portland State students who take classes from Dr. Lisa H. Weasel will probably never look at a soybean or ear of corn in the same way ever again. When they read her just published book, FOOD FRAY: Inside the Controversy Over Genetically Modified Food, they’ll be able to cite many reasons for their convictions.

A modern antiquity

He’s a lover of old cars, old vinyl records, old furniture, an old briefcase and old literature, but he’s certainly not conventional. Jonathan Walker, 39, has unusual teaching methods that open up discussion and critical thought on some antiquated subjects.

A singular passion

Erik Sanchez is such an equipment geek that he freely admits he was told by fellow scientists at MIT, “I was ‘the worst they’d ever seen.’ I’m really into it, big.”

A new lyricism

Before Professor Thomas Fisher became a writer and poet who defines himself as “largely a scholar,” he almost followed another passion altogether into his adult life.