Claire Desmarais

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Claire Desmarais is the editor-in-chief for The Beacon.

Letter from the editor: Thank you for a historic, unforgettable year

Three years ago, my mom sent me a recruiting video on Facebook inviting University of Portland students to apply to work at The Beacon. At the time, I lacked a sense of belonging at UP, so I decided to apply and started working as a reporter in the fall of 2017. Then, I was hired as the news and managing editor, and finally, as the editor-in-chief for my senior year. Little would I know how much The Beacon would impact my life, and how much fulfillment I would gain from leading and working with a community of intelligent, creative and caring individuals.

According to U.S. News and World Report, UP has an average freshman retention rate of 90% and an annual graduation rate of 82%. UP was ranked second in the Regional Universities West category by the publication.

UP goes up in regional rankings

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Portland second out of 113 institutions in the Regional Universities West category of its 2020 ranking of colleges and universities. That category covers “universities that offer a full-range undergraduate programs, some master’s and few doctoral programs.”

Claire Desmarais is the editor-in-chief of The Beacon.

Letter from the editor: Welcome to UP

Whether you’re a new student or a returner, I’m here to officially welcome you to this little place in North Portland we all call home. Here at The Beacon, we want to be a resource for you as you navigate life at UP. Our purpose is to provide the UP community with accurate, relevant and timely information to keep you informed about what’s happening on your campus. 

Sharon Jones, the dean of Shiley School of Engineering, will be leaving June 30 to become the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Washington Bothell.

School of Engineering dean leaving after eight years

Dean of the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering Sharon Jones will be leaving the University of Portland on June 30, according to an email sent to faculty, staff and students from Rev. Mark Poorman. She will leave to become the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Washington Bothell. Jones has served as the Dean of the School of Engineering for the last eight years. 

Claudio Talavera-Ballón discusses his story of spending time with migrants to experience their lives so he can create meaningful art.

Lecture Recap: Artist Claudio Talavera-Ballón discusses migration and role of women in social justice

On Wednesday night, students, faculty and staff filed into Buckley Center Auditorium to hear artist Talavera-Ballón shed light on “art, migration and the role of women in social justice.” He is an oil painter and muralist originally from Peru who now lives in San Francisco. His pieces focus on the relationship between art and social justice issues. He has worked with many Latin American farmers, fisherman, migrants and women to highlight their “struggles and wisdom.”

2019-2020 Editor-in-chief Claire Desmarais shares what working for The Beacon has meant to her and urges those looking for community at UP to apply.

Staff Opinion: Why you should work for The Beacon

Did everyone you know tell you that college would be the best time of your life? Or at least be one of the best times of your life? They said you would meet new people, live in a new city and finally start taking interesting classes. I heard all these things during my senior year of high school and well into my freshman year of college. 

Photo from Creator's Conference 2018. Photo Submission by Keaton Averman.

Second annual Creator's Conference to be held this Saturday

Founded last year by Keaton Averman, the Creator’s Conference on March 23 will feature a variety of “digital media enthusiasts.” The event, sponsored by On the Bluff Studios, will be held in St. Mary’s from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and welcomes all UP students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the community who are “interested in the creative digital media fields.”

Matthew Libby started as the Outdoor Pursuits Program manager last October.

New Outdoor Pursuits Program manager focuses on inclusivity

Imagine strapping up, walking to the exit of an airplane and free falling for what could be 60 seconds. Or maybe heading out on a boat on a clear day, putting on an oxygen mask and diving to the depths of the ocean. Although these don’t sound like your typical weekend activities, they are for Matthew Libby, this year’s new program manager for Outdoor Pursuits Program at Beauchamp Recreation Center.

Rev. Martin Luther King, head-and-shoulders portrait, seated, facing front, hands extended upward, during a press conference / World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick DeMarsico. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Diversity Dialogues packed with events for the next two weeks

Today marks the first day of Diversity Dialogues. For the next two weeks, there will be a multitude of events put on by clubs and other organizations to help educate the UP community about a variety of topics related to diversity and inclusion. Events are free and open to all.  “We’re carving out this time in the academic calendar to focus on issues that are related to diversity, equity, inclusion, race, privilege, all that good stuff,” said Yuri Hernandez Osorio, coordinator for diversity and inclusion programs. “But, the conversation doesn’t start or end there necessarily, and so another concept of Diversity Dialogues is continuing the dialogue.”

 Some professors and students have encountered challenges with being locked out of classrooms since the start of the semester. Gerald Gregg advises students or professors to call Public Safety should this occur. Photo by Jacob Fuhrer.

Public Safety to conduct an emergency alert drill on Thursday

On Thursday, Nov. 29, there will be an emergency alert drill conducted by Public Safety on campus, according to an email Sandy Chung sent to faculty and staff. The time of the drill has not been released, but it will test the UP Emergency Broadcast System, which sends voice, text and email messages to those who opt in to the system.  To sign up for the emergency alert system, students must use their login to PilotsUP and go to the bottom right of the page to a tab titled “UP Alert Emergency Notification Info.”