Outreach Programs

Faculty Speakers Bureau

Reed College facilitates a Speakers Bureau of faculty members who are available to address topics of interest and expertise to Portland area high school classes and clubs. High School teachers should contact Barbara Amen, director of special programs (503-777-7259), to submit requests for a faculty speaker. The director will take the teacher's information, contact the faculty member about availability, and then notify the teacher accordingly. While we will accommodate as many requests as possible, schedule conflicts and demands upon a faculty member's time make it difficult to complete all requests. Each faculty member generally is available for no more than two presentations during the academic year, and will make one presentation at the designated schools (occasionally high school teachers combine multiple classes in the same subject for the presentation). Fall break (October 19-23), January, and late May are times when Reed faculty often have the most flexibility to leave campus during high school hours.

High School teachers interested in inviting a Reed faculty member come to their class or after school club can facilitate the request process by providing the following information when making initial contact with the special programs office:

            1)  Name of teacher requesting a speaker
            2)  High School
            3)  Phone number and best time to reach teacher (including home
                  number, if appropriate)
            4)  Reed faculty member requested
            5)  Topic to be addressed
            6)  Class/group to be addressed
            7)  Year of students and size of class/group
            8)  Date and time frame for faculty member to address the class
                  (flexibility works best!)

2015-2016 list of available faculty members by department.  It also may be possible to accommodate requests for additional Reed faculty members, or requests for topics other than those listed.


The Open Gallery program is a visual arts outreach program. It coordinates presentations on the current exhibitions on-site at the Cooley Gallery or at the schools.

September 2 -  November 8
Jessica Jackson Hutchins — Confessions

Confessions is a collective endeavor that seeks transparency about the distinctions between collecting, curating, and making, while exploring related concerns such as the care, circulation, and preservation of works of art.


Professor Kara Cerveny

(January through May only)

1)  Cellular and developmental biology
2)  Genetics (as it relates to embryonic development)
3)  Career options as a biologist (prior experience as a high school science teacher, reasearcher in the UK and Germany, and writer/editor for Cell, a scientific journal)
4)  Discussion of her lab (genetic and cellular investigation of eye growth and development in zebrafish) and its relevance to health and human disease.

Professor David Dalton

1)  Pacific NW forests
2)  Biological legacy of Lewis and Clark
3)  Genetic engineering of plants

Professor Todd Schlenke

1)  Host-parasite interactions:  how immune systems work and how parasites try to evade or suppress immune systems
2)  Natural history: understanding and appreciating the natural world around us
3)  How I got interested in science, and what it means to be a scientist


Professor Walter Englert

1)  Greek tragedy          
2)  Homer (Iliad and Odyssey)   
3)  Greek and Roman literature and philosophy


Professor Denise Hare

1)  China's economic policy and development: what it means for China and for the rest of the world


Professor Douglas Fix 

1)  Taiwan
2)  Japanese colonialism
3)  19th-century photography of China and Japan

Professor Margot Minardi   

1)  The First Emancipation: causes and consequences of the abolition of slavery in the northern states
2)  African American civil rights activism in the 19th-century and the legacy of the American Revolution

3)  Images of emancipation in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era

4)  Dreaming of Utopia:  the reform imagination in 19th-century America


Professor Matt Pearson     

1)  "What is Linguistics?" General presentation on topics such as speakers' unconscious knowledge of their language and how linguists investigate it, careers in linguistics, or topic of teacher preference.

Literature/Literary Studies

Professor Lena Lencek

1)  Russia and Italy: a romance
2)  The Soviet experience

Professor Jan Mieszkowski

1)  Why are literary studies important?
2)  What is the broader historical, social, and political signifance of literature and literary studies?
3)  Why does poetry matter?


Professor Adam Groce    

1)  The math of voting: a proof that fair elections are impossible
(This topic covers Arrow's Theorem, which won its author a Nobel Prize in economics.  It's a formal proof that you can't create an election system that isn't "unfair" in one of a few basic, specified ways.)
2)  Mathematical matchmaking: the stable marriage problem
(This is a description of algorithms that pair objects up, motivated by the idea of putting together romantic partners in pairs of mutually attracted people.)

Given the challenging material, we suggest honors and advanced classes for the above topics)

Professor Irena Swanson   

1)  Calendars and modular arithmetic (history of calendars; the usual and unusual arithmetic behind them; on what day of the week were you born?)
2)  Perspective drawing and projective geometry
3)  Tessellations of the plane (with group theory or quilting)
4)  Continued fractions (and the Euclidean algorithm)

Nuclear Science

Melinda Krahenbuhl, director of the Reed Research Reactor

1)  Basic radiation science
2)  Radiation health effects
3)  Nuclear Reactor accident analysis


Professor Daniel Borrero

1)  Spontaneous pattern formation, self-organization, and complexity in nature
2)  Nonlinear dynamics and chaos
3)  Computation in physics and engineering

Professor Alison Crocker

1)  Exoplanets
2)  Star formation
3)  Galaxy populations

Professor David Griffiths

1)  Special relativity
2)  Elementary particles
3)  Quantum mechanics


Professor Enriqueta Canseco-Gonzalez

1)  Language acquisition
2)  Language and the brain: evidence from brain-damaged patients
3)  Sign language and bilingualism
4)  Neural plasticity

Professor Kathy Oleson

(spring only)
1)  Social psychology
2)  Stereotyping and prejudice
3)  The self
4)  Interpersonal perception and relationships


Professor Kristin Scheible

1)  World religions
2)  Buddhism
3)  Hinduism


Professor Alexandra Hrycek

1)  The war in Ukraine
2)  Feminism


Office of Special Programs