The George S. Turnbull Portland Center Graduate Programs, located at the White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch St. Floor 3R, boosts careers by equipping professionals with new skills, broader understanding, and innovative thinking- all in an exciting urban environment. Our Portland-based graduate programs are intellectually challenging and relentlessly practical, preparing students to be innovators and leaders in the working world. They connect students with top professionals in the state’s biggest media market, expose them to the latest in thinking and technology, and give them access to world-class faculty members. Night and weekend classes allow professionals to complete a master’s degree while working full time.

Creative Courage in the Age of Ideas

The idea industries – advertising, brand planning, and design – are changing rapidly as ideas from individuals come faster than the Shanghai maglev train. Students and participants at “Creative Courage in the Age of Ideas”, presented by Deb Morrison, the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) Carolyn Chambers Distinguished Chair in Adverting, were forced to think – should I get on this train and move with the industry? Or stay off?

Through a series of invited guest speakers, Morrison and her media professionals discussed the perplexing question.

Andrew DeVigal, the SOJC’s Chair for Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement, described projects that he worked on while The New York Times, including a multimedia piece that he was particularly proud of called “Snowfall.”

The story focused on skiers and snowboarders. It changed the way journalists thought about the storytelling. Traditionally, journalists wrote stories in a one dimensional way. “Snowfall” brought together photography, video, writing, audio, and more to make the story come alive to the audience.

Uncorked Studio, a Portland-based digital product agency, discussed their work about the tsunami and earthquake that devastated Japan in 2011. Marcelino Alvarez, CEO and Founder of Uncorked Studio, and his Chief Creative Officer, Dave Ewald, are used creative courage to tell the story.

Ewald broke down the timeline of how Uncorked Studios web traffic took off. Their strategy – using color, data, infographics and radiation detector readings – that made sense to everyday readers and allowed people to understand the magnitude of the natural disaster.

Ending message: believe wholeheartedly in your work, so bring it and bring it big. Surround yourself with others that are like you, passionate about the idea, and push the limits.

Creative Courage in the Age of Ideas was a public presentation during Design Week Portland 2014. For more information about the UO School of Journalism and Communication graduate programs, please contact Jered Nagel, Graduate Programs Manager at or (541) 346-6304.