Steve at CATE, University of Oregon

Steve is also Research Assistant at the University of Oregon's CATE
where he works on their Opal Online Project.

Meet Stephen Williamson

Steve was born in Louisiana in 1951.  He grew up in the small town of Greenwood.  Steve credits his grandmother and his aunt for inspiring his love for history.  He says that he learned to read by finding graves in old cemeteries for them. He attended college at Louisiana State University.  In 1976 he moved to Oregon and began researching the history of his adopted home.

Steve has worked in the mental health field for over twenty five years. In that time he has worked with many people who were "downsized" from out of state mental hospitals. He has worked with many different groups of people helping them to overcome their disabling conditions and have better lives. Opal Whiteley who was locked away for almost 50 years was the type of person he could have helped leave the hospital - with support. Steve created the Opal Whiteley Memorial in Cottage Grove, Oregon which has educated hundreds of people about mental health issues. After working for years with people who have Schizophrenia he began serving people with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. This led to a new understanding of Opal as possibly being misdiagnosed.  You can read his article here.

He is also a Courtesy Research Assistant with the University of Oregon's Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE).  He collects historical research and photographs on Opal Whiteley for their project Opal Online.  CATE is dedicated to helping students learn using modern technology and ways of teaching. It is a mission that Steve is also deeply committed to.

Maeda, from Japan, circa 1902 in Marcola, Oregon

 Ping Yang on the Mohawk

The Forgotten Asians of Western Oregon

In addition to researching the life of Opal Whiteley, Steve is also noted for documenting the forgotten history of Asians in early Marcola. Oregon. Opal lived in Marcola as a small child. One of Steve's articles is about the shocking bombing of a school named Ping Yang.
Another historical article remembers a long forgotten Japanese colony in Oregon's Mohawk Valley and other Asians.
Steve is the co-chair of the annual Oregon Asian Celebration's Heritage Exhibit.



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