University Day 2019 kicked off with a new employee breakfast, a discussion between OSU President Edward J. Ray and University of Texas El Paso President Emeritus Diana Natalicio, an awards ceremony, a free lunch and an Expo. Below is a list of this year's University Day award recipients. For photos from the day, visit

The Student Learning and Success Teamwork Award recognizes departments or interdisciplinary groups at Oregon State University that have demonstrated exceptional teamwork in creating and sustaining an exemplary teaching and learning environment to advance the university’s strategic goal of student success and excellence.

This year’s award goes to the founders of the Learning Assistant Program. This includes Dennis Bennett, Lori Kayes and Devon Quick. Quick and Kayes are both Senior Instructor I’s with the department of integrative biology in the College of Science. Bennett is the director of the OSU Writing Center

Bennett, Quick, and Kayes created the program so that faculty who wished to transform their courses for student success could be supported by effective, qualified help, regardless of class size.

The Learning Assistant Program Learning Assistants support course transformations by facilitating student-centered methods of teaching and learning by interacting with students during their learning, providing feedback and guidance. Learning Assistants are undergraduate students who have been successful in their courses and are recruited by faculty to apply to the program. They become part of the teaching team, facilitating student learning in and out of class.

One nominator wrote, “The Learning Assistant Program team of Devon Quick, Lori Kayes, and Dennis Bennett have come together to make excellent teaching and learning a reality. They have contributed significantly to department, college, and university goals for student success. They have demonstrated innovation in student mentoring, teaching, and curriculum development and the initiative to share their ideas with the broader university community.”

Another nominator added, “All three founders have worked hard to provide an excellent teaching and learning environment for students in the College of Science and beyond. Better attitudes toward learning, and more metacognition are only a few changes noted in the research done by Learning Assistants.”

We are pleased to honor the Learning Assistant Program with the Student Learning and Success Teamwork Award.


The Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring Award is awarded annually to the faculty member who best exemplifies the role of a mentor and who has provided exceptional mentoring to one or more postdoctoral scholars during the previous year. This year’s recipient is Ramesh Sagili, an associate professor of apiculture with the department of horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Sagili’s research addresses the critical issues of honey bee health, vitality and pollination in Oregon. During the past 10 years at OSU, Ramesh has demonstrated strong leadership and established an internationally recognized honey bee research and Extension program from the ground up, catering to the critical needs of both beekeepers and crop producers.

Ramesh has earned the trust and respect of his stakeholders and peer scientists with his innovative basic and applied research and extension program.

One of Sagili’s postdocs said, “Ramesh has been a strong pillar in my adjustments to both my professional and personal lives in the US. From the period of interviews, to hiring me, and my current tenure as his post-doctoral researcher, Ramesh has always made decisions and set forth research goals in consultation with me, ensuring that the expectations are mutual and realistic. He is very respectful and supportive of my skills and career aspirations. We have built a relationship based on trust, respect and our shared zeal for bee research.”

Another nominator said “Ramesh recognizes the true value and importance of mentoring, and has been an outstanding mentor for students, research assistants and postdoctoral scholars alike in his program. Many of his lab members including post-doctoral scholars have been recognized with national and regional awards which is evidence of his commitment towards their success and development.”

We are pleased to present Ramesh Sagili with the Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring Award for 2019


The Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award recognizes graduate students who have excelled in their capacity as teaching assistants. For 2019, this honor is given to Thaddaeus Buser, a graduate teaching assistant in the department of fisheries science in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Buser teaches online and on-campus courses for fisheries science and has been instrumental in the development of their undergraduate mentoring program.

“Thaddeus has developed interactive lessons for the Systematic of Fishes class that provide students with multiple ways to demonstrate their knowledge and combine their interests and talents effectively,” a nominator wrote. “Our department’s Facebook site is always crowded in the fall with the poetry, art, and music of students from the fish classes. As a testament to Thaddeus’ excellence in teaching and creative pedagogy, we have chosen him to be the GTA for a three‐term, Ecampus‐funded effort to improve student success in our Systematics courses (fishes, birds and mammals).”

A nominator wrote, “Thaddeus is a truly outstanding and innovative teacher who cares deeply for his students, striving for student success through infectious enthusiasm and creativity. He is also a fantastic public speaker, educating audiences from kids to international science communities about his work using high tech CT scanning systems to understand the evolutionary history of fishes.”

A faculty member said, “As a teaching assistant, Thaddaeus leads lab sections with highly effective Socratic and comparative approaches, pours hours into providing meaningful feedback, organizes extra help sessions, and innovates extra credit opportunities that challenge students to write and perform scientifically accurate poetry, or to identify fishes in the “mystery box” (a giant paper-maché anglerfish!) using only their sense of touch! His efforts have increased student success, and in the most recent version of the course, most students earned an A or a B, and no students failed or received a D, as has happened frequently in the past.”

We are pleased to award Thaddaeus Buser with the Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.


The Postdoctoral Excellence Awards are granted to two exceptional postdoctoral scholars, fellows or research associates for their exceptional contributions to their research field, OSU and the greater postdoctoral community. The 2019 recipients are Priyadarshini Chakrabarti-Basu, Research Associate in Horticulture, College of Agricultural Sciences and Susanna Keriö, Research Associate of Botany & Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural Sciences.

Chakrabarti-Basu has been employed as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the OSU apiculture lab since November 2016. In her current position, she is conducting research on honey bee nutrition and impact of pesticides on honey bee health.

A nominator said, “Priya possesses a breadth of unique and vital skills/techniques that have immensely benefitted my research program such as electrophysiology and mass spectrometry etc. She has developed some cutting-edge protocols for bee behavioral assays that have the potential to further advance the apicultural science. Priya also has remarkable grant writing skills and has already secured several significant research grants to the tune of approximately $200,000 in the past two years alone for her research.”

They continued, “Priya is a top notch young researcher who is extremely bright, passionate, and dedicated. She is highly independent, critical thinker and has strong work ethics. She has excellent communication skills and is versatile. One good example of her versatility is her seamless transition from a research program in India to our research program here at OSU. Priya is equally adept working in the lab and in the field with abundant dedication.”

Keriö has worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology since February 2017. Her research is focused on characterizing microbes associated with forest trees.

In her time at OSU Dr. Keriö has co-authored four peer-reviewed publications and presented her research at two international scientific meetings,” a nominator wrote. “She is also developing three additional manuscripts describing the results from the research she has conducted at OSU.”

The nominator also highlighted her work in developing a collaboration with a scientist from another university. “I was particularly impressed that she independently developed this collaboration with a leading researcher in her field and then acquired the funding, via an OPA Professional Development Award, to spend time in his lab. In my opinion this is something many young scientists would find difficult to do.”

We are pleased to recognize Priyadarshini Chakrabarti-Basu and Susanna Keriö as the Postdoctoral Excellence Award recipients for 2019.


The Promising Scholar Award recognizes junior faculty whose outstanding scholarship has been recognized by peers, and who have demonstrated a high level of accomplishment over a relatively short period of time at OSU. The 2019 recipient is Elise Lockwood, associate professor with the department of mathematics in the College of Science.

Lockwood conducts research in undergraduate mathematics education, with  a particular focus on combinatorial thinking. Lockwood’s scholarship has provided fundamental, new knowledge about how students learn mathematics and go about solving mathematical problems, which is providing mathematics instructors new insights to improve mathematics education.

Lockwood is recognized by her peers as one of the most promising scholars in her field. She received a National Science Foundation CAREER award, a Fulbright in Norway to conduct research on how to improve teaching and learning of mathematics by incorporating computing into mathematics classes, and was awarded the Mathematical Association of America’s Selden Prize, given every other year to one early career scientist who has established a significant body of publications in undergraduate mathematics education.

“Led by her internationally recognized achievements in research, Lockwood has assembled an impressive array of professional accomplishment that excels in all dimensions,” one nominator wrote.

Another nominator wrote, “Lockwood’s research agenda is exceptionally coherent and focused. She has concentrated primarily on students’ learning and understanding of combinatorics, more recently expanding this work to include a new emphasis in the area of computation, which is the focus of her new prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. She has already established herself as the recognized expert in the teaching and learning of combinatorics and is well positioned to do the same in the area of computation. Research in computing education is in its infancy, and Dr. Lockwood is the ideal person to spearhead and lead this exciting and nationally important area of research.”

For her valuable contributions to OSU, we are pleased to honor Elise Lockwood with the Promising Scholar Award.


The OSU Impact Award for Outstanding Scholarship recognizes OSU faculty who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship in a specific project or activity resulting in substantial impact beyond the university setting. This year’s recipient is Chong Fang, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Science.

Fang has assembled a talented research team and constructed a set of sophisticated apparatuses to perform cutting-edge experiments at the modern interface of physical chemistry, material sciences, ultrafast optics, and molecular biology. His team has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, two reviews and one book chapter, three OSU IP disclosures and one U.S. provisional patent, while generating a large body of media reports and news coverage for his collaborative research projects on aqueous aluminum chemistry and protein biosensor development.

“I think the role of a physical chemist and spectroscopist is to provide this deeper understanding and then suggest ways in which the results can be used to design better systems, and I am very impressed by the progress he has made,” a nominator wrote. “This type of biophysical research is now a major fraction of modern physical chemistry, and Professor Fang is an excellent representative of this dynamic area.”

Another nominator wrote, “The impacts of Fang’s research are profound, as his new structural dynamics toolset has provided crucial insights currently unavailable from other methods, and essentially provide “molecular movies” of how important processes work at the molecular scale.”

We are pleased to honor Chong Fang with the OSU Impact Award for Outstanding Scholarship.


The OSU Exemplary Employee Award honors one professional faculty member and one classified staff member for their outstanding performance.  This year’s professional faculty member is Kristin Beem, marine technician with the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

Beem is frequently assigned to support science cruises, where she works with the crews of the Oceanus and the USCGC Healy.

“The nature of the job of a Marine Technician requires good customer service. Kristin does this very well,” her nominator wrote. “She provides quality support to all scientists and her piers and she often goes above and beyond normal expectations to provide high quality customer service. I’ve received allot of feedback from scientists expressing their satisfaction of Kristin’s terrific customer service. Including PI’s claiming Kristin was “the best Marine Tech they’ve ever worked with.”

We are pleased to honor Kristin Beem with the OSU Exemplary Employee Award.


The classified staff member receiving The OSU Exemplary Employee Award is Napatr “Niddy” Lindsley, Executive Assistant and Analyst Programmer, Office of Student Success for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Among her many duties is spearheading the management of undergraduate scholarships in the college, leading high school tours, creating a complete and current repository of course syllabi and finding a myriad ways to reduce barriers to student progress.

“OSU is in the process of transitioning from the existing Data Warehouse systems to the next generation of databases, data retrieval, and data reporting. Ms. Lindsley has no obligation to assist with this transition, but she is investing time to share her intimate understanding of student and course information that is critical for advisors and academic units. This will better ensure the new student information database adequately meets the needs of its users,” a nominator wrote.

They continued, “A primary strength exhibited by Ms. Lindsley is her openness to and constant engagement in developmental activities that promote self-improvement. She is brilliant at teaching herself what she needs to know.”

For her valuable service to OSU, we are pleased to honor Niddy Lindsley with the OSU Exemplary Employee Award.


The University Mentoring and Professional Development Award recognizes those who excel in supporting and encouraging OSU employees to participate in professional and/or educational development opportunities. This year’s recipient is David Hendrix, assistant professor of biochemisty and biophysics in the College of Science.

In addition to his teaching load, hosts a week-long scientific computational summer camp for middle-school children who want to learn about science and computation. This camp is a significant  source of outreach. Every graduate employee in his lab is given the opportunity to help in the design and execution of this camp if they so choose, which is another significant boon for those interested in professional development for future teaching and outreach endeavors.

“David Hendrix is a caring and hard-working mentor who treats all of his employees and students as people-first, foremost, and at all times. This nurturing ethos is, unfortunately, a rarity in David's professional domains, which is perhaps why his popularity continues to grow among students and graduate employees alike.,” a graduate student wrote. “More than half of David's graduate employees are transitions from other labs, who switched to his lab specifically because of his reputation for a deeply encouraging mentorship style. Without exaggeration or hyperbole of any kind, I can say that this situation is unique in my knowledge of academic lab environments, either at this university or in academia more broadly.”

We are pleased to present David Hendrix with the University Mentoring and Professional Development Award for 2019.


The Outreach and Engagement Award recognizes significant and meritorious achievement that enhances reciprocal learning with our students, partners and stakeholders through outreach and engagement activities. For 2019, that honor goes to Flaxen Conway, a professor and director of the Marine Resource Management Program with the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and a Sea Grant Extension Specialist.

In her Extension role, Flaxen partners with learners, agencies, community members, and other educators to design and deliver high quality educational outreach and engagement programs that helps people to access resources, build coalitions, and plan strategies that meet the needs of all interests.

One nominator wrote, “After working closely with Flaxen during my time in the MRM program, I have chosen a career in outreach and engagement. By following her lead, I have learned the importance of listening when communicating, the value of strong relationships and building trust, how to manage expectations, and how to work to benefit everyone involved in a collaboration.”

Stakeholders say, ““Flaxen works thoughtfully, creatively, cooperatively, and with dedication, … whether she’s working with us harvesters or the Newport Fishermen’s Wives, or the processors, or the support businesses… Flaxen’s work has been instrumental in helping Oregon’s fishing community to build connections with researchers, agencies, and NGOs.”

Another nominator wrote, “As a catalyst for making the connections among sometimes disparate groups, Flaxen wears her professional hats with grace and style that is admired and much-appreciated for her straightforward approach, high standards for academic rigor, and genuine consideration of divergent viewpoints and perspectives.”

We take a great deal of pleasure in awarding Flaxen Conway the OSU Outreach and Engagement Award.


The purpose of the OSU Professional Faculty Excellence Award is to distinguish exceptional service of a faculty member in a role other than the traditional areas of teaching, research or extension. That honor in 2019 goes to Jeffrey Clawson, Pilot Brewery manager with the department of Food Science and Technology.

Lawson has been the driving force behind the modernization of the OSU brewery which has resulted in OSU having the most technically sophisticated, state of the art teaching and research brewery in the country.

One nominator wrote, “Jeff often improvises or fabricates parts that are too expensive or no longer available. He led a small team in the design and installation of the new brewery, devised facility modifications and specified equipment that stretched the impact of the $1 M gift by 25%, resulting in significant operational enhancements.”

A colleague wrote, “Jeff has worked far beyond his position description throughout his career at OSU and did/does it all well above everyone’s expectations. He is not the type of person to just simply do his job, rather he identifies areas where help is needed and steps in with a highly collaborative and professional approach. He has always displayed a selfless sense of responsibility for our program’s success.”

“Jeff has the respect of his peers at OSU as well as within the industrial/commercial community of brewers and food processors outside of OSU,” the colleague continued. “The reason for this is that Jeff is highly competent, extremely personable, and he helps everyone around him succeed. Personally, I would not have achieved my level of success if it weren’t for Jeff doing what he does every day, and I know that many others in our department feel similarly.”

We are pleased to recognize Jeffrey Clawson with the OSU Professional Faculty Excellence Award.


The Outstanding Diversity Advocate Award recognizes a member of the OSU community who contributes to and enhances the environment of OSU through consistent and sustained efforts to improve opportunities for the diverse communities we serve. Luhui Whitebear, assistant director of the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, is the 2019 award recipient.

Whitebear an advisor for Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, and for the Native American Student Association. She has worked on the Native and Indigenous Student Access and Success Initiative and the Indigenous Living Community, which will implement a residency program for first-year indigenous students to assist with recruitment and  retention, and heads the NAL Advisory Council made up of indigenous OSU faculty. This coming spring, she is bringing back the Native American Law and Policy class by popular demand.

A nominator wrote, “Luhui has help and encourage the staff at the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws to create programming like the Red Shawl event which brings to attention the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women around the world. Luhui also worked with other staff to have the city of Corvallis acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous People's Day. Luhui also is an advisor to a new student organization, RAD Indigenous Queer and Two-Spirit Students. This organization was encouraged through Luhui’s understanding of the importance of having an organization that can support the queer Indigenous students on campus that would understand the displacement of Indigenous queer individuals.”

A colleague wrote, “Lu regularly works to support organizations, centers, initiatives, and events that work towards making an inclusive campus. Most recently, she chaperoned a group of students to the Pacific Islander Student Alliance Conference in Seattle to better support this community. She also serves on more councils, boards and committees than I can count, working with various groups to tackle different issues around social justice.”

For everything she has done for this university, we are pleased to present Luhui Whitebear with the Outstanding Diversity Advocate Award.


The purpose of the International Service Award is to recognize exemplary, on-going contributions of OSU faculty and staff to the internationalization of the university by enhancing student, faculty, and staff awareness and participation in international education, research, and related activities. Aaron Wolf, professor of geography with the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, is this year’s recipient.

Wolf is a trained mediator and facilitator who founded and directs OSU’s program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, and created an online certificate for the program. He created and coordinates the Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database, and has developed a unique multi-university Master’s program in Water Cooperation and Diplomacy. His specialties in conflict management and transformation and transboundary/transnational water resources have resulted in him being summoned around the world to address resource conflicts.

A colleague wrote, “The Oregon State database and programs on transboundary water are transformative worldwide. They have made incalculable positive impacts on water and peace. In fact, Aaron helped create the UN’s water and peace programs.”

“Thanks to Mr. Wolf’s outstanding work, Oregon State University is today a world-wide reference of excellence and expertise in topics related to water diplomacy, water conflict prevention and resolution,” a nominator wrote. “Mr. Wolf is a tireless contributor to the improvement of the capacities of future generations of water policy-makers, and his collaboration with the UNESCO Water Family has allowed them to improve the negotiation skills of water specialists and decision-makers worldwide.”

Aaron Wolf, for everything you do, we are pleased to present to you the International Service Award.


The Dar Reese Excellence in Advising Award recognizes outstanding advising of undergraduate students by a member of the OSU faculty, as well as demonstrated success in teaching, research and service. This honor is given in 2019 to Daniel Smith, Senior Instructor and Head Advisor of Food Science & Technology, College of Agricultural Sciences.

Smith teaches a food science orientation course, is in charge of program and student and faculty assessments, drives curriculum updates and is essential to the Food Science and Technology career fair, in addition to his advising duties.

“Dan Smith is one of the kindest, smartest, and most gracious people I know. Truly. He is genuinely committed to positive student outcomes and has been relentless in his advocacy for undergraduates and their academic experiences,” a nominator wrote. “I witnessed this firsthand when I worked alongside him as a fellow advisor.”

A student wrote, “Dan’s passion for his students was demonstrated continuously throughout their time in the Food Science program. He not only went through the effort to personally design each students academic track to their specific needs and interest, but he also provided continual guidance in industry experience and exposure.”

They continued, “Even after graduation, Dan’s commitment to his students is second to none. He has developed a large network for former students to connect with each other. Additionally, he still continues to communicate opportunities for his students even after they have left the program many years prior.”

For everything he does, we are proud to honor Daniel Smith the Dar Reese Excellence in Advising Award.


The OSU Academic Advising Award recognizes undergraduate academic advising by professional faculty rank as well as fixed-term academic rank faculty whose primary role is advising, and acknowledges advising as a profession making a pivotal contribution to the OSU community. In 2019, the honoree is Mary Chuinard, academic advisor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. 

Chuinard has led three signature efforts to promote student development in CEOAS.  First, she spearheaded an effort to coordinate experiential learning across our academic programs.  Second, she instituted an informal “living-learning community” in Environmental Sciences last year.  Working with student housing, she was able to create a small pilot project of incoming students who live in close proximity.  Finally, Chuinard led the charge for an Academic Mentoring Program (AMP) in CEOAS that pairs graduate students with undergraduate majors across the College. 

“Mary Chuinard’s personal investment in her advisees’ success stems directly from her scholarly work on the role of a ‘developmental’ advising style in increasing student retention,” a nominator wrote. “This approach tailors advising to an individual’s needs and goals and engages the student in taking an active role in their academic trajectory.  Mary embodies this approach in her direct advising, maintaining an open door and a flexible scheduling system.  More importantly, she has “baked in” this attitude among CEOAS’ team of advisors by establishing processes that support reflective advising that focuses on students’ strengths.”

A student wrote, “My success at OSU was in no small part due to the outstanding faculty and staff in CEOAS, and the advisement that I received from Mary was the backbone of that experience. What kept me on track was a solid plan and direction that Mary and I put together from the outset of my degree.”

We are pleased to honor Mary Chuinard with the OSU Academic Advising Award.


The purpose of the Outstanding Faculty Research Assistant Award is to recognize scholarly achievement and a level of innovation and effort that far exceeds expectations. This year’s recipient is Barbara Lagerquist, senior faculty research assistant at the Marine Mammal Institute with the College of Agricultural Sciences.

As part of the Whale Telemetry Group, Lagerquist has assisted the Marine Mammal Institute with an ambitious whale satellite-tagging program. The group has pioneered the development of satellite-monitored radio tags to study the movements, critical habitats, and dive characteristics of free-ranging whales and dolphins. The program is global in scope, ranging from blue and fin whales in California and Mexico; humpback whales in Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Mexico, and Gabon; gray whales in Oregon and Mexico; sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico; and right whales in Canada and South Africa.

Her nominator wrote, “Her highly organized nature and meticulous attention to detail benefit everything from efficient and rigorous report writing to the logistical organization of multi-week trips at sea.”

“Barb has served as chief scientist on tagging fieldwork in California, Washington, and Hawaii. On these multi-week field expeditions, Barb has led four to six people in conducting tagging operations,” her nominator continued. “As chief scientist, she is the primary decision maker during the expedition, choosing where to look for whales and monitoring the weather closely in order to take advantage of brief windows of calm seas or terminating operations if conditions deteriorate. In her chief scientist role, she actively sought opinions from colleagues and then used her judgment to decide how best to proceed.”

A colleague wrote, “Because Barb knows the literature in our field, she is an excellent field-oriented team member and writer. She handles all of our federal permit applications and annual reports. She has senior-authored many valuable scientific papers and recently co-led an 8-day gray whale natural history trip to Mexico for 30 MMI donors. Barb handles all assignments well. When it is a new challenge, she translates her sometimes nervous concern into a diligence and focus on details that overcomes obstacles. Our entire program is proud of how she represents us.”

We are pleased to honor Barbara Lagerquist with the Outstanding Faculty Research Assistant Award.


The Industry Partnering Award recognizes a faculty member who achieves extraordinarily high impact innovations through research collaborations with industry. Burak Sencer, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering in the College of Engineering, is the 2019 recipient.

As principal investigator of the Manufacturing Process Control Laboratory (MPCL), Sencer’s research focuses on two key aspects in manufacturing: Improving accuracy and speed of manufacturing equipment through novel design of hardware components and numerical control algorithms, and improving productivity of manufacturing processes through physics-based modeling, optimization and control.

This area of expertise helps enable Sencer to collaborate with key US industries whose success greatly rely on advanced manufacturing technologies such as the Boeing Company, and international manufacturing equipment makers such as Brother Industries Ltd. that produce high performance machine tools to global markets.

A nominator wrote, “I have worked with Dr. Sencer for three years now on a collaborative project with Boeing Portland. Dr. Sencer is a critical technical leader in this project. He has provided important information relating to the machining process and guided the students and Boeing in understanding the challenges in developing a robotic solution that satisfies the specifications.”

A student said, “I believe that Dr. Sencer’s attitude to industrial research and him facilitating the student engagement was critical. Dr. Sencer set the bar high on the research quality. He pays attention to quality rather than quantity. He works closely with students and gradually navigates us to work independently.”

An industry partner wrote, “Our engagement and research partnership with Dr. Sencer has been exceptional both from research and development, and also at a personal level. Dr. Sencer’s engagement in collaborative research with the industry is exceptional. He tries to balance between academic contributions and applies fundamental knowledge to solve broader impact industrial problems in order to exceed limitations of the current state of the art. The outcomes of these efforts are well-recognized by international and national academic papers and patents.”

We are pleased to honor Burak Sencer with the OSU Industry Partnering Award.


The OSU Faculty Innovator Award recognizes a faculty member whose extraordinarily high impact innovations from research are translated into transformative results that help promote economic development and social progress. This year the award is being given to Douglas Keszler, professor of chemistry in the College of Science.

Keszler was a member of the OSU team performing basic research on transparent conductors, which led to the invention of the transparent oxide transistor, a device now found in all high performance displays.  Large R&D efforts continue to this day on the oxide transistor, as semiconductor manufacturers seek to integrate it with conventional semiconductor technologies. Work on amorphous metals produced a patent which was licensed by the OSU spin-out Amorphyx. Keszler collaborated with founder William Cowell III and CEO John Brewer to launch the company and secure funding. Research on printed electronics and derivative projects led to a family of patents licensed by the OSU spin-out Inpria Corp., co-founded by Keszler. The company has now secured more than $40M in private and public investments.  It currently employs more than 45 scientists and engineers in the US, Belguim, and Korea with the largest group located at the OSU Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Institute in Corvallis.

Keszler’s latest venture is nexTC Corp, which he co-founded in 2018 with former postdoc Dr. Cory Perkins and graduate student Dr. Jenn Amador.  This company is based on OSU patent applications covering a platform of new materials and methods to deposit active metal-oxide thin films for energy applications.

An industry partner said, “As an innovator, Doug has always been ahead of the market.  He was the first materials chemist in the US to pursue basic aspects of materials for high-power laser systems.  One of the crystals discovered in his lab is now a common component of high-power UV lasers.  He worked with Hewlett Packard Singapore in the mid-1990s on materials for white light emitting diodes.  The work was a decade ahead of other efforts that supported the eventual development of the LED light bulb.”

Another partner wrote, “Douglas Keszler consistently demonstrates incredible insight into market needs across several areas of technology Apart from his own successes in realizing new electronic and optical materials, Professor Keszler provides his students with invaluable opportunities to pursue research and activities outside the traditional realm of academic research.”

We are proud to name Douglas Keszler as this year’s OSU Faculty Innovator.


The OSU Faculty Excellence in Online Teaching Award recognizes faculty who devote a significant amount of time to online teaching and online course development of for-credit courses. In 2019, the award recipient is Yvette Gibson, Instructor, Online Rangeland Science Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor of Animal and Rangeland Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences.

Gibson was responsible for creating the first and only online rangeland science bachelor’s degree in the country, which now has 70 students. She is also spearheading a rangeland science curriculum guide through the Rangeland Science education Council, and has helped redesign the rangeland science program to be more reflective of the scope and breadth of the discipline.

A student wrote, “Yvette’s ability to deliver online curriculum in a manner that benefits all types of learning styles and fosters a stress-free environment, allowed me to excel in the online classroom. Yvette understands that online students need some flexibility with due dates but demands quality in-depth work that demonstrates full understanding of important concepts. I gained confidence in myself as I excelled with such rigorous course work and became motivated to attempt a more science intensive major.”

A co-worker said, “I know of no other individual that has accomplished what she has done with online education in our discipline. I travel throughout the West and Mid-west portions of the U.S., and provide training and workshops to agency and NGO personnel working on rangelands. More and more I am asked if I know and work with Yvette, she is becoming well known throughout the country as a respected educator and mentor.”

We are pleased to honor Yvette Gibson with the OSU Faculty Excellence in Online Teaching Award.


The OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award honors unusually significant and meritorious achievement in teaching and scholarship that enhances effective instruction. In 2019, the recipient is Lori Kayes, senior instructor in the department of Integrative biology in the College of Science.

Kayes is the course coordinator for OSU’s baccalaureate core course, Principles of Biology, which is taken by more than 1,000 students per term. She is responsible for course organization, curricular development and course execution by the teaching team. Principles of Biology is a large enrollment course that serves students in more than 50 majors. Throughout the year, she oversees a team of 12 course instructors, more than 50 GTAs and 100 undergraduate Learning Assistants or Teaching Interns.

A colleague said, “Beyond the sheer mechanics of organizing this many humans, Lori strives to support her instructional team so that they can bring excellence to their classroom execution. From seemingly simple components such as setting up the weekly on-line homework, quizzes, videos, and assignment activities for all students to learn before they get to class, Lori ensures her faculty and GTAs are comfortable enough to work with engaging classroom practices and technologies that are linked to student success.”

A nominator added, “Lori is an extremely hard worker and accomplished teacher who has a laser focus on the success of her students. I have seen very few colleagues in my career who are able to show such significant improvements to teaching and student learning in their own classrooms, and project that to the state and national levels to promote meaningful curricular reforms. Lori is one of those exceptional individuals and I and the rest of her colleagues are enormously proud of her and her successes.”

We are pleased to honor Lori Kayes with the OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.


The D. Curtis Mumford Faculty Service Award recognizes individuals for exceptional, ongoing, dedicated and unselfish concern for and service to OSU faculty. This year’s honoree is Raymond Malewitz, associate professor of English with the School of Writing, Literature and Film in the College of Liberal Arts.

The position of professor of literature and science was created to improve interdisciplinary connections across the College of Liberal Arts and, more broadly, between the humanities and sciences at OSU. Malewitz serves on the Board of Advisors for the Environmental Humanities and he designed one of the primary methods courses for the Environmental Arts and Humanities M.A. degree. He is currently the head advisor for an EAH student and recently served on the committee of another. Working with a stream ecologist and fly-fishing guide, he has also designed and organized curriculum for the proposed Liam Wood School of Conservation Leadership. He has also played an instrumental role—as former coordinator and continuing Board Member and Academic Coordinator—in the success of the “The Co,” OSU’s popular Maker Fair

Ray Malewitz has far outstripped interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and community-centered expectations in service,” his nominator wrote. “His work, in some ways, is behind the scenes: while he holds the position of MA Director, his position description is not largely administrative. That, in itself, is what makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable. He has performed them while advising more thesis students than any other faculty member in the School (more than thirty in his first five years, for instance), while teaching brilliantly (including our first-ever trial of an enormous introductory course supported by seven GTAs who teach breakout sections), and by doing the full responsibility of in-school committee service that accounts for his 10% service allocation.”

A colleague said, “Ray directs the MA in English at OSU, and among my colleagues, Ray is on the front line in helping develop our work related to environmental humanities—he always steps in when I need collaboration, including programmatic matters, evaluating applicants, imagining outreach events and participating in them, and supporting the program in numerous other ways.”

For everything he has done for this university, we are pleased to present Raymond Malewitz with the D. Curtis Mumford Faculty Service Award.


The Richard M. Bressler Senior Faculty Teaching Award recognizes full professors who have been at OSU at minimum of 15 years and consistently provide direct instruction to undergraduate students. Andrew Blaustein, distinguished professor in the department of Integrative Biology in the College of Science, is the 2019 recipient.

Blaustein is an OSU Distinguished Professor, AAAS Fellow and his research is focused on our changing planet and its declining amphibian populations, Since 1985, he has taught the fall term of Principles of Biology, OSU’s baccalaureate core, 1,000-student life sciences course. His classes feature dynamic story telling supplemented with recent literature revelations and audio/video captures of animals in nature

His nominator wrote, “Whether it is about emerging infectious diseases, evolutionary rate changes, or the effects of climate change, Andy has something new, interesting, and important to bring to his students. In doing so, he translates his knowledge as a researcher to action and forces his students to acknowledge our changing world’s most pressing challenges.” 

“Andy is committed to making sure the experience of the students in the classroom is excellent.  He carefully aligns his lectures and his exams and has clear expectations of what students need to know,” a colleague wrote. “He has taught thousands of students their first foray into biology over the last 30 year. Andy has a knack for focusing on big picture ideas and stories that are relevant and interesting to students.  He uses his own research and research experiences to really bring home the importance of conservation biology for the students.”

We are pleased to honor Andrew Blaustein with the Richard M. Bressler Senior Faculty Teaching Award.


The Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award recognizes an individual for outstanding undergraduate teaching; research, particularly related to improvement of instruction; and professional leadership. In 2019, the recipient is Gita Cherian, professor of Animal & Rangeland Sciences with the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Cherian focuses on experiential learning and mentorship. She has served as a research mentor to 30 students, with a special focus on women and minority students. She has assisted, advised, mentored, guided, encouraged and helped several undergraduate students who are from various minority groups, and these students are the first in their families to receive a college education. She has encouraged them to think big, go out of their comfort zones, and seek their dreams, and provided concrete opportunities for their professional development.

“I have always been impressed at how tirelessly Dr. Cherian works for her students,” a former student wrote. “She identifies what each of them needs to succeed then pulls those resources together: Scholarships, travel funding to attend a conference, access to lab space and equipment, letters of reference. She works with each of her students as individuals. That takes a lot of time and effort, but the payoff for Dr. Cherian is seeing her students learn, grow and thrive.”

Another student wrote, “I came to Dr. Cherian’s lab as a “naïve” undergrad with no research experience. Dr. Cherian taught me the nuances of research and increased my passion for research. She was patient whenever I did mistakes and took the time to teach me about science. She was hands on in my research. She used to even come for mixing feed and cleaning the farm, which are typically considered to be a “dirty” job. I try to emulate Gita when it comes to dealing with my own graduate students and undergraduate students and that talks volume about how profoundly Gita has influenced me.”

We are pleased to honor Gita Cherian with The Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award for 2019.


The OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award is given to the person who demonstrates outstanding professional achievement through teaching and scholarship, service to the university and the community, and professional leadership, nationally and internationally. This year, the recipient is Maret Traber, professor of nutrition in the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Traber serves the Ava Helen Pauling Professor in the Linus Pauling Institute and Professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Traber is widely known as the world’s leading expert in nutrition related to vitamin E and human health. Her research has led to new methodologies for evaluating vitamin E status in humans using stable isotopes and identified key mechanisms for the regulation of vitamin E bioavailability in humans.

A colleague said, “Dr. Traber enjoys a reputation as being a lead researcher in vitamin E nutrition. Evidence of this was her selection as a panel member for the Institute of Medicine for selecting vitamin E requirements. She has a well established laboratory program which is funded primarily by NIH. She has equipped her laboratory for state-of-the-art work in metabolism using isotopic tracer techniques. Her publication rate and quality are excellent. Her work is creative, uses state-of-the-art methods, and makes seminal contributions to the field.”

A former student said, “Maret has shown exemplary research productivity while at OSU; has facilitated the successful graduation of numerous students; and maintains an infectious, indefatigable passion for progressing the science of human nutrition that, under her mentorship, inspired me to pursue a career in the same field.”

We are proud to present the 2019 OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award to Maret Traber.


The Beaver Champion Award is Oregon State’s President's award, which recognizes an individual or individuals who continually demonstrate outstanding effort and achievement of excellence, extra effort beyond that requested, and performance of the highest quality. This year’s first awardee award is JoAnne Bunnage, Director of University Accreditation.

Bunnage took on the director role in 2017 with the goal to ready the university for the seven-year accreditation site visit which took place In April 2019. This process included a comprehensive self-study which took over a year to produce. She was responsible for guiding the Accreditation Steering Committee and leading the Core Planning Team through the self-study process, and was also on point for the NWCCU evaluators' site visit.

“JoAnne worked tirelessly with faculty and staff throughout the University; lead over twenty campus forums; compiled responses and data; guided the writing team; and shepherded the process to completion,” her nominator said. “The end result could not have been better: we received an Impressive evaluation by the external reviewers that highlighted many of OSU's attributes, and as expected, we were reaccredited. As you know, the University's accreditation is of the greatest Importance and is fundamental to our ability to carry out our mission and vision.”

We are honored to present JoAnne Bunnage as a recipient of the Beaver Champion Award.

This year’s second awardee is, Mike Goodwin, President and CEO of the Oregon State University Foundation.

Under his leadership, the university's first campus-wide fundraising campaign, The Campaign for OSU, raised more than $1.14 billion from 106,000 donors. As president and CEO, Mr. Goodwin is responsible for all aspects of the foundation's fundraising and fiscal management. Mike is an ex-officio member of the OSU Foundation's board of trustees and a member of the leadership cabinet of OSU President Ed Ray. He has oversight in setting and reaching the foundation's fundraising goals, managing the strategic recruitment of staff, and working with the board to advance projects and initiatives that support the university's strategic goals.

“OSU has over 30 new or significantly renovated buildings in Corvallis, Bend, and Newport as a result of philanthropic investments since Mike’s arrival,” his nominator wrote. “Our number of endowed faculty positions has nearly tripled (to 150), and donors have created over 600 new scholarship and fellowship funds that, together with existing funds, benefit over 3,000 students a year. Equally impressive are the overall fundraising results, with totals increasing from an average of $38 million before Mike arrived to over $100 million a year today.”

 “Mike’s legacy to OSU will most certainly not be the dollars raised during his tenure but the program he put in place to fully institutionalize fundraising as a shared responsibility at our university,” his nominator continued. “He has forged invaluable relationships with university and volunteer leaders as well as with our most generous donors.”

We are honored to present Mike Goodwin as a recipient of the Beaver Champion Award.

Our third awardee is Shelly Signs, director of University Events and former executive director of OSU150.

Signs has demonstrated exceptional tactical planning throughout OSU150. She worked diligently to ensure buy-In and excitement from varied and many campus partners. Throughout the 15-month event, individual OSU units celebrated past and present  accomplishments of the university that demonstrated local, national and global Impact. Others took notice of OSU1501s excellence. Recently, the university's anniversary was  recognized with a 2019 Circle of Excellence silver award for best annual event conducted globally among colleges and universities that are members of CASE -the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

“Shelly continually has developed her leadership skills while sharing those skills with her staff, other OSU employees and up-and-coming event planners through a class she teaches at Linn-Benton Community College,” her nominators wrote. “Shelly has the ability to plan strategic, high-level events that support the university's mission while communicating key messages about OSU to attendees. These skills and commitment are among the reasons why she was selected to guide the OSU150 celebration.”

“There are many exceptional and committed leaders at various levels throughout the university, but few who have been as supportive as Shelly. She Is a wise mentor, exhibits utmost integrity and civility, and inspires respect among campus colleagues.”

We are honored to present Shelly Signs as a recipient of the Beaver Champion Award.