This year's University Day kicked off with a presentation by OSU President Ed Ray and Faculty Senate President Jon Dorbolo, as well as keynote speaker Michelle Kuo, author of “Reading with Patrick,” a true story of race, inequality and the power of literature. University Day award winners were honored during the event, followed by a free lunch and an OSU Expo in the CH2M Hill Alumni Center. 

The following is a list of University Day award winners:

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 TEAM MATH. This includes Sara Clark, Susan Fein, Lynn Greenough, Liz Jones, Cub Kahn, Scott Peterson, Lyn Riverstone, Daniel Rockwell, Katy Williams and David Wing.

Team Math includes mathematics instructors and representatives of the Education Opportunities program, Academic Technology and Ecampus. The team was assembled in response to OSU’s involvement in the Association of Land Grant and Public Universities grant through the Gates Foundation called “All Hands on Deck.” The grant supports a collection of universities implementing adaptive courseware in high enrollment courses. At OSU, one of the courses have a strong impact on student success and retention is College Algebra (Math 111).

TEAM MATH used the adaptive courseware platform ALEKS and completely redesigned the course to increase the relative percentage of existing class time spent on student learning activities. They also use technology to monitor student learned and understanding and give instructors the ability to make real-time decisions to increase student engagement.

One nominator wrote, “Based on focus groups and experience surveys, students have expressed that although the redesigned course is more work, they prefer to learn using the active and adaptive approach. Most amazing is that students completing the course are stating that they feel confident about math and imply a sense of belonging.”

A student added, “Math 111 teaches students to practice and make perfect using Aleks, work in groups, and apply previous knowledge to new problems. This class can help students apply these characteristics in other classes and school. The way this class is structured and is presented is not only supportive for improving students’ grades but also improving how they think about math.”

We are pleased to honor TEAM MATH 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 David Ji, an associate professor with the department of chemistry in the College of Science.

Ji has established a very successful research program at OSU in Materials Chemistry for energy storage. His research focuses on new topochemistry for next generation energy storage such as batteries. He has been at OSU since 2012 and has already mentored six postdocs in his research group.

Ji’s first postdoc said, “Under his guidance, I quickly changed from a graduate student to an eligible researcher.  His spirit of never giving up also encouraged me during times when our research is bottlenecked. Furthermore, he always says: “There are no bad results, but only unexpected results”. He can always find useful things from poor results and learn things from them. To help us, he always stays late and tries his best to solve our problems. I would not be this productive without his effort.”

Another postdoc said “In my eyes, Prof. Ji is a creative, hard-working and ambitious mentor.  I have been working with Prof. Ji for the last year and a half, and have learned a great amount of valuable knowledge and expertise from him.  He is devoted to scientific research and philosophical thinking, while generously sharing his creative ideas with us.”

We are pleased to present David Ji with the Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring Award for 2018.

The Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award recognizes graduate students who have excelled in their capacity as teaching assistants. For 2018, this honor is given to Chris Kargel, a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Language, Culture and Society in the College of Liberal Arts.

Kagen is a GTA in the Applied Anthropology Graduate Program. The classes that he has taught both online and on campus draw not only anthropology majors but a range of majors from across the university, including the liberal arts, public health, and natural sciences. He also helped craft a 400-level class on Evolutionary Medicine, which he co-taught.

A nominator wrote, “He has gone far beyond our expectations in terms of not only delivering material and interacting with student learners, but also in developing new and technologically innovative courses—both online, on campus, and in hybrid formats. He is quite simply the kind of GTA that carries our university’s ambitions and current status as a national and international leader in undergraduate teaching on campus and online.”

A faculty member who co-taught with Kagen said, “I have never met a more committed and compassionate teacher, and I truly feel I learned as much as I conveyed over the course of the term together.”

We are pleased to award Chris Kargel with the Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.

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 2018 recipient is David Ji, associate professor with the department of chemistry in the College of Science.

Ji has established a very successful research program at OSU in Materials Chemistry for energy storage. His research focuses on battery chemistry.  He is considered a pioneer for initiating or founding several areas of battery chemistries and has secured $2.15 million in research funding in the last five years. Ji’s work has garnered international media attention for its focus on sustainable energy storage. He’s won an NSF CAREER award and has hosted a Corvallis Science Pub.

“Besides the pioneering research that Dr. Ji has conducted, where several “firsts” have been realized in his research group, Dr. Ji is also known for his insightful approaches to address longstanding puzzles in the battery field,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Ji has become a well-known scholar in his field. The efforts he put in this process are immense, and the outcome has been outstanding. By having such a solid and high level foundation built by Dr. Ji, he is, indeed, a promising scholar, where even more splendid achievements from his future research are expected.”

Another nominator wrote, “Prof. Ji has established a reputation of pushing the boundaries in his field, which is rare for young investigators. Besides opening new frontiers, Prof. Ji also provides original contributions to address most urgent issues of the fields.”

For his valuable contributions to OSU, we are pleased to honor David Ji 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 William Ripple, distinguished professor and director of the Trophic Cascades Program in Forest Ecosystems & Society in the College of Forestry.

Ripple’s paper “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice” was published in November of 2017. The article was coauthored by seven scientists from five continents, and signed by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries before publication. Since the article was published, it has been endorsed by an additional 4,500 scientists. It appears that the number of signatories is the most ever associated with a published scientific article. The scientists’ warning article has been read by millions of people as it has been translated into 18 different languages.

““Impact” is a very fitting word to describe the outcome of Ripple’s efforts on this scientists’ warning project as the impact has been massive, global, continuing, and perhaps the highest (or one of the highest) impact articles ever published by an OSU faculty member.,” a nominator wrote. “The impact from Professor Ripple’s scientists’ warning paper speaks for itself with exceptional and continuing global effects. Dr. Ripple is a truly, energetic, dedicated, highly motivated researcher and educator with an exemplary record of work at OSU who serves as a mentor and role model to both faculty and students.”

Another nominator wrote, “Professor Ripple’s work fits squarely within Oregon State University’s values and aligns directly with our strategic goals of advancing the science of sustainable earth ecosystems and improving human health and wellness.”

We are pleased to honor William Ripple 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 John Comar, regional class research vessel shipyard representative in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

He is the project’s technical lead and the university’s on-site representative for the single largest grant in any Oregon University’s history. With a total project cost of $350,000,000, the Regional Class Research Vessel Project is critical to the nation’s ability to conduct ocean research into the 21stt century and OSU and NSF count on Comar to get it done.

“His technical expertise combined with his programmatic acumen and political savvy are a rare combination,” a nominator wrote. “Comar is deeply involved in nearly every aspect of OSU’s activities to build what the National Science Board has designated as “Critical Science Infrastructure.”

We are pleased to honor John Comar with the OSU Exemplary Employee Award.

The classified staff member receiving The OSU Exemplary Employee Award is Bryan Feyerherm, library technician in the OSU Libraries.

Feyerherm is the student employee supervisor in circulation. He is known for his leadership and mentoring skills and has designed a Qualtrics-centered input method for all staff to contribute feedback on the quality of student work being performed, and developed a take-away sheet for graduating employees relating circulation desk skills to general transferable job skills.

“He is dedicated to the continuing success of each student we impact,” a nominator wrote. “This year Bryan’s work on student training and assessment garnered him a spot as presenter at a national library conference. His work is becoming influential in library circulation services.”

“Bryan is my longest-serving employee and also the employee on my staff that most consistently seeks to increase his understanding, gain new abilities and to stay in touch with changes in library public services, safety and security and in the larger field of serving students at an educational institution.”

For his valuable service to OSU, we are pleased to honor Bryan Feyerherm with the OSU Exemplary Employee Award.

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 2018, that honor goes to Ramesh Sagili, associate professor in horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Sagili was hired at OSU to address the critical issues of honey bee health, vitality and pollination in Oregon. In the past nine years that he has been at OSU, he has established an internationally recognized honey bee Extension and Research program from the ground up to cater the critical needs of both beekeepers and crop producers in Oregon.

One nominator wrote, “Ramesh has established an excellent rapport with his stakeholders (growers, beekeepers, general public and others) and extends vital information each year through numerous workshops, presentations, publications, magazine/news articles and two prominent websites.”

A stakeholder says, “I have witnessed Dr. Sagili working tirelessly to protect the health of honey bees and help the troubled beekeeping industry in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest that was losing significant number of colonies to a phenomenon termed as Colony Collapse Disorder. He has demonstrated strong leadership during these challenging times and has taken significant actions through his internationally recognized outreach/extension and research program to help the beleaguered bee industry.”

A colleague writes, “Dr. Sagili’s high impact extension, education, outreach and research activities related to honey bees have engaged K-12 students, OSU graduates and undergraduates, active duty and retired military personnel, working-from-home moms, Master Gardeners, stakeholders including beekeepers and crop producers, and the public. The programs have provided direct economic benefit while enabling participants to empower themselves with knowledge and hands-on training for lifelong learning.”

We take a great deal of pleasure in awarding Ramesh Sagili 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 2018 goes to Lynn Paul, academic advisor in Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering with the College of Engineering.

As head advisor for MIME graduate programs, Paul has made a number of changes to processes and approaches that have helped lessen the burden on staff and students and increased face-to-face advising time for students. She is known for pitching in no matter what the situation and for her can-do attitude.

One nominator wrote, “Lynn is uniquely able to scan the horizon of our graduate programs and is keenly aware of how enrollment, scheduling, curriculum development, assistantship funding, and thesis advising all work together to enable our ability to offer strong graduate programs in mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, material science and robotics. She is then able to move us forward to ensure that we are working effectively and efficiently – all while enabling students to excel.”

“Regardless of how difficult the task may be, Lynn has always a positive attitude and welcomes everyone she meets with a smile,” another nominator wrote. “She is always willing to help a graduate student or faculty member, even if it means staying in the office longer to solve their problems or to provide advice.”

We are pleased to recognize Lynn Paul with the OSU Professional Faculty Excellence 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. Tammy Bray, professor in Biological & Population Health Sciences with the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, is this year’s recipient.

Bray conceptualized and implemented an innovative student and faculty exchange program between OSU and Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan. This collaborative international student exchange program has been in effect for more than 10 years and is one of the longest running international student exchange programs at Oregon State University. While dean of CPHHS, she helped establish the Center for Global Health. Bray actively engaged in fundraising to develop the Center for Global Health, which was established in 2014. The center’s mission is to foster a community of learning and service that brings together faculty, students, and staff at OSU with alumni and partners from around the world to generate knowledge that promotes equitable and sustainable health development solutions globally.

“She is one of the strongest supporters of promoting global learning as a high impact

practice to foster student and faculty success at OSU,” one nominator wrote. “Her leadership in promoting comprehensive internationalization has resulted in the development and implementation of a number of study abroad programs and faculty research opportunities.”

A colleague wrote, “Dr. Bray has contributed to the international programs significantly as an individual, but what makes her contribution so exemplary is that she has been able to amplify and sustain internationalization efforts at the university, by enabling and empowering other faculty and students to do internationalization work at the individual and programmatic levels.”

Tammy Bray, for everything you do, we are pleased to present to you the International Service 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 2018, the honoree is Andrea Nelson, academic advisor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. 

As an academic advisor in two math- and science-heavy majors, Nutrition and Kinesiology, Nelson is expected to prepare students for each program’s rigor.

“When Andrea’s advisees struggle in required coursework for their major, she works with them to identify any disconnect between the material and their ability to successfully comprehend and retain the information,” a nominator wrote. “Despite these efforts, some students still struggle with the rigors of the majors. Andrea does not make students feel judged for their inability to pursue their chosen major, instead she focuses on the student’s strengths and their continued future at OSU. Andrea engages in difficult conversations with these students around their performance and fit for the major and discusses alternative paths to reaching their goals.”

A student wrote, “Andrea demonstrates a genuine investment in each of her students’ success. During my first year I have changed my degree plan three times. Before each of my decisions I have met with Andrea to discuss my new goals and plans. Andrea is unconditionally patient and attentive during our meetings and always ensures that she discusses what each potential career path would entail.”

We are pleased to honor Andrea Nelson 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 Amanda Vance, senior faculty research assistant in Horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences. 

Vance works with the berry crops program and is responsible for production and physiology research and extension. She has taken a lead role in representing the berry program for various tour groups, legislators, and college classes, and is a leader in organic certification programs at the OSU - North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC).

Her nominator wrote, “The work that Amanda has led has made a difference to the berry industry in Oregon, but her mentoring of students will have a long-term impact on the future of agriculture; she inspires them to get involved when we need young people in our discipline.”

A peer from the USDA wrote, “Every field managed by Ms. Vance is impeccable and comparable to the best commercial operations in the state. The fact that many of her fields are certified organic is amazing. A considerable amount of paperwork must be filed to receive organic certification, and with her leadership on the process, we have been able develop the first research-based guidelines for profitable organic berry production in Oregon.”

An industry leader said, “The information she presented from some of the research trials have had a positive economic impact on the berry industry by increasing the precision of nutrient management programs on farms and eliminating Ineffective practices or applications. We believe this has both helped in crease yield and fruit quality but also saved time and money for the growers.”

We are pleased to honor Amanda Vance 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. Shawn Mehlenbacher, professor of hazelnut breed and genetics in Horticulture, in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

During his time at OSU, Mehlenbacher has released 24 hazelnut cultivars whose adoption has saved a crop in Oregon that may well have been on its way out with disease pressures. He has also released a steady stream of cultivars that have been widely planted and have better nut quality, disease resistance and yield than their predecessors. The economic value of his contributions can be translated to the current economic value of the hazelnut industry ($118 million). In the near future the economic value of this

industry is expected to double as the acreage is increasing exponentially as a result of disease resistant cultivars developed by Mehlenbacher’s research program.

His nominator wrote, “As a result of his exemplary research, an industry that was indanger of declining has been rapidly planting new OSU developed cultivars and is one of the brightest spots in Oregon agriculture.”

A colleague said, “Dr. Mehlenbacher’s program is the largest hazelnut breeding program in the world, a remarkable testament to his effort and the support of the Oregon hazelnut industry. Researchers, growers, students and processors from around the world come to OSU to see his program. It would be nearly impossible to find a researcher within the international hazelnut scientific community that does not know Dr. Mehlenbacher personally.”

An industry partner wrote, “The U.S. hazelnut industry would not exist today were it not for Shawn’s work. Because of his development of Easter Filbert Blight (EFB) resistant varieties we have more than doubled the acreage of hazelnuts in Oregon and Washington. In addition, his varieties are being grown in other countries with Royalties being paid back to OSU. It would be difficult to find another individual that was ultimately responsible for such dramatic growth in an industry.”

We are pleased to honor Shawn Mehlenbacher 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 Jonathan Hurst, associate professor in Civil & Construction Engineering in the College of Engineering.

Hurst’s team’s bipedal walking and running robot ATRIAS was the first machine ever to reproduce human gait dynamics, demonstrating specific fundamental principles of legged locomotion for the first time outside a biological system. His latest creation, Cassie, is the foundation for Hurst’s startup company, Agility Robotics, which manufactures Cassie for sale to research customers. Cassis is becoming the standard hardware for legged locomotion research in the academic community.

An industry partner said, “Simply put, Jonathan is in the top 1%, and may be the best period, at making the transition from research to product and back. He is one of the select few that understand both sides of the transition – and their frequently conflicting requirements – at a differentiated level. Through Agility Robotics, Jonathan has not only demonstrated an ability to meet both sets of requirements, but two even rarer traits. The first is an ability to seamlessly integrate his research and commercial activities to the point there is little inefficiency between the two. The second is an ability to pass on those capabilities to his students and lab mates.”

A colleague wrote, “Jonathan’s robots are innovative and unique in the universe of legged machines, and in a way that was seen as risky in the eyes of some roboticists. In brief, the Hurst machines are so ambitiously dynamic that the ability to control them exceeded existing control theory. This made the problem of control a major research challenge for us. The payoff, however, was walking and running that is more nimble, efficient, and elegant than previously exhibited. This visually and viscerally sets robots like ATRIAS apart to even casual tech observers, or as one blogger for Popular Mechanics wrote: “...our hearts now and forever belong to ATRIAS.”

We are proud to name Jonathan Hurst as this year’s OSU Faculty Innovator.

The OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award honors unusually significant and meritorious achievement in teaching and scholarship that enhances effective instruction. In 2018, the recipient is David Hurwitz, associate professor in Civil & Construction Engineering in the College of Engineering.

In addition to his use of current research in engineering education to improve class room instruction. Hurwitz teaches specific technical courses that are unique and innovative. His use of state-of-the-art research equipment in the classroom is truly unique. Students use the driving simulator to study driver responses to a wide range of situations and conditions. This course is unique in the United States and gives his students unprecedented abilities to connect road and signal design and traffic conditions to traffic safety and efficiency.

A colleague said, “Dr. Hurwitz’s enthusiasm for transportation engineering is contagious. He actively engages all the students in a lively and active classroom. He doesn’t lecture he teaches! He is truly a master teacher. But more than that he is a role model for graduate students who aspire to be educators. Dr. Hurwitz is mentoring Ph.D. students who will be the next generation of professors in the US and abroad.”

A former student added, “To me, Dr. Hurwitz has been more than a teacher or an adviser, he has been a role model. I had always been interested in pursuing a teaching position but it was only after I met Dr. Hurwitz that I firmly decided to be a teacher. His passion for teaching, his enthusiasm for dealing with students and his capabilities and skills in delivering materials at the highest quality, made me want to follow him in every single step.”

We are pleased to honor David Hurwitz 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 John Parmigiani, associate professor and senior researcher and director of industry research and outreach in Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering with the College of Engineering.

In addition to his work on capstone programs for MIME and his service as a board member for the Oregon Metals Initiative, Parmigiani demonstrated dedication to connecting academic institution researchers to Oregon companies’ research needs when he led the negotiation on behalf of Oregon State University for the creation of the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center. Due to his exceptional, ongoing, and dedicated service, faculty across many engineering disciplines from OSU, PSU and OIT benefit from and are active in OMIC.

“As a Ph.D. student of industrial engineering in the school of MIME, I have personally benefited from Dr. Parmigiani’s excellent interdepartmental and interinstitutional services through my research project with Boeing Portland,” a student wrote. “This project has provided me an opportunity to analyze the Boeing Portland production facility and assist in their efforts for a culture-driven change toward more efficient and effective manufacturing practices. I would not have had the research opportunity I did and still do without the collaborative efforts of Dr. Parmigiani.”

A colleague said, “He has become an indispensable link between companies across Oregon and faculty doing any type of research in engineering. For example, thanks to Dr. Parmigiani’s effort, OSU has a much more robust relationship with PCC Structurals, Inc. (one of only three Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Oregon) in terms of matching faculty to industry research needs and in keeping OSU as one of their prime workforce producers. Similar stories can be told by companies such as ESCO, Boeing-Portland, Blount and Daimler Trucks North America.”

For everything he has done for this university, we are pleased to present John Parmigiani 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. Marjorie Sandor, professor in the School of Writing, Literature and Film in the College of Liberal Arts is the 2018 recipient.

Among Sandor’s teaching innovations is using fellow SWLF faculty to help her create spontaneous "dramatizations" of scenes from the works her students are reading, bringing the texts suddenly and unexpectedly to life. This blurs the boundaries of the "institutional" and brings the literature to life in ways that really stick with students. Other times, her students themselves will "play-act" scenes from a literary work, and they'll discuss the interpretations that these evoked. She also uses online discussion boards and field trips to round out the classroom experience.

Her nominator wrote, “ Marjorie makes it a high priority to stay in touch with all of her students, from those driven to excel, to those who are less experienced or less “present.” It’s important for her to not let students fall through the cracks while they’re in her courses. Reaching out to individual students, and writing extensive comments on all their work lets them know that she cares and is aware of them as individuals in her class. She feels this makes a tremendous difference in a student’s sense of responsibility in a course and heightens their desire to put in the effort.”

“I’d be derelict in my duties if I failed to mention how much fun Marjorie has in the classroom,” a colleague said. “She and I often talk about teaching and the glee with which she describes a bit of theater or whimsy she’s managed to smuggle into her lesson plans is contagious. She also has a terrific gift for embracing and celebrating even the smallest successes.”

We are pleased to honor Marjorie Sandor with the Richard M. Bressler Senior Faculty Teaching Award.

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 Michael Kent, professor of microbiology in the College of Science. 

Kent holds a joint position in the departments of Microbiology, Fisheries and Wildlife and Biomedical Sciences.

Kent is recognized as the world expert on zebrafish diseases and a leading expert on fish parasitology. Since 2008 he has received over $4 million in grant funds. One major focus area has been the study of pathogen impacts on wild fishes. Another part of his research focuses on the study of chronic infectious disease using zebrafish as a model. Kent published an important paper that for the first time established that the human pathogen Toxoplasma gondii can infect zebrafish. This discovery establishes a new model for Toxoplasma research that will likely lead to new ways to treat Toxoplasma infections.

“Professor Kent has provided me with numerous opportunities to present my work at regional, national, and international symposia, allowing me to develop a network of colleagues throughout the US and internationally,” said a former student. “Perhaps most importantly, he allowed me the flexibility needed get through graduate school and raise a family. He has always taken a personal interest in his students, from taking time to work through a difficult research problem, to opening his home to celebrate their successes.”

A colleague said, “While primarily a fish parasitologist, Professor Kent has broad knowledge of microbial pathogens and has made significant contributions to the body of knowledge of parasites of humans, farmed and wild animals and bacteria with zoonotic potential. Professor Kent’s research has included technical advances in parasitology, such as the development of procedures for the detection of microparasites in environmental samples and the improvement of diagnostic tests for pathogens of veterinary importance.”

We are proud to present the 2018 OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award to Michael Kent.

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. Becky Warner, professor in Sociology, College of Liberal Arts is the 2018 award recipient.

In her multiple roles as Senior Vice Provost, a principal investigator for the NSF ADVANCE grant, department chair, and faculty colleague, Warner has impacted the lives of faculty, students, and staff alike in ways that actively promote and enhance equity and inclusion among the diverse communities OSU serves.

Her nominators wrote, “Dr. Warner’s service as part of OSU ADVANCE demonstrates her engagement in innovative curriculum and program development across various communities of difference. For example, in her role as co-principal investigator, Dr. Warner has served to accelerate the study and practice of equity, inclusion, and justice for women and others from historically underrepresented groups in the academy…Dr. Warner’s work with faculty fellows is tireless and represents her development of immersive learning that expands consciousness and responsibility related to social justice.”

“Alongside and aligned with her ongoing support for faculty and staff advancement, Dr. Warner is heavily committed to promoting a diverse student body. In her role as chair of the department of sociology, member of the faculty senate, and through her service on a variety of committees to ensure student success, Dr. Warner has shown strong commitments to creating a just university capable of sustaining equity for all students,” her nominator said.

For everything she has done for this university, we are pleased to present Becky Warner with the Outstanding Diversity Advocate 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 Charlene Martinez, associate director of integrated learning with the Office of Diversity and Cultural Engagement.

Martinez has been involved with a number of crucial programs and organizations on campus, including the Women of Color Coalition, and the Multiracial Aikido Social Justice Retreat. She is regarded as a visionary who is devoted to supporting multiracial students, staff and faculty and who focuses much of her attention on underserved students.

Nominators praised Martinez’s role as mentor, teacher, counselor and healer.

“Mentorship and student development are areas that Charlene excels in and this is evident when interacting with her current and past students,” a nominator wrote. “One of her current students has just received the Fulbright Award and noted that they used concepts and projects from their time in ILSC to exemplify why they were an excellent candidate for the opportunity.”

Her nominator continued, “I believe that is important to recognize the ways in which struggle and persistence can drive people apart but, more importantly, in the case of Charlene and I, bind people together with trust, love, and solidarity.  It is who people are to each other in difficult and joyful times that counts.”

Another nominator wrote, “Charlene practices inclusivity, and works to elevate and support others in their professional and personal growth. I see this as one of her many strengths. She has provided me with numerous opportunities to partner with her, which has enriched my learning and growth. For example, she invited me and other OSU faculty and staff to present at several national conferences over the past few years. This has allowed us to share the innovative work we are doing at OSU, grow professionally, and increase motivation to continue this important work.”

We are pleased to present Charlene Martinez with the University Mentoring and Professional Development Award for 2018.

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 Marianne Vydra.

As the deputy athletic director of administration, Vydra has served as an exceptional mentor to student-athletes and inspired them to excel in their careers in athletics as well as fields such as business, education and public health.

“Over the past 25 years, Marianne has mentored student-athletes to a level that is enviable by other colleges and universities,” wrote her nominator. “Her interest, enthusiasm, problem-solving abilities and energy in making sure each student-athlete is taken care of both academically and within their sport shows her care, integrity and dedication to these students and the university at large.”

Vydra gave invaluable support to an ambitious service-learning opportunity for students, the Beavers Without Borders program. Student-athletes traveled to Guatemala, Macedonia, Ethiopia and most recently the Dominican Republic, to build houses and interact with local people.

Former OSU football player and engineering major Taylor Kavanaugh enrolled in Marianne 's leadership class the first year it was offered and describes her as a “visionary, plain and simple.” When Taylor approached her with the idea of Beavers Without Borders, she was receptive. “She sees opportunity where others see difficulty,” says Taylor. “She says ‘yes’ when others say ‘no.’ She believes in the human spirit. Every step of the way, through every challenge, Marianne stepped in to navigate the ship with her energetic and optimistic style of leadership.”

We are honored to present Marianne Vydra as a recipient of the Beaver Champion Award.

This year’s second awardee is Bruce Mate, endowed professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and director of OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute.

Since he came to OSU in 1973, Bruce has been an international leader in efforts to track marine mammals along the West Coast and across the world’s oceans. He has developed innovative methods for following whales — grays, humpbacks and blues in the Pacific, sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico and right whales in the Atlantic. His discoveries have been featured widely in news media from National Geographic to the New York Times.

Since 1979, Mate and his research group have tagged 15 populations of whales and visited 55 countries in the process. As a result of this pioneering work, scientists and policymakers have arrived at a new understanding of the migratory, feeding and reproductive patterns of the world’s most endangered whale species. Armed with this information, national governments and international regulatory bodies have put in place informed sets of regulations that have helped to rehabilitate multiple whale populations that once had been close to extinction.

We are honored to present Bruce Mate as a recipient of the Beaver Champion Award.

Our third awardee is Kelly Sparks, associate vice president for finance and strategic planning at OSU-Cascades.

Kelly is a gifted leader who has used her visionary management skills to advance OSU-Cascades’ efforts to build a new four-year campus in Bend. The establishment of OSU-Cascades fulfills a strategic priority for the university and long-held dream for the growth and prosperity of Central Oregon.

In collaboration with campus and OSU leadership, Kelly is focused on the university’s long-range strategic planning, physical infrastructure and financial health. She transitioned to OSU in 2013 following her role as associate dean for finance and operations at the University of Oregon, School of Law.

Prior to her time in higher education, Kelly was the founding executive director of a non-profit organization in Washington state. The majority of her career was spent in the private sector in various strategic planning, project management and financial planning roles at Coach Leatherware, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and ultimately as a vice president for finance and strategic planning at Nordstrom. She also serves on OSU’s University Budget Committee.

We are honored to present Kelly Sparks as a recipient of the Beaver Champion Award.

Click image below to see photo album from University Day:

University Day 2018