2021 University Day Award Recipients

Over 150 guests joined Interim President Becky Johnson to celebrate the 2021 University Day award recipients

at the University Day Virtual Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

2021 University Day Award Recipient Video

Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring by a Graduate Student

The Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring by a Graduate Student or Post-doc award recognizes outstanding undergraduate research mentoring by OSU graduate students and postdocs. Recipients will have direct and significant involvement with undergraduate student researchers, a demonstrable commitment to the research mentorship of undergraduate students, and a record of effectiveness and impact with respect to undergraduate student research and success.

Hannah Rolston
Ph.D. Candidate
Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering

During her time at OSU, Rolston has successfully mentored a large number of undergraduate researchers as part of a number of programs at OSU. She has been an advocate and supporter for women in STEM and has contributed significantly to the School’s culture of equity and inclusion. A former mentee wrote, “Having been under Hannah Rolston’s mentorship for more than four years, I can say with absolute confidence that her mentorship was the most impactful part of my research experience at OSU. Hannah was invaluable in my education and she continues to be someone I look to for guidance and inspiration. Hannah showed me the ropes of working in a laboratory, conducting experiments, writing posters, and giving presentations. In addition, Hannah’s mentorship often extended outside of the research lab. She gave me constructive feedback on internship applications, resumes, presentations, and more.”

Another mentee wrote, “Hannah also made me feel like I was a part of the laboratory on my first day. She was intentional about not just giving me all the tools I needed, but also cared to get to know me as a person, which meant a lot to me. She made me feel like I truly had someone in my corner, and reminded to not forget a healthy work-life balance. It was clear she not only wanted me to succeed in my studies, but to be successful in all aspects of life.”

Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring by a Post-doc Award

The Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring by a Graduate Student or Post-doc award recognizes outstanding undergraduate research mentoring by OSU graduate students and postdocs. Recipients will have direct and significant involvement with undergraduate student researchers, a demonstrable commitment to the research mentorship of undergraduate students, and a record of effectiveness and impact with respect to undergraduate student research and success.

Priyadarshini Chakrabarti
Courtesy Appointment
College of Agricultural Sciences

Chakrabarti is a post-doc in the Oregon State Honeybee Lab. A majority of her research projects are multidisciplinary collaborative projects involving several undergraduate researchers. A nominee said, “Priya has the exceptional ability to motivate undergraduate students even when experiments are tedious and monotonous. For example, for one of her experiments the undergraduates had to meticulously record various life stages from thousands of cells and were getting exhausted, but Priya kept them motivated in her own unique way by constantly emphasizing the importance of the project (promoting health of bees for food security) and how their efforts would contribute to this great cause.”

A former student said, “While catching bees and collecting pollen our conversations went from honeybee centric to genuine discussions of my classes, grad school, and future goals. I discovered she studied zoology as well and she supported my decision to complete a minor in chemistry. Priya guided me, not only as a project head but as someone who wanted to see me flourish. After the experiments ended Priya continued to check in with me while offering her support and advice when necessary. As a student living across the country from her family, I was incredibly thankful for her.”

Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring by a Faculty Member Award

The Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring by a Faculty Member award recognizes outstanding undergraduate research mentoring by an OSU faculty member. Recipients will have direct and significant involvement with undergraduate student researchers, a demonstrable commitment to the research mentorship of undergraduate students, and a record of effectiveness and impact with respect to undergraduate student research and success.

Siew Sun Wong
Professor and Interim Endowed Director
Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health
College of Public Health and Human Sciences

Wong’s research areas are obesity prevention and youth calcium and bone health. Her interests include innovative nutrition education, especially among low-income families, where she develops and evaluates education games. A former student said, “Dr. Wong is an excellent example of balancing several roles simultaneously while providing space for her students to feel comfortable and welcome while also engaging with them on a professional and personal level. I appreciate her openness because it has allowed me to learn valuable skills while still being comfortable and relaxed. Working with someone of such a high caliber can be intimidating for me, but I am pleased that my experience has been with Dr. Wong because I have grown my professional and academic goals while also feeling welcome to engage on a deeper level.”

“Over her career, Dr. Wong has mentored 60 undergraduate students, which included many underrepresented and international students across 16 majors, ranging from engineering to public health. These include 26 research award recipients,” a nominator wrote. “It is evident that Dr. Wong is an effective mentor who imparts an array of skills, professional advice, and life lessons to her mentees. She encourages students to be innovators and think creatively, and to work collaboratively. Most impressive is Dr. Wong’s commitment to lifelong mentorship where she makes the time to meet with previous mentees on a regular and ongoing basis. Dr. Wong is willing to be vulnerable with her mentees, welcoming to students with diverse backgrounds, and dedicated to the professional and personal welfare of undergraduate students in her charge.”

Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring Award

The Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring Award recognizes and encourages outstanding mentoring of postdoctoral appointees by OSU faculty members.

Robyn Tanguay
Distinguished Professor
Environmental & Molecular Toxicology
College of Agricultural Sciences

Tanguay is an internationally recognized scholar whose work on zebrafish models has advanced the world’s understanding of how chemicals impact the biological development of humans. She runs the Tanguay Lab, which is part of the Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory.

One nominator wrote, “Over the last 1.5 years in the lab, Dr. Tanguay has not only aggressively committed herself to meet my expectations, but has gone well above and beyond to ensure that I am taking advantage of every resource available within OSU and at a national level to strategize my career well, build up my professional profile and prepare myself for faculty interviews. A classic example (one of many) would be her proactively assembling an ad hoc panel comprising of faculty members across the university to prepare me for a phone interview.”

Another nominator says, “During strategic planning in our department, Dr. Tanguay is always circling back to our students/post-doc needs and our early career scientists needs. The development of early career scientist, including post-docs, are clearly never far from her mind. She is genuinely interested in their career development. Dr. Tanguay follows and stays in touch with scientist she has mentored, she always finds time to talk with them at meetings and otherwise provide feedback.”

Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

The Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award recognizes graduate students who have excelled in their capacity as teaching assistants.

Aimee Dávila Hisey
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
College of Liberal Arts

Since 2017, Hisey has worked as an instructor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, teaching courses on early and modern Latin American history as well as Indigenous histories of Latin America. She also developed three courses for OSU’s Ecampus in these fields. She works hard with her students to develop core skills that will help to guarantee their success in the class, in the rest of their courses, and beyond their university experience. She focuses on critical thinking and vital communication skills that help to empower students as they move forward.

One nominator wrote, “Aimee takes a leadership role in SHPR in terms of our school curriculum development, across all three of our disciplines, not just history. She has developed and re-developed a number of courses for online delivery. She also created an entirely new campus and online course relating to the indigenous history of Meso- and South America, which connects to important initiatives in CLA.” “Her approach to teaching and to scholarship is grounded in a deep and fundamental commitment to inclusive and equitable learning that begins with the material she focuses on and then builds naturally into her approach to interacting with students,” another nominator wrote.

“Aimee is deeply committed to teaching the histories of marginalized and under- represented groups, bringing these histories into the mainstream of historical discussion where they belong, and challenging tired and pernicious narratives that paper over them. This is not only incredibly important from a scholarly standpoint, it provides a crucial foundation for creating an inclusive and equitable learning environment.”

Postdoctoral Excellence 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.

Subham Dasgupta
Environmental & Molecular Toxicology
College of Agricultural Sciences

Subham Dasgupta is currently leading several projects that include understanding the role of non-coding RNAs in aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated toxicity and understanding the structural basis for flame retardant developmental toxicity. Additionally he is doing ground-breaking work examining the impact of 5G spectrum radiofrequency on embryonic development.

His nominator said, “Dr. Dasgupta has helped to build a highly collaborative research team to conduct this innovative research project. His initial published work focused on development of the test system, and this abstract focuses on his discovery of downstream”5G” responsive genes and detailed analysis of adult consequences from a short developmental exposure. These data suggest that radiofrequencies have modest, but measurable effects on embryonic development and neurobehavior. Through this project, Dr. Dasgupta demonstrates a terrific grasp of the literature and he is eager to share his results with his colleagues. I strongly believe that he will contribute significantly to his field.”

“Subham has an intense intellectual curiosity and a desire to make a positive impact on the world,” his nominator added. “He has a passion and enthusiasm for relevant research with a long-term interest in applied basic research. His career goals are sincere obvious when you speak to him. He freely gives and receives respect of his colleagues and peers.”

Ivan Titaley
Environmental & Molecular Toxicology
College of Agricultural Sciences

Ivan Titaley is an analytical chemist with expertise in gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. His publication record shows that he is positioning himself at the forefront of analytical chemistry and its interface with toxicology and computational science. In his current post-doctoral position, Titaley is optimizing an air sampling method in order to quantify volatile PFAS in landfill gas as part of a collaborative project with North Carolina State University. He is also quantifying volatile PFAS in firefighter turnout gear in order to determine if turnout gear is a source of firefighter exposure to PFAS.

“Dr. Titaley consistently models leadership with organizing team calls, maintaining close communications with project team members, and devoting a significant amount of this time to the training of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty research assistants,” his nominator wrote. “Dr. Titaley is very patient and works extremely well with people of all ranks. Within the group working on firefighter gear, he is mentoring a graduate student from an underrepresented minority group and he even took on the selfless challenge of help to train an undergraduate student in the art of scientific writing.”

The nominator continued, “Since March 2020, Dr. Titaley has developed creative ideas to maximize productivity while minimizing chances of infection. For example, he conducted training sessions using a GoPro instead of in-person so that the graduate student could safely and effectively learn essential hands-on techniques. Dr. Titaley showed leadership by organizing a seminar series for my and Dr. Simonich’s laboratories with guest talks by scientists from around the world. Through this ad hoc seminar series, our students, who could not work on their research during the shut-down phase, remained connected with the larger scientific community.”

Promising Scholar Award

The Promising Scholar Award recognizes the scholarship of junior faculty.

Posy Busby
Assistant Professor
Botany and Plant Pathology
College of Agricultural Sciences

Busby’s research is focused on how plant-associated microbial communities assemble and function, with a focus on fungal leaf endophyte communities.  Her research addresses foundational and applied questions in fungal and plant ecology that are relevant to natural and agricultural ecosystems and crops.

She has published more than 30 peer reviewed publications in top journals in her field.  She has been awarded $1.4 million in external grants from multiple federal funding agencies and several awards from industry. She has trained five postdocs; three of which are now in tenure-track assistant professor positions at other universities, one is in industry, and one is still a postdoc at OSU.

“Since joining the OSU faculty in 2016, she has developed a strong research program focused on plant-fungal interactions and microbial community ecology,” one nominator wrote. “Her research linking the microbiome to plant health is exceptionally timely and innovative, building new concepts in microbial interactions that may ultimately result in novel methods for managing plant disease in agriculture and natural landscapes.”

“She has been PI or Co-PI on grants totaling more than $4.7M with more than $1.4M coming directly to her lab The competition for federal grants is more intense than ever with most agencies funding rates below 20%,” another nominator wrote. “The nature of these grants reflects a highly collaborative approach to research. The ability to secure fund and publish high impact articles is not only a greater indicator of past and current success, but of a researcher who understands what it takes to have a successful, long-term career in academia.”

OSU Impact Award for Outstanding Scholarship

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.

Davide Lazzati
Professor and Department Head
College of Science

Lazzati performs research in theoretical astrophysics. His current work focuses on understanding the physics of Gamma-Ray Bursts and of Cosmic Dust. He recently was named head of the Department of Physics. With the use of sophisticated computing programs, he correctly predicted, just ahead of the 2017 observation of a binary neutron star with gravitational waves, that such mergers should also be detectable in the electromagnetic spectrum. 

“Davide is an all-around scientist: he is very capable with theoretical calculations, he has a deep understanding of numerical methods, he is very well versed in understanding observational results, as well as making connections between all three,” a nominator said. “He can also communicate his results to a wide variety of audiences very effectively. He has outstanding technical skills, writes clearly and is quick to rise to a new challenge. His work on gamma-ray bursts is marked with originality and deep insight.”

“Davide’s strength is not only in the development of numerical techniques,” continues the nominator, “but he is also a broadly talented physicist with a deep physical understanding on many astrophysical processes. He is known for proposing non-trivial and workable scenarios for understanding the key physical ingredients of gamma-ray burst and neutron star mergers.”

OSU Exemplary Employee Award

The OSU Exemplary Employee Award honors professional faculty members and classified staff members for their outstanding performance.

OSU Exemplary Employee Award (Classified Staff)

Brendan Brucker
Academic Technology-Media Services
University Information and Technology

Eric Gleske

Television Production
Academic Technology-Media Services
University Information and Technology

For Brucker and Gleske, the COVID-19 pandemic provided unique challenges that customers say they met with creativity and compassion.

One nominator wrote, “Customer service is the backbone of Media Services. Eric and Brendan’s goal is always to go above and beyond for every request and have each customer walk away having a better day than what they were having when one (or both) arrives. Eric and Brendan made such a difference this year with this attitude. For those lucky enough to encounter them together, the customer experienced the true mutual respect as well as playfulness that they have for each other. Most often, they supported events and provided consultations independently. The warmth and confidence they both bring to all interactions continually brighten other’s days.

“Their service to OSU goes well beyond their regular assignments, as evident by the help they have provided people during the pandemic,” another nominator wrote. “Specifically, Eric provides expert television production and technical support for a broad range of university events, including Faculty Senate meetings and other high-profile gatherings. His technical skills are tremendously important for maintain communication and furthering connections for people who attend the meetings and those who watch the records posted online. From my perspective, his level of University service goes well beyond what is required in his position. Likewise, Brendan’s position requires him to have much interact with customers and help to train them on a variety of media services and technology. To help make life easier for faculty and staff who needed to make changes to their teaching and work processes this past year, Brendan took the initiative to support them with an upbeat and caring attitude.”

Sierra Hansen
OSU Chem Store
College of Science

Sierra Hansen is the main storekeeper in ChemStores, a not-for-profit work center dedicated to providing essential lab and research supplies to the College and University at the lowest possible cost.

As storekeeper, Hansen is responsible for ordering, stocking, and maintaining inventory for all materials and chemicals. In addition, she monitors all purchase transactions and ensures that the system remains up-to-date with the current Indexes, available and ordered stock, and costs.

“When the pandemic first hit the Corvallis campus, Sierra quickly noticed the shortages of surface and hand disinfectants. Instead of lamenting a dire situation, or passively accepting the inevitable as occurred at nearly all peer institutions, Sierra worked with Chemistry and College leadership to develop a recipe for both of these sanitizers that used stores inventory and some locally sourced ingredients. She helped organize the staff into production and we began manufacturing the needed sanitizer products,” a nominator wrote.

“Because of her efforts, OSU enjoyed a continuous source of items such as spray bottles filled with either surface and hand sanitizers, and bulk availability of these chemicals for refill and distribution, as well as face masks, nitrile gloves, and disposable towels. Without ready availability of these essential items, resumption of on-campus activities would have been much more challenging, slower or even impossible. We might have seen many more cases of Covid-19 in the campus community.”

OSU Exemplary Employee Award (Professional Faculty)

Caiden Marcus-Brist
Academic Advisor
Student Engagement
College of Business

Caiden Marcus-Brist is a program manager with the College of Business. He supports prospective students interested in transferring to Oregon State business programs that are delivered online by OSU Ecampus or in person on the Corvallis campus. As an advisor to transfer students, Marcus-Brist is a tireless advocate for updating policies and processes to build a positive student experience.

A nominator says, “Exceptional customer service is just one way that Caiden shows his skill as a multifaceted and dynamic employee. Caiden meets one-on- one with prospective students, conducts unofficial credit evaluations, and ensures our soon-to-be students receive top quality service and attention from the COB. Over the last year, Caiden has personally called all COB transfer student applicants, offering them assistance and advising them through the process. Most colleges here at OSU are unable to provide this level of support, but Caiden is able to build his entire program with student support in mind - and that applies every step of the way. “

Another nominator said, “Caiden’s deep institutional and college-level knowledge, his working relationships with key offices across the university, and connections to community colleges around Oregon (and neighboring states) allow him to go above and beyond in his role, truly advocating on behalf of students everywhere.”

Sue Queisser
Project Manager
Center for Sensory & Consumer Behavior Research
College of Agricultural Sciences

Sue Queisser is a project manager with the Center for Sensory & Consumer Behavior Research in the Department of Food Science and Technology. She is responsible for fee-for-service consumer testing, which includes communicating with industry clients, marketing, developing contracts and designing and conducting consumer product tests. She conducts over 100 tests per year and works with more than 50 companies nationwide as well as more than 9,000 OSU and community members who participate in testing.

“The initial six months pandemic lockdown period was devastating given our program is 100% self-funded,” one nominator wrote. “We were unsure if we could operate our program—taste testing with ~100 consumers per day—even if the lockdown order was lifted. Sue and I talked about different strategies to continue our program under COVID-19 and came up with the idea of drive-through pick up followed by in-home testing. While the idea was simple, the devil was in the detail. She came up with a completely new SOP to accommodate standardized taste tests at home, which required Sue’s incredible innovative mind. She has conducted tests with her new SOP, and it has been proven to be absolutely effective.”

Another nominator wrote, “The OSU Sensory Lab is an active place. It’s like a beehive and Sue is the queen bee keeping everyone and everything organized. She works directly with 7-9,000 people per year along with the multitude of food companies paying to get the tests conducted. It’s not an easy business to be in – the competition from other sensory testing companies is fierce, and yet Sue keeps growing the OSU sensory testing program because she delivers outstanding service to the companies. As a public university, OSU cannot charge less than commercial testing companies. She stays competitive by building efficiencies into the program. With a background in industrial engineering, Sue has streamlined and automated everything while growing the team of students needed to run the tests.”

University Mentoring and Professional Development 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.

Michelle Kutzler
Animal and Rangeland Sciences
College of Agricultural Sciences

Kutzler is the chair of the Peer Evaluation of Teaching Committee, for her department. She is also the chair for the Department Awards Committee. Kutzler has served as co-chair on the OSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women and as a co-chair for Awareness and Action on the OREGON STATE ADVANCE project. Kutzler is also a search advocate and has served on several OSU faculty search committees.

A nominator wrote, “Michelle is committed to mentoring junior tenure-track faculty and instructors through this process. She gives guidance as to how one can best align their work with the position descriptions for P&T, write an effective Candidate’s Statement and how to prepare ones Curriculum Vitae. On a personal note, Michelle has been especially encouraging to me, not only with preparation of my dossier for promotion but as I work to complete my Masters’ thesis research.”

The nominator continued, “Michelle utilizes her own experiences navigating the P & T process, as well as her experiences on the Faculty Senate P&T committee and Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences Peer Evaluation of Teaching Committee, to ensure equity, provide clarity and improve the process for others. While serving as chair of the Faculty Senate P&T committee, Michelle reviewed the individual college P&T guidelines and worked with college deans to helping to modify each colleges guidelines to align with those approved by the Faculty Senate. In several instances, the differences involved areas addressing equity, inclusion, and diversity.”

OSU Professional Faculty Excellence Award

The OSU Professional Faculty Excellence Award recognizes exceptional service to the university community by faculty who serve in non-academic units or whose service in an academic unit is not defined within the traditional academic categories of teaching, research, or extension.

Lindsay Davis
Administrative Office Manager
OSU Extension Service – Clatsop County
OSU Extension and Engagement

Davis is an administrative office manager for the Extension Service. She provides local leadership for 13 OSU employees and 190 volunteers. Her work in supporting innovative Extension programming has created and strengthened positive relationships with local and regional stakeholders.

“Her vision, commitment and passion for her community are extraordinary. By the end of February 2020, she called an office meeting to notify all the staff to make all the necessary arrangements to get ready to work from home at least for the next month, or so,” one nominator wrote. “At that point the thought of a global pandemic still seemed a little farfetched for some of us, but she was right. From the onset of the crisis, she remained responsive to our community’s needs, and was able to spearhead several initiatives, including a partnership with the Small Business Development Center to create an online course to help small businesses navigate Covid-19 restrictions, stay afloat, and decrease the loss of economic vitality that the community was experiencing.

“Lindsay Davis is a trailblazer with phenomenal professional skills and achievements, exceptional job performance, and continued deep involvement with her peers, the university and our community.”

Another nominator wrote, “In my experience Lindsay rarely stops at the confines of her job description and consistently demonstrates real leadership in several critical areas that directly support faculty success. First, she takes personal responsibility for onboarding new faculty that arrive in Clatsop County. Second, when there is turnover in county-based faculty, Lindsay regularly steps up to carry the load and ensure continuity of highly visible programs, including Master Gardener volunteer coordination and an annual Forestry Tour. Third, Lindsay generously shares her professional network – a network that extends to all facets of the local and university community. If you need something, Lindsay always knows who to ask and she will often just whip out her phone and text them on the spot to get an answer for you.”

Outstanding Diversity Advocate 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.

Jonathan Garcia
Assistant Professor
Biological and Population Health Sciences
College of Public Health and Human Sciences

In his role as program director for the OSU Global Health program, Garcia developed innovative curriculum including courses, led the development of an undergraduate minor in Global Health focused on social justice and health equity, transformed mentoring to helping students identify career paths that advance social justice and eliminate health disparities, and created and delivered the India Study Abroad Program in which students engage in health promotion activities for LGBTQ+ youth and female factory workers in Bangalore, India.

“Dr. Garcia’s work with Oregon’s 4-H youth programming through a program called ENLACE translates his well-known emancipatory approach to addressing health disparities among socially marginalized groups, especially LGBTQ+ Latinx and Black communities, to local work in Oregon,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Garcia was granted funding from the Robert Wood Foundation to develop a participatory, video-based approach to combat social isolation and bullying against LGBTQ+ youth of color participating in Oregon 4-H outreach programs. That funding allowed Dr. Garcia to engage a 45-member and then employ ten LGBTQ+ youth to develop five telenovel-style films focused on bullying, self-harm, community building, and access to health services.”

Another nominator said, “His mentees report that Jonathan serves as a source of personal support and welcomes difficult conversations about their own experiences as teachers, as students, and as members of the OSU community. A student who has taken more than one class with Jonathan said that they appreciated his teaching, diverse ad inclusive syllabi, and the invitation of unconventional guest speakers from the community, including homeless youth.”

International Service 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.

Hillary Egna
Professor and Director, AquaFish Innovation Lab
Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences
College of Agricultural Sciences

Egna has more than three decades of service extending OSU’s reputation as a key leader in global aquaculture, as well as environmental sustainability and gender equity. She has been a tireless promoter of international education as well as cultural outreach activities. Over her career, Egna has collaborated with stakeholders from forty countries on multi-institutional, multidisciplinary projects focused on food security and poverty.

One nominator wrote, “Dr. Egna’s continuing effort over three decades covering a wide range of demographic areas across the globe and diverse resource settings has led to the establishment of a few ecological theories of aquaculture, various resource-efficient production systems and good aquaculture practices. The adoption of these systems have improved productivity, environmental performance, resource efficiency and economic profitability of many farms, particularly those of small-scale in Asia and Africa.”  

The nominator continued, “These programs have generated great positive social and economic impacts in developing countries and played important roles in enriching livelihoods, promoting nutrition security and health, and facilitating sustainable aquaculture development worldwide. The programs owe much of the success to Dr Egna’s untiring technical and administrative leadership.”

Another nominator said, “Dr. Egna’s legacy of three decades of the linked programs benefited the careers of hundreds of aquaculture professionals and institutions in 30 countries. She was instrumental in helping create aquaculture advanced degree programs at four universities in; Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, and Nepal, all of which are now training the next generation of aquaculturists through relevant experiential learning.”

Outstanding Faculty Research Assistant Award 

The Outstanding Faculty Research Assistant Award recognizes individuals for their contributions to the university as evidenced by exceptional work experience, scholarship, innovation, professional growth and contributions valuable to the State of Oregon.

Craig Risien
Senior Faculty Research Assistant II
College of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences

Risien is a critical contributor to the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems. He is the chair of the Data Management and Cyberinfrastructure Committee. He has developed many data products for the NANOOS Visualization System and is strongly involved in outreach activities. He also works on a number of other projects including the Ocean Observatories Initiative.

“Craig is now one of the most technically competent and well-recognized marine research assistants in the Pacific Northwest, contributing to multiple individual research projects and regional organizations engaged in theoretical and applied/operational coastal oceanography off Oregon and Washington,” a nominator wrote. “He is equally skilled in sea-going instrument deployments, in-situ and satellite data-analysis, algorithm and product development and project management. He is also an excellent mentor and communicator.”

Another nominator wrote, “Craig has advanced ocean observing through his fieldwork and analysis of satellite and in situ data. Specifically, he has contributed to our understanding of global wind fields and regional ocean acidification, hypoxia, and marine heatwaves through the authorship or co-authorship of 16 peer-reviewed publications and many more technical reports and conference presentations. He has brought data to students, educators, policy makers, researchers, mariners, the fishing community, and the public through his work in regional observing systems and by his development of open access tools for post-processing and viewing of oceanographic data.”

Industry Partnering Award

The Industry Partnering Award recognizes a faculty member who achieves extraordinarily high impact innovations through research collaborations with industry.

Arijit Sinha
Associate Professor
Wood Science & Engineering
College of Forestry

Sinha is a critical player in the development of Oregon's growing mass timber industry. He led testing resulting in certification of DR Johnson's cross-laminated timber panels as well as Freres Lumber Company's Mass Plywood Panels. He has worked with architectural and engineering firms for code approval of novel designs using mass timber panels. He has also been highly engaged with the Wood-based Composites Center, an NSF IUCRC boasting corporate members from around the world and will begin leadership of the Center when the current director retires in 2022.

An industry partner wrote, “We are currently involved in a three-story seismic shake test to establish design properties for mass timber in seismic construction. We provided over $100,000 of material to this project largely based upon our previous experiences with Professor Sinha and the trust we have in him to execute projects diligently and professionally. Without Ari’s request and explanation for the importance of this type of testing, we may not have given it the priority it deserved.”

A colleague wrote, “His primary focus of research has always been the structural performance of wood products, including composite lumber, structural panels, mass timber building elements, and the connection systems that link these structural elements in the final structure. This line of research has required thorough knowledge of building practices and codes, which is only achieved by close collaboration with designers, builders, and manufacturers of building products. Dr. Sinha’s work has become well known nationally and internationally. He is frequently requested to investigate new structural products and connection systems. He was the resident expert at OSU regarding construction of the mass timber Forest Sciences Research Complex. The new Peavy Hall is the first building in North America to incorporate the rocking wall system in its seismic design.”

OSU Faculty Excellence in Online Teaching Award

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.

Alina Padilla-Miller
New Media Communications
College of Liberal Arts

When Padilla-Miller joined New Media Communications in 2015, there were few online offerings for the program. However, with an online minor—and eventually an online major—in mind, she led by example by designing a large cluster of online classes. She then took the initiative to recruit faculty to teach these classes, in essence coordinating an entire online minor. It is now a thriving online major.

A former student wrote, “Often as an online student, it can feel like there is a lack of connection to my fellow students and/or the instructor, removing that true classroom experience. With Dr. Padilla-Miller, this feeling is absent. She has always fostered a learning environment that allowed us to get to know our classmates and has expressed and shown that she is always willing and able to communicate when there is a need. Any questions or concerns that I have ever expressed to her have been addressed promptly and effectively, increasing my overall experience and undoubtedly my academic success.”

“Alina's experience as an online instructor is continuously apparent during our working sessions,” another nominator wrote. “Teaching students in an online format, asynchronously, presents challenges for course developers. Finding ways to ensure the establishment of a learning community and keeping students engaged to meet the same learning outcomes of the face-to-face courses takes a deliberate design approach. Alina demonstrates a willingness to identify ways to continuously improve her courses based on student challenges, feedback, and accomplishments.

D. Curtis Mumford Faculty Service Award

The D. Curtis Mumford Faculty Service Award recognizes individuals for exceptional, ongoing, dedicated and unselfish concern for and service to OSU faculty.

Michelle Kutzler
Animal and Rangeland Sciences
College of Agricultural Sciences

Within the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences, Kutzler is the chair of the Peer Evaluation of Teaching Committee, writing tenure and/or promotion letters for 18 faculty members. She is also the chair for the Department Awards Committee. Within OSU, Kutzler has served as co-chair on the OSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women and as a co-chair for Awareness and Action on the OREGON STATE ADVANCE project. Kutzler is also a search advocate and has served on several OSU faculty search committees as well as a panelist for numerous search advocate workshops.

“Dr. Kutzler has dedicated her career at OSU to making this an inclusive culture. Her CV attests to involvement (service) at the department, college and university levels related to such work,” a nominator wrote. “Her participation in Work/Life and childcare issues took place also within a national context.”

Another nominator said, “Within OSU, Dr. Kutzler’s greatest impacts have been made through her roles on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSOW), the OSU ADVANCE grant, and as an OSU Search Advocate. As the PCOSW co-chair in 2012, she made several recommendations to President Ray that resulted in increased access to professional development and mentoring, increased availability to lactation rooms and on-campus daycare, and the development of a policy to address bullying. From 2014-2020, she played an important part on the OREGON STATE ADVANCE project on campus. As a Search Advocate, she has served to advance inclusive excellence in the search process by asking questions to help committee members test their thinking, identifying and promoting practices that advance diversity and social justice, and minimizing the impacts of cognitive and structural biases.”

Richard M. Bressler Senior Faculty Teaching Award

The Richard M. Bressler Senior Faculty Teaching Award recognizes full professors who have been at OSU a minimum of 15 years and consistently provide direct instruction to undergraduate students.

Bradley Cardinal
Biological and Population Health Sciences
College of Public Health & Human Sciences

Cardinal is considered a national and international leader in the area of promoting physical activity through general education. He has previously been recognized with the Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award, and as an Oregon State University Alumni Association Distinguished Professor.

A former student wrote, “Prof. Brad and his teachings have had a huge impact on my life. It has been almost 6 years since I graduated from OSU, but I still thank him for shaping me into who I am today. Since completing my graduate studies in 2018, I have been working for an official hospitality provider of the Olympic Games as a Training Manager, where my responsibilities are to train 200+ local staff in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games held in 2021. Because of Prof. Brad, I do not view Olympic and Paralympic Games only as a mega-sporting event, but an event that causes ripple effects in society, an event that promotes society to build a healthy and inclusive environment by using sports as a tool.”

Another nominator wrote, “As a PhD student at OSU, I was assigned to teach a Writing Intensive Course within Kinesiology. I went to Brad asking for guidance and he mentioned that he had adapted his WIC sections every time he had taught them. He talked about the importance of revisions and took time (sometimes hours) sitting with students to help them revise their writing. Draft, after draft, after draft, he was helping undergraduates learn writing-specific tools within kinesiology. After talking about this class at length, I realized that, as educators, we are never stagnant in our classrooms, always adjusting and refining for the benefit of our students.”

Beaver Champion Award

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.

Andrea Ballinger
Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost
University Information and Technology

Andrea Ballinger made the following exceptional contributions to Oregon State University in AY20-21. First, she oversaw the Division of Information and Technology’s highly professional and successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has involved maintaining high-functioning technology and networks that have had to operate under the strain of extensive and continuing online work, teaching, and research. Second, she led the completion of OSU’s IT strategic plan, which strives to unify the university’s IT function behind shared goals and practices while maintaining an appropriate balance between centralized and distributed IT management and systems.

OSU’s IT Strategic Plan 2023 was developed via an extensive, deliberate, inclusive, and transparent process of visioning and prioritization. It promises to put the university on a clear path toward more efficient and robust IT, while freeing resources to redirect into the core academic mission.
Finally, she guided OSU’s response to an unprecedented cybersecurity attack, a situation that required near round-the-clock containment and remediation work by the university’s IT team over a period of several weeks. OSU's cybersecurity regime emerged from the incident in much stronger shape going forward. In a year of extraordinary adversity and continuous change, Andrea Ballinger proved herself an inspiring, steady, decisive, and collegial leader, deeply committed to advancing the success of OSU. She demonstrated all the traits of a Beaver Champion.

The following awards will not be presented in 2021:

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.

The Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award honors graduate faculty members who have extraordinary records of excellence and effectiveness in mentoring graduate students.

The OSU Outreach and Engagement Award recognizes significant and meritorious work which enhances reciprocal learning with our students, partners and stakeholders through outreach and engagement activities.

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.

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.

The 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.

The OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award honors unusually significant and meritorious achievement in teaching and scholarship which enhances effective instruction.

The Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award recognizes an individual for outstanding undergraduate teaching; research, particularly related to improvement of instruction; and professional leadership.

The OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award recognizes a faculty member for superior academic performance, professional renown, and service to the University and to the public.

View all awards available, along with deadlines and the application process.  Help us recognize the outstanding faculty and staff that you work with by nominating them for next year!