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Spring 2020

Bolstering student success

Lori Kayes engaged with students during class
When learning and student success needed to improve in a challenging biology course sequence, innovation kicked in. Learn how one determined instructor – Lori Kayes – revamped the classroom teaching model to reduce drop-fail-withdrawal rates from a high of 33.6% to just 7%  

I invite you to read the digital issue of our alumni magazine with its expanded content. One of our highest priorities in the College of Science is creating a culture of inclusive excellence.

In this issue, you will read of ambitious programs the College supports to these ends. For example, the College of Science played a leading role in developing the university-wide Beaver Connect mentoring program (formerly known as the Faculty-Student Mentor Program) – one of several initiatives that helped improve outcomes for underrepresented, Pell-eligible and first-generation students.

The College also pioneered Oregon State's Learning Assistants (LA) Program, which transformed learning in large classrooms, by placing upperclassmen into introductory courses to employ peer-to-peer learning. Originating in Integrative Biology, the LA Program has spread to other STEM courses at OSU.

Our Science Success Center also runs the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program and the Science Professional Pursuits Program – two programs that enable students to lay the groundwork for their professional future.

These and other initiatives have helped improve OSU's graduation rate by 2.8% over the past four years. That means about 100 more students are graduating every year. If progress continues in this direction, we can achieve our goal of 70% graduation. I am deeply committed to this goal, and strengthening inclusive excellence, and the College of Science will play a key role.

Roy Haggerty
Dean, College of Science

Student Success

Enhancing diversity and academic success with a new culture of mentoring

The university-wide Beaver Connect mentoring program is one of several ambitious initiatives that have helped undergraduate student success, leading to the highest ever first-year retention rate of 85.4% at Oregon State University.

Student Success

Building student success: Peer-to-peer learning garners crucial support from science alumni

The Learning Assistant program in the College of Science has reduced the drop-fail-withdrawal rate in several key courses by half and has become a model for other colleges at the university.

Chemistry

New chemistry professor develops a way to curb CO2 emissions

Chemist Kyriakos Stylianou has developed new carbon capture materials to reduce emissions from anthropogenic sources.

Biomedical Science

Kindergartners’ behavior, socioeconomic risk linked to gut microbiome composition, function

A study of early school-aged children shows a connection between the bacteria in their gut and their behavior, and that parents play a key role in their kids’ microbiome beyond the food they provide.

Student Success

Fostering student success in introductory biology

Integrative Biology faculty have transformed instructional strategies to improve student learning and performance in the introductory Principles of Biology courses.

Biochemistry & Biophysics

Prestigious research internship opens new possibilities for double-major science student

Senior Michael Kupperman was among the 20 percent of applicants accepted for a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Integrative Biology

Mentoring and career coaching lead to a fascinating career path in genetics counseling

The Science Professional Pursuits Program helped biology graduate Jade Sentker find her career path through 1-on-1 coaching, skill-building for job search and interview preparedness.

Mathematics

Knowledge is more important than grades says math alumnus and American Express chief technologist

Patrick Franklin’s (BS ’89) mathematics education helped him adapt and thrive in some of the most competitive and iconic work places in America.

Biochemistry & Biophysics

Barbar to lead Biochemistry and Biophysics

The College of Science announces Elisar Barbar as the new head of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Integrative Biology

Eminent zoologist named 2019 AAAS Fellow

Robert Mason, professor of integrative biology, has become a new Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Chemistry

Materials chemist makes key design advance for future durable, vivid pigments

Materials chemist Mas Subramanian has paved the way toward designing more pigments that are stable, durable and non-toxic with vivid hues.

Integrative Biology

First online zoology bachelor’s degree ensures access for all

The College of Science is proud to announce the launch of the nation’s first online bachelor’s degree in zoology.

December 2, 2019
Physics

Going the distance: Successful Physics 20X series goes online

The Physics Department launched a fully online version of the Introductory Algebra-based Physics series.

Marine Science

Oregon State University-produced coral reef documentary now streaming worldwide

"Saving Atlantis" producers followed coral microbiologist Rebecca Vega Thurber and other researchers from Oregon State and around the world who are uncovering the causes of coral decline and looking to find solutions so they don’t completely disappear.

Alumni and Friends

Recognizing outstanding achievement: 2019 Alumni Awards

The College of Science is pleased to announce its outstanding 2019 Alumni Award recipients.

October 30, 2019
Physics

Two physics graduate students win 2019 NASA grants

Two College of Science graduate students have received prestigious NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology awards in 2019.

Mathematics

Mathematician elected Fellow of American Physical Society for advancing understanding of climate change

Mathematics Professor Juan Restrepo has been elected a 2019 Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Biomedical Science

Daily exposure to blue light may accelerate aging, even if it doesn’t reach your eyes

Biologist Jaga Giebultowicz published a new study with which suggests that the blue wavelengths produced by light-emitting diodes damage cells in the brain and retinas.

Chemistry

Chemist awarded NSF grant to study incorporating innovation into promotion and tenure criteria for higher education faculty

The $438K NSF grant has the potential to cause a fundamental shift in how faculty are incentivized and rewarded for their research endeavors.

Biochemistry & Biophysics

Deafness-causing protein deficiency makes brain rewire itself, research suggests

Biochemists find that the brains of people with congenital deafness may be rewiring themselves in ways that affect how those people learn.

Alumni and Friends

Distinguished Service Award: Embracing a legacy of Chinese scholarship

The Wei Family Foundation will receive College of Science Distinguished Service Award for their extraordinary commitment to the university and institution.

September 27, 2019
Alumni and Friends

2019 Distinguished Alumni Awardee, a visionary in the winemaking landscape

Zelma Long (’65) is one of America’s best-known winemakers. Considered a pioneer in California wines, she is known for cultivating premium wines with scientific rigor.

Alumni and Friends

Eminent climate scientist wins 2019 Lifetime Achievement in Science Award

Pioneering climate scientist and alumnus Warren Washington to present the 2019 Distinguished Lecture on October 11, 2019.

September 27, 2019
Marine Science

Marine ecologists devise handbook to accelerate global ocean protection

Two new grants will assist marine scientists at Oregon State University to make significant progress in global ocean protection.

Alumni and Friends

2019 Young Alumni Awardee makes waves as marine ecologist and ocean storyteller

Biology and chemistry alumna Megan Cook receives 2019 Young Alumni Award, a tribute to her global career build spanning research, marine operations, media communication and ocean education.

Faculty and Staff

Physicist receives NSF Career award and more

Bo Sun, associate professor of physics, receives prestigious National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award of $740K.

September 11, 2019
Marine Science

Recipe for a dune: Sand, wind, water, plants

Ecologist Sally Hacker helped lead a team of scientists who developed a mathematical model that predicts the evolution of the beach profile.

Faculty and Staff

Biochemist wins U.S. Fulbright Scholar award

A prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar award will allow Kevin Ahern and Indira Rajagopal to take their passion for teaching and mentoring to University of Malta.

Mathematics

Mathematician awarded Fulbright grant for research in Norway

A Fulbright research scholarship will take mathematician Elise Lockwood to Norway to investigate the role computing plays in students’ learning of mathematics.