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Winter 2019

Passion & Purpose

orange spiral icon above arial shot of cityscape
High-population cities like Miami (pictured) have longer-lasting flu seasons. Climate conditions actually play a relatively smaller role in flu transmission. Read more on page 9 of the magazine.

Fellow Beavers,

This fall, we welcomed 700 first-year students. My hope for them is that they, like you as alumni of Oregon State, will appreciate the value of their science degree and experience firsthand its powerful impact on their career and their lives. Since 2008, more students are seeking degrees with titles that sound like jobs, a lingering aftereffect of the Great Recession. Whereas many students once sought an education to broaden their minds and perspectives and as a means to better navigate the world, now students are feeling tremendous economic pressure to get a degree that will land them a well-paying job. The escalating cost of college tuition has forced students and parents to examine the return on investment of a college degree. As a result, enrollment in academic programs like engineering and business have surged, while academic programs in the humanities and arts have declined. We have held steady in Science, with flat or slightly declining enrollment.

The message we need to communicate is that investing in a science degree is a good decision. It is valuable both as a means to get a good paying job and to better understand our world. But many students and their parents do not realize the incredible rewards of a science degree. I believe that Science offers students, and society, the greatest opportunity for innovation, creativity and discovery to solve the 21st century problems that affect us all.

As an example, the College Salary Report states that the average mid-career employee with a biology degree earns $77,200 per year. Employees with a biochemistry and molecular biology degree average $103,400 per year. For physics graduates, it is $110,000 per year, similar for those with mathematics degrees. Most of these employees do not hold jobs with titles like “biologist, “physicist” or “mathematician.” However, the training that these graduates received is highly valued by employers, often for positions with vastly different job titles.

A science education at OSU gives students the best long-term insurance for successful careers in innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. In this newsletter, read about the extraordinary impact science alumni, students and faculty at Oregon State University are having on our world.

Roy Haggerty
Dean, College of Science

Mathematics

Communicating math through aerial acrobatics

Mathematics alumna Nancy Scherich (M.S., ’13) has bridged the worlds of art and math to great acclaim.

Biomedical Science

Synergies unleashed to tackle human health and disease

OSU scientists take an interdisciplinary approach to human health, working across the life, physical and mathematical sciences to spur fresh thinking and innovations.

Alumni and Friends

Recognizing outstanding achievement: 2018 Alumni Awards

Three outstanding scientists received the 2018 College of Science Alumni Awards.

Biochemistry & Biophysics

Scientist who discovered protein involved in cancer metastasis named Alumni Fellow

Alumna Marian Waterman, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of California, Irvine, is honored as 2018 Alumni Fellow.

Students

Meet our class of 2022

The College of Science welcomes 744 new first-year students and 180 transfer students in fall 2018.

October 4, 2018
Events

Science faculty recognized for excellence at 2018 University Day

Eight science received some of OSU’s most prestigious awards for scholarship, teamwork, and mentoring at 2018 University Day.

Faculty and Staff

College of Science research funding from FY18

The College of Science received $11.3 million in research grants and awards in FY18.

Materials Science

Japanese musician recreates YInMn blue to help the children of Fukushima

YInMn blue - aka Soma Blue - spreads a message of hope and transformation in the city of Soma affected by the devastating Fukushima nuclear meltdown after Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Chemistry

Famed nuclear chemist elected Fellow of American Chemical Society

Chemistry professor Walter Loveland named a 2018 Fellow by the American Chemical Society.

Microbiology

Two science graduates win 2018 Fulbright awards

Microbiology alumni Dang Duong ('18) and Grace D'Angelo ('17) are selected for the 2018-19 Fulbright Awards.

Student Success

Science faculty receive $1 million to increase inclusivity and success of diverse students

Science faculty awarded prestigious HHMI grant to develop culturally inclusive pedagogies in STEM programs.

Physics

Fungi-produced pigment shows promise as semiconductor material

Physicist Oksana Ostroverkhova discovers a semi-conducting material in organic pigment secreted by wood-eating fungi.

Physics

Research shows short gamma-ray bursts do follow binary neutron star mergers

Astrophysicist Davide Lazzati and team have confirmed that last fall’s union of two neutron stars caused a short gamma-ray burst.

Mathematics

Bill Bogley to lead Department of Mathematics

The College of Science welcomes Bill Bogley as the new Head of the Department of Mathematics effective July 1, 2018.

Graduate students

Graduate students, alumni win national fellowships for outstanding research

The College of Science congratulates two PhD students for receiving prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRF) awards for 2018.

Women in Science

Science faculty receive fellowships to advance equity and inclusion in STEM fields

Math and biology professors named 2018 OSU Advance Faculty Fellows to advance diversity and equity in STEM fields.

Faculty and Staff

Mathematician receives international recognition as SIAM Fellow

Mathematician Juan Restrepo was named a 2018 Fellow for the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics for his mathematical and computational modeling of the ocean.

Physics

OSU Physics receives national award for undergraduate education

The Department of Physics is one of three universities to receive a national award for improving undergraduate physics education in 2018.

Students

Biochemistry student awarded Goldwater Scholarship, studies molecular origins of alcohol addiction

Honors biochemistry/biophysics student Delaney Smith receives the 2018 Goldwater scholarship. She is the only Goldwater Scholar from an Oregon institution this year.

Integrative Biology

Steelhead's repeat spawning aids fitness and survival

Biologist Michael Blouin's new research shows steelhead that spawn repeatedly have more than double the reproductive success of fish that spawn a single time.

Faculty and Staff

Physicist named a distinguished professor

Oregon State University has named Professor of Physics Janet Tate its 2018 Distinguished Professor.

Faculty and Staff

Marine ecologist receives prestigious National Science Board award

The National Science Board is honoring distinguished marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco with its 2018 Vannevar Bush Award.

Faculty and Staff

Statistician receives national award for building diversity, exceptional mentoring

Korvis Professor of Statistics Javier Rojo is the recipient of the 2018 Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Award for Mentoring and Commitment to Diversity.

Events

Understanding science's highest award: The Nobel Prizes

Three OSU scientists explore the 2017 Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry and medicine and the exciting scientific advances they represent at a public lecture April 30, 2018.