UO Research, Innovation and Graduate Education hosts 2012 Excellence Awards

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RIGE Excellence Award breakfast
RIGE Excellence Award breakfast

The office for Research, Innovation and Graduate Education (RIGE) hosted the RIGE Excellence Awards breakfast on Thursday. The event drew nearly 100 staff and faculty members, who turned out to celebrate “a fast paced and rewarding year.”

“This is an opportunity for us to get together and honor staff excellence, celebrate our accomplishments and set new goals,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation, and dean of the graduate school.

Held in the Papé Room of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the main event of the program was the announcement of the Excellence Awards for 2012, which went to David Dose, an analyst programmer in the department of Sponsored Projects Services, and Patricia Valenzuela, director of finance and administration for the physics department.

The event included a look ahead to some new initiatives for 2013, including the Microbial Ecology and Theory of Animals Center for Systems Biology (META CSB), a new $10.3 million center funded by the National Institutes of Health. One of only two such centers awarded this past year, the facility will address the mysteries of genetics and disease through the study of animal-associated microbial communities.

Espy also discussed the new Oregon RAIN (Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network) proposal, a partnership between the UO and OSU to help support and encourage technology-based startups. The proposal, which has been gaining traction with community leaders and representatives in Salem, calls for a new UO facility that will serve as a resource center for new technology firms. Espy described it as “a one stop shop for startups to gain a foothold and launch into viable businesses.”

Espy announced the recipients of this year’s RIGE Outstanding Team trophy. The “team cup,” a Stanley-cup-like award that rotates from winner to winner each year, went to Liz Deneke, David Dose, Beth Stormshak, Mary Hanabury and Joe Wisecaver from the Financial Conflict of Interest Policy Development and Process Implementation Team.

Gerald Tindal, director of behavioral research and teaching for the College of Education’s Educational Methodology, Policy and Leadership department, and Castle-McIntosh-Knight Professor of Education; and Andy Berglund, associate professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, received Friends of Research, Innovation and Graduate Education Awards.

Also announced were the honorable mentions for the Excellence Awards. The list included:

  • Jared Negel, coordinator of academic affairs, graduate school
  • Kari Vandergust, sponsored projects administrator, pre-award
  • Joyce Croes, marine laboratory manager, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
  • Deanna Berglund, grants/contracts coordinator, molecular biology

“The future looks bright for this year,” Espy concluded.

- by Lewis Taylor, UO Research, Innovation and Graduate Education