Top Tier University
Academic and research excellence is the hallmark of a top tier university. As one of the nation's outstanding universities, Oregon State University continues to add to its growing international reputation for scholastic and research excellence.
The two most recent Oregon-educated Rhodes Scholars have been OSU graduates, and the University continually produces nationally recognized scholars. In addition, Oregon State University receives more external research dollars than any other university in the state and is the only Oregon school to receive the Carnegie Foundation's highest ranking for education and research.
A $2 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute helped OSU establish new state-of-the-art biology laboratories that allow students to explore a wide range of studies from analysis of DNA molecules to the nature of cancer cells.
Construction continues to shape an imaginative and bold physical structure for The Valley Library. Completion of main floor general reference and circulation areas during 1997 has given students, faculty, and visitors a sense of how OSU's library for the 21st century will utilize advanced technologies to provide academic services
These laboratories will prepare students for professional studies in medicine and will be used to encourage more women and minority students to pursue science careers.
Other achievements also supported the University's academic environment during the past year.
The Paul Allen Foundation for Online Education selected two OSU courses from 182 international entries as finalists for Outstanding Online Course of the Year. The Web-based OSU courses were created by Dr. Mark Merickel, assistant professor of education; Dr. William Bogley, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. Robbie Robson, associate professor of mathematics; and Dr. Richard Schori, professor of mathematics.
Dr. Henry Sayre
"A World of Art," a book tracing the history of art, written by
Dr. Henry Sayre, professor of art, was used as the basis for a 10-part television series broadcast nationally by the Public Broadcasting Service.
To the holdings of its special library collections, OSU's Valley Library added personal copies of books written by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Bernard Malamud, an OSU faculty member from 1949 to 1961. Other recent additions to the collections include rare historic almanacs from the U.S. Naval Observatory, some of them dating back 165 years.
Adding to OSU's international acclaim, five faculty members gained special recognition in 1998 for their scholarship.
- Dr. Steven Hackel, assistant professor of history, received a Pew Faculty Fellowship to study Indians who lived and worked in Franciscan missions during the Spanish settlement of California.
- Dr. Richard Clinton, professor of political science, earned a Fulbright grant to study population trends in Peru.
- Dr. Robert Lawrence, associate professor of geosciences, used his Fulbright grant to study the geology of the Himalaya Mountain region in Pakistan.
- Dr. Ron Miner, professor of bioresource engineering, combined research and lecture opportunities in Malawi through a Fulbright award.
- Craig Machado, an instructor in OSU's English Language Institute, received a Fulbright to visit the Czech Republic and lecture on English as a second language.
Quality in research has long been a standard at Oregon State University. Over the past five years, University faculty members have earned more than one-half billion dollars in external support for innovative research efforts. In 1997 alone, the University received more than $125 million in research support from federal, state, and private sources.
Undergraduate research is an area of emphasis at Oregon State. During the past year more than 2,000 junior and senior students prepared for graduate school and their careers by working directly with faculty members and graduate students on University research projects.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, OSU Distinguished Professor of Zoology, was invited to the White House to brief President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore on environmental issues. Lubchenco and others have said global warming is an urgent international issue and political leaders must develop appropriate policies to address it. A former president of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Lubchenco is currently the recipient of a five-year MacArthur Genius Award.
OSU's research environment enables faculty to bring new knowledge into the classroom, and new information, ideas, services, and products directly into contemporary use. Notable among many research successes at Oregon State during the past year:
- The first chewable, time release dosage form for drug delivery, developed by Dr. Jim Ayres, professor of pharmacy, offers a breakthrough in health care, providing a better medication source for children and elderly patients.
- Research in the Department of Food Science is helping to get pressure-processed food onto grocery shelves. The high-pressure methods kill disease-causing microbes without using heat to preserve freshness, texture, and flavor.
The Multiple Engineering Cooperative Education Program (MECOP), a national model for internship education, provided nearly 200 OSU students with paid work experience in their chosen field last year. In many cases, the students also received opportunities for post-graduation employment.
- A team of OSU scientists has developed a cost-effective method to assess and clean up groundwater contamination in places such as the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, military installations, and petrochemical facilities. The OSU tests are substantially less expensive and provide as much or more information than traditional methods which often cost millions of dollars and take many years.
- The U.S. Department of Energy honored OSU with a special award for contributions made by the University's Industrial Assessment Center. Since 1976, efforts by the Center have saved $15 million in energy costs for more than 300 regional manufacturers.
- Development of a patented "Kevlar" fabric means potential savings for the railroad industry. The fabric, developed by OSU engineers and students, uses polyurethane and ceramic coatings that are lighter and less expensive than the traditional steel used in railroad car beds.
- Research at the Linus Pauling Institute on the OSU campus affirms that a daily supplement of vitamin C may have a variety of health benefits.
- Dr. Jeffrey Barnes, associate professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, is developing new information about the atmosphere of Mars. Barnes is a member of the Mars Pathfinder ASI/MET Science Team and a Participating Scientist on the 1998 Mars Surveyor Orbiter mission.
- An OSU experiment suggests that taxol, a promising treatment for breast and ovarian cancer, may be as plentiful in the leaves as in the bark of the Pacific yew tree and may also be found in several landscaping yews.
- The work of Dr. Dennis Hruby, professor of microbiology, attracted SIGA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of New York, to develop a new research laboratory near OSU. The company uses innovative new technologies to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Dr. Hruby's work has led the research effort to develop a new vaccine for strep throat.
- OSU researchers have identified a single, dominant gene that gives hazelnuts resistance to Eastern filbert blight. The discovery leads researchers to believe they can develop a new disease-immune variety of hazelnuts within a decade. That is good news for an Oregon industry which produces almost 98 percent of the nation's filberts; a crop now threatened by the disease.