Laurels for Scholarship and Skill


"It's probably the best thing you can feel in racing, when you are moving through other crews and gaining seats on other boats," said OSU alum Josh Inman (in red shirt) after he and his USA teammates won the bronze medal in men's eight rowing at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. (Photo courtesy of the OSU Department of Athletics)

December 17, 2008

OSU students earn wide recognition

In the last year, OSU students received recognition and won competitions in fields from tax accounting to robotics. And as Fulbright Scholars, they applied their skills throughout the world.

Mind and Body

OSU student athletes excelled in the classroom as well as on the playing field. Out of 17 athletic teams, 10 had cumulative grade-point averages over 3.0. In the Pac-10, OSU had the second highest graduation success rate for women's teams and the fifth highest for men's. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, former and current OSU students competed in swimming, baseball, wrestling and gymnastics, while OSU alum Josh Inman took a bronze in rowing. They weren't the only OSU representatives in Beijing. Staci Simonich, associate professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences, tested air quality during the games. Carlos Jensen in the College of Engineering developed a prototype information system for broadcasters. And most of the fields at the Olympics were seeded with Oregon grass seed, thanks in part to an OSU marketing initiative.

Six Fulbright Awards and an All-American Scholar

Six students received U.S. Student Fulbright awards for post-graduate study, the highest number ever from OSU. And one OSU student, Tari Tan, a 2008 graduate in biochemistry-biophysics, was selected over hundreds of contestants as an All-American Scholar - one of the top 40 undergraduate scholars in the nation - by USA Today. Reflecting OSU's goal for all its students, Tan said about her eduction: "I cannot envision a better undergraduate experience."

Rovers and Beams

The robotics team entered the University Rover Challenge, sponsored by The Mars Society, for the first time, winning so convincingly in the key challenge of bringing aid to a "distressed astronaut," that they might as well have been on another planet. Ditto a team from Civil and Construction Engineering, which placed first in the region and second nationally in the 2008 "Big Beam" competition sponsored by the Precast Concrete Institute. They beat teams from Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Lehigh and other nationally regarded engineering schools.

Tax Competition

A team in the College of Business confirmed that a string of impressive results in the national accounting exam was no fluke. Four accounting students won first prize in the 2008 Berntson Porter/University of Washington Master of Professional Accounting Tax Competition in Seattle.

Caring for Patients

Our pharmacy students are trained in an ethic of care, and it shows. In April, Linda Wylie took 3rd place in a patient-care competition involving students from more than 50 other colleges and universities. She also won one of four national student leadership awards from the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists.

Moral Courage

For their respective work on wolves and post-fire forest regeneration, Christina Eisenberg and Daniel Donato in the College of Forestry, received OSU's Mason Prize for Integrity and Moral Courage. The two graduate students were the first recipients of the award established last year by emeritus professor Robert G. Mason. Donato also received the Ecological Society of America's 2008 Outstanding Student Research in Ecology Award for his paper on the Biscuit Fire in southwestern Oregon.

Grand Tally

And in perhaps the best measure of student achievement of all, OSU graduated another record class in 2008, awarding 4,586 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to 4,365 students.