ORVALLIS - Jessica Jacks, an Oregon State University student from Madras, has been awarded the 2001 Outstanding Oregon Masters of Public Health (MPH) student.

The Oregon MPH program is a collaborative degree program between OSU, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Portland State University. It has been ranked among the best programs of its kind in the nation.

The outstanding student award is presented annually to a student who excels in public health leadership, education, research and service.

Jacks, in her second year in the program, is specializing in public health promotion and education at OSU. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average and works as a research assistant on health promotion in Student Health Services, and as a graduate teaching assistant in OSU's Department of Public Health.

She previously worked as a research assistant with the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene, and the Endocrine and Metabolism Laboratory in OSU's Department of Exercise and Sport Science.

Active in civic service, Jacks has volunteered with an OSU therapeutic horseback-riding program and for the Jefferson County Fair. She also has worked as a volunteer with the Corvallis Good Samaritan Hospital Radiology/Mammography department, the "Start Making A Reader Today" (SMART) program, and the Big Sister Little Sister program.

Jacks is the daughter of Clint and Naomi Jacks of Madras. She will graduate in December of 2001 and hopes to focus her work on community health in rural settings.