PORTLAND, Ore – Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s appointment of Lynda M. Ciuffetti, a professor and department head of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University, to serve on the Oregon State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”), was confirmed today by the Oregon State Senate. Ciuffetti’s term on the Board will begin on July 1, 2010 and continue through June 30, 2012, at which time she will be eligible for re-appointment. She replaces Board member Dalton Miller-Jones, a faculty member at Portland State University who has served on the Board since 2006.
Paul Kelly, president of the Board, said, “We are very pleased about Dr. Ciuffetti’s confirmation as a member of the Board of Higher Education. Her deep and demonstrated commitment to students, to teaching and research, and to engagement in her field and on the OSU campus make her a wonderful addition to the Board. She has made many contributions to higher education in Oregon through her involvement as an academic leader, faculty member and mentor to students, and we know she will bring that same commitment to her work on the Board and on behalf of all Oregonians.”
Ciuffetti has been a member of OSU’s faculty since 1990, first as a grant-supported assistant research professor, then as a tenure-track assistant professor starting in 1995, moving on to associate professor (1999) and full professor (2004) in Botany and Plant Pathology. Ciuffetti has taught and mentored undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students throughout her career and has engaged and supervised student research experiences at all levels. Understanding the importance of student engagement in learning, Ciuffetti initiated a mentoring program at OSU in 1994 to help graduate teaching assistants improve their instructional approaches and advance in their academic careers. Regarding research, the long-term goal of Ciuffetti’s scientific studies is a complete molecular description of factors that account for the ability of microorganisms to cause plant disease.
“Dr. Ciuffetti is deeply passionate about her research and her life-long work to educate the next generation of scientists,” said Gov. Kulongoski. “She brings to the Board a comprehensive understanding of our education system through her own personal experience and her professional experience as a college professor, a high school teacher and a junior high teacher, as well as a demonstration of compassion for student achievement through her student mentor program.”
Ciuffetti has held several leadership positions at OSU, including her current position as department head of Botany and Plant Pathology, Faculty Senate president, member of the President’s Cabinet, and other advisory and mentoring roles. She is broadly published in her field, including contributions to leading science journals, book chapters, laboratory manuals, conference proceedings, and is a frequent speaker at scientific meetings. Since the beginning of her OSU career, Ciuffetti has been awarded numerous grants totaling almost $4.5 million from organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has also won several awards over her career, including the Beaver Champion Award from OSU in 2009 and the Elizabeth P. Richie Distinguished Professor Award from OSU in 2003.
Ciuffetti earned a B.S. in Botany/Biology from University of Massachusetts, an M.S. in Plant Physiology/Fungal Physiology from Michigan Tech. University, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology/Plant Physiology from Purdue University.
Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services, and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu.