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    Hello! Welcome to Breakthroughs, a site devoted to sharing with you the latest, greatest advancements from the College of Science at Oregon State University. From breakthroughs in research to transformational philanthropy to interesting tidbits from the daily life of the College, we'll post frequently to keep you up-to-date. Please visit often and absolutely let us know what you might like to learn more about. Enjoy, and of course, GO BEAVS!
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Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Micro-hydro research honors the memory of Edward Rada

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on May 8, 2009

Edward as a recent graduate of Oregon State College (as it was then), in Agricultural Economics (Class of ’37, MS in Ag Econ in ’41)

Edward as a recent graduate of Oregon State College (as it was then), in Agricultural Economics (Class of ’37, MS in Ag Econ in ’41)

Edward and his wife, Esther M. Rada (class of ’42, Home Economics)

Edward and his wife, Esther M. Rada (class of ’42, Home Economics)

Edward L. Rada was born in Mill City, Oregon in 1916, to Czech immigrant parents.  He left Oregon to serve as a Naval officer in WWII.  He eventually settled in Pasadena, CA, where he earned his doctorate in Economics at University of Southern California.  Edward then joined the faculty at UCLA, retiring in 1986 as Professor Emeritus of Health Economics.  He died in 2005 and is buried near Mill City.

Every summer Edward would return to Mill City for several weeks to walk his boyhood farm and the 25 acres of timberland that he would eventually inherit from his parents. Edward considered the timberland his private “National Forest,” and kept it in near pristine state.

Across the timberland run several creeks, all fed from five different springs.  Edward’s father, Frank, had filed a water rights claim with the state of Oregon in 1948 to use these springs for domestic consumption.  The springs were always considered the most valuable asset of the property and Edward worked hard to preserve their flow and maintain the storage tanks and plumbing that had been built to deliver the water to his parent’s home.  He also strongly believed, long before others, that water would one day be an extremely valuable resource, even in water-rich Western Oregon, and that his springs might eventually be used for power generation.

In that spirit, the Rada family invited Todd Jarvis of OSU’s Water Institute to study the feasibility of operating a spring-fed, hydroelectric micro-turbine on their property.  Jennifer Holderman, an MS student at the Institute, has undertaken this task as her thesis.  Jennifer’s effort is being funded by a gift from Mrs. Esther M. Rada in loving memory of her husband, Edward.


Posted in Alumni, Water Resources Graduate Program | Leave a Comment »

The Oregon Way

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on April 21, 2009

On February 11, 2009, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski issued an executive order (link opens as a PDF) creating a new public/private partnership to advance Oregon’s recovery. Peggy Fowler (OSU/College of Science Parent), Catherine Mater (Political Science ’75; M.S., Civil Engineering ’84), and Jim Walls (Wildlife Science ’75) have been appointed to the group which will coordinate federal stimulus money coming to Oregon.

The new partnership, called The Oregon Way Advisory Group, will use Oregon’s green advantage to compete and win grant dollars included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Barack Obama. The Act includes $37 billion in competitive grants. For specific information on these grant dollars, please visit

The group will advise and assist state agencies and other partners seeking federal competitive grants by developing innovative proposals that create immediate jobs and promote renewable energy, reduce carbon, encourage greater energy efficiency or sustainable development.

Ms Fowler recently retired from Portland General Electric as CEO and President. Mrs. Mater is president of the Corvallis engineering firm Mater Engineering, Ltd., and director of Sustainability Programs at OSU. Mr. Walls is executive director for the Lake County Resources Initiative, a nonprofit in Lakeview, Oregon working on natural resource projects.

For more information, visit the website at

Posted in Alumni, General News | Leave a Comment »

Micro-Hydro Project

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on April 9, 2009

Check out this video introducing the first joint JD/MS in water resources science student who is researching the feasibility of generating electricity from low flow springs in the Oregon Cascades.

Jennifer’s research is made possible by a gift from Mrs. Esther Rada to the Water Resource Management Research Fund at OSU. The fund is used for the study of water and watershed activities and the pursuit of solutions to the water and related environmental problems of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and the world. We asked Todd Jarvis, Associate Director of the Institute for Water and Watersheds, for comment:

This project was originally suggested to me by the Rada family as a research project for a graduate student. The Institute for Water and Watersheds and the Water Resources Graduate Program was delighted to assign a student to complete the feasibility study as a research project because it fit perfectly within OSU’s Signature Areas of Distinction, as outlined in the university’s strategic plan of Advancing the Science of Sustainable Earth Ecosystems. The project also fits well within the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) program, which researches ways to transform green building and renewable energy research into on-the-ground products, services, and jobs that power Oregon’s green economy. And the Energy Trust of Oregon is also actively researching micro-hydro site suitability using Geographic Information Systems (GIS); we anticipate linking the Rada Family’s investment in the student’s research into this program as one means to ground truth their GIS work.

Click here to read more about Micro Hydro projects.

If you are unable to view the video, try viewing it here on OSU’s Media Manager.

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more about “Micro-Hydro Project“, posted with vodpod


Posted in Alumni, Water Resources Graduate Program | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Million Dollar Chair

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on August 13, 2008

Having found a butterfly net stashed away in his family’s closet, Harold Rice began collecting butterflies in his early childhood and has been collecting ever since. In his 90’s today, he is still out and about the state looking for butterflies.

Harold’s love of traveling and passion for butterflies is amply illustrated by his personal collection, which contains well over 30,000 specimens from all over the world. Nearly half of this has already been delivered to the Oregon State Arthropod Collection, with the remainder expected in future years. The material is carefully identified and beautifully pinned into wooden glass-topped drawers.

The local entomology community is fortunate to count Harold among its leaders. He remains a member of the Oregon Entomological Society, having attended their first meeting in the 1930’s , and is an active participant in the Pacific Northwest Lepidoptersist group – a group that has been meeting each fall in the Willamette Valley for the last 30 years.

In 1994 Harold, with the help of OSAC director Jack Lattin, established the Harold and Leona Rice Professorship Endowment in Systematic Entomology. This Professorship is helping OSU recruit a top-notch leader in the field of Insect Systematics (the formal biological study of insect biodiversity and evolution). Part of the Rice Professor’s position is to serve as the Director for the Oregon State Arthropod Collection. A new Rice Professor will be announced during the 2008/2009 academic year.

In the picture here, Chris Marshall, Curator & Collections manager for the OSAC, has just presented Harold with an Oregon State University chair. Amused, Harold jokingly refers to the chair as his “million dollar chair.”

Posted in Alumni, Zoology | Leave a Comment »

David T. Wong named Indiana Living Legend

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on July 30, 2008

DavidWongOn July 18, 2008, Dr. David T. Wong (’64 Chemistry) was honored as an Indiana Living Legend by the Indiana Historical Society. LL-Program-(27)He is best known for his work discovering Prozac, Strattera and Cymbalta, but here at OSU, we also know him as a 2003 OSU Alumni Fellow. He remains active in the OSU community, serving as a member of the Department of Chemistry Advisory Board–we are fortunate to have his ongoing guidance and friendship.

David has made OSU proud in yet another way this summer. Along with four other Hoosiers, he has been selected from more than 150 nominations by a committee of civic and corporate leaders, volunteers and IHS trustees as an Indiana Living Legend. Here’s a bit more background on David:

Dr. Wong is President of DT Wong Consulting, LLC, and is an internationally renowned biochemist and neuropharmacologist. He worked at the Lilly Research Laboratories from 1968 until his retirement in 2000 as a Lilly Distinguished Research Fellow. He is a co-discoverer and co-inventor of several centrally acting drugs, which have revolutionized the fields of psychiatry and neuropharmacology, including Prozac for the treatment of depression (1986) and related disorders (1988); Strattera for attention deficit disorder (2003); and Cymbalta for depression (2004), diabetes neuropathic pain (2004) and general anxiety disorder (2007).LL-Reception-(05)

Dr. Wong has received several notable awards for his contributions to science, including the Discoverer’s Award, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association in 1993; the Pharmaceutical Discoverer’s Award, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression in 1996; the Outstanding Achievement in Research, Development and Innovation Award, Indiana Health Industry Forum in 1996; the Outstanding Achievement in Neuroscience Research Award, Lilly Neuroscience, Eli Lilly and Company in 2000; and the Excellence in Science Award, U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce in 2002.

Dr. Wong has published more than 160 papers and book chapters in the fields of neuropharmacology and biochemistry and is an inventor or co-inventor for some 35 U.S. Patents. Dr. Wong is an adjunct professor, Neurobiology, Department of Psychiatry, at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Nankai University in Tianjin, China.

Our hearty congratulations to an Indiana Living Legend!

Images and biography provided by the Indiana Historical Society

Posted in Alumni, Chemistry | Leave a Comment »

Tom Webb Stops By

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on July 24, 2008

Tom Webb stopped by the Breakthroughs HQ Annex (aka the OSU Foundation) today for a visit. He’s recently “retired” from his career on the chemistry faculty at Auburn University (he kept his office there, so I suspect he’s still making frequent appearances at work).

He has maintained his connections at his alma mater, OSU, stopping by to see old and new friends a few times a year. It was especially nice to catch him today between some pretty great trips he’s taking. Most recently, he was in Scotland, next he’s going to London, then it’s back to Scotland, then maybe a visit to the German coastline after that.

Tom had the vision to establish an endowed equipment and instrumentation fund in the Department of Chemistry here. Having spent a career doing research and teaching, he well knows what happens to the enterprise when a piece of equipment breaks or a new gizmo is required to do some cutting-edge work. He’s also been generous with his annual gifts, helping the Department seize opportunites that arise on a day-to-day basis.

Here’s Tom being a very good sport:


Posted in Alumni, Chemistry, Philanthropy | Leave a Comment »

Breakthroughs in Science: New York

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on July 23, 2008

The College is sincerely grateful to Dr. Jim Paul (PhD ’71) and Dr. Kala Paul (M ’72 Microbiology) for hosting our second Breakthroughs in Science: Solutions for a Changing World dinner event in New York on June 18.

Our New York event was held at Triomphe Restaurant (named by the New York Times as one of the best restaurants in the city) in Midtown Manhattan. New York Beavers made the night a well-attended success. Dean Sherm Bloomer welcomed everyone via a pre-recorded DVD and handed the evening over to the most cited author on coral reef ecology in the Western Hemisphere, Dr. Mark Hixon. Mark’s presentation, “Coral Reefs: New Frontiers, New Threats” sparked a conversation that lasted throughout the evening.

Guests enjoyed great food, great wine (an Oregon Pinot made an appearance), lively conversation, and were sent off with a thank you from Jim and Kala. Jim and Kala explained how important Oregon State has been in their lives. It is where they met, fell in love, and has always kept a special place in their hearts. So much so that Kala named her company, The Corvallis Group, in honor of their time at Oregon State. Jim and Kala took the opportunity to explain why they support the University and encouraged guests to do the same. It should also be noted that even as they were helping plan and prepare for their son’s wedding, Jim and Kala found time to host the event and we are so grateful for it.

Jim and Kala, we are honored by your dedication and financial support. Thank you!

Dr. Jim Paul and Dr. Patrick Kennelly

Dr. Amy Chadburn and Assistant Director of Development, Ryan Robinson

Dr. Jim and Dr. Kala Paul and Director of Development, Anne Ruggiero

Posted in Alumni, General News, Philanthropy | Leave a Comment »

Breakthroughs in Science: Houston

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on June 25, 2008

A BIG thank-you goes out to College of Science Board Member, Rusty Gorman (Zoology ’73) and Ruth Spence for hosting our Breakthroughs in Science: Solutions for a Changing World event in Houston on May 9.

The event, held at The Grove Restaurant in Downtown Houston’s Discovery Green Park, was well attended by College of Science alumni in the Houston area. Guests were given an update about OSU’s Capital Campaign by Dean Sherm Bloomer. Dr. Aaron Wolf, Geosciences Professor at OSU and international expert on water resources policy and middle east geopolitics, gave a presentation entitled, “Conflict and Cooperation over Shared Waters.”

Rusty Gorman summed up the evening by pointing out the global impact of Dr. Wolf’s research. Rusty went on to say that Dr. Wolf is one of many Oregon State professors helping to create solutions for the issues facing the world today. He concluded his remarks by thanking all guests for attending and encouraging everyone at the event to get involved with Oregon State and support the University as he and Ruth have chosen to do.

Rusty and Ruth, we are grateful for your generous gifts of time and financial support. Thank you!


Ruth and Rusty at the 21st Annual Houston Art Car Parade on May 10th. The two were accompanied by Dean Bloomer and Assistant Director of Development, Ryan Robinson.

Posted in Alumni, General News, Philanthropy | Leave a Comment »