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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 ‘Philanthropy’ Category

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 »

Gift Annuity rates set to decrease

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

The OSU Foundation has information on their site about the suggested rates on gift annuities decreasing as of July 1, 2008, due to current economic conditions. If a gift annuity is in your giving plans, you can receive higher payments if you complete the gift before this date.

Charitable gift annuities are just one of the ways to give to OSU! You can learn more about them at the OSU Foundation’s website.

Posted in Philanthropy | Leave a Comment »

2008 Scholarship Dessert

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on June 2, 2008

On Thursday, May 22, the College of Science honored its exceptional students receiving scholarship awards for the academic year 2008-09 with a dessert and awards ceremony.

The event, held in the CH2M Hill Alumni Center’s Cascade Ballroom, was attended by students, their parents, donors and faculty, with opening and closing remarks by Dean Sherman Bloomer. Taralyn Tan, Biochemistry & Biophysics, gave a student presentation entitled “From Stethoscopes to Synapses – My Path at OSU”.

Over 165 students received scholarships for the 2008-09 academic year, and the College of Science is grateful to all of the generous donors over the years who have made these scholarships possible for our outstanding science students.

Posted in General News, Philanthropy | Leave a Comment »

Ernest and Pauline Jaworski Summer Research Internship for Undergraduates in Plant Sciences

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on February 8, 2008

Ernest (College of Science ’50 and ’52) and Pauline (College of Science ’50) Jaworski of St. Louis, MO put in place a grant for summer internships almost 10 years ago. They have since endowed the account, guaranteeing this support for perpetuity. 

Terra featured a story on scholarships in the Winter 2008 article, and gave us a glimpse into the life of a student benefiting from the Jaworski’s philanthropic vision.


Nikki Marshall

Year and discipline: Senior, Bioresource Research

Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Scholarship: The Jaworski Scholarship has opened up opportunities or me in sustainable, organic farming and ecosystem restoration. Financially, it has enabled me to pay for childcare for my daughter. (Note: Marshall has also received the E.R. Jackman Scholarship, support from the Oregon Seed Trade Association and an award from the American Seed Trade Association with Future Seed Executives.)
Inspiration: My daughter Trinity is 8 years old. She is always asking questions and giving me hope.
Career goal: To own a farm and to restore lands harmed by invasive species or toxic chemicals.
Academic focus: I have been learning how to control seeds through heat treatments and consumption by beetles. Seeds of invasive species and other weeds pose problems for agriculture and environmental restoration.

Posted in Botany & Plant Pathology, Philanthropy | Leave a Comment »

Tell the truth: You wonder what ONAMI is and why you should care

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on February 6, 2008

A recent article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times about Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) explains why the support of higher education is so key to the economic health of Oregon in the global market:

Oregon needs to start ramping up its support of higher education, or else the state will be unable to compete in the global marketplace. That’s both the fear and the mission of Skip Rung, executive director of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute in Corvallis. “This is the one thing that Oregon still doesn’t get enough,” Rung said during an interview Tuesday. “Higher education is absolutely critical to any region’s economic future.”

ONAMI’s mission is to support new research and to provide seed money to help small tech companies grow. Without its academic partners, the project couldn’t succeed. Likewise, Rung said, Oregon won’t be able to thrive without the research and development at public universities, which provide the talent and the ideas that produce new technology.

Read the entire article here: Tech exec: Higher Ed Lagging, by Theresa Hogue, Gazette-Times reporter.

Posted in Chemistry, ONAMI, Philanthropy, Physics | Leave a Comment »

John E. Smith and Willetta M. Smith Fellowship in Geosciences

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on February 4, 2008


 John and Willetta, each holding their daughter, Joan.

Having just gotten the blog up and running, we’re backlogged on announcements of some of the fantastic gifts that have been made to the College of Science during the Campaign for OSU.

Joan and Chuck McDougald of Corvallis made a commitment in honor of Joan’s parents, John E. and Willetta M. Smith. They designated The College of Health and Human Sciences and the Department of Geosciences. The fellowship in geosciences will support graduate students, which is a top priority for the department. Great graduate students elevate the undergraduate experience and support the research being conducted by our faculty.

Here’s a  lovely story about this multi-generational OSU family and their philanthropy:

John E. Smith and Willetta M. Smith Fellowship in Geosciences.

Posted in Geosciences, Philanthropy | Leave a Comment »

Quantum Leaps in Physics

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on January 17, 2008

WenigerJordan_400 The Physics Department is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary this year. At right, a photo, taken sometime in 1928, of Professor Jordan (left), who built the first radio transmitter, KFDJ, 5 watts. Dr. Weniger (right) founded the department in 1908.

Also, chair and professor emeritus, Ken Krane, has been selected by the Honors College as 2008’s Eminent Professor.

In addition, the College of Science is pleased to announce the inception of the Ben and Elaine Whiteley Endowed Fund in Materials Research, recently established by long-time friends, donors, and volunteers, Ben and Elaine Whiteley. Elaine’s father was Dr. Edwin Yunker. Professor Yunker was a member of the OSU physics faculty from 1925 to 1968 and was department chair from 1949 to 1966. The Yunker lecture was established in his honor. Ben and Elaine live in Portland, and are delighted to have made this contribution in support of the materials science program, which has also been counted toward the challenge made by the Valley Foundation for the College of Science to raise $15 million in program support.


Dr. Janet Tate is one of the lead faculty members in the Materials Science group.

Finally, the Paradigms in Physics classroom remodel for first- and second-year students is on the way to becoming a reality.

That’s all for this nanosecond!

Posted in Philanthropy, Physics | Leave a Comment »