2015 UO Research Excellence Awards celebrate impact and reach of research and scholarly activity

The team behind the Science and Memory climate change project (School of Journalism and Communication) was one of this year's recipients of a UO Research Excellence Award

University of Oregon researchers focusing on everything from feminist anthropology to quantum information to scientific visualization have been recognized with 2015 Research Excellence Awards. Presented by the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation, the awards celebrate the significant impact and reach of UO researchers.

The recipients of the 2015 Outstanding Career Award are Sandra Morgen, (anthropology) and Michael Raymer (physics). The Outstanding Career Award is granted to tenured faculty members of associate or full professor rank.

A professor in the Department of Anthropology, Morgen has conducted more than 40 years of distinguished research focused on the intersections of gender, race and class in U.S. public policy. Through her scholarship and intellectual leadership, she has been instrumental in the founding of the fields of feminist anthropology and the anthropology of North America.

A professor in the Department of Physics, Raymer was the founding director of the Oregon Center for Optics nearly 20 years ago and has been a driving force behind the center’s continued success. His research program encompasses areas of quantum information, quantum optics, quantum control, semi-conductor optical physics and nonlinear optics.

The recipients of the 2015 Outstanding Early Career Award are Hank Childs (computer and information sciences) and Christopher Chávez (journalism and communication). The Outstanding Early Career Award is granted to tenure track faculty members at the assistant professor rank.

An assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Childs conducts research enabling scientific visualization of huge data sets — whether generated experimentally or through simulation — to enable scientists to gain insight from the data. Professor Child’s work has broad impact on researchers in the natural sciences, especially those using high-performance computing facilities to simulate complex physical processes.

An assistant professor of advertising in the School of Journalism and Communication, Chávez conducts research and teaching that lies at the intersection of globalization, media and culture. He is a well-respected media source for issues related to U.S. Latinos and their role as consumers.

The recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Accomplishment NTTF Independent Researcher Award is Deanne Unruh, (College of Education). The Outstanding Accomplishment Award is granted to a career NTTF engaged in independent research activities.

A senior research associate who serves as director of the Department of Secondary Special Education & Transition Program in the College of Education, Unruh has a long-standing independent line of research and national leadership in the area of improving post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities. Her primary research interests include the facility-to-community transition process for adolescents in the juvenile justice system, development and validation of transition-related measures, and post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities.

The recipients of the 2015 Innovation and Impact Award are the Science and Memory team (journalism and communication) led by Mark Blaine, Torsten Kjellstrand, Dan Morrison, and Deborah Morrison and the SupraSensor Technologies team led by Darren Johnson and Mike Haley. The Innovation and Impact Award is granted to individuals or teams for outstanding entrepreneurial activity.

Science & Memory is a climate change reporting project with a dual mission of:

  • Producing compelling stories about data and the human experience that link Oregon and the Copper River Delta in Alaska
  • Providing students unparalleled research and creative opportunities in the field.

Professors in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Haley and Johnson developed a family of ion-binding receptors in their lab that inspired the core technology behind the new company SupraSensor Technologies. With its wireless, nitrate sensing soil sampler, the firm is part of the next agricultural revolution — that of “precision-based” farming — and helping to reduce the estimated $2.4 billion per year that farmers waste due to the over application of nitrate-based fertilizers.

“We congratulate these award recipients, who continue to inspire us through their outstanding work,” said Brad Shelton, interim vice president for research & innovation. “Through their research they are helping to fulfill our mission of exceptional teaching, discovery and service.”