2017 Distinguished Student Awards

Brandon Safley

After graduating from Redmond High School more than a decade ago, Brandon Safley began classes at COCC. But a promotion at work left him no time for school. For many years he managed a restaurant, working nights and weekends. As his children began to grow up, Brandon wanted to find a career that would allow him more time with them. So he returned to college – starting at COCC and then transferring to OSU-Cascades. While at OSU-Cascades, he worked full-time and graduated with the highest GPA of any business or accounting student in his class. Brandon works in the accounting department at the Opportunity Foundation, which supports people with disabilities.

Adam DuQuette

Adam DuQuette was one of the first students enrolled in the computer science program, and he’s seen it grow and provided feedback to help shape it. He felt that the tech-minded students of OSU-Cascades needed a club to call home, so he founded Cascades Tech Club, which brings in local speakers and has an active online community. He’s participated in three internships during his time at OSU-Cascades, working on new product development and quality assurance. Adam’s capstone team developed a web application to help scientists manage experiments. After graduation, he hopes to stay local, and continue to work in data science and mobile and web application development.

Alaina Hawley

Alaina Hawley graduated with the highest GPA in the energy systems engineering and was part of the OSU honors college. During her time here, she was president of the Cascades Association of Energy Engineers, worked on the Cascades Commuters team promoting sustainable transportation, and mentored younger ESE students. Alaina works at the Platt River Power Authority in Colorado.

Danielle Reynolds

Danielle Reynolds was part of a 2016 OSU Grand Team Challenge research project that spanned the biology and natural resources programs, presenting the work at "Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence" in Corvallis. During the summer of 2016, she was on a student team that surveyed the irrigation flow rates in the Deschutes Basin, a project aimed at improving water efficiencies in Central Oregon. She helped breathe life into a fading Natural Resources club, helping draft revised bylaws, holding the first elections, and renaming the club to Natural Sciences to welcome in students from other disciplines. Danielle helped harvest and replant some of the several thousand native plants on our new campus. She is interning with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, working on the chub removal project.

Maren Burck

Maren Burck transferred to OSU-Cascades to complete a degree in applied visual arts. Her fresh voice has been a tremendous asset to the classroom. Her feedback for her peers comes from a place of intrigue and genuine interest in a critical dialogue. During her time here, she has made an impact on the arts and culture community in Central Oregon.

Jay Oxarart

Jay Oxarart is a stand-out liberal arts student who demonstrates the rare ability to parse even the most abstract concept or theory for the benefit of his peers. He is known for providing keen insight and thoughtful comments in class. While here, Jay was a teaching assistant for a technical writing course and part of the Love in Action student group that welcomes and supports all students at OSU-Cascades. Jay is interested in teaching high school English.

Kristy Behrs

Kristy Behrs has been an exemplary student in all of her psychology courses frequently submitting graduate-level work in her written assignments and engaging class content with tremendous enthusiasm, interest, and sophistication. Outside of class she has excelled at a number of independent research projects, often taking her own initiative to investigate areas of intellectual and applied interest. Kristy sets the highest standard for student motivation and achievement at OSU-Cascades.

Katie Stanton

Katie Stanton is able to understand and bring out the complexity in social and human-ecological systems. In an increasingly complicated world, she understands the relationships among people, technology, environmental systems and cultural assumptions. Katie won the School of World Languages and Cultures paper of the year award at OSU-Corvallis. This competition included a number of graduate student papers. Katie plans to teach English in Mexico, with the hope of becoming fluent in Spanish.

Justin Ter Har

Justin Ter Har started as an intern at the OSU-Cascades FORCE biomechanics lab, and advanced to the position of FORCE Lab Technician, becoming the first undergraduate to receive a paid position at the lab. He is proficient in all lab hardware and software systems and has trained multiple kinesiology interns. Justin presented a research project at the NW American College of Sports Medicine Conference and was the president of the OSU-Cascades Kinesiology Club. He is the first OSU-Cascades undergraduate to begin a PhD in OSU's neuromechanics program.

Brianna Neves

Brianna Neves is the co-founder of the student group, Love in Action, which has created an Identity Wall as a way to appreciate our diversity and build community on campus. She has engaged in research with the Roots of Resilience team and presented this work at the student research symposium. Brianna is in the master of counseling program at OSU-Cascades. Her goal is to practice counseling and teach at a university.

Laura Childers

Laura Childers worked on three research projects during her time at OSU-Cascades. She used fieldwork and lab studies to test the performance of locally-sourced seed in ecological restoration. She studied interactions between ravens and eagles at deer carcasses. She studied stickleback fish developmental responses to water quality, and is taking that forward with a fellowship to study ecotoxicology in a PhD program at Duke University. At Duke, her EPA-funded research will investigate the physiological and evolutionary effects of water pollution on wild fish. Laura plans to spend her career researching the effects of pollution on wildlife conservation efforts, and she hopes to teach biology at a university like OSU-Cascades.

Jordon Lenchitsky

Jordan Lenchitsky is highly regarded as a positive and productive force in the Master of Arts in Teaching program as well as in her clinical placement at Buckingham Elementary. She is a reflective practitioner and actively seeks out feedback and ideas to improve her teaching practice. Jordan is a natural leader whose everyday work will enhance the lives and minds of students.

Brooke Stalter

Brooke Stalter values the feedback she receives from mentors and instructors, using it to create a student-centered math classroom. She uses questioning and inquiry to push student thinking, and as a result students are empowered to discuss and ask questions as they strive to make sense of the math they are learning. Brooke is now a teacher at Redmond High School and is working to make math meaningful to students so more will pursue STEM fields after they graduate.

Chesley Strowd

Even before entering the master of counseling program, Chesley Strowd was involved in forging a partnership between OSU-Cascades and the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs. She has demonstrated strong academic achievement, leadership and courage in her growth and development as a clinician. Chesley brings a sense of wonder to everything she does. She is positive and enthusiastic, and she takes great interest in those around her. She hopes to help clients become empowered to find their authentic self through the counseling process.

Brigitte Lewis

 Brigitte Lewis entered the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with the attitude that she was going to make the most of the experience. She's done that for herself, and for her fellow students. Brigitte has been passionate about building community in her cohort. Her hopes for the future? Famous author.