Oregon State University; Oregon State University - Cascades; OSU-Cascades; 2019 Employee Awards

2019 OSU-Cascades Employee Award recipients with Vice President Becky Johnson. Left to right: Bahman Abbasi, Dennis Lynn, Johnson, Laura Kloss, Melinda Knapp. Not pictured: Erika McCalpine.

Jul 29, 2019

Oregon State University – Cascades  has given its 2019 Employee Awards to five faculty and staff members for outstanding contributions in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion; outreach; outstanding staff engagement and support; scholarship and creative activity; and teaching excellence.

The recipients of the campus’ 2019 employee awards were:

Dennis Lynn, a senior instructor in human development and family sciences, received the Teaching Excellence Award. Lynn was recognized for both his impact on first-year students through lessons incorporating an understanding of the human condition, and on fellow instructors as they developed their own teaching skills. Lynn was credited for instilling responsibility in students by bringing real world challenges into the classroom, and for engaging often in organizations in Central Oregon that help underserved communities, including the homeless. He has served on the board of the United Way of Deschutes County and volunteers weekly at the Family Kitchen in Bend.

Erika McCalpine received the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. An instructor in human resources, McCalpine has used her experiences as a person of color to advance discussions of social justice in Central Oregon. She was honored for raising awareness among her students, fellow employees and community members about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. She has been influential in advancing a search advocate process designed to promote equity and diversity in campus hiring practices. McCalpine is on the Community Conversations leadership team and was named 2019 Woman of the Year by The Source Weekly.

Melinda Knapp is a senior instructor in OSU-Cascades’ Master of Arts in Teaching program. She received the Outreach Award for her contributions in transforming how mathematics is taught in local K-12 schools. Her collaborations with local schools have included designing and facilitating the Crook County Math Learning Labs and serving as a co-principal investigator for the Numbers in Nature, Math on the Mountain program, a teacher-scientist partnership that provides teachers an opportunity to conduct research at Mt. Bachelor and the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and incorporate real world data into classroom lessons. Knapp also was recognized for her leadership in transforming how novice elementary and secondary teachers learn to teach subjects, particularly mathematics. Her field-based methods courses have become a model for other courses taught in the OSU-Cascades’ graduate teaching program.

Bahman Abbasi, an assistant professor in energy systems engineering, received the Scholarship and Creative Activity Award. He was recognized for his work building a research lab focused on water purification and desalination, and for his efforts to advance awareness for the research underway at OSU-Cascades. Abbasi has received more than $4.9 million in research awards from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop new technologies to turn salt water into drinking water, and to recover grey water from hydraulic fracturing wastewater. His research team includes thermal-fluid, manufacturing, chemical processes, and control engineers from China, Germany, India, Iran, Nigeria, Sudan and the United States, as well as undergraduate engineering students from OSU-Cascades.

Laura Kloss oversees the career development center at OSU-Cascades and received the Outstanding Staff Award. Kloss was recognized for her work collaborating with faculty, academic advisors, administrators and employers to successfully prepare students for the workforce. She also was praised for her leadership of the center’s current operations and planning for expanded services as the OSU-Cascades campus grows.

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About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore. features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. OSU-Cascades expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.