Knight Campus Recognition Awards — 2021 Recipients

Knight Campus Recognition Awards

The Knight Campus Awards recognize those around us who have made remarkable contributions to the Knight Campus community. By going above and beyond, they inspire us all to do the same, which ultimately helps further our mission of Science Advancing Society.

Diversity and Inclusion Award

Awarded to an individual or team making outstanding contributions and exceptional commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion in our community. This year three individual Knight Campus students took center-stage to be recognized for their significant contributions to enriching diversity and inclusion in our community.

yan pacheco

Yan Carlos Pacheco
Ph.D. student in bioengineering

Yan Carlos Pacheco started at the Knight Campus in fall 2021 and has already made his commitment to an inclusive and diverse community clearly known. In his day-to-day approach with his research and academic colleagues he actively works to establish a sense of community, well beyond his own PI lab. Additionally, many know him as spearheading the Knight Campus’s first Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month event in collaboration with the Community for Minorities in STEM (CMiS) in the fall. He did a terrific job making the event a success, including quickly networking with CMiS leadership so early in his time at the UO to amplify the impact of the event.

jess nelson

Jess Nelson
master's student

Jess Nelson comes to the Knight Campus having worked in the non-profit world and is dedicated to social justice. Jess participated in our Inclusion & Diversity Workshop Series and was a speaker at our Inclusion Symposium. Members of the audience remarked that their comments were authentic, heartfelt and relatable. Jess’ contributions go beyond the one event – their approach to including peers, faculty and staff in an equitable and approachable manner sets the stage for the inclusive community we all wish to live in.

Jessy Birruete

Jessy Birruete
undergraduate student

Student worker Jessy Birruete is known to many of you as a welcoming presence at our reception desk on the first floor. Jessy has been proactive and thoughtful in articulating her perspective as a Latina first-generation college student and working and engaging with the Knight Campus first building – helping to frame discussions as work on building two progresses. To make tours more inclusive, she also offered to take the text being drafted for building tours and translate it into Spanish so primary Spanish speakers could enjoy and learn about this wonderful facility.

Exceptional Service Award

Awarded to an individual or team who establishes and maintains positive and effective working relationships with fellow faculty, staff, students and internal/external customers. Recipients are dedicated to continuously improving, exceeding expectations and reacting appropriately to ensure best outcomes.


Sarah Carnes
Office specialist

Whether developing tours and materials to showcase the Knight Campus to visitors or creating and distributing a monthly employee newsletter, Sarah Carnes is always looking for new ways to improve processes and communications efforts, both internally and externally. Sarah is a welcoming presence to all those who enter at the first floor reception desk. In addition to providing remarkable customer service, she has also shown herself to be a talented writer, a skilled graphic designer, an extremely organized event and project manager and a perennially positive team player who is always willing to collaborate with those around her.

bonnie archer

Bonnie Archer
Lab manager, Ambati Lab

Bonnie Archer has been an exemplar nonpareil of service and pillar of support to everyone in the Ambati lab, including undergraduates, graduate students, researchers and volunteers and Bala Ambati himself. Unflappable in navigating grants, animal protocols, budget management, and student and volunteer trainings, Bonnie consistently comes up with thoughtful and diplomatic solutions to a wide variety of problems that come up in day-to-day lab life. She has been genuinely helpful to other labs and administrative offices in the Knight Campus and UO and is always welcoming with helping hands and a desire to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Albert Aragon

Albert Aragon
Custodial services coordinator

Albert Aragon has developed a reputation for his exceptional customer service, which he provides to everyone with whom he interacts. Friendly and always easy to work with, he goes out of his way to tackle building requests as quickly and efficiently as possible and is adept at handling last-minute changes, identifying issues and solving problems as they arise. Albert is an invaluable member of the Knight Campus community whose countless contributions cannot be overemphasized.

Innovation and Impact Award

Awarded to an individual or team who has generated novel and valuable ideas, and translated these ideas into new or improved products, methods, processes or systems that have led to substantial social and/or economic impact.

salil sidharthan karipott

Salil Karipott
Postdoctoral scholar, Ong Lab

Salil Karipott embodies the Knight Campus’ mission of science advancing society in so many different ways. His innovations helped give rise to the spin-off company Penderia, which is focused on battery-less sensors for orthopedic implants. He’s begun prototyping sensor-instrumented tendon screws after working closely with orthopedic surgeons and is poised to translate his technologies into real impact. For patients, the impact will be life-changing as they experience faster and better recovery after shoulder surgery — all thanks to Salil’s pioneering work on this amazing technology.

Training and Teaching Award

Awarded to an individual or team who has creatively implemented a training strategy that is interdisciplinary, experiential, applied, and/or entrepreneurial that prepares students to identify and solve problems of societal and commercial relevance.

Knight Campus Graduate Internship Program Track Leads

casey check

Casey Check
Polymers track manager

nima dinyari

Nima Dinyari
Optics track director

Leslie Coonrod

Leslie Coonrod
Lecturer and associate director

uo logo

Jess Lohrman
Senior track manager 

fuding lin

Fuding Lin
Semiconductors track manager

The KCGIP group adapted in incredible ways over the last two years and overcame many obstacles and navigated numerous challenges, including a revamping the curriculum, pivoting to remote learning, confronting wildfire smoke, rolling through surprise university holidays, returning to campus and, ultimately, graduating nearly all students on time. Through it all, the group never missed a beat in terms of preparing students to excel in their internships and beyond and remained 100% focused on student success.

Impact Team

nathan jacobs

Nathan Jacobs
Director research training and career acceleration

mark blaine

Mark Blaine
Associate director for science communication research

Annie zk

Annie Zeidman-Karpinski
Kenneth M. and Kenda H. Singer Science Librarian

The impact team confronted many challenges as they pivoted to overcome obstacle after obstacle and forged ahead establishing a nationally-unique model for career acceleration of Ph.D. students. The powerful program, which has become an integral component of Knight Campus doctoral training, combines scientific storytelling, writing for impact, proposal preparation, innovation training, career planning and more.


Communication Award

To be awarded to an individual or team who has gone above and beyond to widely and creatively communicate about our work in a way that effectively demonstrates our impact to both the scientific community and the public.

Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholar Alonso Cruz with leafy backdrop

Alonso Cruz
Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholar

Junior human physiology major Alonso Cruz has consistently and effectively communicated the important research that goes on at the Knight Campus and highlighted the impact of that work to numerous audiences, both in the scientific community and the general public. A runner-up in the nationwide Fund it Forward student video competition presented by the Science Coalition, Alonso produced his own elevator pitch video describing his research in the Hosseinzadeh Lab. The video highlighted his remarkable ability to speak clearly about a very dense scientific topic and solidified him as a science communicator with a very bright future.

Research Collaboration Award

To be awarded to an individual or team who has successfully catalyzed impactful convergent research collaborations that integrate diverse capabilities, technologies, and ideas.

paul dalton

Paul Dalton  
Associate professor

Paul Dalton, embodies all of the qualities of a great collaborator and many more attributes. Together with the members of his lab group, he has become remarkably engaged in the Knight Campus community, working to successfully integrate the team’s work in support of others — in the Knight Campus, across the UO and beyond to include other institutions and industry partners. Paul has cultivated collaborations with many different researchers on diverse projects and several Knight Campus labs are using his melt electrowriting platform. In addition to his expertise in precision 3-D printing, Paul shares his expertise in nanofabrication and materials design. He and his team are all tirelessly working to make their research available to others, including providing technical support with new equipment and thoughtful suggestions on expanding research activities.

2020 Award Recipients:

Parisa Hosseinzadeh – Diversity and Inclusion Award

Khaila Carlstrom – Exceptional Service Award

Ghee Ong – Innovation and Impact Award

Nathan Jacobs – Training and Teaching Award

Rachael Nelson – Communications Award

Marian Hettiaratchi – Research Collaboration Award

2019 Award Recipients:

Betsy Tanenbaum –  Diversity and Inclusion Award

Naomi Crow – Innovation Award

Theresa Hoffer – Exceptional Service Award