Knight Campus Recognition Awards - 2022 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. There were more than 80 nominations in 2022!

Above and Beyond

A special award for 2022 in honor of excellence under unique conditions and Knight Campus needs.

greg normondin

Greg Normandin
Facilities Operations Manager

The Knight Campus executive team would like to give special recognition to someone who has gone above and beyond this year. Due to exceptional circumstances, Facilities Operations Manager Greg Normandin deserves special commendation.

Greg has skillfully stepped into the breach on the Clean Room initialization project, dusting off his skills and experience from his time in the semiconductor field and jumping in with both feet.

Despite many a 3 a.m. morning to work with contractors, suppliers, and east coast professionals, he’s managed to put in exemplary effort to advocate for our projects, insisting on the highest quality from trade professionals, and often extends his shift late into the evening to make the building safe and effective for all of us.

Diversity and Inclusion Award

Awarded to an individual or team making outstanding contributions and exceptional commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion in our community.

stacey york
Stacey York
Knight Campus Graduate Internship Program

Stacey York is an inspirational leader in Knight Campus diversity, equity, and inclusion activity, and is a staunch student advocate. She has led the KCGIP DEI efforts resulting in significant gains in the program's diversity metrics, leading to a 2.5-fold increase in underrepresented students since 2017, and securing corporate donations to increase the diversity of the talent pipeline.

She has impacted individual students' lives by lowering the financial barrier to pursue a master's education and fostering an inclusive environment. Stacey genuinely cares about the outcomes for students from underserved and disadvantaged backgrounds and is a passionate advocate and ally. Stacey is a pioneer in this space; she created the KCGIP inclusion network and symposium before DEI had been a fully embraced priority in academia.

Stacey is a strong, driving influence on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. She does a phenomenal job telling the story of the work being done to increase access to STEM opportunities and improve representation by those from underrepresented groups.

In addition to her own work on the Knight Campus diversity committee and serving as a key player in a new 4.3-million-dollar NSF grant to create a pipeline into STEM careers for community college students through the KCGIP, Stacey helps promote the work of others and is constantly pushing the Knight Campus to aspire to do more in this critical area.

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.

jodi myers

Jodi Myers
Academic Business Coordinator

Jodi uses creativity and innovation to solve problems, she is kind and caring towards our students, and she works hard to ensure that everyone's needs are met. She also steps up to help others in our community even when the support needs are outside her job responsibilities.

A person

Kathy Noakes
Business Coordinator

Kathy is a welcoming presence to anyone who walks into the operations office, offering a positive greeting to all. She is proactive, well organized, and excels at managing purchasing and logistics for the units she supports.

Portrait of Alexis Harris

Alexis Harris
Academic Business Coordinator

Alexis makes things possible, routinely finding solutions to the challenges that might be barriers to others. She is also a wonderful social organizer and throws amazing events to help create a cohesive and inclusive community.

leah smith

Leah Smith
Business Coordinator

Leah consistently does her best for the team she serves even though the work is fast-paced and seems never-ending, she never lets us down. She’s genuinely loved and appreciated by all the lab members she supports.

Portrait of Jen Edwards

Jen Edwards
Business Coordinator

Jen went out of her way to plan and coordinate the administrative aspects of the iGEM trip to Paris for the undergraduate students. She made herself available 24/7 during their trip to handle any issues. This kind of dependability and exceptional support is what we have come to expect from Jen, and she always delivers.

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.

ievgenii liashenko
Ievgenii Liashenko
Postdoctoral scholar, Dalton Lab

In the past 12 months, Ievgenii built the world’s largest scale-up printer for melt electrowriting, used this to produce over $130,000 worth of samples for industry, and submitted a provisional patent on a novel way to produce nanoscale fibers. He also established the world’s first 3D printer that uses electrostatic deflection for melt nanofiber printing.

Ievgenii is using this innovation to interface with companies and become a standout member in the tissue engineering community. The work that he has performed in the past year establishes robust and original intellectual property at the University of Oregon.

His dedicated effort on these several fronts gives the Knight Campus facilities and intellectual know-how that go beyond what is available anywhere in the world.

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.

parisa hossenzadeh
Parisa Hosseinzadeh
Assistant Professor, Knight Campus

Parisa is an outstanding educator of graduate and undergraduate students in her protein design and machine learning courses and is known as a fantastic mentor to her research trainees.

This award, however, recognizes Parisa’s considerable efforts this year in leading the development of several key training activities for our graduate students and postdocs!

Parisa has been instrumental in developing the Bioengineering seminar program in partnership with the rest of the seminar team. This program has been designed to promote the development of trainee communication skills as well as to provide an opportunity for information sharing.

Parisa also led a team of faculty at both UO and OSU to revitalize one of our required graduate courses, Physiological Modeling, making it much more relevant to our student needs.

Finally, she contributed to a team effort to finalize plans for an Introduction to Machine Learning course that we will be offering as an important course within the Bioengineering Curriculum.

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.

naomi paxton

Naomi Paxton
Postdoctoral Scholar, Dalton Lab

Naomi Paxton is someone who is always thinking about communications and is well-deserving of recognition for her efforts. She has actively communicated research across many platforms this year, showcasing her own research, celebrating successes of the Dalton lab, the achievements of other researchers, and amplifying the opportunities available through Knight Campus initiatives. Whether through social media, formal research talks, or informal engagement, Naomi has been a faithful ambassador of all the work that goes on at the Knight Campus.

In particular, Naomi has been engaging with the clinical community in passionate and effective ways this year, bringing Knight Campus research clearly into focus among the Peace Health clinicians in ways that will have broad impact.

Her use of social media is clearly focused and highlights a contagious enthusiasm for the work being done here. Naomi has also creatively engaged her communication skills through research talks and presentations, and by providing important feedback that has helped to improve processes and orientation activities for future postdocs and international trainees and hires.

She has promoted collaboration across labs, research projects, research centers, academic programs and operations. In all these ways, Naomi’s communication skills have had a major impact on the Knight Campus community and beyond.

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.

nick willett
Nick Willett
Associate professor

Nick Willett received several nominations that highlight his passion for collaboration. Whether it be alongside students, postdocs, or other PIs, Nick recognizes the power in partnerships, and is dedicated to successfully merge ideas, research, and technology.

Nick is currently co-advising many of the students in the Knight Campus joint bioengineering program, not only opening possibilities for these students, but also forging stronger ties among Knight Campus faculty.

Nominators noted Nick’s ability to consistently find ways in which the Knight Campus labs can collaborate, improving research and becoming a better team in the process. His joint appointments with the VA and OHSU allow for important partnerships to take place beyond our own institution, efforts that are furthered through his participation in the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance. The establishment of a working group between the University of Oregon and OHSU have led to productive outcomes and become a real network hub, further showcasing Nick’s dedication to one of the core priorities at the Knight Campus: catalyzing impactful convergent research collaborations.

2021 Award Recipients:

Yan Carlos Pacheco – Diversity and Inclusion Award

Jess Nelson – Diversity and Inclusion Award

Jessy Birruete – Diversity and Inclusion Award

Sarah Carnes – Exceptional Service Award

Bonnie Archer – Exceptional Service Award

Albert Aragon – Exceptional Service Award

Salil Karipott – Innovation and Impact Award

Casey Check – KCGIP - Training and Teaching

Nima Dinyari – KCGIP - Training and Teaching

Leslie Coonrod – KCGIP - Training and Teaching

Jess Lohrman – KCGIP - Training and Teaching

Fuding Lin – KCGIP - Training and Teaching

Nathan Jacobs – Impact Team - Training and Teaching

Mark Blaine – Impact Team - Training and Teaching

Annie Zeidman-Karpinski – Impact Team - Training and Teaching

Alonso Cruz – Communications Award

Paul Dalton – Research Collaboration Award

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