OHSU'S OGI School of Science & Engineering Presents Prestigious Awards at Annual Fund-Raising Event

04/30/03    Portland, Ore.

A retired high-technology executive and two graduate students received prestigious awards during a recent fund-raising event, "Picnic in the Park," held on behalf of Oregon Health & Science University's OGI School of Science & Engineering. Those receiving awards include:

Douglas C. Strain, retired chairman of the board, founder, president and chief executive officer of Electro Scientific Industries, received the Howard Vollum Leadership Award. The Howard Vollum Leadership Award recognizes those individuals and organizations whose exceptional vision, leadership and generosity have benefited the advancement of the OGI School of Science & Engineering and the broader community. Strain has been an instrumental force in Oregon's high-technology industry for more than 50 years. As a pioneer in the design and manufacture of industrial electronics, a visionary business leader and a devoted proponent of science education, Strain has made profound contributions to the state while advancing the field of science and engineering. Strain retired as president and CEO of ESI in 1980, continuing on as chairman of the board until his official retirement in 1999. Today ESI employs more than 800 people in North America, Europe and Asia. Strain has worked extensively on behalf of numerous local and national boards and agencies, including OHSU, Saturday Academy, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Strain also was the founding director of the AeA (formerly American Electronics Association), past president of the Instrument Society of America, and past director of the Scientific Apparatus Makers Association.

James T. Nurmi, a doctoral student in environmental and biomolecular systems, received a 2003 Paul Clayton Student Achievement Award, presented annually to two doctoral students by faculty and peers in recognition of their excellent leadership, research, scholarship and service. Nurmi works with associate professor Paul Tratnyek, Ph.D., studying ways to chemically analyze and clean up environmental contaminants underground using nano-sized iron. Nurmi received his bachelor's in biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. He has been an active leader and mentor through the Murdock Trust Partners-in-Science program and the Dreyfus Foundation Environmental Postdoctoral Fellowship program. Nurmi lives in Lake Oswego.

Jessica C. Ramella-Roman, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering, received a 2003 Paul Clayton Student Achievement Award, presented annually to two doctoral students by faculty and peers in recognition of their excellent leadership, research, scholarship and service. Ramella-Roman works with professor Steven L. Jacques, Ph.D., studying biomedical optics. Her main interest is in the development of optics-based methods to detect skin cancers. Ramella-Roman received her Laurea (master's equivalent) in electrical engineering from the University of Pavia, Italy. She is a volunteer for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon, a participant in the Special Olympics Bite of Portland and Walk for the Gold fund-raisers, and active in sports and fundraisers on the OGI campus. She lives in Portland.

The OGI School of Science & Engineering (formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology) became one of four specialty schools of Oregon Health & Science University in 2001. The school has more than 100 full-time and adjunct faculty, and more than 300 full-time master's and doctoral students who take accredited courses in five academic departments. There are more than 300 part-time master's and doctoral students who take not-for-credit courses, and an additional 1,000 working professionals who take classes through the school's Center for Professional Development.

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