Outstanding Research Awards go to five scholars, two teams


Richard Taylor and Leslie Leve

Five UO researchers-scholars and two research teams that have made significant impacts on society and on their respective fields will receive 2021 Outstanding Research Awards.

Presented by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, the awards celebrate the achievements of UO faculty members engaged in research and scholarly activity.

“The Outstanding Research Awards highlight the remarkable work of our faculty in a range of disciplines and celebrate their enduring contributions to our research enterprise,” said Cass Moseley, interim vice president for research and innovation. “We congratulate this year’s recipients who inspired us with their accomplishments during a year unlike any other.”

The Outstanding Career Award went to Leslie Leve and Richard Taylor in recognition of their deep and distinguished records of scholarship and research, their external recognition and support of such efforts, and their national and international prominence in their fields of research.

Leve, Alumni Faculty Professor in the College of Education, associate director of the Prevention Science Institute, and the Program Director of the Prevention Science graduate program in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services, received the award for her research examining child and adolescent development, gene-environment interplay, and interventions for children and families.

“I am so honored and feel very fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues at the Prevention Science Institute, the College of Education and across the institution to conduct research that aims to impact public health and improve lives,” Leve said.

Taylor, a professor and the department head in the Department of Physics, was recognized for the breadth and impact of his research spanning physics, chemistry, psychology, physiology, neuroscience, architecture and art.

“Research is a human endeavor and I have met so many talented people here who have become my friends. Whether students or professors, they are the outstanding ones who helped me get this award,” Taylor said.

In recognition of the critical role UO researchers played in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, two research teams received the 2021 Innovation Award, which celebrates outstanding entrepreneurial activity. The award went to the UO COVID-19 Monitoring and Assessment Team, as well as to the College of Design’s Institute for Health in the Built Environment COVID-19 research team.

The monitoring team was singled out for its role in creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration and innovation that was essential in scaling up an expansive COVID-19 testing operation that serves the UO community and beyond and was an essential component of the university’s response to the pandemic. The Institute for Health in the Built Environment COVID-19 research team was recognized for initiating new partnerships, building on existing relationships and seeding new industry collaborations to rapidly deploy innovative solutions for COVID-19 detection and mitigation.

The Early Career Award went to Ana-Maurine Lara, an assistant professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, for achieving a significant record of outstanding interdisciplinary accomplishments across several fields, including anthropology, literature, performance studies, women and gender studies, digital humanities, and indigenous, race and ethnic studies. The honor recognizes a junior faculty member with an emerging and significant record of scholarship and research.

Ilana Umansky, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy and Leadership, received the Impact Award in recognition of outstanding public engagement activity. She was singled out for her leadership and contributions to educational policy research, which served to increase educational opportunities and access to curricular content for English language learners and was instrumental in overturning a California law banning bilingual education.

David DeGarmo, a research associate professor in the Prevention Science Institute, received the Outstanding Accomplishment NTTF Research Award, which is bestowed on a non-tenure-track faculty member to recognize and celebrate a substantial and dynamic scholarly record on campus. DeGarmo was recognized for his research on the role of fathers on child development and his expertise as a methodologist who has contributed to several significant research endeavors at the UO, including a center focused on parenting and opioids.

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