Celebrating excellence in science: 2015 Alumni Awards

View photos from the event.

The College of Science is proud to honor three distinguished alumni with 2015 Alumni Awards: David Vernier (MS, General Science, ’76) for the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award; Christine Vernier for the Distinguished Service Award and Stephen Meyers (MS and Ph.D., Chemistry, ’06, ’08) for the Young Alumni Award.

These awards publicly recognize alumni or friends of the College for distinguished personal and career accomplishments and for exemplary contributions to society that bring credit to the College as well as to the University.

“We are proud to honor these outstanding alumni and friends who have enriched so many lives through their professional achievements, impact and service,” said College of Science Dean Sastry G. Pantula.

“They have improved our communities here in Oregon and around the world through science while strengthening the College of Science.”

The College will celebrate these outstanding alumni and friends at our annual Alumni Awards ceremony November 20.

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College of Science Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

David Vernier is recognized for distinguished alumni achievement. He has demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in business, education and public service which has brought honor, distinction, and visibility to the College of Science.

As co-president of Vernier Software & Technology, together with his wife Christine, Vernier has built a company that is a leading innovator of scientific data-collection technology for science and STEM classrooms for 34 years.

The two-person, after-hours venture that began in 1981 has grown into a successful business with annual revenues of $50 million and about 100 employees. With worldwide distribution to more than 135 countries, Vernier data loggers are used by educators and students from elementary school to university. Nationally, the products are found in 60% of high schools and 40% of K-8 schools.

The Verniers are dedicated to developing creative ways to teach and learn using hands-on science with easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software.

Vernier is deeply committed to supporting teachers and helping students better understand scientific concepts. Under his leadership, the company has developed a portfolio of innovative and high-tech products for science and STEM education, including the award-winning LabPro®, LabQuest® and LabQuest® 2 data-collection interfaces and the Go Wireless® family of sensors.

The technology-based solutions not only use the science and engineering practices detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), but they also enhance STEM education, increase learning and build students’ critical thinking skills. Students can do science while learning to think like scientists.

Vernier received his B.S. in Physics from Ohio State University and taught science for four years in inner-city Cleveland. In 1976, he earned his master’s degree in General Science at Oregon State.

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College of Science Distinguished Service Award

Christine Vernier, a friend of the College of Science, is recognized for her distinguished service. She has been a leader and advocate for STEM education and social equality. Vernier is Co-President of Vernier Software & Technology. She currently serves on the board of the Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Portland State University board of trustees. She previously served on the boards of the Triangle STEM Coalition, a national organization that advocates for improving STEM education for all students; Oregon Business Education Compact; and the Board of Visitors for the College of Science at Oregon State University, among other boards.

Vernier received her B.A. in Sociology from Ohio State University. Prior to founding the company in 1981, she worked as a social worker and law office manager.

She is exuberant about giving to science education. Each year she and David sponsors the National Science Teachers Association’s Vernier Technology Award and the National Association of Biology Teachers Environmental Award. The company also donates refurbished Vernier equipment to schools in need.

Vernier and husband David use their success to provide philanthropic support to many organizations, including Portland State University, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Oregon chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Loaves & Fishes and the Oregon Food Bank.

Vernier, along with David, has received numerous other awards recognizing her generosity and dedication to and innovation in STEM education. Both are ardent supporters of science education at OSU and have created the Vernier Program for Mentoring and Diversity in Science focused on building leadership in science among women, underrepresented minorities and first-generation college students that demonstrate remarkable potential. They have also supported the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in STEM and OSU’s chapter of SACNAS (Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos & Native Americans in Science) both through the College of Science.

» Read more of the Verniers story.

» This video of Christine and David receiving the 2014 Simon Benson Award for Philanthropy by Portland State University captures their commitment to social equality, the planet, science and their community.

College of Science Young Alumni Award

Stephen Meyers is honored with the Young Alumni Award this year from the College for his exceptional achievements in career, public service and/or volunteer activities.

A native of Washington State, Meyers earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. He returned to the Pacific Northwest and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry under Dr. Doug Keszler at Oregon State.

Meyers was a two-year recipient of an NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) fellowship as well as the Milton Harris Research Fellowship.

Meyers’ doctoral research was focused on aqueous inorganic chemistry and solution-processed electronic materials, devices and circuits. It was his work on solution deposited thin-film electronics that landed him on what was the early formation of the Inpria Corporation, a Corvallis-based startup focused on developing disruptive manufacturing technologies from solution- deposited metal oxides, in 2008.

As a chemist at Inpria the past seven years, Meyers has contributed to the company’s growth from a handful of chemists to more than 20 employees on two continents. He has been responsible for the design and synthesis of deposition and functional chemistries for inorganic semiconductor, dielectric, hardmask, and photoresist materials for display, optical, and lithography applications.

Meyers’ contributions have led to numerous patent filings and Inpria’s strong growth and technology leadership. He currently serves as Director of Resist Development, leading a team of chemists that design, synthesize and test high-resolution EUV photoresists and related processes.

Stephen lives in Corvallis with his wife, Kim, and two children, where he enjoys the waters of the Northwest and the fish they hold.

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