Download 2014-2015 Scholarship Awardee Information

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The 2014 Annual meeting of OSURA was held on May 7 and it was
again good news for six OSU students!
A total of $6,000 was awarded to outstanding students who are
interested in careers that promote healthy aging. The scholarship
program is one of the most successful OSURA activities because of the
involvement of the membership – contributing to the scholarship fund
and serving on the selection committee.
The following are biographical sketches of the recent awardees:
Nicholas Agalzoff
Nicholas, a junior from Astoria, is majoring in Bioengineering and a
member of the University Honors College.
He has participated in student organizations and an honorary society
related to his major. He has completed research internships in two
different laboratories in the College of Engineering. His first project
focused on creating polymer discs that could potentially serve as spinal
replacements. In his second project, he used matlab and three
dimensional modeling programs in an attempt to quantify an average
heart shape with a goal of devising a new method for detecting defects
in developing hearts.
This summer, he will begin his Honors thesis project which will entail
using finite modeling to determine the stress, strain and size
conditions under which an aortic aneurism will rupture. After
graduation, Nicholas plans to further his education by pursuing a
master’s degree in biomedical engineering. His goal is to contribute
something to benefit the health of all people which will promote
healthy aging by applying his skills in the sciences to develop new
medicines, artificial limbs and even artificial organs. Nicholas wrote,
“With my goals in the field of biomedical engineering, I can help to
bring incredible technology that is within our grasp to enable
perpetually aging bodies to live active lives both physically and
Wes Brown
Wes, a sophomore from Bend, plans to complete multiple degrees in
Bioresource Research and International Studies with minors in
Chemistry and Spanish and is a member of the University Honors
He has been active in numerous campus and community activities,
and has received several OSU scholarships. He earned Eagle Scout
recognition, and is enrolled in the OSU Leadership Academy. He
earned an EMT license and volunteers at Philomath Fire & Rescue to
gain patient care experience and learn essential life-saving skills. He
is engaged in research in the Unnatural Protein Facility Research
Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics. His
project focuses on oxidative stress and a specific hormone that is
involved with maintaining low levels of oxidative stress in the body.
The goal of the research is to create a potential injectable drug that
could help regulate unusually high levels of oxidative stress in the
body, for example in joints suffering from arthritis. He plans to study
in Ecuador next year. His career goal is to work in neurology or
neurosurgery, or to go through M.D./Ph.D. programs to become a
medical researcher in neurobiology. Wes wrote, “I want to be able to
promote healthy aging with patients by encompassing physical
wellness and mental wellness into their everyday lives.”
Olivia Fidler
Olivia, a sophomore from Ashland, and is majoring in Dietetics and
Pre-Nursing with a minor in French.
She has leadership roles in student organizations and in volunteer
activities related to her major. Her work in the community
encourages health aging by implementing healthy lifestyle choices.
She is involved in Healthy Meals 101 cooking classes for college
students, and as a volunteer at a charter school lunch program to
increase the nutritious options available for elementary school aged
children. She is a Peer Leader for a U-Engage class for new OSU
Students. She has received an academic achievement scholarship
award from OSU. Following graduation, Olivia plans to earn a
nursing degree. She wrote, “My passion is nutrition, and with both
dietetics and nursing degrees I hope to improve healthy aging
regardless of the generation I’m treating by implementing healthy
lifestyle practices. Making conscientious lifestyle choices to better
one’s health can drastically reduce risk of many chronic illnesses and
ultimately give rise to better quality of life at all ages.”
Sarah Jacobi
Sarah is a junior majoring in plans to complete multiple degrees in
Exercise & Sport Science with an Occupational Therapy Option and
International Degree. She is a member of the University Honors
She has received scholarships for international study. She is active in
International Students at Oregon State University (ISOSU), serving as
a mentor to advise and support new international students in their
transition to the U.S. and to OSU. She has served as an orientation
leader for groups of 60 new international students. Sarah conducted
research for her Honors and International Degrees at a prosthetics and
orthotics rehabilitation center in Dakar, Senegal, and saw the
significant role prosthetics can play in patients’ wellness. Prior to her
travel to Senegal, she studied the Wolof language to be able to
communicate in the native language of the region. After graduation,
she plans to earn a master’s degree in prosthetics and orthotics. Her
career goal is to become a prosthetist. She wrote, “I plan to give my
patients not only the ability to walk again but the hope that the patient
can overcome their loss of a limb.”
Erika Sawka
Erika is junior majoring in Nutrition with minors in Chemistry and
Spanish. She is a member of the University Honors College and
working towards a Medical Humanities Certificate.
She has been an intern for the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis
Dental Clinic, a lab assistant in the Zoology department, a fish
hatchery salmon tagger, and a volunteer at the Corvallis Chintimini
Senior Center. Kaitlyn states in her OSURA scholarship essay, ‘As a
future dentist, I plan to promote healthy aging through preventative
care education and take a conservative approach to treatment.”
Kaitlyn’s volunteer experiences with the local senior center provided
her with a different perspective of dentistry and senior citizens. “As
a dentist I will need to be especially sensitive to seniors who have
had negative experiences. This is a valuable consideration that I
would not have had I hadn’t decided to volunteer with the older
Amy Walters
Amy, a junior from Grants Pass, is majoring in Exercise &
Sport Science and a member of the University Honors College.
She has been active in OSU organizations and OSU and community
volunteer activities. These include the Physical Therapy and Allied
Health Club at OSU, Physical Therapy observation hours at Corvallis
Manor, the IMPACT Program working with children with disabilities,
and math tutoring at Corvallis High School. She has been invited to
join the OSU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Her Honors
College thesis research topic is range of motion in the joints of llamas
and alpacas, working under the supervision of an OSU Surgery
Veterinarian. Amy’s career goal is to become a physical therapist. She
was motivated to pursue this career by her own experience of losing
mobility and depending on other people following ACL reconstructive
surgery. She wrote, “Just as a physical therapist was able to help me
regain my mobility and therefore remove the negative feelings I was
experiencing, I am going to help people in the same way. My goal is to
help people regain their mobility and return to their former way of
living as they are recovering from any sort of injury, including but not
limited to reconstructive surgery, breaking a bone, a stroke, and any
sort of undiagnosed pain.”