Oregon State University – Cascades  has given its 2021 Employee Awards to six faculty and staff members for outstanding contributions to the Bend campus and surrounding community.

The recipients of the campus’ 2021 employee awards were:

Carmen Martinez received the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. An academic advisor, Martinez previously served as the campus visit and transfer student coordinator. She was recognized for championing the needs of students from marginalized and underrepresented backgro20unds in her admissions recruiting role. Martinez recruited bilingual student tour ambassadors and translated admissions information into Spanish. She collaborated with OSU Juntos program staff to launch an annual Juntos Family Day at the Bend campus for Latino high school students and their families. Martinez is a member of the campus diversity council and the Better Together Latino/Latina/Latinx Success Initiative Workgroup.   

Adam Krynicki, executive director of the Innovation Co-Lab, received the Outreach Award for his efforts to support Central Oregon businesses and business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. With teams of student interns, Krynicki partnered with the Bend Chamber to develop Central Oregon SOS, a website with resources for employers and employees; convened a virtual summit to provide business owners a framework for decision-making during the pandemic; developed the Blue Fund program with support from the Facebook Prineville Data Center to help minority-owned businesses successfully secure grant and other funding; and worked with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and local counties to develop data processes to distribute $5 million in relief funding to small businesses. Krynicki joined OSU-Cascades in 2018 and led the development and launch of the Innovation Co-Lab.

Rodney Scinto, a food service coordinator for campus dining services, received the Outstanding Staff Engagement Award. Scinto was recognized for his professionalism, team approach and creative problem solving that helped the dining team quickly adapt to meet health requirements necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Scinto implemented a software platform for online food ordering, assisted and encouraged team members, and mentored student workers during the challenges of physical distancing.

Christine Pollard, a professor of kinesiology and the founding director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, received the Scholarship and Creative Activity Award. Pollard was recognized for her 10 years of kinesiology research that engaged undergraduate and graduate students, community health partners and the public. Her efforts include the creation of the biomechanics FORCE Lab, which supports kinesiology research and provides hands-on experience for students, as well as a community service. Pollard’s research focuses on improving understanding of lower extremity injuries and advancing injury-prevention and rehabilitation programs. Her research on maximal running shoes has been featured in Runners World magazine and the New York Times.

Transportation manager Casey Bergh received the Sustainability Award. Bergh was honored for sustainability efforts that helped advance the campus’s net-zero energy goal. He leads the campus’s five-year enrollment in the Entergy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management program, earning $7,600 in incentives to date. He also leveraged an additional Energy Trust program, training student maintenance workers to retrofit fluorescent lamps for energy-efficient LED lighting in campus buildings. Bergh also created a campus composting system with a grant from The Environmental Center and worked with community partners to plan for a relaunch of a bike share program following its hiatus during the pandemic.

Melisa DeMeyer, an assistant professor and researcher in the Master of Counseling program, received the Teaching Excellence Award. DeMeyer was recognized for developing and leading classes that received consistently high evaluation scores from students. Students praised DeMeyer for developing a rapport within a class community that encouraged inclusive discussions and active learning. Students also credited DeMeyer for building the same rapport and engagement during remote teaching required due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DeMeyer teaches courses in the theory and techniques of counseling and group and family counseling. She is the coordinator of the graduate mental health counseling program.




About OSU-Cascades:  Oregon State University’s campus in Bend brings higher education to Central Oregon, the fastest growing region in the state. Surrounded by 2.5 million acres of mountains and high desert, OSU-Cascades is a top-tier research university where small classes accelerate faculty-student mentoring. Degree programs meet industry and economic needs in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, natural ecosystems, health and wellness, and arts and sciences, and prepare students for tomorrow’s challenges. OSU-Cascades is expanding to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, building a 128-acre campus with net-zero goals.