More than 100 faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences gathered on Tuesday evening for the second annual Ovation event. The event was created to recognize the contributions of outstanding alumni, preceptors, supporters and individuals who support the college’s mission and students.
“Whether you’re an alumnus, a preceptor, a supporter, or a faculty or staff member – you are key in helping us create an environment that supports the continued success of our students,” said CPHHS Dean Javier Nieto.
Kinesiology student Jerick Haynes introduced alumni impact award recipient Lauren Lieberman, Ph.D. ’96. Lauren is co-director of The Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments at The College at Brockport in Brockport, New York. She is also a Distinguished Service Professor at Brockport and the director of Camp Abilities.
“I believe in the rights of all children to be physically active and to be active members of the community,” Lauren said during her acceptance speech. “I believe that children with visual impairments and children who are deafblind should have equal opportunities to their sighted peers. I believe that children with visual impairments should be free of barriers and oppression in their everyday lives in and outside of school.”
The second award was the preceptor impact award, which was presented to Tatiana Dierwechter by MPH candidate Sorin Danciu. Tatiana is the Healthy Communities Program Manager with Benton County Health Services. She earned her master’s degree in social work from Boston University and has worked in the public health field for more than 30 years.
Tatiana acknowledged her entire team at Benton County Health Services during her acceptance speech. She said they are like a family and that they are grateful for their relationship with OSU, which allows them to recruit talented professionals. She added that being able to develop personal relationships with faculty was also instrumental to placing interns and personnel at the department. Read more about Tatiana’s work.
Human Development and Family Sciences student Miranda Leedham presented the final award – the supporter impact award – to Aleita Hass-Holcombe, M.Ed., MAT/Physical Education, ’85. Aleita is volunteer director for the Corvallis Daytime Drop-in Center, where she responds to the significant needs of individuals, especially those experiencing homelessness, low income and mental health issues. She also serves on the board of Corvallis Housing First and is part of the Housing Opportunities Action Council and served as an elementary physical education teacher and itinerant certified adapted physical educator with the Corvallis School District for 18 years. Read more about Aleita and her work.
“I don’t think my current work has strayed too far from the paths on which I have always traveled,” Aleita said. “We are learning that homelessness has an even larger impact on health and wellness than smoking. Drug abuse and the effects of co-occurring disorders on individuals, families and the community are issues that our field must recognize and do more to address.”
The event concluded with applause echoing the walls of CH2M HILL Alumni Center and a fitting standing ovation.
If you would like to nominate someone for next year’s event, please do so here.
All photos by Hannah O’Leary.