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Eight New Members Join ORAU Board of Directors

April 12, 2007

Oak Ridge, Tenn.—The Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ (ORAU) Board of Directors announced the addition of eight new members at the 62nd annual meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions held recently in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The board provides policy and fiduciary oversight of ORAU operations for its membership.

Elected to the board were:

  • Sandra J. Degen, University of Cincinnati
  • Gerald D. Holder, University of Pittsburgh
  • Brooks A. Keel, Louisiana State University
  • Suzanne Laurich-McIntyre, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Felix A. Okojie, Jackson State University
  • Winfred M. Phillips, University of Florida
  • J. Paul Reason, United States Navy (retired)
  • David D. Reed, Michigan Technological University

The new directors bring a wealth of administrative, academic and research leadership across multiple disciplines to the ORAU Board of Directors.

Degen currently serves as vice president for research at the University of Cincinnati (UC). She joined UC and the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation in 1985 as an assistant professor of pediatrics and became a tenured professor in 1997. In her current role as vice president for research at UC, Degen has responsibility for all research compliance activities, the Office of Technology Transfer, the Office of Entrepreneurial Affairs, Laboratory Animal Medicine services, the Office of Sponsored Programs and various faculty development programs.

"I am excited to participate on the Board of Directors of ORAU and hope that during my tenure on the board that we can come up with additional ways to support young scientists so that they will continue to pursue careers in science," said Degen. "They are our future and we need to provide them with as much support as possible, both financially and through mentorship opportunities."

Holder currently serves as U.S. Steel dean of engineering and professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1979, he came to Pitt and served as the chair of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering from 1987 to 1995 before becoming Pitt’s Dean of Engineering in 1996. At Pitt, he has received several awards for his research and teaching, including the School of Engineering Award for Outstanding Research and the Board of Visitors Faculty Award.

"ORAU has a long and rich tradition of facilitating scientific exchange between government, academe and industry," said Holder. "I believe such partnering is critical to the future of America’s technical leadership and am proud to have been selected to participate in the leadership of this vital organization."

Keel is Louisiana State University’s (LSU) vice chancellor for research and economic development—a position that was created in 2005 to help enhance LSU's role in the economic development of the state of Louisiana. He has held positions at the University of Texas Medical School, the University of South Dakota School of Medicine and the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita (UKSM-W). At UKSM-W, Keel established the Women’s Research Institute and the Reproductive Medicine Laboratories and was awarded the Daniel K. Roberts Distinguished Professorship.

"LSU is very proud of its long standing relationship with ORAU, and I am exceptionally pleased to have been elected to serve on this board," said Keel. "Much of successful scientific experimentation today requires collaboration, and ORAU provides LSU the opportunity to establish strong partnerships that will significantly enhance our competitiveness. I look forward to working with ORAU toward implementing its mission of advancing scientific research and education through these collaborative partnerships."

Laurich-McIntyre currently serves as the assistant vice provost for graduate education at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. She has held positions in research and management in both university and industry settings in the discipline of engineering. She came to Carnegie Mellon in 2003 as the director of alumni and student relations in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and accepted her current post as assistant vice provost for graduate education in 2005. Laurich-McIntyre's work at Carnegie Mellon has included a range of responsibilities from leading, guiding and designing policies for graduate education; leading the coordination of the National Research Council's (NRC) survey on graduate research and study at Carnegie Mellon, including serving as a Carnegie Mellon liaison to the NRC; and representing Carnegie Mellon at the Council of Graduate Schools.

"Being elected to the ORAU Board of Directors is indeed an honor," said Laurich-McIntyre. "I look forward to working with ORAU in furthering its goals for the advancement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through its funding, mentoring and active participation in the STEM community."

Okojie is vice president for research development, support and federal relations and professor of public health and educational administration at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. During the past 15 years, he has served in several administrative, research and professional capacities at universities and government, including senior research associate at Atlanta University, and education technologist at the Mississippi State Department of Education. Okojie is a graduate of the Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

Phillips currently serves as the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Florida (UF), a post he has held since 1999. He previously served as dean of UF’s College of Engineering since 1988. Before arriving at UF, Phillips was a professor of mechanical engineering and head of the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University from 1980 to 1988. Prior to 1980, he served as associate dean for research in the College of Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, acting chairman of the Intercollegiate Biomedical Engineering Program and professor of aerospace engineering. He has authored more than 180 research publications. His personal research and teaching interests include mechanical engineering, fluid mechanics and biomedical engineering.

Reason, who retired from the United States Navy as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, maintained a variety of responsibilities during a naval career of more than 30 years. He currently serves or has served as a member of the board of three Fortune 500 companies, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Amgen, Inc.; and Norfolk Southern Corporation. He also currently serves as a member of the Naval Studies Board, a historic operating unit of the National Academy of Sciences, specializing in defining strategic and technical advances for the Navy, and is a member of the National War Powers Commission. During his career in the Navy, Reason, a qualified and experienced nuclear propulsion engineer, held the titles of commander of Naval Base Seattle (1986-88); Commander of Cruiser-Destroyer Group One (1988-91); Commander of Naval Surface Force for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet (1991-94); and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (1994-96). He also served as Naval Aide to the President of the United States.

Reed is currently vice president for research at Michigan Technological University. Reed’s work in forest science represents a balance of theoretical and applied research. He has authored or co-authored more than 120 technical publications, has served on more than 100 graduate committees, and has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on 39 funded projects. Throughout his career, he has researched southern pine beetles, the development of tree volume, taper and biomass estimation systems, growth-and-yield modeling, and the development and use of models to detect the often-subtle environmental effects on stand development.

"I've really enjoyed my involvement with ORAU to date, and look forward to service on the board," said Reed. "Michigan Tech places a great deal of value on the relationships and opportunities that ORAU brings to its member institutions. I'm looking forward to contributing to [ORAU] in this new role."

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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