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Each week “At Our Best” highlights the achievements of those in our community. It includes honors, awards and other recognition that is being earned by local residents. Please send or deliver such information, along with pictures of those honored, to the newspaper in care of news clerk Jane Stoltz, 1837 N.W. Circle Blvd., Corvallis, OR 97333 or news@gtconnect.com.

Residents join honor society

Molly Megraw and Stefani Evers, both of Corvallis, recently were initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society, at Oregon State University.

These residents are among about 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership.

OSU students win fellowships

The Oregon Seed Association’s Scholarship Committee recognized two Oregon State University as recipients of the Kent Wiley Jr. Fellowship during its mid-winter meeting, held Jan. 10 at the Salem Convention Center.

At the time of the award, Tara Bergland was a first-year graduate student researching the efficacy of plant growth regulator mixtures on seed yield and yield components in tall fescue. She has volunteered at the OSU Dairy Barn, and has done trail maintenance for Corvallis parks. In 2013, while traveling in Tanzania, she was able to see different sides of agriculture, including coffee and sugar cane farms.

Also receiving an award was Lucas Bobadilla. Bobadilla grew up in Brazil on his grandfather’s farm, which shaped his love of agriculture and his desire to improve practices. At the time of the award, he was a first-year graduate student studying the frequency and distribution of Glyphosate-resistant populations of annual ryegrass. In 2015, he spent a year as a research assistant in the weed science lab at University of California, Davis. He previously worked as an intern studying the control of the weed Elesine indica in sugar cane in Brazil. He is a twice-published co-author of research papers.

Robotics team nabs second place

Fin-tastic Fish, a team from Oak Grove Elementary School, took an award at the Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournament held March 4 and 5 in Hillsboro.

The team won a second-level Core Values, Autodesk Inspiration award.

Chess team wins state titles

The 2017 Oregon High School Chess Team Championship took place March 3 and 4 at Hillsboro High School.

The Crescent Valley High School varsity team won the state title in the 5A division. The team members were Maxwell Sun, Michael Moore, Lance Roy, Leonardo Sun, John Ornes and Neal Ornes. Maxwell was the first board state champion, Michael the second board state champion. Lance, Leonardo and John were the third board, fourth board and fifth board 5A division winners, respectively.

Officers graduate from academy

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training announced the graduation of its 364th Basic Police Class on March 17 at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.

Among the graduates were Police Officer Andrew Borges of the Lebanon Police Department and Police Officer Keenan Martin of the Sweet Home Police Department.

Corvallis student receives degree

Salman Jaber Alzaidi of Corvallis received a Master of Science degree from South Dakota State University after the fall session.

Alzaidi was among students from 30 states and 22 nations who graduated at that time.

Local student earns degree

An estimated 1,073 students at all levels (bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional degrees) participated in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's winter commencement ceremony, held last Dec. 18.

Allison Vitello of Corvallis received a Bachelor of Science degree in forest science.

CV musician earns 2nd place 

The Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians’ Competition, sponsored by the Oregon Symphony Association in Salem and funded by the Wiscarson family endowment, recently announced its 2017 winners.

Pianist Ivy Ding, at the time a sophomore at Crescent Valley High School, won second place with her interpretation of Bach’s Concerto in D minor. 

The competition took place last spring at Smith Music Hall at Western Oregon University and was adjudicated by Oregon Symphony musicians and a WOU music faculty professor. Nineteen Mid-Willamette Valley musicians aged 11 to 18 participated. OSAS awards the winners with cash prizes: $600 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place.

WAHS named finalist in contest

High school students across Oregon recently created videos full of drama, music, humor and engaging characters to bolster awareness about workplace safety, all with the central message "Speak up. Work safe."

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition sponsors the annual video contest to engage teen workers, who are twice as likely to be injured on the job, according to federal studies.

West Albany High School's video "Speak Up" was chosen as a finalist and can be viewed at Youtube.com.

CHS announces scholar honorees

Corvallis High School Principal Matt Boring recently announced students who received 2016 AP Scholar Awards.

The AP Scholar Awards recognize high school students who have demonstrated exemplary college-level achievement on Advanced Placement exams.

AP Scholar Awards were granted to students who received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams: Carson Boggess, Anya Callaghan, Colleen Corrigan, Laura Ely, Zachary Jandrasi, John Jennings, Emma Kane, Myoung-Ju Kang, Abby Kellems, Kevin Kincaid, Pragyna Naik, Kelsey Rock, William Scoville and Wilson Xing.

AP Scholar with Honor Awards were granted to students who received an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams: Avery Allen, Malia Becker, Christopher Cebra, Ryan Frederickson, Marcus Gambatese, Mylene Gorzynski, Cody Gustafson, Maria Ingersoll, Sydney Joss, Manya Mutschler-Aldin, Rochelle Neumann, Glenn Petersen, Lindsay Popowski, Norah Storniolo, and Andrew Woods.

AP Scholar with Distinction Awards were granted to students who received an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams: Shannan Bialek, Gavin Bomber, Jessica Chaplen, Nicholai Gallegos, Christopher Gregory, Bethany Llewellyn, Jesse Marley, Caitlin Moreno, Mischa Neal, and Makayla Wahaus.

National AP Scholar Award was granted to students who received an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. Caitlyn Moreno was granted the National AP Scholar Award.

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