Sparks Honored with Oregon State University’s Top Award for Excellence


(Photo above: Kelly Sparks, Associate Vice President for Finance and Strategic Planning at OSU-Cascades and Recipient of The Beaver Champion Award | courtesy of OSU-Cascades)

Kelly Sparks was recognized with Oregon State University’s Beaver Champion Award for her leadership in building OSU-Cascades’ campus in Bend.

The Beaver Champion Award is Oregon State’s President’s award, which recognizes an individual or individuals who continually demonstrate outstanding effort and achievement of excellence, extra effort beyond that requested, and performance of the highest quality.

Sparks, associate vice president for finance and strategic planning at OSU-Cascades, has focused on the university’s long-range strategic planning, physical infrastructure and financial health.

“Kelly’s dedication, vision and leadership have been critical to building a four-year campus in Bend, and we are all grateful for her contribution to Central Oregon,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson.
Sparks established a process for creating the campus’ long-range development plan, gathering input and feedback from the community, students, faculty and staff. Over 30 meetings and workshops were held, involving 1,500 attendees.

Feedback from the process shaped the final plan, including goals for the percentage of students living on or adjacent to campus, types of community amenities, and ideas for student and community engagement.
The master plan ultimately gained approval from Bend City Council without objection.

Sparks was one of three recipients of the Beaver Champion Award and the only one from OSU-Cascades. Marianne Vydra, OSU’s deputy athletic director of administration, and Bruce Mate, endowed professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and director of OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute, were also recognized.

About OSU-Cascades:Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore., features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. The campus expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.


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