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Jason Harris receives the Outstanding Young Alumni Award - 2012

Dr. Paul Ziemer, Dr. Jason harris, and Dr. Wei ZhengThe School of Health Sciences is proud to announce the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Dr. Jason T. Harris, a 2007 graduate of the School of Health Sciences. Dr. Harris is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics at Idaho State University. Dr. Harris was nominated for this award by Paul Ziemer, Ph.D. Below is his nomination letter to the Awards Committee:

I have known Jason since 2004 when he first entered the graduate program in health physics at Purdue University. Although I was officially retired at that time, I maintained active teaching activities and participation in student research projects during that period. Thus I had frequent interactions with Jason during his graduate program. Subsequently, I have continued to follow his career at Idaho State University with interest. I have interacted with him both in the academic setting at Purdue University and professionally through activities of the Health Physics Society. Through these experiences I have become familiar with his scholarship, leadership, and personal abilities and attributes.

Dr. Harris demonstrated outstanding teaching and mentoring abilities which led to significant teaching awards at Purdue University as well as becoming an Associate Fellow of the Purdue Teaching Academy. He has been highly successful in obtaining research funding as a young faculty member at Idaho State University, including serving as Principle Investigator for a recent $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. In the past ten years he has presented over forty technical presentations at professional society meetings and academic symposia, including a number of invited papers. He is developing a solid body of scholarly publications focusing on releases of radioactive materials from nuclear facilities.

Dr. Harris has been very active in professional societies, particularly, the Health Physics Society (HPS) and the International Radiation Protections Association (IRPA). I have been particularly impressed by the level of Health Physics Society related responsibilities in which Jason has already been engaged. These included leadership positions in the Purdue Student Branch, the Hoosier Health Physics Chapter, the Eastern Idaho Chapter, as well as a number of HPS Committees. Additionally, he has been an IRPA delegate for the HPS and serves on the Board of the American Nuclear Society. Through these interactions and his presentations and publications, he has developed an international recognition for his work on radiological releases from nuclear facilities.

It is clear from Dr. Harris' CV that he has also devoted a lot of time to professional and university service. At Purdue he received the Graduate Student Service Award, and in recent years he has participated in a large number of professional and university committees.

On a personal basis, I find Dr. Harris to be a person of high integrity and morals. He exercises good judgment and is dependable and trustworthy. He certainly characterizes the finest attributes of what we aspire for our Purdue alumni. On the basis of his outstanding achievements, leadership, and service, I highly recommend him for the School of Health Sciences Young Alumni Award. Dr. Harris was recognized at our annual Graduation & Awards Banquet on April 20th.

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