PPPM Awards are Coming May 30, 2024

Collage of photos from the 2023 PPPM awards.

A longtime tribal government advocate, a leader in advocacy for people with disabilities, and the head of the Lane Arts Council are the winners of three 2024 awards for public service presented by the UO School of Planning, Public Policy and Management and the PPPM Advisory Council. The awards ceremony will take place May 30 at the Ford Alumni Center on the University of Oregon campus. 

Kathleen George, a storied and passionate advocate helping tribal governments accomplish their goals, will be presented with the Outstanding Service to Oregon award. Charles Drum, a national and internationally known leader in disability and health, is being honored as the Outstanding Alumni, and Stacey Ray, a longtime advocate and supporter of the arts, is being recognized as the Outstanding Recent Alumni. 

This annual event will begin at 3 pm with an Open House and a vibrant showcase of student work. The awards ceremony starts promptly at 4 pm with a reception to follow.

Outstanding Service To Oregon

Photograph of Kathleen George.

The Outstanding Service to Oregon recognizes members of the general public who have given extraordinary service over an extended period of time to the state of Oregon. Kathleen George embodies the award thanks to her deep commitment and work as a tribal government advocate and partner. George's work is a reflection of her deep commitment to ensuring that Tribes have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that affect Tribal people and resources. Before being elected to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Tribal Council, George was the Director of Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Tribe. This position also provided opportunities to educate the world of philanthropy about the significant needs and tremendous opportunities in Indian Country today. Before working in philanthropy, she partnered with tribal communities throughout Oregon and Washington on efforts to restore healthy environments to protect tribal people and their resources. George's consulting firm, Cedar Consulting, worked in natural resources policy and strategic planning.  

Kathleen currently serves on the Spirit Mountain Gaming Incorporated Board of Directors and has served on many boards and committees including:  

  • Oregon Environmental Quality Commission
  • Hatfield School of Government Center for Women’s Leadership
  • CTGR Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Program Advisory Board
  • Board of Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington
  • Women’s Foundation of Oregon Listen to Her Advisory Committee
  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Cultural Coalition
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting Board of Directors
  • Spirit Mountain Community Fund Trustee

She was awarded the Columbia River Hero Award by the Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group for her work to protect the health of tribal people who eat fish from Oregon rivers. She is also a graduate of Dominican University where she majored in Environmental Biology and studied public administration in Graduate School.  

Kathleen and her husband Rick live with their sons in the country outside of Sheridan.

Distinguished Alumna/us

Photograph of Charles Drum

Charles E. Drum, BS, MPA, JD (Oregon), PhD (Brandeis), is a nationally and internationally known leader in disability and health, with leadership roles in the earliest projects that documented health disparities among persons with disabilities using public health data, research developing health promotion programs for persons with disabilities and national guidelines for community-based health promotion programs, the first valid and reliable measure of outpatient clinic accessibility, and developed a community engagement methodology that identifies and remediates local barriers to accessing health care for persons with disabilities that has been implemented in Oregon and nationally with significant success. 

Dr. Drum has authored a mix of over 250 peer-reviewed publications, knowledge translation products, training curricula, and was the lead editor/author of the first Disability and Public Health textbook, which served as the inspiration for a Healthy People objective calling for a disability-focused academic course in every public health program in the United States.  Released by the US Department of Health and Human Services each decade, Healthy People provides a strategic framework to eliminate disparities and advance health equity. Dr. Drum has been awarded over $35 million in grant support from a variety of funders, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, foundations, and state agencies. 

Distinguished Recent Alumna/us

Photograph of Stacey Ray

Stacey Ray has spent 15 years supporting artists and leading arts programs. She is currently the Executive Director of Lane Arts Council where she was hired soon after graduating from UO in 2016 (previous positions at LAC include Program Manager and Assistant Director before moving into her current role in 2020). Lane Arts Council cultivates belonging, learning, and investment to engage all of Lane County in the transformative power of the arts. Under her leadership, LAC has deepened partnerships, expanded funding sources, and evolved its work in response to changing school and community needs.

Prior to Lane Arts Council, Ray served with several other arts organizations, managed a university gallery where she organized over 50 exhibitions, and launched a project connecting mental health with sketchbooks and creative journal practices. Ray received a degree in Arts Management (MS) and a Nonprofit Management certificate from UO, as well as degrees in Studio Art (BFA) and Art History (BA) from Montana State University.

She practices her own creativity through writing, drawing, guitar, kitchen dancing, and participating in local art happenings. Ray believes the arts are critical to healthy, vibrant communities and that self-expression and heart-centeredness are at the core of connected and meaningful lives. When she’s not working or playing in the arts, you’ll find her birding, fly-fishing, and exploring Oregon’s lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

Previous Award Winners 

For a list of previous award winners, visit /events/pppm-awards.