- Copyright, Steve Hambuchen
Shannon O’Leary joined the Lewis & Clark faculty in 2011. A highly respected teacher and researcher, she was spearheading an experimental quantum optics laboratory at Lewis & Clark. Much of her work focused on furthering scientific understanding of atom-light interactions as well as producing new techniques for detecting small, unknown magnetic fields. Her research was funded, in part, by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.
O’Leary worked closely with students, providing them with invaluable hands on experience and preparing them for careers in research science and other STEM-related fields. “Shannon was a transformative teacher,” says Catherine Gunther Kodat, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “She was one of our stars on the science faculty. She was very much admired and looked up to by all of our students, but especially by our women science students.”
Her husband, Adam Clausen, was a technology consultant at Kolisch Hartwell, an intellectual property law firm in Portland. Clausen also served as an adjunct professor of physics at Lewis & Clark.
O’Leary, 39, associate professor of physics, and her husband, Adam, 37, died in an automobile collision on December 26, 2016. Their 4-year-old son survived the crash.