News & Announcements

2023 Health Professions Faculty and Staff Awards

May 16, 2023

On Tuesday morning, May 16, faculty and staff from the University of Missouri School of Health Professions gathered in the Lewis and Clark lobby to recognize the individuals whose hard work and dedication made the previous academic year such a resounding success.

Each year, the School of Health Professions awards committee convenes to review nominations and select recipients of the schoolwide awards.

Here are this year’s winners:

Nicolette Yevich
Bridge Builder Award: Nicolette Yevich

Career Services Coordinator, Health Professions

The Bridge Builder Award recognizes a staff member’s outstanding efforts to reach out and collaborate across departments, the campus and/or the community. The nominator wrote:

“Nicolette strives to combine both an understanding of the big picture strategy and goals for the school, departments, and students, as well as giving attention to details. She brings a positive high energy and a personal touch for thinking outside of the box when it comes to career services and serving students.”

Joe Sall
Core Values Staff Award: Joe Sall

Director of Research Development, Office of Research

The Core Values Staff Award recognizes a benefit-eligible staff member in the School of Health Professions who embodies the core values of SHP, demonstrates work ethic and collegiality, engages in professional development and encourages others to do the same, and effectively communicates and collaborates with others. This award includes a $500 stipend. The nominator wrote:

“Having an office on the same floor as the Research Development Office, it is easy to see how effective Joe is as a leader. During high-volume grant cycles, Joe checks in regularly and informally with the staff, in addition to formal meetings. He has an open-door policy and is frequently interrupted, and through it all, he maintains a positive attitude and the utmost dedication to SHP’s research mission. As someone who has had the pleasure of working with Joe, I attribute my funding success to Joe and his team and honestly believe that behind every successful researcher, there is a selfless and dedicated grants team.”

Dean’s Service Award: Lynn Herdzina

Business Administration Manager II, Health Professions

The Dean’s Service Award recognizes a member of the SHP staff who has demonstrated exemplary service to the school and has gone above and beyond to help others in the School achieve the highest levels of success. The nominator wrote:

“She makes things look very easy as an approver, a problem solver and a manager. She is a team player and she always comes to our help whenever we need it. She is a great fiscal teacher. She is very accommodating to any of our faculty or staff members. I have learned so much from her practice. It is like going to accounting school again.”

Hsun-Ta Hsu
Early Career Award: Dr. Hsun-Ta Hsu

Associate Professor, Social Work

The Early Career Award recognizes a faculty member who is balancing the demands of teaching, research and service. The award is selected each year by a special faculty committee, and it includes a $1,000 stipend for a faculty member who has not yet attained the rank of full professor and whose successes in scholarship, teaching or service have significantly advanced the mission of SHP. The nominator wrote:

“Through his community-engaged research, he has engaged stakeholders, both locally and nationally, to address health issues (e.g., firearm violence, substance misuse and HIV risks) and housing disparities faced by individuals experiencing unstable housing. Dr. Hsu is committed to ensuring policymakers and homeless organizations have access to his research to help them make informed decisions regarding homelessness initiatives. He has become a leading expert in Missouri whose input regarding interventions and policy is sought by organizations all across the state.”

Rebecca Bliss
Excellence in Clinical Service Award: Dr. Becky Bliss

Assistant Teaching Professor, Physical Therapy

The Excellence in Clinical Service Award honors a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained excellence in School and/or University clinical service activities, including clinical teaching and/or direct patient care. These activities reflect the faculty member’s academic and professional expertise and support SHP’s mission; they are outstanding contributions that serve as a model of excellence for all. The nominator wrote:

“Specialization in health care can markedly improve patient outcomes, but collaborative practice across disciplines can yield even better results. Furthermore, translating that expertise to others to spread best practice across the country is transformative. We are blessed to have such a transformative agent as a part of our faculty.”

Ginny Ramseyer Winter
Excellence in Education: Dr. Virginia Ramseyer Winter

Associate Professor, Social Work

The Excellence in Education Award honors a faculty member at the level of mid-career or beyond who has demonstrated superlative commitment to the teaching mission. It recognizes efforts spanning a broad range of activities, including traditional instruction, advising, mentoring, training, and outreach activities. The nominator wrote:

“Dr. Ramseyer Winter is known throughout the College and across campus as an educational leader. Her innovative and visionary leadership for education has elevated the status of the School of Social Work and College of Health Sciences across campus. She is not only deserving of this award, but she is a model for the College and campus for educational leadership.”

Kaleea Lewis portrait
Excellence in Education – Early Career Award: Dr. Kaleea Lewis

Assistant Professor, Public Health

The Excellence in Education – Early Career Award honors a faculty member with fewer than seven years of teaching experience who has demonstrated superlative commitment to the teaching mission. It recognizes efforts spanning a broad range of activities, including traditional instruction, advising, mentoring, training, and outreach activities. The nominator wrote:

“Dr. Lewis is a skilled teacher — in the classroom and beyond it. Her ability to tackle difficult topics — including race and racism, black students’ experiences and mental health at predominantly white institutions, sexual health and interpersonal violence — in ways that students find accessible is highly commendable. Several students said she is one of the best professors they have had at Mizzou. They describe her as ‘amazing,’ ‘flexible,’ ‘caring’ and ‘understanding.’ Quite a few highlighted that they feel safe to speak up in class and that Dr. Lewis facilitates positive, open conversations about difficult topics.”

Kathy Preble
Faculty Engagement Award: Dr. Kathleen Preble

Assistant Professor, Social Work

The Faculty Engagement Award honors a faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional engagement and service to the community, broadly defined as including the School/University, their profession and/or the local, national, and international community. The nominator wrote:

“Dr. Preble has shown leadership reaching across disciplines, campuses, and communities to enhance interpersonal violence research and practice. Dr. Preble has been an instrumental part of the anti-trafficking response across the state of Missouri and academic scholarship within her field. She has provided the state of Missouri with a strategic plan to address the specific needs of human-trafficking survivors identified within regions and at the state level. Dr. Preble very clearly engages in applied research scholarship, putting research into action, with the ultimate aim of benefiting the community and the field.”

Aaron Thompson
Lewis and Clark Discovery Award: Dr. Aaron Thompson

Director and Professor, Social Work

The Lewis and Clark Discovery Award is given to a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of individuals, families and/or communities through research and scholarly activities. Such contributions may include (but are not limited to) high-impact discoveries, sustained achievement and/or mentorship activities. The nominator wrote:

“Dr. Thompson’s contributions to the K-12 public education system in Boone County and the surrounding area is, in a word, massive. He single-handedly has transformed the way in which our public education system delivers psychosocial well-being interventions and supports to children and their families. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find any family in Boone County his interventions haven’t impacted.”

Ashley Givens
Lewis and Clark Discovery – Early Career Award: Dr. Ashley Givens

Assistant Professor, Social Work

The Lewis and Clark Discovery – Early Career Award is conferred upon a faculty member who, while still in the first 10 years since degree completion, has made significant contributions to the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and/or communities through research and scholarly activities. The nominator wrote:

“Dr. Givens has shown exceptional leadership in research, teaching, and service in her time here at Mizzou. Not only has she been awarded for her interdisciplinary work with the Missouri Departments of Corrections (DOC) and Mental Health (DMH), but she also has facilitated fantastic learning opportunities for students at all levels. Her research on the intersection of trauma and corrections is facilitating innovative ways in which DOC interacts with individuals under supervision. She balances the demands of the tenure track with grace and adaptability that is inspiring.”

Janet Farmer
Vista Award: Dr. Janet Farmer

Research Initiatives Liaison, Health Professions

The Vista Award is only given when an individual arises who is a truly remarkable advocate and donor. The award goes to someone who sees how great the School of Health Professions can be and both actively and generously supports the school in making that happen. Dean Hagglund said:

“Dr. Farmer has long inspired me and those with whom she has worked. A true forward thinker, she has had many roles here at the university and in our college.

“In every position she has held, Dr. Farmer has not followed the path of the ordinary in addressing a need. She has asked, ‘What if we do it this way?’ as she used that almost clairvoyant manner of hers to see what would become best practice in the particular area under discussion.

“We are blessed that she not only continues to serve the university as a member of the Jefferson Club Board of Trustees, but also that her true dedication and enthusiasm remain laser-focused on the College of Health Sciences.”

Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients!

Award nominations are accepted year-round; view past winners.

Featured in this post

Nicolette Yevich

Nicolette Yevich

Career Services Coordinator

Joe Sall

Joe Sall

Director of Research Development

Default Headshot

Lynn Herdzina

Business Administration Manager II

Rebecca Bliss

Rebecca Bliss

Associate Teaching Professor

Ginny Ramseyer Winter

Virginia Ramseyer Winter

PhD Program Director and Associate Professor

Kaleea Lewis

Kaleea R. Lewis

Assistant Professor

Kathy Preble

Kathleen Preble

Assistant Professor

Aaron Thompson

Aaron M. Thompson

Director and Professor, School of Social Work

Ashley Givens

Ashley Givens

BSW Program Director and Assistant Professor

Janet Farmer

Janet E. Farmer

Research Initiatives Liaison