PVM Staff Recognized at Outstanding Staff and Bravo Awards Ceremony

Friday, June 15, 2018

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An annual Purdue Veterinary Medicine tradition of recognizing outstanding staff members continued this week as Dean Reed presented awards and recognition certificates at the Outstanding Staff and Bravo Awards Ceremony and Reception Monday, June 11.  The event was held in Lynn 1136 and the Continuum Café.

Outstanding Staff Awards

Dean Willie Reed began the ceremony by presenting two Outstanding Staff Awards.  Given since 1988, the Outstanding Staff Award recognizes excellent performance by the College of Veterinary Medicine’s non-faculty, full-time employees.  The award was initiated with a gift by an alumnus, the late Dr. Carl Osborne, a member of the DVM Class of 1964, and his wife, Lynn.  Dean Reed explained that their involvement in establishing the award reflected their commitment to excellence and their warm support for the College and its outstanding staff.

“Excellent staff members are, in my view, the often unsung heroes in an organization,” Dean Reed said. “Their can-do attitudes, their knowledge of how to get things done, and their friendly demeanors harness people’s energy and enthusiasm, leading to a positive work environment.”

Amy Huffman pictured with Dean Reed

Dean Willie Reed presents the Outstanding Staff Award to Amy Huffman, RVT, VTH anesthesiology technologist.

The first Outstanding Staff Award was presented to Amy Huffman, RVT, anesthesiology technologist in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), for excellence in each of the following areas: service to the students, staff, faculty, and other constituencies in the College; enhancing the image of the College with its public; public and professional services and relations; and exceptional performance of assigned duties above and beyond that ordinarily expected of the position.

In presenting the award, Dean Reed quoted from the person who nominated Amy, who described her as “…one of the hardest working individuals in our college. Not only is she an integral part of our formal instructional team in anesthesia, but she also pulls her weight on the clinic floor…She is always willing to take on additional tasks, going out of her way to help others despite her own heavy teaching load.”

Dean Reed then read the citation on the award plaque, which said, “Your tremendous work ethic and excellence in anesthesia care are deeply appreciated by the patients and clients of the Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital. You are an inspiration to all the students who have benefited from your dedication to their education. Thank you for being an invaluable member of the anesthesia team!”

Jessica Roller accepts her award from Dean Reed

Jessica Roller, RVT, diagnostic pathology veterinary technologist, receives the Outstanding Staff Award from Dean Reed.

The other Outstanding Staff Award was presented to Jessica Roller, RVT, diagnostic pathology veterinary technologist in the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL).  Jessica was honored for excellence in service to the students, staff, faculty, and other constituencies of the College, and exceptional performance of assigned duties above and beyond that ordinarily expected of the position.

Jessica’s nominator said she cares deeply for the ADDL clients, and “…is easy to approach and is an active listener who is adept at considering multiple perspectives and presenting solutions.  If she sees a problem, she quickly comes up with an easy, cost-effective solution to keep the laboratory functioning optimally.  Her duties span multiple people, departments, and institutions.”

Dean Reed thanked Jessica for all the great work that she has done for the College and the ADDL.  “You not only have mastered your trade and kept things running smoothly, you also have demonstrated genuine concern and support for your colleagues,” Dean Reed said. “Additionally, you greatly enhanced the Veterinary Technology rotation in the ADDL to make it more educational as well as inspirational to our students.”  He also read from the award plaque, which stated, “Your sincere and outgoing interactions with everyone you encounter are valued. ADDL’s success as a laboratory is promoted by your resourcefulness to solve any problem. We especially thank you for the countless hours you have given of yourself to all those around you.”

PVM Outstanding Research Staff Award

Robyn McCain pictured with Dean Reed

Dean Reed presents the PVM Outstanding Research Staff Award to Robyn McCain, who serves as pre-clinical research laboratory manager for the Center for Comparative Translational Research (CCTR).

Next Dean Reed presented an award recognizing a member of the College’s research staff.  “Non-faculty research staff members play very important roles in the discovery mission of our College, and are indispensable in their respective units and laboratories,” Dean Reed said before presenting the PVM Outstanding Research Staff Award to Robyn McCain.  Robyn was recognized for making outstanding contributions as the manager of the Purdue Translational Pharmacology Laboratory, or “PTP,” a joint PVM / Bindley Bioscience Center facility; and the Pre-Clinical Research Laboratory, or “PCL,” in the Center for Comparative Translational Research.

Dean Reed then read from several nomination support letters, including one from a graduate student in the College of Engineering, who described how Robyn has helped him in a research setting and has been what he called, “…one of my biggest supporters in my academic career… She not only is extremely dedicated to developing the pre-clinical research laboratory, but also helps to develop the students and researchers that she collaborates with into high caliber research scientists.”

A scientist at the Bindley Bioscience Center talked about how, during much of his research, Robyn served as the sole staff member in the PTP laboratory, “…handling everything from assisting with study design, to PACUC protocols, and data collection.” He further explained how, under Robyn’s direction, the facility has grown, nearly doubling in size in the past year alone, and how she has spent “…many long weekends and evenings in the facility, ensuring that studies are completed on time, collecting critical data late at night, and monitoring the health of the animals under her care.”

The PVM faculty member who nominated her commended Robyn for her “…enormous compassion for her animals, which is especially visible when she stays late or returns after hours to ensure the well-being of the animals.”  He also described her as an excellent example and mentor for junior staff members and students, adding that she “…is a truly nice person. She always creates a welcoming environment and makes sure that people around her are comfortable.”

Dean Reed then read the commendation on the award plaque, which recognized Robyn’s excellence in laboratory work, commitment to clinical research, and contributions to discovery at the College, as well as her valued contributions to teaching students of all skill levels, her collegiality, and her work ethic.

Bravo Award winners pictured with Dean Reed

Dean Reed with Bravo Award winners: (front row, left-right) Chris Royce, Sarah Lahrman, Lindsey Fourez, Kathleen Burke, and Ariel Bontrager; (back row, left-right) Julie Lewellen, Jessica Schneider, Tressa Bowman, Pam Phegley, Josh Clark, Paige Allen, and Martie Knill. (Not pictured: Patty Bonney and Julie Roahrig)

Bravo Awards

In addition to the outstanding staff awards, several Bravo awards were presented as well.  Dean Reed explained that Bravo Awards recognize substantial accomplishments achieved by employees that extend well beyond regular work responsibilities. “These awards are for concrete or measurable goal achievement or contribution, for which the employee receives no other honor, award, or compensation,” Dean Reed said.

Congratulations to the following Bravo Award recipients, who were recognized in one or more of four different award categories:

Ariel Werner Bontrager – exemplary contributions to operational excellence as a virology laboratory technician in the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

Tressa Bowman – exemplary contributions to operational excellence in clerical services in the College’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Kathleen Burke – innovation and fiscal stewardship in her role as teaching technologist in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology

Julie Lewellen – moving the University forward and operational excellence in her roles as department head secretary and building deputy in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology

Jessica Schneider – operational excellence as a swine production medicine technologist in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Dean Reed also recognized two teams of staff members with Bravo Awards:

PVM Oncology team of Lindsey Fourez, Sarah Lahrman, Chris Royce, and Patty Bonney – for outstanding work, going above-and-beyond expectations, on the recent research study of Scottish Terriers

Veterinary Nursing Office team of Paige Allen, Josh Clark, Martie Knill, Pam Phegley, and Julie Roahrig – for taking on additional responsibilities, beyond the regular duties of their positions, to work as a team during a time when the Veterinary Nursing Office was short staffed

Congratulations to all of the Outstanding Staff and Bravo award winners!


Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu


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