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2018 Recipients

4th Quarter


Nadine Borovicka receives award

Nadine Borovicka
Program Coordinator
Office of Research and Grants
Heritage College, Athens

When the Office of Advanced Studies transitioned over to the Office of Research and Grants last summer, Program Coordinator Nadine Borovicka took on many new responsibilities surrounding dual degree student recruitment and orientation. Her goal? To make the transition seamless for students in the Translational Biomedical Sciences and other dual degree programs. Calling Borovicka the glue that holds the TBS program together, one nominator said, “She always knows where each student is in the program, helps guide them through each step and coordinates all their activities/retreats. She brings a level of patience and calmness that both the students and faculty need and value.”

Borovicka’s willingness to help wherever needed, her creative spirit and her organizational skills are also appreciated by her colleagues in the Office of Research and Grants. “Nadine is the type of employee who often flies under the radar because she does her job well, but does not expect recognition,” said another nominator. “She is a pleasure to work with and always has a positive attitude, regardless of the situation or challenges that may arise.”


Tammy Loper holding award

Tammy Loper
Administrative Specialist
Community Health Programs and Area Health Education Center
Heritage College, Athens

Administrative Specialist Tammy Loper doesn’t interact with patients regularly like many of her Community Health Programs’ coworkers do, but her nominators note that Loper’s work makes it possible for them to focus on providing care to individuals throughout southeast Ohio. Whether answering questions from staff, managing myriad budgets or ensuring that grant reporting is completed on time, Loper has quickly become an important member of the CHP team. And she’s done it all with a smile. “She is a true unsung hero with a heart for OUHCOM and the community,” one nominator said.

With the number of grants and programs that operate through CHP, Loper has also become an expert juggler. “I feel supported knowing she will notify me as soon as there is a budget question and that she will not quit until she has it solved,” said another nominator. “She sets a standard of excellence that I could only hope to achieve given the many budgets, accounts and programs she must be familiar with in order to do her job. Our budgets have never been in better shape.”


Andrea Barresi holding award

Andrea Barresi, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Physiology
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Heritage College, Cleveland

Andrea Barresi, Ph.D., lecturer of physiology, has been an important member of the Pathways to Health and Wellness Steering Committee. As a co-instructor of record for the Return to Wellness course, she brings a sense of respect, curiosity and creativity to the curriculum development process.

Throughout her work, Barresi remains focused on a primary goal of enhancing the student learning process while working collaboratively with other faculty and staff. And she does so in a way that makes others feel supported. “This past semester, she worked above and beyond what was expected, often filling in for peers in need and teaching several anatomy courses at the same time,” said her nominator. “On the administrative level, Dr. Barresi shows diplomacy and grace when figuring out complex process challenges. On a personal level, she has a great sense of humor, is collegial and most importantly, kind.”

3rd Quarter


Mark Loudin holding award

Mark Loudin
Senior Video Operations Specialist
Office of Information and Learning Technologies
Heritage College, Athens

Senior Video Operations Specialist Mark Loudin is widely known around the college as one of the students' biggest cheerleaders. Whether giving high-fives to those gathered on the Irvine Bricks in Athens or encouraging students to do their best on upcoming exams in class Facebook groups, Loudin always makes sure students know he's in their corner. "Mark is a source of constant positivity in an innately stressful and pressured environment," said his student nominator. "He encourages us to do our best and reminds us that OUHCOM is there for us if our best needs a little work."

The nominator noted that Loudin's concern for students' mental well-being is especially appreciated. From the earliest days of classes, he shared links to mental health resources in case anyone was feeling overwhelmed by medical school and fun videos for those needing a study break, said his nominator. Loudin even personally contacted the nominator early on to ensure that the student was adjusting well to medical school. "During our conversation, he also made sure I knew I could refer anyone having a tough time to him," said his nominator. (Loudin is a member of the college's Medical Student Assistance Program.) "I have never once -- in the nine years I have been on college campuses -- been asked individually about how I am acclimating. I really appreciate Mark going the extra mile."


Jody Van Bibber holding award

Jody Van Bibber
Administrative Specialist
Diabetes Institute

Since the Diabetes Institute opened five years ago, Administrative Specialist Jody Van Bibber has been going above and beyond to provide much-needed administrative support to associated faculty and staff -- and she's done so with a smile on her face. "I'm sure I've driven her crazy with my newbie mistakes, and she's fixed my Concur mistakes more than once, but she's never been any less than exceedingly kind," said one of her nominators.

Van Bibber's nominators say she has played an important role in supporting the Diabetes Institute's growth, from helping to develop its strategic plan to building its website, organizing Diabetes Awareness Month activities and more. In fact, one nominator noted that it's not one specific achievement that makes her a logical choice for the CARE award. Instead, it's the many small things she does each day that makes her an invaluable part of the team. "Jody took time out of her busy day to help me order supplies for the hypoglycemia kits for children with type 1 diabetes in the Athens County schools," said the nominator. Van Bibber helped brainstorm what supplies a child with diabetes might need and then helped assemble those items. "Jody has gone above and beyond to learn as much as possible about diabetes these past five years," said a nominator. "Putting together these kits demonstrated how much she learned as well as her dedication to the Institute."


Audrone Biknevicius holding award

Audrone Biknevicius, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Gross Anatomy
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Heritage College, Dublin

Audrone Biknevicius, Ph.D., associate professor of gross anatomy, -- or "Dr. B" to many -- is known to students as an energetic and enthusiastic faculty member who makes learning anatomy fun. But while her ability to make sure students understand complex topics is noteworthy, it's the extra things she does to help students learn that they remember most. "Dr. B spent an entire hour explaining objectives to me and a few fellow students outside of class time," said one student nominator. "She clarified the topics excellently. She was not annoyed to help us and was very approachable."

Students especially appreciate Biknevicius' willingness to help outside the classroom. For example, when more volunteer mass casualty "victims" were needed to conduct a Disaster Day simulation on a Saturday, Biknevicius stepped up. And when a schedule conflict prevented some students from attending an optional anatomy review session before a practical, she came to campus on a holiday weekend to help them prepare. "Dr. B's charisma, accessibility and willingness to go above and beyond make her an easy choice for the CARE award," said another student nominator.

2nd Quarter


Patricia Roberts holding award

Patricia Roberts, Ph.D.
Academic Program Administrator
Office of Clinical Education
Grandview Medical Center

In just her first year in her role as academic program administrator at Grandview Medical Center, Patricia Roberts, Ph.D., has already made a name for herself amongst our third- and fourth-year medical students at the clinical site. How do we know? Because she earned nominations and praise from not just one or two - but seven - student nominators.

What makes Roberts stand out in the students' eyes? It's the fact that she takes a personal interest in seeing all of the students succeed, academically, professionally and personally, the students said. "She goes above and beyond to make sure students are able to have the best experiences and best shot at getting to where they want to be in life," said one nominator. "She comes to work every single day with a great attitude and smile on her face. She cares about everyone she meets and makes sure that they know it through her actions."

Several students noted that Roberts' door was always open when they needed to chat about a question or a problem, and that she did everything she could to ensure that their sometimes stressful third and fourth years of medical school went smoothly. "She is highly organized, accessible, and reliable," said another student nominator. "She advocates for us, as students, daily. She recognizes the uncertainties and stress that comes along with the clinical years and applying to residency and makes things go smoothly."


Rhonda Wallace holding award

Rhonda Wallace
Administrative Specialist
Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Heritage College, Athens

Administrative Specialist Rhonda Wallace works tirelessly behind the scenes to handle administrative tasks for the Department of OMM so that faculty members have the resources they need to focus on teaching. Whether it be by ensuring that IT questions are answered, scheduling details are locked down or needed parking passes are secured, Wallace handles it all. "Rhonda is the backbone of the OMM department," said one of her nominators. "She keeps us running like a well-oiled machine." No matter what the question or problem is, "Rhonda knows what to do or knows who to ask," said another faculty nominator from the OMM department.

As one of her duties, Wallace spends a considerable amount of time organizing - in great detail - the department's curriculum schedule. And when the instructor of record for the OMM Honors elective course had specific curriculum needs in addition to that of the basic curriculum, Wallace quickly stepped up to help. "Rhonda would work on weekends and late hours to post assignments to Blackboard and send messages to the students about changes in room assignments or time for Honors activities," said this nominator. "I can really say that I don't know where our department would be without Rhonda. She is such an asset to our team."


Sarah Rubin holding award

Sarah Rubin, Ph.D.
Department of Social Medicine
Heritage College, Cleveland

In addition to her time in the classroom, Sarah Rubin, Ph.D., regularly works with students on research projects involving important health care topics. And as her student nominator noted, she does so without hesitation and with a smile. When this Heritage College, Cleveland, student approached Rubin with an interest in conducting research involving refugees and health care providers' experiences, she was on board immediately. "I told her I had an idea to do some social medicine research that would have a positive impact on the school, community and one day influence health policy," the student said. "She immediately agreed."

Although the student had no experience conducting this type of research, Rubin skillfully guided him through the process while still allowing him to direct the project. "She was excited to help me through every step but also let me control how I wanted it," said the student. "That takes a lot of patience and humility." Rubin guided the student through obtaining a SEED grant and IRB confirmation, and she served as the student's mentor through the Research and Scholarly Advancement Fellowship program. Throughout the project, she was always available to talk with the student - even while balancing many other work and personal responsibilities. "She was always in a good mood and was willing to do whatever it took to help me succeed," her nominator said. "I know I would not be where I am at today if was not for her."

1st Quarter


Kathy Pittman holding award with two others

Kathy Pittman, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Learning Services
Office of Admissions and Student Affairs
Heritage College, Athens

In her interactions with students, Kathy Pittman, Ph.D., models the empathy that's at the foundation of osteopathic medicine. As assistant director of learning services, she ensures that our students are equipped with the academic skills they need to succeed, whether those involve time management, communication or test preparation. But Pittman's work goes far beyond that. Her student nominator noted that she's also quick to lend a sympathetic ear and needed encouragement to frazzled medical students as they navigate the path toward becoming physicians. "She instills hope by constantly motivating students and finding the necessary resources for their success," her nominator said.

Pittman is also innovative in her approach to medical education, looking beyond traditional education methods to make sure our students are best prepared for their residencies and beyond. She has been providing input on a new self-reflection pilot project, in which each student will be paired with a mentor and have the opportunity to self-reflect on his/her academic progress. "This idea, suggested by Dr. Pittman, is progressive as it reflects the core competencies set by current residency programs," said her nominator. "This will ensure that students from OUHCOM are better prepared to excel once they culminate into residency."


Evonne Jackson and Cleveland Dean Isaac Kirstein

Evonne Jackson
Administrative Specialist
Heritage College, Cleveland

Administrative Specialist Evonne Jackson goes to great lengths to ensure that students at the Heritage College, Cleveland, have successful clinical and community experiences. "Coordinating CCEs can be an incredibly difficult job because there are so many moving pieces that can make scheduling hard," said one student nominator. But when situations arise that necessitate making schedule changes, Jackson goes above and beyond to make sure students are prepared. "In those cases, Evonne does not simply update our schedule, but makes sure to email students and personally notify them of specific directions or changes in schedule," said one student.

By investing her time and effort into making sure students' CCE experiences go as smoothly as possible, Jackson is demonstrating the type of empathy that students will one day show their patients. "Such a small gesture, but large enough to make difference," said one student. "That is what caring for students looks like. With Evonne showing that care for me, I can mimic with my patients and make a small difference as well."

Why does Jackson take that extra step? Students, faculty and staff agree it's because she truly cares about her students and her coworkers. As one nominator summed it up: "Evonne exemplifies the Heritage College mission of 'CARE Leads Here.' "


Brian Clark with two others

Brian Clark, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute; Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Harold E. Clybourne, D.O., Endowed Research Chair; and Professor, Physiology and Neuroscience
Heritage College, Athens

Brian Clark, Ph.D., is known around the world for groundbreaking research on muscle strength and motor function in older adults. As head of the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute, he and his colleagues have established themselves as a preeminent research group on pain and aging and have secured grant funding in the tens of millions.

What may be less known about Clark are his caring interactions with members of both the campus and surrounding community. Whether it's his taking extra time to help a post-doctoral researcher learn how to use a complicated piece of lab equipment, or his efforts in reaching out to support Athens' senior community, Clark's gestures of kindness inspire those around him.

"In an example that extends a little beyond the college community, he provided a dinner last summer to show appreciation for all of the hard work and accomplishments of the elderly adults that have participated in our research studies," said his nominator. "The impact of this selfless act has shown the elderly community that Ohio University cares about them and their personal health, while also providing the members of the elderly community a strong degree of self-efficacy."