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2019 Recipients

4th Quarter

Dawn Mollica


Dawn Mollica, Administrative Director
Office of Rural and Underserved Programs 
Heritage College, Athens
Dawn Mollica keeps ORUP running smoothly, organizing and facilitating major events and programs without a hitch, responding promptly to requests for help, and doing it all with unfailing grace and good humor. “She is the face of our office to medical students and others, and they notice that she deeply cares,” wrote one nominator. “She is always gracious, always responsive to in-person and email requests for clarification and assistance, and always cheerful. She is truly the facilitative leader of our team, keeping us on the same page and moving us forward with her positive attitude." 

Another nominator mused that while an outstanding employee is competent, reliable and responsible, Mollica also displays other important qualities, perhaps best summed up as emotional intelligence.“ She is kind and respectful to everyone she encounters and is always not only ready but eager to help them solve the issues at hand,” the nominator said. “Her response to any interaction is always a smile and a greeting, making you feel not only welcome but also implying. ‘I'm here to help you deal with any issue or problem.’ ”


Tyler Provo

Tyler Provo, IT Support Specialist
Office of Information and Learning Technologies 
Heritage College, Dublin

Tyler Provo’s job as an IT support specialist involves many duties, including the provision of IT support for all learning activities taking place in the Dublin campus’s Clinical Training and Assessment Center. “Tyler's willingness to support the Dublin CTAC, beyond his typical IT support role, has set a new standard of excellence for others to follow,” his nominator said, citing as one example a technological innovation that Provo created with a colleague, Dublin CTAC Coordinator Ryan Warner.

Tyler and Ryan designed and built an automated overhead announcement system for use during standardized patient labs and objective structured clinical examinations. “Their new system has led to an increase in the efficiency of Dublin CTAC activities,” the nominator said, resulting in an improved student learning experience and a cost savings for some CTAC activities.

In addition, the project earned an invitation to present at the 20th International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare. “This is the first time that OU-HCOM will be recognized for our learning innovations on an international stage,” the nominator noted, and will include publication of an abstract in Simulation in Healthcare. “Tyler's efforts not only demonstrate an exemplary individual achievement, but also serve as a valuable contribution to the college,” his nominator added.


Christine Fall, M.D.


Christine Fall, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor
Department of Primary Care
Heritage College, Cleveland

Colleagues who nominated Christine Fall, M.D., were uniformly wowed by her having planned and implemented, as sole instructor of record, the second-year Chronic Illness course in the college’s new Pathways to Health and Wellness Curriculum. Fall not only accomplished what one nominator called a “huge” task, but did so in stellar fashion, they say.

“She set the bar extremely high for herself, and by her example inspired the course team and sub-unit teams to meet that standard,” one nominator wrote. “Not only was the execution of the course supremely successful, she always listened to the students and responded to them quickly and gracefully.”

Other nominators seconded this assessment. “As the only IoR for the Chronic Illness course, Chrissy has, time after time, demonstrated her ability to stay ahead of what seems like an infinite number of details, and remain humble and thoughtful,” one said. “Chrissy is always thinking about how to best approach a situation, how to efficiently construct an activity, how the students are performing and how to make a better course for next year.”



3rd Quarter



Donna Veliz
Clinical Education Process Manager
Firelands Regional, Sandusky, Clinical Campus

As process manager for the college’s records management team for clinical education, Donna Veliz works with a group of associates to handle a wide range of duties involved in managing student records and management information system processes. These include helping personnel at clinical sites to navigate EValue, keeping staff up-to-date with advancing technology and helping with the credentialing of clinical faculty.

Co-workers appreciate that Veliz handles this formidable workload with what one nominator called her “quiet strength, wisdom and cheery demeanor.” “She has a calm demeanor, even when presented with stressful situations,” one nominator said. “She treats everyone with respect, kindness and compassion that is above and beyond.”

One colleague called Veliz “by far the kindest, most positive and helpful person I have ever known,” praising her “strong work ethic and service-to-others approach… I appreciate how each and every time I call Donna, she answers the phone with genuine friendliness and happiness to have the opportunity to speak with me. And in spite of having a large volume of work sitting on her desk, Donna always take time to immediately address my needs.” 



Tracy McKibben
Administrative Specialist 
Community Health Programs and Area Health Education Center

Tracy McKibben’s job involves coordinating the many moving parts and responsibilities of our Area Health Education Center as one-half of a two-person office. She does her job so well, according to her nominator, that her work can often go unnoticed “because of the lack of disruption it has on the college. This is due to Tracy not making it a disruption.”

Without McKibben’s ability to work within multiple people’s schedules while “putting our students first,” the nominator wrote, “med students wouldn't be provided the organized BLS (basic life support) training they receive, and our physicians wouldn't get the expert customer service Tracy provides as it relates to their CME (continuing medical education) hours and reporting.”

Praising McKibben for her planning and organization skills, the nominator called her “the kind of employee that plans ahead and… provides for a less stressful work environment for the department. Tracy is one of those employees who goes the extra mile and considers everyone else's needs above herself.”



Rosellen Roche, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor 
Department of Primary Care 
Heritage College, Cleveland

Rosellen Roche’s student nominators praised her service as a mentor and research advisor who generously shares her considerable expertise and takes the time to provide emotional support when needed. “Dr. Roche has gone above and beyond as a research advisor, valued faculty member and mentor,” one nominator said. “She has guided the student members of the research team in mentorship as we navigate our clinical education.” 

“She is ALWAYS willing to lend a helping hand,” another nominator said. “The students love her, and she loves working with the students. She always has more than one student she is mentoring or working with on some level… She is really full of so much knowledge that it’s truly remarkable.”

Another student said that having the opportunity to work with Roche as a research advisor has “truly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time in medical school. She has shown me how to take my interest and ideas and turn them into tangible, meaningful outputs that can have an impact in this arena and beyond… She is always positive and willing to listen and lend an ear to anyone at any time that they need it.” 



2nd Quarter


Lynn Waugh and others

Lynn Waugh
Manager, Body Donor Program
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Heritage College, Athens 

As the person who manages the Body Donor Program and ensures that the medical morphology lab runs smoothly, Lynn Waugh is an important member of the Heritage College’s academic team. “Although she doesn't participate in teaching the activities occurring in the lab, her ongoing management and support is critical to the success of those activities,” said her nominator. 

As part of her duties, Waugh recruits and enrolls new members for the Body Donor Program, which includes interacting with donor families and processing required paperwork. But her work extends further, making sure that faculty have the resources they need to teach students in the lab. “Before every lab, I ask her for last-minute materials or extra resources, and they are always ready,” her nominator said. “When we transition to a new semester or learning activity, she is often reminding me of the resources needed for the upcoming labs.” 

The college also benefited from Waugh’s unique skills and knowledge when setting up medical morphology labs in Dublin and Cleveland, and she continues to support medical morphology learning activities at each site. “Regardless of the wide-ranging responsibilities and situations she encounters, Lynn is optimistic, has a great sense of humor and is extremely helpful and easy to work with,” her nominator said. 


Jan Moody

Jan Moody
Executive Assistant
Office of Clinical Education
Heritage College, Dublin 

When the Office of Clinical Education was down support staff, Executive Assistant Jan Moody stepped up to take on additional duties without hesitation. “Jan has filled their shoes, no questions asked, added new tasks to her plate, and done so in a positive and professional manner, both within the Office of Clinical Education and externally with hospital partners,” said one nominator.   

In addition to assisting with reports, catering, meeting agendas and more, Moody has also ensured that the Office of Clinical Education maintained the necessary records for the OPTI [Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution] over the last few years, and she’s assisted staff in developing new curricula for institutions and programs as they transition to single GME accreditation. Moody also has represented the college as a member of Ohio University’s Classified Senate.  

With her attention to detail, her initiative and her willingness to dive right into new tasks, Moody has brought a fresh eye and new ideas to discussions throughout the Office of Clinical Education. “She is never hesitant to volunteer to assist her colleagues in their tasks and will even ask probing questions to improve our collective work product,” said another nominator.


None this quarter 



1st Quarter


Dan Smith holding award

Dan Smith
Telehealth Director
Office of Information and Learning Technologies
Heritage College, Athens

When Telehealth Director Dan Smith retired April 30, the college lost a trusted resource and its well-known “voice in the sky.” “I cannot begin to measure the impact he has shown to the Heritage College over his many years of employment,” said one nominator. “Dan arrives to work before many, and until recently, typically stayed later than most to ensure seamless video conferencing and support for all of the Heritage College’s events – academic, administrative, student-led, social, etc.” Over the last year, Smith and the videoconferencing team supported over 11,500 hours of videoconferencing, including 6,000 hours for a telehealth network supporting Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services and Hopewell Health Centers.

But Smith’s expertise doesn’t end there. “Whether you’re asking for general IT advice or looking for information regarding the origin of a specific coffee bean, Dan's encyclopedia-like brain will find what you're looking for,” said another nominator. Dan has always been a great resource for just about any issue we had and needed assistance with.” And through it all, nominators agree that he’s always been a great colleague. “His outgoing, fun personality has made for a very entertaining work place and a pleasure to be around,” said one. “He always provides valuable feedback, even when it may not be something I want to hear,” said another nominator. “He is always willing to share with you his stock of coffee or tea and give you a HCOM history lesson!”

In addition to his CARE award, Smith also received a trillium award – trillium #111 for always being the voice in the sky from Grosvenor West 111 – for his years of dedicated service to the college.


Miriam Thomas holding award

Miriam Thomas
Employment Coordinator
Office of Administrative Services
Heritage College, Athens

Employment Coordinator Miriam Thomas has long provided a welcoming voice to those contacting our human resources office. But earlier this year, she willingly expanded her duties when she stepped in to assist the Office of the Executive Dean after support staff there moved on to other positions at the university. She quickly pitched in to organize files and help plan office moves, while also tackling the unique inquiries that come through the college’s main phone line and continuing to handle her duties within HR. "She has tackled each new task with ease or accepted it as a challenge/opportunity to learn more about the college and university,” said one nominator. “We are grateful and thankful for her going above and beyond the call of duty to learn a new office within the college to assist us when we needed it the most!”

The fact that Thomas pitched in so quickly doesn’t surprise those who know her best, though. “Since I came to the Heritage College, I have been impressed with Miriam's work ethic, welcoming presence and thoroughness,” said another nominator. “After seeing her in action in the Dean's Office, I also must add ‘flexibility’ and ‘graciousness’ to the qualities I admire in Miriam.”


Yuriy Slyvka holding award

Yuriy Slyvka, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Lecturer, Anatomical Sciences
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Heritage College, Athens

When Felicia Nowak, M.D., Ph.D., a longtime Heritage College faculty member, passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, Associate Lecturer Yuriy Slyvka, M.D., Ph.D., quickly stepped up to help ensure that her research, her students and even her family had needed support during this difficult time. “Yuriy has demonstrated incredible loyalty and dedication in honoring Dr. Nowak and her research,” said one nominator. “He continues to be dedicated to working on her research projects and manuscripts to assure the work gets published on her behalf. He has demonstrated extreme selflessness during this difficult time period and says that his only concern is having her work published as part of her lasting legacy.”

Another nominator noted that much of Slyvka’s support has gone on quietly, out of the public eye. “He has done a lot behind the scenes to make sure her students have what they need and that her research will continue to flourish by collaborating with Dr. Sonia Najjar,” the nominator said. And while his dedication to securing Nowak’s research legacy is notable, nominators also were quick to point out that Slyvka’s dedication didn’t end there. “Yuriy has welcomed Felicia's son into his home and family,” said another nominator. “Many times, we think of this award in terms of the qualities that an employee demonstrates in the office or in the lab, but Yuriy's care, compassion and character clearly extend far beyond the workplace.”