ATSU’s Mesa, Arizona, campus employees recognized for achievements, anniversariesPosted: June 17, 2022
A.T. Still University (ATSU) hosted its annual Arizona campus Employee Recognition & Award Ceremony on May 11, 2022, honoring outstanding achievement and employment anniversaries.
ATSU’s Mesa, Arizona, campus’ Distinguished Service Award went to Nelida Acosta, Hometown Scholar coordinator, ATSU University Partnerships.
Nominators submitted the following comments in support of Acosta’s selection:
- “Nelida is one of my go-to persons here at ATSU. She is always ready to help and has the most amazing ‘yes-we-can-make-it-happen’ attitude. Her University knowledge serves as a great asset for me and so many around her. Many would agree that Nelida is amazing.”
- “Nelida has always been available for anyone and anything needed. She never says ‘no.’ Most departments at the University know her and have worked with her or had her assistance in one way or another. She always finds a way to get things done or give resources with a smiling face. Nelida often provides information with unique perspectives to complete tasks. I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this award.”
- “Nelida’s default answer is ‘yes.’ She has provided extensive support in the past with Beyond Flexner. She responds immediately whenever I need help with administrative support. I have watched her go out of her way to ensure our employees are made to feel extra special by recognizing them on special days, such as birthdays, baby announcements, etc. It’s not what you say, but how you make someone feel. She never short changes anyone and gives above 100% in everything she does. I strongly recommend her for this award.”
- “Nelida is dedicated to the ATSU Hometown Scholars program, the mission to serve the underserved, and she is always assisting our department (and other departments) with a smile on her face. She is always willing to provide assistance no matter how small or big the task. She is a huge advocate for assisting with the community health center relationships that our University has established over the years. She works hard to maintain those relationships and provide opportunities for our students to be able to utilize those facilities to further their education as healthcare providers. She is one of the most positive people in our building. She is always greeting people with a smile (and a big hug for those who want one). She does what she can to make sure that everyone around her is comfortable. She works hard to keep positivity in the work environment and with the students that she gets to work with.”
The University also recognized the first recipients of the Diversity Awareness Program (DAP) Award. This award was established to recognize faculty and staff who demonstrate leadership through their deeds related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to celebrate those contributions advancing the cause of social justice and equality within our campus community’s reach.
The term “dap” refers to a gesture of friendship and solidarity originating during the 1960s and a way to communicate a pact to look after one another.
Brenae Maddix, MPH, education specialist, ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA)
“Her recent efforts over the past two years includes the holistic review of applications from students who are under-represented in medicine,” a nominator wrote. “With her advocacy for many of these students, we have seen a 37% increase in admissions of students from diverse backgrounds who reflect the communities we serve.”
Julie Speer, PhD, MS, instructional designer, ATSU’s Teaching & Learning Center
“She is currently working on a new scholarly project to identify and do what needs to be done, collectively and as individuals, to develop students’ cultural proficiency skills,” a nominator wrote. “Her project, ‘Developing Theory and Practice of Cultural Proficiency in Graduate Health Science Students and Healthcare Practitioners,’ will be supported by intramural and extramural funding. This large-scale scholarly collaboration focuses on elucidating the impact of coursework and clinical rotations on the cultural proficiency of ATSU students, supporting ATSU educators in developing inclusive teaching toolkits, and fostering dialogue and collaboration between change leaders. The results from this work led by Dr. Speer are imminent, and she has clear plans to report the findings that will benefit the ATSU community and beyond.
Tessa Tibben, DHSc, MS, PA-C, assistant professor, Physician Assistant Studies, ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS)
“Tessa expresses advancement of cultural proficiency in three different areas: community, academic, education,” a nominator wrote. “Tessa continues to work one day a week at Circle the City, which provides care and outreach to those that are homeless. Tessa also recently went on a medical volunteer mission to Kenya. Tessa continues to write scholarly articles discussing the importance of equity and diversity. Tessa continues to provide cultural proficiency in the curriculum of her students.”
Additionally, Kim Perry, DDS, MSCS, FACD, associate vice president, strategic partnerships, was presented with the ATSU Beyond Flexner Award in recognition of her efforts leading ATSU’s role in the 2021 and 2022 Beyond Flexner conferences.
Other recognitions included:
Quarterly Employee Excellence Awards: Cassie Conrad (Reynolds), administrative assistant, clinical education, Physical Therapy, ATSU-ASHS; Liz Sprout, employment coordinator, ATSU Human Resources; Teri Rorie, administrative assistant, Audiology, ATSU-ASHS; Desiree Dugger, coordinator, ATSU Admissions.
2021 Service Award recipients:
5 years: Roxana Aguirre, analyst, ATSU Strategic Initiatives; Annette Bettridge, MS, PA-C, assistant professor, ATSU-ASHS Physician Assistant Studies; Anabel Burgara, BA, assistant director, ATSU Human Resources; Gabriela Durazo, dental assistant, ATSU-ASDOH Orthodontics; Jordan Farris, project manager, ATSU Assessment & Accreditation; Jyothi Gupta, PhD, chair, professor, ATSU-ASHS Occupational Therapy; Kirsten Harris, MBA, financial manager, ATSU-ASHS Administration; Brenda Jackson, senior administrative assistant, ATSU Academic Affairs; Jamie Kuettel, PT, DPT, NCS, GCS, director, progression and admission, ATSU-ASHS Physical Therapy; Lyle Lewton, graphic designer, ATSU Communication & Marketing; Amanda Martinez, MA, senior marketing specialist, ATSU Communications & Marketing; Anthony Quintana-Calzada, dental assistant, ATSU-ASDOH Orthodontics; Andrea Ruotolo, AuD, director, associate professor, ATSU-ASHS Audiology; Kaylynn Schmitt, program manager, ATSU-ASHS Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences; Maricela Segovia-Santoyo, education specialist, ATSU-ASDOH Administration; Tania Shearon, MOT, CHT, PYT-C, assistant professor, ATSU-ASHS Occupational Therapy; David Shoup, DO, professor, ATSU-SOMA Osteopathic Principles & Practices; Janell Somers, student clinical coordinator, ATSU-ASHS Physician Assistant Studies; Brittany Williams, MS, assistant director, ATSU Teaching & Learning Center.
10 years: Nelida Acosta, Hometown Scholar coordinator, ATSU University Partnerships; Linda Brozewicz, MS, data manager, ATSU-ASHS Administration; Erlinda Cisneros-Johnson, PT residential program manager, ATSU-ASHS Physical Therapy; Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD, FACP, department chair, professor, ATSU-SOMA Public Health; Mindy Motahari, DMD, assistant Dean, ATSU-ASDOH Administration; Michael Papademetriou, MS, DMD, associate professor, ATSU-ASDOH Orthodontics; Collen Reidhead, MBA, operations director, ATSU-ASDOH Administration; Lois Squires, administrative assistant, ATSU-SOMA Osteopathic Principles & Practices.
15 years: Donald Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA, associate vice president, ATSU Academic Affairs; Tamer El-Gendy, DMD, BDS, MS, director, ATSU-ASDOH Prosthodontics; Karen Fallone, RDH, instructor, ATSU-ASDOH Advance Care Clinic; Curt Law, MBA, director ITS applications, ATSU Administrative Computing; Maureen Perry, DMD, MPA, associate dean, post graduate, professor, ATSU-ASDOH Advance Care Clinic; Deb Noble Petersen, MS, enrollment counselor, ATSU Online Admissions; Danyel Shriver, inventory manager, ATSU-ASDOH Pre-Doctoral; Janet Woldt, PhD, MS, associate dean, associate professor, ATSU-ASDOH.
20 years: Raymond Pavlick, PhD, director, professor, ATSU-ASHS Physician Assistant Studies; Brent Rasmussen, programmer, ATSU Academic Technologies.
25 years: Lori Bordenave, PT, DPT, PhD, chair, associate professor, ATSU-ASHS Physical Therapy.
Additionally, the following 2020 Service Award recipients were honored at this event:
5 years: Jacqueline Kalinsky, administrative assistant, ATSU Aging Studies; Grace Stewart, MD, assistant professor, Family Medicine, ATSU-SOMA and ATSU-KCOM; Hanann Tomeh, DDS, assistant professor, ATSU-ASDOH Pre-Doc Education; Victoria Troncoso, DO, chair, associate professor, ATSU-SOMA Osteopathic Principles & Practices; Orien Young, online admissions coordinator, ATSU Online Admissions.
10 years: Cory Manton, PT, DPT, OCS, assistant professor, ATSU-ASHS Physical Therapy.
15 years: Curt Bay, PhD, professor, ATSU-ASHS Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences.