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ATSU’s Mesa, Arizona, campus employees recognized for achievements, anniversaries

Nelida Acosta, Hometown Scholar coordinator, ATSU University Partnerships, is congratulated by family members after receiving the Distinguished Service Award.

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. 

Nelida Acosta, winner of the Distinguished Service Award, poses with ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84.

Nominators submitted the following comments in support of Acosta’s selection:

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.

Winners were:

Brenae Maddix, MPH, education specialist, ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA)

Brenae Maddix, MPH, education specialist, ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), center, poses with ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, left, and Clinton Normore, MBA, vice president, diversity & inclusion, right, after receiving the ATSU DAP Award.

“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 Tibben, DHSc, MS, PA-C, assistant professor, Physician Assistant Studies, ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS), center, poses with ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, left, and Clinton Normore, MBA, vice president, diversity & inclusion, right, after receiving the ATSU DAP Award.

“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. 

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