Award of Distinction

The Award of Distinction Program is the highest award for university staff which annually recognizes approximately 10-15 university employees who have made outstanding contributions to the Emory community. Honorees are recognized at a special dinner and also receive a $1,000 award. 

2023 honorees

2023 Award of Distinction Honorees

About the Award of Distinction


All regular full-time and part-time staff or post-docs, who have been employed for at least one year are eligible to be nominated for the Award of Distinction. Previous awardees are eligible. 

Those not eligible for nomination include faculty, faculty equivalents, librarians, medical house residents, board approved principals, employees of Emory Healthcare, and Emory retirees.

Nomination Categories

A nominees' contributions should be demonstrated through the employee's successful efforts to create and implement collaborative initiatives between schools and/or units that produce meaningful results towards one or more of the following categories: 

  • Demonstrated commitment to the public good, which is a defining part of Emory’s character, through the use of one’s talents and abilities for personal and/or global goals. 
  • Exemplary contribution while serving on a university committee, task force or commission. 
  • Significant contribution to an innovation resulting in increased customer satisfaction for students, employees, visitors or alumni. 
  • Creative suggestion or initiative resulting in a new successful program or service for a department or for the university. 
  • Innovation resulting in increased efficiency or decreased costs in a department or for the university. 
  • Establishment of a program or procedure that has improved the safety and security of the Emory community. 
  • Exceptional contribution which advances and supports the quality of teaching or research. 
  • Demonstrated actions which have improved or advanced the university's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • Long-time, exceptional service and dedication to Emory which has led to a legacy of achievement over the span of one’s career. 

Nomination Process


We invite nominations for employees who have consistently demonstrated outstanding job performance and who have made specific contributions that have impacted their department/school or the university. Nominations should be based on consistent excellence in the performance of job duties and responsibilities and should cite examples of how the nominee has demonstrated:  

  • service and contributions in the work environment that have been rendered above and beyond the call of duty, and/or  
  • exemplary personal qualities that have enhanced the overall effectiveness of, or public regard for, the services provided by the department or university.  

Nominations can be made by faculty, staff or supervisors and require the endorsement of the nominee's supervisor. Employees may not nominate themselves.  

A department/school/division may submit one nomination for every 50 FTE regular staff.  

To nominate someone, use the Award of Distinction Nomination Form. Nomination summaries cannot exceed 500 words.  

Nomination forms must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, February 13, 2023. Nominations received after 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date will not be considered.   

Support Letters

As an optional supplement to your nomination, you can include up to three letters of support (multiple people can sign a letter of support). Letters of support are not required for a complete submission but can demonstrate broad support for the nominee. Only letters of support received by the deadline will be included with your nomination application and submitted to the review committee.


Review our tips for submitting a competitive nomination:

  • Follow the internal process of your department or school. Most units have their own procedures for how these nominations are submitted up through their leadership. Before you begin a nomination submission, you should check with your HR Rep or HR leader to ensure that your nominee is eligible for consideration and that departmental leadership will support the nomination. In the past, some nominations have not made it through to committee review because internal protocols were not followed.

  • Take your time to put together a good nomination. One or two sentences will not make for a competitive nomination.

  • Gather support letters. While not required, these show broad support for your nominee.

  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Allow yourself time to put together a competitive packet and ensure that all the necessary signatures are obtained.

Selection Process

Human Resources reviews each nomination for eligibility and completeness and then routes each nomination to the Award Selection Committee. The Award Selection Committee is appointed by Human Resources Vice Presidents and includes former awardees.

The Committee evaluates all submissions using the information described in the nomination categories and selects 10 to 15 award recipients each year.

Notifications will be made by Friday, March 17, 2023.

Communication and Celebration

Human Resources notifies each award recipient and his/her respective dean or vice president. Recognized honorees will be invited to a special dinner. This year's dinner will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Each honoree may bring a guest of his/her choice. Each honoree's picture and excerpts from the nomination are publicized in the Emory Report. 

Past award recipients

Note: Due to the pandemic, the Award of Distinction was not held in 2020 or 2021.

  • Chris J. Alexander, Enterprise Messaging System Engineer, Office of Information Technology
  • Willie Brokenburr, Crew Leader, Roads & Grounds, Campus Services
  • Mark Burell, Manager, Carlos Museum Bookshop, Provost’s Office
  • Zachary Cole, ​​Chief of Staff, Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, President’s Office
  • Susan D. Cook, BA, Sr. Academic Degree Program Coordinator, Physics, Emory College
  • Priya E. D’Souza, MPH, Lead Public Health Specialist, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Rachel E. Fest, Director, Business Services, EVP Business & Administration
  • Dawn Francis-Chewning, Educational Analyst III, Student Digital Life, Emory University Libraries
  • Hannah Joy Gebresilassie, BSBA, MSJ, Program Coordinator, Emory Votes Initiative, Center for Civic and Community Engagement, Campus Life
  • Carol Kelly, MA, RDN, CSSD, CHES, Associate Director, Nutrition Services, Campus Life
  • Thomas Manns, Captain, Emory Police Department, EVP Business & Administration
  • Emily Staub, Associate Director, Communications, The Carter Center
  • Elaine Turner, Sr. Director, Housing Operations, Campus Life
  • Channelva Young, RVT, RLATg, ​​Veterinary Technician Supervisor​, School of Medicine

Read about these honorees in Emory Report

  • Maggie Beker, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Shelle Wilson Bryant, MTS, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Rhonda E. Burke, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Megan E. Friddle, PhD, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Josh Gilbert, Campus Services
  • Gary D. Glass, PhD, Oxford College
  • Geoff Huitt, Office of Information Technology
  • Randall Howell Lucius, PhD, Human Resources
  • Rob Manchester, P.E., Campus Services
  • Sumon Ray, Task Force for Global Health
  • Kalpana Rengarajan, PhD, MPH, JM, Office of Research Administration
  • Samuel E. Shartar, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response
  • Julie Sullivan, School of Medicine
  • Toni Thomas, School of Medicine
  • Sara Jackson Wade, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kira Walsh, PhD, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jeffrey Weaver, MBA, Office of Information Technology
  • Neville L. Whitehead, School of Medicine
  • Andrea Williams, RN, Campus Life

Read about these honorees in Emory Report

  • Janelle Clark, School of Medicine
  • Frank Gaertner, Emory College
  • Peggy Goedken, School of Medicine
  • Michele Hempfling, PhD, Oxford College
  • Vanda Palmer Hudson, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Jennifer Crabb Kyles, Advancement and Alumni Engagement
  • Heather Mugg, Provost’s Office
  • Dattatraya Hari Patil, MBBS, MPH, School of Medicine
  • Deepa V. Pawate, Internal Audit
  • Cara L. Smith, Advancement and Alumni Engagement
  • Timothy Glenn Stephens, Emory College
  • Craig T. Watson, Campus Services/Public Safety

Read about these honorees in Emory Report

  • Julie R. Barefoot, Goizueta Business School
  • Tammyjo Best, School of Medicine
  • Danielle M. Bruce-Steele, Campus Life
  • Jennifer T. Daly, Advancement and Alumni Engagement, Winship Cancer Institute
  • Michelle B. James, Advancement and Alumni Engagement, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Tamika Kendrick, Campus Service/Department of Public Safety
  • Bill Lambert, Finance Division
  • Marilyn Hazzard Lineberger, Ph.D., Human Resources/Faculty Staff Assistance Program
  • Maya Encantada Meeks, CVT, RLAT, Division of Animal Resources
  • Susan Newborn, Oxford College
  • Donna Troka, Ph.D., Office of the Provost
  • Anjulet V. Tucker, Ph.D., Office of the President

Read about these honorees in Emory Report

  • Jena Black, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Amy Dryman, M.Ed., Division of Animal Resources
  • Wanda J. Hayes, PhD, Human Resources
  • Rhiannon Hubert, Oxford College
  • Denese Jester, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kimberly F. Kerstann, PhD, Winship Cancer Institute
  • Joan D. Kowal, Campus Services
  • Maurice L. Middleton, Office of the Provost
  • Courtnay N. Oddman, Campus Life
  • Kathy Siemon, Office of the General Counsel
  • Adrienne G. Slaughter, LCSW, Campus Life
  • Derek Spransy, Library & Information Technology Services
  • Marcus Urquiaga, School of Medicine
  • Glenn Williams, Development & Alumni Relations

Read about these honorees in Emory Report

  • Sonia Bell, School of Medicine
  • Katherine F. Egan, BSN, RN, CCRC, School of Medicine
  • Sharmyn Amos Gipson, Division of Animal Resources
  • Andrea Elizabeth Grant, Office of Multicultural Programs and Services
  • Stephanie J. Gray, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Eric Gregory, Campus Services
  • Marie M. Hansen, Library & Information Technology Services
  • Ginger Kane, Development & Alumni Relations
  • Adam R. Malm, School of Nursing
  • Jimmy Powell, Campus Services
  • Catherine Howett Smith, Michael C. Carlos Museum
  • Roderick Stubbs, Oxford College

Read about these honorees in Emory Report

  • Carolyn B. Aidman, PhD, School of Medicine
  • Barbara C. Ballisty, EVP Academic Affairs & Provost
  • Carolyn Bregman, Development & Alumni Relations
  • Yoko Hammond, MS, CRA, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
  • Stacy Heilman, PhD, School of Medicine
  • Darrell F. Johnson, Emory Police
  • Mollie Korski, Emory College of Arts & Sciences
  • Stephanie Parisi, Library & Information Technology Services
  • Seth Tepfer, Oxford College
  • Joel Tingle, Emory College of Arts & Sciences
  • Amy Wheeler, School of Law
  • Dona Yarbrough, PhD, Campus Life

Read about these honorees in Emory Report

  • Audrey Adelson, Human Resources
  • Lynell Cadray, School of Nursing
  • Annie Carey, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ciannat M. Howett, Office of Sustainability Initiatives
  • Deena Keeler, Campus Services
  • Jane A. Lawson, School of Medicine
  • Sue McAvoy, School of Law
  • Sandra A. Schein, Oxford College
  • Sam Shartar, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response
  • Mindy Simon, Office of the General Counsel
  • Sherry M. Stodghill, Human Resources

Read about these honorees in Emory Report

  • Thomas H. Bornemann, The Carter Center
  • Kathleen Carroll, Emory College
  • Courtenay Dusenbury, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Jasmine Hoffman, School of Nursing
  • Jack Kearse, Office of EVP Health Affairs
  • Carlton Mackey, Office of EVP Academic Affairs & Provost
  • Wayne H. Morse, Jr, Office of Information Technology
  • Avril Y. Occilien-Similien, Campus Services
  • Michael D. Shutt, Campus Life
  • L. Shakiyla Smith, School of Medicine
  • Dana Wyner, Campus Life
  • Brent Zern, Campus Services

  • Michelle Boone, Office of the EVP for Health Affairs
  • Holley Butkovich, Office of Critical Event Preparedness & Response
  • Julie Delliquanti, University Libraries
  • Allison Kay Dykes, Officof Development & Alumni Relations
  • Kara Grant, Campus Life
  • Herman Howard, Campus Services
  • Marsha Howard, Division of Animal Resources
  • Nicole Kruse, The Carter Center
  • Charlie Raudonis, Campus Services
  • Sasha A. Smith, Center for Women
  • Cameron Van Tran, School of Medicine
  • Maria Wackerly, International Student & Scholar Services

  • Clifton Clarno, II, Campus Services
  • Alexa DeVetter, Emory College
  • Steve Ellwood, School of Nursing
  • Kenneth P. House, Campus Services
  • Elizabeth G. Kimberl, School of Medicine
  • Karen A. Lieber, Division of Animal Resources
  • Tim Morris, Office of Information Technology
  • Andrea D. Neal, Emory College
  • Marvin Quinn Poulson, Emory Police
  • Julie A. Shaffer, Campus Life
  • Kathy A. Smith, Laney Graduate School
  • Kristin M. Unzicker, Rollins School of Public Health

  • Lee Clontz, University Technology Services
  • Sue Dale, Oxford College
  • Morris Durham, Campus Services
  • Maggie M. Hassan, Emory College
  • Kathryn Kite, School of Nursing
  • Edward Lee, Campus Life
  • Paula Londe, University Communications & Marketing
  • Liz McCarty, School of Medicine
  • Nancy L. Miller, MS, RLATG, Division of Animal Resources
  • Michael Poole, Emory Police

  • Joy S. Budensiek, Oxford College
  • Francisco Calderon, School of Medicine
  • Katie Chace, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
  • Tracy Anne Clark, Emory College
  • Adele Clements, Campus Services
  • Michael Derry, Emory College
  • Kelly Ferguson, School of Medicine
  • Larry D. Frederick, University Libraries
  • John Mills, University Communications & Marketing
  • Nathaniel Poon, Goizueta Business School
  • Mary L. Secrest, University Technology Services
  • Fie-Jiuan Joan Wang, Campus Services

  • Tim P. Ariail, Student Financial Services
  • Toni M. Avery, Emory College
  • Barbara Brandt, University Technology Services
  • Jen Fabrick, Campus Services
  • Lewis Fuller, Emory College
  • Carol L. Gee, Goizueta Business School
  • Dr. Paula G. Gomes, Human Resources, Faculty Staff­ Assistance Program
  • Iruka A. Ndubuizu, Research Administration
  • Stephanie Roberts, Office of International A­ffairs
  • James Roland, Campus Life
  • Linda Sheldon, Campus Services
  • Wesley Thompson, School of Medicine

  • Felicia Bianchi, Academic & Administrative IT
  • Beth H. Broyles, Office of the Registrar
  • Louis Burton, Sr., School of Medicine
  • Robert N. (Nick) Fabian, Emory College
  • Rosemary Hynes, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
  • James R. Johnson, Campus Services
  • Gary Robert Morris, Campus Services
  • Lisa M. Newbern, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
  • Stephen Pittard, School Of Medicine
  • Kathy Summers, Emory College
  • Kathy S. Vaughn, School of Medicine
  • Darlene A. Wyche-Alha-De, School of Medicine


Melissa Morgan
Sr. Recognition and Engagement Manager
1599 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30322