Award of Distinction celebrates exceptional employees

By Erin Long | Emory Report | March 19, 2013

Twelve employees have been honored with the Emory University Award of Distinction. Honorees were recognized at a dinner on March 18 with President James Wagner and received a $1,000 award. Each year, the award recognizes members of the Emory community who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to their jobs.

The 2013 Award of Distinction honorees are:

Thomas H. Bornemann

As the director of The Carter Center's Mental Health Program, Bornemann has been instrumental in advancing mental health care in Georgia and across the world. He organized a series of stakeholder meetings that brought together mental health advocates, consumer groups, and providers to address the quality of mental health care in the state of Georgia which, at the time, was facing scrutiny due to a series of articles in the Atlanta Journal Constitution entitled "A Hidden Shame." The initiative provided the opportunity to transform mental health care delivery, making Georgia a model for other states looking to improve their mental health services. In 2010, Bornemann led The Carter Center Mental Health program's effort to develop its first international program, helping to create a sustainable mental health system in Liberia. The program assisted Liberia with developing its mental health policy, promoting a community-level anti-stigma campaign, and training nurses and physician assistants to integrate mental health care into local primary care systems.

Thomas H. Bornemann

Kathleen Carroll

As the academic degree program coordinator in graduate studies for Emory College's Art History Department, Carroll assists students with every stage of their graduate study. Her considerate manner, as well as the genuine interest she shows for each student, has become a hallmark of the program. She is the person these students turn to for help with their fellowship and grant submissions, exams, prospectus defense processes, and much more. Carroll also helps organize the department's guest lectures and the world-renowned, triennial Lovis Corinth Colloquia. This large international conference on Northern European art of the 14th through 18th centuries takes two years to plan with 25-30 participants from around the world, promoting scholarly research and fostering international cooperation. For years, Carroll has gone well beyond her job description to make the art history graduate program run smoothly, to make sure students and faculty feel well served, and to bring out the best aspects of the department's program.

Kathleen Carroll

Courtenay McKinnon Dusenbury

As director of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), Dusenbury has led the organization to advance its mission of improving health worldwide. The IANPHI is an association of the CDCs of the world, which has established close to 60 projects in over 35 countries since 2006.  Over the past eight years, Dusenbury has established a network of key public health leaders from across the globe linking agencies responsible for public health in their respective countries -- something which had never been done before. Under her leadership, the institute has grown to include 81 institutes in 73 countries, on four continents, benefitting 79 percent of the world's population. The network has grown from 39 members to 80-plus and has successfully developed private sector partnerships with U.S. businesses, NGOs and governments through direct funding and cooperative agreements. Its global impact includes $26 million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 27 capacity building grants in 22 countries, mentoring and development programs to build public health leadership in low resource countries, and building alliances between ministries of health and public policy and strategic partners such as the World Health Organization.

Courtenay McKinnon Dusenbury

Jasmine Hoffman

Hoffman's contributions as director of communications for the School of Nursing have been transformative. By securing media coverage in top outlets, she has helped strengthen the school's faculty distinction by increasing their recognition as national health care experts. She has assisted with student recruitment efforts by developing marketing campaigns targeted at new student populations, such as the "Changing the Face of Nursing" campaign which was designed to attract more males to the school. She coordinates events and programs that are critical to sharing information to the nursing faculty, staff and students such as the State of the School addresses and town hall meetings. She managed many aspects of the 10th anniversary of the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility with a keynote address by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., gaining unprecedented exposure for the school. As a member of the School Life Committee, she also hosts student study breaks, faculty and staff recognition luncheons and holiday celebrations.

Jasmine Hoffman

Jack Kearse

Kearse helps shape Emory's visual image in the health sciences. As associate director of photography for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, Kearse has clicked more than 175,000 photographs of life at Emory over the past two decades. Says Wright Caughman, executive vice president for health affairs: "Jack has a unique gift for connecting on a very real and personal level with the people he photographs. That's what makes his images so powerful and allows him to capture the very essence of Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center and its life affirming work." Kearse has received rave reviews for his impactful photos as well as several CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) awards. He is also credited with using his entrepreneurial ingenuity to increase the effectiveness of the department. He pioneered the practice of earning part of his salary through charges to clients, implemented best practices to conserve expensive server space, and developed a way of posting free graduation shots online for graduates and parents.

Jack Kearse

Carlton Mackey

Mackey is the assistant director of the Ethics and Servant Leadership program with the Center for Ethics, where he guides student citizen-scholars in developing skills to serve and lead. He also serves as the program director for the Ethics and the Arts program, the only program of its kind in the country. Under his leadership, the Center established a partnership with the Atlanta Opera; fostered the Ethics on the Stage program with six local theaters; and established the Ethics at the Movies series as well as a full rotating art gallery at the Center. Mackey's unique combination of talent, social consciousness, creativity and social connection creates powerful impressions wherever he lays his hands. He created nine campus-wide events for the 10th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy; he brought the "NoH8" campaign to Atlanta, partnering with the W Hotel to create the single largest turnout for the campaign; and he recently gave a grand rounds presentation to Emory's Department of Neurosurgery, using his artist's eye to talk them about how to "see" in a different way. Mackey also sits on numerous boards and committees throughout Emory and Atlanta. He is a bridge between communities and he walks easily in all of them.

Carlton Mackey

Wayne H. Morse, Jr.

Over the past 15 years, Morse has led the Emory Center for Interactive Teaching (ECIT) from its humble beginnings with a basement home in Candler Library to its current location at Woodruff Library where it now supports dozens of faculty and student technology training initiatives annually. In addition to serving as director of ECIT, Morse is also the creator and primary instructor for the graduate student technology initiative "Technology, Pedagogy and Curriculum" (TPC).  Before this program was created, Laney graduate students had no training on the technological tools that would inform their classrooms when they graduated from Emory -- techniques that were rapidly changing what it would mean to teach the next generation of students. In 2006, he partnered with Michael Elliot, Emory College's senior associate dean for faculty, to develop a new curriculum. The success of the program led to its expansion and today it is offered each semester. To many, Morse is the quiet and confident leader of ECIT, shaping the way Emory learns about technology. For the graduate students assembled by TPC, he is their teacher, shaping a new generation of instructors in the possibilities of the changing classroom.

Wayne H. Morse, Jr.

Avril Y. Occilien-Similien

As manager of training and communication for Campus Services, Occilien-Similien designed and implemented a new innovative skill level assessment and technical training program for all frontline employees in the Operations and Maintenance area. The program has raised the bar for Campus Services, ensuring that all employees in mechanic or skilled trade positions obtain and maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully complete their jobs. The new program helps close knowledge gaps of existing employees, allowing them to take ownership and accountability for their own training. It has also developed higher standards for new hires who now must undergo a written and hands-on test before an employment offer is extended. This innovative program has saved Emory time and money by providing a better trained and more efficient workforce. It has also become a best practice model which Occilien-Similien recently presented to the Association of Physical Plant Administrators at their annual conference.

Avril Y. Occilien-Similien

Michael D. Shutt

Shutt has distinguished himself as an outstanding community member, trailblazer and innovator as the director of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Life. When he first arrived in 2008, he quickly united the Emory community and was named as one of the 100 Community Builders within his first year. He has led the effort to increase the understanding of the needs of transgender people by facilitating workshops for improving services, hosting a panel with nationally recognized experts on transgender issues, and starting a support group for transgender students. He also collaborated with numerous university offices to determine how to help students change their names on educational records, obtain more gender-neutral on-campus housing and bathrooms, and gain health insurance that covers gender reassignment surgery. Shutt is also credited with the assessment and subsequent redevelopment of the Safe Space Program, a meaningful educational program that prepares Emory staff and faculty for offering a secure environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

Michael D. Shutt

L. Shakiyla Smith

Smith serves as the deputy director for research at the Department of Emergency Medicine and is also the deputy director of the Emory Center for Injury Control. Not only has she been an incredible asset to her department, but also to Emory and the community at large. She has played an integral role in putting safety on the radar of the institution and community, demonstrating her commitment to the public good. She was involved in the creation of the Emory Safety Alliance that resulted in Emory's Safe Community designation last spring. She also served on the steering committee for the national meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research and for the World Injury Conference. She is an "outside-of-the-box" thinker, responsible for many creative initiatives for the department including a weekly drop-in research lab that provides faculty and residents with one-on-one research support and the launching of a research oversight committee which greatly improved the efficiency of IRB approvals and overall research quality in the department.

L. Shakiyla Smith

Dana Wyner

Working as a psychologist for Emory's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in Student Health and Counseling Services, Wyner has demonstrated an amazing ability to handle a multitude of mental health emergencies. In her role, she has helped many Emory students with her quiet confidence and friendly demeanor that makes her so approachable. She has been faced with many potentially dangerous situations, where a student or someone in the community could be injured, yet she deals with these situations with the confidence and strength that allows her to achieve positive outcomes. Wyner also developed, from the ground up, a state-of-the-art Stress Management Clinic to help students better deal with stress. The clinic offers up-to-date equipment and professional expertise to students. She has recently engaged in research into the effectiveness of her programs resulting in a paper which received a national honorable mention from the AAAHC Institute of Quality Improvement.

Dana Wyner

Brent Zern

As an environmental engineer with Campus Services, Zern works tirelessly to improve Emory's environmental sustainability. He was instrumental in calculating Emory's greenhouse gas emissions and identifying realistic goals for emission reductions through the year 2050. He won a Robert S. Hascall Sustainability Innovator Award in 2011 for this work. He is a key participant in Emory's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) initiatives on capital projects, helping to ensure that Emory receives a LEED Silver on all projects. He helped develop the Organica Blue House project, a partnership that will turn sanitary sewer water into usable water for the chiller plants and steam plant. He worked with a colleague to bring forth a proposal to develop a Water Reclamation Facility on campus, expected to be the only site of its kind and to generate significant savings and research opportunites.

Brent Zern