Announcements Engage Manager Memos & Tips Staff Recognition WashU Community

Staff Recognition and Milestone Service Awards | 2024

Honoring WashU staff for exceptional performance, superior service and dedication.

At Washington University in St. Louis, we take pride in recognizing the remarkable contributions of our staff. Their dedication to our core missions of research, teaching and patient care is commendable. We’re thrilled to honor our 2024 service award recipients, distinguished honor awardees and Excellence in Nursing honorees!

Distinguished Honorees

We are excited to announce the recipients of our university-wide and school-specific distinguished honors. These prestigious awards recognize staff who have made significant contributions through their leadership, community impact and operational excellence. 

All honorees were nominated by colleagues and selected among the nearly 200 nominations received this year by a universitywide selection committee. Please join us in congratulating our colleagues on their well-deserved achievements.

Universitywide Distinguished Service Awards

Gloria White Award

The Gloria W. White Distinguished Service Award is the most esteemed recognition for the university and acknowledges a staff member who goes above and beyond their daily work duties to make a significant impact on Washington University in St. Louis. The award aims to show gratitude towards staff who work wholeheartedly to advance the university by supporting their fellow employees and helping them thrive.

Chris Anderson | Maintenance Administration | Danforth Campus

Chris Anderson, grounds manager/horticulturalist, 2024 Gloria W. White Distinguished Service Awardee

Chris Anderson brings a unique blend of expertise to the campus landscape. A certified Arborist with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and 38 years of experience in horticulture and landscaping, he has spent the past ten cultivating the grounds at WashU. During his time at WashU, Chris has made significant changes to the university landscapes by spearheading a collaboration with Focal Pointe, a new landscape contractor, and fostering a partnership with the Biology Department and its students.

Plants and people have always been so fascinating to me because they are so much alike. When you treat both with respect, the outcome can be very satisfying.

Chris Anderson, grounds manager/horticulturalist

Currently focused on the long-term goals and future of horticulture on campus, Anderson is working with many campus partners to elevate the WashU Arboretum to a prestigious Level 3. When he’s not tending to WashU’s greenery, Chris loves indulging in the “field study” of palm trees in the southern Caribbean.

Community Impact Award

The Community Impact Award recognizes staff who establish and maintain mutually enhancing relationships that elevate both WashU and the greater St. Louis community. They strive to foster a more equitable and sustainable environment within their sphere of influence.

Officers Greg Casem and Jesse Siefert, with WUPD comfort dogs Brookie and Bear
Police Department | Danforth Campus

Officer Greg Casem with Brookie
2024 Community Impact Awardee
Officer Jesse Siefert with Bear
2024 Community Impact Awardee

Jesse Siefert, one of four K9 deputized law enforcement officers in WashU’s Police Department, has served the WashU community since 2021 with two prior employments at WashU. Before joining WashU, Siefert worked as a police officer for the City of St. Louis and Troy, Missouri. In his current role with the WashU Police Department, he is responsible for handling Bear, a one-year-old rescue dog who works as a therapy/comfort dog. Siefert applied for the K9 deputized law enforcement officer position with one goal in mind: to positively change the perception of law enforcement in the community.

Officer Casem serving the Ferguson community

Greg Casem is one of four K9 deputized officers in the Police Department of WashU, and he has been serving the WashU community since 2018. Before joining the WashU Police Department, Casem worked as an officer for the City of Ferguson, Missouri, where he retired after a 30-year career. His work as an officer in Ferguson is part of the Civil Rights Museum’s display. Casem is also the therapy/comfort dog handler for his partner, Brooke, who is a one-year-old rescue dog.

Emerging Leader Award

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes an employee who positively influences and leads others at the university, in their community and their profession. This award acknowledges someone who listens to the feedback and concerns of others, displays a growth mindset and empowers their colleagues to develop and utilize their leadership skills and capabilities to better the university and St. Louis region.

Renee Parks | Prevention Research Center, Brown School | Danforth Campus

Renee Parks, senior research manager
2024 Emerging Leader Awardee

Renee Parks has worked at the Prevention Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis for the past 8 years. As Senior Research Manager, she manages National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded projects, contributing to all phases of the research lifecycle. She also supports the center’s infrastructure, including co-chairing its committee for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

One aspect of Renee’s current work involves supporting coalitions in advancing health equity through the use of evidence-based policymaking and policy change. Before her time at WashU, Renee had over 12 years of experience in community health promotion, working in nonprofit organizations, university, and corporate settings. In these roles, she developed, implemented, and evaluated interventions, while building relationships and facilitating multi-sector collaborations focused on comprehensive, systematic efforts for health.

Most importantly, Renee is a wife and partner to Adam and a mother to Elise and Rosalie. She finds great joy and fulfillment in being with her family, exploring nature, contributing to her community, and in her work at the Prevention Research Center and Washington University.

Central Fiscal Unit (CFU) Award

University Operations Award

The University Operations Award recognizes a Central Fiscal Unit (CFU) employee who provides exceptional customer service to our employees, students and community members and demonstrates extraordinary contributions to WashU missions of education, research and patient care. This employee may impact both WashU and the larger St. Louis community by creating a more equitable business ecosystem through collaboration with regional partners. They have a track record of fostering community collaborations that improve the quality of life for the St. Louis area and supporting and building internal infrastructure to promote community outreach and expansion opportunities.

John Henderson | Office of Human Resources

With over 20 years of experience in analytical and supervisory roles, John Henderson, senior manager of the benefits service center, has extensive knowledge and expertise in healthcare and corporate employee benefits. He has successfully developed, implemented, and managed comprehensive health and welfare plan designs to meet the needs of both active and retired populations.

John joined Washington University in 2015 and was handpicked in 2018 to implement the university’s first Benefits Service Center, which serves over 20,000 employees’ health and welfare needs. He manages the day-to-day operations of the five-member benefits services team and is responsible for resolving transactional and customer service activities. His team’s efforts have resulted in more personalized support as they strive for excellence in benefits customer service.

John, a continuous learner, makes it his mission to provide up-to-date benefits information to his team and those with whom he conferences. You may have seen him lead benefits open enrollment sessions and new hire orientations, ensuring that employees have access to the latest and most accurate benefits information.

Danforth Schools Awards

School of Continuing & Professional Studies

Dean’s Award for Excellence

The Dean’s Award for Excellence is bestowed annually upon a staff member whose contributions to the School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS) students, faculty, or staff have led to improvements in one or more of the following: morale, efficiency, student experience, faculty rapport, and student success. This staff member is known as a collaborative colleague who embodies the values of CAPS while having an innovative impact to drive the school’s mission forward.

Haley Dolosic, manager, special projects & data analytics

Haley Dolosic evaluates and analyzes data to help formulate recommendations for the School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS). Using data visualizations and dashboards, she supports daily operations and provides key insights that allow leadership to make informed, strategic decisions. She also works on a variety of large-scale projects that support the university. When not cleaning data or organizing processes, she enjoys hiking, reading, and crocheting.

Arts & Sciences

At a ceremony and reception held Sept. 11 in Holmes Lounge, members of the Arts & Sciences community gathered to recognize recipients of the annual faculty and staff awards. Each recipient has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the university through service, leadership, or teaching.

Dean’s Strategic Partnership Award

Arts & Sciences only achieves its goals with the help of many people across the university, including those in other schools and the central administration. This new award recognizes a university leader outside of Arts & Sciences who has been our school’s invaluable partner and colleague.

Rob Wild, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students

Rob Wild accepts Strategic Partnership Award from Dean Hu

Staff Leadership Award

This award honors a staff member who demonstrates exceptional initiative and outstanding execution in efforts that help advance the mission of Arts & Sciences. Awardees are particularly adept at understanding the needs of the school and their unit, working with faculty, staff, and leadership to advance efforts that meet these needs. They also support diversity efforts and foster a culture of teamwork, inspiring excellence in others.

Linda Hurt, manager of financial operations in the Department of Biology

Linda Hurt accepts Staff Leadership Award from Dean Hu

Staff Service Awards for Excellence

These awards recognize staff who have been key players in operations critical to their unit and Arts & Sciences. Awardees’ performance has consistently exceeded expectations, improved operational effectiveness and established them as reliable and trusted colleagues. Congratulations to these outstanding honorees, pictured below with Feng Sheng Hu, Dean of Arts & Sciences:

  • JoAnn Urban, research administrator, Department of Physics
  • Angela Schultz, Weidenbaum Center grants and account specialist
  • Sean Garcia, senior multimedia designer, Arts & Sciences Communications
  • Chris Earp, payroll/hr associate, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

McKelvey School of Engineering

Leadership Award

This award recognizes McKelvey staff members who have displayed exemplary leadership in planning and executing initiatives or activities within McKelvey Engineering, or staff members who have consistently displayed leadership attributes in their positions.

  • Natalie Goodwin-Frank, director of research development & administration

Staff Service Awards

This award recognizes McKelvey staff members for outstanding workplace achievements or exceptional performance that goes above and beyond the expectations for their positions.

  • Angel Algarin, senior department administrator
  • Kim Simpson, graduate program advisor
School of Medicine Awards

Dean’s Distinguished Service Award

The Dean’s Distinguished Service Award remains the highest form of staff recognition at the School of Medicine. The award recognizes an employee for displaying ongoing commitment to exceeding job responsibilities, helping to create a positive working environment, and improving the community in which they live. 

Sundra Streibig | Department of Psychiatry – Clinical Operations

Sunny Streibig, clinic administrator
2024 Dean’s Distinguished Service Awardee

Sundra “Sunny” Streibig is a Clinic Administrator with 17 years of healthcare experience. She joined Washington University School of Medicine in 2007 as an entry-level medical assistant and is now the Clinic Administrator for the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In her current role, Sunny oversees the daily operations of the outpatient child psychiatry clinic. Her passion for leadership stems from her love for personal interaction and organizational excellence.

Before working in child psychiatry, she held a variety of clinical positions over 12 years in the Division of Dermatology (West County office). There, she learned the intricacies of working in a complex and diverse outpatient clinical setting, honing the skills necessary to oversee the daily operations of a multi-disciplinary clinic and team.

In 2010, Sunny was recognized as the WUSM Star Performer for outstanding clinical performance and received the Guiding Star Award. She earned her dual bachelor’s degree in healthcare from Washington University in 2019. Sunny is a Missouri native, and when she’s not with her psychiatry colleagues, she enjoys spending time with her family and baking, particularly sourdough bread.

Research Support Award

The Research Support Award is categorized as Basic Science and Clinical. Nominees must be employed at .50 FTE or greater.  These awards recognize employees for exceptional performance, outstanding leadership, and superior quality of service. 

Deborah Frank | Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology – Research

Debbie Frank, senior scientific editor
2024 Research Support Awardee

Debbie Frank joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as the Scientific Editor in 2012 and was promoted to Senior Scientific Editor in 2021. In this role, she helps faculty members, medical fellows, residents, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students prepare research manuscripts, grant proposals, and fellowship applications. Debbie’s primary goal is to facilitate clear and concise communication of science, with a focus on highlighting the significance of the work. She takes great satisfaction in supporting investigators, especially trainees and assistant professors, in their career development.

Debbie received her B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from a joint program between the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She began her career at Washington University in 2001 as a postdoctoral fellow and then as a research scientist in Kathryn Miller’s laboratory in the Biology Department, while simultaneously teaching a junior/senior-level writing-intensive Developmental Biology course. From 2011 through 2019, Debbie developed and ran writing workshops for summer undergraduate research programs. In 2016, she co-founded the Scientific Editors Network, which brings together editors from across the United States to share knowledge and resources.

Operations Staff Award

The Operations Staff Award is categorized as an Administrative, Facilities, or Teaching award on the School of Medicine campus. Nominees must be employed at .50 FTE or greater.  These awards recognize employees for exceptional performance, outstanding leadership, and superior quality of service.

Carolyn Ryterski | Program in Physical Therapy – Business & Finance

Carolyn Ryterski, manager, finance/administration
2024 Operations Staff Awardee

Carolyn Ryterski is the Manager of Finance and Administration for the Program in Physical Therapy, where she is responsible for managing and administering the program’s HCM, finance, and administrative affairs and operations. Since joining the WUPT program in October 1999, her duties have included preparing the annual compensation budget, strategic planning, managing WUSM estimates, payroll and HCM transactions, monitoring accounts and budgets, approving finances, financial reporting, developing policies and procedures, managing the annual review and merit planning processes, staff recruitment and hiring, submitting grants and contracts, managing post-award activities, and serving as a liaison to Human Resources for employee relations. Ryterski finds her job both challenging and fulfilling and is grateful to work with the exceptional institution and the outstanding leadership and team members within the Physical Therapy program.

Carolyn is the mother of four extraordinary young adults who are her biggest inspirations: Olivia (23), Noah (21), Aaron (18), and Abigail (18). Over the last 18 years, Carolyn has been a dedicated supporter, attending their soccer games, baseball and softball games, band competitions, concerts, robotics competitions, golf and tennis matches, and award and recognition ceremonies, while also volunteering many hours to support each of their endeavors. In her free time, Carolyn loves being outdoors, gardening, cooking, baking, reading, and taking long walks with her sweet pup, Lola, who was adopted from a rescue in March 2020.

Kelley Mullen Clinical Service Award

The Kelley Mullen Clinical Service Award recognizes a clinical support staff member who consistently demonstrates ongoing acts of caring that go beyond the normal expected levels of courtesy, responsiveness, and customer service and creates a positive work environment.  This award honors Kelley Mullen, a gifted nurse-clinician and administrator, who exemplified service quality and personified our clinical mission.

Evan Garber | Department of Hematology – Clinical Support

Evan Garber, clinical nurse coordinator
2024 Kelley Mullen Clinical Service Awardee

Evan Garber, RN, BSN, was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Saint Louis University, graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a minor in Sociology during the unraveling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He began his nursing career working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH). After his time at SLCH, he transitioned to outpatient nursing care by accepting a Clinical Nurse Coordinator position in early 2023 with the Washington University Department of Hematology, working specifically with sickle cell anemia patients.

Each day, Evan works directly with patients from all walks of life suffering from sickle cell anemia to address their medical and psychosocial needs. He strives to provide prompt, thoughtful, and thorough patient care for his patient population.

“My patients are often subject to both social and medical bias. To counteract this, I strive to build personal relationships with them and act as a dependable presence throughout their healthcare journey.”

Evan Garber, clinical nurse coordinator

Evan is honored and extremely grateful to be presented with the 2024 Kelley Mullen Clinical Service Award. He would like to thank his fellow team members for supporting him in his nursing care each day.

Excellence in Nursing Awards

We are also proud to recognize five exceptional WashU nurses who were honored by St. Louis Magazine as part of its 2024 Excellence in Nursing awards. The winning nurses are chosen from hundreds of nominations submitted by their peers, supervisors and patients. Congratulations to our WashU nurses noted below:

  • Natalie Goedeker, nurse practitioner, Department of Neurology 
  • Lynelle Jolliff, nurse practitioner, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery 
  • Kristin Daly, nurse practitioner, Department of Oncology 
  • Janette Coble, nurse educator, Department of Pediatric Neurology 
  • Teresa Sarah Rock, nurse manager, Department of Orthopaedics

Milestone Recipients

We are proud to recognize WashU staff members who have reached impressive milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and even 55 years of dedicated service. These individuals have played an integral role in moving our university forward and they embody the spirit of dedication and commitment. Whether it’s a decade of service or five and a half, each milestone represents a journey of growth, impact and shared accomplishments.  

All are invited to visit the Staff Milestone Awards hub to find the full list of 2024 recipients and ways to engage with one another to celebrate our recipients and collective accomplishments. Honorees can download a Zoom background with their year of service and read what to expect as a milestone recipient. 

Please note: milestones are calculated per fiscal year, so FY23 recipients are honored from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023. 5-year recipients receive a certificate from Chancellor Martin and 25-year recipients are honored by Chancellor Martin at a separate special event.

Congratulations to all our 2024 honorees and thank you to all our WashU staff for your continued commitment to our university’s missions! We are grateful for your hard work and look forward to celebrating your achievements in person.

Visit the WashU Staff Recognition Hub for additional details and ideas to celebrate your colleagues. Managers, find a special leader recognition toolkit online (PDF).