College of Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty and Staff Recognition 2021

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We are honored to present the 2021 College of Medicine & Life Sciences Faculty and Staff Recognition Awards.

Members of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences Faculty and Staff were honored September 24, 2021, at a special virtual meeting. We will host a dinner to celebrate these exceptional members of our community this fall.

We recognize faculty and staff nominees, honor individuals who have excelled in their careers, as well as recognize those who have made exceptional contributions to teaching, research, clinical care and service, and acknowledge individuals for their commitment to mentoring our students.

Join us in recognizing these faculty and staff members, presented in alphabetical order:

Dean’s Awards 2021

Basil Akpunonu, M.D.  

Dean’s Award for Faculty Career Achievement

Basil Akpunonu, M.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine 

Nominator Note: "Dr. Akpunonu's leadership was clearly evident in the implementation of the Academic Affiliation. As the Chief of GIM, he led the highly successful implementation of the General Internal Medicine Teaching Service at the Toledo Hospital. Currently, he spearheaded the Geographic Rounding at Toledo Hospital which has significant impact on resident and student education."

Nezam Altorok, M.D.   

Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Nezam Altorok, M.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

Nominator Note: "Dr. Altorok is a great asset to the residency program, which requires close monitoring and supervision of the education experience of our residents and students. Our residents view him as a role model of a successful academic physician who has a passion for teaching, research, and patient care."

Michael Bielefeld, M.D.   

DEAN’S AWARD FOR AHEC Faculty Teaching Excellence

Michael Bielefeld, M.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery

Nominator Note: "For 25 years, Dr. Bielefeld has been a highly reviewed and requested preceptor in the Sandusky AHEC region for students completing their third year required Surgery Clerkship. Students are given many hands-on opportunities while rotating with him and he provides them with a well-rounded experience rotating in rural northwest Ohio and working with underserved populations.otating in rural northwest Ohio and working with underserved populations."

Saurabh Chattopadhyay, Ph.D.   

DEAN’S AWARD FOR New Investigator Research Excellence

Saurabh Chattopadhyay, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology

Nominator Note: "Over the last five years, he has transformed his research to the next level. Dr. Chattopadhyay is an outstanding scientist with 52 publications in high-impact journals. It should be stated that a number of these articles were published from his own laboratory at The University of Toledo. The research in his laboratory at UToledo has been funded continuously by national, regional, and local grants."

 

Joan Duggan, M.D.

 

 

DEAN’S AWARD FOR Faculty Diversity and Inclusion

Joan Duggan, M.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine 

Nominator Note: "For over 30 years Dr. Joan Duggan has been a role model and contributed in many different ways to promoting diversity and inclusion at UToledo. Dr. Duggan is the founder/medical director of the Ryan White, HIV program which provides care to underprivileged individuals. She is a strong advocate for improving access to care for the LBGTQ community. Due to her efforts, UTMC has been recognized as a regional leader in providing care to this vulnerable population. Dr. Duggan is a tireless advocate for women's rights and equality in the workplace for staff and faculty. She constantly calls attention to the way women have been consciously and unconsciously disadvantaged, and the importance of addressing and correcting these inequalities. She is a role model for us all."

Anita Easterly, Ph.D.   

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Staff Career Achievement

Anita Easterly, Ph.D.

Education Manager, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology

Nominator Note: "Dr. Easterly is equipped with the highest fundamental ethical values. She operates with integrity and compassion to others. She is always willing to help faculty, staff, and students when needed and does it with a smile on her face. This type of behavior is what motivates and inspires individuals. She works closely with students and I see her interacting with them on a daily basis. They know that they can go to Anita whenever and she is always willing to help. Anita encourages them to continuously strive for excellence."

Celia Egan   

DEAN’S AWARD for Outstanding Staff Career Achievement

Celia Egan

Accountant III, College of Medicine and Life Sciences

Nominator Note: "Ms. Egan has remarkable work ethic and has displayed exemplary service to the department. She works very well with the faculty, staff, and students. The faculty work with her on a regular basis and have praised her for her knowledge and ability to troubleshoot any budget issues they may encounter. Celia works at a high level of standards and is not afraid to share ideas for improvements within the department and the University."

 

Lawrence Elmer, M.D., Ph.D. 

 

DEAN’S AWARD FOR Master Clinician

Lawrence Elmer, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neurology

Nominator Note: "Dr. Elmer runs a very highly regarded and productive Movement Disorders program at The University of Toledo. His program involves providing personalized and compassionate care to his patients as well as novel therapies through innovative clinical trials. Dr. Elmer is an extremely caring and compassionate physician who is adored and loved by his patients. During his clinics and attending on the inpatient service, he is constantly teaching and involving both students and residents in patient care. He is highly respected regionally and nationally as a thought leader in Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders. His research and expertise has been recognized and he has been the recipient of the Best Doctor's Award on multiple occasions.

Dr. Elmer has an excellent track record of scholarly activity related to his field of interest. He has published 12 book chapters, 52 peer review publications and many poster presentations at national and regional meetings.

He has been the recipient of the Golden Apple Teaching Award numerous times and was also the recipient of the Dean's Teaching Award. He has been instrumental in recruiting many young students to the field of neurology."

Jennifer Hill, Ph.D.

 

 

DEAN’S AWARD FOR Research Excellence in the Basic Science

Jennifer Hill, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology 

Nominator Note: "Dr. Jennifer Hill joined our faculty in 2009 and in over 12 years, she has received multiple NIH R01 and R21 grants, totaling over $7 million. Dr. Hill's research is celebrated by her peers in the field of Neuroendocrinology as evident through her multiple accolades, including the NIH/NICHD nominee for the Presidential Early Career award in 2016. Dr. Hill has published 50 publications in top-tier journals with high impact. Dr. Hill is a regular standing member of an NIH study section and an Editorial Board member of two journals. Besides being a leading authority in her field, she has trained 6 Ph.D. students who are now physicians or postdoctoral researchers in prestigious institutions, such as the Cleveland Clinic, Baylor and the University of California San Francisco. In summary, Dr. Hill is an excellent woman in science and a role-model for all women who choose to follow her path of excellence."

Katie Himich, LPN, LSSBB   

DEAN’S AWARD FOR Leadership Staff Excellence

Katie Himich, LPN, LSSBB

Program Director, Ryan White Program, Department of Medicine

Nominator Note: "Katie started as the Data Manager for the Ryan White (RW) Program in the Department of Medicine. It became quickly apparent that Katie's skills could enhance the program. Katie's role expanded and transformed the clinic experience for the RW patients. Her skills promoted her to quality manager, improving quality and bringing fresh ideas to the Ryan White Program and Department of Medicine. The University of Toledo Ryan White Program is now cited by HRSA and the HRSA project officer as a best practice site."

Lisa Johnston   

DEAN’S AWARD FOR Support Staff Excellence

Lisa Johnston

Secretary II, Department of Medicine 

Nominator Note: "Ms. Johnston is regarded by her peers as extremely knowledgeable and personable. Students, fellows, other trainees, faculty from multiple divisions/departments, staff members, and patients have made countless unsolicited comments concerning her helpfulness and friendliness. She is an excellent Ambassador for the University."

Andrew Kleinhenz, B.S.   

DEAN’S RISING STAR STAFF Award

Andrew Kleinhenz, B.S.

Biomedical Research Associate, Department of Medicine

Nominator Note: "Mr. Kleinhenz is genuinely committed to advancing the mission of The University of Toledo and continues to demonstrate this commitment every single day he comes to work. We have had the honor of working with Andrew for the past five years and we can attest to his positive loyal commitment to the University as he has been an outstanding resource for our students and colleagues and exhibits the highest ethical standards."

Deborah Krohn, M.Ed.   

DEAN’S AWARD FOR Staff Impact

Deborah Krohn, M.Ed.

Global Health Advisor, College of Medicine and Life Sciences 

Nominator Note: "As the Global Health Advisor, she's seen it all and has acted as a supportive ear to our students or a compassionate friend who will drop everything at all hours of the night. She is also always willing to helps others within our college and speak as an advocate for our students."

Michael Mattin, M.D.   

DEAN’S AWARD FOR PROMEDICA FACULTY TEACHING EXCELLENCE

Michael Mattin, M.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

Nominator Note: "Dr. Mattin has been instrumental in the continued education and training of the UToledo Emergency Medicine Residency and Clerkship Programs. He has placed considerable time and effort into helping to organize useful and current didactic sessions and include medical students into the clinical environment.

Xin Wang, M.D., Ph.D.   

DEAN’S AWARD for Clinical Research Excellence

Xin Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Nominator Note: "Dr. Wang conducts seminal work on the neurobiology and early predictors of PTSD and trauma. He uses cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques and has advanced the field of fMRI research significantly at The University of Toledo. Dr. Wang has forged collaboration at the local and national levels. Dr. Wang is a regular participant in national conferences and published in major journals. His research has received on-going competitive funding."

Dani Zoorob, M.D.   

DEAN’S AWARD FOR Advising Excellence

Dani Zoorob, M.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Nominator Note: "In addition to his work with our residents, Dr. Zoorob has taken it upon himself to develop and run an entire MS3/MS4 career advising program for students interested in OBGYN. The program includes literature writing groups for manuscript submissions, sessions on interviewing and multiple individual sessions. The number of students now interested in OBGYN have quintupled. Dr. Zoorob is a natural mentor and easily approachable by all. He completely changed the student paradigm in our department. He is one of those faculty who does whatever whenever. He additionally mentors residents as well as junior faculty. He purposely designs clinical research projects that are inclusive."


Watch the Virtual Reception

We honored faculty and staff members on Sept. 24, 2021, at a virtual reception for their dedication and commitment to the mission and goals of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and the University.


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Last Updated: 9/27/21