Here are the award recipients (information is excerpted from nomination materials):

Supervisor of the Year

Jesse Roman, MD, professor and chairman of the department of medicine, School of Medicine

“It is great that you have created this award because it gives me the opportunity to show my appreciation for people like Dr. Roman.”

Since arriving at UofL in 2009, Dr. Roman has established a thriving mentor program, advanced women and minorities and recruited faculty who have established new initiatives in lung health, congestive heart failure and gastrointestinal motility. His department totals the largest amount of research dollars at UofL ($33 million) and his own laboratory is one of the most well-funded. He frequently refers to the department as “family,” and makes it a point to get to know everyone as an individual. His door is always open for students, visitors, faculty and others despite a chaotic schedule that includes overseeing 10 division chiefs and up to 30 direct reports. He also makes time to provide health care to patients with lung disease at the Health Care Outpatient center and at the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Dr. Roman encourages his employees to support their families first and work second. He never promises what he cannot deliver, said one nominator, who added, “I always feel that we are headed in the right direction.” 

Outstanding Performance Awards


Simone Beach, associate director of the Law Clinic, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Simone has worked at the Law School for more than 15 years and is a licensed attorney. At the Law Clinic, where the primary work law students handle is to help low-income victims of domestic violence obtain protective orders, she counsels students and clients as they work to achieve the goal of safety for the victim. Simone is the first face people see when they enter the clinic, which provides a vital service to those unable to afford the services of a private attorney. While each student represents an average of 12 clients, Simone is involved in every case in some way, meaning her work has impacted an untold number of people who can be more at peace in their daily lives. Within the law school, many faculty members go to her for assistance, and she never turns them down.

Sheila D. Bridgeman, administrative associate, Office of University Counsel

Sheila assists with immigration work for foreign national faculty and staff. She began with the Office of University Counsel in 2010. She assists Amy Shoemaker, associate university counsel, in representing both UofL and our foreign-national engineers, scientists, professors, doctors and coaches before the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor and U.S. consulates overseas to obtain employment authorization for their jobs at UofL and affiliates. Navigating the bureaucracy of homeland security and immigration services can seem overwhelming to our new employees, and Sheila guides each of them with a compassionate and conscientious heart.

Luke Buckman, assistant director, student programming and development, University Honors Program

One of Luke’s chief job responsibilities is to advise honors students, a role in which he excels. He is not only adept at guiding students through course selection, he is able to uncover student interests and help them map out courses that will maximize their undergraduate experience, as well as identify important co-curricular experiences that will enhance their academic and civic learning. He has also taken considerable initiative in creating new programming for students, as well as engaging students in this programming and other campus activities. Largely due to his efforts, UofL has a vibrant and engaged honors student population. He has also played pivotal roles in the Service Living Learning Community, the Marin Luther King Jr. Scholars Program and the Board of Overseers Mentoring Program.

Joe Dablow, director, planning operations, Enrollment Management/Undergraduate Affairs

Joe, who among other things coordinates the May and December commencements, began at UofL in 2005 and moved to enrollment management in 2006, where he has become the “right hand man” for the vice provost of undergraduate affairs and enrollment management. Joe has continuously worked in progressively more responsible roles, interrupted only by an 11-month active-duty deployment to Iraq. His success in addressing the overall missions of undergraduate education and student service is extensive, including pivotal work with the financial aid office and with Cardinal Covenant students. He is a key contact for students who face difficult circumstances in their admission or persistence at UofL; he knows how to identify and resolve knotty administrative or bureaucratic issues that threaten their success. His outcomes benefit students while respecting the university’s requirements and expectations. He comes at all problems from a student-center position, and his bottom line is what is best for UofL students.

Lisa Hatter, nurse coordinator senior, Med/Liver Research

Lisa has worked for more than 10 years in the office Liver Research Center/Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. She helps launch studies and performs the necessary follow-up with sponsors, contractors, regulatory personnel and the UofL institutional review board. She also founded an annual community event for the public on treatments for hepatitis C and other liver diseases. Lisa’s outstanding patient care has endeared her to patients, who inquire about her years after a trial has concluded.

Karen Howe, executive assistant to the provost, Office of the Provost

Karen should get a “Lifetime Achievement” award for her service to the university and its students. A UofL employee for 40 years, she has served in different key positons, including as a member of the staff of the Board of Trustees. Today, she is known as the “go-to” person in the Office of the Provost. She is a critical thinker and creative problem solver and provides sound technical assistance when interpreting university policies and procedures. She is knowledgeable, efficient and able to multi-task so that all of the responsibilities and demands entailed in her position get done in a timely fashion. She is also a kind and caring person, and extends the same courtesy and professionalism to parents, students, university colleagues and board of trustee and community professionals. She is a model for what it means to be an exceptional support person in a very visible office.

Courtney Kerr, coordinator of academic services, School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies

Courtney has been on the staff of SIGS since 1998. She is the key provider of academic services for SIGS and the master’s and doctoral students at UofL.  She is the source for academic program assistance and support in graduate education. After each hooding ceremony, some grateful student sends Courtney flowers or a card thanking her for helping the student navigate the many requirements to finish the degree, for finding a last-minute academic gown for the student who forgot to order one, for encouraging the student about to give up. She was crucial to the detailed process of integrating all professional postgraduate specialty programs in the School of Dentistry with the Master of Science in Dentistry. She also helped establish a Health Sciences Center satellite office, saving students, staff and faculty trips from HSC to Belknap. She has been a key member of the Commencement team for many years, and has twice stepped in to organize the hooding ceremony. She takes great pride in the quality of her work, recognizing that one of the key measures of the success of a premier metropolitan research university is the number and quality of graduate degrees earned by its students.

Cheri Langley, PhD, program manager, Kent School of Social Work

Cheri is a program manager on a $4.8 million federal grant that focuses on teen pregnancy prevention.  Located on Shelby Campus, she leads a team of three full-time staff, a dozen graduate and undergraduate students and 50 part-time employees. Called CHAMPS—Creating Healthy Adolescents through Meaningful Prevention Services—the program ran 38 camps at 23 different community-based organizations between 2011 and 2014 to collect data. During that time, 1,450 youth between the ages 14 and 19 participated in the camps, as well as in follow-up sessions to collect additional data. She not only makes a very complicated project run smoothly and successfully, but also uses her superior relationship skills to nurture her research team, students, part-time employees, the agency leaders where CHAMPS Camps happen, and the parents and youth served in CHAMPS. Everyone feels positive about CHAMPS, and it can all be traced back to Cheri’s wonderful attitude, outreach efforts and the positive relationships she built. Her leadership has taken us to another level in our outreach in West Louisville.

Tim Moore, director, student activities and student center

Tim spends most of his day serving students, the public and UofL colleagues. He is in his seventh year as director of student involvement and the Student Activities Center. He oversees leadership and community service programs and social programming, working with 30 Greek organizations and nearly 400 student organizations. He is also responsible for Student Activities Center (SAC) operation. Tim and his staff host more than 8,000 events each year at the SAC and plan events for all 20,000 UofL students. When working with student groups, Tim’s goal is to give them a unique leadership experience they will be able to use later in their careers. He gives them opportunities to take on leadership roles, plan programs, work through problems and work within a budget. He presents at annual national conferences, is published in numerous professional publications and is recognized around the country as a dedicated and experienced professional. He is often called upon to provide consulting services and host national meetings.

Charles Nasby, technical production manager, Theatre Arts

Charles is responsible for managing operations of the scenery production shop for the Theatre Arts Mainstage shows, supervising all scenery and properties construction, working with the lighting and sound areas, occasionally assisting the costume shop and maintaining production and performance facilities in two buildings, all under the pressures of tight deadlines and tighter technical resources. He fulfills these duties with the assistance of mostly inexperienced student crews. Students learn the principles of theatre in the classroom; Charles introduces the students to the practical application of these principles. He is an uncredited teacher of technical skills to would-be actors and technicians, guiding them safely through their first exposure to scenic production and carpentry. He is also dedicated to making Theatre Arts the campus benchmark for sustainability, exploring new ideas of reducing the department’s environmental footprint through redistribution and recycling.

Jenny Sawyer, executive director, Undergraduate Admissions

For more than 15 years, Jenny has been one of the most recognized faces of UofL. She has directed, worked with, encouraged and supported our admissions officers and other admissions staff to provide the recruitment, admission and orientation services upon which many of the strategic goals of the university depend. Her work for the university and the students is also exemplified in other arenas, such as her campus committee work. She is a longtime member of the provost’s Task Force on Tuition and Fee Setting, has helped advanced UofL’s strategic plans and is on the provost’s work group on persistence to graduation. She possesses a passionate belief in the success of individual students, especially those in difficult circumstances who get her designation as special pumpkins. Her intensive service over many years has had an impact not just on recruitment and admissions, but also on retention, persistence and the overall undergraduate student career path at UofL.

Pamela Taylor, administrative assistant for the dental clinic operation manager

Pamela has worked for the School of Dentistry since 1993. Today, she is the primary clinical support staff in an office that serves 480 dental students, 60 dental hygiene students and more than 300 faculty and staff. She develops and maintains all clinical calendars. She schedules CPR for all clinical personnel and ensures that everyone has a current certification. She also schedules clinical assignments for all D3 and D4 students, a task that takes extreme attention to detail and involves more than 50,000 individual entries to ensure each student has the schedule they need to graduate. When the School of Dentistry transitioned from paper records to an electronic health record, Pamela became an expert on the processes needed for documentation and patient care in EHR and is a leader among her peers. She is the liaison to dental licensure boards in preparation for onsite testing of dental and dental hygiene candidates and serves on the steering committee for Smile Kentucky.

L. Kathy Ward, administrative assistant to the executive vice president for research and innovation

Kathy serves the needs of thousands of members of the UofL community who are actively involved in research and other scholarly activity, including our students, staff, faculty and research administrators. She is a significant ambassador for UofL and strengthens our interactions with a variety of external stakeholders, including the mayor’s office, the Kentucky General Assembly and the legislative delegation in Washington, DC. She plays an essential role in management, analysis and reporting for programs and advisory groups such as the Bucks for Brains Research College Trust Fund Program, the UofL Internal Research Initiation Grant Program the and UofL Distinguished University Scholars Program. The quality of her work is consistently superior and her work ethic is a shining example to others in the office. She anticipates needs and offers solutions. She is always kind, attentive to the needs of others and infused with a can-do attitude. She finds ways to make things happen.



Laura Lori Cotter, administrative specialist, A&S dean’s office

Lori has been at UofL since 2004 and in the A&S dean’s office since 2011. As an administrative specialist in the A&S Budget and Finance Office, some of her duties include reconciling A&S accounts with university financials, processing travel forms and managing procurement card reconciliation and purchases made from dean’s office funds.  A number of her responsibilities span the entire college, which is made up of more than 400 full-time faculty, more than 70 degree programs in 24 departments and more than a dozen centers and institutes. She manages 125 active ProCards in A&S and works hard to ensure others in A&S abide by ProCard policies. Her work is consistently accurate and timely in meeting deadlines.

Annelise Gray, program assistant senior, graduate programs (English)

Annelise often seems less a program assistant and more a program quarterback—the team member who makes sure everyone else is where they need to be, and that they also know what they need to do. In the fall, she makes sure the third-year PhD students have rooms, committees and questions for their qualifying exams. She also coordinates the collection of prospectus and committee documents from PhD and MA students in candidacy, rolling admissions for our MA program and any special circumstances requiring a program variance. In the spring, Annelise will be responsible for compiling admissions materials from well over 100 students seeking entrance to our MA and PhD programs. In coordinating recruiting weekend, she makes sure everything runs on time and within budget. Her initiative has led to a number of key improvements in the graduate program that have greatly improved the manner in which students approach and conduct graduate work. She also developed internship courses into a more solid program, compiling an internship handbook, creating assessment options and approaching potential community and corporate partners.



Andra Cummings, manager, IT Design & Printing

Andra manages pre-press design, production printing and outsourced printing for Information Technology. His shop produces millions of pages of classroom materials, press packets, brochures, annual reports, business cards, proposals and other documents each year. Nearly half of the considerable work required in the print shop is required in one day or less—sometimes there are only a few hours to get the job done.  Despite the pressure, Andra inspires and energizes his team. He was an essential partner in reinventing the print shop, which in 2009 had accumulated a significant deficit. With his help, the print shop posted a positive balance last year for the first time in the history of printing at UofL.


Skilled Craft/Service Workers

Robert Churchill II, custodian, Physical Plant

Robert has worked for UofL for more than three years and was assigned to Ekstrom Library’s Archives and Special Collections area in 2013. His mere presence can brighten a room. Not only his co-workers on the custodial staff, but those working in Archives and Special Collections, stand up a little straighter, move a little faster and act a little more gracious when Robert comes through. His work affects the work of everyone in the office and his performance affects the public perception of the library. Robert has assumed responsibility for the environment that contributes to the library’s success. He has established a golden age of clean: gleaming floors, spotless surfaces, constant maintenance, all accomplished cheerfully and with sensitivity to researchers at work. Areas formerly accepted as too old and worn to ever be clean again are transformed under Robert’s care.

Charles “Chuck” Johnson, roofer, Physical Plant

Chuck has worked for UofL for 11 years as a roofer on all three campuses. He has the daunting responsibility of making sure that the roofs of more than 135 buildings on all three campuses do not leak. He accomplishes this task with one employee assisting him in his daily duties. It is a technical job requiring a skill set that Chuck has mastered over 30 years working in the field. Roofs at UofL consist of different types of systems, all manufactured by different companies and installed by various roofing contractors. Chuck is dauntless in honing his skillset within the industry through attending seminars on his own and in conjunction with his duties at UofL. He is on call 24 hours a day and responds to roofing leaks as soon as he possibly can. He is often the first respondent to an area and the voice and face of Physical Plant, speaking calmly to building occupants who have to deal with water in their office, laboratory or classroom.  He distinguished himself through his work helping the Belknap Campus recover after a 2012 hailstorm that damaged more than 65 roofs. His commitment freed the university from hiring consultants to plan, coordinate and oversee work done by contractors to repair the damage, saving thousands of dollars. Last year, UofL completed its last roofing replacement project due to the storm.

Darnell Taylor, custodial supervisor, Physical Plant

Darnell is supervisor of Custodial Services zone 5 in the Physical Plant. He works with and manages a team of 10 full-time employees who service the athletic fields such as Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center, Marshall Center, Cardinal Park and many others. He was instrumental in the successful launch and care of the new Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Soccer Stadium and Complex. He is the main contact for daily custodial needs to the athletic facilities and is also the lead supervisor in the custodial post-event cleanup for Cardinal football games and other events at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Darnell works hard to support his staff and can often be seen working alongside his staff to get the job done and inspire them towards a high quality result. He is proactive in training employees on everything from floor refinishing protocols to new equipment for routine custodial use. He has high standards and challenges each employee to improve his/her own skills. He insists on work that reflects positively on UofL and the Physical Plant department, and can be relied upon to perform to the highest expectations.



Janet Cappiello covers student success for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since 2014.