Alumni Association announces 2020 award recipients

October 26, 2020

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The UNMC Alumni Association (UNMCAA) has announced its 2020 award recipients.

"Our alumni and these honorees make a difference in their profession, their communities, and for the university and we are proud of everything they have accomplished," said Catherine Mello, director of the UNMC Alumni Relations Office.

This year, the UNMCAA and its college-specific alumni councils are finding new ways to recognize the award recipients virtually in lieu of in-person gatherings, which were postponed due to the pandemic. Several Zoom award celebrations will take place -- learn more here.

A website that features photos, biographies and video acceptance remarks has been created to honor the recipients.

The 2020 alumni award recipients include:

College of Allied Health Professions

  • Karen Graulich Stiles, (Clinical Laboratory Science Class of 1978), Distinguished Alumnus Award

Graduate Studies Program

  • Archana Chatterjee, MD, PhD, (Class of 1993), Distinguished Alumnus Award;
  • Sara A. Myers, PhD, (Class of 2011), Early Career Achievement Award; and
  • Joyce Solheim, PhD, Honorary Alumnus Award.

College of Medicine

  • Van Vahle, MD, (Class of 1970), Distinguished Alumnus Award;
  • Richard Jackson, MD, (Class of 1969), Dedication to Student Excellence Award;
  • Daniel Hershberger, MD, (Class of 2010), Early Career Achievement Award; and
  • Sue Pope, Honorary Alumnus Award.

College of Nursing

  • Shelly Schwedhelm, MSN (BSN, 1991), Distinguished Alumnus Award;
  • Kosuke Niitsu, PhD, (BSN 2009, MSN 2013, PhD 2017), Nursing Excellence Award; and
  • Kellee Grimes, MBA, (BSN 2010), Dorothy Patach Spirit of Service Award.

College of Pharmacy

  • C. David Elm, PhD, (BS Class of 1963), Distinguished Alumnus Award

College of Public Health

  • Linda Ohri, PharmD, MPH, (Class of 1974, 2008), Distinguished Alumnus Award; and
  • Jocelyn Herstein, PhD, MPH, (Class of 2016, 2018), Early Career Achievement Award.

"Honoring our alumni for meritorious service is at the core of our mission," Mello said. "We hope we will have the opportunity to celebrate each recipient in-person at future events."

The College of Dentistry alumni will announce its 2020 award recipients at their reunion in the fall of 2021.


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Catherine Mello, Alumni Director
October 26, 2020 at 1:38 PM

Outstanding individuals, one and all. My sincere congratulations to this year's recipients! Thanks for all you do!