Dean recognizes three staff members with service awards

School of Medicine employees also honored for years of service

Three employees at Washington University School of Medicine were recently honored by Larry Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, for outstanding service, commitment and dedication to the medical school.

The Dean’s Distinguished Service Award, considered to be the medical school’s highest form of staff recognition, recognizes employees who excel in their job responsibilities, help create a positive working environment and improve the community. That award went to Lisa Kessels, clinical research nurse coordinator in the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.

“Particularly with the patients with whom she works, Lisa takes the time needed to assist them in understanding their underlying disease and providing support to help them have success,” says Turner Overton, MD, assistant professor of medicine and site leader of the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.

Kessels is also involved with the St. Louis AIDS Nursing Association and serves as vice chair of a clinical care committee of the National Institutes of Health-funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group. In addition, she works for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Answer Line and serves as a volunteer patient advocate helping parents of children with cancer navigate the health-care system.

Jennifer Zoole, clinical research specialist in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, received the Dean’s Research Support Staff Award.

“If attitude makes the difference between getting tasks done and making them fun, Jennifer is the epitome of great attitude,” says Bryan Meyers MD, the Patrick and Joy Williamson Endowed Professor of Surgery and chief of the Section of Thoracic Surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Tracey Guthrie, director of clinical research in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. “She inspires everyone around her with her dedication and caring. In a large organization, it is possible for small, nagging issues to slip through the cracks, but Jennifer never lets the ‘not my job’ syndrome get in the way of excellent service.”

Heather Shaw, division administrator in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, received the Operations Staff Award.

“Heather handles a large work load while at the same time makes sure to take the time to work with her staff in groups and individually and provides positive motivation for them to do their best work,” says Shari Farber, executive director of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. “She is a very empathetic individual who always has the employees’ best interests at heart, and they know this about her. The department is truly a better place to work because of Heather.”

On June 11, School of Medicine employees were recognized for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service. For a list of employees honored for years of service, visit