On September 12, faculty and staff from Old Dominion University (ODU) College of Health Sciences came together for a Welcome Back and Awards Ceremony. The event began with socializing, providing an opportunity for colleagues to reconnect and share their experiences.

Dean Bonnie van Lunen, PhD, kicked off the event by welcoming Barbara Hargrave, PhD, to deliver a special presentation. The ODU College of Health Sciences was presented with the "Our Students Matter" award in recognition of the highest percentage of faculty at ODU who completed the Kognito Mental Health Training Unit. This program was designed to equip faculty and staff with skills for identifying and assisting students in distress, addressing issues such as dropouts and suicide prevention.

Dean Van Lunen welcomed, University President Brian O. Hemphill, PhD, whodelivered an informative presentation on higher education in the country, ODU's enrollment, growth, and potential. He engaged with faculty and staff in a lively Q&A session, fostering insightful discussions.

The event culminated with the presentation of awards by Jessica Suedbeck, Chair of the Awards Committee. Recipients of these awards included:

  • Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award: Ellie Luethy, recognized for her exceptional teaching records and contributions to student success.
  • Outstanding Staff Award: Nadine White, lauded for her outstanding dedication, competence, and customer service, benefiting both faculty and students.
  • Outstanding Doctoral Mentor Award: Daniel Russell, honored for his unwavering commitment to mentoring graduate students in the College of Health Sciences.
  • Outstanding Mentor Award: Julie Cavallario, recognized for her sustained mentorship of students, staff, and faculty, making a positive impact in the community and the profession.
  • Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award: Brenda Bradshaw, commended for her enthusiastic teaching and service, elevating education in the dental hygiene field.
  • Outstanding Researcher Award: Ryan McCann, celebrated for his prolific research contributions and mentoring role in the athletic training program.
  • Rising Star Adjunct Award: Ashley Suttmiller, acknowledged for her outstanding early career teaching in the Master of Science of Athletic Training program.
  • Rising Star Faculty: Rachel Childs, praised for her excellent teaching records and dedication as a Clinical Assistant Professor.
  • Rising Star Researcher: Emily Ludwig, honored for her outstanding scholarly activity and national recognition in dental hygiene.

The event showcased the dedication and excellence of the college's faculty and staff, reinforcing their commitment to education and student well-being.