Three School of Medicine Staff Recognized at Annual Staff Assembly Awards Ceremony

Guests listen to Chancellor Kim Wilcox at the Staff Assembly Outstanding Staff Awards. Justin Kuo

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Three members of the UC Riverside School of Medicine team were honored with awards at the annual Staff Assembly Outstanding Staff Awards at the home of Chancellor Kim Wilcox and Diane Del Buono on Monday, June 6, 2016.

It marked the second consecutive year that the School of Medicine had three staff members recognized at the end-of-the-year event.

Amber Nicholson of the Health Professions Advising Center and Dawn Demeritte of School of Medicine Undergraduate Education each received Staff Who Make a Difference awards, Nicholson in the professional category and Demeritte in the service category. Thomas Oliver of the Department of Biomedical Sciences was recipient of the People Helping People award.

Photos of the recipients, as well as excerpts from their nominations, appear below. A full list of all the winners and nominees is available on the Staff Assembly website.

Staff Who Make a Difference, Professional – Amber Nicholson

Assistant Director/Advisor for Health Professions Advising Center
Amber Nicholson received the Staff Who Make a Difference - Professional award. Carrie Rosema

Amber Nicholson received the Staff Who Make a Difference – Professional award.
Carrie Rosema

Excerpts from Amber’s nomination:

“Amber is a true professional in every sense of the word. Every day she arrives to campus ready to work with students who utilize the services of the Health Professions Advising Center… Amber’s impact on the Tartan community stems from her desire to help students beyond their academic challenges and achievements. Amber makes it a point to ask her students about their life and the little things to create a more welcome and friendlier advisor/advisee environment. Her students acknowledge this and are very quick to say ‘hello’ during an impromptu stop to HPAC or if they run into her on campus or in the community.”

“Amber takes her role as pre-health advisor very seriously. She makes it a point to reach out to students who are struggling and to acknowledge students who do something great or have been accepted into a health professions program. Amber strives to support students in many communities, especially students who hail from disadvantaged backgrounds. We see this mostly present in her outreach to UCR School of Medicine pipeline programs, where Amber presents to outreach programs such as Future Physician Leaders, Elma Vines Society, and SOM Community Open Houses.  Her participation in these programs are key as she understands the diversity these students bring to campus and (the future of health professions) but Amber also knows how to approach these students and knows the various struggles that many of them face. Her commitment to meet them where they are and to help them navigate the path to move forward shows her understanding and dedication of reaching all students and backgrounds.”

Staff Who Make a Difference, Service: Dawn Demeritte

Executive Assistant, Undergraduate Medical Education
Dawn Demeritte received the Staff who Make a Difference - Service award.

Dawn Demeritte received the Staff who Make a Difference – Service award.Carrie Rosema

Excerpts from Dawn’s nomination:

“Dawn effectively manages the entire education team. This consists in managing three administrators, five directors, six coordinators, one medical librarian, six core faculty, and over 300 additional faculty. Dawn keeps everyone happy by going above and beyond her assigned duties. As an example, Dawn oversees all of the team’s travel for a team that presents over 15 times per year at national research conferences. Not many people can balance the heavy load she balances, and be able to perform at a high level while keeping everyone happy. However, Dawn manages to take care of all of us with a poise and grace that is rarely seen.”

“A key example of Dawn’s innovation is her ability to take skill sets acquired from working other positions, and apply them to needs within her current position. As mentioned above, our education is highly active in presenting research at nation conferences. Dawn orders posters, schedules flights and hotels, puts together travel packets with all the necessary information, and then handles all reimbursement processes when we return. Prior to Dawn’s arrival, we often failed to have all components covered, and regularly received reimbursements months after returning from conferences. Since Dawn’s arrival, none of us have had to wait beyond two weeks to be reimbursed.”

“Dawn is truly a team player. She seems to always do the things asked of her exceptionally well. In addition, Dawn always genuinely seeks to find ways of assisting members of our team with any additional work regardless of whether it is in her job description or not. It is clear that she is invested in the success and welfare of the team, department, school, and university. She is embraces everyone I see her interact with. Virtually anyone I speak to who knows her thinks highly of her. Dawn is the type of employee you want to clone, so there is more of her to go around to elevate the productivity and profile of the organization!”

People Helping People Award: Thomas Oliver

Project Coordinator, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Thomas Oliver received the People Helping People award. Carrie Rosema

Thomas Oliver received the People Helping People award.
Carrie Rosema

Excerpts from Thomas’ nomination:

“By hosting and volunteering at fundraisers, Thomas helps these organizations provide clinical counseling and internship programs, food banks, social and recreational services, cyber center and periodic special events in the community. He has volunteered at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, Ocotillo Club events, Dress Red-Red Dress gala, private parties and Dining Out for Life – helping raise over $250,000 this past season. Over the past nine months, he has happily donated over 200 hours of service to five non-profits in the Inland Empire.”

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