The Distinguished Staff Award, the university’s highest staff recognition, annually honors 12 outstanding staff members who have made a significant impact at The Ohio State University. Recipients are recognized for their exceptional leadership, accomplishments and service to Ohio State.
Award recipients are nominated and carefully chosen by the selection committee based on the following contributions:
- Enhancing the quality of work life for colleagues or customers
- Providing outstanding and ongoing service to university stakeholders
- Developing creative solutions to increase department or university operations
- Consistent demonstration of one or more of the university’s values
Recipients were celebrated and congratulated by Ohio State leaders, including President Michael V. Drake, MD, at a luncheon on Friday, May 4, at the Longaberger Alumni House. This year’s winners also received a $1,500 cash award, $700 base salary increase and crystal trophy. Additionally, the recipients will be honored on the field at Ohio Stadium during the September 22 Ohio State football game.
Congratulations to the 2018 Distinguished Staff Award recipients:
Heidi Basinger, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC
Nursing Director, James Women’s Health
The James Cancer Hospital
Heidi is a clinical mentor for those she leads, as well as a consultant to visiting administrators and clinical staff by providing knowledge from a nursing administrative perspective. She is known as an innovator who prioritizes patient care and promotes equal access for every patient. Heidi is a dedicated leader of the comprehensive breast program and has championed the implementation and strategic growth at the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center by increasing accessibility for breast cancer patients across Ohio and West Virginia.
Youth Policy and Special Projects Coordinator
Office of Human Resources
Known for her enthusiastic approach to promoting the safety and well-being of minors at Ohio State, Lindsay is also recognized nationally as a leader in her field. Lindsay has worked to establish policies, procedures and resources for more than 1,000 university programs that involve about 710,000 minors across the state each year, which was the largest such youth compliance effort of any university in the country. She is one of the founders of the first professional association for her peers in this line of work and is serving as the association’s first executive director.
Patient Access Coordinator
The James Cancer Hospital
As a mentor and trainer, Andreea has developed multiple programs to not only increase job satisfaction and productivity in the workplace, but to teach and engage team members within Polarity therapy and mindfulness practices to reduce workplace stress. Andreea has helped new hires feel welcome and implemented initiatives that promote employee wellness. Her dedication to compassionate patient care and her selfless commitment to fostering a positive workplace culture ultimately leads to improve the patient experience at The James Cancer Hospital.
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
As a United States Air Force veteran with a passion for student excellence, Ben has significantly influenced the success of military and veteran students, faculty and staff. Through his efforts of creating recognition programs, events and career development programs, the number of military students enrolled in CFAES has grown significantly in two years. Ben also leads the process for all CFAES campus change students transitioning to the Columbus campus from the Ohio State ATI and regional campuses by helping students make early connections with students, faculty, and staff, and feel welcome.
Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS)
In her efforts to help students feel included and be successful, Lynaya goes beyond her human resources and fiscal responsibilities. Through her involvement in launching the Community of Appalachian Student Leaders Program, she has been integral in helping underrepresented students from Appalachian counties succeed. Last year, she received an ASC Outstanding Staff Award for her endeavors in the department, such as launching the first department fundraiser, helping faculty secure grants, empowering graduate students and collaboratively launching outreach and engagement efforts.
Lauren Hensley, PhD
Senior Associate Director, Dennis Learning Center
College of Education and Human Ecology
Dr. Lauren Hensley’s insight, dedication and empathy have enabled her to positively impact thousands of Ohio State students, faculty and staff each year. She works tirelessly to sustain and improve programs offered by the DLC, develop collaborative solutions that advance the DLC and Ohio State’s mission and create engaging courses that help students overcome obstacles and ultimately succeed. As co-chair of the Academic Recovery Workgroup, she is instrumental in the success and retention of students.
The Ohio State University at Lima
Ron is a collaborative partner who embraces innovation and technology, which won him a 2017 Ohio State Lima Dedicated Staff Award. Continuously seeking ways to operate more efficiently, he implemented a recycling program that saved the campus $12,000 annually and managed construction and renovation projects that have enriched the student experience. As a member of Ohio State Lima Senior Leadership Team, Ron collaborates to develop strategic policies and procedures that benefit students, faculty and staff.
Graduate Program and Chair Coordinator
Department of Political Science
With a commitment to excellence, Courtney has implemented strategies and processes that help students, faculty and staff succeed. She has revolutionized the department’s database, innovated the admissions and financial aid process and implemented communications strategies that have furthered the department’s merit. Courtney’s leadership in Campus Campaign, Bucks for Charity and the University Staff Advisory Council further exemplify how she gives back to Ohio State.
Ross Heart Hospital
As a champion for exceptional patient care, Kelly has led initiatives such as creating a hospice partnership to improve the quality of life for patients, co-leading the plant-based diet initiative and developing the Ross Heart Hospital Community Garden. Additionally, as co-chair of Revenue Enhancement, she increased the Ohio State Health System’s revenue by more than 10 million dollars in one year. Kelly is also known for going above and beyond in her personal mentorship of students.
Department of Statistics
With a consistent focus on student access to education, Jean has helped students succeed, earn their degrees and grow as individuals. As a result of her efforts to increase access to statistics courses, more students graduate with the minor or complete their degrees earlier. Jean’s efforts have enhanced the educational experience of Ohio State students, and she is always going the extra mile to help faculty and instructors.
OSU Extension Putnam County
Norma was instrumental in piloting the OSU Extension shared support staff model, which set the standard for other OSU Extension processes across Ohio. Her reliability and work ethic have been influential in improving office operations and integral in the success of the Putnam County 4-H program. Through her leadership, Norma streamlined operations and reduced administrative costs in Putnam and the surrounding counties.
Program Director, Nutrition Services
Wexner Medical Center
Recognized nationally for culinary demonstrations, Jim has given patients, staff and the community skills to manage their health through better eating. He conceptualized the ideas of hospital-based gardens (James Garden of Hope at Waterman Farms and the Ross Community Garden) and developed strong partnerships with community nonprofit organizations. Jim’s innovative approaches and passion for healthy living make him a highly-respected clinical preceptor for the Medical Dietetics Program and a well-regarded national speaker.