Thirteen remarkable staff employees have been chosen to receive Ohio State’s highest staff recognition, the 2022 Distinguished Staff Award. Congratulations to the recipients who have been recognized for greatly contributing to the university’s mission and demonstrating Ohio State values.
Annually, recipients are nominated and selected based on their exceptional leadership and dedication. To be considered for a Distinguished Staff Award, nominations are submitted and carefully reviewed by the selection committee. Each nomination is assessed on criteria consistent with the university’s values, the individual’s unique contributions to enhance the quality of work life for faculty, staff, students or patients, outstanding and ongoing service to university stakeholders, and/or creative solution developed that positively impacted department or university operations.
This year, one exceptional recipient was awarded the Presidential Staff Award, a special distinction for a nominee who demonstrates university values, as well as an exceptional commitment to diversity, community engagement, affordable education and access for all students.
The 2022 Presidential Staff Award recipient is:
David Graham, PhD
Assistant Vice Provost for Student Academic Success, Transition and Academic Growth
Office of Student Academic Success (OSAS)
Dr. David Graham is a compassionate, strategic leader who makes data-informed decisions to support all undergraduate students, specifically providing programs and assistance to students who have historically been marginalized or excluded from higher education. Through developing collaborations across all colleges across the university, Dr. Graham focuses on providing direct student support to eliminate achievement gaps in addition to increasing retention and graduation rates. Dr. Graham was also instrumental in developing the OSAS Diversity and Inclusion Council, and he has passionately led and sponsored discussions and workshops on the topic of racial injustice.
The 2022 Distinguished Staff Award recipients are:
Executive Director, Network Development and Outreach
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Tom Blincoe’s focus on building collaborative relationships with state-wide healthcare organizations makes a positive impact across the state of Ohio. His work has increased patient access to specialty care, enabled collaboration amongst hospitals and resulted in reduced patient and operating costs. Additionally, Tom has been instrumental in large scale projects that help patients across the state, including developing the TeleStroke Network to deliver critical expertise to patients across Ohio, mobilizing operations to deliver COVID-19 test kits across the state, and creating an outreach and engagement team as part of The Ohio State University Health Network to create a partnership of rural Ohio hospitals. Through his commitment to robust volunteering and mentoring efforts, Tom’s contributions reach across the community to positively influence countless individuals.
Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing
College of Public Health
Misti Crane has elevated the role of communications in the College of Public Health by building a proactive communications structure that capitalizes on the strengths of the expertise in the college. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Misti was a key thought partner and essential contributor. She provided guidance on public health messages and was helpful in ensuring students, faculty and staff could return to campus safely. Additionally, Misti conceptualized and launched the college’s first electronic magazine, garnered national and local media coverage, shares her time in the classroom and increased social media engagement. Misti’s collaborative approach, integrity and openness makes her a trusted advisor in the college and across Ohio State.
Director, Office of Academic Programs and Student Services (OAPSS)
College of Public Health
Kynthia Droesch’s contributions to making access to education easier and less stressful has benefited past, current and prospective students at the College of Public Health. Kynthia helped launch the Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree by creating student resources such as curriculum guides, handbooks and processes, as well as implementing best practices for student advising and student success. Additionally, Kynthia developed a Public Health Student Ambassador Program, initiated an OAPSS Student Advisory Committee and works with Counseling and Consultation Services to implement a student study break each term. Kynthia is also engaged in a variety of organizations, including the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Ohio State’s University Staff Advisory Committee, and workgroups across the university.
Senior Director of Ambulatory Services
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Throughout his career at Ohio State, Ryan Haley has been a contributor to advancing a culture of innovation and transformation. Ryan’s leadership, planning and ability to make continual improvement led to “Shots at the Schott,” the successful mass COVID-19 vaccination initiative where 3,900 people were vaccinated in a single day at its peak and more than 225,000 total vaccinations administered at that location over roughly a 4 month period. Additionally, Ryan improved efficiency in ambulatory services while improving patient access and care. He developed a standard scorecard for family medicine and led the effort to bring together the advanced practice providers. Ryan’s colleagues praise his ability to bring big ideas to life while staying true to Ohio State’s values.
Associate Director, Employee and Labor Relations
Office of Human Resources
Kristi Hoge’s reputation is one of collaboration, care, reliability and leadership in advancing university priorities that span a variety of sensitive and complex topics. Her lasting impact on the health and safety of employees comes from her selfless work to make Ohio State a highly regarded, equitable and supportive place to learn and work. Kristi handles individual, sensitive employee relations situations with compassion and a focus on doing the right thing. She has also been a critical leader and influential contributor to high-level projects, including playing a key role in Ohio State’s and HR’s COVID-19 response, leading programs that address sexual misconduct, launching Ohio State Tobacco Free and overseeing Ohio State’s Crisis Assessment Team.
Assistant Director, Applied Microbiology Services Laboratory
Academic Affairs, Infectious Diseases Institute
Jeff Jahnes’ leadership and commitment has been crucial to advancing the research and teaching missions of the Applied Microbiology Services Laboratory. His efforts enable the department to operate more efficiently, and he plays a critical role in safety processes for research and teaching. Jeff established the Applied Microbiology Services Laboratory, which led to sponsorship and outreach programs for the department, as well as a new undergraduate course and minor program. Not only was Jeff invaluable in establishing infrastructure for remote learning in spring 2020, his leadership also led to improvements in the COVID-19 testing program to increase capacity to 50,000 tests per week and save the university millions of dollars through the testing service.
Assistant to the Chair, Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity and
Program Administrator, Master of Science in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis
College of Medicine
Amy Kennedy is recognized for her drive to go above-and-beyond in support of the department’s critical missions, with expanded roles in education, diversity, and wellness initiatives. With genuine care and investment in the welfare of faculty, staff and students, Amy embodies both the Buckeye Spirit and university values. In addition to her everyday duties, Amy enriches the department’s culture by being a Buckeye Wellness Innovator, co-chairing the department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, contributing to the Networking, Health and Wellness Committee, becoming a certified Mental Health First Aid Responder, and through her memberships in the LGBTQ Employee Resource Group, Veteran’s Employee Resource Group, and the Diversabilities Employee Resource Group.
Senior Director, Graduate Career Management
Fisher College of Business
Jamie Mathews-Mead has an incredible impact on many different stakeholders of the Fisher College of Business, including students, colleagues, her corporate network and alumni. With a sincere, genuine desire to help others, she creates positive and lasting enhancements to help students embark on successful careers in business. She is known as an effective career consultant for students, as well as for her ability to build key relationships with corporate and university partners, cultivate an engaged alumni network, lead highly effective cross-functional teams and spearhead numerous college and university committees. Jamie’s positive, inclusive approach is what helps her succeed in making improvements to the college’s and university’s processes that will leave a legacy.
Director of Professional Practice
The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
Diana McMahon is committed to improve the knowledge, morale and resilience of nursing staff while elevating compassionate patient care. Through providing consultation, supporting a variety of initiatives, along with designing and facilitating education, Diana establishes a culture of excellence where nurses have the resources they need for professional growth and autonomy. Diana has been instrumental in developing programming to assist staff who work with patients who are nearing the end of life, are dealing with upsetting situations or are facing fatigue or burnout. Especially throughout the pandemic, Diana’s compassion and empathy, as well as the focus of her work, has been appreciated by staff.
Digital Media and eLearning Specialist, Department of History
College of Arts and Sciences
Laura Seeger has expanded the digital instruction and online presence of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching, while demonstrating grace and a calm demeanor to provide key services in support of faculty, staff and students. Recognized as a catalyst for high-quality digital resources and online instruction, Laura manages the department’s e-magazine that is viewed by 3 million people around the world each year, in addition to designing and overseeing creation of videos consumed in classrooms globally and producing a history podcast that is used across United States. As well, to accommodate changes from the pandemic, Laura facilitated the departments’ rapid and notably smooth transition to virtual and hybrid learning.
Manager, Academic Advising, Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering
College of Engineering
Barry Tolchin is an extraordinary advisor to approximately 800 students and has made significant contributions in the department, college and university. With a consistent willingness to foster a sense of belonging, Barry has implemented programs that have improved student retention rates and reduced student stress. He has tremendously grown the department’s Industry Mentorship Program, as well as worked to create a more holistic major admission process to significantly improve the ability to admit underrepresented students. Additionally, Barry is a certified REACH Suicide Prevention Program instructor, is engaged in the college’s Inclusive Excellence Program and has served as an officer in Ohio State’s Academic Advising Association.
Program Manager, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
College of Medicine
Trish Weber has a reputation for being the “backbone” of the department and her influence extends well beyond the residency program she manages. Her organizational skills, dedication, high emotional intelligence, professionalism and leadership have impacted countless students and faculty members. Trish diligently develops successful resident and medical student education programs, coordinates fellow education, supports faculty development and assists with credentialing. Trish is appreciated for her steady, optimistic, dependable source of wisdom, advice and ideas, as well as her commitment to the sight-saving mission of the department in research, education and service.