Dear Colleagues,

Over the course of my career in academic medicine, one thing has become abundantly clear: a medical school is only as strong as its staff. Here at the MU School of Medicine, we have staff members who are committed to seeing our students, our school and our health system thrive.

In my role as dean, I have been able to get to know many of the staff members who make our medical school run smoothly. One such group of employees is the Staff Advisory Committee, which plays a vital role for our school by serving as a voice for staff to communicate comments and concerns to administration. This connection to administration is crucial as we all work together to make the MU School of Medicine the best medical school it can be. 

Each year, the committee hosts an annual awards reception to celebrate staff who exemplify the school’s mission, vision and values. I was honored to recently take part in this year’s awards ceremony.

This year, the Excellence in Teamwork award was presented to staff in our admissions and student programs. This team exemplifies our school’s values through their responsible commitment to the welfare of all Mizzou medical students. The team works collaboratively with one another, truly supporting each member’s activities and programs. This diverse group builds inclusion through sharing lunch hours and personal milestones, while valuing and learning each persons’ culture with compassion.

Excellence in Teamwork award winners
Congratulations to staff in admissions and student programs.

The Outstanding Staff Award was presented to Robin Clay in our student programs and admissions office. As a recruiter, he reaches out to potential underrepresented minority (URM) candidates and works with them through the application process, which has resulted in an increased number of URM students coming to our medical school. He created a twice-monthly inclusivity symposium for all prospective applicants, which gives them with an opportunity to learn more about the school and our culture.

Robin Clay was honored for his admissions outreach efforts.
Robin Clay was honored for his admissions outreach efforts.

In addition to the yearly recognition awards, STAR (Special Thanks and Recognition) Award recipients from throughout the year were also recognized. These staff members are nominated by other staff, faculty or students. Staff honored with this award included:

  • Diane Herigon
  • Gina Silvey
  • Danielle Fraser
  • Kody Guest
  • Tammy Ellebracht
  • Julie Squires
  • Lisa Putting
  • Min Li
  • Jessica Love
  • Vicki Jones
  • Beth Mayhew
  • Nancy Walker

Two outgoing committee officers were also thanked with the Service Recognition Award: Sheila Holder, treasurer, and Brigitte Tollett, recorder.

Congratulations to all of our wonderful staff and thank you to the Staff Advisory Committee for all you do for our school!


Rick Barohn, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean, School of Medicine