Celebrating Outstanding Contributions

Thirty Cummings School employees receive awards for excellence in three new categories
Cummings staff who are receiving awards pose for a picture
Staff excellence and recognition awards, length of service honorees.

Thirty Cummings School employees received awards for excellence and over 60 were recognized for celebrating five years of service at the Cummings Appreciation Lunch and Excellence Awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 18.

The school replaced its Exceptional Service Awards with three new annual award categories:

  • Cummings School Staff Excellence Awards
  • Staff Teaching and Mentorship Awards
  • Faculty Community Leadership Awards

Award recipients were selected from candidates nominated by their campus colleagues. The new awards are intended to complement the school’s awards for faculty research and teaching, as well as those for house officers (residents and interns), and the Tufts Distinction Awards.

Staff Excellence Awards

Recognizing outstanding staff who contribute in a positive and productive manner to the mission, work environment, sense of community, and/or culture of Cummings School, recipients possess the ideas, attitudes, talents, and characteristics embedded in the school’s culture and community to ensure its continued success.

This year’s 20 recipients are:

    • Ian Burch, Emergency and Critical Care Service, Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals
    • Jaime Bowman, Hospital for Large Animals
    • Sherry Castonguay, Animal Resources
    • Lisa Cosco, Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals
    • Jim Diamantopoulos, Tufts Technology Services
    • Suzanne Duncan, Webster Family Library
    • Jill Franko, Department of Clinical Services
    • Jennifer Hartman, Hospital for Large Animals
    • Pamela Houde, Tufts at Tech
    • Jean Kaseta, Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals
    • Jennifer Keefe, Department of Infectious Disease & Global Health
    • Lynn Knight, Luke & Lily Lerner Spay/Neuter Clinic
    • Stephen Libuda, Office of the Dean
    • Laura Maki, Hospital for Large Animals
    • Dawn Meola, Department of Clinical Sciences
    • Lori Muhr, Department of Clinical Sciences
    • Mike Santasieri, Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals
    • Janine Stuczko, Department of Comparative Pathobiology
    • Fawn Toy, Animal Resources
    • Kara Witt, Office of Academic Affairs

Dean Cribb shared some kind words for each recipient prior to receiving their award, summarizing the submissions of their nominators. Recognizing Sherry Castonguay, he noted, “She treats her position as more than just a job but as a challenge to bring comfort and understanding to animals. She makes sure their lives matter.”

In characterizing Dawn Meola, he said, “She not only manages the lab to make sure that everyone has what they need to do their work, she also mentors students, residents, research interns, and other research technicians, in addition to performing her own laboratory work.

Staff Teaching and Mentorship Awards

Recognizing outstanding contributions to the educational mission of the school through direct teaching, coaching, and/or mentorship of students, recipients have the ideas, attitudes, talents, and characteristics engrained in the school’s educational culture to ensure its continued success as a dynamic learning environment.

The six recipients are Kim Gaspie, Animal Resources; Joseph Popowski, Department of Clinical Sciences; Rick Rego, Department of Comparative Pathobiology; Cheryl Stockman, Diagnostic Lab; Beth Timlege, Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals; and Kate Zukowski, Department of Clinical Sciences.

Dean Cribb lauded Kim Gaspie, explaining “She provides invaluable support to the faculty while she patiently guides often-nervous students through the labs. Kim is an excellent role model to students, peers, and investigators. She works hard, stays late, and sees a project through to completion without being asked.”

Faculty Community Leadership Awards

Recognizing faculty who demonstrate leadership in building a positive, sustainable, inclusive culture and community at Cummings School and/or growing strong relationships with community stakeholders, recipients demonstrate the attitudes, talents, contributions, and characteristics embedded in the school’s culture and community to ensure its continued success.

This year’s four recipients are Francisco Conrado, Department of Comparative Pathobiology; David Hernke, Department of Ambulatory Medicine and Theriogenology; Joyce Knoll, Department of Comparative Pathobiology; and Cynthia Levielle-Webster, Department of Clinical Sciences.

Dean Cribb shared some of David Hernke’s contributions. “He provides leadership of student club activities and client outreach events and has organized several events each semester to provide students with extracurricular hands-on experiences, selflessly offering his own time on weekends or early mornings to allow students to get experiences they would not otherwise get within the curriculum.”

Commemorating Five Years of Service

Employees who have completed five years of service to Cummings School were invited to be recognized at Wednesday’s event. Due to the pandemic, a ceremony celebrating these lengths of service awards was not held the past two years, so this year’s group included employees who reached this milestone in either 2020, 2021, or 2022.

Nemo Award presentation

Cummings School’s Nemo Award is named in memory of a beloved former service animal of the Paws for People program and presented to a member of the program who has shown the true spirit of a therapy animal team. Dean Cribb presented this award to Deb Gibbs for her work with good friend and longtime Paws for People therapy dog, Boo. “Along with Deb, Boo was an incredible ambassador, educating students, practitioners, and future therapy animal teams about the benefits of safe and effective animal visitation,” said Cribb.

Congratulations and thank you to all employees for their service and contributions to Cummings School and its students.