Penn State Hershey showcases awards and honors

August 06, 2014

To recognize the achievements of faculty, staff, students and volunteers at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, the following list of awards and honors that may be of public interest has been compiled for the quarter of April 1 to June 30, 2014. Photos may be available upon request.


Harbaugh named SNS president-elect

Dr. Robert Harbaugh, professor and chair of the Penn State Hershey Department of Neurosurgery and director of the Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute, has been chosen as president-elect of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS). The SNS is the oldest neurological society in the world and includes leaders in neurosurgical residency education. Harbaugh also serves as president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and as vice-chair of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

Chambers assumes role as SCAI president

Dr. Charles Chambers, co-director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute, has been inducted as president of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). Chambers was inducted at the SCAI 2014 Scientific Sessions, where he vowed to focus on the organization’s quality improvement efforts, calling them “one of the most important ways that we are furthering SCAI’s mission.” Chambers also chairs SCAI’s Cath Lab Survey Committee and is former chair of the organization’s Public Relations and Laboratory Performance Standards committees.

Miller named ELAM Fellow

Dr. Barbara Miller has been named to the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program at Drexel University College of Medicine. Miller, chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, was one of 54 women chosen for the year-long, part-time program. ELAM Fellows are trained for senior leadership roles at academic health science institutions.

Whitfield named first OSLER senior scholar

Carol Whitfield has been named the first senior scholar in the newly launched Office for Scholarship in Learning and Educational Research (OSLER) at Penn State College of Medicine. She assumed the role on July 1. To ensure the success of her new role and focus on her many active teaching, mentoring and educational research projects, Whitfield has left her role as associate dean for the Pre-Clinical Curriculum. Whitfield joined the College of Medicine as a research associate after completing her doctorate in physiology at George Washington University Medical Center. As a senior scholar, she will help to expand the services of OSLER, continue to teach and mentor medical students and focus on educational research projects.

Mathew awarded Jeffries Professorship

Dr. Abraham Mathew, professor of medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, was recently awarded the Graham H. Jeffries Professorship of Medicine. Jeffries, professor of emeritus of medicine, was the first chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine from 1969 to 1986. The professorship bearing his name is awarded to an outstanding faculty member in order to provide resources to further teaching, research and public service. Mathew is an internationally recognized expert in diagnostic, therapeutic and experimental endoscopy.

Awards and Honors

Sebastianelli recognized by Philadelphia Sports Medicine Congress

Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, director of athletic medicine at Penn State, has been presented with the Joe Torg award by the Philadelphia Sports Medicine Congress. The award is designed to recognize orthopedic surgeons who have devoted their careers to the care of athletes, while also participating in the educational process and making significant contributions to the body of knowledge of orthopedics. Sebastianelli received the award at a June event at which one of his former patients, former Penn State football player Adam Taliaferro, served as keynote speaker. Sebastianelli has published numerous peer reviewed articles and has presented nationally and internationally on various sports medicine topics.

Gingrich named top physician educator in the U.S.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has chosen Dr. Dennis Gingrich as its 2014 Exemplary Teacher Award recipient. Gingrich, a past president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, is a professor of family and community medicine at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Gingrich graduated from the College of Medicine and returned as a member of its faculty in 1985. The AAFP’s Exemplary Teaching Award was developed to acknowledge exemplary teaching skills, as well as outstanding educational program implementation or innovating teaching models. The AAFP and its chapters represent more than 115,900 family physician, resident and medical student members. Read more about Gingrich’s award in this article.

El-Deiry inducted into the Society of Scholars at Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Wafik El-Deiry has been inducted into the 2014 Society of Scholars of the Johns Hopkins University. El-Deiry was one of 16 inductees who were honored at a reception and induction ceremony in April. The society was created in 1967 as a way to recognize distinctive accomplishments among former postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral degree recipients, house staff and junior or visiting faculty. There are currently 611 members in the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.

Zolko named Financial Executive of the Year

Wayne Zolko, associate vice president for finance and business and controller at Penn State Hershey, has been named 2014 Financial Executive of the Year by Central Penn Business Journal. Zolko was one of 24 local executives who were honored at an awards ceremony held in May. The program recognizes people who contribute to some of the region’s most successful companies, nonprofit organizations and government entities with their fiscal leadership. Zolko was the winner for the category of non-profit organizations with revenues over $60 million. He was nominated by Dr. Harjit Singh, professor of radiology, surgery and medicine, and associate dean, Office of Diversity. Zolko has worked at Penn State Hershey for 20 years.

Morrison receives Distinguished Achievement Award from AHA

Kathy Morrison, stroke program manager at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, has been presented with the American Heart Association, Great Rivers Affiliate 2014 Distinguished Achievement Award. The honor recognizes an individual, group or organization for contributing to the success of the AHA at the local or affiliate level. The committee that selects the award winners evaluates nominees for outstanding service and for helping to initiate or grow a successful event or program. In nominating Morrison, her staff noted her facilitation of a regional stroke survivor support group and applauded her for founding the Stroke Coordinators of Pennsylvania, a regional group, in 2009. Morrison has been a nurse for over 30 years and a volunteer with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for many of those years.

Shapiro wins national writing honors

Daniel Shapiro, chair and professor, Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine, recently won a national book award from the Independent Book Publishers for his book "And In Health: A Guide For Couples Facing Cancer Together." Selected from more than 5,500 submissions, Shapiro's was the gold medal winner in the Aging / Death and Dying category. The medal was awarded at the National Book Expo America in New York on May 28. The full results of the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards are located at

Penn State Hershey nurse wins national award during Nurses Week

Elizabeth Bajc, a nurse in the Medical Intermediate Care Unit at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, earned one of five 2014 Nurses’ Choice Awards presented by Tangent Medical during Nurses Week in May. The Nurses’ Choice Awards were created to honor and recognize clinicians who demonstrate excellence in improving patient comfort, satisfaction, safety and the overall quality of patient care. Bajc was nominated for the award by Victoria Schirm, director of nursing research at Penn State Hershey. Bajc and the other winners are featured for their accomplishments at

College of Medicine graduate student receives Diversity Champion Award

Darshan Trivedi, a graduate student in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Penn State College of Medicine, recently received the Diversity Champions Award. The honor is presented by the Campus Council to recognize employees, faculty and students who have contributed significantly to the diversity climate of the Penn State Hershey campus. Trivedi, who was born and raised in India, was selected due to his efforts to educate others about the Indian culture through several educational programs on campus. He is the founder and former president of the Association of Indians at Hershey, created to spread Indian diversity on campus and to educate people of Penn State with cultures, traditions and festivals of India.

College of Medicine students pick up Graduate Exhibition awards

Three graduate students from Penn State College of Medicine won awards at the 29th Graduate Exhibition on April 6 at the University Park campus. Jordan Gaines, Andrew Huhn and Rebecca Kaddis were three of 68 participants in the Health and Life Sciences Division. Gaines, a third-year neuroscience student with adviser Alexandros Vgontzas, won second place. Huhn, a third-year neuroscience student with adviser Scott Bunce, also won second place. Kaddis, a fifth-year cell and molecular biology student with adviser Leslie Parent, took third place. The Graduate Exhibition is a research presentation forum for students in Penn State graduate programs.

Last Updated January 09, 2015