ColoradoSPH Annual Awards

Every year, the Colorado School of Public Health honors outstanding faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners with awards recognizing their work in service of the school and public health. In addition, ColoradoSPH faculty are regularly recognized by University of Colorado leadership for their excellence in teaching. Please see below for a list of award recipients.

CU President’s Excellence in Teaching Award

This award recognizes one faculty member from the schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health for outstanding, innovative, and inspirational contributions to students’ professional development. Awardees are selected by the graduating class of their school. 
  • 2023: Courtney Welton-Mitchell
  • 2022: Virginia Visconti
  • 2021: Glen Mays
  • 2020: Molly Lamb
  • 2019: Cerise Hunt
  • 2018: Patrick “Jud” Blatchford
  • 2017: Yvonne Kellar-Guenther
  • 2016: Madiha Abdel-Maksoud
  • 2015: Jill Litt
  • 2014: Judith Baxter
  • 2013: Yvonne Kellar-Guenther
  • 2012: Elaine Morrato
  • 2011: Holly Wolf
  • 2010: Jan Gascoigne
  • 2009: Elaine Belansky

CU Anschutz Chancellor’s Teaching Recognition Award

This award recognizes one faculty member from the schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and the Graduate School for their excellence in teaching. Awardees are faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to providing students with a high-quality learning experience, maintain high scholarly standards for the rigor of course content and student performance, and serve as effective role models.

  • 2023: Mary Sammel
  • 2022: Elizabeth "Babette" Greenwell
  • 2021: Marcelo Coca Perraillon
  • 2020: Wei Perng & Katerina Kechris (Graduate School)
  • 2019: Sarah Schmiege
  • 2018: Glenn Patterson
  • 2017: Holly Wolf
  • 2016: Lee Newman
  • 2015: Jenn Leiferman
  • 2014: Tasha Fingerlin
  • 2013: Sam MaWhinney
  • 2012: Lee Newman
  • 2011: John Hokanson
  • 2010: Jack Barnette & Jill Norris (Graduate School)
  • 2009: Lorrie Ogden

Dean's Special Recognition Award

Awarded at the discretion of the Dean, this award has historically been presented to an individual in recognition of their contributions to establishing and developing the Colorado School of Public Health. In 2021, the scope of the award was broadened to cover contributions in Colorado more broadly, recognizing individuals and organizations for their service to the school and/or extraordinary contributions to advancing public health in Colorado.

  • 2023: Teresa Sharp, MEd, PhD (Retiring Campus Director & Associate Professor of Community Health Education, Colorado School of Public Health at UNC); Bill Burman, MD (Former Director of the Public Health Institute, Denver Health); John Douglas, MD (Former Executive Director of the former Tri-County Health Department); Jeff Zayach, MS (Former Executive Director of Boulder County Public Health)
  • 2022: Lisa Miller, MD, MSPH (Retiring Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, Clinical Professor of Epidemiology, and previous State Epidemiologist, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment)
  • 2021: Dr. Rachel Herlihy, MD, MPH (State Epidemiologist, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment)
  • 2020: Judith Albino (CU President Emerita, former ColoradoSPH Interim Dean and faculty, Donor)
  • 2019: Lorann Stallones (Former ColoradoSPH Program Director at CSU)
  • 2018: Founding Funders (The Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Caring for Colorado Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente Colorado)
  • 2017: Dr. David Goff (Dean Emeritus)
  • 2016: Dr. Richard Hoffman (Donor)
  • 2015: Dr. Chris Wiant (President and Chief Executive Officer, Caring for Colorado Foundation)
  • 2014: Paul D. Schauer (Dean’s Advisory Board Past President)
  • 2013: Kathleen Matthews, MPH (former staff member who helped ColoradoSPH in early days)
  • 2012: The Faculty of the Colorado School of Public Health
  • 2011: Richard F. Hamman, MD, DrPH (Founding Dean Emeritus)
  • 2010: Dr. Peter Dorhout (Vice Provost of Graduate Affairs and Assistant VP for Research at CSU); Robbyn Wacker (Dean of the Graduate School and Assistant VP of Research and Extended Studies at UNC)

Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award

This award recognizes a faculty member for instructional contributions to ColoradoSPH.

  • 2023: Alison Abraham
  • 2022: Alex Kaizer
  • 2021: Chrissy Chard
  • 2020: Virginia Visconti
  • 2019: Anne Starling
  • 2018: Marcelo Perraillon, Molly Gutilla, Teresa Sharp
  • 2017: Mary Dinger
  • 2016: Deb Glueck
  • 2015: Matthew Strand
  • 2014: Dan Salkeld
  • 2013: Sara Miller
  • 2012: Kathy Kennedy
  • 2011: Robert Wolfson
  • 2010: Allan V. Prochazka

Faculty Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the areas of student mentorship, research, practice, or education that furthers the ColoradoSPH mission and commitment to DEI. This may be demonstrated through a significant project or achievement during the academic year, or in a record of above-and-beyond effort and service. All ColoradoSPH faculty members are eligible for this award.
  • 2023: Cerise Hunt (CU), David Rojas-Rueda (CSU), Rose Grose (UNC)
  • 2022: Wei Perng

Faculty Excellence in Student Mentoring Award

This award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to student learning and professional development through advising and mentoring, and/or engaging students in the procurement of external funding and/or dissemination of research findings. All ColoradoSPH faculty members are eligible for this award. Historically, there were two awards for faculty, one for mentoring and one for student-mentoring in research. In 2022, those two awards were combined.
  • 2023: Kaigang Li
  • 2022: Elizabeth "Babette" Greenwell
  • 2021: Liz Gilbert and Lauren Shomaker
  • 2020: Laura Saba and Jessica Elf
  • 2019: Rich Lindrooth, Erin Strutz and Tessa Crume
  • 2018: Jenn Leiferman and Nancy Whitesell
  • 2017: Chrissy Chard and Nicholas Walter
  • 2016: Olivia Jolly, Mary Dinger and Dawn Comstock
  • 2015: Gary Grunwald and Danielle Brittain
  • 2014: Elaine Scallan and Tasha Fingerlin
  • 2013: Nichole Carlson and Marci Sontag
  • 2012: Dennis Lezotte and Carolyn DiGuiseppi
  • 2011: Tasha Fingerlin and Lorann Stallones
  • 2010: Dana Dabelea and Marci Sontag
  • 2009: Deborah Glueck, Jill Norris, Lee Newman and Stephen Reynolds

Excellence in Faculty Research Award

This award recognizes an outstanding investigator with a demonstrated record of nationally and internationally recognized research or creative work providing significant contribution to their profession or discipline.

  • 2023: Lori Crane
  • 2022: Katherine James
  • 2021: Cathy Bradley
  • 2020: Betsy Risendal
  • 2019: Jini Puma and Manfred Diehl
  • 2018: Nichole Carlson
  • 2017: Katerina Kechris
  • 2014: Tasha Fingerlin
  • 2013: Marci Sontag
  • 2012: Carolyn DiGuiseppi
  • 2011: Lorann Stallones
  • 2010: Dana Dabelea
  • 2009: Lee Newman and Stephen Reynolds

Outstanding Contribution by Staff/PRA Award

  • 2023: Raeven Clockston, Kayla Gray, Laura Hager, and Peter Hahn
  • 2022: Katherine Brumfield, Lily Doniger (CSU), Esta Lukemire (UNC), and Theresa Jennings
  • 2021: Avery Artman and Thuy Nguyen
  • 2020: Bernie Gutierrez
  • 2019: Elizabeth Wyatt
  • 2018: Career Services (Ben Weihrauch and Katie Brumfield)
  • 2017: Brenda Witt
  • 2016: Chloe Bennion
  • 2015: Sara Brandspigel
  • 2014: Kendra Bigsby, Esta Lukemire, and Twila Hamel
  • 2013: Richard Sasscer and Jackie Shimamoto
  • 2012: Bettina Martine-Warden
  • 2011: Kari Phillips
  • 2010: Patricia Nash
  • 2009: Fayette Augillard and Lyndsey Crum

Outstanding Contribution by a Student Award

  • 2023: Alyssa Dalen (CU), Halley Pucker (CSU), Aurora Rousseau (UNC)
  • 2022: Kimberlyn Cook (CU), Eve Ozog (CSU), Rosie Glaser (UNC)
  • 2021: June Homdayjanakul (CU), Raeven Clockston (CSU), Steven Burton (UNC)
  • 2020: BreAnna Teeters (CU), Ashley Clark (CSU), Leah Brunner (UNC)
  • 2019: Alexandria Jensen (CU), Elisabeth Stewart (CSU), Sujeith Barraza (UNC)
  • 2018: Ashley McWilliams (CU), Katie Key (CSU), Grace Turner (UNC)
  • 2017: Whit Oyler (CU), Jamila Bryant (CSU), Dayna DeHerrera (UNC)
  • 2016: Kenta Okuyama (CU), June Homdayjanakul (CSU), KC Hall (UNC)
  • 2015: Naveed Heydari (CU), Laura Smith (CSU), Natalie Thomas (UNC)
  • 2014: Christine Castle, Nicholas Ellinwood (CU), Suzuho Shimasaki DrPHc (CU), Anna Helms (CSU), Devin Laedtke (UNC)
  • 2013: Audrey Baird (UNC), Dennis Beach (CSU), Dana Kennedy (CU), Curtis Harrod (CU)
  • 2012: Erica Borresen (CSU), Emma Goforth (UNC), Melissa Miller (CU)
  • 2011: Lorin Scott-Okerblom (CSU), Lili Tenney (CU), Andrew Glendenning (UNC)
  • 2010: Adrienne Veyna and Timothy Bahr
  • 2009: Nicole Tuitt

Alumni Service Award

The Alumni Service Award recognizes alumni for sustained and exemplary commitment to the Colorado School of Public Health, its student body, and its alumni community.
  • 2023: Nick Heimann
  • 2022: Katie Guthmiller

Alumni Rising Star in Public Health

The Alumni Rising Star in Public Health Award recognizes alumni whose record reflects ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to the profession and increased levels of leadership, responsibility, and sphere of impact.
  • 2023: Dayna DeHerrera-Smith
  • 2022: Grace Turner

Alumni Achievement Award

The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes ColoradoSPH graduates (and/or graduates of the Department of Preventive Medicine & Biometrics prior to 2008) who have achieved professional excellence in the field of public health and have substantially contributed to advancing the health and wellbeing of people and communities. This award recognizes excellence in the field of public health through advancement of public health science and its application, improvement of community practice, leadership, and other contributions to the growth and accomplishments of future public health professionals.
  • 2023: Meagan Cain
  • 2022: Comilla Sasson 

Public Health Practice Award


  • 2023: Lexie King
  • 2022: Shawn Walcott
  • 2021: Rudy Vargas
  • 2020: Abbey Collins
  • 2019: Sara Dasugo
  • 2018: Melissa Rivera
  • 2016: Maureen Dechico
  • 2015: Meagan Cain


  • 2021: Devon Williford
  • 2019: Juan Gomez
  • 2018: Danya Carroll
  • 2017: Rachel Freeman
  • 2016: Linda Zittleman
  • 2015: Michelle Haan

*This award was changed to the Alumni Rising Star award in 2022.


  • 2023: Elaine Scallan Walter
  • 2022: Evelinn Borrayo
  • 2021: Molly Gutilla
  • 2020: Patricia Valverde
  • 2019: Joan O’Connell
  • 2018: Liz Gilbert and Virginia Visconti


  • 2023: Christopher Czaja, DrPH '20, CDPHE
  • 2022: Erin Burk-Leaver
  • 2021: Dawn Comstock, Jefferson County Public Health
  • 2018: Cindy Kronauge, Weld County PHE
  • 2017: Oumar Ouatarra, CIRC
  • 2016: Elizabeth Abbott, CCIC
  • 2015: Lainey Trahan, CDPHE

Community Partner Award

  • 2023: Centennial Area Health Education Center (CAHEC)
  • 2022: We R Native
  • 2021: Diana Pineda and the Promotoras, Vuela for Health


  • 2017: Kimberly Boyd, CPHA
  • 2016: Kathryn Mueller, CO Division Workers’ Comp
  • 2015: Lisa VanRaemdonck, CALPHO
  • 2014: Christine Nevin-Woods
  • 2012: Patricia Gabow
  • 2011: Lisa Miller
  • 2010: Lee Thielen
  • 2009: John Muth

Community organization

  • 2018: Chaffee County PHE
  • 2016: RIHEL
  • 2015: Kaiser Permanente Colorado Community Benefit and Relations
  • 2014: Boulder County PH
  • 2012: Southwest Colorado AHEC
  • 2011: Poudre Valley Health System
  • 2010: Denver Health
  • 2009: CDPHE
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