VKC honors longtime staff members with service awards

By: Elizabeth Turner

At the September Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) Staff Meeting, director Elisabeth Dykens presented Vanderbilt Service Awards, which honored staff members’ years of service.

The awards recognize years of service in 5-year increments. Award recipients are noted below, along with words of appreciation from their supervisors:

  • Alexander Santana, Multicultural Program Coordinator, Tennessee Disability Pathfinder (5 years): “Alexander has helped build the Multicultural Alliance and, along with Cecilia Melo-Romie, leads Camino Seguro, information and supports for individuals and families who speak languages other than English and for immigrants and refugees.” – Elise McMillan, J.D., Co-Director, VKC UCEDD and Director of Community Outreach
  • Rebecca Johnston, Research Analyst, Volunteer Advocacy Program-Transition (VAP-T) Project (5 years): In both her personal and professional life, Becca is committed to helping individuals with disabilities and their families achieve the highest quality of life possible. She is especially skilled in interacting with youth with disabilities and with their families. Her sensitive, kind, and forthright way with families was one of the major reasons why we were able to meet our lofty recruitment goal for our most recent intervention project!” – Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Special Education and VKC Investigator
  • Whitney Loring, Psy.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Families First Program Coordinator (5 years): “If anyone had a complete understanding of what TRIAD does within the VKC and what TRIAD is capable of, it’s Whitney. Her ability to help understand all components of our programming and integrate them into effective systematic approaches is remarkable, rare, and vital. She loves her work and her colleagues, which shows in her extraordinary work.” – Pablo Juarez, M.Ed., BCBA, TRIAD Director and Behavior Analyst in Pediatrics and Psychiatry
  • Janet Shouse, Disability Employment Specialist, Kessler Foundation's Putting Faith to Work Project, TennesseeWorks Partnership (5 years): “Janet has worked on a number of projects including TennesseeWorks, Putting Faith to Work, and the IDD Toolkit. She is helping us build expertise in the area of health and disabilities.” – Elise McMillan, J.D., Co-Director, VKC UCEDD, and Director of Community Outreach
  • Amy Pottier, Manager of Technology Support (10 years): “A Vanderbilt M.A. alumna in History of Art, Amy began her Vanderbilt professional career as an Assistant Art Curator in VU’s Fine Arts Gallery. In 2007, she moved to the VKC in the role of Communications Coordinator, where her responsibilities included the management of over 60 events annually, maintenance of its large dissemination database, and a broad range of communication and dissemination activities. Because of her technical expertise and outstanding organizational skills, in 2011, she assumed the new role of VKC Manager of Technology Support.” – Jan Rosemergy, Ph.D., VKC Deputy Director and Director of Communications
  • Karla Woodard, Administrative Manager (10 years): “Karla provides expert grant and contract administration – from digging through application information to pulling together information from faculty to working with VUMC Finance. She provides the backbone of contract and grant support. Special congratulations are in order for Karla for earning her MBA this summer.” – Tim Stafford, MMHC, Director of Operations
  • Amy Swanson, M.A., STAT Project Manager, TRIAD (10 years): “Amy has demonstrated a truly impressive range of talents in her years here. This has included work developing the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers and Young Children (STAT), including practice models for seeing this tool implemented across the country and internationally. She has also helped develop and coordinate vibrant training programs for clinicians and researchers in the ADOS-2 in our state. Amy has managed an impressive array of research projects from infant sibling research to coordination of several active protocols investigating robot-assisted intervention and computer-based intelligent systems for toddlers, adolescents and teens with ASD.” – Zachary Warren, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Special Education; TRIAD Executive Director; Director, Autism Clinical Services, Department of Pediatrics and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
  • LaTamara Garrett, M.Ed., BCBA, TRIAD Early Childhood Program Coordinator, Behavioral/Educational Consultant, and Assistant in Pediatrics, School of Medicine (10 years): “If anyone has helped shape the heart and soul of TRIAD’s outreach team, it’s been LaTamara. Her commitment to the people we serve and her colleagues is, and always has been, consistent and loving. It’s been an honor to watch this program grow alongside her, and it will continue to be an honor to watch it continue to grow and blossom with her.” – Pablo Juarez, M.Ed., BCBA, TRIAD Director and Behavior Analyst in Pediatrics and Psychiatry
  • Elise McMillan, J.D., Co-Director, VKC UCEDD, and Director of Community Outreach (20 years): “Elise guides students, supports families, and collaborates with disability organizations. She models respect for the highest aspirations of individuals with IDD and is an extraordinarily effective advocate for improving service systems across the lifespan.” – Elizabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair and VKC Director, Co-Director, VKC UCEDD, and Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics
  • Peggy Chatfield, Administrative Assistant for Fiscal Services, Purchasing, Space and Facilities (25 years): “Commodore Award winner, expert on space renovation, and committed money-saver for the VKC, Peggy’s commitment, determination, and integrity have been a part of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for 25 years!” – Tim Stafford, MMHC, Director of Operations

Last Updated: 10/26/2015 2:20:30 PM

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