Department news | June 30, 2022
At the department annual meeting, we honored several members of our faculty and staff who have contributed in various ways to the success of our department. A big congratulations to each of them!
Clinician Teacher Pathway Outstanding Mentor Award:
Carol Rockhill, MD, PhD, MPH
Dr. Rockhill is described as a tireless mentor with enormous patience. She has a range of mentorship skills and interests which help her connect with the wide variety of mentees she supports. She serves as a faculty mentor for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, General Psychiatry Residents, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows, and for many junior faculty. She has a gift for being able to help those who are doubting themselves to find their strengths and dig themselves out to a better and happier place.
Wayne J. Katon Outstanding Mentor Award:
John Fortney, PhD
The Wayne J. Katon Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates sustained commitment to the creative, scholarly, professional and personal development of research mentees. This year, the award was given to John Fortney, PhD.
A large group of colleagues and current and former mentees submitted an impressive nomination packet on Dr. Fortney’s behalf which detailed his embodiment of Dr. Katon’s spirit of mentoring. An excerpt from his nomination packet states, “Dr. Fortney is an impressive and highly successful researcher who provides invaluable guidance to everyone who is fortunate to work with him, especially mentees. The success of his mentees speaks to the strength of his mentorship style, which fosters independence and creativity while providing exceptional support for professional and personal development. We can attest to his incredible responsiveness and accessibility to his mentees, the extraordinary time he dedicates to mentorship, and his commitment to ensuring the success of his mentees.” Other excerpts said, “His deep commitment to mentorship is rivaled only by his commitment to scientific rigor and conducting research that has the potential to create real differences in the world” and that “he helps to shape strong science with compassion and humor, never losing sight of ways to expand the amount of good we can do with our work.”
Outstanding Clinician Teacher Junior Faculty Award:
Laurel Pellegrino, MD
Dr. Pellegrino is known for impeccable clinical skills particularly in the arena of outpatient psychotherapy. She has been a clear leader in residency education since joining the faculty and taking on the role as an assistant program director. Representative quotes from resident evaluations include, “Laurel is an outstanding attending who always finds a great balance between allowing autonomy and providing supervision; We are able to discuss our cases candidly and share our thoughts without fear of criticism or censure. Her skills should be used as a model as to how to create an effective and supportive learning environment.”
Gary J. Tucker Career Teaching Award:
Rick Ries, MD
The Gary J. Tucker Career Teaching Award, named in honor of the Chair of our department from 1985 through 1997, is given to a member of the academic or clinical faculty who has demonstrated, throughout his or her career, outstanding skills as a teacher and dedication to education. This year, the award was given to Rick Ries, MD.
Rick is an institution at the University of Washington. He tirelessly works as an educator and advocate for mental health and substance use treatment. He has been involved in hundreds of research projects, but his educational efforts likely equal his research efforts and may even eclipse them. These educational efforts are clear at the University of Washington, and across the state and the country. This effort takes the shape of countless presentations, but probably more notably, through the relationships and education he has provided to hundreds of providers who have his mobile phone number and call him at any time of the day or night. In addition, Dr. Ries has embodied many of the characteristics of a great teacher by being approachable, interactive in his talks, humble, challenging and honest.
Exceptional Staff Award:
Lori Ferro, MHA, PMP & Kelcey Schmitz, MSEd
The Exceptional Staff Award honors and celebrates the valuable efforts staff members make toward supporting the mission of the department and upholding our core values of collaboration, continuous learning and mentorship, and integrity and accountability. This year’s Exceptional Staff Award went to Lori Ferro, MHA, PMP, Research Project Manager in the Division of Population Health, and Kelcey Schmitz, MSEd, Assistant Director of Training and TA, at the SMART Center and the School Mental Health Director at NW MHTTC. The below excerpts from their respective nomination packets give a hint at their exceptional service.
“Perhaps Ms. Ferro’s greatest talent is her ability to make people feel welcome and that they are a part of something truly important. Her ability to listen and understand people allows her to create a research environment where people feel free to be honest and to take risks.”
“It is Kelcey’s magnetic personality, keen wit, tireless commitment, and clear vision that ignite passion for the work among her team. As a result, we each strive daily to fulfill our roles, ensuring a fine-tuned, effective and efficient unit that delivers repeatedly for school districts, state education agencies and individual school mental health professionals.”
We would like to recognize Exceptional Staff Award nominees Jamie Adachi, Juliann Salisbury and Emily Taylor for their incredible contributions to our department!
Exceptional Team Award: Staff EDI Committee
Started last year, the Exceptional Team Award was born from the recognition that we have an incredible number of effective teams that support our work and that no one person acts in isolation. The winner of this year’s Team Award is the newly formed Staff EDI Committee.
Launched in October 2021, the committee works to create a safe, inclusive, and diverse environment that supports department staff personally and professionally. The group champions organizational change and brings an EDI and anti-racism lens to the department’s work. Members include Semhar Abraha, Co-Chair Binyam Abraham, Co-Chair Jamie Adachi, Casey Chandler, Christina Clayton, Vaughan Collins, Laura Cooley, Alan Gojdics, Staci Guerrero, Ali Iqbal, Jennifer Magnani, Chris McCain, Alison Newman, Nicole Sams, Becky Sladek and Andie Uomoto. An excerpt from their nomination says, “They all are passionate about the work and goals of the EDI work and what is even more impressive is they truly listen to each other’s ideas and provide feedback in a way where everyone is comfortable in sharing to reach consensus.”