Alumni Awards Program

alumni award recipients

Jefferson College of Health Sciences and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences Alumni Association are proud to honor our graduates through the Jefferson College of Health Sciences Alumni Awards Program. This program, established in 2015, serves to recognize, honor, and celebrate the contributions made by Jefferson College alumni in their efforts to improve the health of communities they serve.

Join us for our luncheon honoring our 2018 recipients!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
11:30 a.m. - Alumni Awards Reception
Noon - Luncheon
The Patrick Henry Ballroom
Roanoke, VA

Featuring Speaker Dr. Robert Trestman
Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Senior Vice President and Chair of Psychiatry, Carilion Clinic

Click here to learn more and purchase your tickets.

Distinguished Alumni Award

The most prestigious award given by the Jefferson College of Health Sciences Alumni Association, the Distinguished Alumni Award is given to a member of Jefferson College’s alumni body who has achieved national, regional, statewide, or local prominence either in their professional fields or through their involvement in civic, cultural, or charitable activities. This award may be given annually with an alumnus/ae receiving this award only once.

Recent Alumni Achievement Award

The Recent Alumni Achievement Award specifically honors Jefferson College of Health Sciences graduates who, at the early stages of their career, have distinguished themselves and demonstrate promise of even greater achievement. The award may be given annually to graduates of the last ten years who have attained notable achievements in their field or endeavor. An alumnus/ae may receive this award only once and remains eligible for the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Nominations for the 2018 Alumni Awards Program are now open.
Nominations through the online form below are due by April 30, 2018
with Nominee Information due by May 5, 2018.

2018 Alumni Awards Program Nomination Form

Alumni Award Recipients - 2017

Ms. Kathleen A. Baudreau, MSN '10 -
Distinguished Alumni Award

kb profileIn her role as Vice President of Clinical Advancement and Patient Safety at Carilion Clinic, Kathleen works to improve the patient care experience by improving clinical safety and decrease suffering, while supporting healthcare providers organization-wide. She is Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality and Healthcare Risk Management with a MSN from Jefferson College. Kathleen joined Carilion 9 years ago in Nursing Quality, where she developed the nursing unit scorecard to translate performance data for front line staff, and implemented the 'deep dive' review of hospital acquired conditions to identify opportunities for improvement.

Dr. Christina E. Gardner, MSPA ’05 -
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Gardner is a 2005 graduate of the Physician Assistant Program. While attending, Christina received the Clinical Excellence award and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the PA program. After her 2005 graduation Christina started her career at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department and still works in the emergency department today. She received her Doctorate of Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University in 2011. 2016 she took on a managerial role within Carilion Clinic and is the Fellowship Director of the Advanced ACP Fellowship in Urgent Care and Rural Health under the department of Family and Community Medicine and is an Assistant Professor in Jefferson College's PA program.  

Ms. Melissa R. Harper, ASN ’90 & BSN ’97 -
Distinguished Alumni Award

     Melissa has been a Registered Nurse since 1990, working as both an emergency and forensic nurse. She is currently employed as the RN Team Lead for the Forensic Nurse Examiner Program at the Carilion Clinic, Carilion 
Roanoke Memorial Emergency Department in Roanoke, Virginia. She holds an MSN degree with an advanced practice Clinical Nurse Specialist focus in forensic nursing from the University of Colorado. She is certified as both a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Adult/Adolescent (SANE-A) and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Pediatric (SANE-P). She is also certified as a Project RADAR trainer. 

Ms. Debra T. Huddleston, MSN ’07 -
Distinguished Alumni Award

     Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, she decided she wanted to be a nurse and enrolled in the Community Hospital of Roanoke Valley School of Professional Nursing. Over the years, Debbie continued her professional education and attended Bluefield College where she obtained a B.S. in Organizational Management and Development. She graduated from the Jefferson College of Health Sciences with an Masters of Science in Nursing Administration in it’s inaugural class. She is also a Board Certified Nurse Executive. After spending five years managing three acute psychiatric inpatient units at Catawba Hospital, she returned 17 years ago to Carilion as the Director and later, Sr. Director of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Services. In 2015, Ms. Huddleston became the Vice President of Medicine at Carilion Clinic. 


Ms. Amanda Wrenn Brendel, ASN ’06 & BSN ’10 & MSN ’15 -
Recent Alumni Achievement Award


     Wrenn is the Operations Director for the Emergency Department at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Wrenn began her career as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department in 2006. Wrenn oversees daily operations of a 72 bed Emergency Department with approximately 85,000 patient visits per year. In addition to operational oversight, she is responsible for HR management and scheduling, for greater than 280 employees. Wrenn obtained her Associates of Science in Nursing in 2006. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2010 and completed her Masters of Science in Nursing Administration in 2015. She completed all her courses of study at Jefferson College of Health Sciences.

Mr. Jonathan K. Fiedler, MSOT’ 12 -
Recent Alumni Achievement Award


     It wasn't until 2001 Jonathan felt called to be a therapist after a car accident that resulted in a severe TBI.  After waking up from his coma of 19 days, Jonathan relearned how to walk, function, and learn showing him how occupational therapists change lives and went onto graduate with a MS in Occupational Therapy in 2012. Jonathan has been working with Friendship Health and Rehab since 2014 fulfilling his desire to work in geriatrics. 
     Soon after passing his boards, Jonathan worked with the Bradley Free Clinic to start a therapy department providing Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapy (OPS) to the needy in region.  

Ms. Margaret H. Perry, MSN’ 07 -
Recent Alumni Achievement Award


     As a master’s prepared Clinical Educator with over eighteen years of experience as a bedside nurse, clinical leader and mentor, Margaret has developed and enhanced education for a multitude of venues: classroom, online and at the bedside. Margaret developed a peer-reviewed professional publication to encourage staff nurses to   explore ‘bite-sized’ pieces of research and professional writing in a supportive environment. This has grown into a major internal publication for rising nursing researchers and CAP nurses at Carilion and was showcased as a Magnet Conference Podium Presentation. She piloted and helped develop the Clinical Educator role at Carilion and has mentored graduate students in Nursing  Education, peers entering an educator position, and other.

Ms. Karrie N. Wills, BSN ’11 -
Recent Alumni Achievement Award


Karrie Wills graduated with her AAS in 2000 from MECC and worked as an RN in the ER. She then perused her BSN from Jefferson, graduating in 2011; she won the Excellence in Nursing Award that year from the College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. In 2015, Karrie graduated from Jacksonville University with her MSN in Nursing Administration. Karrie has worked at Carilion for ten years in various positions including; bedside nurse, Workflow Analyst, Unit Director for Clinical Transport and Medical Interpreters, and is now the Senior Director for Carilion Children’s.  






Alumni Award Recipients - 2016

Ms. Sue M. Campbell - Distinguished Alumni Award

sue campbell     Sue Cambell was born and raised in Maryland and graduated from Bel Air Senior High School before attending North Carolina State University where she completed her bachelors degree in Ag Business Management and Animal Science. After returning home she worked as a research biologist on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. After some time in that position, her job was eliminated allowing her to follow her calling into medicine and pursue a new course in the field of Physician Assistant.   
     To gain the required patient care experience for admission to PA school, Sue worked in the operating room at the University of Virginia as an anesthesia tech. From the second she walked into an open heart surgery room and looked over the curtain, she knew in that instant field of work was her calling and what she wanted to do as a PA. Sue arrived at the College of Health Sciences, today Jefferson College, in 1996 and began taking classes required for PA school admission. During that time, she worked as a lab assistant for Ketan Trividei and Sarah Houser. Sue was admitted into the PA program in 1998 and graduated in 2000.
    After graduation, Sue attended Yale University/Norwalk Hospital PA Surgical Residency program before returning to Roanoke where she joined the staff at Jefferson Surgical Vascular Surgery for one year before joining the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in November of 2002.
     In 2008 Sue led the efforts to create the College’s first Alumni Association and served as its president for five years leading the program through its formative years. Sue led the alumni efforts to establish the Jefferson College of Health Sciences 5k Riverside Run and Wellness Walk which will return for its fourth year this November and raises money to support the College’s Extra Mile Fund. Sue remains involved in the College’s PA program as President of the PA Advisory Board, preceptor, and adjunct faculty member.

Dr. Sara L. Nicely - Distinguished Alumni Award

sara nicely

     Sara Nicely, DHEd, PA-C joined the  Jefferson College Physician Assistant (PA) Program faculty in June 2010.  She began her  career in academia as an adjunct professor and transitioned to a full-time Assistant Professor with Jefferson College within one year.  Dr. Nicely was promoted to Associate Professor in May 2016 and  at the same time moved into the position of Program Director for the PA program.
     Dr. Nicely received her undergraduate degree from Roanoke College in Biology and Medical Technology in 2000.  She then attended Jefferson College of Health Sciences to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant studies, graduating in 2002.  Dr. Nicely’s clinical background is primarily surgical, having been employed in rural general surgery clinics in Virginia and West Virginia as well as serving on the Trauma and Surgical Critical Care services at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH).

Ms. Kim E. Roe - Distinguished Alumni Award

kim roe1   Kim Roe has been with Carilion Clinic for 30 years. In her current position she serves as vice president of Family and Community Medicine whose department serves over 300,000 patients throughout the Shenandoah, Southern and Western Virginia region.  Her past roles with Carilion have included the development of the urgent care product line for Carilion - VelocityCare and senior practice director for emergency medicine services.
     Previously she has been in both HR Business Consulting and at Jefferson College as program director for the Respiratory Therapy program. She holds a MBA from Averett University and a BS degree from University of Richmond. However, Kim says her most important degree is certainly her Associates degree from Jefferson College in Respiratory Therapy which has led to a life-long career in healthcare and continuous learning.
     Kim’s previous background in the critical care setting provides a constant framework for creating a culture of patient-centered care and safety in the ambulatory environment. As a change agent, her focus is on process improvement, data analytics, advocating diversity and inclusion, and helping her teams develop to their fullest potential.

Dr. Kimberly D. Hall - Recent Alumni Achievement Award

kimberly hall

     Kimberly Hall is an Advanced Practice Nurse (Clinical Nurse Specialist) at Carilion Clinic, a 763-bed, Level 1 Trauma center in Southwest, Virginia. She has began her career in healthcare in 1999, has been a Registered Nurse since 2003, and a Clinical Nurse Specialist since 2010. Her role in the Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nursing specialty spans 12 years. Kim’s role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist is often focused on Nursing Quality Improvement, specifically Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcer prevention and Incontinence Associated Dermatitis, pressure ulcer and skin disorder treatment, and advanced wound Care interventions.
     Kim received both her Associate in Applied Science in Nursing, 2003, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2005, from Jefferson College and went onto Radford University where she received both her Master of Science in Nursing (Clinical Nurse Specialist) and Doctor of Nursing Practice.
     Kim is a frequent local, regional, and national speaker and presenter at a variety of venues. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia and likes to spend most of her free time kayaking and rafting, camping, hiking, fishing and listening to live music.

Ms. Sheila K. Lambert - Recent Alumni Achievement Award

sheila lambert

     Sheila K. Lambert ‘08 began her career as a Nursing Assistant at Roanoke Memorial Hospital (RMH) while earning her RN diploma at RMH School of Professional Nursing. After graduation, she worked in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at CRMH. As her career advanced, she became a preceptor, then a clinical team leader, where she developed a keen interest in leadership.
     Her first leadership role was as the Manager of the Pediatric ward and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She advanced to the role of senior director of all inpatient and outpatient pediatrics as well as neonatal/pediatric transport. She assumed the role of Vice President of Pediatrics and Guest Services/Volunteer in July 2015.
     Sheila went onto receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Radford University and her Master of Science in Nursing, Leadership Track from Jefferson College of Health Sciences in 2008. Sheila is currently a board member at the local and state levels for Children’s Trust Roanoke Valley, an organization dedicated to child abuse prevention and supporting victims of child abuse and JDRF. She has authored numerous articles and a book chapter with a focus on leadership. Sheila enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. Another joy in her life are her two Labrador retrievers, Bella and Bayden.



Alumni Award Recipients - 2015

Chief David Hoback - Distinguished Alumni Award

David Hoback     David Hoback is the Chief of the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department. He has over 30 years of fire & EMS experience and began his career with the City of Roanoke in 1985. Chief Hoback started out as a volunteer in 1980 and was hired by the City of Roanoke as a paramedic in 1985 after graduating from Community Hospital of the Roanoke Valley College of Health Sciences. He was promoted to Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management in 1989, and charged with developing and overseeing the city's new career EMS program. In 2002, he received his Executive Fire Officer Designation from the National Fire Academy and in 2007, received his Chief Fire Officer Designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration from Hampton University.  
     Hoback oversaw the department's accreditation process in 2002, 2007, and 2012. He was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2002, took over as Acting Chief in 2005, and was promoted to Chief in 2007. Chief Hoback serves on numerous Fire & EMS committees and boards. He was appointed to the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board by Gov. Bob McDonnell and serves as the Immediate Past President of the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association. During his tenure as President of the VFCA, he helped coordinate a Chief Officer 101 program, worked to establish a mutual aid net, and served tirelessly alongside his peers to improve the Commonwealth’s Fire & EMS services. Hoback lives in Roanoke with his wife Marie and their two daughters—Samantha, who works as an editor at The Roanoker magazine, and Macie, a student at Roanoke College.

Mr. E.W. Tibbs, Jr. - Distinguished Alumni Award

EW Tibbs     E.W. Tibbs is President and Chief Executive Officer for Centra Health, Inc. Tibbs earned his Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing from Jefferson College of Health Sciences. He also received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Averett University in Danville, Virginia. Tibbs joined Centra in 2006 to become Vice President of Emergency, Surgical, and Professional Services. In 2008, he assumed the role of Senior Vice President for Operations and then, in 2011, also assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer for Centra Southside Community Hospital. On April 22, 2013, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer for Centra Health. Tibbs is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
     Prior to joining Centra in 2006, Tibbs worked with Carilion Clinic for 17 years, holding numerous leadership roles including Hospital Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of key
service lines such as emergency, surgical, and trauma. Tibbs  is active in the community, serving on a number of not- for-profit boards. He and his wife Angie have been married for 23 years and they have two daughters.


Dr. Albert G. Pavalonis - Recent Alumni Achievement Award

Albert Pavalonis     Dr. Albert G. Pavalonis is a four-time Jefferson College of Health Sciences graduate with degrees in Emergency Sciences (A.S.), Nursing (A.S. and B.S.), and Biomedical Science (B.S.). During his tenure as student at Jefferson College, he worked as an adjunct faculty member for the paramedic program,  a flight paramedic/RN with PHI Air Medical, and served his community as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic.
    After graduation from Jefferson College, Dr. Pavalonis attended the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg where he graduated in 2012. During his tenure at VCOM, Dr. Pavalonis was named Student of the Year in 2011 for outstanding citizenship and dedication to osteopathic medicine. Dr. Pavalonis is currently a general surgical resident at St. Barnabas Hospital in Bronx, New York. He was named Surgical Intern of the Year for St. Barnabas in 2013.


Mr. Cornelius Powell - Recent Alumni Achievement Award

Cornelius Powell     Cornelius Powell was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He entered military service in 2004, where he completed U.S. Army Infantry and Airborne training before attending Special Forces Assessment and Selection. Three years later, he earned the coveted Green Beret and was assigned to 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. His deployments took him to both Iraq and south/southeast Asia, where he conducted counterterror, foreign internal defense, and civil affairs missions. Between tactical operations in Iraq, he dedicated his free time at one of the largest combat support hospitals in the theater. He continued his medical service in the Philippines, treating over 2,000 local nationals in addition to his teammates and host nation defense partners.
     In May 2010, Powell left active service in order to pursue an education and his wife, Elisabeth. Through academics and extracurricular activities, he dedicated himself to Jefferson College and its student body, serving as Chairperson of the Student Government Association and a tutor. After graduation from the Biomedical Sciences program, he served on the Alumni Board of Directors. Powell is currently a third year medical student at East Tennessee State University. He has served in the Office of Student Representatives, spent time as class president, and is the current president of the Developing Leadership in Future Physicians Interest Group. He is pursuing a career in emergency medicine, health policy and hospital administration.