What a weekend! It was such a treat to see so many familiar faces back on campus for Alumni Weekend, held June 7-9. We are thrilled by the success of our staff and alumni, who make the College of Health Sciences look good every day.

A reception Friday night on the Old College Lawn kicked off the weekend’s festivities and provided the opportunity to celebrate the winners of the CHS staff and alumni awards. (Scroll to the end of the article for bios on the winners.) Faculty, staff and alumni lounged and sampled hors d’oeuvres under the big white tent, joined by President Dennis Assanis and First Lady, Eleni, who encouraged alumni to visit the STAR Campus see the investment in the future of Health Sciences by the University of Delaware.

Dean Kathleen S. Matt, in her tenth year leading Health Sciences, offered several indicators of the tremendous growth experienced by the College:

  • In the last five years, CHS added 170,0000 square feet of space at the STAR Campus.
  • Research funding has grown 382 percent since 2010.
  • The College is now ranked second in the nation among allied health schools receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health.
  • The nationally known UD Physical Therapy Clinic has a two-week waiting list.
  • The School of Nursing received 2,000 applications this year for 195 spots.

Provost Robin Morgan noted the phenomenal growth in CHS programs over the past five years. “It’s exciting for me to imagine where the future will be,” Morgan added.

The weekend was the first time alumni had the chance to check out the Tower at STAR since its opening in November. Visitors toured the building and learned how this space was intentionally created to foster innovation and collaboration.

With everyone coming back, it was also a good time to recognize the success of the CHS staff and alumni. The following people were recognized by the College:

Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Keith Handling

Dr. Keith Handling is retiring after serving as a beloved faculty member at the University of Delaware for more than 47 years. Students revere him as an effective and impactful educator.   Dr. John Jeka, department chair for the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, called Handling “the model of great teaching and commitment” while noting he will be impossible to replace.

Dr. Dan White, CHS Awards Committee chair, presents the Excellence in Teaching Award to Dr. Keith Handling

Excellence in Research Award: Dr. Freda “Freddie” Patterson

Dr. Freddie Patterson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition. Her research focuses on sleep, physical activity, and smoking cessation. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, private foundations and the University.  

Excellence in Service: Dr. Stuart Binder-Macleod

Dr. Binder-Macleod is a physical therapist and the Edward L. Ratledge Professor and Associate Deputy Provost for Clinical and Translational Research within the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware. He also leads the Delaware Clinical Translational Research ACCEL program, funded by a $23 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support research advancing medical science and transform healthcare delivery.  

Dr. White presents the Excellence in Service Award to Dr. Stuart Binder-Macleod

Excellence in Advisement: Dr. Jennifer Graber

Dr. Graber is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. She is passionate about education through student advisement, working with more than 150 nursing students during her six years at UD. In addition, she developed and taught all the psychiatric mental health didactic and clinical courses for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, which boasted a 100 percent pass rate from state licensure.

Diversity Advocate Award: Dr. Kelebogile “Lebo” Setiloane

Dr. Setiloane is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nurtrition.  She has served as the director of the African Studies program, co-chair for the UD African-Heritage Caucus and a member of the Minority Women’s Panel of Experts within the Department of Health and Human Services. Her professional work has been dedicated to the nutrition and livelihoods of vulnerable and underserved people, particularly women and children in Africa and the United States. Most recently, Dr. Setiloane co-authored a handbook designed to help faculty members at the University develop courses with multicultural content.

Dr. White presents the Diversity Advocate Award to Dr. Kelebogile “Lebo” Setiloane

 CHS Staff Awards: Diana Levering and Karen Murphy

Levering is an academic support coordinator in the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences. She plays a pivotal role managing the administration of four undergraduate majors, four minors, and a variety of graduate level MS and PhD programs. She recently has taken on a leadership role in developing the administrative process and procedures relating to the graduate teaching assistantship program. She also developed the framework and process for hosting underrepresented students as part of hosting high school interns in 2018.

Murphy is a business administrator in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition. Although her title signifies one job function, she is known to wear many hats and can be counted on to carry out a variety of tasks with a ‘can do’ attitude while wearing a sincere smile. She works with faculty to resolve grant budget issues, coordinates building and renovation projects and fills in to manage office and department needs.

Dr. Dan White, CHS Awards Committee chair presents the CHS Staff Award to Diana Levering

The following people were recognized with Outstanding Alumni Awards from the following departments:

Behavioral Health & Nutrition: Beverly Ann Jackey

Jackey is a family and consumer science educator with the University of Maryland Extension. She is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Health Promotion and extensive experience in developing, implementing and evaluating community-based nutrition education programs. She works to address the complex issues of Upper Shore in Maryland so that families and individuals have a better understanding and use of information to make informed decisions to improve overall health outcomes.

Kinesiology and Applied Psychology: Dr. Shala Davis

Dr. Davis is a 1987 graduate of the University of Delaware. She currently serves as a professor of exercise science and chair of the Department of Exercise Science at East Stroudsburg University. She is known for mentoring students using best professional practice and the infusion of contemporary research. Her expertise focuses on nutrition and clinical exercise physiology.

Dr. Bill Farquhar with Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology Outstanding Alumni Award recipient Dr. Shala Davis

Medical and Molecular Sciences: Sharon P Lucernoni

Lucernoni is a 1977 graduate of the University of Delaware. She works as the section operations manager of the Urgent Care Lab at the stand-alone Middletown Emergency Department, part of Christiana Care Health System.

Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award recipient Sharon P. Lucernoni

Physical Therapy: John Knarr

Knarr earned his bachelor’s degree in athletic training in 1977 and a master’s in athletic training in 1981 from UD. Additionally, he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from UD in 1990. He consistently accepts physical therapy students as interns at Elite PT, which has six locations in Delaware, Baltimore and Pennsylvania. He has traveled the world with numerous sports teams and served as a member of numerous United States Olympic Sports Medicine staff. He also was founding director of the University of Delaware Physical Therapy clinic.

Department of Physical Therapy Outstanding Alumni Award recipient John Knarr with Dr. Greg Hicks, incoming deputy dean for CHS John Knarr

School of Nursing: Winnie Mellinger

Mellinger is a 1969 graduate of the University of Delaware. In her 50 years as a nurse, she has made significant contributions to the profession, most notably by spearheading the concept of a wellness center in Delaware high schools. She developed and implemented the role of the nurse practitioner in order to provide holistic primary care to students. She has also precepted/taught undergraduate and graduate nursing students from UD, Delaware Technical Community College, Delaware State University and Wilmington University.

School of Nursing Outstanding Alumni Award Winnie Mellinger with Dr. Barbara Habermann, interim senior associate dean

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