Nine Biomedical Engineering staff recognized with Bravo Awards

More than 100 staff members in the College of Engineering received cash awards.
Engineering fountain

To recognize staff for their outstanding work in keeping the College operating smoothly, the College of Engineering recognized 113 staff members from 21 different units with University Bravo Awards. The Bravo was established by the University in 2014 to provide recognition and rewards for substantial accomplishments achieved by Purdue employees that extend well beyond regular work responsibilities.

“Staff in the College of Engineering faced tremendous challenges during the last two years. Many individuals exceeded the expectations of their normal job responsibilities,” said Will Sondgerath, assistant dean for staff. “Supervisors shared many wonderful examples of staff who demonstrated these characteristics.”

Michelle Kidd, an operations administrator at Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories, is "always ready to pitch in and help when it is needed, even though it is outside the scope of her present job duties," said Robert Lucht, Ralph and Bettye Bailey Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of Zucrow Labs who nominated Kidd. When there was a vacancy in the administrative assistant position, Kidd "stepped right in to help out the main office. She was able to process a number of invoices that needed immediate attention. She is always willing to do what is needed to keep Zucrow operating in a smooth fashion.”

Carla Zoltowski, director of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program, nomiated Nicole Ramirez, assistant director of VIP. Zoltowski said Ramirez supported the growth of the program by taking on numerous new responsibilities when Eric Nauman left, which included mentoring two VIP teams and serving as the advisor for the Purdue Lunabotics club.

"With regards to 'Operational Excellence,' both COVID and batch registration had significant impacts on experiential learning programs, and Nichole developed new processes for registration and scheduling in response to changes required by these events," Zoltowski said. "These processes were shared and adopted by other experiential programs at Purdue both within CoE and across Purdue.”

Audrey Sherwood, senior administrative assistant for AAE, provided additional effort when AAE was shorthanded in terms of its support staff, J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Head of Aeronautics and Astronautics William Crossley said.

"While guiding 'junior' staff is a part of Audrey's job description, this was never envisioned as training someone new to the position and doing this for two different staff members in about four months’ time," Crossley said in his nomination. "Providing this training and guidance, while still performing her other duties that the School needed, is above and beyond what would have been expected during a 'normal' academic year.”

Global Engineering Programs and Partnerships Director George Chiu nominated Jill Churchill for "working very hard during the past year to restart the college's short-term study abroad program after the pandemic. She worked with both providers and faculty members to design and develop programs that meet the new and complex travel and safety requirements associated with pandemic. She worked with travel insurance providers, faculty leaders and Purdue Safety and Risk Assessment Committee to ensure all the programs have sufficient and comprehensive contingency plan to cover possible travel interruptions.”

Staff are nominated by colleagues or supervisors, and criteria is based on one of the following categories: moving the university forward, operational excellence, innovation/creativity and fiscal stewardship. Awards are made in different amounts, based upon the significance of their contribution, and range from $250-$1,000.

Staff who received Bravos include:


Phil Baldwin

James Goppert

Jon Mrozinski

Chris Nilsen

Chell Nyquist

Anna Rainwater

Calvin Reck

April Sauer

Audrey Sherwood

Nancy Smiegiel

J. Scott Williams



Emily Blue

Lagora Carrell

Kaisa Ejendal

Jo Gelfand

Corey Linkel

Sandy May

Ben Overly

William Schoenlein

Tammy Siemers



Pam Bender

Brad Caffery

Kathy Heath

Robert Hershberger

Jo Ritchie

William Schmidt

Ayesha Shah



Diana Knecht

Wei Liao



Jill Clauson

Jason Davenport

Joshua Gonzalez

Lauren Hays

Sandra Hendryx

Nick Humphrey

Beverly Johnson

Melissa Laguire

Alexyse Martin

Melissa Schwartz

Jason Thorp

Robin Waling

Yuri Zvinevich



Benjamin Denos



Teresa Cadwallader

Lindsay Elias

Nate Engelberth

Carl Huetteman

Karen Hull

David Kish

Jackie McDermott

Sharon Nemeth

Nichole Ramirez

Michelle Roe

I. Aurie Swartz

Sabrina Tanner

Alyssa Wilcox



Lori Carte

Matt Golden

Kendra Hodges



Rodney Flowers

Joshua Harley

Andrew Sydelko



Tammi Thayer

Margaret Whelton



Cindey Hays

Kory Pritchett

Teresa Walker



Haley Cutler

Jorge Martinez

Robin Terwilliger



Jill Churchill

Tamara Sells

Rhonda von Werder



Makenzie Campbell

Suzanne Walker



Patrick Brunese

Leza Dellinger



Tami Armstrong

Betsy Baxter

Jami Butler

Emma Cox

Tina Denson

Cathy Elwell

Maralee Hayworth

Beth Hess

Michelle Kidd

Julia King

Mike Logan

Nancy Marianowski

Rob McGuire

Dave Montgomery

Todd Nelson

Amanda Palmer

Jared Pike

Xiaomin Qian

Gabby Rainwater

Michelle Sarault

Kay Shepherd

Sheri Tague

Stephanie Winder



Talukder Alam

Joshua Contreras

Jennifer Fifer

Lisa Stacey

Tim VanMeter

Maddison Walsh



Teresa Luse

Ashvini Malshe

True Miller



Tina Alsup

Jennifer Strickland


Systems Collaboratory

Catherine Burkhart



Brianne Wrede