Exemplar of Professionalism Award

Exemplar of Professionalism: Honor Roll

IU School of Medicine has an extraordinary community of colleagues, and the Exemplar of Professionalism Honor Roll is an exciting new award to recognize those at the school who embody the core values of excellence, respect, integrity, diversity and cooperation. Celebrating positive role models who uphold the IU School of Medicine Honor Code in their daily interactions, the Exemplar designation is designed to recognize faculty, residents, fellows, students and staff members.
Recipients will receive an accolade from Dean Jay Hess, a lapel pin signifying their membership in the Honor Roll, a feature on the learning environment website, and will be honored annually at the White Coat Ceremony.


Nominations are reviewed by a variety of school leaders, which may include representatives of the Office of Medical Student Education, Office of Graduate Medical Education, Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development and Human Resources.
To nominate a colleague for this award, complete and submit the online form.

2017 Awardees

David L. Boone, PhD
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, IU School of Medicine-South Bend

Dr. Boone is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology who joined the IU School of Medicine-South Bend campus in 2014. He teaches the Host Defense course as part of the MS1 curriculum. He also has an active research laboratory focused on gastrointestinal function in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and in the regulation of obesity. Dr. Boone was recognized by a student for going above and beyond in his teaching methods; ensuring his students are well-taught, motivated, and successful within his classroom.

James Forney

James D. Forney, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine-West Lafayette

Dr. Forney is an Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology who joined the IU School of Medicine-West Lafayette campus in 2006. He served as director of the Medical Biochemistry course until 2015 and is currently site director for Molecules, Cells and Tissues in the Phase I curriculum. Dr. Forney was named an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) education fellow in 2015 and was an Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award Recipient in 2016. Dr. Forney was recognized by a student for investing a great deal of time and effort into his teaching to ensure that his students understood the new curriculum material, and that they were successful within his classroom.

John Keller

John Keller, BA
Student Services Coordinator, IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

John Keller has been an employee of IU School of Medicine since 1994, in his time here he has managed a variety of programs ranging from undergraduate medical education facility affiliations to student health insurance. In addition, he has also assisted many visiting medical students from across the US and abroad with training opportunities at IU School of Medicine. Mr. Keller was recognized for his selfless attitude and willingness to go above and beyond his role within his position as Medical Student Services Coordinator, to help students in need across the IU School of Medicine campuses statewide.


Robert Sweazey

Robert D. Sweazey, PhD
Assistant Director, IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne

Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne
Dr. Robert D. Sweazey is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and cell Biology and the Assistant Director of Indiana University School of Medicine-Fort Wayne. Dr. Sweazey has been course director for the Medical Neuroscience legacy course since 1995, and is currently the co-course director for the Pharmacology in the legacy curriculum and site director for the Neuroscience and Behavior, and Renal and Respiratory courses at the Fort Wayne campus. Dr. Sweazey also engages in research in the areas of Stroke, Alzheimer disease and other neurological conditions. He is a well-respected professor who has been honored with teaching awards by students and the Trustees of Indiana University. He was nominated for his role as a trustworthy, respectful faculty advisor who went above and beyond to help a student in need.

Tracy C. Vargo-Gogola

Tracy C. Vargo-Gogola, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine-South Bend

Dr. Vargo-Gogola joined the faculty at IU School of Medicine-South Bend campus in 2008. Currently, she serves as the statewide course director for the Human Structure course and enjoys teaching histology. She also conducts research on Rho GTPases in normal and neoplastic mammary gland development. She was nominated as an Exemplar of Professionalism based on her helpful, resourceful, trustworthy, and respectful approach to teaching within her classroom.

Mark D. Fox, MD, PhD, MPH

Mark D. Fox, MD, PhD, MPH
Associate Dean and Director, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
IU School of Medicine-South Bend

IU School of Medicine-South Bend
Dr. Mark Fox joined IU School of Medicine in 2015 as the associate dean and regional campus director in South Bend. He serves as the statewide course director for Transitions 1 and assistant statewide course director for Fundamentals of Clinical Practice I. He is a distinguished adjunct professor of theology at Notre Dame, and an adjunct professor for the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, in the Center for Health Policy. His research focuses on ethics in community health and health disparities. Dr. Fox was nominated for his superior management skills and demonstration of a comprehensive vision for the new Transitions 1 course; he was recognized by a faculty member as an “inclusive, intelligent, caring professional who represents the highest ideals of IU School of Medicine.”

Abigail F. Klemsz, MD, PhD

Abigail F. Klemsz, MD, PhD
Assistant Dean for Academic Advising
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. Klemsz joined the Section of Developmental Pediatrics in 2000 as an attending physician whose inpatient population consists of patients with complex care needs. In addition to her teaching responsibilities on the wards, she previously served as the chairman of the Teacher Learner Advocacy Committee (TLAC) and as an associate program director for the Pediatric Residency Program. In 2014, Dr. Klemsz was appointed assistant dean for Academic Advising and continues to serve in this role. Dr. Klemsz was recognized by a student for going above and beyond in her role with the Mentoring and Advising Program to ensure success for the IU School of Medicine medical students, and for being an extraordinary role model who is always willing to share her expertise and experiences.

Johnathan D. Tune, PhD

Johnathan D. Tune, PhD
Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Graduate Program Director, IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. Tune is a Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology who joined IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis in 2006. His research focuses on coronary and cardiac function in health and disease. Dr. Tune was nominated for excellence in teaching cardiovascular and respiratory physiology. He is a five time recipient of the Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award. Dr. Tune was recognized for his excellent teaching style, defined as amazing and interactive by students, and for consistently engaging the students in the material he teaches within his classroom.

James Graber

James Graber
Clerkship Coordinator, Department of Emergency Medicine

Jim has worked with the Department Of Emergency Medicine for 15.5 years in the capacity of Assistant Residency Coordinator, Fellowship Coordinator, Emergency Medicine electives coordinator and primarily as a MS4 Coordinator. He truly enjoys his work and being able to assist IU School of Medicine medical students. Jim was recognized for going above and beyond, enacting the five core values of IU School of Medicine, to help medical students achieve their goals.

Roopsi Bring

Roopsi Bring
Fourth Year Medical Student

Roopsi Bring is a Fourth Year Medical Student who has always been committed to pursuing medicine. She is fluent in Punjabi and Hindi, which has helped her deliver care for several patients who are unable to adequately convey their concerns to medical professionals due to a language barrier. For Ms. Bring, training as a physician means learning to have unparalleled compassion, dignity and continual gratitude for being able to provide care for patients. Ms. Bring was nominated for her compassionate, responsive, and attentive attitude in the challenging situations she encounters as a Medical Student with IU School of Medicine.