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.

2017-2018 Awardees

Melissa Cavaghan, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, IUSM-Indianapolis

Dr. Melissa Cavaghan joined the faculty of the division of adult Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2001 as a clinician-educator. She serves as the Endocrinology Key Clinical Educator and the Service Line Leader for Endocrinology clinical affairs. Special clinical interests include endocrine care of pregnant women, type 1 diabetes, transgender medicine, polycystic ovary syndrome, and thyroid disease. She has been a long-time advocate for equitable medical care of transgender individuals at IU Health and is dedicated to interprofessional education of nursing and other support staff. Dr. Cavaghan was nominated for her exemplary leadership, excellent teaching skills, and treating others with the utmost respect in all situations.

Julie Vannerson, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, IUSM-Indianapolis

Dr. Julie Vannerson is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) where she is a practicing general internist and the Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. She is an alumna of the Stanford Faculty Development Center’s Clinical Teaching Course and coordinates a yearly residency retreat for residents and faculty in clinical teaching. Her professional interests include peer coaching in clinical teaching, substance use disorders, clinical communication skills and quality improvement. She considers her role as a teacher and mentor on equal footing with her role as a physician. Dr. Vannerson was nominated for compassion for patient care, and excellence as a role model in mentoring and teaching.

Kevin Gebke, MD
Chair, Department of Family Medicine
Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine

Dr. Kevin Gebke has served as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine within Indiana University School of Medicine for the past nine years, and as a school faculty member for 17 years. He has been awarded numerous teaching and leadership accolades over the course of his career. He has been active within the school serving on countless committees and providing oversight for ongoing curriculum development. Service to the school, the discipline, and to his patients continues to be the motivating force that drives Dr. Gebke. LEAN process improvement and combatting physician burnout are two areas of focus for Dr. Gebke and the healthcare system as a whole. Dr. Gebke was nominated for his exceptional leadership of the Department of Family Medicine, as well as his work and support of colleagues around the state of Indiana.

Emilee Delbridge, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine, IUSM-Indianapolis

Dr. Delbridge is Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine and spends most of her time teaching in the Family Medicine Residency. She leads the Behavioral Science curriculum—teaching in didactic and clinical environments in the outpatient clinic and the inpatient service. Additionally, she is involved in overseeing and revising the Behavioral Medicine curriculum for the four-year medical school training. Dr. Delbridge was nominated for her excellent leadership, contribution on many school committees and during events, and for her work as the Behavioral Health Thread Director.

Mary Jacobs, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine

Dr. Jacobs is an adult Rheumatologist who practices at IU and Eskenazi. She is the clinical director of her division, a member of the IUHP Operations Committee and co- Chair of the Medical School LGBTQ Healthcare Committee. She recently completed her Business of Medicine MBA at the IU Kelley School of Business and is passionate about helping IUHP and IU improve the health of our patients while striving to be an organization that advocates for justice and equality for our patients, students and staff. Dr. Jacobs was nominated for her energy, passion, confidence and professionalism that she exhibits in her practice and when teaching.

Mary Guerriero Austrom, PhD
Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs
Wesley P. Martin Professor of Alzheimer’s Education
Professor of Clinical Psychology

Mary Guerriero Austrom (B.A., B.Ed. Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada; M.A., Ph.D. York University, Toronto, Canada) is the Wesley P. Martin Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease Education; Professor of Clinical Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry; Leader of the Outreach and Recruitment Core at the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center; and the Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Guerriero Austrom is an expert in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Her clinical and research interests include developing non-pharmacological interventions for persons with dementia, families providing care at home, and professional caregivers. She is also passionate about issues of diversity, equality and justice to make IUSM the most welcoming and inclusive place to work and learn. Dr. Guerriero Austrom was nominated for her leadership in Diversity Affairs; involvement within many school committees; providing support and training for her colleagues, staff, and students; and, her consistency in modeling highly professional behaviors in all that she does.

Lisa S. Christy
Director of Medical Service-Learning, IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Lisa considers her role as Director for Service Learning in Medical Student Education a true privilege that allows her to collaborate with community partners, students, faculty and staff for community engaged experiences designed to equip future physicians to enter their careers as lifelong learners committed to patient centered care. She is devoted to developing cultural humility, collective competency, and medical humanity through community based learning and advocacy initiatives! Lisa was nominated for her passion to ensure that students at the Indianapolis campus have a well-rounded student experience and that you maintain open communication with colleagues across all nine campuses.

Alvaro Tori, MD, FAAP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Assistant Dean For Diversity – Faculty Affairs I Professional Development I Diversity
IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. Tori practices medicine in the pediatric critical care unit at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and IUSM. He shares his skills in clinical knowledge and compassionate service with trainees and other healthcare providers. He is enthusiastic in his role as Assistant Dean with the Office of Diversity Affairs because it affords him the opportunity to increase representational diversity, inclusive environment, and cultural competency through his efforts with strategic programming at IUSM. Dr. Tori was nominated for his excellent reputation among the minority and LGBTQ communities at IUSM and for being one of the best educators in the division of pediatric critical care.

Paul R, Helft, MD
Professor of Medicine
IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. Paul Helft joined the faculty of the IU School of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology in 2001. His clinical work is focused on gastrointestinal cancers. He became the first Director of the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics at IU Health in 2004, and a Vice President for Clinical Ethics at IU Health in 2018. Dr. Helft was nominated for his extraordinary mentorship and work as a leader.

Jean Molleston, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Professor of Clinical Medicine
IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. Jean Molleston has directed the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Riley Hospital since 2005. She is a pediatric hepatologist and transplant physician. Dr. Molleston has a long interest in medical education and has received multiple teaching awards. She was previously an Associate Pediatric Residency Program Director and has conducted many faculty development programs in the Department of Pediatrics and elsewhere. Dr. Molleston was nominated for her excellent quality of teaching, responsiveness to suggestions from students, and overall respect given to students.

Charles Rudick, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary

Dr. Rudick is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology who joined IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary in 2015. He currently serves as the statewide course director for the UDOS course, Cardiovascular and Hematology. He enjoys teaching pharmacology and physiology to first and second year medical students and utilizes student feedback to improve the quality of his lectures and enhance medical education at IUSM. Dr. Rudick was recognized by medical students for his ability to accept feedback and incorporating it for improvement, as well as creating a favorable learning environment for our medical students.

Marti Reeser, Ed.D.
Academic Specialist, Office of Medical Student Education
Assistant Dean for Health Professions and Pre-Doctoral Programs
Assistant Dean for Academic Records and Promotion
IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. Reeser has held administrative roles in the IU School of Medicine within Health Professions (formerly Allied Health) since January 1994 adding responsibilities within Medical Student Education-Student Affairs in November 2002. He served as Interim Director of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library from 2011 to 2013, and in June 2014, was appointed as Assistant Dean of Academic Records and Promotions working closely with Registrar/Records Team with MSE and serving as the ex-officio faculty administrative liaison to the School’s Student Promotions Committee (SPC). Dr. Reeser holds an additional Assistant Dean title within Health Professions and Pre-Doctoral Programs supporting academic and student affairs within the School’s nine undergraduate health professions degrees and the MS in Medical Science Program. Dr. Reeser was recognized for his actions and exuding careful attention to medical student needs.

James Hobby, MD
Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident
IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. James Hobby, prior to entering medical school, trained and worked in the fields of both engineering and nursing. He chose to pursue a career in OB/GYN because of its applicability to primary care, underserved medicine and global health. Upon completing residency, Dr. Hobby would like to work in an urban, federally-qualified health center. Dr. Hobby was recognized for his respectful, caring, and professional attitude and actions toward our medical students.

W. Graham Carlos III, M.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Joseph J. Mamlin Scholar in Medicine
IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. W. “Graham” Carlos is an associate professor of clinical medicine and the Chief of Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care at Eskenazi Health. He continuously seeks to improve the quality and content of medical education at IUSM and has been recognized by the student body for his efforts as a previous Trustee Teaching Award winner and two-time Golden Apple award winner. Dr. Carlos was recognized for his excellent teaching methods, listening to and discussion of feedback received, and exceptional communication with our medical students.

2016-2017 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.

Joshua Adkinson

Joshua Adkinson, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Dr. Adkinson joined IU School of Medicine in 2016 as an Assistant Professor and Chief of Hand Surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery. He is interested in complex upper extremity reconstruction in adults and children and practices primarily at Eskenazi Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children. Dr. Adkinson was nominated by a student for his kindness and attentiveness as a volunteer faculty advisor.

Jose Espada

Jose Espada
Director, Student Financial Services, IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis

Mr. Espada has been associated with Indiana University for nearly 30 years, with 28 years at the IUSM. He began as a financial aid para-professional at IU Bloomington in 1984 before becoming a financial aid counselor in 1986. After a brief stint at Butler University as Assistant Director of Financial aid, Mr. Espada was named the financial aid director for IUSM. He enjoys his job and has successfully assisted many students over the years. Mr. Espada was recognized for his reliability, resourcefulness, and exceptional communication with medical students, going above and beyond to assist them with their financial needs.