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Health Services Outstanding Faculty, Student, and Staff Awards 2017

Health Services Outstanding Faculty, Student, and Staff Awards 2017

Each year we have the tremendous honor of congratulating our graduating students on achieving their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. We also want to recognize the outstanding contributions of the following student, faculty and staff awardees, who exemplify excellence and commitment to the mission, vision and values of our department and school. 

Outstanding Staff:  Scott Stangenes, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice

Scott has been with the department for seven years. His sustained dedication, professionalism and collegiality have been nothing short of remarkable. Recently, he went above and beyond his commitment to meet the goals of a randomized control trial involving 9-1-1 dispatchers. Scott implemented multiple training sessions for nearly 70 dispatchers over a 12-month period, requiring him to meet with them late at night and on weekends. His efforts were vital to the success of the trial. 

Outstanding Faculty Member for Mentoring:  Stephen Bezruchka

Dr. Bezruchka began teaching at SPH in 1994, after working in Nepal in emergency medicine and public health. One of his students says, “He represents the best of academia.” He uses his position as a mentor, researcher and faculty member to fight for justice and equality, and is incredibly supportive of his students and their activism. Dr. Bezruchka excels at building social connections between people with similar interests. His tireless drive to challenge mainstream narratives and to improve population health from Seattle to Nepal has rubbed off on countless students. 

Outstanding Faculty Member for Teaching:  Sara Mackenzie

In 2009, Dr. Mackenzie developed and started teaching a freshman public health course. Despite being a double-boarded physician, she found teaching to be her new calling and believes education is a pathway toward health equity. Dr. Mackenzie is always passionate and inspiring. She is eager to work one-on-one with her students, and has held weekly workshops for those struggling with their writing skills. She has also taken her students on an optional field trip to Olympia, where they gained a deeper understanding of health care policy and could see how their class activities applied to real life.

Outstanding Undergraduate Student:  Jessie Maga┼ła

Jessie will complete the Health Informatics and Health Information Management (HIHIM) major in one year while simultaneously working two part-time jobs totaling more than 40 hours a week. Despite his rigorous schedule, he earned a spot on the Dean’s list each quarter this academic year. In addition to his outstanding time-management skills, he demonstrates great leadership and teamwork qualities. His peers rely on him, and HIHIM faculty are constantly impressed by his commitment to make a positive impact on the field of health informatics.

Outstanding Master’s Student:  Jamie Pacello Paraz

Jamie is an exceptional student in the Executive Master of Health Administration program. She has been enrolled while working full-time as a program supervisor for Swedish Medical Group’s Care Management. She is an excellent mentor to first-year students, often the first to share insights and guide those in need. She volunteers with the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management. Upon obtaining her MHA degree this summer, Jamie plans to pursue a senior leadership role in a nonprofit focusing on population health.

Outstanding Doctoral Student:  Kara Bensley

Kara’s dissertation focuses on racial, ethnic and rural differences in alcohol use among VA patients with HIV. Her research interests include health disparities, community-based participatory research, behavioral health, HIV treatment adherence and substance abuse prevention. Kara was a recipient of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality training fellowship for 2013-2015, and received a grant from the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute in 2017.

Again, congratulations to our awardees and all of our graduating students!


Photo: Scott shaking hands with UW SPH Interim Dean Joel Kaufman, and greeted by smiling Senior Associate Dean Shirley Beresford, at the annual SPH Awards of Excellence.