2023 Presidential Awards recipients recognized at ceremony


The Presidential Awards ceremony, held April 17 at the Betty Kelso Center at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, recognized 15 individuals with awards given in the areas of distinguished research scholar, clinical excellence, teaching excellence (emerging and sustained) and employee excellence. An award for team excellence was also given in recognition of exemplary contributions and outstanding collaboration.

Established in 1985, the Presidential Awards recognize exemplary performance by individuals who consistently excel in their positions and demonstrate a strong commitment to the mission and core values of UT Health San Antonio. The annual awards provide the university the opportunity to recognize outstanding faculty, staff and team contributions.

“As you have witnessed here this evening, these award recipients represent exceptional achievement in their fields,” said President William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, during the ceremony. “Through their creativity, perseverance and leadership, they elevate our university as a stimulating environment for the education of the next generation of health professionals and scientists, an exciting home of research and discovery — and, most importantly, a beacon of hope for patients and their families. We congratulate our awardees and thank them for their inspiring commitment to make lives better.”

The award recipients received a plaque, a monetary gift and a congratulatory Senate Proclamation from the State of Texas by Senator José Menéndez.

Photos of the awards recipients  — provided to the awardees for free — can be viewed here. Photos taken at the awards ceremony can be viewed and downloaded here.

To view the printed program from the ceremony, click here.

To view a video featuring the honorees, click here.

The 2023 Presidential Award recipients are:

Distinguished Research Scholar

Ratna K. Vadlamudi, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Division of Reproductive Research, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Long School of Medicine

Clinical Excellence

Shweta Bansal, MD, FASN, Professor/Clinical, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Long School of Medicine

Karen Schwab, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, Associate Professor/Clinical and Director of Pediatric Services – Wellness 360, Office of Faculty Excellence, School of Nursing

Teaching Excellence – Emerging

Megan Freeman, MD, Associate Professor/Clinical, Division of Hospital Medicine, Long School of Medicine

Kimberly Hughes, DNP, RNC-OB, CNS, Assistant Professor/Clinical, Office of Faculty Excellence, School of Nursing

David Ojeda Diaz, DDS, Assistant Professor/Clinical, Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, School of Dentistry

Teaching Excellence – Sustained

Andrea Berndt, PhD, Associate Professor, Office of Faculty Excellence, School of Nursing

Stephanie M. Levine, MD, Professor and Vice Chair of Education, Division of Pulmonary Diseases & Critical Care Medicine, Long School of Medicine

Bruce J. Nicholson, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Structural Biology, Long School of Medicine

Margarita Vasquez, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Long School of Medicine

Employee Excellence

Jack Frost, MBA, PMP, IT Change Management Analyst-Senior, Project Portfolio Management & Delivery Transition Solutions

Deanne Hargita, MPA, CCRP, Manager, Research Compliance, Strong Star ORU

Laura Paprotta, MLA, Assistant Director, International Services, Office of International Services

Cesar Ramirez Jr., RN, Nurse Supervisor, Radiation Oncology, Mays Cancer Center

Beth Wueste, PhD, MAEd, C-TAGME, LSSBB, Director, Academic Assessment & Compliance, Office of Academic Affairs, School of Nursing

Team Excellence

UT Health San Antonio Police Mental Health Unit

Team Leader: Timothy Gutierrez, Lieutenant, UT San Antonio Police Department

Team Members:

Divine Peoples, Officer II, UT San Antonio Police Department

Jaime Saenz, Sergeant, UT San Antonio Police Department

Douglas Schramm, Sergeant, UT San Antonio Police Department

Georgina Scribner, Officer IV, UT San Antonio Police Department

Peggy Wells, Officer I, UT San Antonio Police Department

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