2024 Dean’s Excellence Award Winners

Gregory Archual, MBA

Administrator of the year Award

Greg Archual, MBA, is the department administrator for Emergency Medicine staff at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Greg has overseen the growth of the Emergency Department, with a greater-than-doubling of faculty during his time; he is now the administrator for more than 200 employees. His expertise has been integral to many of the innovations undertaken in the department’s clinical programs. He has overseen the creation of the wildly successful advanced urgent care sites, which are already caring for more than 50,000 patients per year. These facilities are unique across the nation in emergency medicine, and his business management ensures success.

As a national leader, Greg has served as president of the Academy of Administrators in Academic Emergency Medicine and currently co-chairs its Benchmark Committee, which provides benchmark data to almost 100 academic emergency medicine departments across the country. He is a dependable leader in ensuring department administration runs smoothly and is financially responsible. His remarkable sincerity in his interactions with his faculty, staff and colleagues is unmatched and he has an innate ability to connect on a genuine and authentic level, creating an atmosphere of trust and openness.


Sujit Basu, MD, PhD

Faculty research award

Sujit Basu, MD, PhD, is a professor of Pathology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the field of neurotransmitters and their role in stem cell biology, angiogenesis and cancer. He discovered that the neurotransmitter/neurohormone dopamine is an important regulator of physiological and pathological functions, including angiogenesis and vasculogenesis mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A).

His contribution to science is exceptional, and he falls in the rare group of scientists whose work has been successfully translated from the bench to the clinics in his lifetime. Dr. Basu has successfully received multiple funding from federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense, for his exciting research work since becoming a faculty member in 2004. Dr. Basu is a distinguished practicing scientist with a record of excellence in communicating and mentoring future scientists.


Ashley Bertran

Professional Staff of the year award

Ashley Bertran is the program director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She has been part of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) for more than 20 years, shepherding the initiative from its inception. What began as a small program has grown into a National Institutes of Health-funded accelerated program with more than 75 students. She is the keystone that connects all stakeholders in the program, including students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Ashley coordinates all the key functions of a complicated interdisciplinary program that interfaces with the college and multiple graduate school programs, including Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering and Public Health. As the backbone, heart and soul of MSTP, she provides daily support to faculty and students. Ashley is remarkably organized, driven and unparalleled in her dedication to the success of our learners and the next generation of physician-scientists.


Nicholas Breitborde, PhD

Distinguished Professor award

Nicholas Breitborde, PhD, is a clinical professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He demonstrates excellence in clinical care, clinical and health services research, outstanding teaching, basic and translational science and service. He is recognized as a national and international leader in the assessment and treatment of psychotic disorders and treatment of first-episode psychosis.

In 2016, he launched The Ohio State University Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER), which is now one of the top psychosis programs in the country. The center provides specialized, multi-component care to youth and young adults with first-episode psychosis. To date, their speaker series has been attended by 8,000 attendees from 43 states and 10 countries outside of the United States.

His focus on the development of care delivery models that target underserved individuals ensures that those living in areas with limited access to mental health care services get the help they need. He directs his teaching efforts to the larger national community of psychosis-focused researchers and clinicians. By being inclusive, he stays focused on providing education and training to future psychologists and psychiatrists and the same access to development for crucial staff clinicians.


Katarzyna Danis-Wlodarczyk, PhD

Inclusive Excellence Staff Award

Katarzyna Danis-Wlodarczyk, PhD, is a research scientist in the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Danis-Wlodarczyk has become an integral member of the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity (MI&I) not only for her research endeavors, but also for her leadership of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mission.

She is a prominent researcher who studies the use of phage therapy as a strategy for combatting antibiotic resistance. Her work to exploit phage enzymes to treat bacterial biofilms aims to improve antibiotic- and host-derived therapies to the bacteria within these communities. She has many scientific achievements, and her passion, creativity and effectiveness in her pursuits ensure that MI&I is a paragon for inclusive communities.

During the first few days following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, she gave an emotional address to the department requesting support for those being affected. She became the driving force behind fundraising for humanitarian aid, establishing a program for relocation of Ukrainian scientists to Poland and raising funds to allow Ukrainian phage scientists to attend scientific conferences. These programs remain in place today under her steadfast leadership.


Danielle C. Davis

Emerging Leader staff award

Danielle C. Davis is the director of Anatomical Services and the Body Donation Program at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. As director, Danielle is critical to the function of the morgue and cadaveric dissection program at the college. She works to balance the registration and intake of donors, prep and stage embalming and distribute the prepared cadavers to the numerous dissection courses and programs offered at Ohio State. She performs complicated duties with a quiet confidence and cheerful disposition, creates a positive environment.

The protocols she developed during COVID-19 resulted in the college becoming a national leader in cadaveric use during the global pandemic. Danielle participates in multiple outreach events during the weekends to educate the community about the body donation program. These efforts provide important access for future doctors and anatomy graduate students to donors in their anatomy learning and training. She is an excellent leader. Danielle is dependable, diligent, trustworthy, resilient and committed, and she has extensive knowledge and experience in her field as a licensed funeral director and embalmer.


Kamilah Dixon, MD

inclusive excellence award

Kamilah Dixon, MD, is a clinical associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Her commitment to service and to advancing the college’s missions of inclusivity and advancement of equitable opportunity is longstanding. She swiftly assumed a leadership role in the Moms2B program, a community-based pregnancy and postpartum program designed to decrease the infant mortality rate in the Columbus area.

She has been integral to the development of the Community Care Coach, serving as the lead clinician for reproductive health services. She provides direct clinical care within the faculty practice, serves as an attending physician on the gynecology service, offers direct clinical service to the underserved women of our community and serves as a longitudinal preceptor, acting as an instructor for fourth-year student electives.

As vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programming, she is a role model for students and junior faculty members. She has led efforts to improve recruitment of underrepresented minorities to our residency program, which resulted in the department’s incoming class for the 2023 residency being the most diverse in recent history.


Marisha Goldsmith, MBA

Distinguished Staff Award

Marisha Goldsmith, MBA, is a division administrator in the Division of Hospital Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Marisha is the heart of the Division of Hospital Medicine. Her remarkable impact is characterized by her exceptional leadership, unwavering dedication and commitment to the well-being of faculty and staff. She is an administrator who cares about the division as a whole but also each individual as well. She fervently believes people must be supported holistically as they cannot be split into distinct halves.

She has been instrumental in the significant growth of the division, managing the transition from 20 physicians to more than 145, three administrative support staff to 15 as well as 10 new nurses and 12 new APPs. Marisha is a true servant leader, constantly focusing on the needs of the faculty and staff while retaining a cheerful, can-do attitude and calming presence.


C. Alexander Grieco, MD

Distinguished Educator award

C. Alexander Grieco, MD, is a clinical assistant professor of Biomedical Education and Anatomy, clinical assistant professor of Radiology and associate dean for Student Life at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. With a national reputation in the field of radiology, Dr. Grieco has made a huge impact on medical education and student affairs. He demonstrates his excellence as an educator by utilizing creative and unconventional teaching methods, integrating music, literature, cinema and popular culture references with foundational concepts and clinical applications to allow his learners to consistently excel.

Dr. Grieco is known for leading with compassion, evident in his line of scientific inquiry, which focuses on the domains of education in LGBTQ+ patient health and a holistic, inclusive approach to student affairs practices. He served as director of Medical Student Education in Radiology from 2015 to 2023, as associate academic program director for LSI Part 2 and as a portfolio coach. He developed a unique course for undergraduates called Sexuality, Gender Identity, and Health (LGBTQ+ Health). Each year, students and peer evaluators rate his teaching and training as exceptional.

His distinguished awards include The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the College of Medicine Professor of the Year, the LSI Part 2 and Part 3 Excellence in Education Awards and the Department of Biomedical Education and Anatomy Excellence in Education Award.


Cynthia Kreger, MD

Lifetime Achievement in Education Award

Cynthia Kreger, MD, is a clinical professor of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. In her role as a clinician-educator, Dr. Kreger’s impact extends to patient care, student and resident education and faculty mentorship and development. Her primary areas of scholarly focus have included ambulatory teaching skills, small group facilitation skills, faculty development and professional well-being of students, residents and faculty.

Dr. Kreger joined the faculty in 1988 and quickly assumed multiple leadership roles, earning her the Distinguished Educator Award in 1998. In 2004, Dr. Kreger was promoted to professor and subsequently honored as a faculty inductee into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and The Ohio State University Courage to Teach Program. Her achievements were further recognized with the Department of Internal Medicine Earl Metz Distinguished Physician Award for Clinical Care and Educational Excellence, the Sir William Osler Award, the Gold Humanism Honor Society – Linda Stone Mentoring Award, the Mary Beth Fontana Master Teacher Award, induction into the Mazzaferri-Ellison Society of Master Clinicians and the Robert Murden Lifetime Achievement Award in the Division of General Internal Medicine.

With her passion for and commitment to medical education and clinical care, Dr. Kreger continues to foster lasting relationships with faculty, residents, students and patients.


Zihai Li, MD, PhD

Faculty research Award

Zihai Li, MD, PhD, is a professor of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and a preeminent cancer immunologist, and he has a courtesy appointment with the Ohio State’s Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity. He is the founding director of Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology in The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

His current research focuses on developing better immunotherapeutics against cancer by reprogramming the tolerogenic tumor microenvironment, including regulatory T cells, CD8 T cells, platelets and unfolded protein response. He and his team have made seminal contributions to understanding the mechanisms of immune regulation in cancer. They provided the first genetic evidence linking the heat shock response to antigen cross-presentation and adaptive immunity. More recently, Dr. Li uncovered the roles of androgen and the Y chromosome in mediating the immunological basis of sex bias in cancer.

He brings enormous energy for innovation and to his role as partner in the new Immunology and Immunotherapeutic Graduate PhD Program. He contributes immensely to the reinvigorating immunology research throughout the university and to educating and training future generations of cancer immunology researchers.

Susan Massick, MD

Community service excellence award

Susan Massick, MD, is a clinical associate professor of Dermatology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She joined the university as a physician in 2007 and since then, has been committed to community service, health equity and improving access to dermatologic care. She coordinates and performs free biannual skin cancer screenings in the community, and she participates annually in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Healthy Community Day.

She has conducted outreach initiatives and education seminars on common skin conditions and skin cancer awareness in skin of color, focusing on the Hispanic, Somali and Nepali populations. She is a volunteer dermatologist at the Physicians Free Clinic, delivering care to uninsured and underinsured patients. Dr. Massick is the faculty sponsor for the College of Medicine’s student nonprofit organization called Unhoused Community Advocacy and Networking, which works to improve health care disparities and access to care for underserved and unhoused women and families. She is a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence (CHARGE).

Melissa Stenger

Melissa Stenger

Distinguished Staff Award

Melissa Stenger is the department administrator in the Department of Neuroscience at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and is an experienced research administrator with a proven record in program management, business planning and versatile service. She currently manages the department’s Exploration in Neuroscience Summer Camp and internship for high school students, providing exposure opportunities for the next generation of learners in central Ohio. She combines integrity, personal accountability, openness, trust and perseverance to a remarkable and enviable degree. She is a strong advocate for faculty, students and staff, and holds herself and those around her to the highest standards of service, efficiency and fairness.

In her time at the College of Medicine, Melissa has served as a chair or member on numerous university committees, including the University Staff Advisory Committee, Caring for Our Own, the University Study Abroad Consortium, Staff Compensation and Benefits Subcommittee, and the Staff Advisory New Member Taskforce. As an administrator and leader, she goes the extra mile, giving herself, her time and her effort to important contributions.


2025 Dean’s Excellence Award Nominations

Nominations for the 2025 Dean’s Excellence Awards will be open from May 1-June 30. Please consider submitting a nomination for a staff or faculty member who is excelling in their career; making exceptional contributions to education, research, care and community service; and advancing inclusion and belonging. We look forward to reviewing nominations celebrating our kind hearts, brilliant minds and what we accomplish together.

Learn more about the Dean's Excellence Awards