UW College of Health Sciences Names Alumni of the Year

November 3, 2008
Man smiling
John D. Bragg of Laramie is the UW Kinesiology and Health outstanding alumnus for 2008.

The University of Wyoming's College of Health Sciences has announced its alumni of the year.

"The College of Health Sciences considers its alumni invaluable assets as they conscientiously and professionally serve their communities and actively support programs of the college and the university," says Beverly Sullivan, interim dean of college." It was a pleasure for college faculty, students and friends to honor this year's outstanding alumni.

Janis Miller is this year's outstanding alumna for the Division of Social Work. Miller received her bachelor of social work degree from UW in 1992 and later completed her master of social work degree at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. For almost 10 years, she has been the social worker for the Radiation Oncology Department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Miller says her career is professionally challenging and personally gratifying as she works with an average of 25 cancer patients a day.

Her goal is to make life "a little easier for patients, families and caregivers by advocating, education, and supporting (counseling) them. "She adds, "I feel privileged every time someone shares their story, and I feel driven to continuously find ways to improve the way services are provided."

Robert Abramowitz, the 2008 outstanding School of Pharmacy (SOP) alumnus, received his bachelor's degree from UW in 1976 and his doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1986. He is currently director of formulation research at the Fairfield, N.J. facility of Taxolog, Inc.

Abramowitz is active in many national pharmacy associations, maintains a productive research focus on immediate and controlled-release dosage forms and has published numerous articles in scientific publications and presented papers at more than 27 scientific conferences. He consistently supports the SOP and UW and was a recipient of the Bristol-Meyers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute President's Award in 1995 as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Negations Team.

Guardia Banister, the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing's 2008 alumna of the year, earned her bachelor of nursing degree from UW in 1980 and her doctorate in psychiatric/mental health nursing from the University of Texas at Austin in 1988. She is currently executive director of the Institute for Patient Care at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she develops innovative programs and initiatives to advance clinical excellence through collaboration, education and research for the departments of nursing, social services, therapies, chaplaincy and volunteers. Banister is also active in community humanitarian services and has garnered more than $8 million in support of her research efforts.

William "Will" R. Smith, M.D., is this year's outstanding alumnus for the Division of Medical Education. Smith completed his bachelor's degree in molecular biology/pre-med at UW in 1997. From 1997-2001, he was part of the inaugural WWAMI medical education class for Wyoming and completed his medical degree at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

Smith was chief resident during his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in 2004 and became board certified in emergency medicine following graduation. He is now medical director for Grand Teton National Park, Teton County Search and Rescue, and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS. A major in the U.S. Army Reserve, Smith will complete his second deployment in Iraq in mid-January 2009.

John D. Bragg, M.D., is the Kinesiology and Health outstanding alumnus for 2008. After completing his master's degree in 1993 at UW, Bragg attended medical school at Creighton University. He has practiced medicine in Laramie since finishing his residency in 2001.

DeAnne Owre, the Division of Communication Disorders' 2008 Alumna of the Year, received her bachelor's degree from UW in 1965. Owre has made many notable contributions to the field of speech-language pathology and is currently chair of the Speech-Language Pathology Department of the Woonsocket, R.I., school system. She was vice president for governmental and social policies of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and received many clinical achievement awards. Owre is also the 2008 Outstanding Alumna for the College of Health Sciences. 


Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)