2023 Award Recipients
Lorimer Awards honor Yale staff members for distinguished service
November 13, 2023
Twenty-four Yale colleagues have been honored with the Linda Lorimer Award for Distinguished Service. The awards were presented by President Peter Salovey in a ceremony at the President’s House on November 13.
Now in its tenth year, this award recognizes staff members who exemplify Yale’s spirit of leadership, innovation, collaboration, and excellence.
The honorees, nominated by their peers, represent 12 key initiatives from across the university. Their work has transformed critical processes and spaces, fueled innovative research, improved the health and wellbeing of countless individuals, provided new pathways for career development, and promoted a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. The impact of their efforts resonates across our campus and local community, and in many cases, the broader world as well. While each honoree’s contributions were unique, they all demonstrate a shared commitment to advancing Yale’s mission.
At Yale Hospitality: Xuewei Chen
Through her commitment to inclusion and cultural enrichment, Xuewei transformed a simple dish – the humble Egg and Tomato – into a symbol of community and belonging on campus. Evoking an immediate and extraordinary response from students and patrons, her work to bring a taste of home to campus has resonated far beyond the dining table.
At the Yale Schwarzman Center: Kito Covington
A committed steward of Woolsey Hall, Kito ensures that this historic facility provides a welcoming, positive experience for members of our campus and local community. He manages every event, from small concerts to high-profile sold-out programs, with the same level of outstanding dedication and “can do” spirit.
At the School of Medicine: Patricia Genero
Patricia created resources that have transformed critical departmental processes at Yale Neurology, improving access to vital information, facilitating swift decision-making during emergencies, and contributing greatly to the department’s mission of delivering outstanding patient care. Her innovation, attention to detail, collaboration, and selflessness have left an indelible mark on the department.
At the School of Medicine: Natalie Kil
Natalie has worked tirelessly to improve the health of the New Haven community, partnering with local health services to curb the opioid epidemic and launching groundbreaking harm-reduction programs to prevent the spread of HIV, among other health initiatives. The impact of this innovative work is a testament to her visionary leadership and collaborative spirit.
At the School of Medicine: Nicholas Licht
Through collaborations within and beyond campus, Nicholas implemented a range of critical career development programs and resources and led a new approach to faculty mentoring for his department. These initiatives have significantly enhanced career opportunities and retention by cultivating a culture of mentorship and inclusivity, especially among early career faculty.
At the Office of Facilities: Sheri Miller
Under her inspiring leadership, Sheri’s team completed several major capital projects on Science Hill that will have a lasting impact on research and education at Yale for generations to come. Successfully navigating the complexities of managing multiple projects simultaneously, Sheri created spaces that promote learning, research, reflection, and a sense of community.
At the School of Medicine: Kyle Pedersen
Through his work at the Connecticut Mental Health Center and in the Department of Psychiatry, Kyle has had a sustained and exceptional influence on the front lines of mental health care in New Haven. His outstanding commitment to service, leadership development, and belonging in the workplace has benefited countless lives and left a profound and lasting impression on the organizations he supports.
At the School of Medicine: Lena Smith Parker
As a highly collaborative, experienced, and trusted partner, Lena worked with teams across the university to implement critical enhancements to the Yale School of Medicine’s website. Thanks to her leadership, the website is a valuable and accessible resource for the medical school community and has played a significant role in recent reaccreditation efforts.
At Yale College: Risa Sodi
Risa has helped shape and grow the Eli Whitney Students Program, striving to ensure that they and other non-traditional students feel a sense of belonging and have the guidance and support they need to thrive here at Yale. A tireless advocate, she has been described as “the best of Yale — quietly working to help others.”
At Yale College: Patricia Wei
Patricia championed programs to make Yale more attractive and accessible to veterans seeking higher education. “The face of Yale student veteran recruitment,” she has significantly grown Yale College’s veteran population thanks to the care and commitment she provides to each applicant.
At the School of Medicine: Laura Abriola, Nalini Dhingra, Yulia Surovtseva, and Sheila Umlauf
This small but mighty team at the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery has made exceptional contributions to diverse research initiatives across the university. The highly customized services they provide give investigators the insights they need to support their innovative approaches. This team’s expertise, commitment to customer satisfaction, and ability to stay at the forefront of technology have been instrumental in advancing the work of Yale’s research community.
At Human Resources and Yale Divinity School: Rondi Frey, Stephanie Gosteli, Shaun King, Terry Reese, Jane Savage, Deirdre Stowe, Deborah Stanley-McAulay, Lynn Sullivan, Ben Walter, and Benjamin Wretlind
This team created and launched Emerge at Yale, a rigorous learning experience that fosters diverse leadership, collaboration, and excellence on campus. This bespoke program has helped staff members from diverse backgrounds hone their leadership skills, develop mentorships with seasoned leaders, and connect with peers from across campus in a way no other program has before.