COPH celebrates Outstanding Staff Award winners

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Three USF College of Public Health staff members, Megan Ditizio, Samantha Haylock and Tara Greer, were recipients of the 2016 Outstanding Staff Awards. Their achievements were celebrated at a ceremony in the USF School of Music Concert Hall on April 4, 2017.

The event was hosted by President Judy Genshaft. She spoke about the importance of the Outstanding Staff Awards, which recognizes employees who exemplify excellence through their daily commitment to USF.

During the awards ceremony, each employee was spotlighted as they received a plaque and a check for $500.

Outstanding Staff Award winners, Samantha Haylock, Megan Ditizio and Tara Greer (Photo by Caitlin Keough).

Outstanding Staff Award winners, Samantha Haylock, Megan Ditizio and Tara Greer (Photo by Caitlin Keough).

“To be nominated is a joy; Receiving it is an honor,” said Megan Ditizio, manager in the fiscal and business administration of the COPH’s Office of Research Administration.

Ditizio works with faculty and staff on proposal preparation and compliance, as well as management of awarded sponsored projects. She sees her role as a liaison between the college and funding agencies to assist faculty and program staff in research-related activities and achievements.

As a new faculty member at USF, Dr. Janice Zgibor, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was under a tight timeline to secure grant funding. She said was pleased to know that we had pre-award support, something unheard of at her previous institution.

“To say Megan provides “support” does not do her justice. During my first six months on the faculty, she did the pre-award work for four investigator initiated proposals and three subcontracts. I would have not been able to rise to that level of productivity without Megan,” Zgibor said. “She not only is a wizard at budgets, but is exemplar in all details required for submission. Most importantly, when my stress is at its highest level, she knows just when to offer a coffee break in her office. Research faculty could not possibly function without her.”


Tara Greer, academic services administrator for the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, said that she was very appreciative of the award and grateful for the nominations.

“I nominated Tara because she is efficient, responsive, innovative, a great team player and works well with everyone,” said Dave Hogeboom, assistant director of programs and outcomes at the COPH.

Greer analyzes quantitative and qualitative data and report findings, administers surveys for the college, analyzes results and report findings, and maintains COPH guidebooks and syllabus/course inventories. She is also the academic affairs representative on the education committee. She reviews and processes all curriculum changes for the college, CPH exam and graduation certification, and supports the director of academic programs and outcomes.

“Tara Greer is brilliant, a pleasure to work with and enhances the quality of all projects that involve her,” said Dr. Steven Mlynarek, professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.


Samantha Haylock, COPH alumna and assistant director of operations and strategic initiatives at the COPH was nominated by Jay Evans, associate dean of finance, operations and human resources at the COPH.

Over the past year, Haylock has been involved in three key initiatives to improve how the COPH works.

She led efforts to automate academic and business processes by facilitating the development and implementation of multiple applications focused on student success and the transition of the internal hiring processes for students, faculty and staff into the Archivum platform.

Additionally, she created initiatives to centralize support for travel and event management. As a result of these initiatives, other staff could focus on their primary duties. Travel submissions were improved in accuracy, events were standardized, and the COPH obtained cost savings through centralized food and supplies purchasing.

“Preeminence requires A-level players and everyone who works with her knows that she is clearly on that level. Never one to settle for ok or status quo, she pushes her peers in the College, her partners in IT, and me to be the best that we can be at what we do,” Evans said. “She is the type of person who constantly asks what more she can be doing, what she can be doing better, and what she can be doing to help, me or others in the College.”

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health