MSM Employee Awards: Sridaran Recognized for 35 Years, Hicks Named Employee of the Year


On Tuesday, June 13, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) celebrated the backbone of the institution—the employees who help the school run every day, teach its future doctors and health scientists, and strive for health equity. MSM gave special recognition to employees who have provided dedicated service for 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years with the school. MSM also honored four individuals who have served at the school for three decades or more.

Dr. Rajagopala Sridaran has taught students as a professor in the Department of Physiology since the early days of MSM. He was honored for his 35 years of service at the event. “Only a few of us here today will remember the humble beginnings of our institution from the apartments at Lee Street and Westview Drive,” said Sridaran. “Who would have thought some 40 years later that we would become a multi-campus institution producing 100 doctors a year that serve the most vulnerable populations in our community?”

Sridaran is currently the director of Physiology Educational Programs, director of Small Group Sessions, director of Organ Systems 2 course in the MD1 Integrated Curriculum, and the director of the Human Biology graduate course. He has also been a leader on campus, serving as the first faculty chair of the Faculty Assembly at MSM from 2001 until 2003.

Three employees were also honored for 30 years at MSM.

Beverly Owens is currently a clinical administrator in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, although she has held several positions within the institution. “The best part of working at MSM is being able to be a small part of the mission to teach and train health care professionals and working with [department chair] Dr. Beverly Taylor,” Owens said. She was also a part of the leadership team for the first-ever Staff Employee Council, developed under former MSM President Dr. John E. Maupin, Jr.

Janet McGuire is a systems application analyst who came to MSM in 1986. She first joined the school as a patient service representative in the Department of Family Medicine. There, she helped install the first computerized patient management system for patient services. Five years after arriving at MSM, she went on to work for Morehouse Medical Associates, now Morehouse Healthcare, as a patient account representative. She has continued to climb the ranks while providing excellent customer service to the MSM community.

Gail McCray works in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine’s Prevention Research Center as a community health educator. Currently, she is working with the ACTSI/CERP program and the Center of Excellence on Health Disparities. McCray also plays a role in the student experience at MSM as a teacher in the Community Health Course for first-year medical students.

Awards of distinction were presented at the program as well. The winners of these awards each received a plaque and a monetary award of at least $500.

The 2016 Team Spirit Award went to the Center for Laboratory Animal Research. “Their exceptional work that led to improvements within the facility and for the development of the MSM Animal Care and Use Program,” is why MSM President and Dean Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice said the team was chosen.

“This work that took most of 2016 to complete is why I can share with you that MSM’s animal facility was recommended for continued full accreditation because of their efforts.”

The Rising Star Award is given to an employee who goes above and beyond the expectations of his or her team. This year’s winner was Terrence Wynn, a human resources administrator. “He is results-oriented, a strategic thinker, and fosters innovation with every task he takes on,” said Montgomery Rice in presenting the award. “He has been described as a rare combination of being intellectually curious, technically savvy, able to think outside the box, and always willing to help.”

The last award of the afternoon, Employee of the Year, went to Jenay Hicks, institutional program manager in Graduate Medical Education. “[She] not only contributes to the success of her team, but is a central catalyst to the many programs they support,” said Montgomery Rice when presenting the award. “This recipient was overwhelmingly characterized as being known for ‘exemplifying a high standard of performance.’”

“It feels great to be honored,” said Hicks. “Of course, there are like a hundred people who help me do the work, so I couldn’t do this alone, but I appreciate the recognition,” she added giving praise to her coworkers.

Dr. Montgomery Rice thanked all employees, whether they were being formally recognized or not, for their hard work and dedication. “We are a young institution, but have accomplished so much. We have done so on the shoulders of employees who are second to none; employees who are driven by compassion for people and the mission of this school,” said Montgomery Rice. “The Employee Service Recognition Awards program allows us the opportunity to recognize the hard work and sacrifice of those who advance Morehouse School of Medicine’s mission beyond these walls and into the very communities and homes we serve.”

About Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)
Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists and public health professionals. In 2011, MSM was recognized by Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s No. 1 medical school in fulfilling a social mission. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care.

Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master's degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit or call 404-752-1500.