2020 Recipients

Nancy Ascher, MD, PhD
Professor of Surgery

Nancy is a central figure in the Department of Surgery, the heart and soul of the Transplant Division, and the inspiration for many generations of women medical students and residents. While Chair of the Department of Surgery for 17 years, Nancy transformed the UCSF surgery program into a place where women trainees and attending surgeons could thrive through both individual mentorship and systematic policy changes. She has served as a lighthouse of possibility; watching Nancy perform the most demanding of surgical operations is a never-ending source of inspiration. Her technical skills in the operating room have been likened to those of a professional musician. Watching her sew on an artery or tie a suture is the epitome of grace – a skill performed not only precisely, but also confidently, swiftly, and beautifully. She carries this aura with her when she leaves the operating room. She is extraordinarily curious, clever, and funny, and, although she has reached the upper echelons of academic surgery, she remains awed by the beauty of life’s unpredictability, incorporates humor into every aspect of her life, and does so with the utmost grace

Aimee Medeiros, PhD
Associate Professor, Anthropology, History and Social Medicine

Aimee works on multiple fronts to improve our educational mission and the goal of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is Director of Graduate Studies for the PhD program in history of health sciences, and, beyond being the default academic advisor for all first and second year students, she has worked hard to develop an outreach program to diversify our enrollment, in part by visiting Cal State campuses to meet with prospective students and to advertise our program and the benefits of study at UCSF through pipeline initiatives. Her efforts on this front are both inspired by, and complementary to, her efforts as a Dean's Diversity Leader and co-chair of a Differences Matter focus area on "Pathway, Outreach, and Pipeline." In this role, she works with program directors to advance best practices for community outreach and strengthen STEM among diverse populations in the Bay Area. She has also been part of leadership for the Bridges Curriculum. Her passion for teaching, her compassion for student welfare, her dedication to health equity, and her drive to improve our historical understanding of modern healthcare dilemmas is abundantly clear. She handles pressures in life with grace and humility, and has never ceased to see the bright side of life, with the humor, irony, and repose that amount to true professionalism.

Rosalie Gearhart, RN, MS
Administrative Nurse, Memory and Aging Center, Neurology

In her 30 years at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC), Rosalie has made a lasting impact. She is a highly practical steward of complex research projects, teams and resources. Her commitment to patients and caregivers pushes everyone at the center to deliver the highest quality work, and her generous nature supports a collegial and cooperative environment that is able to achieve great things. She evaluates patients, advises our multi-disciplinary clinics, teaches trainees from the School of Nursing and the Global Brain Health Institute, and mentors and guides faculty and staff. Her efficiency and tenacity are unique, and she shifts effortlessly from managing minute details essential to making the program work, to exploring the big-picture vision of what we could do and how we could leave the world a better place. She is fair, honest, kind and ready both to listen and laugh. Many of the successes of the MAC are due to the tremendous energy, creativity, and devotion of Rosalie. Under her supervision, the MAC has grown from an unfunded idea into one of this country’s foremost dementia clinics and research centers.

Jon Rueter, MBA
Director of Research Administration and Revenue Management, Medicine

Leading the DOM’s research enterprise is an enormous job. As soon as Jon took over the role, he immediately reinvented the position. Jon worked tirelessly to have research infrastructure better support the research community and implemented a number of high value products and projects, including new programs to provide hard-money support for researchers and new ways of communicating with the research community. Perhaps more importantly, he helped organize, train, and professionalize research support staff, markedly improving their morale, recruitment and retention. Jon also manages the professional fee billing oversight efforts for the department. In this area, he provides data analytics and education to faculty and staff, helping to improve our performance in yet another crucial area. Jon combines a diverse skill set in multiple functional areas –that are not commonly found in a single person – with a superb, effective communication style. What makes Jon a particularly capable leader is his ability to use data to conceptualize challenges and problem-solve strategically, while at the same time collaborating with all stakeholders to achieve outcomes.

Previous Recipients


Aimee Medeiros (2020)
Nancy Ascher (2020)
Claire Brindis (2019)
David Wofsy (2019)
Ellen Laves (2018)
Elizabeth Harleman (2018)
Bruce Miller (2017)
Shonul Jain (2017)
Ron Arenson (2017)
Joseph (Mike) McCune (2016)
S. Andrew Josephson (2016)
Sue Carlisle (2015)
Nancy Adler (2014)
Samuel Barondes (2013)
Molly Cooke (2012)
Diana Farmer (2011)
Donna Ferriero (2010)
George Rutherford (2009)
Robert Wachter (2008)
Helen Loeser (2007)
Dan Lowenstein (2006)
Lawrence Tierney (2005)
Kanu Chatterjee (2004)
Diane Colby (2003)
Ira Herskowitz (2002)
Keith Yamamoto (2001)
Neal Cohen (2000)


Jon Rueter (2020)
Rosalie Gearhart (2020)
Margaret Damiano (2019)
Maxine Davis (2019)
Alissa Perrucci (2018)
Rebecca Hoh (2018)
Jessica Wolf (2017)
Maria Novelero (2017)
Wylie Liu (2016)
Shary Eiser (2016)
Clarice Estrada (2015)
Cathy Duran (2015)
Cliff Skinner (2014)
Sally Mead (2013)
Alicia Velasquez (2012)
Laurae Pearson (2012)
Vivian Robinson (2011)
Cathryn Thurow (2011)
Isaac Sato (2010)
Marge O’Halloran (2009)
Kathy Healy (2008)
Cathy Garzio (2007)
Vickie Lewis (2006)
Georgina Lopez (2005)
Chuck Smuckler (2004)
Jaclyn Boyden (2003)