Sargent Faculty & Staff Honored for Service, Teaching Excellence

Congratulations to the 2023 recipients of the Whitney R. Powers Award for Teaching Excellence, Staff Award of Merit, and the Faculty Award of Merit.

Whitney R. Powers Award for Teaching Excellence

Alyssa Boucher, Clinical Assistant Professor, Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

Recognizing an outstanding teacher from the Sargent faculty, this award is named in honor of Whitney R. Powers, professor emeritus of BU Sargent College, who for more than 25 years shared his gifts as an outstanding teacher.

In her award nomination, Boucher was praised for her ability to draw on her extensive clinical experience and scholarly work, as well as her skills translating theory to practice, to make complex content accessible to students: “She truly represents the best of us in cultivating students’ passion for learning and in supporting students as whole individuals throughout their educational journeys.”

A clinical assistant professor in the Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, Boucher is highly regarded as an outstanding educator who excels in all aspects of teaching including classroom instruction, clinical supervision, and mentoring. She currently teaches a foundational course for first-semester graduate students as well as two undergraduate courses, and a large part of her work is the clinical education of our graduate students through her mentorship with clients, on diagnostic teams, and through the literacy group experience she provides in collaboration with Boston Public Schools. She also serves as chair of the SLHS Cultural Humility and Inclusion committee, where she has done exemplary work helping to update and expand diversity, equity, and inclusion education for our students.

Faculty Award of Merit

Jennifer Kaldenberg, Clinical Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy

This award honors a Sargent faculty member who has made impactful service contributions benefiting programs, faculty, students, and/or alumni of Sargent College.

Kaldenberg is a clinical associate professor in the Department Occupational Therapy with extensive expertise in assistive technology and accessible design, particularly for individuals with low-vision or blindness. She is also the level II academic fieldwork and capstone coordinator for the entry-level OTD program where she works to secure three full-time placements that are the right fit for every entry-level OT student at Sargent College. She is dedicated to the clinical education of Sargent students and has helped enhance the quality and quantify of field work sites. She has also taken the lead on identifying continued education opportunities for supervisors and recently implemented a low-vision course for providers at one local hospital as well as training supervisors at BMC. She managed all this while serving as the interim EL-OTD program director last year.

In her award nomination, Kaldenberg was recognized as a tireless advocate for the department who has made an immeasurable impact on students’ clinical education experiences: “The patience she exudes and the careful planning that go into assigning students to sites across the country is remarkable. This is an all-consuming task, and just as she finishes placing students for one cohort, the next one begins. The enormity of what she can do in a post-COVID world with competing demands among other universities for slots is a model to us all.”

Staff Award of Merit

Diane Wadman, Health Sciences Department Manager

This award honors a Sargent staff member who has demonstrated professional excellence and made a positive impact on programs, faculty, students, and/or alumni.

In her role as department manager, Diane juggles countless tasks including budgeting, event management, faculty affairs, and many more. Known for her leadership, exceptional problem-solving skills, and long-standing commitment to the Sargent community, Diane is often sought out for assistance and guidance throughout the College. Her calm, reassuring demeanor, positive energy, and close attention to detail have been invaluable assets for the Health Sciences Department and all of us at Sargent.

In her award nomination, Diane was praised for her talent, skills, and collaborative spirit: Her longstanding expertise in her role, positive attitude, and strong work ethic make her an extremely valuable member of the Sargent community. She is a gracious team player who is committed to making Sargent College a great place to come to work every day. Her commitment to the college’s students and faculty, coupled with her unique ability to successfully navigate the larger institution of BU on behalf of others, make her an invaluable asset to our community.