Distinguished professors Joseph Kay, Wayne Cascio, Richard Traystman and Peter deLeon, with CU President Bruce Benson

Top honors were announced at this month’s Regents meeting for four outstanding faculty members at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. The regents acknowledged their work, leadership and dedication in naming three distinguished professor and the Chase Faculty Community Service Award recipient.

The three distinguished professor appointments are faculty with familiar names across our campuses and are recognized as outstanding in their fields. Regent Steve Ludwig joined Chancellor Jerry Wartgow, PhD, in honoring this group.

Professor Wayne Cascio, PhD, received the appointment for his service to the University of Colorado and to the field of human resources management. Cascio has been teaching for 30 years at the Business School. His nominators described him as one who makes complicated lessons simple and one who has an uncanny way of knowing if students don’t understand, then he works to ensure that they do. Cascio has written 10 books and more than 100 scholarly articles and is considered a leading expert on organizational downsizing.

“All I ever wanted to do was be a good teacher and have opportunity to sink my teeth into tough problems,” Cascio said in accepting the honor. “I have been blessed with wonderful colleagues.”

The School of Public Affair’s Professor Peter deLeon, PhD, was named a distinguished professor for his contributions to CU and the field of public policy. He has been a presence, providing strong leadership for more than 25 years. Considered a national and international leader in public policy analytics, deLeon has been a major figure in shaping South Korea’s current public policy. His work has greatly contributed to the school’s rise in national recognition. “Wow!” was deLeon’s heartfelt acknowledgement to the regents for their generosity.

Vice Chancellor for Research Richard Traystman, PhD, was recognized for his contributions to CU in the field of cardiovascular and cerebral vascular physiology. Traystman’s teaching and mentoring was repeatedly acknowledged to be “exceptional.” His nominators wrote that he is held in such high esteem that he is often called the “sole individual to make a difference in careers.” Traystman’s body of work includes 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 300 national and internal presentations. His research has led to current procedures for pediatric resuscitation.

Traystman called the appointment a “great honor” and thanked the chairs of pharmacology, neurology, anesthesiology and emergency medicine for the nomination. “No one can do these things by themselves and I’m honored to work with great students, post docs, fellows and faculty who spur me on to do more and more,” he said.

Regent Michael Carrigan, along with Lawrence Hergott, MD, recognized Joseph Kay, MD, assistant professor, with the Chase Faculty Community Service Award, saluting his humanitarian service and tireless support of the medically underserved by starting a cardiology clinic for the indigent.

Hergott called Kay “the hardest working man in the division of cardiology at University of Colorado School of Medicine” acknowledging his commitment to treat patients with congenital heart disease. That commitment extends beyond the hospital as, with the help of the Metropolitan Community Partners Network, Kay was able to extend his care to those without insurance, making lifesaving care within their reach.

Kay talked about how he became more determined to open a clinic after seeing a patient who had suffered a heart attack.  The man was working full-time, but after the heart attack was going to lose his job. But Kay wasn’t allowed to see this patient after caring for him because he was uninsured. So, he was inspired to create the clinic to work around lack of insurance.  He and other colleagues meet patients once a month to provide cardiac care.

(Photo: Honorees left to right front Joseph Kay, CU President Bruce Benson, Peter deLeon.  Back left Wayne Cascio and Richard Traystman.)

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