Health Science Golden Bed Pan Award

Golden Bed Pan Award

The Golden Bed Pan Award for Meritorious Service was created to honor those who give of their time and talents to UNK Health Science students.

Check out our award winners listed below!

Dr. Don Kaufman

Dr. Don Kaufman

Name: Dr. Don Kaufman, Retired Professor UNK Chemistry Department
Education History: BS - UNL, MS - University of Colorado, PhD - Colorado State University
Hometown: Waverly, NE

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Musician or Group: Alan Jackson
  • Favorite Restaurant: Applebees
  • Favorite Movie: The Longest Ride
  • Hobbies: dancing (to good ol' country), Husker Football/Volleyball, Loper Athletics (especially basketball), yard/garden activity

Advice to Pre-Health Students: "We need not just more healthcare professionals, but very good ones. Thus do all that you can to become that kind of professional. Do your very best, not just enough to be accepted into your professional school. Set high academic and personal standards. Develop a strong work ethic and a love of learning that will last a lifetime. Work at becoming more caring and be involved in activities where you are of service to others. And do take advantage of all of the excellent services of the UNK Health Sciences Office."

Most Memorable Moment at UNK: "Receiving the first annual Outstanding Teaching Award for the entire University of Nebraska system, the Holdt Award for the Teacher of the Year at UNK or the several Professor of the Year awards voted by UNK students would be obvious choices. However, trite as it may sound, my most memorable moments were working with so many outstanding students over 40 years and seeing them learn well and succeed, often when they didn't think they could. That was special."

Dr. Michelle M. Fleig-Palmer

Michelle Fleig Palmer Bed Pan Award Photo

Name: Dr. Michelle M. Fleig-Palmer, Associate Professor, Management Department
Education History: BSEd - State University of New York at Geneseo, MBA - Washington University in St. Louis, PhD - University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Hometown: Rochester, NY

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Musician or Group: Folk Music
  • Favorite Restaurant: Suwanee Thai Restaurant
  • Favorite Movie: The Incredibles
  • Hobbies: hiking, reading, baking bread, watching movies, playing board games

Advice to Pre-Health Students: "Don't let technology obscure your sight - take the time to truly SEE your patients."

Most Memorable Moment at UNK: "Watching students struggle with a difficult concept or project and master it - seeing students grow in their confidence!"

Dr. Scott Darveau

 Dr. Scott Darveau, Bed Pan Award Winner

Name: Dr. Scott Darveau, Professor and Chair of Chemistry
Education History: Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, The University of Chicago, B.S. in Chemistry (With Highest Distinction), University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Hometown: Alliance, NE

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Musician or Group: Sting, Journey, 80s rock
  • Favorite Restaurant: Current favorite is Cheddars
  • Favorite Movie: Midway
  • Favorite Book: Just about any hard core science fiction
  • Hobbies: Gardening/Landscaping, Fishing, Hiking, Camping

Advice to Pre-Health Students: "Don't just try to find the path of least resistance -- look for what academic field you enjoy, work hard, and excel.  Any field can lead you where you need to go, so pick the one that is most fulfilling to YOU."

Most Memorable Moment at UNK: "There was a contest for the Health Science Club to raise money, the professor with the most donations would get a pie in the face.  Dr. Trantham rigged the result by paying the $20s into my 'bucket'.  The chocolate cream pie was tasty!"

Carol O'Neill, BSN, RN, OCN

Carol ONeill

Name: Carol O'Neill, BSN, RN, OCN
Education History: BS in Nursing from Kearney State College (1982)
Hometown: Sumner, NE

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Musician or Group: I enjoy many genres of music but the first artists I loved were James Taylor and Carole King, which clearly shows my age.
  • Favorite Movie: "It's a Wonderful Life" is a strong contender for many reasons but mostly for its message of optimism.  On the darker side, I really like "The Departed" but I generally don't admit it.
  • Hobbies: Traveling, sports, gardening, dancing, sewing, crafting, family activities
  • Fun Fact: I ran track at KSC for three years.  I'm married to my high school sweetheart.  I'm a 2-time lung cancer survivor.

Advice to Pre-Health Students: "Working in healthcare is tough, the work is difficult and the entire healthcare environment is complicated.  But it’s some of the most needed, most important and most meaningful work a person can devote themselves to.  If you choose healthcare because you truly care, you will bless countless others and your life will be enriched beyond measure."

How I Decided on My Profession: "I began college with an “extremely undecided” major.  My freshman roommate - assigned to me by chance - was a pre-nursing major and I found her anatomy and physiology book absolutely fascinating.  KSC was just beginning their RN program and I literally fell into it.  I’d always known I’d do something in a “helping” profession and the fit was perfect."

Dr. Janet Steele

Dr. Janet Steele

Name: Dr. Janet Steele

Education History:

B.S. Texas A&M University

M.S. Eastern Illinois University

Ph.D. Miami University

Post-Doc Medical College of Ohio

Hometown: Charleston, Illinois

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Musician or Group: The Eagles
  • Favorite Movie: Any Alfred Hitchcock movie with Cary Grant or Jimmy Steward
  • Hobbies: Jacob Sheep and Miniature Donkeys
  • Favorite Book: The series of books by Naomi Novik about a dragon named Temeraire

Advice to Pre-Health Students: Good grades are important, but not at the expense of missing out on other activities. Take time to meet new people and to develop your other talents so as to be a well-rounded person.

How I Decided on My Profession: My dad was a professor of Chemistry at Eastern Illinois University and most of my friends parents were college professors. I figure I was destined to be a professor.

Most Memorable Moment at UNK: When I interviewed for this job in April 1993, I immediately felt like this was home. I could tell UNK was a place that valued excellent teaching and was a perfect fit for me.

Sara Fecht, Nursing Services Administrative Assistant

Sara Fecht

Name: Sara Fecht, Nursing Services Administrative Assistant, Kearney Regional Medical Center

Education History: Bachelors of Science in Business Administration

Hometown: Axtell, NE

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Musician or Group: Carrie Underwood or Lauren Daigle
  • Favorite Movie: Smokey and the Bandit
  • Favorite Book: To Kill at Mockingbird
  • Hobbies: I enjoy movies, traveling, sports and excel spreadsheet!

Advice to Pre-Health Students: My advice would be to never miss an opportunity to experience something new. Healthcare is constantly changing and you never know when something incredible will come along, so be flexible and open-minded!

How I Decided on My Profession: I started from scratch and took an entry level job into the Healthcare field to decide if this was a path I wanted to take. I had always wanted to help people, but hadn't found the right way to do so. I ended up loving every aspect of healthcare, and changed my college courses to reflect a career in this field. I took as many opportunities as I could to learn about healthcare during my collegiate career, and how I could help people with a Business degree. I took an internship in the administration area of a hospital and quickly decided that upon graduation, I would remain in the hospital setting and continue to grow in healthcare management.

Most Memorable Moment at UNK: Although hosting Lip Sync during homecoming was a lot of fun, I think my most memorable moment at UNK isn't a specific moment at all. My favorite thing about my time at UNK was seeing the amount of students and faculty that were constantly giving back to the community. Every week it seemed like there was someone raising awareness or money about some important topic. In the midst of all of the chaos, seeing a group of people band together to support one cause was always my favorite part of UNK!