About the Medical College of Wisconsin

Medical College of Wisconsin Honorary Degree Recipients

2023 Recipients

Alberta Darling | Doctor of Humanities

Alberta DarlingSenator Alberta Darling was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1990 and to the State Senate in 1992. A resident of River Hills, she represented Wisconsin’s 8th Senate District before retiring on December 1, 2022.

Senator Darling entered public service with a commitment to protecting, educating and improving the lives of children.

Milwaukee Magazine named Senator Darling one of the “Most Influential People” in Milwaukee, declaring her as “arguably the most powerful woman in state government.”

For more than a decade, Senator Darling served as the Co-chair of the State's Joint Committee on Finance. Her leadership helped turn the Wisconsin’s finances around from a multi-billion dollar deficit to a multi-million dollar surplus.

Senator Darling remains dedicated to creating an economic climate that retains and attracts high-quality job opportunities for Wisconsin workers and their families while remaining fair and responsible to taxpayers. She most recently chaired the Senate Education Committee, where she continued to be a leader in helping students succeed.

A former teacher, Senator Darling is a leader in education reform. She helped create the first school choice program and created a turnaround school model for failing Milwaukee schools – a program which will create a better learning environment and improve standards for children.

Senator Darling also was a leader in healthcare reform and public safety reform.

On a personal level, her husband, Dr. William Darling, passed away in the spring of 2015. She and Dr. Bill have two children, Liza and Will, and three grandchildren, Charlie, Andie and Liam.

Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FASC | Doctor of Medical Science

Julie FreischlagJulie A. Freischlag, MD, is the Chief Academic Officer and Executive Vice President of Advocate Health, Chief Executive Officer of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at Wake Forest University.

As Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Freischlag oversees research and discovery for the entire Advocate Health system, including all educational and research programs at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Atrium Health Cabarrus College of Health Sciences and Atrium Health Carolinas College of Health Sciences. As CEO of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Dr. Freischlag has the overall responsibility for the health system’s clinical, academic and innovation enterprises and its annual operating budget of more than $4 billion.

Dr. Freischlag served as the Dean of Wake Forest University School of Medicine from 2018 until February 2023 and previously was Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis.

Dr. Freischlag has helped to drive change in academic medicine with a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. For more than 15 years, she has led education and training programs at top medical schools in her role as Professor and Chair of Surgery and Vascular Surgery departments.

Dr. Freischlag also has more than 30 years of experience leading patient-care services as Chief of Surgery or Vascular Surgery at nationally ranked hospitals. She served as Professor, Chair of the Surgery Department and Surgeon-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

She led initiatives to expand research, add specialty clinical services, improve patient-centered care and patient safety, redesign the surgical training program and enhance academic career paths for faculty. Her national leadership includes serving as a former Governor and Secretary of the Board of Governors and a Regent and Past Chair of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons. Additionally, Dr. Freischlag is the immediate Past President for the American College of Surgeons, Past President of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation, and Past President of the Association of VA Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Chairs. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for American Medical Colleges and will become Chair-elect in November 2023.

Dr. Freischlag was the editor of JAMA Surgery for ten years and currently is a member of the JAMA Oversight Committee and the editorial boards of the Annals of Vascular Surgery, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, British Journal of Surgery and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Freischlag is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome, which can require a specialized surgical procedure. She continues to evaluate and treat thoracic outlet syndrome patients and evaluates their results in a registry. Dr. Freischlag has received numerous teaching and achievement awards, including an Achievement Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, and in October 2021, was inducted into the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators.

Dr. Freischlag mentors students, residents and young faculty, and is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from her expertise in vascular diseases, teamwork and patient safety, leadership and work-life balance, to women succeeding in health professions.

Dr. Freischlag has dedicated her career to serving as a role model for her students, a respected colleague across health professions, a strong community leader and a national voice for improving health and healthcare.

Geneva Johnson | Doctor of Humanities

Geneva JohnsonGeneva Johnson is a volunteer, philanthropist and former Trustee of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and the Froedtert Hospital Foundation, and former Co-chair of the MCW Cancer Center Advisory Board.

Ms. Johnson also is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Family Service America, Inc. and Families International, Inc., and served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Long-Range Planning and Public Policy at the United Way of America and as Executive Director of the Women's Leadership Institute at Mount Mary College.

Ms. Johnson began her career in the human services field as Program Director at the Houston (Texas) YMCA and was a psychiatric social worker at the State Hospital in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. She held supervisory positions with the Children’s Aid Society of Berks County (Pa.) and the Children’s Services of Berks County, and then became Assistant Executive Director of the United Way of Berks County – the first in a series of local and national positions in the United Way organization.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Albright College (Reading, Pa.) a Master’s degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a Certificate in Executive Management from the Harvard Business School. Ms. Johnson also received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Albright College and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Alvernia College (Reading, PA).

Ms. Johnson was elected a Fellow in the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Science and Letters and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She has received numerous recognitions and awards and has served on many local, regional and national boards including the Wisconsin Energy Board; Wisconsin Electric and Power; Vitas Healthcare; US Bank; PAVE; Greater Milwaukee Foundation; Drucker Foundation; and Volunteers of America. In 1985, Savvy magazine named her one of the top 12 nonprofit executive women in America, and in 1990, Business Week magazine named Ms. Johnson as one of the top five best managers in the United States in the social services field.

Ms. Johnson has served as a consultant to the Council of Jewish Federations; YMCA; United Auto Workers of America; National Fellows Program of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; National Urban League; Big Brothers and Big Sisters; and NAACP. She served as the keynote speaker, along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on Ethics in Higher Education at the Stollenach University in Capetown, South Africa; and as a keynote speaker in Seoul, South Korea, for the establishment of the Peter Drucker Society of Asia.

Recent recognition for Ms. Johnson’s broad body of work has included the Medical College of Wisconsin’s President’s Diversity and Inclusion Award; the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s President’s Leadership in Philanthropy Award; and a Woman of Influence Award from the Milwaukee Business Journal.

David J. Lubar | Doctor of Humanities

David LubarDavid Lubar, MBA, joined Lubar & Co. in 1983 and currently serves as President and CEO. Lubar & Co. is a family office for the Lubar family and a private investment firm that invests in middle market operating companies with a focus on building private businesses over the long term.

Prior to joining Lubar & Co., Mr. Lubar was with Wells Fargo Bank (formerly known as Norwest Bank N.A.) in Minneapolis, Minnesota for five years, serving in the Commercial Banking Department.

Mr. Lubar is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Board of Directors of Ixonia Bank, Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, Baird Funds and many private companies.

Additionally, he is a former director of BMO Financial Corp. and the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Mr. Lubar is, or has served on, the Boards of several not-for-profit organizations, including Froedtert Health System (Past Chair); Greater Milwaukee Committee (Past Chair); Greater Milwaukee Foundation (Past Vice-Chair); Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce; Milwaukee Jewish Federation (Past Chair); United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County (Past Chair); University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Business Advisory Council (current Chair); University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Foundation; and others.

Mr. Lubar received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine) and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.

He and his wife, Madeleine, reside in Milwaukee.

Randle Pollard, MD | Doctor of Medical Science

Randle PollardRandle E. Pollard, MD, was the first Black resident at the Marquette University School of Medicine – the Medical College of Wisconsin’s predecessor institution – from which he received his graduate medical degree in 1958.

Dr. Pollard was a pioneering Black urologist who, as a physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist, was dedicated to the betterment of his community. Dr. Pollard died peacefully in Milwaukee on October 13, 2022, at the age of 96.

Dr. Pollard was born in Evanston, Illinois, on March 28, 1925. As a young student, he showed an early interest in science and math. His college career at Prairie View A&M University (a public historically Black land-grant university in Prairie View, Texas) was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army during World War II, during which he served as a combat medic in Italy and was awarded two Bronze Stars and three Battle Stars. Dr. Pollard earned his MD degree from Meharry Medical College in 1951 and moved to Milwaukee in 1954 to begin his graduate medical training.

Dr. Pollard went into private practice in Milwaukee in 1958, becoming the first Black urologist in Wisconsin. The medical establishment that he encountered was a far different one for Black doctors than the one he left behind when he retired 38 years later – a credit to the efforts of Dr. Pollard and others like him.

Dr. Pollard opened an office in an area where most of his patients were Black men, many of whom likely had never seen a urologist before. Dr. Pollard recognized a need that he could fulfill – that Black men historically had the highest incidence of prostate cancer of any group in the country and therefore would most benefit from his services.

Early on, he understood the importance of taking on leadership roles in medical organizations in bringing about change. He was twice elected President of the medical staff at Good Samaritan Medical Center and served as President of the Milwaukee Urological Society, Cream City Medical Society and Wisconsin Urological Society. Dr. Pollard also was a founder of what became the R. Frank Jones Urological Society of the National Medical Association.

Teaching also afforded Dr. Pollard the opportunity to “give forward” to future generations. Among his many notable academic posts were Chief of Urology at Deaconess Hospital and Clinical Professor of Urology at MCW for 30 years.

Dr. Pollard’s accomplishments extended far beyond medicine. He invested in many Black-owned businesses, including a pharmacy and a nursing home. He co-founded the North Milwaukee State Bank – the city’s first full-service, minority-owned bank. His philanthropic interests ranged from the Milwaukee Urban League and NAACP to board membership of the Bradley Center and Second Harvest.

In 2002, Dr. Pollard established the Randle E. Pollard, MD, FACS, GME ’58 Endowed Urological Prize at MCW, which is awarded annually to a fourth-year medical student who displays an interest and aptitude in urology.

Dr. Pollard’s contributions to the profession and to his patients, especially his work to raise awareness about urologic diseases among Black men, cannot be underestimated.

Julia A. Uihlein, MA | Doctor of Humane Letters

Julia UihleinJulia A. Uihlein – known to all as “Julie” – is a retired Assistant Adjunct Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities and Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she earned her Master of Arts degree in Bioethics in 1999.

Ms. Uihlein served on the MCW Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2013 and received the title of “Trustee “Emerita” in recognition of her contributions. She also served as Associate Director of MCW’s Medical Humanities Program and on the Boards of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (now Children’s Wisconsin); the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin; and University School of Wisconsin. Ms. Uihlein was instrumental in bringing AmeriCorps’ City Year to Milwaukee and served as Chair of City Year Milwaukee.

Ms. Uihlein currently serves as Life Trustee of Northwestern University (her alma mater) and is a member of the Northwestern Medicine Committee.

Ms. Uihlein's areas of expertise has included ethical issues in pediatrics; medical education in pediatric ethics; narrative ethics; pain and palliation in pediatrics; and medical humanities. Her passion for medicine was a driving force behind the creation of MCW’s Master’s program in Bioethics. The Julia A. Uihlein Library Collection in bioethics and medical humanities is comparable in size to Georgetown University’s.

She and her husband, David, ran a charitable foundation for many years which is no longer operating. In 2020, Ms. Uihlein established an endowed deanship for the MCW School of Medicine, which is held by Dr. Joseph E. Kerschner, who also serves as MCW’s Executive Vice President and Provost.

Among her favorite quotes (by Abraham Verghese and others) is “And after all, what is medicine but life?”

2022 Recipients

Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, FAMIA, FASA, FCPP | Doctor of Medical Science

Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, FAMIA, FASA, FCPJesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, FAMIA, FASA, FCPP, is director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) and Senior Associate Dean and Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine (MCW), where he directs the strategic and operational advancement of AHW, a $475 million statewide health philanthropy, while continuing his clinical practice and research.

Dr. Ehrenfeld was recently elected President of the American Medical Association (AMA) and will begin his term in June 2023. He is a combat veteran and former U.S. Navy Commander who deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and Resolute Support Mission. He is a nationally recognized advocate and expert on health issues in the LGBTQ population and a leading voice on health equity. He currently a technical adviser to the World Health Organization Digital Health Technical Advisory Group and was recently named one of 10 Emerging Leaders by Managed Healthcare Executive. His research has been funded by the NIH, Department of Defense, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, and the AMA.

Clare Helminiak, MD, MPH | Doctor of Medical Science

Clare Helminiak, MD, MPHRear Admiral Clare Helminiak, MD, MPH, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She obtained her medical degree in 1982 and master’s degree in public health in 1998 from the Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed a flexible internship at Michigan State University and is board certified in public health and general preventive medicine.

As a Medical Officer in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), she first served for 23 years as a primary care physician and healthcare administrator at isolated duty stations in the Indian Health Service in New Mexico, Alaska, Montana and Arizona.

In Alaska she also served as the Assistant Director of the Alaska Area Hepatitis B Program, conducting clinical research activities and daily operational direction of a mass sero-survey and immunization program for all Native Americans and Alaska Natives in coordination with the CDC’s Arctic Investigations Laboratory in Anchorage.

Beginning in 2002, serving both domestically and onsite in Afghanistan, Rear Admiral Helminiak worked for five years on teams tasked with the ongoing commitment of the US government to healthcare reconstruction in Afghanistan in a challenging and complex humanitarian and security environment. These teams included representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense.

Rear Admiral Helminiak served from 2007-2009 in the Office of the Vice President as the Medical Advisor for Homeland Security Affairs for Vice President Dick Cheney. In this White House office she was responsible for a broad unclassified and classified homeland security portfolio of public health and medical issues, including: pandemics; chemical, biological, radiologic, synthetic and nuclear threats; development, acquisition, and distribution of medical countermeasures; all-hazards medical surge capacity and mass casualty care; biosurveillance and biomonitoring architecture; and global health security. In this office she researched issues and provided briefings for the Vice President and provided a direct interface for the Office of the Vice President with the staff of the Homeland Security Council, National Security Council and the senior leadership of the Interagency at the Assistant Secretary level.

At the Department of Health and Human Services, she directed medical and public health emergency preparedness and response programs for domestic and international public health and medical threats and emergencies. In her role as the USPHS Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Helminiak was responsible for providing leadership and coordination of all USPHS physician professional affairs and for advising the Surgeon General on policy and operational issues for all USPHS officers.

Dr. Helminiak now works as an independent consultant and resides in Bulverde, Texas.

Katherine M. Hudson | Doctor of Humanities

Katherine M. HudsonKatherine M. Hudson is the retired Chair of the Board of Directors, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brady Corporation (Brady), a global manufacturer of identification solutions and specialty industrial products. Ms. Hudson became President and CEO of Brady in 1994 after spending 24 years with Eastman Kodak Company. Her career at Kodak included positions in systems analysis, supply chain, finance, corporate communications, investor relations, information technology and litigation operations.

Her general management experience spanned both commercial and consumer product lines. Her last position at Eastman Kodak Company was as the Vice President and General Manager of Professional, Printing and Publishing Imaging, a business unit with $2.3 billion in revenues. Recruited to lead Brady, Ms. Hudson launched efforts to globalize the company, expanding its presence from eight countries to 22. From 1994 until her retirement in 2004, Brady’s revenues doubled, and its market capitalization tripled.

Ms. Hudson also has served on the boards of directors of several public companies including: Apple Computer Corporation, Honeywell, Case Corporation, Charming Shoppes, Inc., CNH Global, Ericsson and International Flavors and Fragrances. With CNH, she served as Non-Executive Chair and had been Lead Director of Charming Shoppes prior to 2008. Ms. Hudson has experience on audit, compensation and governance committees.

As Chief Information Officer at Eastman Kodak Company, she was honored by Information Week as the Chief Information Officer of the Year in 1991 and by CIO Magazine as one of the 25 most influential people shaping the computer industry in 1992. She is a past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Medical College of Wisconsin and current Vice Chair of the Alverno College Board of Trustees.

Ms. Hudson graduated with a BS in Management from Indiana University. She didn’t earn an MBA, but was married to the late Robert O. Hudson, an intelligent and handsome graduate of the Simon School at the University of Rochester. Their son Robert K. Hudson is a talented classical pianist, sound designer and composer of electronic music. Ms. Hudson and her golden retriever Ozzy live in Mequon, Wisconsin.

Edward J. Lennon, MD, GME ’58 | Doctor of Medical Science

Edward J. Lennon, MD, GME ’58For almost 40 years, Edward J. Lennon, MD, GME ’58, was a driving force in the Medical College of Wisconsin’s (MCW) maturation in becoming a nationally recognized medical school. He is the only individual to have served as both Dean of the School of Medicine and President of MCW and was the Founding Director of the medical school’s federally funded Clinical Research Center, forerunner of today’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

During his tenure as MCW’s sixth medical school Dean (1978-1985), the Medical College of Wisconsin became the hub of the newly established Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MRMC). Dr. Lennon coordinated the transfer of MCW’s academic and research activities to new facilities on the MRMC campus. He helped determine which clinical programs would remain at the Milwaukee County General Hospital and which would be moved to the new Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital when it opened in 1980. Dr. Lennon campaigned to have Milwaukee Children’s Hospital (now Children’s Wisconsin) construct new facilities on the MRMC campus. He also created MCW’s combined MD/PhD program (the Medical Scientist Training Program). While dean, MCW established the Center for the Study of Bioethics, the third center of its kind in the United States.

Dr. Lennon sought to increase diverse representation and leadership from the community MCW serves. While serving as dean, the number and percentage of female medical students at MCW increased. Dr. Lennon established MCW’s Office of Minority Student Affairs, created bridging programs to increase minority student representation, and in 1982, he appointed Bettie Sue Siler Masters, PhD, as chair of the department of biochemistry. She was MCW’s first female department chair.

Dr. Lennon became MCW’s President in 1984, a position he held until his retirement in 1990. At his inauguration as President, he said, “If we are able to achieve all of my aspirations for the Medical College of Wisconsin, then I have set my sights too low.”

To address MCW’s growing research enterprise, he led the planning and construction of MCW’s MACC Fund Research Center, which opened in 1988. One of Dr. Lennon’s major commitments was to increase an interest in science among Milwaukee-area middle and high school students. He created outreach programs that brought students to MCW’s facilities where they conducted scientific experiments. Dr. Lennon also created summer laboratory work experiences for middle and high school teachers. MCW also donated used scientific equipment to Milwaukee public schools.

As both Dean and President, Dr. Lennon continued to see patients and conduct research on kidney stones and on the effects of glucose on kidney function.

A native of Chicago, Dr. Lennon received his undergraduate degree in zoology and his Master of Arts degree in German from the University of Illinois. He was awarded his MD degree from Northwestern University in 1952.

That same year, Dr. Lennon came to the medical school (then the Marquette University School of Medicine) as an intern followed by a residency in general internal medicine at the Milwaukee County General Hospital. He served a fellowship in metabolism and endocrinology at the county hospital from 1958-60.

From 1960-61, he conducted a research fellowship in renal function at Boston University Hospitals under the tutelage of Arnold Relman, MD, who later became editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. He returned to the Marquette University School of Medicine in 1961 to become chief of the renal section in the department of medicine and director of one of the nation’s first Clinical Research Centers, funded by the National Institutes of Health. In 1968, he was promoted to associate dean for clinical affairs.

Dr. Lennon was the nation’s first Chair of the Council of Deans of Private, Freestanding Medical Schools. He served on the Governor’s Science and Technology Task Force and on the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee County Research Park, Curative Rehabilitation Center (now Curative Care Network), and the Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin (now Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin).

Dr. Lennon received the Medical Society of Milwaukee County’s Distinguished Service Award, the Milwaukee Academy of Medicine’s Distinguished Achievement Award, and the Wisconsin State Medical Society’s Directors’ Award. He was named an Honorary Alumnus by the Medical College/Marquette Medical Alumni Association in 1980.

As a medical resident, fellow, practicing physician, research scientist, teacher, and leader, Dr. Lennon touched the lives of MCW’s students, patients, and faculty and staff members.

Susan Lubar | Doctor of Humanities

Susan LubarSusan A. Lubar has been a pioneer in bringing strategies for mindful well-being to Milwaukee leaders and educators for more than 15 years. Her vision focuses on fostering innate emotional skills that increase well-being and have a positive influence at home and in the workplace.

Susan founded Growing Minds with the belief that every educator and student could benefit from using mindfulness techniques to “check in” with themselves for two minutes a day in order to reset their nervous systems and then set short-term and long-term intentions and goals. Expanding beyond the classroom, this daily practice keeps well-being at the forefront of practitioners’ minds and naturally leads to calmer and more purposeful teams of people.

Growing Minds uses short, research-based practices that train the mind to be more grounded and less reactive. They build the foundation for more compassionate relationships where individuals have greater opportunities to thrive, no matter their circumstances.

Through Growing Minds, Susan has partnered with many educational organizations and hospitals including the Medical College of Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Lutheran Social Services and the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. Susan has participated in more than 200 hours of the country’s leading mindful awareness training, as well as workshops on other related topics, building a knowledge base to support the trauma-informed content offered by Growing Minds.

To further Susan’s efforts towards social justice, she currently serves on the Executive Committees of the Milwaukee Area Technical College Foundation and the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee. Both groups aim to create awareness and education for meaningful and transformational opportunities. She also serves on the Board of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation in order to help fulfill its mission to sustain a vibrant Jewish community.

Susan’s formal education began with a BA in communications from the University of Vermont. Her business degree from Kellogg Graduate School of Management provided the skills needed to operate Growing Minds. She worked for Xerox Corporation in sales directly out of college and then in the real estate divisions of Prudential Life and Northwestern Mutual after Kellogg.

Susan’s favorite ways to spend time include cross-country and downhill skiing, maintaining a summer vegetable garden, time in the kitchen making delicious meals and time with her adult children and grandchild who are spread across the West Coast.

George MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, FASHP, FNAP | Doctor of Medical Science

George MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPhGeorge E. MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, FASHP, FNAP joined the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2015 as Founding Dean and Professor of the School of Pharmacy. He also serves as Professor of Family and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine and Institute for Health & Equity in the Graduate School. He has held leadership roles in successfully establishing four new academic pharmacy programs in the United States (two as Founding Dean).

His previous appointments have included Vice President of Academic Affairs with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and Director of Global Health Economics & Outcomes Research of Abbott Laboratories. Dr. MacKinnon currently serves on the boards of Vivent Health and Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin. He serves on editorial boards of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Times, and Wisconsin Medical Journal. He is editor of two books, Embedded Pharmacists in Primary Care and Understanding Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomics.

Dr. MacKinnon leads the MCW School of Pharmacy, which delivers a dynamic and innovative Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum and expands pharmacist care models (e.g., immunizations, pharmacogenomics) in collaborative approaches to team-based care. His team navigated the PharmD program through the accreditation processes in an expeditious manner, achieving full accreditation in January 2021. Post-graduate residency placement rates for graduates have increased the past three years from 72% to 75% to 93%, affirming that MCW is producing PharmD graduates that aspire to and are accepted in post-graduate training programs nationally.

The School of Pharmacy, along with the MCW Office of Research, led efforts to establish a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic in December 2020. Upon its conclusion, almost 20,000 immunizations were provided by a team of pharmacists, physicians, nurses, PAs, and pharmacy & medical students. The School of Pharmacy achieved 100% participation from its faculty and staff, contributing 4,500 hours in clinic. In 2021, Dr. MacKinnon was recognized as a Notable Heroes in Health Care by Milwaukee Biz Times for his work in immunizations both pre- and post-pandemic.

Dr. MacKinnon received his BS (Pharmacy) and MS (Hospital Pharmacy) from the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, completing two-years post-graduate pharmacy residency training at UW Hospital & Clinics. He earned his PhD from Loyola University Chicago. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (FASHP) and Distinguished Scholar Fellow of the National Academies of Practice (NAP).

Dr. MacKinnon’s interest in pharmacy grew from his mother’s career as a pharmacy technician in Marshfield, Wisconsin, where she relocated to from Mexico after having met his father in the southwestern U.S. Dr. MacKinnon is married to Karen MacKinnon (a pharmacist and MCW faculty member) and they have three adult children.

Bettie Sue Masters, PhD | Doctor of Science

Bettie Sue Masters, PhDBettie Sue Siler Masters, PhD, qualified for a science scholarship to Roanoke College through a Westinghouse Science Talent Search Competition. She graduated in 1959 with a BS in chemistry as salutatorian of her class. Dr. Masters received the Roanoke College Medal in 1973 and the honorary DSc degree from her alma mater in 1983.

Dr. Masters continued her education at Duke University, where she earned a PhD in biochemistry in 1963, supported by a National Institutes of Health predoctoral fellowship. After earning her PhD, Dr. Masters began her academic research career at Duke University and completed her postdoctoral training there. She accepted her first faculty appointment at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1968 supported by an American Heart Association Established Investigatorship. She attained full professor status eight years later and served that faculty for 14 years. In 1982, Dr. Masters became professor and chair of the biochemistry department at the Medical College of Wisconsin, the first female chair in the school's history. During this period, she also established and directed the Medical Scientist Training Program and created the Armand J. Quick Award and the Charlie Taketa Memorial Lectureship, memorializing these outstanding faculty members. She was then recruited to the University of Texas Health Center in San Antonio as the first Robert A. Welch Foundation Distinguished Chair in Chemistry in 1990.

Dr. Masters was awarded research grants by the National Institutes of Health over a period of 45 years for a total of $17 million. She was a member of the Advisory Committee to two Directors of the National Institutes of Health from 2000-2004. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for 10 years. In 2005, she was awarded the Doctorem Medicinae (honorary Doctor of Medicine) from Charles University in Prague.

Dr. Masters was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies) in 1996 for her contributions to biomedical research and was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001. She also served as president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 2002-2004.

Bettie Sue Masters married Robert Sherman Masters, and they raised two accomplished daughters, Diane Elizabeth Masters and Deborah Masters Camitta. Dr. Masters has three wonderful grandchildren. The eldest, Christopher Camitta, performs biomedical research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences while preparing for graduate school. His sister, Caroline Camitta, is preparing for postgraduate training in veterinary medicine. The youngest granddaughter, Zoë Iwinski Masters, is a creative, artistic middle schooler. Bettie Sue’s late husband, Robert Masters, retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the US Marine Corps, following 27 years as a jet squadron reservist and a business career in a scientific laboratory equipment and supplies company, and ending in the securities and annuities industry. He succumbed to lymphoma in 2013. Dr. Masters now lives in Durham, N.C., where both daughters and their families live, and has rejoined Duke as an adjunct professor to remain in touch with her profession and graduate student education. In so doing, she has made a complete circle in her personal and professional odyssey.

Anthony S. McHenry | Doctor of Humanities

Anthony S. McHenryAnthony McHenry has worked in education and the nonprofit sector for his entire career and has directly impacted the lives of countless young people. Since April 2016, Anthony has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Milwaukee Academy of Science (MAS), a public charter school located in the Avenues West neighborhood that serves K4-12th grade students from across the city of Milwaukee. Although more than 95 percent of the student population is considered economically disadvantaged (on top of the funding challenges MAS faces as a charter school), Milwaukee Academy of Science has flourished under Anthony’s leadership. Some of his proudest achievements include record-breaking enrollment each year since 2016, considerable growth in student and staff retention and, for the last seven years in a row, 100 percent of MAS seniors have graduated and been accepted into post-secondary education institutions.

Prior to joining MAS, Mr. McHenry served at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center in the Westlawn neighborhood for nearly 20 years. He started out as a teacher before moving to Assistant Principal, Youth Program Director, Assistant Executive Director and, finally, Executive Director from 2013-2016. Mr. McHenry led a bold initiative titled Westlawn WINS (Working to Improve Neighborhood Success). Westlawn WINS streamlined Silver Spring’s programs and collaborative partnerships to provide a conception-to-career pipeline in order to take ownership of the educational success for children in the area.

As a community leader, he was the chairperson for the Milwaukee Teen Pregnancy Prevention Network from 2007-14 and served as co-chair for the Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Project from 2011-2014. Currently, Mr. McHenry is the volunteer director of Silver Spring's nationally known AAU basketball program. In this role, he serves as coach, role model and father figure for a significant number of young adult males trying to overcome the many obstacles they face. More than 70 players have received full athletic scholarships to colleges and universities across the country. Of those 70 athletes, 54 were first-generation college students. He also is an active member of the PEARLS for Teen Girls Board of Directors, which is an organization focused on providing pre-teen and teenage girls with support and guidance for self-empowerment and development. Mr. McHenry also is a proud member of the Acts Housing Board of Directors. Acts Housing works with individuals and families seeking homeownership and financial counseling, as well as helps families with home rehabilitation projects. In his most recent effort to positively impact the educational landscape of Milwaukee, Mr. McHenry now serves on the Teach for America Milwaukee Board of Directors.

Mr. McHenry was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a full athletic scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies in 1993. In recent years Anthony has received several distinguished awards including the Social Development Commission Incredible Person Award (twice), and in 2016, he won the Milwaukee Times Black Excellence Award and the Donald Driver Driven to Achieve Award.

Ashok Rai, MD | Doctor of Medical Science

Ashok Rai, MDDr. Ashok Rai is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Prevea Health – a physician-led, physician-owned multispecialty health care provider working in partnership with Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin. Prevea Health was founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, and today employs more than 2,000 people, including more than 500 providers and advanced practice providers. It offers high-quality patient care in more than 30 communities across Wisconsin, as well as a health insurance plan (Prevea360) with one of the largest coordinated networks across the state.

Dr. Rai’s passion to redesign health care in the U.S. embraces the movement from fee-for-service methods of payment to value-based care, which rewards health care organizations for their work in preventive health care and encouraging patients to live healthy lifestyles and not for the amount of procedures they perform. This has significantly influenced Prevea Health’s strategy to improve the total wellness of all communities it serves. Dr. Rai has also taken proactive steps to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts within the Prevea Health system, and equitable access to health care for all in our communities.

In addition, and since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin in March 2020, Dr. Rai has helped Prevea Health lead the way and set standards for high-quality, accessible, and innovative COVID-19 education, prevention, testing, treatment and vaccination efforts across Wisconsin – all of which have garnered attention from local, state and national health care leaders and journalists.

Dr. Rai was born and raised in Michigan. He attended undergraduate school and enrolled in the “Target M.D.” program at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He completed his medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and then a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics through Michigan State University at the Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies. Following residency, he specialized in hospital medicine and held various leadership positions at Prevea Health before becoming the President and CEO of Prevea Health in 2009. He also continues to practice medicine, caring for patients at Woodside Lutheran Nursing Home in Green Bay and in occasional hospitalist shifts at local HSHS hospitals.

Dr. Rai is actively involved in his community and committed to making a difference on local, state and national levels. He is a Regent for the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, appointed by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in April 2021. Dr. Rai also joined the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) Board of Directors in 2012 and served as Chairman of AMGA in 2018. For PGA of America’s 2020 Ryder Cup, he served as Medical Committee Chair and Team Physician. Other roles he has include Chairman of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon; member of the Board of Directors for the Automobile Gallery in Green Bay; and a member of the Board of Downtown Green Bay, Inc.

Dr. Rai lives in Green Bay with his wife, Brooke. He is a proud father of three boys and three girls, and their dog, Josie.

David J. Skorton, MD | Doctor of Medical Science

David J. Skorton, MDDavid J. Skorton, MD, is President and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which represents the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals and health systems, and academic societies.

Dr. Skorton began his leadership of the AAMC in July 2019 after a distinguished career in government, higher education and medicine. At the AAMC, he has addressed social issues that affect health, guided the AAMC through a pandemic and built a multiyear strategic plan to tackle the nation’s most intractable challenges in health and healthcare, working to make academic medicine more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

Dr. Skorton has contributed to the national response to the coronavirus pandemic through frequent interactions with senior government officials and appearances in national media. When national protests erupted over police brutality, Dr. Skorton was an outspoken voice for ending systemic racism in academic medicine and addressing persistent health disparities.

Previously, Dr. Skorton served as the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, where he oversaw 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers and education programs. Prior to that, he served as President of two universities: Cornell University (2006 to 2015) and the University of Iowa (2003 to 2006), where he also served on the faculty for 26 years and specialized in the treatment of adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease. A pioneer of cardiac imaging and computer processing techniques, he also was codirector and co-founder of the University of Iowa Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic.

A Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, Dr. Skorton is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, as well as a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also served on the AAMC Board of Directors from 2010 to 2013, and he was the charter president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs Inc., the first group organized specifically to accredit human research protection programs.

Throughout his career, Dr. Skorton has focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. A nationally recognized supporter of the arts and humanities, as well as an accomplished musician, Dr. Skorton believes that many of society’s thorniest problems can only be solved by combining the sciences, social sciences and the arts and humanities.

Dr. Skorton earned his BA and MD degrees from Northwestern University. He completed his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology and was chief medical resident at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is married to Robin Davisson, PhD, an award-winning scientist, who is professor emerita of molecular physiology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College. She is also adjunct professor of medicine at Georgetown University and an emerging visual artist.

Jean C. Tehan | Doctor of Humanities

Jean TehanJean C. Tehan retired as President and CEO of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin in 2020 after more than 32 years of dedicated service and leadership to north central Wisconsin communities. Jean joined what was then known as the Wausau Area Community Foundation one year after its incorporation in January 1987. Under her tenure the Community Foundation has grown to more than $67 million in assets and has awarded more than $87 million in grants to the arts, health, education, human resources and resource preservation.

Jean was instrumental in bringing the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin campus to Wausau and has helped the campus develop roots in the community through her many connections. The Community Foundation was an early donor to building the campus, and Jean served on the first Regional Advisory Admissions Committee, helping to select the medical students who are admitted to the MCW-CW campus. She has served the community in many volunteer and civic leadership roles, and has received multiple honors including the Women of Vision award, Badger of the Year award, and Impact Award Recipient.

Past Recipients


Michelle L. (Hinton) Ford, MBA
Doctor of Humanities

Eve M. Hall, PhD
Doctor of Humanities

Matthew F. Heywood
Doctor of Medical Science

George P. Hinton
Doctor of Humanities

Richard N. Katschke
Doctor of Humane Letters

Roger L. Duncan, III, MD, FASA
Doctor of Medical Science

Paula Lucey, PhD, RN, MN
Doctor of Medical Science

Lilly Marks
Doctor of Medical Science

Cory L. Nettles
Doctor of Humanities

Tim Sheehy
Doctor of Humanities

Larry Weyers
Doctor of Humanities


Victor & Dawn Barnett
Doctor of Humanities

Renee Chapman Navarro, PharmD, MD
Doctor of Medical Science

James C. Rahn
Doctor of Humanities

Solomon H. Snyder, MD
Doctor of Medical Science

Tracey Sparrow, EdD
Doctor of Humanities


Virginia K. (Ginny) Bolger
Doctor of Humanities

Robert David (Bob) Curry
Doctor of Humanities

Lisa Grill Dodson
Doctor of Medical Science

Thomas Kunkel
Doctor of Humane Letters

Bruce (BJ) Miller
Doctor of Medical Science

Stephen A. Roell and Dr. Shelagh M. Roell
Doctor of Humanities


Sharon and Larry Adams
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degrees

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Matthew L. Hunsaker, MD, FAAFP
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Michael S. Orban
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Roland A. Patillo, MD, FACOG
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Rebecca Page Ramirez
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Agustin A. Ramirez, Jr.
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Aaron Rodgers
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Mary Ellen Stanek, CFA
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Scott P. Stanek, DDS
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree


Donna M. Hietpas
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Ralph E. Hollmon
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Will Allen
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree


Billie Ann and Michael Charles Kubly, MD
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Gary H. Gibbons, MD
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Ricardo Diaz
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Timothy T. Flaherty, MD
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree


John Bartkowski
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Jon and Ann Hammes
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degrees

Lester L. Carter, Jr.
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Robert J. Lefkowitz
Doctor of Science Honorary Degree


Mary-Claire King
Doctor of Science Honorary Degree

Tim Size
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

William David Petasnick
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree


Jeffrey T. Laitman
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Robert A. Wild
Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree

Thomas A. Brophy
Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree


Cordelia Taylor
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree

Jan Lennon
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

T. Michael Bolger
Doctor of Medical Science Honorary Degree


Allan H. (Bud) Selig
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Bryon Riesch
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Mary and Ted D. Kellner
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Michael Bliss
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree

Sheldon and Marianne Lubar
Doctor of Humanities Honorary Degree