The President’s Award was established so that each year the President and the Executive Committee would have the opportunity to recognize an individual for outstanding service to the Academy and the field of pathology. The award is conferred at the sole discretion of the President without requirement for it to be given annually. It is presented at  the awards ceremony during the Annual Meeting. The awardee is introduced by the President and receives a commemorative trophy.

Selection process: The President nominates an awardee during his or her term as President. This nomination is submitted for approval to the Executive Committee at the time of the Interim Meeting (or earlier).

  The Academy provides:

         – Complimentary registration to the Annual Meeting

The USCAP Staff

2024 President’s Award

This year, the USCAP President’s Award goes to all the phenomenal Staff of USCAP. This award recognizes their unwavering and tireless diligence, dedication, and commitment to excellence. Over the years, the USCAP Leadership, Committee Chairs and Members, Faculty, and USCAP Members have spoken volumes about the amazing contributions of these relatively small group of indefatigable Staff. USCAP could not possibly maintain our “Gold Standard” status without these outstanding Staff.  They are indeed the “Backbone” of the Academy.  It has been an honor and a privilege for me to work closely with them and see them in action over the past year.

Our Staff is led by Patrick Flaherty (Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer) who joined the team in May 2022. Patrick brought almost three decades of successful nonprofit and association management experience to USCAP. He was recognized as “Outstanding Director” of the all-volunteer Colorado chapter of a youth leadership program. As Executive Director, he led a nutrition provider for people with life-threatening illnesses from insolvency, through a capital campaign, and on to be officially named the “Most Outstanding Nonprofit Organization in Colorado.” As Director of Policy Advocacy Programs for the privately-endowed Gill Foundation, he helped craft the most successful civil rights movement in modern history. Most recently, as Executive Director of the jointly managed Denver and Colorado Bar Associations, he led them through their first-ever strategic plans and reversed a 30-year decline in membership. His interests include home improvement, travel, architecture, making beer, and re-learning gardening in the desert.

The Programs and Education team is led by Claire Kilfoyle (Chief Programs and Education Officer) who joined USCAP in 2017 as Director of Education. She has over fifteen years of experience in medical education. With a background that includes working with neuroscientists, microbiologists, and endocrinologists, she is well versed in providing top notch education to physicians and scientists.  Claire truly enjoys working with members to develop and execute educational activities. She has also worked tirelessly on many strategic initiatives throughout her career including the development of regional and international programs and fostering relationships with global partners.

The Chief Finance and Administration Officer is Melissa A. Russo. She joined USCAP in 2022. She received a B.A. in economics from UCLA, and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Illinois, and holds the credential of Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). She has over 30 years in nonprofit and government agency leadership, specializing in administration, fundraising, program development, event management, and public and government relations. She was previously Director of the San Bernardino County Museum, garnering a record number of National Association of Counties (NACo) excellence awards during her tenure. She also served as Director of Institutional Advancement at Chabot Space & Science Center, Executive Director of the Western Museums Association, and Corporate Treasury Officer for National Westminster Bank, PLC. She has extensive experience serving on nonprofit boards including those that promote education, business, cultural arts, and social justice that serve at-risk and exploited youth.  Melissa is an avid photographer, with goals to capture images on every continent of the world traveling with her husband from their home base in Rancho Mirage. Between them they have four grown children.

Krista M. Cairns (Education Manager) joined the USCAP family in July 2015. She has 20 plus years of experience working in public, private and government education systems. Krista holds a B.S. in Social Psychology and a M.A. in Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Krista prides herself on being a lifelong learner and passionate educator of learners of all ages. Outside of work, Krista enjoys spending time with her husband of 22 years and their three children. The Cairns family are animal lovers and currently have four rescue dogs.

Robin Costello (Director of Conferences and Events) is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and has more than 20 years of experience in hospitality management. Prior to joining USCAP, she worked as an Event Planner for the nation’s largest non-profit addiction treatment organization, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Robin has been on sales and marketing teams supporting convention services and event management for the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Communities Convention and Visitors Authority. She is responsible for the site selections and logistics of all the USCAP meetings. Robin has been married for over 20 years and has two children. She enjoys hiking, watching soccer, traveling and spending time with her family.

Candice Forsythe (Executive Administrative Assistant) has brought a wealth of administrative experience to her role at USCAP, having served as an Executive Administrative Assistant in several international companies and non-profits over the course of her career. She assists our EVP/CEO and CFAO as well as managing USCAP’s facilities and keeping the office running smoothly. Candice has a BA in English with a minor in Literature from Cal State Fullerton and spent time in the UK studying art at Cambridge. She enjoys reading, crocheting, getting together with friends, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Christian Giangreco (Director of Information Technology) received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and his Master’s degree in Public Health from UCLA. After working as an Epidemiologist for the LA County Department of Health Services, he began working for a number of Internet eCommerce companies as a developer, project manager, and director of technology. In 2001, he started a Web hosting company (RIS Technology) that supported such clients as Nissan, Sanyo, The Recording Academy (, and Gatorade. After the successful sale of his hosting company, he was hired to build out the Managed Services practice at Guidance Solutions. Most recently, he worked for the County of San Bernardino, Department of Behavioral Health implementing a replacement to their legacy Finance system and a new Electronic Health Records system. Christian will be focusing his talents with the Information Technology and Digital Development projects. Feel free to challenge him on his 80’s music and film trivia.

Daniela Gomez (Foundation & Membership Facilitator) joined USCAP in 2018 with a strong academic background, and a commitment to excellence in customer service. As a team-member, Daniela is deeply involved in supporting the efforts of USCAP Foundation and Membership. She serves as staff liaison to USCAP’s Foundation Committee. Daniela grew up in Palm Springs, California, and loves its warm weather and palm trees. She is a part-time student pursuing her Bachelor’s in Business Administration. When not busy with work and school, Daniela enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Her interests include reading, traveling, and hiking. She is an animal lover and has a few rescue cats of her own.

Stacie Hargett (Meeting Planner) is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and joined USCAP in 2012. Stacie supports the logistical planning of the Annual Meeting and USCAP’s stand-alone meetings. With a B.A. in Communications from Augusta University, she enjoys the opportunity to work with talented people from around the globe and is honored to work for such an internationally renowned organization.  Stacie enjoys spending time with her husband, traveling, exploring new restaurants, exercising, and volunteering to help stray animals.

Karli Kai Hess (Assistant Managing Editor, the USCAP journals) joined USCAP in 2022. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During her Master’s degree, she loved being a Teaching Assistant, where she taught Biological Science laboratories and discussions. She presented her research at conferences in the state of Wisconsin, and her research won an award at UW-Milwaukee’s Graduate Research Symposium. After earning her Master’s degree, Karli worked as a Research Associate at Indiana University School of Medicine, where she studied Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease). This led her to become a Microbiologist for the Indiana Department of Health, where she was a part of the BioWatch program funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Karli has been dedicated to scientific research throughout her academic career. In her free time, Karli loves to read books, lift weights, and eat donuts from different donut shops all over the country. Karli left Wisconsin for the state of Indiana, but travels all over the country to visit her parents who RV full-time.

Catherine M. Ketcham (Managing Editor, the USCAP journals) has been the Managing Editor of Laboratory Investigation since 2003 and of Modern Pathology since 2009. She earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Florida and was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She then spent seven years in the San Diego biotechnology community focusing on manufacturing issues and business development. Upon returning to the University of Florida, she held research and development positions at the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, and then joined the Pathology department to manage Laboratory Investigation. After relocating to Atlanta, Catherine founded Ketcham Solutions, which was contracted to edit both journals. She has traveled extensively throughout China and Japan, speaking about scientific publishing and promoting the journals. She is now based at USCAP in Palm Springs.

Andrea Lindhardt (Education Coordinator) joined the USCAP team in 2022 as an Education Coordinator, focusing on the Palm Springs Live Interactive Microscopy Courses. She holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and an A.S. in Administrative Management. Andrea has worked in various positions within the hospitality field, including front office, group reservations, accounting, and has extensive experience in office management. Andrea was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary and moved to the United States in her late teens. She is passionate about continuous education, health and wellness, hiking, and traveling.

Susanna Martinez (Education and Programs Coordinator) joined USCAP in July 2017. As Education and Programs Coordinator, she is responsible for the creation and management of educational content in USCAP’s eLearning center, she serves as staff liaison to the American Board of Pathology’s Test Development Advisory Committee, and provides faculty support for USCAP’s Interactive Center and Destination Courses. Susanna attended music school in Los Angeles, where she was certified in Audio Engineering and Production. She became a signed artist and opened her own music studio in Palm Springs. Through this, she developed a strong business sense and learned the importance of growth, both personally and professionally. She strives to assist in the success of the Academy and her team members. On her time off, Susanna enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children, doing home renovation projects, or training her two Australian Cattle Dogs.

Lisa Olson (Director of Marketing) brought more than 20 years of marketing experience to her USCAP role as Marketing and Production Manager. She spent more than 12 of those years in non-profit marketing arena, developing strong project management and production skills. With B.A.s in both Economics and Psychology from UC Santa Barbara, she loves nothing more than taking an idea and making it a reality. She spent much of her professional life founding and running an eco-friendly school fundraising company. In her free time, Lisa enjoys reading, travel, and rooting for her incredibly frustrating but still beloved Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bethany Phillips (Senior Staff Accountant) is a Palm Springs native, holds an M.S. in Accountancy from CSU Sacramento and a B.A. in Business Administration from CSU San Bernardino.  Her prior professional experience includes accounting in the distribution and hospitality industries, with expertise in financial reporting, communications, and analysis. She is a proactive CPA candidate with a strong knowledge of business processes, exceling in the development of policies and procedures that encourage efficiency. Her strengths will offer a new perspective to USCAP and further advance the Finance Department. Bethany’s interests include travel, family time, and being outdoors.

Dillon Phillips (Information Technology Coordinator) is a Palm Springs native with an inherent passion for all things tech, has cultivated his love for innovation into a self-coded mobile app designed for language learning. With a background in supporting small businesses through impactful IT solutions, Dillon brings a unique blend of technical expertise and commitment to driving efficient operations and embracing the many possibilities of technology. Beyond all things tech he finds solace in motorcycling and the artistry of photography.

Teresa Powers (Membership Services Coordinator) has been a member of the USCAP team since 2012, and supports activities associated with member acquisition and retention. Teresa also provides seamless constituent satisfaction with USCAP meetings related to pre- and post-registration efforts. Teresa previously worked with other nonprofit organizations and has years of experience dedicated to a member-centered approach to service. Teresa lives in South Carolina. She is married and has one daughter who is attending Georgia Southern University. Teresa is an animal lover who enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, spending time outdoors, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers.

Cindy Pugh (Information Technology Manager) joined the USCAP team in 2014. She has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology and has spent most of her career in software training and development. She earned her B.S. in Business Education from the State University of New York College at Oswego. She and her husband are from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and have two adult sons. Cindy enjoys spending time with family and friends and watching Tennessee Volunteers football.

On behalf of all USCAP Members, Faculty, Committee Chairs and Members, Board of Directors, Executive Committee Members, and Past-Presidents who have depended on all of you awesome individuals, I offer this sincere token of gratitude for always doing an outstanding job!

Adeboye O. Osunkoya, MD
USCAP President (2023-2024)

Previous Award Recipients

2023 Linda D. Ferrell
2022 USCAP Education Department
2020 Wendy L. Frankel
2019 Christopher D.M. Fletcher
2018 USCAP Foundation
2017 Laura W. Lamps
2016 Celeste N. Powers


2015 E. Blair Holladay
2014 Richard L. Kempson
2013 Jean Silva
2012 Robin Cooke
2011 Fred G. Silva
2010 Jeffrey L. Myers
2009 Jo Ann Q. Johnson
2008 Jack Perry Strong
2007 James P. Crimmins
2006 USCAP Staff
2005 Andrew G. Huvos
2004 David F. Hardwick
2003 Kamal G. Ishak
2002 Ruth Kirschstein
2002 Alan Rabson
2001 Ramzi Cotran