VU Faculty and Staff honored with 2022 Peer Recognition Awards

VU Faculty and Staff honored with 2022 Peer Recognition Awards

Vincennes University Logo

October 21, 2022


October 21, 2022

VINCENNES, Ind. – Vincennes University faculty and staff play an important role in helping the University achieve its mission, goals, and vision. The Peer Recognition Award celebrates VU staff and faculty for their distinguished work and outstanding contributions to the University.

The 2022 Peer Recognition Award recipients are:

  • Deborah Bedwell, University Primary Care Clinic Program Director
  • Jim Boyles, Trades Supervisor, Physical Plant
  • Chris Wilson, Carpenter, Physical Plant
  • Kendall Johnson, Carpenter, Physical Plant
  • Jessica Brothers, Business & Industry Training Program Specialist
  • Louis Caprino, Chair of Homeland Security and Public Safety Program and Professor
  • Nellie Jones, Chair of Practical Nursing Program and Professor

VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson presented the 2022 recipients with their awards at a reception in Governor’s Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

According to Johnson, “The Peer Recognition Award honors faculty and staff for their extraordinary achievements, leadership, service, and dedication to Vincennes University. The 2022 award recipients have made an exceptional impact on the University. Behind every remarkable accomplishment at VU is a group of amazing people who work to make VU a great place to learn and work. Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Peer Recognition Awards. It is a truly well-deserved honor.”

Peers nominate VU faculty and staff based on exemplary service and performance annually. The President’s Advisory Committee selects the recipients. 

ABOUT THE RECIPIENTS - These excerpts were taken from each award recipient’s nomination submission.

Deborah Bedwell, University Primary Care Clinic Program Director

Deborah Bedwell

Deborah Bedwell has been going above and beyond since the COVID-19 pandemic began. She has led the Primary Care Clinic and the University in the battle against COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, she helped develop screening/testing/contact tracing protocols to control the spread of COVID-19. She helped develop testing criteria and brought rapid testing to the Vincennes Campus enabling us to tell in 15 minutes if someone had COVID-19. Deborah is a great leader, she is knowledgeable, approachable, and always willing to answer questions and share her knowledge. She initiated the technology to do Telehealth visits with patients and offer them the best care while limiting exposure to the UPCC staff and patients. We are very lucky to have Deborah as the leader of the Primary Care Clinic and she deserves to be recognized for all she has done during this stressful time.

Jim Boyles, Trades Supervisor; Chris Wilson, Carpenter; Kendall Johnson, Carpenter

Jim Boyles

VU had three major renovation projects this past year. The Young Building HVAC renovation, Jasper Campus Administration Building renovation, and Welsh Administration Building renovation. Each of these required the entire building staff to be moved to other building locations.

Our Physical Plant personnel led by Jim Boyles, Kendall Johnson, and Chris Wilson did outstanding work in moving more than 100 employees.

The three nominees led by being hands-on, organizing the moving of desks, filing cabinets, furniture, boxes and boxes of files, and any other necessary items that needed to be moved. 

Chris Wilson


They stepped up to this daunting challenge without hesitation or complaints. They tore down, put back together, re-arranged if the original setup didn’t work, and continued to do it in a professional manner. They worked with each office to make their transition to the new spaces smooth and as easy as possible.

Although most other campus work was put on hold, when an emergency arose (such as a roof leak), they had to keep everyone on task, as well as help take care of the emergency at hand and handle the tasks with steady leadership.

Kendall Johnson

VU is grateful to have hard-working, dedicated employees and could not have done these moves without their hard work.



Jessica Brothers, Business & Industry Training Program Specialist

Jessica Brothers

While everyone in the VU community has been called upon to do more during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica Brothers has gone above and beyond the call of duty. As lead Contact Tracer for VU’s Contact Tracing Team, she successfully handled nearly 1,000 cases during the 2021-22 academic year. This work involves overseeing 10 volunteer contact tracers, managing a repository of all data, sending notifications to faculty, responding to faculty questions about return-to-class schedules, interacting with the University Primary Care Clinic on testing results, working with the Dean of Students Office to ensure excused absences from classes, supporting contact tracers by answering questions from parents and students, keeping administration informed on case numbers and trends, interacting with Housing for proper quarantine and isolation, and assisting with updating the VU COVID dashboard. Throughout the pandemic, Jessica has performed these duties compassionately, confidentially, and with the utmost professionalism, all while fulfilling her full-time day-to-day duties for Business & Industry Training. VU is fortunate to have had Jessica leading this team and appreciates and thanks her for her hard work and dedication.

Louis "Lou" Caprino, Homeland Security and Public Safety Program Chair and Professor

Louis Caprino

As the Homeland Security and Public Safety Department Chair, Professor Louis Caprino is charged with oversight of the programs. Even with all these responsibilities, he has remained focused on his primary responsibility to put his students’ education in the classroom first. It is clear that Professor Caprino is genuinely fond of his students and they are fond of him. He works very hard in preparing for his courses and is often the first person in the building in the morning, and the last one to leave in the evenings. Professor Caprino has been a great role model for our Law and Safety students and is a pleasure to work with every day. Professor Caprino has a servant’s heart and has represented his program, department, college, and Vincennes University honorably.

Nellie Jones, Chair of Practical Nursing Program and Professor

Nellie Jones

Nellie Jones is a vital part of the nursing faculty. She took over the chair position of the Practical Nursing program this year and has continuously made changes that have greatly impacted not only the program itself but the students as well. The changes she has implemented have made the program flow better and created an improved learning environment. Nellie is also the academic coach for the Health Science Building. She goes above and beyond to help students be successful. Many students have gone to her, struggling and have come out with a more positive outlook and have been able to pass their courses. Nellie is very deserving of this award. She has had personal things she has had to deal with as well, but she hasn’t let that stop her from creating teaching moments for her students. She is a one-of-a-kind person who has made a huge impact in a lot of students’ and fellow instructors' lives. VU is grateful for her hard work and dedication.

###