Betty M. Drees Distinguished Alumnae Award

... supporting a legacy of influential women


2016 awardee
2016 Honoree: Joan Sherar Hunt, PhD

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Anatomy and Cell Biology
University of Kansas Medical Center

Joan Sherar Hunt, PhD, has proven herself as one of the world's foremost scientists working in the area of reproductive immunology. At the KU School of Medicine, Dr. Hunt has been instrumental in developing the teaching mission. She has served as associate dean for Graduate Medical Educationin the School of Medicine, senior associate dean for Research and Graduate Education, and concurrently as vice chancellor for Research and President of the Research Institute for KU Medical Center. In 2000, Dr. Hunt was recognized as a University Distinguished Professor. Dr. Hunt has gained immense gratification throughout her career by giving a sympathetic ear, offering guidance, and serving as mentor and role model to female faculty at KU and women scientists around the world.



The inaugural Betty M. Drees Distinguished Betty DreesAlumnae Award was presented as a surprise at the Annual WIMS Dinner, August 21, 2014. in honor of  Betty M. Drees, M.D., F.A.C.P., who after 12 years as dean of the UMKC School of Medicine, retired from the dean's position in the fall of 2014. Since graduating from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1984, alumna Betty Drees has devoted herself to providing quality health care, research, dedication to academic medicine, and training others. Drees' leadership has provided tremendous benefit for students, their families and their patients as they become physicians, said UMKC Provost Gail Hackett. UMKC School of Medicine's accomplishments during Drees' deanship have included fiscal strength, collaboration, student success, new education programs, and research.

The women of WIMS express their gratitude to Dr. Drees for her continued involvement and support of our members, our leaders and the mission of our organization and her lifelong achievement of supporting a legacy of influential women.


To acknowledge men and women who represent the best of our alumni from the University of Kansas, with priority given to alumni from the School of Medicine, School of Nursing or School of Health Professions whose efforts reflect a lifelong achievement of supporting a legacy of influential women.


Male or female alumni from the University of Kansas Schools in Kansas City, Lawrence or WIchita who completed their training at least 10 years prior to being nominated for this award.


The candidate must exhibit evidence of:
  • Professional excellence in the individuals career
  • Recognition as a leader locally, nationally or internationally
  • Involvement in programs and initiatives related to the support of womens careers
  • Effort to influence or institute a positive cultural change regarding the careers of women


  • One award presented per year
    • The award is presented at the WIMS Annual Awards Dinner, August 18, 2016
  • Crystal engraved vase

Nomination process

The WIMS Recognition Committee will select nominees based on the award criteria.  The call for nominations will be announced each year in April. The nomination may be submitted in the form of a letter to Jordann Snow from anyone who can provide examples and evidence of achievements explained in the criteria of this award.

Evaluation process

  • The Recognition Committee will:
    • review the nomination materials and will rank candidates
    • report rankings to the Alumni & Community Relations office for qualification approval
    • all candidates will be notified of the decision by the committee prior to the annual presentation event, when the award is presented.


  • April - Call for Nominations
  • May - Nomination Deadline
  • May - WIMS Recognition Committee meets to select a recipient
  • August - the recipient will be formally recognized at the Annual Awards Dinner

Award presentation

The award winner will be a guest at the annual WIMS Leadership Conference in August, to receive her award.

Award Recipients

Justice Carol Beier 2015

 Carol Beier, JD, Justice, Kansas Supreme Court


Betty Drees 2014

Betty M. Drees, MD, FACP

Last modified: Oct 11, 2016