Marjorie S. Sirridge, MD Excellence in Medicine & Science Award

Marjorie Sirridge

"What was any art but a mold to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself- life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose."?    Willa Cather.


Sponsorship for the award has been provided every year by Prestwood Financials, part of Voya Finacial, thanks to the support of Wendy Prestwood, President and Founder since 2007.

2014 Honoree Named



2014 Sirridge award  

L-R: Melissa Oropeza-Vail, Co-Chair, Recognition Committee, Leigh Sirridge, Dr. Majorie Sirridge's grand-daughter, and Lisa Stehno-Bittel.

Lisa Stehno-Bittel, PT, PhD, professor and chair of the department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, is a stellar role model and mentor for women in science and medicine; truly embodying the spirit of Marjorie Sirridge. Dr. Stehno-Bittel has led several critical scientific breakthroughs, most notably identifying that small pancreatic islets were capable of producing the insulin needed to reverse diabetes-a finding that challenged and changed the  prevailing practice of repeatedly using the inefficient large islets and discarding the small islets. She also identified critical flaws in the prevailing method for islet volume normalization that led to errors in transplant estimations and in research, and subsequently developed a new method, the Kansas Method-publishing these findings in Cell Transplantation, a journal whose editor-in-chief was the developer of the method she was invalidating. She holds patents for some of this work and working with a former PhD student started a biotech company, Likarda, in 2012 that was named as one of the most promising new start-ups in the world, during the Global Entrepreneur Week. These are only the most recent of her scientific "firsts."

Dr. Stehno-Bittel   has invested time and effort in mentoring others, both financially and personally, with as much passion as she invests in her scientific pursuits. She has personally funded scholarships for PhD students and for High School students interested in STEM fields.  She has mentored graduate students and junior faculty who all report on the incredible advice she provides and her talent at having the difficult conversations that sometimes are necessary for a meaningful mentoring relationship. In the words of one mentee: "she wants you to be great at  whatever your role is and she's going to suggest to you very directly how that should be accomplished." Dr. Lisa  Stehno-Bittel represents the best of women scientists and is a premier mentor for our next generation.


Dr. Marjorie Spurrier Sirridge (1922 -2014)  is a distinguished KU School of Medicine alumnus, who graduated first in her medical class in 1944. She specialized in Internal Medicine-Hematology and was subsequently active in teaching and administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, where she was one of the founding faculty members. She helped develop the docent system and later became Dean. She was an active mentor and role model for men and women. In addition to her many accomplishments, Dr. Sirridge placed a high value on family life and believed women could achieve great things without sacrificing their personal or family life. More details of Dr. Sirridge's career are available on the National Library of Medicine's Changing the face of Medicine exhibition.

At the WIMS Annual Dinner on August 18, 2011, Dr. Sirridge was presented with a crystal bowl to commemorate the award in her honor. Drs. Brenda Rongish and Julie Wei made the presentation. The inscription reads, "The Marjorie S. Sirridge, MD Excellence in Medicine and Science Award was established in 2011 by the University of Kansas School of Medicine Women in Medicine and Science Organization, in order to honor and recognize Dr. Sirridge's extraordinary leadership, vision, and years spent serving as a role model and mentor for faculty and students."

Call for nominations

Submission deadline: June 15, 2015, 5 p.m.


To acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of women faculty in the KU School of Medicine, School of Nursing and the School of Health Professions. The Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) organization honors Dr. Sirridge each year by presenting this award to deserving women who manifest Dr. Sirridge's ideals. The award was established March 15, 2011.


The University of Kansas WIMS Organization would like to acknowledge and thank Wendy Prestwood and her team at Prestwood Financial Group, VOYA Financial Advisers, LLC for the support they provide for this award. Professionals with the Prestwood Financial Group learn who the recipient is each year during the presentation ceremony at the WIMS Annual Diinner and are not involved in the selection of the winner.


Female faculty member in the KU School of Medicine, School of Nursing, or School of Health Professions


  • Success as a mentor and role model for women faculty, trainees and students
  • Professional excellence in clinical and/or basic sciences
  • Leadership at the university and/or national level
  • Involvement in WIMS programs and initiatives         


  • Up to two awards presented per year
  • Amount: $1,500 (for personal use and/or professional development)
  • AWARD SPONSOR: Prestwood Financial Group, ING Financial Advisers, LLC  and KU Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) organization

Nomination process

Self nomination or nomination by KUMC colleague 

  • Submission of candidate nomination package in a single pdf document via e-mail to Debra Brogden, WIMS Recognition Admn Support and Exeuctive Officer, Executive Vice Chancellor's Office    
    • Complete Award Nomination Form with candidate contact information
    • Letter from the nominator stating why the candidate is deserving; specifically addressing the criteria listed above, 2 pages maximum.
    • 3 letters of reference; specifically addressing applicable criteria listed above (minimum of 1 letter from outside of KU School of Medicine, preferably external to KUMC)        
    • Candidate's updated full-length CV

Evaluation process

  • Recognition committee will review the nomination materials and will rank candidates
  • Recognition committee will report rankings to the WIMS Executive Committee
  • All candidates will be notified of the decision prior to the annual WIMS dinner, when the awards are presented.

Nomination Timeline

  • Early June - Call for Nominations
  • Early July - Candidates are notified and the honoree is announced.
  • August Annual WIMS Awards Dinner - the honoree is formally recognized.

Award presentation

The award winner(s) will be guests at the annual WIMS fall dinner to receive their award.

Award Recipients

2014  Lisa Stehno-Bittel, PT, PhD, Professor and Chair of the department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health Professions
2013 Karen L. Miller, RN, PhD, FAAN, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and Dean, Schools of Nursing and Health Professions
2012 Kim Templeton, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery
Beth Levant, Ph.D., Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics.
2011 Susan K. Pingleton, MD, FACP, Master Fellow, ACCP, Internal Medicine
Dianne Durham, PhD, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Last modified: Jul 20, 2015