UMSL Hero Award recipients

Shawne Manies (at left) and Jessica Rogen were named the July recipients of the the UMSL Hero Award. Each will receive an UMSL Hero lapel pin in recognition of their contributions. (Photos by August Jennewein)

University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor Kristin Sobolik and her cabinet continue to recognize the exemplary efforts of staff and faculty members from across campus by bestowing the UMSL Hero Award on up to three individuals each month.

This month’s honorees are Shawne Manies, the director of clinical operations and an assistant teaching professor in the College of Nursing, and Jessica Rogen, a senior strategic communications associate and the editor-in-chief of UMSL Magazine.

Shawne Manies, College of Nursing director of clinical operations and assistant teaching professor

Manies has always gone to extraordinary lengths to meet the needs of nursing students, and her efforts have been particularly important to the College of Nursing and the St. Louis community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

College of Nursing Dean Roxanne Vandermause applauded Manies’ work, noting that she has coordinated the placement of all BSN students and organized successful vaccination clinics with local partners to immunize community members.

“The orchestration of student clinical placements with hospitals, long-term care institutions and community sites is a complex undertaking, requiring the management of hundreds of students and their respective faculty instructors,” Vandermause wrote in nominating Manies. “During this pandemic, Dr. Manies has responded to instantaneous disruptions in usual clinical placements due to the reordering of clinical site priorities and the illnesses of faculty and students. She has moved placement sites and converted learning experiences to simulated learning environments for unpredictable and instantaneous circumstances. Early in the pandemic crisis, she loaded her own car with simulation arms and torsos, delivering them to instructors for online instruction. These were the extraordinary responses to our extraordinary pandemic circumstance.”

Vandermause added that Manies’ work coordinating vaccine clinics this past school year has led to UMSL nursing students administering approximately 25,000 vaccines in the community. Manies described the situation as an “all-hands-on-deck moment” and is grateful to work with clinical partners such as BJC HealthCare and SSM.

“It was definitely a lot to put together, but it was really neat to see how everyone came together,” Manies said. “The students really seem to love it, and it was really neat to watch them with all these patients that were coming through.”

Manies, who holds a BSN and MSN from Maryville University and earned a PhD from UMSL, began her nursing career as a medical-surgical nurse and then as a house supervisor for SSM Health before joining the UMSL faculty. She was excited to receive the Hero Award, but views her work as a team effort.

“I have never gotten an award like that before, so I was pleasantly surprised,” Manies said. “I really feel like everybody else that helped bring this all together, they’re the real heroes – the students, the faculty, the ones out there doing all this with us.”

Jessica Rogen, senior strategic communications associate and editor-in-chief of UMSL Magazine

Rogen has been chronicling the accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and alumni in the College of Nursing, College of Optometry, UMSL/Washington University in St. Louis Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program and Pierre Laclede Honors College since joining University Marketing and Communications as a member of the content team in 2018.

Her work appears regularly in UMSL Daily, and since 2019, she’s also served as the editor-in-chief of UMSL Magazine, the biannual publication that reaches an audience of more than 106,000 readers. The magazine takes months of planning, reporting, writing, editing and designing before it lands in mailboxes near the end of each semester, and coordinating all of that work became more challenging amid the COVID-19 pandemic with her team of writers and designers working in separate locations.

“Where Jessica has really stood out over the past year has been in her role as editor-in-chief of UMSL Magazine,” Steve Walentik, UMSL’s Director of Public Relations and Content, wrote in nominating Rogen. “She shepherded three issues of the magazine to completion while working remotely. She guided writers and designers to produce strong issues, highlighting the diversity of people and work being done at UMSL and the impact that it’s having far beyond the footprint of the campus.”

Rogen and her team had to be particularly nimble as they worked on the Spring 2020 issue.

“Not only were we working remotely, but as the world changed, so did the contents of the magazine need to change – sometimes for logistical reasons and also because the stories changed,” she said. “We wondered, ‘Should we write about a restaurant when the restaurant has closed its doors because of the pandemic?’ And it didn’t make sense to ignore this huge thing that was happening around us. We had to change up the content of that issue to better reflect the reality of what UMSL constituents were doing to help.”

She noted the importance of communicating regularly with members of her team so they could head off potential problems early as they dealt with other encroaching realities, including in some cases taking care of their kids during the day and working at night.

Rogen was caught by surprise when notified she’d been selected for the Hero Award.

“It’s really nice to be acknowledged,” she said, “and know that my efforts for the university are seen and valued.”

Each recipient of the Hero Award will receive a lapel pin in recognition of their contributions. To nominate staff or faculty members for the UMSL Hero Award, visit

UMSL Daily

UMSL Daily

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