SNMMI Technologist Section Announces 2018 Award Winners

July 30, 2018

Technologists recognized for outstanding education and service to the nuclear medicine field

RESTON, VA  — The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s Technologist Section (SNMMI-TS)—an international scientific and medical organization—recognized contributions to and work in the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging during the SNMMI 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, held June 23-26. Several awards ceremonies were held to recognize the valuable role that SNMMI-TS members play in advancing the discipline of nuclear medicine technology. 

April Mann, MBA, CNMT, NCT, RT(N), the system quality manager of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Hartford HealthCare in Connecticut, received the Outstanding Technologist Award. She has been an active member of SNMMI since 1996, chairing the Finance Committee and serving on the Advocacy, Chapters, Education, Ethics, Membership, Publications, Strategic Planning, and Quality committees, in addition to other leadership roles. Mann is a past-president of SNMMI-TS and of the New England Chapter. She also spearheaded the SNMMI-TS Quality Initiative. At Hartford Hospital, Mann has served as a technologist, supervisor and manager, with a focus on nuclear cardiology. Her broader leadership roles include serving on the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, the board of directors for the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories, and various positions with the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. She has published more than 20 journal articles, authored four books and given more than 150 presentations on nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. 


Cybil J. Nielsen, MBA, CNMT, SNMMI-TS, clinical assistant professor and director of the nuclear medicine technology program at Indiana State University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana, received the Outstanding Educator Award. She has been a member of SNMMI since 1995. An experienced technologist, manager, consultant and radiation safety officer, she has served as SNMMI-TS president and as the chair of the Educator’s Committee, among many other roles on the national level. Most recently, Nielsen served as speaker of the National Council of Representatives, and she is currently chair of the Educator’s Committee and a member of the International Committee. She works closely with students, getting them involved in SNMMI-TS and encouraging them to submit abstracts for the SNMMI Annual Meeting. Nielsen has given more than 50 presentations at professional meetings and co-authored the national curriculum for nuclear medicine technology programs.


Cheryl Rickley, CNMT, the chief technologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, received the Advocate-of-the-Year Award. A member of SNMMI since 1989, she is just the second person to receive this award, which was created last year. Rickley has been extremely active on the Advocacy Committee and, as Pennsylvania TAG representative, she has pushed tirelessly for passage of a licensure bill in her state. She is also a member of the Greater New York Chapter.


Lynne Roy, MBA, CNMT, FSNMMI-TS, director of imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been a member since 1980 and is affiliated with the Pacific Southwest Chapter. Roy was recognized for her outstanding efforts on advocacy and health policy-related issues. She is a past president of SNMMI-TS, has been re-appointed chair of the Advocacy Committee multiple times, and has served in a wide range of other leadership roles throughout the society. Roy has served on numerous SNMMI-TS committees, including Advocacy, Program, Procedure Standards, Quality, and Coding and Reimbursement, as well as the Scope of Practice Task Force. 


The following individuals were named SNMMI-TS Fellows. These are members of the SNMMI-TS who have demonstrated leadership and have made a significant contribution to the profession of nuclear medicine technology at the national level. SNMMI-TS selects Fellows based on exemplary contributions in the following areas: participation in professional activities, education, professional experience, professional contributions, and civic activities. New SNMMI-TS Fellows receive a memorial plaque and pin signifying their Fellow status. 

  • Crystal Botkin, MPH, CNMT, PET, FSNMMI-TS, is assistant professor of Clinical Health Sciences at Saint Louis University in Missouri. A longtime member of the Missouri Valley Chapter, she has held numerous leadership positions at both the regional and national levels. Botkin is currently president of the Missouri Valley Chapter and serves on the SNMMI-TS Executive Board. Botkin is a past-president of the Advanced Associate Council, and she has served on numerous committees, including Bylaws, Educator’s, Membership, and Scope of Practice. She is a past recipient of the SNMMI-TS Outstanding Educator Award. 
  • Lauren Shanbrun, MS, CNMT, RT(N)(CT), FSNMMI-TS, is a program director and clinical coordinator at the Lifespan/Rhode Island Hospital School of Medical Imaging in Providence. She has been an SNMMI member since 2004 and has served in various leadership roles at both the regional and national levels. Shanbrun has served as a member of the SNMMI-TS Executive Board, chair of the Educators Committee and Categorical Program chair as well as served on the Program Committee, Awards, New Professional Committee, and has served as a TAG for the state of Massachusetts. Furthermore, she has received awards for her oral abstract and poster presentations. Shanbrun received the SNMMI-TS Service Award in 2017. 
  • Joyce K. Zimmerman, CNMT, MBA, LRT, FSNMMI-TS, is with the Lourdes Health System in Camden, New Jersey. She has been an SNMMI member since 1982, taking on many leadership roles both at the local level in the Greater New York Chapter and at the national level. With the chapter, she served as chair of the Committee on Scholarships, Grants and Awards and, and for SNMMI-TS, she has served on numerous committees, including Bylaws, Continuing Education, Grants and Awards, Nominating, Program, and Publications, in addition to the Nuclear Medicine Week Task Force, PDEF Executive Council, and the Uptake Editorial Board.


The 2018 SNMMI-TS Presidential Distinguished Service Awards were presented to:

  • Anthony W. Knight, PhD, CNMT, RT(N), NCT, FSNMMI-TS – He was recognized for his contributions to the Student Abstract Program and for strategic leadership as the Finance Committee chair. In the University of Iowa Department of Radiology, Knight is administrative program director of baccalaureate degrees in the radiation sciences and program director of the nuclear medicine technology program. He is a member of the Missouri Valley Chapter and has long been an active member of SNMMI-TS, serving on the Executive Board, National Council of Representatives, and numerous committees, including Membership, Educator’s, Quality, Program, Ethics, and Finance. 
  • Leonas A. Nalivaika, CNMT, RT(N), MBA, FSNMMI-TS – He was honored for creating the Radiation Safety Review Course and for his outstanding contributions to the Membership Working Groups. Nalivaika is a program director and educator with University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has been an active member of SNMMI since 1982 and is a member of the New England Chapter. His many roles within SNMMI-TS include serving on the Executive Board; National Council of Representatives (including the position of Speaker); and Continuing Education, History, and Membership committees, to name a few.

In recognition of their work developing Brain Tech TIME (Technical Imaging Multidisciplinary Education), Presidential Distinguished Service Awards were also presented to:

  • Dawn Holley, CNMT, RT(N)(CT)(MR) – A PET/MR research technologist in the Stanford University Department of Radiology, Stanford, California, she has been an active SNMMI-TS member since 2010. Her leadership positions include serving on the Educator’s Committee, PET/MR Task Force, Neuroimaging Steering Committee, and Committee on Chapters. 
  • LisaAnn Trembath, CNMT, MSM, CCRA – She is associate director of Clinical Imaging Operations and director of U.S. and Global Clinical Imaging Scientists at Avid Radiopharmaceuticals. Trembath has been an active SNMMI-TS member since 1986, serving on the Technologist Advisory Board, SNMMI-TS Executive Board, and National Council of Representatives, as well as serving with the Clinical Trials Network (CTN) and on the Women in Nuclear Medicine Committee, Education Committee, Advocacy Committee, and more.


Kathleen Krisak, BS, CNMT, FSNMMI-TS, was awarded the SNMMI-TS president’s plaque and gavel for her service as 2017–2018 SNMMI-TS president. Krisak has been a nuclear medicine technologist for more than thirty years and has spent her career in the Nuclear Medicine Department of Holyoke Medical Center, where she first served as a clinical instructor and was department manager from 1986 to 2002. She has an A.S. in nuclear medicine from Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield, Massachusetts, and a B.S. in Natural Sciences from Worcester State College, Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as NMTCB nuclear medicine certification. In addition to her SNMMI-TS membership, Krisak is a member of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

She has been actively involved in SNMMI for many years. As an SNMMI-TS Board member, Krisak has served as secretary; chaired the Finance, Scientific Program, and Abstracts committees; and been a member of numerous other committees. She has served as president of the society’s New England Chapter three times and has been a moderator and presenter at SNMMI annual meetings and New England Chapter meetings. Krisak was named a Fellow of the Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologist Section in 2008 and received the SNMMI-TS Technologist of the Year Award in 2014. She is also the recipient of a service award from the New England Chapter.


The Editor’s Choice Awards for the three best Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology (JNMT) articles published in 2017 were selected by JNMT Editor Kathy S. Thomas, MHA, CNMT, PET, FSNMMI-TS, and members of the journal’s editorial board. They went to: 

  • Robert A. Pagnanelli and Heidi L. Camposano from the Department of Radiology at Duke Regional Hospital, Durham, North Carolina, for “Pharmacologic Stress Testing with Myocardial Perfusion Imaging.” J Nucl Med Technol. 2017;45:249–252. 
  • Kyle Bauer, Alaina Lathrum, Osama Raslan, Patrick V. Kelly, Yihua Zhou, Debra Hewing, Crystal Botkin, James A. Turner, and Medhat Osman from the Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapeutics Department of the Doisy College of Health Sciences at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, for “Do Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents Affect 18F-FDG PET/CT Uptake in the Dentate Nucleus and the Globus Pallidus? A Pilot Study.” J Nucl Med Technol. 2017;45:30–33 
  • Koji Nakaya, Masahisa Onoguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Keisuke Kiso, Hideki Otsuka, Yoshifumi Nouno, Takayuki Shibutani, and Eisuke Yasuda from the Department of Quantum Medical Technology of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Kanazawa University, Ishikawa, Japan, for “Comparison Between Prone and Upright Imaging of the Inferior Wall Using 201TlCl Myocardial Perfusion SPECT.” J Nucl Med Technol. 2017;45:304–308


About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to advancing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, vital elements of precision medicine that allow diagnosis and treatment to be tailored to individual patients in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

SNMMI’s more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit