headshots of 2023 alumni award recipients Lacie Leming, '13, and Christopher Poulos, '97

Alumni recognized for servant leadership

June 28, 2023

They learned about servant leadership during their undergraduate years at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies. Ever since, they have been leading by prioritizing the well-being of those they serve. At the June 3 award breakfast during the University of Richmond’s Reunion Weekend, Jepson School dean Sandra Peart presented Christopher Poulos, ’97, with the school’s Alumni Award and Lacie Horak Leming, ’13, with the school’s Tenth-Year Reunion Recognition Award

Poulos has made his mark as an educator. In 2022, the Spanish teacher and instructional leader for the humanities at Joel Barlow High School in Redding, Connecticut, was elected as the 81st District representative to Connecticut's General Assembly. He is particularly interested in working on legislation addressing education, crime, and small business issues, he said.

Before his election to the General Assembly, he held elected positions in Southington, Connecticut, as a member of the town council and the library board. He was Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year in 2007, served as chairman of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year Board of Directors, and is the immediate past chairman of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council Board of Directors. He also served as teacher leader in residence at the Connecticut State Department of Education.

“I believe no one should get involved in government without first getting some knowledge in a sector, and for me, that sector is education,” said the teacher and legislator, who accepted the Alumni Award virtually because the Connecticut General Assembly was still in session. “Now I am bridging the gap between policymakers and teachers.”

Leming’s focus is in the healthcare sector, specifically at the intersection of health insurance and the digitization of health records. She recently became the director of clinical transformation for Cohere Health, a leader in digitizing prior authorization as a way to improve healthcare outcomes for both patients and medical professionals. She is responsible for the planning and execution of strategy, business development, and key initiatives for the company’s clinical team.

“What I find truly fulfilling in my work is the opportunity to cultivate highly efficient teams and convert our corporate strategy into actionable initiatives that align with our mission of revolutionizing healthcare utilization management to provide genuine care management for patients,” she said.

Outside of her professional work, Leming is an active member of the Jepson Alumni Corps; served as co-chair of the Jepson EDGE Institute, the school’s professional development program for juniors; and has mentored many leadership studies students and recent graduates.

“Chris and Lacie are using their Jepson education to transform their professions and communities for the better,” Peart said. “They are exemplars of Jepson leadership.”