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Release: Immediate

Annual tribute to women at the UI to be May 6

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "A Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women," the university's annual tribute to the accomplishments of all women at the university, will be Tuesday, May 6, 4-6 p.m. in the IMU Main Lounge. The event is free and open to the public. The awards program will begin at 5 p.m. with introductory remarks by Provost Jon Whitmore. The awards ceremony will be signed by an American Sign Language interpreter.

Special presentations will include the University of Iowa Distinguished Achievement Award, which this year will be given to two women: Mary Jo Small, associate vice president for finance and university services, and N. Peggy Burke, associate professor emeritus in sport, health, leisure, and physical studies.

The celebration first began when the university gathered in 1982 to award the Jane A. Weiss Memorial Scholarship. This annual event has expanded in scope, recognizing outstanding scholarship, research, service, leadership and activism among undergraduate, graduate, staff, and faculty women at the University of Iowa. The celebration now also includes the awarding of the Jean Y. Jew Women's Rights Award, the Adele Kimm Scholarship, the Ada Johnson/Otilia Maria Fernandez Women's Studies Scholarship, and the Wynonna Hubbard Scholarship.

A celebration dinner follows the awards presentation at 6 p.m. Reservations are required for the dinner. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Pre-Vocational Training Program. A different women's group is chosen as the dinner beneficiary each year. Reservations may be made by calling the Pre-Vocational Training Program at 335-0560.

The Pre-Vocational Training Program conducts training programs for girls and women that promote nontraditional careers as a means of achieving job satisfaction and greater economic independence. One such program is a 12-week training session in which women have the opportunity to job-shadow in various university maintenance shops. This experience, in combination with classroom instruction, helps women prepare to enter jobs or further training in the skilled trades or technical occupations. Through several training programs and related consultation services to public and private organizations, the Pre-Vocational Training Program demonstrates the full breadth of the university's commitment to excellence and achievement among women in all professions.

In addition to the Distinguished Achievement Award, the following scholarships and awards will be announced:

Jane A. Weiss Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to Paula Ford, a graduate student in anthropology; and Catherine Halley, a graduate student in English. The scholarship is named in honor of Jane Weiss, an assistant professor of women's studies and sociology at the time of her death in 1981. The award is made to the doctoral student whose dissertation promises to expand understanding of important women's issues. Ford's dissertation is titled "Cultural Politics and Women's Health Networks in Nicaragua." Halley's dissertation is titled "Posing Lesbian: Femininity, Authenticity, and Representation."

Adele Kimm Scholarship will be awarded to Lindsay Farmer, an undergraduate student in psychology. The scholarship began as a bequest from Adele Kimm, in memory of her brother S. Conrad Kimm and his wife Hilda. The scholarship is awarded by the Women's Studies Program.

Ada Johnson/Otilia Maria Fernandez Fellowship will be awarded to Julia Siverls, a graduate student majoring in planning, policy, and leadership studies. The fellowship is named in honor of two Iowa graduates who are among the first African American and Latina women to be found in university records. The award is given alternate years to an undergraduate or a graduate woman student of color.

Wynonna G. Hubbard Scholarship will be awarded to Rahni Spencer, an undergraduate student majoring in theatre arts and communication studies. Established by University of Iowa Vice President Emeritus Philip G. Hubbard, in memory of his wife, the award is given each year to an African American woman with a grade-point average of 3.0 or above who demonstrates an unusual interest in the well-being of others.

Jean Y. Jew Women's Rights Award will be given to Yvonne "Bonnie" Slatton, associate professor of sport, health, leisure, and physical studies. The award is named for Jean Y. Jew, professor of anatomy, who fought an uphill battle for more than a decade to defend herself against slander and sexual harassment from faculty in her department, a struggle which she ultimately won. Given annually by the Council on the Status of Women and the Women's Resource and Action Center, the award honors a faculty, staff, or student member of the university community who has demonstrated an outstanding effort or achievement in improving the status of women on campus.

University sponsors of "A Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women" are Associated University Women, Campus Mail, Council on the Status of Women, department of orthopaedic surgery, department of physiology and biophysics, Finance and University Services, IMU Food Services, Affirmative Action, Office of the President,

Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences, Office of the Vice President for Research, Opportunity at Iowa, Printing Department, Rape Victim Advocacy Program, University Libraries, Women's Resource and Action Center, and Women's Studies Program.

If you need babysitting to attend this event, call the Women's Resource and Action Center, 335-1486, by Friday morning, May 2.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Sara Piere in advance at 335-3555.