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Release: April 13, 2001

UI College of Liberal Arts names six Alumni Fellows

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts will honor six accomplished graduates in its third class of Alumni Fellows with a ceremony and reception Monday, April 23, at 4 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Alumni Fellows are distinguished alumni of the college, who will return to campus for a few days the week of April 23 to meet with faculty members, teach classes, give lectures, and interact with students.

Three of the fellows will give free, public lectures during their stay on campus. On April 23, Jane Kelleher Fernandes, Gallaudet University provost, will speak on "The Shared Reading Project: Improving the Literacy Skills of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Nationwide" (in English and in ASL) at 7:30 p.m. in Room 308 of the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center. Also on April 23, James L. Gibson, a government professor at Washington University, will speak on "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: The South African Case," at noon in the Iowa Room of the Iowa Memorial Union. On April 24, Reginald Golledge, a geography professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, will speak on "Adjusting to Adversity," at 4 p.m. in Room 100, Phillips Hall.

Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, initiated the Alumni Fellows program in 1999 with funds from the endowed Dean's Chair in Liberal Arts, which was created through a gift from the UI Alumni Association.

"We thought it would be fitting to use part of the generous Alumni Association gift to honor a group of alumni each year," Maxson said. "I am excited about this opportunity for our alumni to return to campus to share their expertise with our students and to be recognized for their personal and professional achievements."

At the reception, Maxson will introduce the fellows and present each with a plaque.

The 2001 Alumni Fellows are: Marcia Radosevich, M.A. 1978, Ph.D. 1982, sociology; Jane Kelleher Fernandes, M.A. 1980, Ph.D. 1986, comparative literature; Reginald Golledge, Ph.D. 1966, geography; James Gibson, M.A. 1973, Ph.D. 1975, political science; D.C. Spriestersbach, M.A. 1940, Ph.D. 1948, speech pathology and audiology; and Robert J. Myers, M.S. 1934, mathematics.

Marcia Radosevich, of Sherborn, Mass., has enjoyed an impressive career in technology and information management in the health care area. Formerly founder, chief executive officer, president, and chairwoman of the board of HPR Inc., a software and database company, she now serves as consultant to the Health Care Entrepreneurship Program at Boston University’s Health Policy Institute. After earning her Ph.D. at Iowa, Radosevich did post-doctoral research at Yale

and then received additional training at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. While working at Boston University’s Health Policy Institute, she developed software to help health care providers manage the cost and delivery of medical care. Those software ideas grew into a $500 million company that provided managed care organizations with tools to measure costs and quality of services. In 1997 she sold HPR and returned to the Health Policy Institute as a consultant to the Health Care Entrepreneurship Program, which identifies and commercializes innovative ideas for better managing the health care delivery system.

Jane Kelleher Fernandes of Harwood, Md. is the provost at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the nation’s only comprehensive university for the deaf and hard of hearing.
As a graduate student, Fernandes conducted pioneering research on the storytelling traditions in the deaf culture and led the way toward making campus events accessible by providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. After earning her graduate degrees at Iowa, Fernandes was hired at Northeastern University as assistant professor and acting director of ASL programs. A year later, she joined the faculty at Gallaudet as assistant professor and chair in the department of sign communications. After one semester, the administration asked her to relocate to their campus in Hawaii, where she directed the State of Hawaii programs in education of the deaf. She became the first deaf woman in the U.S. to head a school for the deaf when she was appointed administrator of Hawaii’s Statewide Center for Students with Hearing and Visual Impairments. In 1995 she returned to Gallaudet’s Washington campus to lead the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center until her appointment as provost in spring 2000. Fernandes is a speaker, writer, and consultant of national prominence on deaf culture, language, education, and literature.

Reginald Golledge of Goleta, Calif. came to the UI from Australia in the early 1960s to work with Harold McCarty, the founder and the first chairman of the geography department. After earning his doctorate, he taught for 11 years at Ohio State University and then moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara where he is still an active member of the teaching and research community. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected to serve the Association of American Geographers as vice-president in 1998, president in 1999, and past-president in 2000. One morning about 16 years ago, Golledge woke to discover that he was blind in one eye. Within a year, he lost sight in the other eye as well. This propelled him to pioneer research in fields that connect blindness and wayfinding. He studies the ways in which people -- both blind and sighted -- gain spatial understanding of their surroundings. He is noted as the founder of the behavioral approach in geography and established a new subfield of disabilities geography. He also was instrumental in establishing Geography Awareness Week, which brings special presentations to elementary and secondary classrooms across the country each year.

James Gibson of St. Louis, Mo. is a professor of political science at Washington University. His research is at the center of several key debates within the field. His work has emphasized judicial behavior -- understanding the choices judges make in deciding cases -- and he is internationally known for bringing theoretical and methodological sophistication to this field. A second area of research involves efforts to understand the public’s tolerance and intolerance of racial and other minorities, and he has pursued this question using case studies and surveys in the U.S., Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, and South Africa. Along with several UI faculty members, Gibson is one of the pioneers of public-opinion research in Eastern Europe. He has been a member of the Council of the Midwest Political Science Association, the Law and Society Association, and the American Political Science Association. Two years ago he served as president of the Midwest Political Science Association, the second largest organization of political scientists in the world.

D.C. Spriestersbach of Iowa City, widely known by his preferred name "Sprie," joined the UI faculty after receiving his graduate degrees here and quickly distinguished himself as a
pre-eminent scholar studying cleft palate and related anomalies. His laboratory became the training ground for most of the major investigators in the succeeding generations, and his students have gone on to be leaders in the field. In 1965 he was appointed vice-president for educational development and dean of the Graduate College and in that capacity helped the UI evolve into the research institution that it is now. Under his leadership, many new innovative and interdisciplinary programs were developed and research funding from external sources grew exponentially. His boundless energy has not diminished over time. At an age when most people would already have retired, Spriestersbach agreed to serve as acting president of the university in 1981. After completing that assignment he remained active in university life, fostering activities on the Oakdale campus and playing a critical role in helping small companies in the Technology Innovation Center (TIC) expand into highly-successful enterprises that have an impact nationwide.

Robert Myers of Silver Springs, Md. left Iowa City in 1934, degree in hand, to take a job as a temporary employee doing actuarial calculations for the Economic Security Committee that had been commissioned by President Franklin Roosevelt. The work of this committee led to the creation of the U.S. Social Security Administration. Although he was hired for a 2-3 month stint, he never left, and in 1947 he became Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration, a position he held until 1970. After that he served in a variety of roles helping to improve and reform national retirement plans. He was a member of the National Commission on Society Security (1978-81), deputy commissioner of Social Security (1981-82), executive director of the National Commission on Social Security Reform (1982-82), chairman of the Railroad Unemployment Compensation Committee (1983-85), and chairman of the Commission on Railroad Retirement Reform (1988-90). In 1994 the American Academy of Actuaries established the Robert J. Myers Public Service Award to recognize his extraordinary lifelong public service. An example of his actuarial prowess comes from one of his first assignments with the Social Security Administration. He was asked to estimate the proportion of U.S. population that would be age 65 and above in 1990. His answer in 1934 was 12.65 percent. The actual proportion in 1990, according to the census, was 12.49 percent.