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Release: March 12, 2002

Nine UI faculty, students recognized at women's achievement ceremony

On Monday, March 25, a series of distinguished awards, scholarships, and a fellowship will be presented to nine University of Iowa faculty and students at this year's "A Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women" ceremony. The celebration begins with a reception at 4 p.m. followed by the awards program at 5 p.m. at the Iowa Memorial Union, Main Lounge. The program is free and open to the public.

The University of Iowa Distinguished Achievement Award will be presented to Vicki Grassian, associate professor of chemistry, and Susan Schechter, clinical professor of social work.

Grassian's work at the UI on environmental remediation strategies has earned her an international reputation. She has written more than 60 articles for peer-reviewed journals and has been supported by the National Science Foundation for more than a decade. She received a Faculty Scholar Award in 1999, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Award: Postdoctoral Program 1998-2000, and was an Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Scholar in 1999. Her excellent research program and her skills as mentor and research advisor have inspired numerous students and colleagues, many of them women, to excel. Seven of the 14 doctoral students she has mentored are women and several are pursuing independent academic careers.

Schechter is a nationally recognized author, advocate, consultant and trainer on behalf of abused women and their children. She has brought national recognition to the UI through her public policy and educational work on domestic violence and child maltreatment. She is also a research associate at the UI Injury Prevention Research Center and director of "Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence," a Ford Foundation-supported initiative to increase public attention and resources to domestic violence and poverty. She serves on the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women. At the UI, she serves as practicum instructor for Master of Social Work students, supervises individual studies for students interested in domestic violence, guest lectures for social work classes, has participated in Pediatric Grand Rounds at UI Hospitals and Clinics, and has collaborated with faculty on domestic violence studies.

Other awards that will be presented include the following:

The Jane A. Weiss Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to Jillian Duquaine. 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 doctoral students whose dissertations promise to expand understanding of important women's issues.

The Adele Kimm Scholarship will be presented to Natalya Tchernyaeva, Department of Women's Studies. This scholarship was established in 1992 as a bequest from Adele Kimm in memory of her brother S. Conrad Kimm and his wife Hilda. The award is given to a deserving women's studies student.

The Ada Johnson/Otilia Maria Fernandez Fellowship will be awarded to Lisa Outlaw, Department of Women's 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.

The Wynonna G. Hubbard Scholarship will be awarded to Lynette Head, College of Nursing. Established by the late UI 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.

The Margaret P. Benson Memorial Scholarship will be presented to Erin McKee and Jillian Duquaine, Department of Women's Studies. This award was created by a designated bequest to the University of Iowa Foundation to recognize qualified female applicants who demonstrate financial need and are committed to women's issues, diversity, and social activism. One or two awards are available each year. The scholarship is administered and recipients selected by the Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC).

The Jean Y. Jew Women's Rights Award will be given to Patricia A. Cain, who holds the Aliber Family Chair in Law at the College of Law. Cain has taught at the law school since 1991, and she is a member and past president of the Society of American Law Teachers, the Order of the Coif, and the American Law Institute. She teaches federal income taxation, wills and estates, property, and feminist legal theory. The award is named for Jean Y. Jew, professor of anatomy, who successfully defended her claim against slander and sexual harassment against the UI. 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, and is given annually by the Council on the Status of Women and the WRAC.