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Release: Sept. 24, 2002

Gov. Vilsack honors UI employees, organizations for volunteer efforts

Several University of Iowa employees and organizations received 2002 Iowa Governor's Volunteer Awards at a Sept. 13 ceremony at Linn-Mar High School in Marion.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack presented the awards to hundreds of volunteers across Iowa at seven ceremonies all over the state beginning Sept. 13 and continuing to Sept. 26.This is the 20th anniversary of the "Governor's Volunteer Awards" program, which was developed to recognize the commitment, service and time that hundreds of volunteers contribute to Iowa's state agencies and partnering organizations. Each individual volunteer or volunteer organization can win the award only once.

"It is wonderful to see so many people and organizations willing to devote their time and talents to state agencies. This represents how important state government is to our citizens and that our services are valuable," said Vilsack.

Awardees with a UI affiliation and their nominating agency included:

-- Judy Brookaus, Old Capitol volunteer, nominated by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

-- The UI Hancher Guild and accepted co-presidents Roy and Rita Justis, nominated by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa

-- Michele J. Eliason, PhD, RN, associate professor of nursing, was recognized for her volunteer service at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville where she leads a team that works to promote healthcare, reunite families and provide resources that will enable inmates to live healthy lifestyles when they return to the community. Janette Taylor, assistant professor of nursing, is also a member of the team.

-- Bruce Wheaton, executive director of the Oakdale Research Park, Technology Innovation Center and UI Research Foundation, nominated by the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED).

-- Jane Schildroth, director at the Career Center, nominated by IDED.

-- David Hensley, director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, nominated by IDED.

-- Joan Severson, a UI grad student and co-founder of Digital Artefacts, a technology transfer company in the UI Technology Innovation Center, nominated by IDED.

-- Ginny Wenman, a volunteer with the Volunteer Services program at UI Hospitals and Clinics, nominated by Jean Reed and Mary Ameche of Volunteer Services.

-- Linda Monroe, a senior activity therapist in the Center for Disabilities and Development, nominated by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals' Foster Care Review Board.

-- Mike Hoenig, director of Iowans with Disabilities Exercising Advocacy Skills in the Center for Disabilities and Development, nominated by the Iowa Department for the Blind.