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University of Iowa News Release

May 2, 2003

UI Recognizes Students, Faculty, Alumni At Annual Finkbine Dinner

The University of Iowa honored several outstanding students, faculty and alumni Tuesday, April 29 at the 86th anniversary Finkbine Dinner for Representative Student Leaders, one of the most prestigious award ceremonies at the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge.

The event began in 1917 to honor campus leaders and give them an opportunity to meet administrators, faculty, fellow students and alumni. The dinner is named after William O. Finkbine, a Des Moines businessman and an 1880 UI law graduate.

In addition, several other awards were presented for student and faculty excellence.

The tradition of awarding Hancher-Finkbine medallions began in 1964. The awards, which recognize outstanding leadership, learning and loyalty, are named after Finkbine and Virgil M. Hancher, who served as president of the UI from 1940 to 1964. Nominations for the student and faculty awards are solicited from recognized student organizations and collegiate deans. The Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion recipient was selected from nominations received for many distinguished alumni at the local and national level. The Finkbine Dinner committee makes the selection of the medallion and distinguished student leader certificate recipients. Awards were presented by UI President David Skorton.

The winners of this year's Hancher-Finkbine Medallions include:

Hancher-Finkbine Undergraduate Student Medallion: Jesse Elliott of Elgin, Ill.; Helen Joanna Arabella Fuller of West Branch, Iowa; Andrew Stoll of Omaha, Neb.

Elliott is a senior double major in political science and literature, science and the arts. A Presidential Scholar and Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Elliott is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the recipient of several scholarships and honors, including the Dewey B. Stuit Scholarship, Interdisciplinary Teaching Fellow in Political Science and the Dunlap Honors Program Scholarship. Elliott was an Honors Program Arts coordinator and cinematographer and editor for Dance Marathon. He has been editor of the opinion page and reporter for The Daily Iowan and still serves as a columnist. He is on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Student Advisory Committee, student liaison to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and a Student and Family Guide for the Top Scholar Recruitment Program.

Fuller is pursing a double major in biomedical engineering and mathematics. She is one of three students accepted into the fast-track B.S./M.S. program designed to keep the best undergraduate biomedical engineering students at UI. Fuller is the recipient of several scholarships and awards, including the Presidential Scholarship, Provost Scholarship and Blackburn Scholarship. Her activities and offices include past president of the Engineering Student Council, president of UI Fencing Club and member of Mortar Board, Tau Beta Pi, UI Badminton Club and Hawkeye Marching Band. She was selected the 2002 UI Homecoming Queen. Last summer, Fuller was an intern at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Stoll is a senior majoring in management and organizations in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business and Communication Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A member of the UI Honors Program, Stoll has received the Schoen Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Ability, UI Upperclass National Scholars Award and was a 2002 National Finalist for the Truman Scholarship. Stoll is the UI student representative on the Iowa Coordinating Council for Post-Secondary Education. As a freshman, Stoll was elected vice president of UI Student Government and the following year he was elected president. He is also marketing/public relations director for UI Dance Marathon and a member of the board of directors of the Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival, and has worked as a campus tour guide. Since 2000, Stoll has worked as an undergraduate scholar assistant in the Iowa Non-Profit Resource Center.

Hancher-Finkbine Graduate/Professional Student Medallion: Kyle Jason Kaiser of Red Oak, Iowa; David Rasanen of Elk Run Heights, Iowa.

Kaiser is a third year law student. He is the recipient of a merit scholarship based on his outstanding academic record all three years, and earned Best Advocate honors in the Stephensen Trial Advocacy in the 2002 competition, helping his team advance to the semifinal round in the regional trial advocacy competition. Kaiser is the senior managing editor of the Iowa Law Review, and as a leader of the Equal Justice Foundation, he has served on the scholarship committee and the EJF Board. Kaiser's activities include serving as clerk and member of Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity, and as victim advocate for the Domestic Intervention Program, he assists victims of domestic violence obtain no-contact orders and promotes their interests in civil and criminal proceedings.

Rasanen is a fourth year medical student. Currently serving as Medical Student Council president, Rasanen has also been involved in several educational and service activities including serving as committee leader for the development of the Community Health Outreach class, facilitating M1 Physical Exam Skills and student representative to the Clinical Clerkship Directors Committee. He is a mentor to incoming medical students and student member of the Continuing Medical Education Committee. Active in outreach activities in his church, Rasanen is a member of the Christian Medical Association and has led several mission trips to South Africa.

Hancher-Finkbine Faculty Medallion: Jean Y. Jew, professor of anatomy. Jew joined the faculty in 1973 after earning her B.S. in biology from Newcomb College of Tulane University and M.D. from Tulane University Medical School. Jew is committed to her innovative research focusing on the autonomic nervous system, diabetic neuropathy and heart valve structure and function receiving several grants including NIH, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and American Heart Association. For more than 25 years she has served as course director, lab instructor and group facilitator of the medical neuroscience course. Jew's excellence as an educator has been recognized with the Teacher/Faculty of the Year Award six times and she is the recipient of the College of Medicine Collegiate Teaching Award. She has served on numerous collegiate committees, including admissions, student promotions and accreditation. Her awards include the American Medical Women's Association Gender Equity Award. In 1993 The Jean Y. Jew Women's Rights Award was established in her honor.

Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion: Christine H.B. Grant, associate professor of health and sports studies. A native of Scotland, Grant graduated from Dunfermline College of Physical Education in 1956. She received her B.A. degree in physical education in 1969 and master's and Ph.D. in sports administration in 1974 from the University of Iowa. Grant served as director of women's athletics at UI from 1973 to 2000. As associate professor, she designed curriculum for the M.A. and Ph.D. in athletic administration in addition to teaching classes and directing dissertations. Grant was a founding member of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) to advance a philosophy and practice of sport founded on educational principles. She continues her commitment to gender equity and to the principles of amateurism today by taking a prominent part in the struggle to maintain Title IX providing expert testimony and presentations throughout the country. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, she received the University of Iowa Distinguished Achievement Award in 2001.

Distinguished Student Leader Certificate (recognizes students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty): Neala Renee Arnold of Bettendorf, Iowa. A senior elementary education major, Arnold specializes in reading and English language arts. Arnold is a recipient of the David and Connie Belin Honors Award and the Jack Bagford Elementary Education Scholarship and a member of the Provost Advisory Group. As a participant in the Honors Opportunity Program in the College of Education, she has pursued independent research. In addition to volunteering as a before-school-program group leader, Arnold is a tutor in the UI New Dimensions in Learning and America Reads programs and taught Japanese language and culture to an after-school foreign language program at Lemme Elementary School in Iowa City. She also serves as the student representative on the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Other awards announced at the dinner were:

Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award. This award is presented by the UI Human Rights Committee to a student who has made the most outstanding contribution to the advancement of human rights, the award is named after UI's first tenured African-American professor, a member of the first Human Rights Committee, and vice president.

Ritu Bhatnagar of West Des Moines, Iowa. Bhatnagar is pursuing a medical degree and a Master of Public Health. She has been a regular volunteer at the Free Medical Clinic and co-president of Shades of Medicine, a multicultural student organization founded on the principle that cultural competence is essential for the optimal practice of medicine. Bhatnagar led several community health campaigns, most notably the development of a mobile clinic staffed by medical students and faculty volunteers that brings supervised health professions students into underserved neighborhoods within commuting distance of the university. She serves as physician recruiter for the mobile clinic and is actively involved in all aspects of clinic administration and practice.

Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award. This award is presented by the UI Board in Control of Athletics to a male and female student-athlete who demonstrate outstanding academic excellence, athletic excellence and leadership. The award is named after a former dean and long-time UI faculty representative to the Big 10 Conference.

Kristin Johnson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Andrew Lightfoot of Des Plaines, Ill.

Johnson, a senior shortstop on the UI softball team and communications major, has been on the Dean's List six times, has been selected to the Academic All Big Ten team for the past two seasons and was a Verizon Academic All American in 2002. A two-time Golden Glove recipient for the Hawkeyes, Johnson has started every game since joining the team. She is a three-time All Big Ten selection, the only athlete to be a unanimous first team All Big Ten choice her freshman year. Johnson was named Big Ten Player of the Week and led her team to the Women's College World Series, where she hit .500 and raised her batting average 16 points in postseason play. Johnson is involved with various service activities, including visiting the Ronald McDonald House and participating in a Habitat for Humanity building project. She and her teammates also spend time with children at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Lightfoot graduated in December 2002 with a degree in psychology. A three-time Academic All Big Ten selection, Andrew has received many honors, including Verizon Academic All American District VII Team three times and the Dean's List five times. He was awarded the 2002 Forest Evashevski Scholastic Achievement Award. A three-year starter at right guard, he was part of the offensive line that helped UI's offense lead the Big Ten in scoring for 2 straight years. In his senior year, the offensive line set single season records for total points (484), touchdowns (60) and points per game (37.2) as the team went undefeated in the Big Ten and played in the Orange Bowl. Lightfoot was named co-MVP of the team. He is a member of the Iowa Student Psychological Association and a Psi Chi, an honorary psychology organization. He worked as a laboratory assistant and has been a volunteer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and participated in the annual Hawkeye Day of Caring service event.

M.L. Huit Faculty Award. This award is presented by members of Mortar Board and ODK honor societies to a faculty member who demonstrates dedication to, concern for and interaction with students. The award is named in honor of a former dean.

William Eichinger, associate professor of engineering. Eichinger joined the faculty in the College of Engineering in 1997 and is currently an associate professor in the Iowa Institute for Hydraulic Research. He has a B.S. in physics from the United States Military Academy, M.S. in nuclear physics/engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in atmospheric/hydrologic science from the University of California at Davis. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, Optical Society of American, Tau Beta Pi and associate editor of Water Resources Research. A teaching excellence award winner from UI College of Engineering, Eichinger serves as advisor to the ASCE concrete canoe team and volunteers as a review session leader for the fluid dynamics section of the Engineer in Training Exam, a critical step for students in the process of becoming professional engineers.

James N. Murray Faculty Award. This award is presented by the Beta Iota Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society to a non-tenured faculty member who demonstrates outstanding rapport with students and creates an exemplary classroom atmosphere. The award honors a former UI political science professor.

Susan Phillips, assistant professor of English. Phillips joined the UI faculty in 1999. She received a B.A. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, Master of Philosophy from Cambridge and M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American literature and language from Harvard. She serves as advisor for the Medieval Studies Program and instructor in the UI Center for the Book. She has helped redesign the English department advising system and, as assistant to the chair for Undergraduate Programs, meets regularly with 20 percent of English majors.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,

EDITORS: Recipients of the awards in this release include people from the following Iowa hometowns: Red Oak, Elk Run Heights, Bettendorf, West Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Hometowns listed outside of Iowa include Elgin, Ill., Des Plaines, Ill., and Omaha, Neb. Detailed biographical information is listed for each person after the name of each award.