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University of Iowa News Release

April 23, 2004

EDITORS: Receipt of this news release indicates that one of the award recipients is from your coverage area.

UI Names Student Employee Of Year, Recognizes Others

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Jacqueline Thiesse, a native of Crystal Lake, Ill., and a student in the University of Iowa College of Engineering, has been named the Student Employee of the Year for 2003-2004 for her work as a laboratory assistant with the UI Department of Internal Medicine. UI President David Skorton presented her with her award certificate during a ceremony at her laboratory work site.

The Office of Student Financial Aid, along with the National Student Employment Administrators Association, sponsors the yearly recognition for student workers. The reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution of the student employees are evaluated. Approximately 11,000 enrolled students are employed on the UI campus. Of this number, 68 were nominated for the award.

Dr. Geoffrey McLennan, who nominated Thiesse, indicated that through Thiesse's extraordinary initiative a unique microscope attachment named the Bright Field Segmentation Tomography was developed. This attachment enables researchers to illuminate and analyze material structure on a surface and has significant applications for laboratory research. Thiesse was able to present her work at a recent SPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering Optics meeting in California and to submit the work to a peer-reviewed journal. The Bright Field Segmentation Tomography solution is also being reviewed as a potential patent application.

Only one student can be selected as the campus Student Employee of the Year in order to advance one individual to the state competition. However, the UI also honors the contributions of the following student employees nominated by their supervisors. Two categories exist in the certificate level of recognition, denoting the level of their service and contributions to the university.

Cynthia Seyfer, assistant director of Student Financial Aid, presented award certificates to each of the students at their work sites. In addition, Skorton hosted a luncheon to honor the certificate winners. They are (listed by hometown, with Iowa residents listed first):


Ankeny: Shaena Schuett, a research assistant for the Department of Psychology, was nominated by Associate Professor Lisa Oakes and chosen by the review committee for the Certificate of Distinction award. Shaena serves as the lab manager and is in charge of scheduling research participants, training and supervising undergraduate research assistants, creating lab materials and setting up new experiments, and managing the smooth day-to-day running of the lab. Oakes indicated that the 1 1/2 years that Shaena has been in charge of the lab have been the most productive period of data collection in her 12 1/2 years at Iowa.

Davenport: Angela Anderson is employed as a research assistant in the laboratory of John Knutson in the Department of Psychology. Since July 2002, Anderson has assumed a leadership role in the lab. She plays a critical role in training new graduate student RAs. Anderson conducts recruitment interviews in the homes of parents and conducts all aspects of the laboratory sessions with parents and children. According to her nominator, she is an indispensable member of the research team.

North Liberty: Jo Butterfield, a human resource clerk in Pathology since August 2002, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation based on her nomination from Lori Lindseth. Butterfield assumed full responsibility for duties during the three-month absence of a staff member and worked hard to assure the seamless continuation of the flow of work. She has reviewed and updated numerous office processes that will continue to benefit the office in the future.

Waukon: Greta Martin has been employed as an office assistant for the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the National Center for Voice and Speech (NCVS) since September 2002. Martin, who was nominated by Ingo Titze, Ph.D., was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for her efforts in using the Reference Manager software in developing a database of nearly 7,500 articles used by the NCVS research group. This database is available on the office website for use by professionals throughout the world. Martin also developed an instruction manual so that the database can be maintained efficiently when she leaves the position.


BUFFALO GROVE: Joshua Gersten is employed as a peer consultant/tutor for the Hanson Center for Technical Communication in the College of Engineering. He was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation based on his nomination from Lezlie Hall, which illustrated his impact on engineering students who utilize the center. He has produced innovative tips on how to tutor and helped to establish the center's reputation for service and quality.

Oak Park: Michael Amandes, the house manager for Clapp Recital Hall, was chosen as a Certificate of Appreciation winner. Amandes' position combines tasks generally associated with the differing positions of house manager and stage manager. According to the nominator, Susan Orhon, "problems experienced in previous years such as scheduling and stage management mistakes seemed to disappear overnight." Amandes is a proactive problem-solver implementing new procedures that result in an experience that is better both for the audience and the performers and, at the same time, making the best use of existing resources.

Palantine: Kristina Kruskol, a research assistant for the Department of Pediatrics since August 2002, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation based on her nomination from Mary Teresi and Cheri Lux. She ensures the smooth functioning of the lab by training new employees. She has taken over a long-term study for the lab, attended the Investigator/Coordinators' meeting and beta tested the database. She was responsible for many improvements to the flow of data entry, which has saved investigators both time and effort.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,