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University of Iowa News Release

April 30, 2004

UI Recognizes Students, Faculty, Alumni At Annual Finkbine Dinner

The University of Iowa honored several outstanding students, faculty and alumni Tuesday, April 27 at the 87th 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 awards are solicited from recognized student organizations and collegiate deans.

Awards were presented by UI President David Skorton.

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

Hancher-Finkbine Undergraduate Student Medallion: Nate J. Green of Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Green is a senior political science and pre-law major. He is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, has been on the President's List and Dean's List and received numerous academic awards and honors, including the Nile Kinnick Scholarship and the Bill and John Fenton Scholarship. A member of the Honors Program and Phi Beta Kappa, this year he was a state finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. He recently received an Iowa Research Experience for Undergraduates research grant. A leader and student advocate, Green just completed a term as president of the UI Student Government, has been vice president of Order of Omega and vice president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Last semester he was selected as one of ten student body presidents to attend Project Interchange Seminars in Israel.

Hancher-Finkbine Graduate/Professional Student Medallion: Peter Cho of Iowa City; R. Chace Ramey of Kansas City, Mo.

Cho is a third year dental student from Iowa City. He has maintained an exceptional academic record while participating in a rigorous dental curriculum and student research program. A recipient of the Dental Research Award, his research focuses on understanding how bone cells interact with dental implant surfaces during a process called osseointegration. His research has led to several presentations at the International Association for Dental Research and a manuscript in the peer-reviewed journal Implant Dentistry. Cho is currently serving a two-year term as president-elect and president of the National Student Research Group of the American Association for Dental Research. He is a member of the College of Dentistry American Association for Dental Research Student Chapter.

R. Chace Ramey is a third year law student from Kansas City, Mo. Last year he participated in the Baskerville Moot Court competition and was recognized for having delivered the best oral argument. This year he competed in the Stephensen Trial Advocacy Competition and was selected to participate as a Supreme Court advocate. His leadership activities include co-president and associate treasurer of the Iowa Student Bar Association and co-president of Phi Delta Phi Law Fraternity. Ramey also served on the Student Advisory Committee for the recent College of Law dean search and has served as a student member on the Faculty-Student Internal Procedures Committee and Faculty-Student Curriculum Committee. He is currently serving a term as chief justice of the UI Student Judicial Court.

Hancher-Finkbine Faculty Medallion: The faculty medallion is given on a rotating basis among the colleges based on an order established by the Finkbine Dinner Committee. This year, a faculty member in the College of Public Health is recognized for the first time. Student representatives in the College of Public Health solicited nominations for the faculty award and forwarded them to the Finkbine Dinner Committee for final selection.

Peter E. Nathan joined the faculty in 1990 as a distinguished professor of psychology. In 2001, Nathan became a faculty member in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health. He received an A.B. in social relations from Harvard and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Washington University. Nathan is nationally known for his focus on research, teaching and service related to alcohol studies, substance abuse and gambling addictions. His current primary research area is binge drinking of undergraduate students. He has published or has in press more than 100 peer reviewed publications, more than 20 books or monographs and more than 85 chapters in scholarly books. Former provost and acting president at Iowa, Nathan chaired a committee that led to the establishment of a faculty council in the College of Public Health.

Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion: The Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion recipient was selected from nominations received for many distinguished alumni. The Finkbine Dinner Committee makes the selection of the medallion and distinguished student leader certificate recipients.

John Pappajohn received his B.S.C. degree in commerce and science in 1952. After completing his degree, Pappajohn started his own insurance business, which he sold in 1969 to become a full time venture capital investor and philanthropist. Currently president of Equity Dynamics, Inc., a venture capital firm in Des Moines that has founded more than 50 companies, he has served as a director of more than 40 public companies and numerous private firms. Pappajohn is a member of the UI Alumni Association and The President's Club and a member of the board of the UI Foundation and the Henry B. Tippie College of Business. He has invested substantial funds in the UI, helping to fund the Pappajohn Business Administration Building, the Pappajohn Pavilion and the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center, both at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Pappajohn has established Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at five colleges throughout Iowa, including at UI, and also has supported a variety of student scholarship initiatives.

Distinguished Student Leader Certificate (recognizes students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty): Jacek Pruski of Ames, Alissa Dawn Klein of New Hartford, Kelly Kay Andringa of Sheldon, Brandon Ward Fitz of Cedar Rapids.

Pruski is a political science and interdepartmental studies major. A recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, Pruski has received several awards and honors, including the Virgil M. Hancher Award, the highest honor given to a UI junior for academics and leadership. He has been on the President's List and Dean's List and created his own interdisciplinary major in environmental economics and policy. Through his participation in the Honors Program, he has served as volunteer coordinator and liaison to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and is an honors mentor. Pruski has been a UI Student Government Senator and a member of the Dean's Student Advisory Committee and the UI Environmental Coalition.

Klein is working on a joint degree program in the College of Law and College of Public Health. Her excellent academic record has earned her a merit scholarship from the Iowa Law Foundation. Klein is a recipient of the Ramza-Fester Rainbow Rights Scholarship. Her research assistantships with Peter Blanck, professor of law, and William Hesson, associate director and legal counsel at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clincis, led to two academic papers on public school reform and model state legislation on artificial reproductive technologies. She has served as the articles editor of the Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, as co-chair of Outlaws and on the advisory board of the law school chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and is a member of Equal Justice Foundation, Organization of Women Students and Staff and the American College of Health Care Executives.

Andringa is a PhD candidate in the Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program. She is a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Oxygen Society and is currently a National Institute of Health National Research Service Award trainee. Her research focuses on developing a more effective cancer therapy that spares normal tissues, leading to less toxicity for the patient. She has team taught lectures for radiation therapy technologists courses. Her professional affiliations include the Radiation Research Society and the American Association of Cancer Research. A student representative on the Graduate Council and an active member of Graduate Student Senate, this year Andringa was the co-organizer of the Jakobsen Graduate Student Forum.

Fitz is completing his degree in electrical and computer engineering with a minor in business. In addition to being on the Dean's List seven consecutive semesters, Fitz has received Iowa's Presidential Scholarship and membership in both Engineering and Greek honor societies. He recently was selected to receive the Phi Kappa Psi Dud Daniel Leadership Award, a national fraternity leadership honor awarded to only one person in the country. His many leadership activities include president of Interfraternity Council, president of Phi Kappa Si Fraternity, a UI Student Government Senator, Orientation Student Advisor and an Engineering Student Ambassador.

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.

Thomas Gilsenan is a doctoral student in the School of Social Work. Gilsenan has been an advocate for human rights through his journalism and as manager of Bill's Coffee Shop, an educational resource for UI students, faculty and staff. Frequently published in Iowa and other midwest newspapers, Gilsenan's articles invite readers to appreciate the racial-ethnic diversity of Iowa's population and explore the consequences of discrimination that many groups experience. His articles address a range of issues, including over-representation of African American youth in the juvenile justice system, the positive contributions of latinos in Iowa and the value of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

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.

Jennie Lillis, a native of Urbandale, Iowa and three-time captain of the UI women's basketball team, will graduate in May 2004 with a B.A. in Communication Studies. Lillis has been named to the UI Dean's List three semesters. She is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, and was most recently named to the 2004 CoSida District VII Academic All-American, second team. Athletically, Lillis has been a leader on the court for the women's basketball team all four years. She was recently selected to the 2004 all-Big Ten second team by both the media and coaches, marking the third time she has earned all-Big Ten accolades. Lillis is only the second Hawkeye player to amass 1,700 points and 800 rebounds in her career. In addition, she is one of only three Hawkeyes to score 300 points or more in each year playing at Iowa.

Tyler Nixt, a native of Greene, Iowa and co-captain of the UI wrestling team, will graduate in May 2004 with a B.B.A. in Accounting. A four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, as well as a 2003 Verizon District VII Academic All-American, Nixt has been named to the Dean's List every semester of his collegiate career and named to the President's List after the Fall 2001 semester. Athletically, he has competed for the Iowa wrestling team in the 174-pound weight class compiling a 116-28 collegiate career record. He finished as runner-up at the Big Ten championships in 2002, 2003 and 2004. He has also competed at the NCAA Championships each of those years. Nixt's career recently ended with a third place finish at the 2004 NCAA Wrestling Championships, where he received All-American honors for the first time.

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.

David C. Manderscheid joined the faculty in the Department of Mathematics in 1987 and is currently professor and departmental chair. He earned a B.S. in mathematics from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University. The recipient of several teaching awards including the Collegiate Teaching Award and Graduate College Mentoring Award, Manderscheid also received a commendation for good teaching from the Panhellenic Council. As director of Graduate Studies he wrote five successful Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) grants in support of underrepresented U.S. minority students and served as mentor to all of the students supported by these grants. He has also initiated The Heartland Mathematics Partnership, an alliance consisting of the UI Mathematics Department and twelve regional four year colleges with the goal of increasing the number of students from these colleges who enroll in doctoral programs in mathematics.

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.

Kenneth G. Brown joined the faculty as assistant professor in the Department of Management and Organizations in 1999. He received a B.S. in psychology from the University of Maryland College Park, an M.A. in psychology and a Ph.D. in industrial organizational psychology both from Michigan State University. Brown is an advisor of student groups including Sigma Phi Epsilon and the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management; a developer of orientation programs for students, faculty, and staff; a judge of student case competitions, a developer and tester of instructional technology and software, and a frequent "broker" for students seeking to connect with employers. His main areas of study are learning, motivation and use of computer technology in instruction.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,