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University of Iowa News Release

April 27, 2005

UI Recognizes Students, Faculty, Alumni At Annual Finkbine Dinner

The University of Iowa honored several outstanding students, faculty and an alumnus Tuesday, April 26, at the 88th anniversary Finkbine Dinner for Representative Student Leaders, one of the university's most prestigious award ceremonies, at the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge. 

This year's dinner was emceed by previous faculty medallion recipient Jerry Schnoor, professor of engineering, with special remarks by 2005 alumni medallion recipient Pearl L. Cheng. UITV will broadcast the dinner at a later time. Check local listings for day and time.

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: Cheryl Sue Davenport, Thayer, Iowa. An economics major in the Tippie College of Business, Davenport has been on the dean's list every semester. She has received several awards and honors, including the Virgil Hancher Award and Rhodes-Dunlap Scholarship, and was selected as a Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance Scholar. Her three-year research fellowship included studying an M.B.A. market research project in Mexico. Davenport is fulfilling her third term as an officer in Delta Sigma Pi and had leadership roles in Omicron Delta Kappa and the International Crosswords Community. Her extracurricular activities include Business Student Ambassador, UISG Student Senator, member of Students to Assist Recruiting (STAR) and peer mentor for Orientation Services. She has been active in Dance Marathon and as a volunteer at the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and she coordinated a diversity series program for the UI Honors Program. Davenport was also the 2004 UI Homecoming Queen.

Hancher-Finkbine Graduate/Professional Student Medallions: Ryann Patrick-Shell Juden, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Kenneth E. Richardson, Meza, Ariz.

Juden, a law student from Cape Girardeau, Mo., ranks among the top 10 percent of his law class of 2005. In addition to his academic honors, he was a member of the law school's Van Oosterhout Appellate Advocacy Competition team and was competitively selected as a student writer for the Journal of Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems. He currently is chair of the moot court program and recently wrote a proposal recommending major changes to the program now under consideration by the law faculty. To establish service learning opportunities through civic engagement, Juden helped create a for-credit law school course for students to volunteer to work with immigrant victims of domestic violence. Juden worked as a research assistant at the Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center, was a member of the UI Student Government as a senator, was co-founder of a chapter of the J. Rueben Clark Society and served as a member of the American Constitution Society and president of the Federalist Society. 

Kenneth E. Richardson is in his final year of the combined Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Richardson won two competitive research grants to successfully complete his Ph.D. dissertation on the molecular biology of heart disease. He was instrumental in establishing Learning Communities, an innovative education environment within the college that has become a model for medical education nationwide. Richardson teaches clinical examination skills to first year medical students and served as a preceptor for the second year medical ethics course to become the only student to ever fill this role. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, national medical honor society, and has been involved in several leadership roles, including vice president of the Medical Student Government, chair of the Student Advocacy Group, mayor of the McCowen Learning Community and founder and president of the MSTP Council. Richardson also helped write and adopt a medical student honor code.

Hancher-Finkbine Faculty Medallion: Toni Tripp-Reimer, Nursing.

Tripp-Reimer joined the faculty in the College of Nursing in 1977. In 1986, she was appointed professor with a secondary appointment in the Department of Anthropology. She received a B.S. in nursing from University of Maryland, an M.S. in nursing, M.A. in anthropology and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Ohio State University. She has written numerous manuscripts and frequently presents on topics related to minority health, cultural diversity, aging studies, research methodology, grants and nursing theory. As the associate dean for research she has created and secured an infrastructure for scholarly inquiry that is rare among schools of nursing. She has written or co-authored and received numerous training grants to support the doctoral study of College of Nursing faculty members and pre- and post-doctoral scholars in gerontological nursing, aging studies and genetics. She is a resounding voice for greater diversity in health care and offers an unparalleled vision for the future of professional nursing based upon sound scientific evidence, intellectual and institutional innovation and uncommon compassion. In 1996 she received the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion: Pearl L. Cheng 

Cheng received her B. S. in biomedical engineering from the UI in 1981. After completing her master's degree at Stanford, she joined the NASA-Ames Research Center where she developed life science payloads for various space missions. She is the recipient of several NASA Group Achievement Awards and was selected for the NASA -Ames Honor Award for Equal Employment Opportunity for her leadership and proactive efforts in advancing equal employment opportunity. She has been a trustee and is currently president of the Cupertino, Calif., Union School District Board of Education. She recently was honored by the 22nd Assembly District of Columbia as "Woman of the Year." Cheng is a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board, actively participating in board affairs on advising the college on curriculum development and in other educational endeavors. She serves as a mentor and advising the student chapters of the Society for Women Engineering and the Women in Science and Engineering Program. She also delivered the 2002 UI College of Engineering commencement address. She is from Iowa City and is a daughter of UI Professor Emeritus Frank Cheng from Iowa City.

Distinguished Student Leader Certificate (recognizes students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty): Elizabeth Suzanne Aunan, Iowa City; Rathi Lakshmi Ravikumar, Port Orange, Fla.; Jonathan M. Sargent, Ames, Iowa; Holly Marie Hauschild, Glidden, Wisc.

Aunan is a senior double major in exercise science and Spanish. A Presidential Scholarship recipient, Aunan has demonstrated excellence in her academic coursework leading to selection of several awards, including the Rhodes Dunlap Honors Scholarship, the Bill and John Fenton Scholarship, the Dewey Stuit Fund for travel, Genesis Health Group Scholarship and the Phi Beta Kappa Society Stevens Scholarship. She has been a research assistant in the Department of Exercise Science and has co-authored three articles currently in process for publication. During the summer of 1992, she participated in the University of Minnesota Global Campus. She has traveled to Honduras and Venezuela to perform mission outreach work that included both teaching and medical assistance providing opportunities to use her linguistic talents as well to stimulate her interest in medicine. She is a member of 24-7 student organization and is a Spanish translator for the Johnson County Child Health Clinic.

Ravikumar is a biomedical engineering student with an outstanding academic record of classroom performance and scholarly ability recognized by dean's list membership and several awards and scholarships, including the Accenture Foundation Scholarship and T. A. Dooley Memorial Scholarship for Prospective Medical Students. She has applied her engineering skills for human health care applications as an undergraduate research assistant and as a teaching assistant in the ACE Academy, working with middle and high school students to stimulate their interest in engineering. She is currently president of Mortar Board and president of the Engineering Student Council. Ravikumar is a mentor in the Women In Science and Engineering program and an Engineering Connection mentor, as well as an Engineering Student Ambassador. She has been a dancer and family representative for Dance Marathon, a member of Pre-Medicus Society and a Top Scholars Recruitment Volunteer.

Sargent is senior finance major with a minor in Classics. A recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, Sargent was selected as a Tippie College of Business Hawkinson Scholar. He has received the Delta Sigma Pi Collegian of the Year Award based on his academic and leadership accomplishments, and for two consecutive years was winner of the Classics Department Latin and Greek Exams. He was elected senior vice president of Delta Sigma Pi and selected as an at-large representative on the Tippie College Leadership Council. A member of the Tippie College of Business Judicial Board, he was one of two students chosen by the college to attend the National Conference on Ethics in America at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Last year he had a prestigious internship with JPMorgan Chase in Chicago and served as a middle market commercial banking intern. Sargent participated in Dance Marathon and is a mentor in the business mentor program, meeting twice a month with an incoming freshman pre-business student.

Hauschild, a graduate student in the Department of Mathematics, received one of 25 Presidential Graduate Fellowships (PGF) awarded each year to incoming graduate students, the highest level fellowship offered by the Graduate College. During her graduate career she published one peer reviewed manuscript and made four conference presentations. Hauschild served two terms on Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and is responsible for creating and chairing the Service Committee to organize volunteer activities for graduate students in the Iowa City community. Hauschild is a founding member of the Math Graduate Student Board, the graduate advisory board in the Department of Mathematics, and was the driving force behind the establishment of the Graduate and Undergraduate Student Seminar (GAUSS). 

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.

Girija Mahajan is a double major in political science and international studies from Urbandale, Iowa. Active in the UI Center for Human Rights and an Undergraduate Scholar Assistant (USA), Mahajan was instrumental in bringing to campus the world premier of a documentary film about child laborers around the world, "Stolen Childhoods," and coordinated a seminar with the filmmaker and others to discuss the film. This project led her to help facilitate the Children Helping Innocent Laborers Democratically (C.H.I.L.D), a peer to-peer education program initiated with the Iowa City Public Schools. She is currently leading and managing a team of students engaged in developing a database and library of internship opportunities in human rights organizations around the world and developing a sustainable source of funding for students to participate in them. also active in Students Against Sweatshops and is a member of Campus Greens.

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.

Natan Pheil is a Neenah, Wisc., native and four-year letter winner on the Iowa men's swimming team. He will graduate with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. Pheil has been named to the dean's list four semesters and was named Academic All-Big Ten three times. A team captain his senior year, he recorded more than 35 top five finishes and three personal bests competing at the Big Ten Conference Championships. Pheil served as a team representative to the Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC) for three years, where he served as vice chair and as student-athlete representative to the Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA). He has been an instrumental part of Hawkeye PRIDE, student athlete volunteers in local elementary schools, helping to coordinate the program during the 2003-04 academic year.

Emily Wagstrom of Faribault, Minn., is an Exercise Science major and four-year letter winner for the Iowa women's rowing program. Wagstrom has been named to the dean's list every semester at Iowa and named Academic All-Big Ten three times. She has been a member of the varsity 2V8+ that placed second at the Big Ten Championships in both 2003 and 2004. Wagstrom has been a representative to the Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC) for two years, including one year as secretary. She has participated in the Hawkeye Day of Caring and Hawkeye PRIDE through ISAAC.

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.

Donald D. Brown joined the faculty in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine in 1973 and is currently a professor of medicine and director of the Electrocardiography and Exercise Treadmill Laboratory. He earned his B.A., J.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Iowa. Brown's research is in cardiology, specifically in the areas of EKG interpretation, arrhythmias, and emergency cardiac pre-hospital care. He has been recognized repeatedly by the College of Medicine for his outstanding teaching, having been nominated over 20 times by medical students for the Teacher of the Year award. Since 1974, Brown has directed and supervised the cardiology instruction for second-, third- and fourth-year medical students, and his efforts have led to a two-week EKG clerkship unique to UI that has allowed graduates of the College of Medicine to be among the most proficient physicians in the nation at interpreting EKGs.  In addition, Brown has served on medical education committees and curriculum committees within the College of Medicine.

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.

Devery R. Mock joined the faculty as assistant professor in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education in 2003. She received a B. A. in international studies from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in reading education from Appalachian State University and a Ph.D. in special education from University of Virginia. Mock advises undergraduate and Master's degree students and directs the Ph.D. programs of three students as doctoral advisor. She worked with faculty outside of her department to create a multidisciplinary focus with special education, reading, psychology and pediatrics, resulting in both better training for students across the College of Education and a more collegial atmosphere among faculty. She is an expert at teaching her students to use evidence-based assessment and teaching procedures to make real and sustained differences in the lives of children and youth with disabilities. Her scholarly areas are the identification of learning disabilities and the prevention and treatment of learning and behavioral disabilities.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Local editors, please note that Alumni Medallion recipient Pearl Cheng is the daughter of Frank Cheng, a retired UI professor and resident of Iowa City.

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

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