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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 28, 2005

UI Yager Diversity Award Winners Announced

The University of Iowa College of Education has announced the winners of and finalists for this year's Phyllis M. Yager Commitment to Diversity Award, which recognizes Iowa educators who are furthering diversity efforts in their schools and communities.

The winners, who receive cash awards to be used for diversity efforts, were formally recognized Thursday during the Yager Commitment to Diversity Conference, which runs through Saturday, Jan. 29. The conference is being held in the E.F. Lindquist Center's Jones Commons (N300) and is free and open to the public, although registration is required for some events.

The Yager Award was established in honor of Phyllis M. Yager, a friend, colleague and graduate of the UI College of Education. Yager, the wife of UI science education professor Robert Yager, devoted her career to advocating multicultural opportunities and gender-affirming activities in education through her work as a consultant at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency and in the Iowa City schools.

This year's award recipients, who each receive $1,000, are:

* Georgia Hollrah, a Spanish teacher at Denison High School in Denison

* Cynthia Wiese, a teacher, coach and equity coordinator in the Maquoketa school district

This year's finalists, who each receive $250, are:

* Scott Hammons, a third-grade teacher at Cattell Elementary School in Des Moines

* Julie Walstrom, who teaches English and English as a Second Language in the Perry School District

* Educators Barbara McCuskey, Melissa Summers and Ben Schmidt, all of whom teach at the Johnson Elementary School of the Arts in Cedar Rapids

For more information on the Yager Conference, visit

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

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