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University of Iowa News Release

March 22, 2005

photos: Kitty Buckwalter, left; Maile Sagen, middle; Jill Vibhakar, right

UI Celebration Of Excellence Among Women To Be Held March 29

"A Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women," the University of Iowa's annual tribute to the accomplishments of women at the university, will be held from 4 to 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in the main lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union. A reception begins at 4 p.m., followed by the awards program at 4:30 p.m.

UI Provost Michael Hogan will open the awards program and Carolyn Jones, dean of the UI College of Law and F. Wendell Miller Professor of Law, will present the keynote address. The event is free and open to the public.

Special presentations will include the UI Distinguished Achievement Award to two recipients: Kitty Buckwalter, UI Foundation Distinguished Professor of Nursing, and Maile Sagen, university ombudsperson.

Buckwalter is the associate director of the Gerontological Nursing Interventions Research Center, co-director of the Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, co-director of the UI's Center on Aging, and co-director of the National Health Law and Policy Resource Center. She holds joint appointments in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine departments of psychiatry and internal medicine.

A prolific researcher of issues affecting the elderly, Buckwalter's work has focused on improving mental health services and providing community-based care for chronically mentally ill older people. Her specific clinical and research interests are in the area of geriatric mental health. Her research has been funded by several branches of the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as numerous private foundations.

She has written extensively in the field of gerontology, authoring over 250 articles and 80 chapters, and has edited eight books. In 1999, she received the Distinguished Contribution to Research Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. In 2001, she was the recipient of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Excellence in Research Award, and the first recipient of the National Gerontological Nursing Association Board of Directors Award.

Buckwalter serves on numerous review committees, editorial boards and advisory groups, including: the American Psychiatric Nursing Association's Geropsychiatric/Long Term Care Council; the American Academy of Nursing Expert Panel on Aging, Long Term Care Policy Committee; the National Advisory Board for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Hartford Gerontology Project; the Long-Term Care Task Force and Polisher Awards Committee of the Gerontological Society of America; and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Committee on Aging. She chairs the Public Policy Committee of the Gerontological Society of America and is active at the state level serving as a Commissioner for the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs.

Sagen has served the UI and its community as ombudsperson since 1989. She was originally hired as an associate ombudsperson and was appointed co-ombudsperson in 1997 by then President Mary Sue Coleman. Prior to her appointment as ombudsperson, Maile was an administrator for Humanities Iowa for 13 years.

During her years in the Ombudsperson's office, Sagen worked to facilitate fair treatment and to create and maintain civil, collegial relationships across the university as a whole, by developing a high level of cooperation with various offices, deans, directors, administrators and DEOs. She received a Regents Award for Staff Excellence in 1996, and an IOWA team workplace award in 2003.

Sagen has served the university by voicing the need for and working to create several important changes, including a Dispute Resolution Committee (along with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity), workshops on conflict resolution and training for supervisors, and DEOs on workplace violence, and a University Mediation Service. She has also been a part of many review and steering committees, including Residence Services, the Museum of Art, the NCAA self-study and Gender Equity Subcommittee, the advisory committees for Employee and Labor Relations, the Integrated Employee Assistance Program, the Behavioral Risk Management Group and the advisory committee to oversee institutional compliance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Nationally, as a member of the University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA), Maile served on the UCOA Board of Directors for five years with responsibility for creating the Standards of Practice and Statement of Ethics for member ombudspeople across the country. She also served as the mentoring coordinator for UCOA, connecting new ombudspeople with experienced mentors. She is also a member of The Ombudsman Association.

In addition to the Distinguished Achievement Awards, the following scholarships and awards will be announced at the awards ceremony:

The Jane A. Weiss Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to Sonja Hidalgo-Nunez, a Ph.D. student in Spanish and Portuguese. The scholarship is named in honor of Jane Weiss, an assistant professor of women's studies and sociology at the time of her death in 1981. The award is made to doctoral students whose dissertations promise to expand understanding of important women's issues.

The Wynonna G. Hubbard Scholarship will be awarded to Paris Ivory, undergraduate in finance and management. Established by the late UI Vice President Emeritus Philip G. Hubbard in memory of his wife, the award is given each year to an African-American woman with a grade-point average of 3.0 or above who demonstrates an unusual interest in the wellbeing of others.

The Margaret P. Benson Memorial Scholarship will be presented to two recipients: Molly M. Cantrell-Kraig, a BFA student in art, and Tiitsetso Russell, a Ph.D. student in the College of Education. This award was created by a designated bequest to the UI Foundation to recognize qualified female applicants who demonstrate financial need and are committed to women's issues, diversity and social activism. One or two awards are available each year. The scholarship is administered and recipients selected by the Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) at the UI.

The Jean Y. Jew Women's Rights Award will be given to Jill Vibhakar, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. The award is named for Jean Y. Jew, professor of anatomy, who fought an uphill battle for more than a decade to defend herself against slander and sexual harassment from faculty in her department, a struggle that she ultimately won. Given annually by the Council on the Status of Women and the WRAC, the award honors a faculty, staff or student member of the university community who has demonstrated outstanding effort or achievement in improving the status of women on campus.

University sponsors of the 2005 Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women include the following: Admissions Office, Associate Provost for Faculty/Faculty Development, Associate Provost for Health Sciences, Associated University Women, Audiovisual Center, the Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, Central Human Resources, Central Mail Services, Henry B. Tippie College of Business, College of Dentistry, College of Education, College of Engineering, Graduate College, College of Law, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Carver College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, Department of Accounting, Department of Health and Sport Studies, Department of History, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Department of Internal Medicine, Iowa Memorial Union, Department of Management Sciences, Department of Microbiology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Women's Health Center, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Department of Pathology, Department of Pharmacology, Department of Psychology, Department of Sociology, Department of Women's Studies, Division of Continuing Education, Graduate College, Hancher Auditorium, Information Technology Services, International Programs, Museum of Art, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Opportunity at Iowa, Printing Department, School of Art and Art History, School of Social Work, Staff Council, Iowa Memorial Union, Support Service Programs, Undergraduate Program Office, University Counseling Service, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, UI Libraries, UI Research Foundation, Vice President for Finance and Operations, Vice President for Research, Women in Science and Engineering, and Women's Resource and Action Center.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Jane Van Voorhis, coordinator of special events and outreach, Office of University Relations, 319-335-0011,