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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 7, 2006

UI College Of Liberal Arts and Sciences Names Alumni Fellows

Six alumni of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be named 2006 Alumni Fellows at an awards ceremony on Sept. 14. The award is given to alumni by the college to recognize its most accomplished graduates.

While on campus, the fellows meet with students and faculty, and give a lecture on their work. Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, initiated the Alumni Fellows program in 1999 with funds from the endowed UI Alumni Association Dean's Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, which was created through a gift from the UI Alumni Association.

"The gift from the Alumni Association has made it possible to bring more than 40 of our distinguished alumni to campus," said Maxson. "Our students especially benefit from their return. They are able to see what they can achieve, and at the same time, we can recognize our graduates for their outstanding accomplishments."

The 2006 Alumni Fellows are Elizabeth Catlett (M.F.A. Fine Art, 1940), Earl Fitz (B.A. Spanish, 1968, M.A. Spanish, 1970), Aquiles Iglesias (Ph.D. Speech Pathology and Audiology, 1978), Marsha Martin (B.A. Psychology, 1974, M.S.W Social Work, 1976), Carol Oukrop (M.A. 1965, Ph.D., 1969, Journalism), and Thomas Romesser (M.A. 1973, Ph.D. 1974, Physics). Catlett received her award in May 2006.

The Alumni Fellows will give a free lecture at the following times.

--Earl Fitz, Thursday, Sept. 14, 4 p.m., 315 Phillips Hall, "Latin American Literature in an Inter-American Context: Some Comments on the Future of a Discipline."

--Aguiles Iglesias, Friday, Sept. 15, noon, 308 Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center, "Heterogeneity of English Language Learners."

--Marsha Martin, Friday, Sept. 15 from 1 p.m., Room 332, North Hall, "Public Health and Social Well-Being: From 'Us and Them' to 'I and We.'"

--Carol Oukrop, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2:30 p.m., Room 1505, Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences, "Seeking Equity for Women in Journalism Education for More than Three Decades: How Far Have We Come?"

--Thomas Romesser, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2:30 p.m., 301 Van Allen Hall, "A View from Industry on Science and Engineering Education Requirements and the Corporate Research and Development Environment."

The following are highlights from the alumni fellows' careers.

Elizabeth Catlett, the first African-American recipient of an M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History in 1940, is considered one of the most prominent artists of the second half of the 20th century and early-21st century. At Iowa, Catlett studied with Grant Wood and went on to become an accomplished sculptor and printmaker. Her work is influenced by European, American, African, Mexican and Indian art, with real, working class people as its subjects. Issues such as minorities' and women's rights, feminism and racism can be seen in her work. Catlett has received many awards and honors and has had her art featured in several exhibitions, galleries and museums across the country.

Earl Fitz, a Marshalltown, Iowa, native who received his B.A. in 1968 and M.A. in 1970 in Spanish from the University of Iowa, is well-known in Brazilian and Spanish American literature and is a noted scholar for his comparative approach to the literatures of Latin America. He has written several books and essays about Latin American culture. Currently, Fitz teaches Portuguese, Spanish and Comparative Literature at Vanderbilt University where he also has served as director of the Program in Comparative Literature.

Aguiles Iglesias received his Ph.D. in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Iowa in 1978. As a professional, he has contributed greatly to the field of speech pathology and multicultural education. His research has focused on language development, more specifically in the area of cultural and linguistic diversity, and he has become nationally recognized for his work with bilingual populations who speak English and Spanish. He and his colleagues developed the Bilingual English Spanish Assessment, a testing model useful for work with all bilingual populations. Currently, Iglesias is dean of the Graduate School at Temple University.

Marsha Martin's professional contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS and homelessness through the programs and initiatives of various government agencies have made a significant impact. She is the senior deputy director of the District of Columbia's Department of Health, HIV/AIDS administration, an office that promotes national policy to strengthen HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment and social services. Martin has also worked on homelessness initiatives through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and under former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. She co-owns Ellington's on Eighth, a neighborhood restaurant, and the Eighth Street Market, a grocery and deli. Both businesses employ those who are or have been homeless. She received her B.A. in 1974 in psychology and a Master of Social Work in 1975 from the University of Iowa.

Carol Oukrop is best known for two exceptional accomplishments -- being the first female leader of an accredited program in journalism and mass communication and as a pioneer in the field of journalism education due to her ground-breaking research on the status of women in journalism, mass communications and public relations education. She conducted the first survey of women in the Association for Education in Journalism (now Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication) that helped improve the climate for female professors and work toward pay and workload equity. Receiving a Master of Arts in journalism in 1965 and a doctorate degree in mass communication in 1969 from the University of Iowa, Oukrop has had a long career in higher education with most of her years at Kansas State University. She was director of Kansas State's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications from 1986-1997, and retired as professor in 2002.

Thomas E. Romesser received his master's degree and doctorate in physics from the University of Iowa in 1973 and 1974, respectively. His contribution to science through his research in isotope separation provided a key step in producing the palladium-103 isotope. Use of palladium-103 has enabled the treatment of more than 100,000 prostate cancer patients in the U.S., with a record of 84 percent cancer-free success rate over nine years. He later contributed significantly to the development of new defense systems using high-energy lasers. Romesser has made his career at Northrop Grumman Space Technology and currently is vice president of technology development. In 2002, he was made a fellow of the Directed Energy Professional Society, in recognition of 25 years of significant contributions to the nation's directed energy development program. In 2003, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu or Lesly Huffman, 319-384-0077, lesly-huffman@uiowa.edu