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University of Iowa News Release


April 23, 2008

UI recognizes students, faculty, staff member, alumnus at Finkbine Dinner

The University of Iowa honored outstanding students, faculty members, a staff member and an alumnus on Tuesday, April 22, at the 91st anniversary Finkbine Dinner for Representative Student Leaders, one of the university's most prestigious award ceremonies.

Linda McGuire, associate dean for public service and instructor in the UI College of Law, emceed this year's dinner, which was held at the Iowa Memorial Union. UI President Sally Mason was among those who presented the awards.

The event began in 1917 to honor campus leaders and give them an opportunity to meet administrators, faculty, staff, fellow students and alumni. The dinner is named after William O. Finkbine, a Des Moines businessman and 1880 UI law graduate.

Several awards were presented for student, staff 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.

UITV will broadcast the dinner at a later time. Check listings for day and time.

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

--Hancher/Finkbine Undergraduate Student Medallion: Barrett James Anderson, Clive; Meredith J. DeBoom, Sibley; Carole Marie Peterson, Clive.

Anderson is a senior double major in political science and economics. His academic awards and honors include the Presidential Scholarship, Donald B. Johnson Fellowship, UI Homecoming Scholarship and induction into Phi Beta Kappa. He was the first UI recipient of the Joseph and Molly Gaylord Political Science Scholarship. An active leader in campus student life, Anderson has served in a number of leadership roles including student body president, mock trial varsity team captain, Dean's Student Advisory Committee vice president and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter president. As a student leader, Anderson has received individual recognition including the Mock Trial Outstanding Attorney Award. Anderson has served as a student staff member in the UI Honors Program, played alto saxophone in the Hawkeye Marching Band and was selected for the UI homecoming court.

DeBoom is a junior double major in political science and international studies. Her awards include the Presidential Scholarship, the Rhodes-Dunlap Scholarship, the T. Anne Cleary Memorial Scholarship and the McMeans Scholarship. DeBoom has participated in UI Student Government (UISG) since her freshman year. She has served as a student researcher and teaching assistant through the Iowa Civic Analysis Network and has been a leader in the Delta Zeta sorority, acting as historian, treasurer and president. DeBoom was also a founding member of Students Today Leaders Forever, creating a governing constitution and establishing relationships with university officials. DeBoom is a dedicated volunteer in the community through such organizations as Dance Marathon and Habitat for Humanity.

Peterson is a senior majoring in international studies and pre-medicine. She has received the Rhodes Dunlap Collegiate Scholarship, Bill and John Fenton Scholarship, Dean Gerhard Loewenberg Scholarship, as well as a dean's scholarship each year of attendance at the university. As the UISG vice president, Peterson led the effort to organize a UI Women's Safety Forum, and collaborated with university police to establish a safe ride system. Peterson founded the HOPE Troupe, which creates presentations and performs for school-age children to raise awareness about child abuse and encourage children to seek help. She was a resident assistant for two years on the Performing Arts Floor of Currier Residence Hall. Peterson has been a volunteer and Spanish translator for the Iowa City Free Mental Health Clinic.

--Hancher/Finkbine Graduate/Professional Student Medallions: Crystal Elizabeth Edler, Marshalltown; Christopher Paul Hogrefe, Albert City.

Edler is a doctoral student in clinical psychology. She has conducted extensive research in the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mood and eating disorders. Her ongoing research, along with others in her research group, has led to the publication of numerous articles and book chapters and presentation of critical findings at several international research conferences. Additionally, Edler works with patients at both the Seashore Psychology Clinic and the UI Hospitals and Clinic's Women's Wellness Clinic and has been a teaching assistant. An active student leader, she is currently the elected chair of the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students representing graduate and professional student interests on campus. She has served as a Graduate Student Senate senator, a graduate technology coordinator for the UI Department of Psychology, and co-chair of the UI Student Government Scholarly Presentation and Research Grant Committee.

Hogrefe is a fourth-year medical student. An active student leader, he currently serves as Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine Student Government president. He served as a representative to UI Student Government, co-president of the Iowa Medical Student Research Club and McCowen Learning Community Mayor. In 2007, he was the recipient of the American College of Emergency Physicians' Medical Student Professionalism and Service Award. Hogrefe helped spearhead the Student Technology and Support Task Force fostering improvements in the college's support for the use of digital technology in the classroom and hospital. He has been a member of numerous committees addressing issues such as the medical curriculum, medical student research, technology, executive and professional staff searches and fundraising. He also facilitated tutor groups in several courses including medical genetics and the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination.

--The Hancher Finkbine Faculty Medallion went to Gary Fethke. This award is given to a faculty member on a rotating basis between each college. This year the faculty member was chosen from the Henry B. Tippie College of Business from nominations solicited by the Tippie Senate.

Fethke is a graduate of the UI with a Bachelor of Arts and doctorate in economics, and he has been a faculty member in the Tippie College of Business since 1974. Currently a professor of management sciences and economics, Fethke served in a variety of leadership roles in the college, most notably 12 years as dean of the Tippie College of Business. In June 2006, he was appointed interim president of the university. Despite a busy schedule as a university administrator, he continued to teach a capstone course in the Executive Masters of Business Administration Program on leadership and strategy. Throughout his career, he has been a dedicated teacher, as well as a researcher who has been published in several noted journals and periodicals. Fethke was instrumental in the development of the Pappajohn Business Building and the Pomerantz Center as well as the establishment of a number of student-centered institutes, centers and programs.

-The Hancher Finkbine Staff Medallion went to Kathy A. Klein.

Klein began her career at the UI in the Honors Program in 1990 where she served as the primary administrative support for that department, interacting with students on a daily basis. In her current position as secretary in the Graduate College, she assists with the coordination of several activities including commencement, its award ceremony, and new graduate student orientation. For eight years, Klein has been an active member of University Staff Council, the shared governance voice for nonbargaining staff members. During this time she coordinated various activities and served on several internal committees. This year she was elected as the first merit supervisory exempt staff member to serve as president of staff council. In 2005, she received the first UI Staff Excellence in Service Award.

--The Hancher Finkbine Alumni Medallion went to Charles M. Kierscht.

Kierscht received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the UI in 1960 followed by a Juris Doctorate with distinction in 1962. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1966 and then began a 29-year career with Kemper Financial Services in Chicago. Since his retirement in 1995 as chairman, chief executive officer and president, he has devoted his volunteer time to many organizations in the Chicago area where he resides. He began giving back to his alma mater more than 40 years ago with his first donation to the College of Law annual fund just after graduation. In the nomination for the award, it was noted that Kierscht has an exemplary record of service and generosity to the UI community including lifetime membership in the UI Alumni Association and College of Dentistry Dean's Club. He is a member of the Presidents Club Gold and the Golden Hawks. Most recently, he served as interim president of the UI Foundation and chair of the board of directors.

--Distinguished Student Leader Certificates: Alison Klare Guernsey, Wynantskill, N.Y.; Michael Allen Ridge, Jr., San Antonio, Texas; and Elise Runde Voss, Hiawatha. This award recognizes students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty.

Ridge is a doctoral student appointed a Graduate Merit Fellow. He has participated in a number of teaching programs, both as a teaching assistant and leading his own course. He has established an outstanding record of leadership service as an active participant in several organizations including president of both the Graduate Student Senate and the Latina/o Graduate Student Association. Ridge was elected by his peers across campus as a member of the Graduate Council, which is the primary elected advisory group to the Graduate Dean. He is a representative to College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Committee and continually volunteers his services as a panelist or moderator for many student programs including those that help the establishment and maintenance of community building amongst diverse student groups.

Runde Voss, a senior finance major, is a Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance Scholar, on the Tippie College of Business Dean's List and a member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. The first president of the Tippie Senate, Voss was re-elected five consecutive semesters as co-chair of the Undergraduate Leadership Council and works as a peer tutor in the Judith R. Frank Business Communications Center. She was one of 20 students nationwide chosen for the prestigious financial analyst internship at the Target Corporation. Voss competed on the UI Federal Reserve Challenge Team in the fall of 2007 and worked on the Krause Fund Challenge, a market fund managed by undergraduate students.

Guernsey is a third-year law student who has an extensive record of engagement and public service. As editor-in-chief of the Iowa Law Review, she has started initiatives aimed at expanding the impact of the review on the legal community and developing a deeper relationship with its alumni. Guernsey is an executive board member for the UI Center for Human Rights and was instrumental in creating opportunities for law students to participate further with the center. As a first-year law student, Guernsey organized students to create a database of public service job opportunities. She is working with the class gift committee to provide ongoing support for this project. She also co-authored a report that convinced the Law School Foundation to begin a public interest loan repayment program.

Other awards announced at the dinner were:

--Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award, which went to Kate Karacay from Iowa City. 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. It is named after the UI's first tenured African-American professor, a member of the first Human Rights Committee and former vice president for UI Student Services.

Karacay is a graduate student in interdisciplinary studies. As founder and current president of the Iowa Human Trafficking Awareness project, she works to teach students about human trafficking and how society can address this problem. On campus and around the state of Iowa, Karacay is involved in human rights work through her involvement in Amnesty International, the UI Center for Human Rights, Iowa Campaign for Human Rights and Iowa City Human Rights Commission. She is the co-director of the Iowa United Nations Association, which has her involved with others in the community and state who share her human rights interest. Karacay was instrumental in the passing of the Iowa Trafficking Bill in 2006 and remains involved in the application of this law. She continues to work on implementing provisions of the new law, designing enforcement and judicial training.

--Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award, presented by the UI Board in Control of Athletics to a male and female student-athlete who demonstrates outstanding academic excellence, athletic excellence and leadership. The award, named after a former dean and longtime UI faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference, went to Eric MacTaggart and Jacqueline Lee.

MacTaggart, a distance runner for the Hawkeyes, is from Glen Ellyn, Ill. He has made an impact on the Hawkeye squad from the start, competing in all eight cross-country races in the 2004 season as a freshman. In 2005 MacTaggart led the team in the 5,000-meter event, ranking fifth on the Iowa all-time best list. As a junior, he was named U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association all-academic team selection. MacTaggart, a music major, is a two-time academic all Big Ten selection, three time varsity letter winner, school record holder in the 3,000 meters, named All American in 2006, and also led the team in the 1,500, 5,000, 6,000 and 8,000 meters. He is a three-time Presidential Committee on Athletics recipient for academic and athletic achievements winning a silver medallion.

Lee is a senior tennis player for the Hawkeyes from Canton, Ohio, majoring in interdepartmental studies-health sciences and pre-law. During her career, she has become a Hawkeye standout, playing at the top spot on the team and is one of the leading scorers for her team. As a junior, she qualified for the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships, advanced to Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional quarterfinals, and competed at the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships in the singles. She was a unanimous All Big Ten selection. She was Big Ten Sportsmanship Award nominee her sophomore year, earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, and is a three-time varsity letter winner. She is currently serving a second year as her team's representative to the Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Lee also serves on the Student Athlete Welfare Subcommittee of the Presidential Committee on Athletics.

--M.L. Huit Faculty Award, presented by members of mortar board and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Societies to a faculty member who demonstrates dedication to, concern for and interaction with students. The award, named in honor of a former dean of students, went to Juan Antonio Gatica.

Gatica joined the faculty in the department of mathematics in 1975 achieving the rank of professor in 1990. He has a doctorate from the UI. As director of the Mathematics Tutorial Laboratory since 2000, he has worked to ensure a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for both students using the lab and teaching assistants providing assistance. He regularly conducts teaching seminars for first-year graduate students to prepare them for the classroom. In 2006, Gatica was appointed chair of the Mathematics Minority Recruitment and Development Committee. Dedicated to the advancement of minorities in the mathematical sciences, he has been instrumental in recruiting talented U.S. Hispanics for doctoral studies at Iowa. Current students and former students who are now professional mathematicians credit Gatica with helping them to achieve their potential.

--James N. Murray Faculty Award, presented by the Beta Iota Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society to a nontenured faculty member who demonstrates outstanding rapport with students and creates an exemplary classroom atmosphere. The award, which honors a former UI political science professor, went to Saba Rasheed Ali.

Ali was appointed as assistant professor of counseling psychology in 2003 in the College of Education Division of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations. She has a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon, a Master of Arts degree in community counseling from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from West Virginia University. Ali has a strong commitment to advancing the field of counseling psychology through her research and leadership, according to her nomination materials. In addition to serving as an advisor, research mentor and professor, she also supervises students delivering therapy to clients. Since joining the program as a postdoctoral fellow, Ali focused on issues of diversity and multicultural sensitivity, as well as vocational opportunity. Her research on vocational psychology, Islam, multiculturalism and feminism has been widely published and presented at national conferences.

For more information on the dinners, visit the Finkbine Web site at

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Office of the Vice President for Student Services, 319-335-3557; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,