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University of Iowa News Release


June 2, 2008

UI Alumni Association presents 2008 Distinguished Alumni Awards June 7

The University of Alumni Association will present the Distinguished Alumni Awards to 13 notable alumni and friends of the University of Iowa at a luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 7 in the UI's Levitt Center.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards, presented annually since 1963, are the Alumni Association's organization's highest honor. The awards recognize the outstanding achievements and service of UI alumni and friends. This year's awards will be given in six categories: Achievement, Service, Faculty, Young Alumni, Friend of the University, and the Hickerson Recognition.

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement is given for significant accomplishments in business or professional life or for distinguished human service:

--T.C. Boyle, a graduate of the UI Department of English and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, has earned acclaim as a prolific and talented writer. The quality of Boyle's work has been recognized by the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and his 11 novels and eight short story collections have received numerous literary awards, including five O. Henry Awards and two awards from the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California. He will be unable to attend the awards ceremony.

--Known as the "Voice of the Houston Astros," Milo Hamilton has enjoyed a long and illustrious career as a sports broadcaster. In more than 50 years of broadcasting major league baseball, he has worked for six teams and called some of the most memorable plays of all time, including when Henry Aaron bypassed Babe Ruth to become baseball's homerun king. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and National Radio Hall of Fame, Hamilton has also raised millions of dollars for charities such as the March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society. Hamilton graduated from the UI in 1950.

--Pamela Haylock is a highly respected oncology nurse and consultant who has dedicated her career to improving the lives of people with cancer, a priority she first displayed in her UI thesis on fatigue among patients receiving radiation. An advocate of the "mind-body-spirit" approach to cancer care and survivorship, Haylock has been an international leader in the development of effective cancer programs, including the acclaimed "Cancer Survival Toolbox." Past-president of the national Oncology Nursing Society, Haylock is a doctoral student in the University of Texas at Galveston School of Nursing. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the UI in 1971 and a Master of Arts degree in 1977.

--Richard J. Schnieders started working at his family's small grocery store in Remsen, Iowa, and went on to become chairman and chief executive officer of SYSCO, the largest food service marketing and distribution company in North America. Schnieders' business acumen is matched by his civic involvement and deeply held moral beliefs, which he demonstrates through support of Habitat for Humanity, sustainable agriculture, family farmers, and other worthy causes. Lauded as a role model for the benefits of a liberal arts and sciences education, he also shares his time, energy, and knowledge with UI faculty, staff, and students. He is a 1970 graduate of the UI.

--MaryFran Sowers is an internationally known researcher in musculoskeletal disorders, has contributed significantly to the understanding of osteoporosis and bone health in women. Her studies have deepened the medical community's understanding of the physiological changes of the aging female body, including the genetic and nutritional factors of bone loss and other diseases. A professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan, Sowers also serves as director of the school's Center for Integrated Approaches to Complex Diseases. In addition, she is the principal investigator for six National Institutes of Health grants that generate more than $11 million for her research. She earned her doctorate from the UI in 1984. Dr. Sowers is unable to attend the awards ceremony.

The UIAA will also give three Distinguished Alumni Service Awards, honoring graduates who have provided commendable service to their nation, their communities and their UI family:

--Rafat Jan Rukanuddin is an assistant professor and director of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Aga Khan University's School of Nursing in Pakistan. In the aftermath of an earthquake in Kashmir in October 2005, she led a team of nurses to remote, dangerous areas to treat victims. A member of numerous health and education committees, Rafat Jan is founding president of Aga Khan's Nursing Honor Society. She is also the first woman to hold the position of President of the Regional Ismaili Council for Karachi and Balochistan. Rafat Jan earned a doctorate from the UI in 2004.

--Thomas Temple, executive vice president of the Iowa Pharmacy Association, provides advice on health policy to legislators, insurance companies, and government programs. Awards from the American Pharmacists Association, the Iowa Department of Human Services, and the Colleges of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois and the UI honor his commitment, leadership, and public service. Through initiatives such as immunization services, patient case management, and standardized pharmacy degrees, Temple has helped change the role and status of pharmacists in health care. He earned a Master of Science degree from the UI in 1977.

--Stephen West, president of West Music Company, has promoted music education and educators on a local, state, and national level. For decades, West has generously supported UI programs and departments, repairing instruments and offering discounts to the School of Music's faculty and students, and allowing Hancher Auditorium artists to conduct master classes and workshops in his stores. One of the most respected music dealers in the United States, West recently made possible the restoration and transportation of a 19th century Steinway grand piano to its new home in the Old Capitol's Senate Chamber. West is a 1969 graduate.

The Distinguished Young Alumni Award honors UI graduates under the age of 40 who have attained significant accomplishments in their personal or professional lives. The Young Alumni Award will be given to Ori J. Sivan, a leader in environmental sustainability who co-founded the Greenmaker Supply Company, Chicago's only "green" provider of building supplies. Selected as one of Illinois' most innovative small businesses, Greenmaker Supply reflects Sivan's belief in providing consumers with environmentally friendly and energy-efficient alternatives. As an undergraduate at Iowa, Sivan co-created the UI's International Engineering Service Program and the Engineers for a Sustainable World organization. He is a charter member of the UI College of Engineering's Young Alumni Advisory Board. He is a 2004 graduate of the UI College of Engineering.

The Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award is granted to retired or former UI faculty and staff in recognition of significant achievement or specific meritorious service on behalf of the quality and advancement of the university. This year, the UI Alumni Association is honoring emeritus professors Enzo and Matilde Macagno. Through seminal and internationally acclaimed research into one of the world's true geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci, the Macagnos have advanced both the field of hydraulics and the UI. Even after retiring from the university, the couple continued to unravel the mysteries of da Vinci's drawings, sketches, and notebooks. The Macagnos applied their knowledge and expertise in engineering, mathematics, fluid dynamics, and water science to uncover substantial new insights into the work of this legendary figure. The couple graduated from the UI in 1958.

The Distinguished Friend of the University Award honors those individuals who are not Iowa alumni, but who have provided outstanding service on behalf of the University of Iowa. This year, the Friend award will go to Mary Joy Stead. When Mary Joy Stead and her husband, Jerre, studied at the UI in the 1960s, they lived in a trailer court. Although Jerre's successful career later took them all over the world, they never forgot about their beginnings at the University of Iowa. The couple has generously supported various organizations, but Mary Joy is being recognized for her many efforts on behalf of the university. A member of the UI Foundation Board of Directors, Mary Joy recently served with distinction and passion as vice chair of the national steering committee for the Foundation campaign that raised $1 billion for the UI.

The Distinguished Hickerson Alumni Recognition Award recognizes graduates or former students for outstanding contributions to the Alumni Association. This award is named in honor of Loren Hickerson, who was the UI's first full-time alumni director. Eva Dahl is the recipient of this year's Hickerson Award. Dahl has had a distinguished career in endodontics, a dental specialty in root canal treatment. She is involved in many state and national groups, from the American Association of Women Dentists to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Dental Education. Dahl has also devoted her time and energy to the university as an adjunct professor, past UI Alumni Association board president, and board member of the UI Dental Alumni Association, which honored her as Dental Alumna of the Year in 2001. She has four degrees from the UI: a bachelor's degree; master's degrees in education and oral pathology; and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

Additional information about current and past award recipients can be found at

PHOTOS: Photos of the recipients may be found at

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

CONTACTS: UI Alumni Association, 319-335-3294; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,