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University of Iowa News Release


April 30, 2009

UI student named to USA TODAY All-USA College Academic Team

USA TODAY has named University of Iowa senior Meredith DeBoom to its 20th annual All-USA College Academic Team, honoring her for outstanding intellectual achievement and leadership. She will receive a $2,500 cash award.

The team of 20 was selected by a panel of judges from hundreds of students nominated by colleges and universities across the United States. Judges considered grades, leadership, activities, and -- most important -- how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

UI senior Atul Nakhasi received an honorable mention in the Academic Team judging.

DeBoom, a native of Sibley, Iowa, will graduate in May with majors in political science and international studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and minors in economics and geography. She was a founding member of the Iowa Policy Research Organization, a nonpartisan policy research center for the Iowa Legislature, and is a 2008 Truman Scholar, 2008 Udall Scholar, 2009 Rhodes finalist, and 2009 Marshall finalist, as well as the UI's Homecoming Queen.

DeBoom has also served as a teaching assistant, sorority president, three-term student government senator, United Nations Youth Representative, Honors Program student staff member, and founding member of a campus community service group. She has studied foreign policy in Russia, worked in community development in South Africa, and interned in the EPA's Climate Change Division.

After graduation, DeBoom will begin a position as a Truman-Albright Fellow and Environmental Policy Analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation in Washington, D.C. She plans to pursue a career focused on energy policy and environmental and developmental policy.

Nakhasi is a senior biology major in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from Waterloo, Iowa, who has led numerous organizations on and off campus, including the UI College Democrats, the Student Health Advisory Committee, and the Dean's Student Advisory Committee. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the American College Health Association and recently founded a nonprofit organization, the World Health Initiative.

Nakhasi was named the Iowa City Person of the Year in 2007 and was a 2008 Truman Finalist and a 2009 Rhodes Finalist. He recently was awarded the Distinguished Student Leader Certificate at the 2009 Finkbine Dinner for exhibiting meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty. He will be entering medical school after interning with the Clinton Foundation in Harlem this fall.

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

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