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University of Iowa News Release


University of Iowa News Release

April 15, 2010

UI recognizes students, faculty, staff and alumni at Finkbine Dinner

The University of Iowa honored outstanding students, faculty, staff and alumni on Tuesday, April 13, at the 93rd anniversary Finkbine Dinner for representative Student Leaders, one of the university's most prestigious award ceremonies.

Interim Vice President for Student Services Tom Rocklin emceed this year's dinner, which was held at the Iowa Memorial Union. UI President Sally Mason was among those who presented the awards. Richard Emmert, recipient of Hancher Finkbine Alumni medallion, gave brief inspirational remarks.

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:

--The Hancher/Finkbine Undergraduate Student Medallion went to Laura J. Nass, from Lombard, Ill., a senior economics major also completing an international business certificate. An active student scholar, Nass is a member of the Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance. She has been a scholar assistant in the UI Honors Program and a researcher at the Federal Reserve Challenge. Laura’s leadership activities include serving as president of the Tippie College of Business Senate and as a founder of the Students Consulting for Non-Profit Enterprises student organization. In 2008, she was named one of Tippie College's 21 Under 21. Laura recently served as a student representative to the UI Strategic Initiative Task Force and is currently a member of the Tippie College of Business Judicial Board. In addition to internships at Merrill Lynch, Beli Joli and the Auroville Industrial School in Tamil Nadu, India, Nass was a volunteer on the St. Paul Mission Trip to Arusha, Tanzania.

Eric Robert Reynolds also was awarded the Hancher/Finkbine Undergraduate Student Medallion. Reynolds is a senior majoring in Integrative Physiology from Coralville. His academic awards and honors include Old Gold Scholarship, Virgil M. Hancher Scholarship, and four-time recipient of the Pearl Hull Falk Scholarship. He has been an active member of the UI Honors Program serving in a number of positions including peer advisor, summer guide and member of the Honors Advisory Committee. He also was a resident assistant in the Health Sciences Learning Community. His leadership activities include co-founder and chairman of the World Health Initiative student organization established to address local and global health issues and founder and president of the Uncommon Campus Community. In addition to leading and participating in several intramurals teams, Reynolds served as a student member of the Recreational Services Advisory Committee and as an AAU Basketball Coach for seventh and eighth grade boys. He is a Learning in Service to Iowa Award winner.

--A Hancher/Finkbine Graduate/Professional Student Medallions went to Eric A. Kaiser, Timothy M. Paschkewitz and Robert Howard Sand.

Kaiser of Oconomowoc, Wisc. is a third-year medical student participating in the nationally competitive Medical Scientist Training Program, a combined M.D./Ph.D. program. He is a doctoral candidate in molecular physiology and biophysics. He is a recipient of numerous awards including the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral M.D./Ph.D. from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. This year Kaiser will conclude a two year Pre-doctoral Institutional Training Grant with the Interdisciplinary Training in Pain Research Program. For the past three years, has been involved with the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students (ECGPS), the recently established student government representing graduate and professional students at Iowa. He has significantly shaped the organization, serving as a delegate, executive officer and currently as president. As the ECGPS president he spent considerable time working with his officers to expand the scope of the group’s responsibilities and programming leading to greater visibility and increased campus-wide collaborations.

Paschkewitz is a fifth-year doctoral student in Chemistry from Hartland, Wisc.  He has presented twelve conference papers while winning several awards on campus and was the lead author on a funded grant from the Iowa Energy Center focusing on electrochemical principles for sustainable energy use. He has received an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award and was selected as an Obermann Graduate Scholar. His leadership activities include extensive work with graduate student governance. He has been President of Graduate Student Senate (GSS) where he also co-chaired both the GSS Travel Awards and Jakobsen Research Conference Committees. Paschkewitz is currently the budget director of the Executive Council for Graduate and Professional students and spends a considerable amount of time with the newly formed Graduate and Professional Allocation Committee in developing a framework for allocation of fees to student organizations. He also developed the new acronym “SG@UI” concept that describes the cooperate efforts of the undergraduate and graduate/professional student governments. Paschkewitz was a student member of the search committee for the newly created Vice President for Strategic Communications.

Sand is a third-year law student from Iowa City. One of several recipients of the Iowa College of Law Foundation Full-tuition Merit Scholarship, Rob received the Dean’s Award and Jurisprudence Award and the Best Student Writer Award from the Journal of Corporation Law for his article dealing with Iowa consumer law. His leadership activities include serving as co-president of the Iowa Student Bar Association and as a member of the Lawyers and Leaders Student Advisory Committee, a program that helps students hone with their legal and leadership skills through various modes of community involvement. Sand is currently editor-in-chief for the Journal of Corporation Law where he supervises 47 student editors and writers. As a former Truman Scholar, he has worked for the past three years with the UI Honors Program in providing assistance to undergraduates who are applying for this prestigious award. He has extensive community volunteer involvement including the Cedar Rapids Service Challenge in which he assisted with flood relief efforts in Cedar Rapids.

--The Hancher Finkbine Faculty Medallion went to David Joseph Depew, a faculty member in the Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry (POROI) and the Department of Communication Studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and English from St. Mary’s College of California and a Master of Arts degree and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of California at San Diego. His area of expertise is articulating the philosophy of Darwinism. Depew is well published in this field and has been an invited speaker to the International Conference on Biological Evolution held at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, sponsored in part by the Vatican. An exceptional teacher and mentor, he has served on numerous thesis and dissertation committees and is frequently asked to critique the written work of students in an unofficial capacity. He joining the Graduate College faculty in 1996, and has served on numerous faculty review committees and recently served on the Strategic Initiative Task Force on Research and Creative Work. Enrollment in POROI courses, many cross listed with several departments, increased during his tenure as director and interim director.

--The Hancher Finkbine Staff Medallion went to Linda M. Curran, who has been a UI staff member for over 21 years. Since 1995 she has served as a secretary III in the College of Nursing Office of Nursing Research. In this position, she has been editorial coordinator for five books published by faculty. Her targeted training record is indicative of a continual learner in all work/life areas including cultural competency, UI compliance and workplace effectiveness skills. In 2003 she received the College of Nursing Strategic Initiative Award in recognition of her contribution to the Office of Nursing Research infrastructure by extending her support to include student scholars and authors. One of the first employees to complete the Office of International Students and Scholars Building a Global Community Certificate, she encourages her colleagues through her example toward the same achievement and commitment to the UI mission. She recently completed a three-year term on the UI Faculty and Staff Parking Appeals Committee and the UI Merit Focus Group.

--The Hancher Finkbine Alumni Medallion went to Richard E. Emmert. He is a native of Iowa City and received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the UI in 1951. He then went on to complete his Master of Science and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. Through his outstanding foresight and leadership over the years, Emmert has made several contributions to industry, academia, and the engineering profession. The majority of his professional career was with the DuPont Company, where he held several leadership positions and retired as vice president of electronics after 34 years of distinguished service. For eight years, Emmert served as executive director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and he has served and continues to serve on numerous academic Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and College of Engineer advisory boards. His contributions to the engineering profession were recognized by his election to the National Academy of Engineering, which is one of the highest honors bestowed upon an engineer. He is currently on the UI Engineering Development Council.

--Distinguished Student Leader Certificates went to Kristina Rogers, Michael Vernon Schaefer and Jeff Shipley. This award recognizes students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty.

Rogers is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry from Kewanee, Ill. She has received several competitive scholarships and fellowships as a graduate student, including the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship and a Graduate College Diversity Scholarship. She also received a Department of Chemistry Teaching Award. Rogers has presented her research at several conferences and has one peer reviewed publication. She has been an active member of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) since her arrival at Iowa. Currently serving as president, she has initiated many service projects that have produced clear public engagement within the local community. Her service to GSS has been broad with members on many committees such as academic mentoring, travel funds, and social and international student committees. As a delegate to the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students, Kristina serves as the voice of graduate student population among the five professional student governments at Iowa.

Schaefer is a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering from Ames. He has several publications and research presentations and is a recipient of one of 21 national highly prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowships. He has extensive international experience including teaching and participating in the International Perspectives in Water Resources and Management study abroad course in Egypt, the Netherlands, and United Kingdom. Schaefer is a proponent of environmental justice having served as both president and vice president of the Engineers Without Borders student organization in which he oversaw a substantial increase in membership. He has also been active in the Engineers for a Sustainable World. Schaefer has been active promoting both the university and the College of Engineering in performing water purification demonstrations as well as participating in interviews on the Big Ten Network concerning engineering issues in Ghana.

Shipley, a senior political science major from Naperville, Ill., has been an active student leader in several student organizations. A member of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, he has been involved and concerned with the local liberty movement as well as the safety of the student body. He has founded and/or held leadership roles in several student organizations including The Project for a New American Citizen, the UI Students for Austrian Economics, the Eastern Iowa Campaign for Liberty and the Young Americans for Liberty. As the UI Student Government City Council Liaison, Shipley has made numerous presentations on economic and social issues representing student interests and attends all Iowa City Council meetings serving as a connection between students and city governance. His interest in serving the community led to his campaign for an Iowa City Council seat during the recent election.

Other awards announced at the dinner were:

--Rita Bettis was presented with the Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award. 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.

Bettis is a third-year law student from Fairfield. In addition to her academic success, Rita is a thoughtful scholar and effective leader of human rights who has made a strong contribution to the intellectual work of the College of Law. By performing 200 hours of service and leadership in a variety of human rights issues, she has qualified for the highest level of the Boyd Service Award at graduation. Not only has her student note on the Iraqi refugee crisis been chosen for publication by Iowa’s international and comparative law Journal, but she was chosen as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Transnational and Contemporary Problems, which focuses on international and comparative law. In this capacity she recently planned a symposium on human rights and U.S. standing in the world under the Obama administration. The symposium papers will be published next year.

--The Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award is 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 awards, named after a former dean and longtime UI faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference, went to James “Jay” Borschel and Sheila Rinozzi.

Borschel is from Marion and will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Borschel is a member of the UI wrestling team and wrestles at the 174-pound weight class. He won the 2010 NCAA Individual National Championship at 174 pounds. The Hawkeye senior is one of 19 Iowa wrestlers in school history to post an undefeated season record, going 37-0. He ends his three-year Iowa career (2008-10) with a 98-10 record, winning the 2010 Big Ten and 2009 Midlands titles. He is a two-time all-American, three-time NCAA qualifier and three-time Big Ten and Midlands place winner. Jay went 62-3 in dual matches and 21-1 in Big Ten duals, scoring 265 team points in dual competition. He led the team in collegiate wins (37), dual wins (23), collegiate and dual winning percentage (1.000) and fastest fall (0:13) this season. He represents his team on the Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC).

Rinozzi, of Chicago, is a coxswain on the varsity rowing team, and will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdepartmental studies, health science track and a minor in health and sport studies. She is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and was named First Team All-Big Ten for the 2009 season. Sheila has represented her team on ISAAC for three years, currently holds the office of secretary and is a member of the ISAAC Executive Committee. Upon graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for athletics administration and hopes to coach rowing at the collegiate level.

--M.L. Huit Faculty Award is 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 Gene F. Parkin, professor in civil and environmental engineering. He holds a bachelor's and master's degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the UI and a doctorate in environmental engineering from Stanford University. Parkin is a world-renowned researcher in environmental engineering and contaminant remediation and is co-author of the leading textbook on water chemistry. Through his long-standing commitment to student learning and welfare, he has positively influenced the lives of thousands of undergraduate students and hundreds of graduate students. In the classroom, Parkin is a master of the question-and-answer lecture style, forcing students to truly think about course material in a meaningful and substantial way. In addition, Parkin has been an effective mentor of future teachers. Several of the institutions represented by his former students include top-20 graduate programs in environmental engineering and science or civil engineering.  His dedication to students and their success is evident in his more than two decades of outstanding classroom teaching at Iowa, and by his long-standing commitment to advising and mentoring students outside the classroom.

--James N. Murray Faculty Award is presented by the Beta Iota Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society to a non-tenured faculty member who demonstrates outstanding rapport with students and creates an exemplary classroom atmosphere. This year's award went to Anton Kruger, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. He earned his doctorate with a focus on geophysical instrumentation systems and geophysical information technology from the UI in 1992, after receiving his first two degrees in electrical engineering at Potchefstroom University in South Africa. Kruger has been active in his field through various committee and organization positions, research, publications, consulting, and in the mentoring and advising of students. Among his accomplishments are helping to restart the student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His dedication to his students is evident from his willingness to provide research and learning opportunities to graduates and undergraduates. As a dedicated member of his department and profession, Kruger uses his expertise to promote the creation of new, more relevant courses, and improves upon existing courses and curriculum, all helping UI students become more proficient and competitive in the field.

For more information, visit the Finkbine Web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500
MEDIA CONTACTS: Office of the Vice President for Student Services, 319-335-3557; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,