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University of Iowa News Release


March 30, 2011

Annual tribute to women at the UI to be held April 5

A Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women, the University of Iowa's annual tribute to the accomplishments of women at the university, will be held Tuesday, April 5, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol. A reception will begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by the awards program at 4 p.m.
This annual event recognizes outstanding scholarship, research, service, leadership and activism among UI undergraduate, graduate, staff and faculty women.  

Georgina Dodge, chief diversity officer and associate provost, will present the keynote address. Master of ceremonies will be Teresa Mangum, director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and associate professor of English. 

The UI Distinguished Achievement Award will be given to Marcella David, associate dean for International and Comparative Programs and professor in the College of Law and Jane Paulsen, professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. The Jean Y. Jew Women's Rights Award will be given to Pauline Brine, Elizabeth Pelton and Nancy Thompson.

The Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to staff or faculty members who have significant years of service within the university community, who are pioneers in their work or service; and are role models for women and/or girls.
David returned to the law school faculty in January 2010 after serving more than five years in central administration, most recently as special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity and associate provost for diversity from 2006-2009.

She joined the law faculty in 1995. From 1991-92, she studied Human Rights and Comparative Law as a Ford Foundation Fellow in Public International Law at the Harvard Law School. Her research interests include the use of economic and other sanctions, international criminal law, and questions related to international organizations. Her research has included impact of economic sanctions in Iraq and South Africa.

Among her accomplishments at the UI is the development of the Philip G. Hubbard Law School Preparation Program. This summer pre-law program seeks to support diversity in the legal profession by inspiring students from groups historically under-represented in the law to become lawyers and by providing them with the skills and assistance that will strengthen their preparation for law school. More than 200 students from under-represented groups have taken part in the program over nine years.

Paulsen, professor of psychiatry in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, researches the neuropsychological aspects of Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease and schizophrenia. She has attracted funding from the National Institutes of Health and the High Q Foundation to support the largest clinical research program ever undertaken in Huntington's Disease, and her findings represent the greatest growth in knowledge about the disease since study of it began. The Huntington's Disease Society of America has given the program its Center of Excellence Award every year since 2000. Paulsen directs the division of psychology within the Department of Psychiatry, and she also directs the department's neuropsychiatry service.

She receives the highest evaluations for her teaching and presentations and is known as a caring and effective mentor. She has mentored more than 30 graduate students, and supervision and training to 27 undergraduates, 14 interns and 13 postdoctoral fellows. The vast majority of these trainees have been women, and Paulsen has been an excellent role model for them on how to succeed in an academic career.

The Jean Y. Jew Women's Rights Award is named for a professor of anatomy who fought an uphill battle for more than a decade to defend herself against slander and sexual harassment from faculty in her department, a struggle that she ultimately won. Given annually by the Council on the Status of Women and the Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC), the award honors a faculty, staff or student member of the university community who has demonstrated outstanding effort or achievement in improving the status of women on campus.

This year's recipients, Elizabeth Pelton, Pauline Brine, and Nancy Thompson, (pictured left to right, with attorney Kelly McClelland, third from left) were tenured associate professors in the dental hygiene program at the UI College of Dentistry; Brine was the chair of the department. In 1991, UI officials decided to eliminate the dental hygiene program, but Brine, Pelton and Thompson filed suit against the university claiming that the scheduled closing discriminated against the all-female program. They embarked on a five-year struggle to retain the program, pursuing the case through both administrative and legal channels.

They lost the legal battle after several appeals and the UI ultimately closed the department in 1995, but in nomination materials Sharon M. Lake wrote, "Their loss does not diminish the significance of their fight – nor render their efforts meaningless. They empowered all women by example. Their bold legal strategy made a significant contribution to the history of resistance to sex discrimination, and their struggle remains a vital cultural resource for future women's rights campaigns on this campus in this state and in the U.S."

Pelton is associate professor emeritus in the Department of Health and Sport Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Thompson is associate professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health.

Student scholarships will include the Margaret P. Benson Memorial Scholarship, which will be presented to two recipients: Conner Spinks, undergraduate majoring in gender, women's and sexuality studies, and political science, and Lamia Zia, graduate student in journalism and mass communication.

This award was created by a designated bequest to the UI Foundation to recognize qualified female applicants who demonstrate financial need and are committed to women's issues, diversity and social activism. WRAC administers the scholarship and selects its recipients.

The Adele Kimm Scholarship will be given to Sumaya Rabee, undergraduate student majoring in anthropology. In 1992, a bequest from Adele Kimm in memory of her brother, S. Conrad Kimm and his wife, Hilda, made it possible for the Women's Studies Program to award the this scholarship to a deserving women's studies student.

The Wynonna G. Hubbard Scholarship will be presented to Samycia Lewis, an undergraduate student majoring in journalism and mass communication. Established by the late UI Vice President Emeritus Philip G. Hubbard in memory of his wife, the award is given each year to an African-American woman with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher who demonstrates an unusual interest in the well being of others.

The Ada Johnson/Otilia Maria Fernandez Women's Studies Fellowship will be given to Kenisha Looney, an undergraduate student majoring in interdepartmental studies. The fellowship is named in honor of two Iowa graduates who are among the first African-American and Latina women to be found in University records. Begun in 1993, the award is given alternate years to an undergraduate or a graduate woman.

The Jane A. Weiss Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to Cristina Ortiz, a graduate student in anthropology. The scholarship is named in honor of Jane Weiss, an assistant professor of women's studies and sociology at the time of her death in 1981. The award is made to doctoral students whose dissertations promise to expand understanding of important women's issues.

For more information on the Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women see

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Judie Hermsen, 319-335-3553 or Laura McLeran, 319-335-5011, Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women committee; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,