Celebrate achievements of women leaders

Celebrate achievements of women leaders

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Annual event honors Linda Kerber, Cathy Solow, and Diana Harris

An historian who’s explored the law’s impact on women’s lives. An administrator who’s expanded opportunities for students of all backgrounds. A determined campus advocate for fairness and respect.

They’ll receive top honors at the University of Iowa’s annual Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women, Tuesday, April 3, at 3:30 p.m. in Iowa Memorial Union Second-Floor Ballroom. Free and open to the public, the event also will recognize promising UI students.

Linda Kerber, professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Cathy Solow, associate dean for student affairs in the College of Dentistry, will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award. Diana Harris, IT project and communication manager in the College of Engineering, will receive the Jean Y. Jew Women’s Rights Award.

Laurie Haag, program developer at the Women’s Resource and Action Center, will provide the event’s introduction and closing remarks, while Margaret Crocco, dean of the College of Education, will present the keynote address.

Linda Kerber portrait.
Linda Kerber

Kerber, the May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, has dedicated much of her career to teaching and studying women’s history. More than 40 years ago, she became the first woman to join the UI history faculty, and later was the first to earn tenure in the department. She’s also the only history scholar to have served as president of all three of the field’s major professional associations. (For more about her work, see this recent Iowa Now interview.)

Cathy Solow portrait.
Cathy Solow

Solow’s career in the areas of admissions and student life includes innovations in the health professions. At the UI Carver College of Medicine, she helped implement a holistic application and selection process, admit a markedly more diverse student body, and modernize the curriculum. At the College of Dentistry, she’s evaluated and enhanced the learning environment, created educational partnerships with other health science colleges, and assumed the role of chief diversity officer.

Diana Harris portrait.
Diana Harris

Harris is a longtime member of the UI Council on the Status of Women (CSW) and a recognized leader on issues of opportunity and equality. She has pressed for renewed efforts to address sexual harassment on campus, and helped develop the CSW Herstory initiative and the UITV series “Women at Iowa” to document women’s experiences.

In addition, scholarship presentations will recognize five UI undergraduate and graduate students for their work:

  • Nursing student Lillian Meyers and Munni Deb, a graduate student in counseling psychology, will receive the Margaret P. Benson Memorial Scholarship, funded by a UI Foundation bequest that recognizes financial need and commitment to women’s issues, diversity, and social activism.
  • Charisse Levchak, graduate student in sociology, will receive the Adele Kimm Scholarship, created in memory of S. Conrad Kimm and his wife, Hilda, to fund scholarships for students of women’s studies.
  • Biology student Lauren Gaines will receive the Wynonna G. Hubbard Scholarship, established by the late UI Vice President Emeritus Philip Hubbard in honor of his wife. The scholarship recognizes an African-American woman with a record of strong academic performance and an interest in the wellbeing of others.
  • Sociology graduate student stef shuster will receive the Jane A. Weiss Memorial Dissertation Scholarship, named for the late assistant professor of women’s studies and sociology in support of doctoral students whose dissertations promise to expand understanding of women’s issues.


Lin Larson, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0042


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