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Alumni Association honors 12 for achievement, service
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One University of Iowa graduate has been credited with saving Lance Armstrong’s life. Another has dedicated a portion of her retirement years to teaching blind and mobility-impaired adults to cross-country ski. Yet another takes time out from her Hollywood career each summer to promote independent film in her native Iowa.
These three are among 12 notable alumni and friends selected by the UI Alumni Association to be honored at the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards luncheon June 9 at the Levitt Center for University Advancement.
Presented annually since 1963, the Distinguished Alumni Awards are the Alumni Association’s highest honor. They recognize the outstanding achievements and service of UI alumni and friends. This year’s awards will be given in five categories: Achievement, Service, Faculty/Staff, Young Alumni, and Friend of the University.
“For nearly 50 years, the Alumni Association has been recognizing the outstanding efforts of alumni and friends,” says Vince Nelson, president and CEO of the UI Alumni Association. “Whether through their professional work or their service to the community, they make a difference not only at our institution but around the world.”
The Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement is given for significant accomplishments in business or professional life or for distinguished human service. This year’s recipients are:
Lawrence H. Einhorn
Lawrence H. Einhorn (M.D. ’67)
A living legend in the field of medical oncology, Einhorn developed a cure for testicular cancer. In 1973, when he arrived at the Indiana University School of Medicine—where he now is a distinguished professor—testicular cancer was the leading cause of cancer death among young men. Einhorn developed a chemotherapy treatment that has saved countless patients, including Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. A former president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the first clinical investigator inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, Einhorn has changed how doctors treat many cancers, and he’s a true hero to the thousands of men who are alive today because of his work.
John C. Herr
John C. Herr (Ph.D. ’78)
Herr, professor of cell biology, urology, and biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia, combines his talents as a basic biomedical scientist, translational researcher, inventor, and entrepreneur to promote basic discoveries and innovation in the human genome. He’s devoted his scientific studies to the novel genes and proteins of the sperm and egg, particularly molecules involved in fertilization. Author of 210 scientific papers, inventor of more than 20 patents, and with 30 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, Herr recently received a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Award to develop a new concept for female contraceptives. He’s also received a grant from the Found Animal Foundation to aim for the $25 million Michelson Prize to develop a single-dose sterilant for dogs and cats.
Stanley L. James
Stanley L. James (B.A. ’53, M.D. ’62)
James is a pioneer in the treatment of sports injuries, particularly in runners, whose research and anatomical studies have made critical contributions to the development of this medical field. In 1967, James established a sports medicine practice in Eugene, Ore., helping the city earn a reputation as the epicenter of track and field competition and expertise. Elite athletes from all over the world travel to his clinic to benefit from his outstanding patient care and surgical talents. Countless runners at all competitive levels also have gained from his work with Nike to develop running shoes that dramatically increase performance and reduce injuries.
George D. Kuh
George D. Kuh (Ph.D. ’75)
Kuh has made an indelible mark on one of America’s greatest treasures—its rich and diverse educational system. Now a professor emeritus at Indiana University Bloomington, Kuh is the intellectual architect of the National Study of Student Engagement, a widely influential research program that documents and strengthens student achievement in higher education. Millions of college students in the U.S. have directly benefited from Kuh’s commitment to academic scholarship, leadership, and excellence. In the words of one nominator, “he has changed the landscape of American higher education for the better.”
The UIAA will also present three Distinguished Alumni Service Awards, honoring graduates who have provided commendable service to their nation, their communities, and their UI family. This year’s recipients are:
Marion L. Elmquist
Marion L. Elmquist (B.A. ’72)
As a founding member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean’s advisory board and a key representative on the UI Alumni Association board of directors, Elmquist brings her skills, warmth, and wisdom to bear on behalf of the UI. The retired business executive and former Advertising Age features editor also displays her civic-minded spirit at Ski for Light, an international program for skiers who have visual or mobility impairments. Currently the organization’s president, Elmquist received an Ambassador’s Award from the Norwegian ambassador to the United States for her outstanding work with the program that bestows hope and confidence.
Randall L. Gray
Randall L. Gray (B.S. ’72, M.A. ’75)
For more than three decades, Gray has been a passionate advocate for children and adults with physical, developmental, and behavioral health disabilities. A proud parent of a son with autism, he brings compassion and understanding to his role as president and CEO of the Marc Center, a rehabilitation agency that has become a national model for excellence. Gray also has served as chairman of the Arizona Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, testified before Congress on disability-related issues, and led several national planning bodies and advocacy groups. His commitment to the rehabilitation and advancement of quality services for people with disabilities has brought honor and recognition to the UI.
Curtis K. Lane
Curtis K. Lane (B.B.A. ’73)
After 35-plus years of managing institutional portfolios, Lane knows what it takes to succeed in business—and now he’s helping UI students do the same. A firm believer in the importance of an outstanding education, Lane created a faculty fellowship at the Tippie College of Business that helps students gain critical real-world experience by managing two investment funds. He also offers his professional expertise to other areas of the business college and the UI campus, notably through service on the Tippie College of Business Board of Visitors and Finance Advisory Council, boards of directors of the UI Foundation and the Iowa Scholarship Fund, and membership in the Kinnick Society and Presidents Club.
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’s recipients are:
Kathleen Buckwalter (B.S.N. ’71, M.A. ’76)
Buckwalter is a world-renowned leader, mentor, and researcher in geriatric mental health nursing. In February 2011, Buckwalter retired as professor emerita after a long and illustrious career at the UI—one that included leadership at the John A. Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence and the UI Center on Aging. With her focus on quality nursing care for the elderly, particularly older adults suffering from mental illness, she’s made many stellar contributions to clinical practice, scholarly research, and policy. Among her numerous awards and honors, Buckwalter is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.
As professor emeritus of biochemistry, Montgomery has devoted his life’s work to innovation and inspiration, be it in a UI lab, classroom, or administrative office. Specializing in carbohydrate research, he has attracted millions of dollars in federal funding to the UI during his 56-year tenure. His research and scholarly efforts have had a major global impact; two of his textbooks, described as influential and strikingly important, transformed biochemistry education. Despite this towering reputation, Montgomery remains a “quintessential professor,” much admired and appreciated for his remarkable impact as a teacher and mentor.
The Distinguished Young Alumni Award honors UI graduates under the age of 40 at the time of their nomination who have attained significant accomplishments in their personal or professional lives. This year’s recipients are:
Tanna M. Frederick
Tanna M. Frederick (B.A. ’99)
Frederick is a rising movie star whose drive and determination have benefited the university and the charitable causes she holds dear. Thankful for a UI experience that prepared her for a successful acting career in Hollywood—where she’s starred in many acclaimed plays and films—Frederick has given back to the UI Department of Theatre Arts in myriad ways, most notably through a student scholarship. Frederick also founded the Iowa Independent Film Festival in her hometown of Mason City. Beyond the arts, she’s an avid surfer who cofounded Project Save Our Surf in Santa Monica, Calif., which raises money to preserve threatened coastline and to provide clean drinking water to those who need it.
Laura E. Beane Freeman
Laura E. Beane Freeman (M.S. ’99, Ph.D. ’03)
A researcher with the National Institutes of Health, Beane Freeman has emerged as one of the country’s premier experts on the occupational causes of cancer. She showed early promise as a UI College of Public Health student by becoming the first scientist to report an association between arsenic and skin melanoma. After graduation, she joined the National Cancer Institute and has since been promoted to a tenure-track investigator in the organization’s occupational and environmental epidemiology branch. Beane Freeman’s investigation of environmental chemicals that pose a cancer risk—including her collaborative efforts with the UI on the Agricultural Health Study—has already begun to influence international research and policy on pesticide use.
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 UI. This year’s recipient is:
Richard L. Ferguson
Richard L. Ferguson
As former CEO and chairman of ACT, Ferguson has proven to be an unwavering partner in helping the UI fulfill its educational mission. Under his direction, ACT became an internationally recognized authority on educational testing and measurement. Building on the company’s long-standing relationship with the university, Ferguson helped establish the ACT Scholars Program, which donated $5 million to support underrepresented UI graduate students in diverse disciplines. A longtime adjunct professor in the UI College of Education, Ferguson also provides invaluable guidance to the UI by serving on several university advisory boards and committees.
Additional information about current and past award recipients is available at www.iowalum.com/daa.