Field, O’Hara, and Williams receive Brody Award for Faculty Excellence

Field, O’Hara, and Williams receive Brody Award for Faculty Excellence

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The University of Iowa has named Bill Field, Michael O’Hara, and Rachel Williams as this year's recipients of the Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service to the university and the state of Iowa.

The Brody Award is named in honor of the late Michael J. Brody, former president of the UI Faculty Senate. It recognizes outstanding faculty who have made exceptional service contributions to the UI and the community.

Bill Field
Bill Field

Bill Field, professor of occupational and environmental health in the College of Public Health, has a long-term, recognized commitment to community, state, regional, and national service. His 25-year involvement in radon research, which has helped identify radon as the seventh leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States, is the basis of his commitment to educating the public about the health risk of radon and ways to reduce exposure. His outreach has been conducted at all levels—local, regional, national, international—and his service has been recognized. He was awarded the National Environmental Health Association/EPA Inaugural Individual Achievement Award for Excellence in Radon Risk Reduction in 2005 and the 2006 EPA Children's Environmental Health Recognition Award.

Field also provides service on issues not directly related to his research, through his participation on collegiate and other committees and with groups dedicated to public education on tobacco use. His service, which has been recognized with national awards, impacts numerous constituencies of the university as he translates population-based scientific research into widespread promotion of public health.

portrait of O'Hara
Michael O'Hara

O’Hara, professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been engaged in service to the university since his arrival in 1980. His service activities have been very broad, including major contributions to departmental, collegiate, and university functions. At the departmental level, O’Hara has been a major contributor to moving the Department of Psychology forward, particularly in his roles as coordinator of Graduate Studies and chair. O’Hara was especially effective in reshaping the graduate program and in securing much-needed renovations of facilities. At the collegiate level, O’Hara chaired many search committees for directors of other units, and later served as the associate dean for research in CLAS. In this position, he worked closely with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development to facilitate faculty research and he helped develop plans for new and renovated buildings.

At the university level, he has served on many university committees, including the University Strategic Planning Committee and the Diversity Action Committee, along with many review committees for departments and colleges. He served as vice president, president, and past president of the Faculty Senate between 2007-2010. His work on the Faculty Senate was highly important in steering the university through difficult times, first with the Board of Regents and then with the floods of 2008.

Rachel Williams
Rachel Williams

Williams, associate professor of art and art history and gender, women’s, and sexuality studies in CLAS, has been on the UI faculty for 13 years. During that time, she has been committed to service and activism in support of women and teenagers in the corrections system, women who suffered violence, sexual minority individuals, and vulnerable pregnant women. This commitment spans her entire academic career and involves not just academic work. She has trained as a doula in order to support pregnant women giving birth in prison and she volunteers her weekends at the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, to support victims of sexual violence.

She has served on numerous search committees and faculty advisory committees in education and art, committees to consider reconfigurations of curricula and departmental reorganization, assessment committees, scholarship committees, and faculty review committees. She recently completed two years as co-chair for the Obermann Center’s Graduate Institute for Public Scholarship and Engagement and, in 2010, served as the director of the Review Committee for the Women’s Resource and Action Center. She has served on the Charter Committee for Diversity and as an advisory board member for Museum Studies. She has received the Governor’s Volunteer Award for Service to the State, the Department of Corrections Volunteer of the Year for the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, the Jean Jew Women’s Rights Award, and the Courageous Advocacy Award from the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women.


Laura Zaper, Office of the Provost, 319-335-0617


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