Honor recognizes undergraduate student advocacy
Friday, May 16, 2014

Sarah Lux Hansen, assistant vice president for assessment and strategic initiatives in the University of Iowa Division of Student Life, has received the 2014 Lola Lopes Award for Undergraduate Student Advocacy.

Portrait of Sarah Hansen
Sarah Hansen. Photo courtesy of Student Life.

The award recognizes administrators, staff, or faculty outside of their teaching role who serve as strong and effective advocates for undergraduate students and the undergraduate experience. Winners are selected by a committee of staff, faculty, and students.

Hansen has played a leadership role in student success initiatives across the university, and her efforts have led to significant changes in the undergraduate experience at Iowa.

Since 2008, she has served as coordinator of the UI Student Success Team (SST), which brings together students, faculty, and staff who are committed to fostering undergraduate achievement in and out of the classroom.

Her leadership of the SST has been critical to the development and implementation of several programs that help undergraduate students make a positive transition to the university, get meaningfully connected, and understand what is expected of them during their undergraduate experience—all factors that contribute to student success and retention.

Programs she has helped create include the highly successful On Iowa! welcome and orientation program, the IOWA Challenge, and Pick One. She also has contributed to the development of the living-learning communities and early intervention efforts.

As co-chair of the Transfer Think Tank, Hansen currently is working to strengthen support for transfer students as they transition to the university.

In addition to creating new programs to promote student success, Hansen is a strong advocate for improving existing programs and services though ongoing assessment of students’ experiences. While coordinating assessment efforts for the Division of Student Life is part of her role there, she has also worked with many other campus units to help them better serve their students.

Vice president for student life Tom Rocklin says of Hansen, “Her core objective is to help students succeed during their time at Iowa. She is extraordinarily talented at helping people work productively together toward that shared goal.”

Hansen will receive a $1,000 honorarium and a certificate, and her name will be added to a plaque that will be displayed in the Admission Visitors Center, located in the Pomerantz Center.

The award is named in honor of Lola L. Lopes, former associate provost for undergraduate education and professor emerita of management and organizations in the Tippie College of Business. Lopes served as interim executive vice president and provost during 2007-08.