Event recognizes how people make the world a better place
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Almost 30 individuals were honored at the University of Iowa’s annual Faculty and Staff Awards Banquet Tuesday, Oct. 7, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources.

In welcome remarks, UI President Sally Mason said that during her travels around the state, across the country, and even around the world, she has heard many stories of how a professor or a staff member at the UI changed someone’s life.

"Tonight is the night we celebrate how we are able to inspire ideas, save lives, improve our state, and make the world a better place."
—UI President Sally Mason

"I have heard how an idea in the mind of a young student going to classes on our campus turned into a brilliant career, how gratefulness for how our health care and health sciences have saved someone’s life, and I have heard appreciation for how the university has helped a small business thrive," Mason said. "Tonight is the night we celebrate how we are able to inspire ideas, save lives, improve our state, and make the world a better place."

The Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence

Charles Brenner, Biochemistry, Carver College of Medicine

Kim Brogden, Periodontics, College of Dentistry

Charles Lynch, Epidemiology, College of Public Health

John Beldon Scott, Art and Art History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Larry Weber, Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering

Mary Wilson, Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine

For more information about these award winners, see now.uiowa.edu/2014/05/faculty-honored-excellence.

The Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award

Threat assessment managers Peter Berkson and Jane Caton were instrumental in the development of the university’s multidisciplinary Threat Assessment Team, which, when it was developed in 2008, represented a model that was new for higher education—bringing law enforcement officers and mental health experts together as partners to quickly assess threat levels, locate mental health resources, and effectively care for the health and safety of all parties involved. They work closely with campus, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to enhance campus and community safety. They have conducted countless training sessions to educate university community members about how to contribute to a safe environment, and have shared their expertise with other institutions statewide, sponsoring a training on developing threat assessment teams for university, community college, and K-12 administrators in Iowa.

Scott Bounds, associate research scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has played a key role in a number of scientific rocket and satellite investigations. He was project manager for the development of a key instrument suite on the Van Allen Probes mission and now analyzes the high-quality data those instruments collect, which have already significantly enhanced scientists’ understanding of the radiation belts. He has served on NASA’s invitation-only Sounding Rocket Working Group and on NASA review panels, and has been an excellent ambassador for the UI space science program in his work with many other institutions, such as the Goddard Space Flight Center. A primary proponent of outreach both for the department and for the Van Allen Probes mission, he has given numerous talks at schools and other public venues.

Edudzi (Eddie) Etsey is service delivery and data center operations manager for Health Care Information Systems at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In his work he is known as a tirelessly positive individual who will go out of his way to offer assistance. Beyond his work, he is dedicated to caring for the well-being of others, including colleagues, employees, and students. He has created a family with international and domestic students who are far from home, opening his home to them for holiday events and being there for them in times of need, whether offering a ride to the grocery store or sitting by a hospital bedside. His focus on bringing people together to solve problems and to learn about and from one another has made the university a more welcoming place for faculty, staff, students, and visitors alike.

Sherri Marine is a program manager at the State Hygienic Laboratory, where she is the “face” of the Lab for numerous clients across Iowa and in other states. For many years, she has been involved with several organizations that are dedicated to improving quality of life through better public and environmental health, including the American Water Works Association, the Iowa Groundwater Association, and the Iowa Public Health Association. She has led training sessions for staff of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on proper techniques for collecting and shipping water samples, and has developed guidebooks on that topic for hundreds of clients. She volunteers as a classroom presenter at the Iowa Children’s Water Festival, which is held every year at the DMACC campus in Ankeny for around 2,000 5th graders from around the state.

Dale Stille is instructional resource specialist and lecture demonstration coordinator for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He co-coordinates the department’s volunteer outreach programs, Hawk-Eyes on Science and Hawk-Eyes on Space, which have made hundreds of visits to K-12 schools in Iowa as well as on-campus presentations for visiting organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. He designs and builds portable demonstration materials, coordinates the details of off-campus visits, and volunteers his evenings and weekends to take part in presentations. Bringing charm and “wizardry” to these hands-on learning experiences, he has helped to expand the scientific literacy of thousands of young students. The Hawk-Eyes on Science program has become well known across the state and is now a major contributor to the Governor’s STEM initiative.

The David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Service to the University of Iowa

Christopher Clark, director for learning spaces technology in Information Technology Services, led the development, design, and operations of the new Learning Commons in the Main Library. This extremely large and complex project required facilitating the collaboration of several groups on campus, extensive two-way communication with students and faculty, and the ability to develop a shared vision and synthesize ideas into concrete plans. Ensuring at every step of the way that the project remained focused on student needs and student success, he led the project to an enormously successful result. The Learning Commons has been embraced by students, lauded by Regents and government officials among many others, and serves as a model not only for other locations on campus but for other universities nationwide.

Diane Finnerty is director of faculty HR and development in the Office of the Provost, and has previously served the university in several other capacities, including as director of cultural competence initiatives in a division of the School of Social Work Work and as diversity resources coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Deeply committed to addressing issues of diversity and equity both on campus and in the larger community, she works long hours beyond her staff role to prepare and offer workshops and provide leadership on subjects such as building inclusive communities, racial and immigrant justice, and addressing unconscious bias. She helped to found the UI campus’s Safe Zone, Diversity Dialogue Program, and Rainbow Graduation, as well as the national White Privilege Conference. She has mentored many individuals committed to social justice to become strong university and community leaders.

The University of Iowa Outstanding Staff Award

Tiffany Adrain is collections manager for the Paleontology Repository in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, where she plays a crucial role in maintaining the program’s research excellence. She is extremely active in service to her profession through participation in national organizations—which has helped to increase the national visibility of the program—and she has made extraordinary contributions to the department’s public outreach and engagement efforts, helping to develop hands-on learning programs that have engaged thousands of K-12 students across the state. In addition to supporting the work of UI faculty, generations of graduate students, and visiting researchers, she is a successful principal investigator in her own right, having generated nearly $500,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation to improve storage conditions and advance the collections’ physical and digital accessibility to global researchers.

Terrance Averkamp is lead software engineer for the Radio and Plasma Wave Group in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Physics and Astronomy. Responsible for flight software that operates on space-based scientific instruments as well as “ground” software that processes data from those instruments, his expertise in this highly specialized and demanding area of software development has been instrumental to the success of more than fifteen projects involving Earth-orbiting spacecraft as well as missions to Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Software he has written has been used by scientists around the world. His contributions to the space program at Iowa have played a major role in maintaining the University’s international reputation for excellence in space science.

Monique DiCarlo served for fifteen years as director of the Women’s Resource and Action Center, and currently serves as sexual misconduct response coordinator for the University of Iowa. She has proven herself a highly skilled leader and collaborator, committed to promoting a safe and respectful environment for all members of the community. In her current role she manages difficult situations, dedicating her substantial interpersonal and counseling skills to serving survivors of sexual misconduct. She also serves as a resource for the entire university, and has been instrumental in marshalling and creating materials and training programs to help individuals better understand and implement university policy. She has been central to proposing and receiving several grants around issues of sexual violence, including two from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jean Florman, director of the UI Center for Teaching, is widely known as a supportive and exceptional resource for faculty and teaching assistants across campus who are interested in teaching improvement and innovation—and as someone who champion the interests of innovative teachers, and find ways to help them turn their ideas into reality. Countless instructors and their students have benefited from her work to help faculty develop new and better ways of engaging students in learning. Her advocacy for the inclusion of a pedagogical component in the university’s TILE classroom project led to her development of the TILE Faculty Institutes, which have been lauded by the UI’s peer institutions as a unique factor of the TILE project’s remarkable success.

Diane Lamb has been an AirCare flight nurse since 1991, and since 2004 has served as the AirCare Nurse Manager. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the success not only of the AirCare program but of the UI Hospitals and Clinics as a whole; for example, she made an impact on the quality of care for all patients by working to integrate AirCare crew members into UIHC’s Rapid Response and Code Blue Teams. Her leadership was instrumental in the recent accreditation of University of Iowa AirCare by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport systems—representing the highest standard of safety and patient care in the medial transport environment. AirCare is the first and only program based in Iowa to have achieved this high standard.

Rachel Quinlan provides exceptional support for University Human Resources and the entire UI campus as University Payroll tax administrator. HR administrators across campus express gratitude for her willingness to go above and beyond to resolve payroll issues with minimal impact to staff members. She has been a leader in implementing process efficiencies within University Payroll, and she consistently accepts additional responsibilities to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the office. Recently, she successfully completed administration of a multi-year medical resident FICA reimbursement project, which netted the university a $26 million payroll tax refund. That project required extraordinary attention to detail as well as collaboration with several university administrative offices, an outside consultant, the Internal Revenue Service, and more than 2,000 former UI medical residents.

The Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service

Joyce Berg, professor of accounting in the Tippie College of Business, is faculty advisor to the Tippie College chapter of Beta Alpha Psi and directs the two largest volunteer activities for undergraduate students in the college. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides free tax preparation services, has grown dramatically under her leadership, with more than 100 student volunteers serving more than 1,000 clients annually. Tippie Build, a collaboration between the college and Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity to construct affordable housing, grew out of a challenge she issued to her students. To date, students have raised $300,000 and contributed to the building of seven homes. Since 2007, she has directed the Iowa Electronic Markets, which is one of the most highly visible research activities within the college and is used in classrooms around the world for experiential learning.

Victoria Sharp, clinical professor of urology and family medicine in the Carver College of Medicine and chief of staff of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, has an extraordinary record of service to her department and college, the UI Hospitals and Clinics, the university, and the state. Her service on collegiate and hospital committees includes the CCOM Executive Committee and Hospital Advisory Committee. She is creator and director of the CCOM Rural Iowa Scholars Program. She has been a member of nearly every committee of the UI Faculty Senate, as well as serving as that body’s president. She was the driving force behind the development of the Partnership for Alcohol Safety, a collaboration between the UI and Iowa City community partners. She served on the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and participated in planning for the Kirkwood Regional Center. She is immediate past president of the Iowa Medical Society, and she sits on President Mason’s Faculty Cabinet.

The Lola Lopes Award for Undergraduate Student Advocacy

Sarah Hansen, Division of Student Life

For more information about this award winner, see now.uiowa.edu/2014/05/hansen-receives-lola-lopes-award.

The President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence

Mary Aquilino, Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health

Jay Holstein, Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Gale Mote, Management and Organizations, Tippie College of Business

Thomas Schmidt, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Carver College of Medicine

For more information about these award winners, see now.uiowa.edu/2014/05/four-faculty-win-top-teaching-honors

The James Van Allen Natural Sciences Fellowship

Markus Wohlgenannt is associate professor of physics and astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. With the James Van Allen Natural Sciences Fellowship he will address the important goal of developing effective, low-cost, energy-efficient solar cells, based on organic semiconductors. Using innovative nanotechnology fabrication techniques, he will develop a novel kind of plastic solar cell that will have several advantages over competing technologies, which typically use expensive, high-purity silicon crystals. The lower cost of manufacture could enable much more widespread utilization of solar energy. This work is on the cutting edge of nanotechnology and environmental/energy science and will lay a solid foundation for potential future funding, while also enriching the educational experience for UI students engaged in environmental issues and sustainable technologies.