Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Two exceptional female University of Iowa leaders and educators were awarded the Susan C. Buckley Distinguished Achievement Award for Staff and May Brodbeck Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty at the University of Iowa’s annual Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women on April 7.

Lisa Bluder, the P. Sue Beckwith, MD, Head Women’s Basketball Coach of the Iowa women’s basketball team and all-time winningest head coach in program history, received the Susan C. Buckley Distinguished Achievement Award for Staff.

Peggy Nopoulos, professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and neurology, and chair and departmental executive officer of psychiatry, was awarded the May Brodbeck Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty.

Due to the celebration’s cancellation in 2020, the event honored the 2020 and 2021 recipients. The celebration included the awarding of the Distinguished Achievement Awards for faculty and staff, the Jean Y. Jew Women’s Rights Award, the Adele Kimm Scholarship, the Adah Johnson/Otilia Maria Fernandez Women's Studies Scholarship, the Jane A. Weiss Memorial Dissertation Scholarship, the Kristin K. Lippke Memorial Scholarship, and the Stephen Lynn Smith Memorial Scholarship for Social Justice.

Susan C. Buckley Distinguished Achievement Award for Staff: Lisa Bluder

The Susan C. Buckley Distinguished Achievement Award for Staff recognizes an outstanding accomplishment, or a lifetime record of service and achievement provides a role model for women and/or girls. This year, the award recognized the achievement of Lisa Bluder.

Lisa Bluder
Lisa Bluder

Bluder, the head coach of the Iowa Women’s Basketball team, recently concluded her 21st season as head coach. She joined the women’s basketball staff in April 2000 and has become the program’s all-time winningest coach. Under her guidance, Iowa has appeared in 19 postseason tournaments, including 13 consecutive postseason appearances. Most recently, Bluder was awarded the 2019 Naismith Coach of the Year Award, a national award given to the nation’s top head coach.

Bluder’s success comes from multiple angles. She has mentored 22 players to 54 All-Big Ten honors, has had one Big Ten Player of the Year, and led seven players to All-America honors. Bluder has been an advocate and leader for success in the classroom. Iowa women’s basketball athletes have been named Academic All-Big Ten 99 times, while writing the record book for Iowa’s Academic All-Americans.

In 2003, Bluder was named to the Division I Midwest Representative of the WBCA Board of Directors, serving on the WBCA Kodak All-American selection committee. Bluder also expanded her reach internationally, serving as the head coach of the U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team in 2015 and was the Team USA assistant coach at the 2001 World University Games, earning a gold medal.

Off the court, Bluder is a positive role model, leader, and mentor to female athletes, coaches, and staff members at Iowa. She works to empower women around her and develop strong female leaders with eight former players moving into collegiate coaching roles.

May Brodbeck Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty: Peggy Nopoulos

The May Brodbeck Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty recognizes an outstanding accomplishment or a lifetime record of service and achievement that provides a role model for women and/or girls. This year’s recipient, Peggy Nopoulos, is an accomplished researcher, dedicated mentor, and leader who has used her position to advance opportunities for other women.

Peggy Nopoulos
Peggy Nopoulos

Nopoulos came to Iowa as an undergraduate student in 1981 and completed medical school and residency training at the Carver College of Medicine after her undergraduate degree. She joined the Department of Psychiatry in 1993 as a fellow associate and, over the next 27 years, established herself as an internationally recognized neuroscience researcher. In 2017, Nopoulos was named the chair of the department – the department’s first female leader in its 100-year history.

However, her impact on the department and her female colleagues was felt years before as she encouraged and helped women succeed while valuing the work of those around her. She has created a working environment that allows women and mothers to succeed. As a mother of four, Nopoulos would talk about the obstacles of handling a successful professional career and being a mother. She created a space where motherhood and leadership is visible and tangible.

Nopoulos has been director for the Iowa Medical Student Research Program, the Iowa Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Program, the T32 PostDoctoral Program, and the Associate Director for Education for the Iowa Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.

Jean Y. Jew Women’s Rights Award: Kären M. Mason and Lynne Nugent

The Jean Y. Jew Women’s Rights Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the UI; a longstanding record of leadership, effort, and activism; and accomplishments of national scope or impact.

Kären Mason
Kären Mason

Kären Mason is the founding curator of the Iowa Women’s Archives in the University of Iowa Libraries. Mason arrived at the university in 1992 to establish this repository of women’s history and over the next 28 years, guided its grown into a nationally recognized repository that preserves the voices of those left out of archival and historical record. Mason earned her master’s degree in history from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in history from the University of Michigan. Her involvement in women’s history began in the late 1970s when she worked on the Women’s History Sources Survey and co-authored a Women’s History Tour of the Twin Cities. Most recently, Mason was honored with the Midwest Archives Conference’s Distinguished Service Award in 2020. She retired in December 2020. 

Lynne Nugent
Lynne Nugent

Lynne Nugent was the managing editor of the UI’s literary journal, The Iowa Review, since 2003 and is currently serving as the acting editor. Her essay chapbook, Nest, won the 2019 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award and was published in March 2020. Nugent has served on grant review panels for the Iowa Arts Council, the Mass Cultural Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She contributes dispatches on parenting during a pandemic to the podcast Pan Parenting.

Student Achievements

Thirteen students were recognized with scholarships to honor their work and commitment to women’s issues, diversity, and social activism. These recipients are for 2020 and 2021.