Deirdre Egan, assistant director of the University of Iowa Writing Center, is the recipient of the 2022 Lola Lopes Award for Undergraduate Student Advocacy.
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. Recipients are selected by a committee of staff, faculty, and a student.
Egan has dedicated her career to improving literacy learning across every college and program. She believes every undergraduate has the potential for success, especially when they receive clear, transparent, and meaningful instruction in writing, reading, and research.
Egan has tutored thousands of Iowa undergraduates in writing for their majors and general education requirements, and has helped with countless personal statements and scholarship applications. In addition to spending time one-on-one with students, she ensures undergraduates have as many opportunities as possible to get writing help by connecting them with tutors in multiple Writing Center programs and by making effective use of technology.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she assisted dozens of tutors and hundreds of students in conducting videoconferences. She delivers presentations on various writing topics to classes of undergraduate students across campus, and she collaborates with multiple partners to maintain satellite writing centers in the Center for Inclusive Academic Excellence, UI Honors Program, Department of Athletics, and the Main Library.
A champion for excellence in writing instruction, Egan develops curricula and resources to help tutors and teachers demystify academic writing for students, mentors teams of undergraduate Honors Writing Fellows, gives presentations on teaching with writing for faculty who teach undergraduates, and edits and publishes the newsletter Writing Across Campus. She also engages in research and assessment to inform the design of Writing Center programs. Through her personal interactions with students and her work with writing instructors, her efforts made invaluable contributions to the success of UI undergraduates.
Egan 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.