Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Thirty-seven University of Iowa faculty and staff members will be honored at the UI’s 2023 Faculty and Staff Awards Celebration on Oct. 26 for achievements ranging from excellence in service and teaching to leadership in outreach and student recruitment.

Read more below about the recipients of these awards:

  • James N. Murray Faculty Award
  • M.L. Huit Faculty Award
  • Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service

The following awards were previously announced:

James N. Murray Faculty Award

This award was established in 1985 to honor an untenured faculty member, typically a rising scholar with fewer than six years of UI service who has demonstrated outstanding rapport with students and creates an exemplary classroom atmosphere. 

Photo of Aislinn Williams

Aislinn Williams, assistant professor of Psychiatry in the Carver College of Medicine since 2017, is an outstanding representative of the university’s core values of community and inclusion. As primary investigator of the Williams Lab, she creates an encouraging and collaborative environment for her research team as they study how genetic variation modifies the likelihood of developing neuropsychiatric disease. Williams’ teaching methods are interactive and engaging, and she strongly advocates for the well-being of her students. She has used her roles in the department as vice chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion and co-chair of the Diversity Committee to elevate the discourse about mental health in Iowa.  


Marion L. Huit Faculty Award 

This award was established in 1978 to recognize a faculty member who best characterizes M. L. Huit’s contributions to university and community life, exemplifying the qualities of dedication to, concern for, and interaction with students.

Jennifer Nahrgang Headshot

Jennifer D. Nahrgang, Palmer Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the Tippie College of Business 
since 2020, has made a significant impact in her role as director of graduate studies for management and

entrepreneurship. She has done a remarkable job building community and generating a welcoming and inclusive climate within the college, initiating monthly student/faculty lunch opportunities as well as a Friday Seminar series to encourage academic discourse and collaboration. She is invested in the success and well-being of her students and dedicates her time to helping them problem-solve and expand their support networks. As a scholar, she is widely recognized as an expert in the field of management and has brought acclaim to the university through her research.  

Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service

Named in honor of the late Michael J. Brody, president of Faculty Senate from 1986 to 1987, this award was established to recognize outstanding faculty who have made exceptional contributions to the university and the community.

Gigi Durham

Meenakshi Gigi Durham, professor and CLAS Collegiate Scholar in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Department of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, joined the UI in 2000 and has had an incredible impact on the university community. She is an award-winning scholar with an exceptional record of leadership, service, and advocacy. In addition to her current role as faculty ombudsperson, her previous service roles include associate dean for outreach and engagement in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, faculty administrative fellow for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and faculty administrative fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Research. She is a valued member of two departments and a renowned scholar and author known for her analysis of media’s complex intersections with gender, race, and sexuality. She has been recognized multiple times for her teaching, earning both departmental and campus-wide awards. She serves on the editorial boards of Feminist Media StudiesCritical Studies in Media Communication, and Communication, Culture & Critique, among others.


Brian Hand

Brian Hand, professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, joined the UI in 2005 and has  developed a record of service on campus and across the state that has helped the university become a national leader in science education. As program coordinator for science education, he has worked with more than 400 elementary and middle school teachers across Iowa, impacting the education of more than 40,000 students. His former students include many K-12 science teachers around the world, as well as some of the most prominent scholars in the field of science education. He has served on editorial boards of leading academic journals, including Studies in Science Education and Research in Science Education. On campus, Hand has been part of the university’s Research Ethics Committee, co-chaired key faculty search committees, and served on many tenure and promotion review committees.