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Students, faculty, staff, alumni honored at Finkbine Dinner

Some 18 University of Iowa students, staff, faculty and alumni were recognized Tuesday, April 17 at the 84th anniversary Finkbine Dinner for Representative Student Leaders, one of the campus' most prestigious award ceremonies.

The ceremonies included the presentation of the Hancher-Finkbine medallions, awards that are given in recognition of outstanding leadership, learning and loyalty. The medallions are named after 1880 UI law graduate and Des Moines businessman William O. Finkbine and Virgil M. Hancher, who served as president of the UI from 1940 to 1964.

The Finkbine Dinner was first held in 1917 to honor campus leaders and to give them an opportunity to meet administrators, faculty, fellow students and alumni. The tradition of awarding Hancher-Finkbine medallions began in 1964. These awards will be presented to:

Hancher-Finkbine Undergraduate Student Medallion: Nicole J. Kirkwood, senior, global studies and economics major, Dyersville, Iowa; Adam J. White, senior, economics major, Bettendorf, Iowa

Hancher-Finkbine Graduate/Professional Student Medallion: Jennifer Beaty, fourth year medical student, Des Moines; and Carl F. Hitscherich Jr., doctoral candidate in chemical and biochemical engineering, and teaching assistant, Yardley, Pa.

Philip G. Hubbard Award: Sydney Switzer, geography graduate student, Iowa City Hancher-Finkbine Faculty Medallion: David H. Vernon, Allan D. Vestal Professor of law;

Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion: Marian Rees, B.A. '51. Rees is founder and CEO of Marian Rees Associates, Inc.

Distinguished Student Leader Certificates: Meredith L. Bentley, senior global studies major, Muscatine; Angela Ellen Dralle, third-year law student, Knoxville; Monica A. Foley, senior finance major, Alta Vista; Catherine M. Grosso, third-year law student, Washington D.C.; Kentrell Marie Liddell, fourth year medical student, Macon, Miss.; Christopher L. McDonald, third-year law student, Boone, Iowa; and Joseph A. Wzorek, senior psychology major, Orland Park, Ill.

Robert F. Ray Award: Kevin Agnew, senior anthropology major from Winnetka, Ill.; and Kathryn L. Garrels, senior biology major from Laurel, Iowa

M.L. Huit Faculty Award: Eric Forsythe, professor, theatre arts

James N. Murray Faculty Award: Mary Kathryn Cowles, assistant professor, department of statistics and actuarial science

A brief description of the recipients' achievements is listed below.

Hancher-Finkbine Undergraduate Student Medallion:

-- Kirkwood was a Rhodes Scholarship and a Truman Scholarship finalist and was named among "Glamour" Magazine's Top Ten College Women of the Year (2001). Kirkwood is a Presidential Scholar and has regularly been named to the Dean's and Presidents lists. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa national honor society; and a James D. Robertson Scholar and a Virgil M. Hancher Scholar. Kirkwood is active in the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and she established enAble, an advocacy group for people suffering from mental illness.

-- White is a Presidential Scholar; named to the Dean's and Presidents list; Phi Beta Kappa national honor society member; and former vice president for Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity. White received the Eastern Iowa Cash Management Association Scholarship, and was editorial writer and is editorial page editor for "The Daily Iowan," and contributor to "Smack," the UI's online literary journal. White was a Washington Center White House intern to the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy and was a member of the White House/Gore 2000 Advance Team.

Hancher-Finkbine Graduate/Professional Student Medallion: Jennifer Beaty, fourth year medical student, Des Moines, Iowa; and Carl F. Hitscherich Jr.

-- Beaty is a two-time recipient of the Pappajohn Scholarship for Academic Excellence in the Greek Orthodox Community and last year received the Melvin Marcus Clinical Research Award. She has written an article published in the "American Journal of Physiology" and is co-author of "How to Ace the Boards," a self-published work. She is active in the Medical Student Council, the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and the Medical Education Outreach Community in Des Moines. She is a mentor to first- and second-year medical students.

-- Hitscherich Jr. received the Iowa Biotechnology Association Scholarship, and the UI Center for Giocatalysis and Bioprocessing Fellowship. He has presented his research in the field of protein and crystallization at the National Chemical Engineers, Midwest Crystallography and other conferences.

Philip G. Hubbard Award:

-- Switzer is developing an educational background necessary to promote and protect Native concerns about the environment. She has organized and operated the UI tutoring program for elementary students at the Meskwaki settlement at Tama, Iowa, and is involved in the Latino Native American Cultural Center. She has helped organize and has worked with children in many of the UI's minority summer camps including the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the Iowa First Nations Camps. Switzer works closely with the American Indian Student Association to organize the annual UI Powwow and is currently the group's finance officer.

Hancher-Finkbine Faculty Medallion: David H. Vernon, Allan D. Vestal Professor of law.

-- Vernon is a former UI College of Law dean and has taught law at the UI since 1966. Vernon has served as advisor to four UI presidents and as acting provost twice. His "open door" policy helped earn him the Collegiate Teaching Award, the Michael Brody Award, and the Regents Faculty Excellence Award. He is former president of the Association of American Law Schools.

Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion: Marian Rees, B.A. '51.

-- Rees is founder and CEO of Marian Rees Associates, Inc., an award-winning television and film production company noted for its willingness to tackle important social issues through its influential medium. She has been associate or executive producer for 25 films and has earned 29 Emmy awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Peabody Award. She was inducted into the Producers Guild of the American Hall of Fame and has been co-chair of the National Council for Families and Television; vice president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and president of Women in Film. She is a member of the UI Foundation Board of Directors, the UI President's Club, and the Alumni Association's Director's Club. She has donated some of her files from her company to the Iowa Women's Archives at the UI Libraries.

Distinguished Student Leader Certificates: Meredith L. Bentley, senior global studies major from Muscatine, Iowa; Angela Ellen Dralle, third-year law student from Knoxville, Iowa; Catherine M. Grosso, third-year law student; Christopher L. McDonald, third-year law student from Boone, Iowa; and Joseph A. Wzorek, senior psychology major from Orland Park, Ill.

-- Bentley has received the President's Scholarship, the Rhodes-Dunlap Honors Program Scholarship; the Edward Arthur Mellinger Educational Foundation Scholarship and other scholarships. She is a member of Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Golden Key. She is the founder and former president of the UI Student United Nations organization and is a student coordinator for the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council. Bentley helped write the College of Liberal Arts' collegiate "Student Bill of Rights," and is conducting a research practicum on breast cancer research at the UI College of Medicine.

-- Dralle ranks first in her law school class, is a USSA All-American Scholar and was named to the National Dean's List. She has received the College of Law's merit scholarship three times and was awarded the D.J. Fairgrave Scholarship and was one of six persons on the law school's Moot Court team that advanced to the national finals. She was runner-up Best Advocate in the Stephenson Trial Advocacy Competition and taught at the Institute on Law and Advocacy summer program at Stanford University.

-- Foley is a member of the Honors Program and a recipient of the American Business Women's Association Scholarship, the Union Pacific Scholar and the Frank Opportunity Scholarship, and she was awarded a UI Study Abroad Scholarship. She is past president and current coordinator of the mentoring program for Women in Business student organization. Foley is a member of the Provost's Student Advisory Committee, the Undergraduate Leadership Council, and is an academic tutor for the UI Intercollegiate Athletics Department. She is currently assistant to the director of the Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance

-- Grosso ranks sixth in her law class and is a recipient of the law school's Merit Scholarship. Grosso served as articles editor for the "Iowa Law Review" and was a quarterfinalist in the Van Oosterhout Moot Court competition held earlier this year. She is a member of the Organization of

Women Law Students and Staff and has been a summer legislative clerk for the Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for the Council of the District of Columbia.

-- Liddell is the first non-faculty member to receive the Charles D. Phelps Memorial Award for her research on macular degeneration. She has served as class representative to the Medical Student council and was a presenter at the national conference "People of Color in Predominantly White Institutions." She founded the Shades of Medicine student organization, and she represented students on a Curriculum Task force charged with surveying curricular materials on multicultural medicine and suggesting ways to improve the curriculum. Liddell is a volunteer at the Free Medical Clinic, a College of Medicine tutor and a research assistant at the UI Center for Macular Degeneration.

-- McDonald is a three-time College of Law Merit Scholarship recipient and is one of two recipients of the John F. Murray Prize, given to the top student in the graduating class after five semesters. He was associate editor of the "Iowa Law Review" and a Van Oosterhout Moot Court participant. He founded and served as president of the UI Student Libertarians vice chair and treasurer of the Libertarian Part of Johnson County, and vice president of the UI College of Law Federalist Society.

-- Wzorek is a recipient of the Iowa council for the Social Studies Teacher Education Scholarship and is a Fulbright Scholarship finalist. He is working toward a sociology minor with a secondary social studies teaching certificate and coaching endorsement. He is a member of Pi Lambda Theta International Honor Society for Education, and the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. He is a tutor for New Dimensions in Learning, and at Penn Elementary School (North Liberty) and is student teaching at Iowa City High School.

Robert F. Ray Award: Kevin Agnew, senior anthropology major from Winnetka, Ill.; and Kathryn L. Garrels, senior biology major from Laurel, Iowa.

-- Agnew is co-captain of the UI Men's Gymnastics team, a three-time Academic All Big Ten selection, and a three-time College Gymnastics Association All-American Scholar. He is a seven-time Dean's List member and a three-time member of the President's List. Agnew led the Iowa team on the still rings, recording a career best score of 9.8. He was voted Best Competitor on the Iowa squad and finished fifth at the 2000 Big Ten meet.

-- Garrels is a member of the UI Crew team and is a three-time recipient of the UI Board in Control of Athletics Academic Awards. She is a National Scholar Athlete, and nominee for the NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship. She is a member of the Women's Intercollegiate Sports Council, is a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, and the UI Hospitals and Clinics Burn/Trama Unit.

M.L. Huit Faculty Award: Eric Forsythe, professor, theatre arts

-- Forsythe began teaching at the UI in 1986 and now is head of directing and the Iowa Summer Repertory Theater. He is described as an inspirational teacher and one who genuinely cares about his students. Forsythe teaches advanced acting and director's seminar and has supervised various theatre and media professionals.

James N. Murray Faculty Award: Mary Kathryn Cowles, assistant professor, department of statistics and actuarial science

-- Cowles is an advisor to students in the department and co-teaches a statistic workshop for gifted high school students through Iowa's WINGS program. She is a member of the American Statistical Association, Caucus for Women in Statistics, and the International Society for Bayesian Analysis. Cowles' students have said that she has an ability to explain difficult concepts with great clarity, providing practical applications.


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