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Tippie Students Recognized at Annual Finkbine Dinner

The University of Iowa honored several outstanding students, faculty and an alumnus on Tuesday, April 18, at the 89th anniversary Finkbine Dinner for Representative Student Leaders, one of the university's most prestigious award ceremonies, at the Iowa Memorial Union.

The event began in 1917 to honor campus leaders and give them an opportunity to meet administrators, faculty, fellow students and alumni. The dinner is named after William O. Finkbine, a Des Moines businessman and an 1880 UI law graduate.

In addition, several awards were presented for student and faculty excellence.

The tradition of awarding Hancher-Finkbine medallions began in 1964. The awards, which recognize outstanding leadership, learning and loyalty, are named after Finkbine and Virgil M. Hancher, who served as president of the UI from 1940 to 1964. Nominations for the student awards are solicited from recognized student organizations and collegiate deans. Awards were presented by UI President David Skorton.

The following Tippie students were recognized:

Hancher/Finkbine Undergraduate Student Medallion

Andrew Mark Thomas, Des Moines

Thomas is a senior majoring in economics, history and political science. A Presidential Scholar, Thomas has received many honors and awards, including a Frank Knight Scholar in economics and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He has worked as an undergraduate research assistant for faculty in Economics and Political Science. Thomas served as the president and treasurer in the UI Mock Trial team, where he developed and implemented recruiting strategies to increase membership retention. Thomas currently serves as chief of staff for the UI Student Government and is president of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Student Advisory Committee representing student interests. He serves on the board of directors of the Iowa Children's Museum and is co-founder of the Paperback Rhino, a community comedy group.

Distinguished Student Leader Certificate
This award recognizes students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty

Florin Ilie Oprescu, Romania

Oprescu is enrolled in a dual degree program, working on a Ph.D. in community and behavioral health in the College of Public Health and an MBA in the Tippie College of Business. As a teaching assistant in Community and Behavioral Health, he taught a course required of all MPH students. He is also a research assistant for the Iowa Center for Evaluation Research. At the Tippie College of Business, he has been a member of the MBA innovation challenge team that has been ranked among the top 15 most innovative MBA teams in the world. Currently president of the College of Public Health student organization, Oprescu is also a member of the Tippie Leadership Association. In 2005 he founded the Center for Health Policy and Public Health at Babes-Bolyai University Cluj in Romania, dedicated to public health issues.

Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award
This award is presented by the UI Board in Control of Athletics to a male and female student-athlete who demonstrate outstanding academic excellence, athletic excellence and leadership. The award is named after a former dean and long-time UI faculty representative to the Big 10 Conference.

Stacy May, Reno, NV.

A senior infielder for the Hawkeye softball team, May majors in accounting and physics. She has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for three years, was named to the Dean's List and was a silver medallion recipient by the Presidential Committee on Athletics. On the field, she was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was a first-team all-conference selection, received Big Ten Player of the Week honors and selected to the All-Big Ten Tournament Team while starting all 59 games at third base. She led the Hawkeyes in hits and tied a school record for multiple home-run games. As a junior, Stacy was named to NCAA Region V all-tournament team, the all-Big Ten Tournament team selection, ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America District 7 selection, started all 64 games at shortstop and lead the team in batting average, runs scored, hits, doubles, at-bats and total bases.

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