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Awards for Underrepresented Business, Engineering Students Announced

Two seniors from the University of Iowa and one from Iowa State University have received the inaugural Alliant Energy Erroll B. Davis Jr. award recognizing engineering or business students from underrepresented groups attending the three Board of Regents, State of Iowa universities.

The three recipients were Patrick Fernandez, a finance major at the UI; Adrián Löffler, a bio-medical engineering major at the UI; and Dawniece Trumbo, a marketing major at ISU.

The award was created by Alliant to honor Davis, who served as chairman of the board of Alliant Energy Corporation from 2000 to 2006. Davis retired from his dual roles as president and CEO of Alliant to become chancellor of the University System of Georgia, where he oversees the state's 35 public colleges and universities. The award, made possible through a gift of $400,000 from the Alliant Energy Foundation, recognizes its recipients' academic achievement, leadership in campus and community organizations, and potential for future career success. As part of an agreement between the Alliant Energy Foundation and the regents' institutions, the gift will ensure that the award is presented annually in perpetuity and will honor up to four students each year.

Each student will receive a cash prize upon his or her graduation.

Fernandez, Trumbo, and Löffler were honored at a reception hosted by the regents at the close of the February board meeting at ISU. Family, friends, and mentors of the winners were on hand to recognize their achievements. Tom Aller, vice president of the Alliant Energy Foundation and president of Interstate Power and Light Company, congratulated the winners and described Davis' commitment to inspiring minority students to consider careers in engineering and business.

Regent Rose Vasquez also congratulated the winners for their achievements and emphasized that businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations are looking for future leaders who have demonstrated an ability to strike a balance between work and community involvement. Vasquez said that while this is the first year of the award he expects it to become a wonderful tradition and added that the inaugural recipients are good role models for future honorees.

Associate UI Provost Marcella David coordinated the application process and chaired the selection committee, which included faculty from each of the three universities.

"The choice was very difficult because there were so many talented and active students who were nominated for the award," David said. "We look forward to next fall when we hope to have even more nominations as more students and their advisors find out about this important opportunity."


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