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UI Recognizes Students, Faculty, Alumni at Annual Finkbine Dinner

On April 27, The University of Iowa honored an alumnus, a faculty member, and two students affiliated with the Tippie College of Business at the 87th annual Finkbine Dinner for Representative Student Leaders, one of the most prestigious award ceremonies at the UI.

The annual event was initiated in 1917 to honor campus leaders and give them an opportunity to meet administrators, faculty, fellow students and alumni. The dinner, held at the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge, is named after William O. Finkbine, a Des Moines businessman and an 1880 UI law graduate.

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.

UI President David Skorton presented the awards. The Finkbine Dinner Committee selected the medallion and distinguished student leader certificate recipients.

John Pappajohn received the Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion. Pappajohn received his BSC degree in 1952. After completing his degree, Pappajohn started his own insurance business, which he sold in 1969 to become a fulltime venture capital investor and philanthropist. Currently president of Equity Dynamics, Inc., a venture capital firm in Des Moines that been responsible for more than 50 companies, he has served as a director of more than 40 public companies and numerous private firms.

Pappajohn is a member of the UI Alumni Association and The President's Club and is a member of the boards of the UI Foundation and the Henry B. Tippie College of Business. He has invested contributed generously to the UI, helping to fund the John Pappajohn Business Building and the Pappajohn Pavilion and the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Pappajohn has established Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at five colleges and universities throughout Iowa, including the UI, and also has supported a variety of student scholarship initiatives.

Several other awards were presented for student and faculty excellence.

Tyler Nixt, a native of Greene, Iowa, won the Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award. This award is presented by the UI Board in Control of Athletics to student-athletes who demonstrate outstanding academic excellence, athletic excellence and leadership. The award is named after a former Dean of Continuing Education and a long-time UI faculty representative to the Big 10 Conference.

Nixt, co-captain of the UI wrestling team, will graduate in May 2004 with a BBA in Accounting. A four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, as well as a 2003 Verizon District VII Academic All-American, Nixt has been named to the Dean's List every semester of his collegiate career and named to the President's List after the Fall 2001 semester.

Athletically, he has competed for the Iowa wrestling team in the 174-pound weight class compiling a 116-28 collegiate career record. He finished as runner-up at the Big Ten championships in 2002, 2003 and 2004. He has also competed at the NCAA Championships each of those years. Nixt's career recently ended with a third place finish at the 2004 NCAA Wrestling Championships, where he received All-American honors.

A Distinguished Student Leader Certificate went to Ward Fitz of Cedar Rapids. This award recognizes students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty. Fitz is completing his degree in electrical and computer engineering with a minor in business.

In addition to being on the Dean's List seven consecutive semesters, Fitz has received an Iowa Presidential Scholarship and membership in both Engineering and Greek honor societies. He recently was selected to receive the Phi Kappa Psi Dud Daniel Leadership Award, a national fraternity leadership honor awarded to only one Phi Kappa Psi in the country. His many leadership activities include being president of the Interfraternity Council, president of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, serving as a UI Student Government Senator, Orientation Student Advisor and an Engineering Student Ambassador.

Kenneth G. Brown won the James N. Murray Faculty Award, presented by the Beta Iota Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society to a non-tenured faculty member who demonstrates outstanding rapport with students and creates an exemplary classroom atmosphere. The award honors a former UI political science professor.

Brown joined the faculty as assistant professor in the Department of Management and Organizations in 1999. He received a BS in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, an MA in psychology and a PhD in industrial organizational psychology from Michigan State University. Brown advises of student groups including Sigma Phi Epsilon and the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. He has developed orientation programs for students, faculty, and staff, a judged of student case competitions, developed and tested instructional technology and software, and frequently served as a "broker" for students seeking to connect with employers. His main areas of study are learning, motivation and use of computer technology in instruction.

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