Edited University News Release—April 29 , 2009

CLAS faculty and students honored at Finkbine Dinner

Hancher Finkbine medallionThe University of Iowa honored outstanding students, faculty, staff and alumni April 14 at the 92nd anniversary Finkbine Dinner for representative student leaders, one of the university's most prestigious award ceremonies. The event began in 1917 to honor campus leaders and give them an opportunity to meet administrators, faculty, staff, fellow students and alumni. The dinner is named after.

Faculty and students from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) were among those honored at the dinner. Professor Emerita Bonnie Slatton was honored as an outstanding alumna of the University. Assistant Professor Alan Huckleberry and the late Associate Professor James Pusack were honored for their excellence as teachers and student mentors. Graduating seniors Atul Nakhasi and Colleen McLaughlin were recognized for their academic distinction and leadership.

* Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion

Yvonne SlattonThe Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion went to UI professor emerita Yvonne L. "Bonnie" Slatton. She received her Ph.D. in physical education in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1970 and spent her career as a faculty member in the Department of Health and Sport Studies. She has been a teacher, scholar, counselor, facilitator, coach, advocate and administrator.

Slatton was the first student in Iowa and one of the first in the United States to focus her graduate work in the area of sports studies. She and her colleagues committed Iowa's sport studies program to focus on groups historically outside the mainstream of sport: women and minorities. Slatton served 12 years as department chair and her leadership abilities were tapped by prominent national associations and agencies related to student athletes and women in sport. She was one of the founders of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

As a member of the UI Board in Control of Athletics for more than 20 years, she was selected as the UI faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference and to the NCAA. She has also been honored for her service to the university with awards that reflect her dedication to fairness, inclusion and equality.

The Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, which recognizes outstanding leadership, learning and loyalty, was named after alumnus William O. Finkbine, a Des Moines businessman and 1880 UI law graduate, and Virgil M. Hancher, who served as president of the UI from 1940 to 1964.

* Distinguished Student Leader Certificate

Atul NakhasiThe Distinguished Student Leader Certificate went to Atul Nakhasi, a senior from Waterloo, Iowa, majoring in biology. This award recognizes students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in leadership, learning and loyalty. Nakhasi has received numerous academic recognitions and honors including the Presidential Scholarship, Dewey Stuit Scholarship, and Phi Beta Kappa. He is the chair of the Student Health Advisory Committee, American College Health Association, and founder of the World Health Initiative, which promotes awareness about major global health issues.

As president of UI Democrats, he was active in the recent national presidential campaign, increasing membership and involvement in this organization and hosting candidates to campus. His advocacy and visibility in a number of arenas has led to national publicity including an interview in the Wall Street Journal and several other broadcast media outlets. Nakhasi was named the 2007 Person of the Year by the Iowa City Press Citizen, the first time a student was so honored. In the Honors Program he has been a peer advisor and orientation and served as public relations chair for the Indian Student Alliance.

Nominations for student awards are solicited from recognized student organizations and collegiate deans.

* Robert F. Ray Award

Colleen McGlaughlin, a senior from Morton, Ill., majoring in actuarial science, received this award, which 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 and longtime UI faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference

McGlaughlin is a senior infielder for the UI softball team. She began the 2009 season tied for 11th in career homeruns and 14th in career batting average. She has been an All Big Ten and National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-region selection the previous two seasons. Off the field she has above a 4.0 cumulative GPA, was named to Dean's List seven times, named to the President's List six times, and was selected to the ESPN Academic All-American first team in 2008 and All-District in 2007. She has accepted a position following her graduation in May as an actuarial analyst in the Property and Casualty Division of State Farm Insurance.

* M.L. Huit Faculty Award

The Huit Award went posthumously to James Pusack, who was associate professor and chair of the Department of German at the time of his sudden death in December 2008. The award, named in honor of a former dean of students, is presented by members of Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Societies to a faculty member who demonstrates dedication to, concern for, and interaction with students.

As the undergraduate German advisor and chair of the department, Pusack was equally at home as teacher and as administrator. His innovative and entrepreneurial work created many learning opportunities for students, including the Autonomous Language Learning Network (AllNet); the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program through Fulbright; and the first Foreign Language House, a learning community in the residence halls co-founded by Pusack and now called International Crossroads Community. He spent countless hours on student scholarship review committees and writing grants. A champion of study abroad, he was an internationally recognized author on the use of computer technology and media for language learning, for which he received national awards and special recognition.

*James N. Murray Faculty Award

Professor HuckleberryAlan Huckleberry (at right in photo), assistant professor in the School of Music, received the Murray Faculty Award, which recognizes a non-tenured faculty member who demonstrates outstanding rapport with students and creates an exemplary classroom atmosphere. The Murray Award is presented by the Beta Iota Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society and is named in honor of a former UI political science professor.

Huckleberry joined the faculty as an assistant professor of piano pedagogy and collaborative arts in 2004. He received his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Michigan and equivalent Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from Musikhochschule Karlsruhe in Germany.

In his work with students, Huckleberry demonstrates how lessons of life can be applied to piano technique, and how piano technique can be applied to life lessons. He is a dedicated musician, performing often in the United States and Europe. Professor Huckleberry represents the UI chapter of Music Teachers National Association, and takes several students with him to its yearly national conference, where they observe and present materials. Huckleberry has authored articles for music publications and has collaborated on numerous research projects with graduate students resulting in presentations of this research at national conferences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500