IOWA Magazine | 06-12-2020

Class Notes Summer 2020

9 minute read
Find out what your fellow Hawkeyes are doing now and share what's new with you.


Renée Branum (13MFA), a Cincinnati-based writer, received a 2020 literature fellowship in prose from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Raj Chakrapani (17MFA) received a Fulbright study/research arts grant to Romania, where he will translate a poetry anthology from Romanian to English.

Nicholas K. Cooling (11BBA), an attorney specializing in workers compensation, civil litigation, and criminal law, has been named a partner at Peddicord Wharton law firm in West Des Moines.

Bryan Garter (10BA, 12MPH, 12MHA), director of plant engineering at UnityPoint Health—Trinity in Rock Island, Illinois, is involved in COVID-19 emergency preparedness and surge planning at UnityPoint hospitals in the Quad Cities and Muscatine, Iowa.

Jake Riley (12BS, 14MS) is a disease prevention specialist with Johnson County Public Health in Iowa City.

Alexandria Morris Tursi (11BBA), a business strategist at Principal in Des Moines, was recognized by the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association as a 2019 Rising Star of Retirement, which is awarded to young professionals making a difference in retirement services.

Sarah Viren (11MFA), an assistant professor at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in prose and won the 2020 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award in Creative Nonfiction for her book MINE: Essays.

Shuo Yang (14BA, 14BSE) is an architectural designer at Studio Joseph in New York.


George Anderson (04BA, 06MA), a history teacher and assistant football coach at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School, was named the Iowa Department of Education's 2020 Teacher of the Year.

Kari Ohnemus Arias (08BA), a sixth-grade science teacher at Antioch Middle School in Nashville, was a finalist for the Tennessee Science Teachers Association's 5-8 Educator of the Year Award.

Tim Bascom (04MFA), director of creative writing at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa, is author of Climbing Lessons: Stories of Fathers, Sons and the Bond Between.

Danielle Valore Evans (06MFA), a fiction writer and assistant professor at The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, received a 2020 literature fellowship in prose from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sean Forman (01PhD), president of Sports Reference and founder of, baseball's premier statistical website, received the SABR Analytics Conference Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jessica Schrader Frank (05CER, 07PHR) is vice president of business development with OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management services company in West Des Moines.

Laura Itle (01BSE), a researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia, led a project team that received a 2019 special achievement award from the Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary of Science and Technology.

Chris Liddell-Westfield (07BA) is author of the book They Said This Day Would Never Come: Chasing the Dream on Obama's Improbable Campaign.

Jason Luke (02BS), an immunologist at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh, received the Sy Holzer Endowed Immunotherapy Research Fund Award to advance research in cancer immunotherapy. 

Frances de Pontes Peebles (03MFA), a Chicago-based writer and author of the novels The Air You Breathe and The Seamstress, received a 2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Anjali Sachdeva (06MFA), a Pittsburgh-based author and faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and Randolph College, received a 2020 literature fellowship in prose from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Maggie Shipstead (08MFA), a Los Angeles-based author, received a 2020 literature fellowship in prose from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Elizabeth Sutton (05MA, 09PhD), associate professor of art history at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, is author of the book Angel De Cora, Karen Thronson, and the Art of Place: How Two Midwestern Women Used Art to Negotiate Migration and Dispossession, published by University of Iowa Press.

Steve Timm (02MBA) is president of Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids.

Kristin Wyant Van De Griend (07MPH) is an assistant professor of sociology and the assistant director of the Kielstra Center for Research and Scholarship at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Philip Van De Griend (07MPH, 11MD) is a physician in the departments of family medicine and musculoskeletal and sports medicine at Orange City Area Health System in Orange City, Iowa.


Keith Breitbach (94BA), a senior communications strategist for the Sunny505 communications firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico, received the 2020 First Place AdWheel Award from the American Public Transportation Association for a marketing campaign promoting Albuquerque's recently completed Bus Rapid Transit project.

John J. Duffy (90BA), an attorney specializing in the defense of law firms accused of malpractice or ethical violations, is a partner with the Swanson, Martin & Bell law firm in Chicago.

John A. Heldt (99MA), a former reference librarian in Las Vegas, published The Lane Betrayal, his 16th novel.

Angie Hoth (92BSPh), clinical pharmacist for UI Health Care and project manager for the TelePrEP telemedical delivery model, received a 2019 National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations Excellence in Innovation Award.

Andrea Lawlor (96BA), assistant professor of English at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, received the Whiting Award for emerging writers.

Keith A. Mays (93ProsS, 94MS) is interim dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in Minneapolis.

Leslie Ain McClure (97MS), a professor and chair at Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has been featured in a recent American Statistical Association magazine series celebrating women in statistics.

Cristina Pearce (99BA) is director of fine wine for Total Wine and More, an alcohol beverage retailer headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, with more than 200 stores in 23 states.

Marc Pizzimenti (99PhD), UI associate professor of anatomy and cell biology, received the John P. Long Teaching Award in the Basic Sciences at the Carver College of Medicine's 2020 faculty awards banquet.

Bruce Rowe (90BSE, 94MD), a family medicine physician in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, has published a memoir titled Everything Under the Sun: A Family Doctor's Reflections on Life, Love, Loss and Renewed Hope in Medicine.


Douglas Barkey (87MA, 88MFA) is dean of liberal and fine arts at the University of the Bahamas in Nassau.

MaryEllen Beveridge (83MFA) is the author of After the Hunger, a collection of short stories.

H. Culver Boldt (88R), UI professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, received the Dr. Ernest O. Theilen Clinical Teaching and Service Award at the Carver College of Medicine's 2020 faculty awards banquet.

Zoubeida R. Dagher (89PhD), is a professor of science education at the University of Delaware in Newark and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Lance Olsen (80MFA), author and professor of English at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, received a 2020 literature fellowship in prose from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Diane Buresh Reist(81BSPh), pharmacy practice specialist at UI Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City, and Jeff Reist (82BSPh), clinical associate professor at the UI College of Pharmacy, had a community consultation room named for them in the new UI Pharmacy Building in recognition of their support of the building fund.

Susan Skolly-Danzinger (80BSPh), director (acting) of pharmacy at Promise Healthcare based in Boca Raton, Florida, received the Exceptional Service Award from the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology. Jenelle Tull Sobotka, (87BSPh, 89PharmD), a pharmacy professor at the University of Cincinnati, received the university's Award for Faculty Excellence.

Joel Walter (87BSE, 89MS, 97PhD) is vice president and director of engineering for the technology group performance unit at Jacobs Technology in the greater Detroit area.

Jim M. Woods (80MS, 80OrthS), an orthodontist in Paducah, Kentucky, received the Kentucky Dental Association's 2019 Fellowship Award for outstanding contributions to his profession.


Sara Murphy Blackburn (74BA) and William Blackburn (73JD) donated 151 acres of land in northwest Fremont County to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to create the Blackburn Wildlife Management Area and Blackburn State Park.

Raymond H. Cralle (71CER), a physical therapist in Delray Beach, Florida, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 1964 to 1969, was inducted into the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame for his advocacy on behalf of retired service members.

Shelley Haven (76MA, 78MFA), an artist and fine arts teacher in New York, recently exhibited paintings at the Yonkers Public Library and Blue Hill Art and Cultural Center in Pearl River, New York.

Julie Stanik-Hutt (74BSN), a clinical professor at the UI College of Nursing in Iowa City, received the 2019 Hawkeye Distinguished Veteran Award in recognition of her military service in the U.S. Navy and contributions to advanced practice nursing.


Michael Bornstein (66PhD), a Holocaust survivor, retired biotech scientist, and the subject of a 2017 Iowa Magazine cover story, was featured on CBS Sunday Morning after visiting Auschwitz 75 years after liberation.


John (59BSP) and Margo Daniel had a classroom in the new UI Pharmacy Building named for them in recognition of their support toward the building fund.

Tom Ecker (57BA), an Olympics historian and creator of the Wuzzles word puzzles, is author of Wherever I Choose: An Unauthorized Autobiography.


Henry B. Tippie (49BSC, 11LHD) recently helped ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the 50th anniversary of Dover Motorsports, where he serves as chairman.

faculty & friends

Simon Balto, UI assistant professor of history and African American studies, received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to write a book about Jim Crow-era criminal minstrelsy.

David L. Bluder is author of the novel The Great Gamble.

Brian Gehlbach, UI clinical professor of internal medicine, received the Collegiate Teaching Award at the Carver College of Medicine's 2020 faculty awards banquet.

David Hamilton, UI professor emeritus and former editor of the Iowa Review, is author of A Certain Arc: Essays of Finding My Way.

Anita Jung, UI assistant professor in the School of Art and Art History, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to India for the 2020-21 academic year.

 Donald E. Letendre, dean of the UI College of Pharmacy, is the recipient of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists' Outstanding Dean Award for 2020. 

David Schoenbaum, UI professor emeritus, is author of The Lives of Isaac Stern, a biography of the violin virtuoso.

Madeline Shea, UI professor of biochemistry, received the Collegiate Teaching Award at the UI Carver College of Medicine's 2020 faculty awards banquet.

David Stern, UI professor of philosophy, received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to publish an English translation of Ludwig Wittgenstein's 1921 book Tractatus.

Rong Su, UI assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, has been named associate editor of Psychological Bulletin, the top journal in the field of psychology.

Marc Wold, UI professor of biochemistry, received the Faculty Service Award at the Carver College of Medicine's 2020 faculty awards banquet.

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