The Alumni Fellows program, established in 1999, formally recognizes College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduates or former students for their outstanding contributions to society, their professions, the college, and the University of Iowa. The program is made possible by funds from the UI Alumni Association Dean’s Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Each year, several CLAS alumni—nominated by the CLAS departments in which they studied—are honored as Alumni Fellows. They are invited to campus for a two- to three-day visit. Each Fellow visits their home department to speak to classes, meets socially with small groups of faculty and students, and makes a public presentation based on their experiences since graduating from the university.

Nomination information

CLAS faculty members, through their DEOs, nominate potential Alumni Fellows and submit it to the Dean's Office where it will be considered by the collegiate leadership. 

Alumni Fellows spotlights

Portrait of Elizabeth Summy

CLAS political science grad and alumni fellow Elizabeth Summy combines passion for healthcare and politics

Iowa City native Elizabeth Summy — who has worked on Capitol Hill and for prominent health care associations since graduating from the University of Iowa — recently returned to campus as an alumni fellow.
Samuel D Hunter converses with audience

CLAS theatre arts alum Samuel D. Hunter recognized as CLAS alumni fellow

Samuel D. Hunter shares an inspiring conversation after being honored by CLAS Dean Sara Sanders.

Past award recipients

Amanda Acevedo 

BS Physics, Computer Science '96

Portrait of Amanda Acevedo

Amanda Acevedo is President of VEDO Systems, a software engineering and consulting firm in Houston, Texas. With over 20 years of experience, Ms. Acevedo has worked on development projects, served as a technical leader and managed cross program integration efforts. Her experience spans from Argonne National Lab where she developed control system software for the ATLAS accelerator, to NASA/Johnson Space Center where she worked Space Shuttle, X38, AERCam and Orion programs, through Intuitive Machines, an engineering think tank, where she developed software and led projects in the aerospace, energy, and medical sectors. Now she leads a team meeting the software needs of both small and large organizations across the country.

John Eiler

BS Geology '89

Portrait of John Eiler

John Eiler is the Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology and Geochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. He is a geologist and geochemist specializing in the distribution of the stable isotopes among natural materials. His research group is best known for developing the study of natural molecules containing two or more rare isotopes — a rare but ubiquitous family of species that give rise to a variety of applied geochemical tools. Dr. Eiler received his PhD in Geology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow in stable isotope geochemistry at Caltech, where he joined the faculty in 1994. Dr. Eiler is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the Day medal, Epstein medal, Macelwane medal, and Mineralogical Society of America young scientist award.

Scott Icenogle 

BA Communication Studies '91

Portrait of Scott Icenogle

Scott Icenogle is the Music Composer for the television shows  "Will & Grace" (NBC) and "The History of Comedy" (CNN). While a student, Mr. Icenogle spent a great deal of time in the School of Music as the Hawkeye Marching Band was a passion for him. After graduating, he moved to New York City and worked for ABC Television. He worked his way up the ladder over the course of a decade and eventually transferred to LA. He never gave up his interest in music, however, and started to mix and compose music during his spare time. He gradually had a number of pieces purchased and eventually became a DJ at clubs. When Mr. Icenogle was hired as a DJ for the Ellen DeGeneres Show, he was able to fully pursue music composition and left ABC. He now composes for television full time. He is known for his work on "Will & Grace," "The History of Comedy," and "Lazy Susan." In 2018, he and his husband, actor Sean Hayes, published a Nutcracker-inspired Christmas book for children, titled Plum, which was published by Simon and Schuster.

Carolyn Lukensmeyer 

BA English '67

Portrait of Carolyn Lukensmeyer

Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer is the Executive Director Emerita of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona, an organization that works to reduce political dysfunction and incivility in our political system. As a leader in the field of deliberative democracy, she works to restore our democracy to reflect the intended vision of our founding fathers. Dr. Lukensmeyer previously served as Founder and President of AmericaSpeaks, an award-winning nonprofit organization that promoted nonpartisan initiatives to engage citizens and leaders through the development of innovative public policy tools and strategies. During her tenure, AmericaSpeaks engaged more than 200,000 people and hosted events across all 50 states and throughout the world. Dr. Lukensmeyer formerly served as Consultant to the White House Chief of Staff from 1993-94 and on the National Performance Review, where she steered internal management and oversaw government-wide reforms. She was the Chief of Staff to Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste from 1986-91, becoming the first woman to serve in this capacity. She earned her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and has completed postgraduate training at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, Ohio.

Joseph Gaylord

Portrait of Joe Gaylord

Joe Gaylord (BA, Speech and Dramatic Arts, ’67) is among the nation’s most experienced political consultants, having served as executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee and senior counselor to House Speaker Newt Gingrich. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science and president of the Political Science Alumni Advisory Board.

Ann Howard Jones

Ann Howard Jones conducting a chorus

Ann Howard Jones (BM ‘64, MM ‘66, DMA ’84) is a retired Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Boston University, where she was responsible for the highly regarded graduate program in choral conducting. Widely recognized for her conducting, leadership, and teaching, she received the Robert Shaw Choral Award from the American Choral Directors Association (2011) for distinguished professional accomplishment and service, and the Metcalf award from Boston University, which acknowledges exemplary teaching. She was Assistant Conductor to Choruses, including the Atlanta Symphony choruses, under the iconic Maestro Robert Shaw.

Charles Ray

Portrait of Charles Ray

Charles Ray (BFA, Sculpture, '75) is an American artist celebrated for his sculptures of altered and refashioned familiar objects. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago (2015), Kunstmuseum Basel (2014), Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2006), and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1998). His work has been included in Documenta IX (1992), three iterations of the Venice Biennial (1993, 2003, 2013), and five installments of the Whitney Biennial (1989, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2010).

Dawn Ainger
Chairman and CEO, Genova Technologies
BS 1992, MS, 1995
Department of Computer Science

Mary Bennett
Special Collections Coordinator, State Historical Society of Iowa
BA 1976, MA 1985
Department of History

David Conley
Executive Visual Effects Producer at Weta Digital
BA 1970
Department of Cinematic Arts

James L. Green
Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA
BA 1973, PhD 1979
Department of Physics & Astronomy

Mark S. Milosch
Chief of Staff, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
PhD 2002
Department of History

Thomas J. Wickham, Jr.
Parliamentarian, U.S. House of Representatives
BA 1990, Political Science; JD 1994

Bob Bowlsby
Commissioner, Big 12 Conference
MA 1978
Recreation Education, Department of Health & Human Physiology

David Lang
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
MM 1980
Composition, School of Music

Leslie Yazel
Executive Editor, Cosmopolitan
BA 1993
Journalism & Mass Communication, English

Hope Edelman
MA 1992
Nonfiction Writing Program, Department of English  

Bruce Gronbeck
MA 1965, PhD 1970
Communication Studies

Shelley Minteer
PhD 2000

Timothy J. Pounds
BA 1986
History and Political Science  

Corinna Zarek
BA 2001
Journalism and Mass Communication; Political Science

Rick Cleveland
MFA 1995
Theatre Arts

John Falsey
MFA 1978
Iowa Writers’ Workshop

Simone Ferro
MFA 2000

Howard Kerr
BA 1960
Political Science

Stamatios “Tom” Krimigis
MS 1963, PhD 1965
Physics & Astronomy

Lewis Lipsitt
PhD 1957

J. Paul Oetken
BA 1988

Jacques Bourgeacq
PhD 1972
French & Italian

Lois Braverman
MSW 1976
Social Work

Katharine Goeldner
BM 1985

James Hill
PhD 1976
American Civilization/African American Studies

Mark Mattson
PhD 1986

Larry Snyder
BA 1968
Mathematics and Economics

Avijit Ghosh
PhD 1979
MA 1977

Erik Ulfers
BA 1975
MFA candidate

Riva Castleman
BA 1951
Art History

Leon Aden
BS 1980
MS 1982

David Bonior
BA 1967
Political Science

Sam Becker
BA 1947
MA 1949
PhD 1953
Communication & Theatre

Solomon Bililign
PhD 1991

Scott Dunn
BM 1975

Eric Rabkin
PhD 1970

Fred W. Raths
MS 1952
PhD 1954

N. Peggy Burke
PhD 1965
Physical Education

Don L. Davis
PhD 2000
Religious Studies

Stephen V. Faraone
PhD 1982
Clinical Psychology

Martha Ann Selby
BA 1982
Asian Studies

Michael Tanenhaus
BS 1973
Speech and Hearing Science

Susan Gubar
PhD 1972

Elizabeth A. Mathis
MA 1980
Communication and Theatre Arts

Chester M. McCloskey
MS 1942
PhD 1944

L. Nathan Oaklander
BA 1967
MA 1970
PhD 1973

John E. Osborn
BA 1979

Lloyd H. Rogler
BA 1951
MA 1952
PhD 1957

Carol A. Dahl
Foundation Executive
BA 1969

Robert V. Hogg
Founding Chair of Statistics and Actuarial Science
M.S. 1948, PhD 1950

Mark M. Johnson
Prolific Producer
MA 1973
Communication and Theatre Arts

Scott J. McHoy
Professor of Voice and Pedagogy
BM 1976, MA 1977
MFA 1983, DMA 1987
School of Music, Division of Performing Arts

Clyde D. Stoltenberg
Expert in the Law and Economics of Asia
BA 1969

Elizabeth Catlett
Celebrated American Artist
MFA 1940
School of Art and Art History

Earl E. Fitz
Influential Scholar of Literatures of Latin America
BA 1968, MA1970
Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Aquiles Iglesias
Expert in the Field of Speech Pathology and Multicultural Education
PhD 1978
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology

Marsha A. Martin
Senior Deputy Director, District of Columbia Department of Health
BA 1974, Department of Psychology
MSW 1975, School of Social Work

Carol E. Oukrop
Leading Scholar in Journalism and Mass Communication Education
MA 1965, PhD 1969
School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Thomas E. Romesser
Vice President of Technology Development, Northrup Grumman Space Technology
MS 1973, PhD 1974
Department of Physics and Astronomy

James Thomas Glanz
Science Reporter and Author
BS 1979
Department of Physics

Frances Degen Horowitz
Renowned Developmental Psychologist
PhD 1959
Department of Child Behavior and Development

Stephen Hulme
Project Executive and Systems Architect
BA 1974, Department of Classics
BS 1980, Department of Computer Science

Shanto Iyengar
Outstanding Scholar of Contemporary Media and Politics
MA 1971, PhD 1972,
Department of Political Science

Trudy Huskamp Peterson
Distinguished Archivist
MA 1972, PhD 1975,
Department of History

Richard J. Schnieders
Chairman and CEO of SYSCO Corporation
BA 1970,
Department of Mathematics

Leola N. Bergmann
Scholar & Printmaker
MA 1939, Department of English
PhD 1942, Department of American Studies

Mitchell A. Burgess
Television Producer & Writer
BA 1978, Department of History

Robin L. Green
Television Producer & Writer
MFA 1977, Department of English

Dorothy K. Ray
Radio Journalist
BA 1944, MA 1945, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

Jerry M. Sudarsky
Radio Journalist Founder and Chairman of Alexandria Real Estate Equities
Attended the University of Iowa 1936-39

James L. Watson
John King and Wilma Cannon Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society, Harvard University
BA 1965, Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature

Albert Bandura
David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology, Stanford University
Department of Psychology
MA 1951, PhD 1952 Department of Psychology

Terry E. Branstad
President, Branstad and Associates LC
BA 1969
Department of Political Science

S.H. Bromberger
Consultant, Intellectual Property
MS 1965, PhD 1968
Department of Geoscience

Kenneth Klabunde
University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Kansas State University
PhD 1969
Department of Chemistry

Eric Sandeen
Professor and Director of the American Studies Program, University of Wyoming
MA 1976, PhD 1977
Department of American Studies

Ellen Weissinger
Executive Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
MA 1982
Department of Leisure Studies

Lawrence Bryant
Professor of History, California State University, Chico
MA 1968, PhD 1978
Department of History

Roderick Kiewiet
Professor of Political Science, California Institute of Technology
BA 1974
Department of Political Science

Ellen Lanyon
Painter and Printmaker
MFA 1950
School of Art & Art History

Robert McGrath
Provost, State University of New York at Stony Brook
MS 1962, PhD 1965
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Beatrice Mintz
The Jack Schultz Endowed Professor, The Fox Chase Cancer Center
MS 1944, PhD 1946
Department of Biological Sciences

Kyle Zimmer
President, First Book
BA 1982
Department of English

Jane Kelleher Fernandes
Provost, Gallaudet University
MA 1980, PhD 1986
Department of Cinema & Comparative Literature

James Gibson
Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government, Washington University
MA 1973, PhD 1975
Department of Political Science

Reginald Golledge
Professor of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara
PhD 1966
Department of Geography

Robert J. Myers
Fellow, Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society
MA 1934
Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science

Marcia Radosevich
Consultant, Health Care Entrepreneurship Program at Boston University's Health Policy Institute
MA 1978, PhD 1982
Department of Sociology

D.C. Spriestersbach
Professor Emeritus, Speech Pathology and Audiology/Otolaryngology, University of Iowa
MA 1940, PhD 1948
Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology

Mildred Wirt Benson
Author and Journalist
BA 1925, MA 1927
School of Journalism & Mass Communication

Henderson Forsythe
BA 1939, MFA 1940
Department of Theatre Arts
Division of Performing Arts

Katherine Hammer
President and CEO, Evolutionary Technologies International
BA 1967, MA 1969, PhD 1973
Department of English, Department of Linguistics

James Hansen
Head of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies
BA 1963, MS 1965, PhD 1967
Department of Physics & Astronomy

Marcus Milling
Executive Director, American Geological Institute
MS 1964, PhD 1968
Department of Geoscience

Charles Dodge
Professor of Music, Dartmouth College
BA 1964
School of Music
Division of Performing Arts

Kevin Doyle
National Director of Program Development, ECO
BA 1980
Department of Geography

James Hickman
Emeritus Professor and Dean, School of Business, University of Wisconsin
MS 1952, PhD 1961
Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science

Mark Rosenthal
Curator, Menil Collection
MA 1971, PhD 1979
School of Art & Art History

Roger Thurow
Senior Writer, The Wall Street Journal
BA 1979
School of Journalism & Mass Communication and Department of Political Science

James Van Allen
Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa
MS 1936, PhD 1939
Department of Physics & Astronomy