Departmental Scholarships

Joan and Oscar Lara Memorial Award  The Joan and Oscar Lara Memorial Award at the University of Iowa was established by family and friends in memory of Joan and Oscar Lara. Its purpose is to support outstanding and promising students as they travel to present their research, conduct research, or participate in courses at regional, national, or international venues.

Joan was born in Canada, but grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an undergraduate degree in Spanish and a minor in French. She felt “at home” in places like Bolivia and Greece because of her deep empathy for others and their positive response to her. At the University of Iowa, Joan worked in the President’s office. There and elsewhere on campus and in the Iowa City community, she was active in meeting and supporting others, especially international students and scholars. On numerous occasions, Joan and her family hosted gatherings in their home at which they warmly welcomed guests from a wide variety of cultures. Joan was loving and warm—a good friend who listened thoughtfully and cared deeply for others. She was loved for her openness and sense of humor and she was respected for the strong principles and sense of justice she demonstrated in her relationship with others.


  • Matt Bekker
  • Grace Chen
  • Amy Ruggles
  • Jane Moeckli
  • Randel Harrison
  • Consuelo Guayara
  • Chetan Tiwari
  • Yu Zeng
  • Susana Cortina de Cardenas
  • Luke Juran
  • Tessa Quintero
  • Joseph Wyckoff
  • Cody Hodson
  • Andrew Hirst
  • Sarah Nagengast
  • Mia Arndt
  • Charles Mowery
  • Jeremy Williams
  • Elizabeth Darnall
  • Laura Neuzil

Chad E. Smith Scholarship Fund — This fund was established by Seneca Environmental Services, Inc. and Chad Smith’s family and friends in memory of Chad E. Smith. Chad E. Smith received his B.A. degree in Political science and Sociology in 1992 and a B.S. degree in Geography in 1993. He was killed in a car accident in August 1994. He had been employed by Seneca Environmental Services, Inc. in Des Moines.


  • Brandon Boyle
  • Linda Corell
  • Kate Ramsden
  • Teresa Welsh
  • Melissa Gutierrez
  • Rebecca Hulse
  • Emily Wolfe
  • Kyle Sieck
  • Colleen Chen
  • Julia Reynolds
  • Emily Pettit
  • Miranda Haes
  • Nathan Leaven
  • Taylor Van Naarden
  • Claire Miller
  • Galena Staroselsky