CLAS Research Excellence Highlighted by Discovery and Innovation Awards

Craig Kletzing named UI Scholar of the Year; Michelle Voss named Early Career Scholar of the Year
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

grid with 6 disciplinary iconsHypothesis: At every level and across the disciplines, researchers and artists in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences excel.

Hypothesis confirmed: The University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research has recognized 12 CLAS researchers—from undergraduates through full professors—with Discovery and Innovation Awards highlighting the excellence and impact of their scholarship.

CLAS Dean Steve Goddard said the recognition for the college's faculty is well deserved.

"Our faculty members are national and international leaders in their disciplines," Goddard said. "They make breakthroughs that shape our understanding of the world, whether it's in the arts, humanities, natural and social sciences, or in interdisciplinary collaborations. And they teach and mentor our students, who will carry on the discovery of knowledge for future generations. I'm proud to work alongside such extraordinary scholars and artists, and I congratulate all of this year's Discovery and Innovation Award winners."

Learn more: 2019-20 OVPR Discovery and Innovation Awards

Here are the CLAS recipients of the 2019-20 Discovery and Innovation Awards:

Scholar of the Year

Craig Kletzing, Professor and Donald A. and Marie B. Gurnett Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Early Career Scholar of the Year     

Michelle Voss, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research

Kate Magsamen-Conrad, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies

Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Humanities Research      

Steven Ungar, Professor, Department of Cinematic Arts

Faculty Communicating Ideas Award          

Sarah Bond, Associate Professor, Department of History

Distinguished Mentor Award

Elizabeth Stone, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Innovation in Laboratory Safety Award      

Edward Gillan, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow Excellence Award

James Dooley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award

  • Benjamin Kirk, B.S., Biomedical Sciences
  • Jade Miller, B.S., Biochemistry
  • Olivia Westemeier, B.S., Psychology, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Graduate Research Excellence Award

Subin Paul, Graduate Teaching Assistant, School of Journalism and Mass Communication


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.