CLAS staff members receive Mary Louise Kelly Staff Excellence Awards

Thursday, March 5, 2015

CLAS staff members who won awardThe College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) has recognized eight staff members with the 2015 Mary Louise Kelly Staff Excellence Award.

The award, the College's most prestigious recognition of staff members, is given to nominated employees who demonstrate exceptional service to their department or to the College; who have proposed ideas that improved the work of the department or the College; and whose contributions extend beyond those normally expected or required by their job description.

CLAS Dean Chaden Djalali expressed his respect and gratitude for the winners' service.

"The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is a busy and complex organization, and without the highest-caliber staff, we would never be able to perform our mission of education, research, and engagement as expertly and innovatively as we do," Djalali said. "These eight staff members stand out for their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, and I’m delighted to have this opportunity to recognize and celebrate them with the Mary Louise Kelley Staff Excellence Award."

The winners of the 2015 Mary Louise Kelly Staff Excellence Award are:

  • Denise Barnard, Senior Academic Advisor for the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology, and the School of Social Work
  • Kate Kemp, Program Administrator for the School of Social Work
  • Doug Menietti, Research Scientist in the Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Melia Pieper, Administrative Services Specialist for the Department of Sociology
  • Isaac Podolefsky, Project Manager for CLAS Technology Services
  • Sharon Robertson, Clerk IV (graduate program support) in the Department of Chemistry
  • Marcia Rogers, Research Support Coordinator for the Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Rebecca Tritten, Performing Arts Events Manager in the Division of Performing Arts

The winners were presented with their awards at a reception in Schaeffer Hall on Tuesday, March 10.

The awards are named for Mary Louise Kelly, who earned a B.A. degree in speech from CLAS in 1930, and went on to work for the University. She retired in the 1940s as an administrative assistant to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, as CLAS was then known. When she died in 1997, she left an estate gift that funds the Mary Louise Kelly Staff Excellence Awards and the Mary Louise Kelly Professional Development Awards, which help staff members pursue professional-development opportunities.


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.