Hall, Kirby, Rodgers honored for excellence

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Eighteen faculty and staff members were honored at the University of Iowa’s annual Faculty and Staff Awards celebration. The ceremony, held Oct. 16, was sponsored by the Office of the Provost and University Human Resources.

Three College of Liberal Arts and Sciences staff and faculty members were among the honorees. See all 18 honorees.

Dean Steve Goddard of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences expressed the college's pride in the achievements of Kathryn Hall, Martha Kirby, and Vincent Rodgers.

"We are all delighted that these three fantastic colleagues are being recognized for their excellence and impact," Goddard said. "We are proud to count them among our collegiate family, and wish them much continued success in serving our mission of education, research, and public engagement."

Kathy HallUniversity of Iowa Outstanding Staff Award

Kathryn Hall

As senior director for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ curriculum and academic policy, Hall assists the associate dean for undergraduate programs with curriculum, response to student complaints, and academic misconduct. Her work has played a significant role in shaping curriculum and educational policies. She supports curricular innovation at the undergraduate level by guiding faculty through the nuts and bolts of academic policy so they can create thoughtful course offerings. She brings empathy and attention to students who are in difficult academic situations, always putting the student’s interest and well-being first. Her dedication to matters of academic integrity benefits students, instructors, and the reputation of UI undergraduate education. She co-directs the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  (CLAS) General Education program, which under her leadership has become a tool for improving student success. Because other colleges use the CLAS Gen Ed program in whole or in part, in this role Hall influences the education of nearly every UI undergraduate student.

Martha KirbyLola Lopes Award for Undergraduate Student Advocacy

Martha C. Kirby

As the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ senior academic advisor, Kirby provides extraordinary support to more than 600 undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree from the Department of Political Science, either on campus or online. She also is a leader in pre-law advising for students in a variety of majors, is the staff advisor for the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, and has guided many students through the challenging law school application process. A board member of the Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors, she chaired a university-wide committee that created the UI Law Expo, which brought nearly 100 law schools from across the country to Iowa to share information. Her positive influence extends to many additional undergraduate students through her service as a member of the First Generation Campus Steering Committee, a leader of the Des Moines Internship Program, and a generous mentor to her advising colleagues.

Vincent RodgersPresident and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence

Vincent Rodgers

Rodgers, a professor of physics and astronomy, leads a research team of five PhD students and six undergraduates who work on discoveries in quantum gravity and string theory. His love of teaching and scientific research compelled him to share it with a diverse group of people beyond his department and even the academy. From 2005 to 2018, he co-directed the Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA), which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, and he co-directs the National Science Foundation-sponsored LSAMP-IINSPIRE. Both programs have supported undergraduate and graduate research in seven UI colleges. Rodgers co-founded and volunteers for the Student Summer Theoretical Physics Research Session, which informally trains graduate, undergraduate, and high school students in theoretical physics research. He is active in the departmental K–12 outreach effort Hawk Eyes on Science, and since 1989 has traveled to Iowa schools and other venues for outreach. From 1994 to 2015, he was a tutor for the Multi-Ethnic Engineering and Scientific Activities tutoring program that serves Iowa City schools, and, in 2005, he founded Café Scientifique, a platform for the public to discuss science and technology with professional scientists.

By: Office of Strategic Communication

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.