Alumni Awards

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CLAS Alumni Fellow, 2013

Howard J. Kerr, Department of General Science BA 1960
The Alumni Fellows program 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.  Each year, up to six CLAS alumni are honored as Alumni Fellows and are invited to campus for a two-day visit.  Each Fellow has the opportunity to visit his or her home department to speak to classes, meet socially with small groups of faculty and students, and to make a public presentation based on his or her experiences since leaving the University. 

Howard J. Kerr is the  CLAS Alumni Fellow award recipient for 2013.  He earned his BA in general science from The University of Iowa in 1960 and MA and MALD degrees from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University, in 1967 and 1968.  He is a member of Rotary International and chairs the committee that raises over $40,000 annually to support college scholarships for local high school students. Kerr has served on many not-for-profit boards and was a member of the Executive Services Corporation in Chicago where he provided pro bono consulting services to not-for-profit organizations and municipal governments.  He has written extensively for publication in local newspapers and magazines and is currently serving on the following boards: Marrow Foundation, Van Kampen Investments, and Lake Forest Bank & Trust.  Congratulations, Mr. Kerr on  your achievements.

Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, Alumni, 2012

Joseph “Joe” N. Crowley, Department of Political Science BA 1959
The Hancher-Finkbine Medallions are given to recognize leadership, learning, and loyalty.  The tradition of awarding Hancher-Finkbine Medallions was established in 1964 and are named for the founder of the Finkbine Dinner, William O. Finkbine, and for Virgil M. Hancher, a student guest at the first dinner who served for 24 years as president of the University, and who, to an unusual degree, exemplified the three characteristics for which the awards are given. Seven medallions are awarded annually, to four outstanding students, one professor, one staff member and a graduate who has attained special distinction.

CLAS Alumni Fellow, 2011

David Bonior, Department of Political Science BA 1967
Former U.S. Congressman David Bonior is board chairman of American Rights at Work, an advocacy organization that supports workers’ rights to join labor unions. It’s a familiar role for Bonior, who, for 26 years as a U.S. Representative, advocated for social and economic justice, earning a reputation as a strong voice for working families and as a leader on fair trade, jobs, environmental issues, and human and civil rights. Born in Detroit, Bonior attended The University of Iowa from 1963 to 1967, where he played football and earned a BA in political science. He received an MA from Chapman College and, from 1968 to 1972, served in the U.S. Air Force. Elected to the Michigan state legislature in 1972 and to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, he served as Democratic Whip—both majority and minority—for more than 10 years. After retiring from Congress, Bonior managed John Edwards’s national presidential campaign and was later appointed to President-Elect Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board, for which he brokered a re-unification of the U.S. labor movement. In 2010, Council for a Livable World selected Bonior as the chair of its PeacePAC arm, which campaigns for nuclear arms control and progressive national security policies. Bonior is currently a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science, where he also serves on the Departmental Board, coordinating fundraising efforts and advocating for faculty research opportunities. He is the author of The Vietnam Veteran: A History of Neglect and Walking to Mackinac, an account of a 325-mile backpacking journey that he and his wife, Judy, took from Detroit to Mackinaw City, Michigan.

Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement, University of Iowa Foundation, 2006-2007

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. (MA 1978, PhD 1983 political science) has been recognized with the University of Iowa Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement. A leading scholar on race in America, Gilliam is one of those rare political scientists whose sense of community responsibility has driven his academic career. His research has focused on Black political participation, evolving into an investigation of how the media portray minorities. Gilliam is associate vice chancellor for community partnerships, professor of political science, associate director of the Center for the Study of American Politics and Policy, and founding director of the Center for Communications and Community at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Distinguished Doctoral Alumni Award, Department of Political Science, 2006-2007

James Kuklinski, Department of Political Science PhD 1975, Matthew T. McClure Professor of Political Science at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

James Kuklinski works in the field of political psychology, focusing on citizen competence and the measurement of racial attitudes. Kuklinski is coeditor of the Cambridge University Press series in Political Psychology and Public Opinion. He has served on the editorial boards of the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, American Politics Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Political Behavior.

Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement, University of Iowa Foundation, 2005-2006

Shanto Iyengar, Department of Political Science MA 1971, PhD 1972

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement is given for significant accomplishments in business or professional life or for distinguished human service. Shanto Iyengar, Chandler Chair in Communication and director of the Political Communication Lab at Stanford University, is one of the world's leading scholars on the relationship between media and politics. He researches the nature of contemporary national and world politics. Iyengar earned his master's degree in 1971 and doctoral degree in 1972 from the UI.

Distinguished Alumni Award for Service, University of Iowa Foundation, 2005-2006

Greg Ganske, Department of Political Science MA 1972

The Distinguished Alumni Service Awards are to honor graduates who have provided commendable service to their nation, their communities and their UI family. Greg Ganske has served the State of Iowa as a noted reconstructive surgeon and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1995 to 2003, he addressed issues such as health care reform, the cost of higher education and bioterrorism while representing Iowa's Fourth District. Ganske earned his bachelor's degree in 1972 and medical degree in 1976 from the UI.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Fellows

2005: Shanto Iyengar
Department of Political Science MA 1971, PhD 1972

Shanto Iyengar is the Harry and Norman Chandler Chair in Communication and professor of political science at Stanford University. Arguably the world’s leading scholar on the relationship between the media and politics, he has won the American Political Science Association’s Murray Edelman Lifetime Career Award, as well as a host of other professional honors. He has published articles in all the major political science journals as well as in top tier journals in communication and psychology. He has authored or edited six books, including Going Negative: How Political Advertisements Shrink and Polarize the Electorate, which won Harvard’s Goldsmith Book Prize and has played a significant role in public debate. His work has found a wide audience by combining high standards of scholarship with pressing questions about the nature of contemporary politics.

2003: Terry Branstad
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, ’69 BA in political science, returned to campus on September 11 as one of the six College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Fellows, an award the college bestows on its most accomplished graduates. Terry Branstad gave a talk titled, "The Leadership Role of the Governor of Iowa in the Legislative Process," during his visit to campus. Branstad, of Des Moines, was named president and CEO of Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center in August. He also serves as president of Branstad and Associates LC in West Des Moines. After earning a law degree at Drake University in Des Moines, he served as a member of the Iowa House of Representatives and as lieutenant governor before being elected to four consecutive terms as governor (1983-99). He served as chair of the National Governors Association (1989), the Republican Governors Association (1997) and the Education Commission of the States (1998). He has just completed a two-year term as chair of President Bush's Commission on Excellence in Special Education. The Alumni Fellows program began in 1999 with funds from the endowed Dean's Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, which was created through a gift from the UI Alumni Association.

2002: D. Roderick Kiewiet
Kiewiet is Professor of Political Science at California Institute of Technology. Kiewiet, an Iowa native, earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Iowa in 1974. He went directly into doctoral studies in the same field at Yale, completing his PhD in 1980. The year before, he had joined the Cal Tech faculty, of which he now has been a member for 22 years. Within political science circles, his research publications are read by every serious scholar in American Politics and by a growing number in Comparative Politics. His first book, which dealt with the effects of economics on elections, became the crucial point of departure for many who have gone on to do their own research in that area. And that has been something of a pattern: wherever Kiewiet’s wide-ranging intellectual interests take him, the resulting research publications seem to become launching pads for work by others. Throughout his distinguished career in our discipline, Kiewiet has been a friend to the UI and our department. To visit Kiewiet's web site, go to

2001: James L. Gibson
Gibson is the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government at Washington University in St. Louis. Since his graduate research some twenty years ago, Gibson's scholarly efforts have cut to the heart of critical questions about the process of justice and political behavior in nations around the world. Gibson earned his master's degree in 1973 and his PhD in 1975 in political science. His dissertation research on judicial decision making in criminal courts set the stage for one career focus. Others have included the investigation of racial intolerance, shifting public support of the courts, and the role of local party organizations in American politics. Gibson joined the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1975 and the University of Houston in 1986. During his 13-year tenure at Houston, Gibson earned two distinguished professorships. He has been at Washington University since 1999. In collaboration with several Iowa faculty members, Gibson pioneered public-opinion research in Eastern Europe. In addition to an array of scholarly monographs, articles, and book chapters, Gibson also has created seven datasets that are archived and available to other scholars. Gibson has maintained his ties to the university community by seeking out faculty members and students to encourage their work. He also returns to campus whenever possible to attend conferences. To visit Gibson's web site, go to

Distinguished Doctoral Alumni Award, Department of Political Science, 2000-2001

David W. Brady, MA 1967, PhD 1970, Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professor of Political Science and Leadership Values, Stanford University

Brady is an expert on the U.S. Congress and congressional decision making. His current research focuses on the political history of the U.S. Congress, the history of U.S. election results, and public policy processes in general. His recent publications include Revolving Gridlock: Politics and Policy from Carter to Clinton (Westview Press, 1999), How the Republicans Captured the House: An Assessment of the 1994 Midterm Elections (with John Cogan and Doug Rivers; Hoover Essays in Public Policy, 1995), and The 1996 House Elections: Reaffirming the Conservative Trend (Hoover Essays in Public Policy, 1997). Brady is a former vice president of the American Political Science Association. In 1995 and 2000, he received the Congressional Quarterly Prize for the “best paper on a legislative topic.” In 1992 he received the Dinkelspiel Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from Stanford University. He also received the Richard F. Fenno Award of the American Political Science Association for the “best book on legislative studies” published in 1988–89. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Distinguished Doctoral Alumni Award, Department of Political Science, 1999-2000

Frank Gilliam Jr., MA 1978, PhD 1983, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Communications and Community, UCLA

Gilliam studies racial and ethnic politics, the mass media, and electoral behavior. He is the founding director of the Center for Communications and Community at UCLA and supervises its research about the influence of television news coverage and campaign advertising on people's understanding of race, crime, and politics. Professor Gilliam has published widely on minority politics, including articles in American Political Science and the American Journal of Political Science, his 2001 book Farther to Go: Readings and Cases in African American Politics (Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace), and a forthcoming book with Shanto Iyengar on race, television news, and American politics (Princeton University Press). He has taught recently with former Vice President Al Gore at Columbia University, Fisk University, and Middle Tennessee State University. Professor Gilliam has served as the Research Director for the California Commission on the Status of African American Males and has consulted on a wide range of projects for groups like the Aspen Institute, the National Funding Collaborative for Violence Prevention, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Youth Law Center, the MacArthur Foundation, Children Now, Council on Foundations, National Governor's Association, and the Charles S. Benton Foundation. He makes frequent television and radio appearances.

Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Iowa Foundation

Marjorie "Mo" Mowlam, MA 1974, PhD 1977
September 18, 1949 - August 19, 2005

After receiving her doctorate, Marjorie Mowlam returned to her native England and became active in politics. She won election as a Labor Party Member of Parliament in 1983. From 1992 through 1997, she belonged to the party's "shadow cabinet" of top leaders, then became Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when Labor leader Tony Blair became Prime Minister. She is credited with playing a crucial role in the May 1998 Good Friday peace accord. A profile of Mowlam published in the Iowa Alumni Quarterly in Spring 1999 can be found at

Frank Goodnow Award, American Political Science Association, 1998

Jewell Limar Prestage, PhD 1954, Professor of Political Science, Prairie View A&M University

Prestage was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in Political Science—only the first of her many distinctions. The Goodnow Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to both the development of the political science profession and the building of the American Political Science Association (APSA). Prestage's other honors include the Manning Dauer distinguished service award from the Southern Political Science Association, honorary degrees from Spelman College and Loyola University of Chicago, and a University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award. Recently, the APSA established the Fenno-Prestage Endowment for Minority Opportunities in recognition of Prestage's instrumental role in promoting minorities in the profession. In 2001, the Southwest Political Science Association established the Jewel L. Prestage prize for the best paper presented at its annual conference on Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Political Behavior.