Congratulations to our E.P. Adler Awardees!

May 10, 2022 - 12:00am to 11:45pm

The Department of Religious Studies has held the Annual E.P. Adler Awards Luncheon in the spring semester for over 50 years, usually an in-person event where we could all come together to celebrate our students and faculty.  This year was the second year that we felt it was best to meet by Zoom, but next year we're hoping to bring everyone together at the IMU again!

The E.P. Adler Awards Luncheon is held to honor the memory of E.P. Adler, one of the department's founders. This event was established and endowed through the generosity of the late Philip and Henrietta Adler, with ongoing support provided by the family of Lloyd and Betty Schermer. 

We wish to thank Lloyd and Betty Schermer and all of our generous donors who give to the Department of Religious Studies. The department is honored to use some of these funds to award our bright and gifted students as shown below.

*You may view the video of the 2022 celebration on our YouTube channel

Congratulations to each one of our awardees, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors! 

2022 Awardees

E.P. Adler Award Established by Betty and Lloyd Schermer to honor Betty’s grandfather, E.P. Adler, one of the department’s founders, and awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student in the Department of Religious Studies.
RuizAwardee:  Carlos Ruiz Martinez
Carlos was nominated by Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren who says that he has been on fire in the American Catholic Studies circuit since he arrived at The University of Iowa two years ago. He has done an excellent job networking and has given several invited lectures this past year, including talks at Stanford, Amherst, and just this past week the University of New Mexico, at a "Building Catholic Studies" event. Carlos was the Communications Assistant for the American Catholic Historical this past year. Currently, he is preparing to take his comprehensive doctoral exams in the fall 2022 and was just named the Executive Director of the St. Louis-based Catholic Charities organization, Trabajador Social Clinico. Congratulations, Carlos on doing Catholic Studies in multiple venues and for your leadership in social justice and academia alike!


E.P. Adler Award Established by Betty and Lloyd Schermer to honor Betty’s grandfather, E.P. Adler, one of the department’s founders, and awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student in the Department of Religious Studies.
HostetlerAwardee: Kendall Hostetler
Kendall was nominated by Dr. Diana Cates. She is an outstanding, senior RS major who stands out for her insatiable curiosity, her good will and collaborative spirit with fellow students, her intellectual excellence, and her ability to integrate her academic endeavors with the pursuit of a meaningful life and a promising future in service to vulnerable people.


Alice Marguerite Blough Award:  Established in 1994 with a gift from the Estate of Alice Marguerite Blough in memory of her parents, Rev. Albert P. Blough and Estelle M. Blough, and awarded for the best graduate student research paper.
MillerAwardee: Peter Miller
Peter’s dissertation director Dr. Paul Dilley nominated him in recognition of his article, "Paper adoption and manuscript repair in Syriac cultural contexts," which will be published int the 2016-2018 Mellon-Sawyer seminar volume.  It is at the intersection of book history, material culture, and group identity in its pioneering treatment of the adoption of paper, instead of parchment, by Syriac Christians in the Late Ancient and Medieval Eastern Mediterranean. Through comparison to the Arabic and Byzantine models of paper adoption, Miller argues that attention to linguistic and religious minority communities demonstrates a vital nuance lost in sole attention to the dominant language of a region. The article builds on data which he will make available online through a geospatial visualization user interface.


John P. Boyle Award in Catholic Studies:  Established in 1998 in honor of John P. Boyle who served as a professor in the Religious Studies Department from 1972-98, and director from 1979-89. This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in religious studies, based on academic excellence and outstanding work in some area of Catholic Studies.
GregorAwardee: Tucker Gregor
Tucker was nominated by Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren who reports that he has hit the ground running since he arrived last summer. He has thrived in his coursework and has so impressed the Rhetoric Department, where he has a two-year TA-ship, that he has been named a Department of Rhetoric Professional Development Program co-leader for this summer and the upcoming academic year. This is a big honor as it recognizes Tucker's teaching excellence. Tucker serves as the book series Where Religion Lives website coordinator and editor and has done a great job keeping the site fresh. Tucker’s research interests focus especially on the way in which religious ideas, rituals, and representations shape young people’s attitudes and experiences of gender and sexuality in the U.S. 


Pres. and Mrs. Eugene Gilmore Scholarship:  Established in 1985 to support the study of culture, humanistic values and the quest for new symbols in contemporary culture. This award was named for Eugene Gilmore, past president of the University of Iowa and supporter of the department. This award is given to a doctoral student in religious studies who has an interest in the relationship of religion and culture, especially the visual arts.
ScardinaAwardee: Andrea Scardina
Andrea was nominated by her dissertation director, Dr. Paul Dilley, who says that her research brings together visual culture, text analysis, and digital humanities in innovative and exciting ways. Dr. Dilley point to Andrea’s article, "Visual Culture as Evidence for Early Christian Book Preferences: A Study of Ambiguous Manuscripts on Christian Sarcophagi." The article approaches the longstanding problem of explaining the transition from the scroll to the codex in the ancient Mediterranean world by engaging a relevant piece of evidence that has been ignored in the scholarly conversation, namely, early Christian images of books, especially on sarcophagi. Andrea finds that Christians in fact still favored scrolls in this context, and carefully assesses the significance of this finding for the broader narrative surrounding the triumph of the codex.


Alice Lampe Heidel and John B. Heidel Memorial Award:  Established in memory of M. Willard Lampe, the founding director of the department and Mrs. Heidel's father; honors a graduate teaching assistant whose commitment to undergraduate teaching is evidenced by the outstanding performance of assigned teaching duties, and exceptional interest in and service to undergraduate students.
SheridanAwardee:  John Sheridan
John was nominated by Dr. Raymond Mentzer who says that John is clearly among the best Graduate Teaching Assistants with whom he has worked in his twenty-one years at the University of Iowa. John’s expertise in working with undergraduate students in the development of their writing skills is especially noteworthy. He composed challenging and perceptive prompts for the essay assignments – and then helped the students to develop their responses as they interacted with one another in weekly discussion sections. Dr. Mentzer says, Thank you!


Karl Hoffman Award:  This award goes to an outstanding junior religious studies major who exhibits academic excellence, strength of character, and a broad and conscientious concern for ultimate and spiritual questions. 
MonkAwardee:  Rio Monk
Rio was nominated by Jacob Havel. She is open-minded and dynamic student. She is also studying psychology and regularly synthesizes psychological and religious studies viewpoints to make original contributions in class.  Her scholarship is driven by the "big questions" of life that define work in religious studies and the humanities.


M. Willard Lampe Scholarship Fund:  Established in 2016 to honor the first Director of the School of Religion, this scholarship will fund a graduate student whose scholarship is likely to engage the public in ways that recognize and acknowledge diverse religious beliefs and foster religious tolerance.  
Oba EduviereAwardee:  Osamamen Oba Eduviere
Osamamen was nominated by Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren, who says that she has done excellent, proactive work networking across campus units and disciplines since she arrived last summer. She has taken courses in GWSS, History, and Religious Studies, and is building a core committee of Africanists, ethnographers, and historians, here and outside the University of Iowa. Dr. Kristy notes that Osamamen had her first OpEd published on the topic of Boko Haram, which appeared in the Guardian, and that Osamamen manages the twitter account of the University of North Carolina Press book series Where Religion Lives, proving updates on books that are under contract, in press, and published. Osamamen is building toward her eventual dissertation project on Nigerian women, gender, and religion.


 Barbara W. and Rex Montgomery Award:  Prof. Rex Montgomery was a long-time supporter of the Department and past President of the Advisory Board This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in Religious Studies based on academic merit.  
Lindgren-HansenAwardee:  Kaitlyn Lindgren-Hansen
Dr. Diana Cates nominated Kaitlyn who is an excellent scholar and teacher who is now hard at work on her dissertation, which has the intriguing title, “A Medium’s Media.” The topic is 19th century spiritualism in the U.S., a movement in which mediums communicated with and channeled the spirits of dead people through various media, such as seances. Kaity is especially interested in how some spirit mediums represented their knowledge of the spirit world through the medium of creative writing. Kaity’s work cuts brilliantly across multiple disciplines, including religious studies, ethics, literary studies, and communication studies. She was awarded a summer internship for the Humanities for the Public Good, a project sponsored by the University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.


Barbara W. and Rex Montgomery Award:  Prof. Rex Montgomery was a long-time supporter of the Department and past President of the Advisory Board This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in Religious Studies based on academic merit.
BryantAwardee:  Eleanor Bryant
Eleanor was nominated by Dr. Ahmed Souaiaia who says she has been an excellent student in Dr. Souaiaia's courses. Eleanor first grew interested in Middle Eastern culture in high school by having a friend whose family was from the middle east, she got to spend time with their family, learning from them and getting involved in some of their activities. She was excited to learn more about Middle eastern culture here at the UI, and has been a very engaged student several courses in Middle Eastern studies. 


Barbara W. and Rex Montgomery Award:  Prof. Rex Montgomery was a long-time supporter of the Department and past President of the Advisory Board This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in Religious Studies based on academic merit.
RoeAwardee:  Cinnamon Roe
Cinnamon was nominated by Dr. Raymond Mentzer who states Cinnamon displays all the qualities envisioned by Rex Montgomery when he established the Barbara W. and Rex Montgomery Award for academic excellence. She is double majoring in Religious Studies and Political Science with a specialty in International Relations. She is minoring in Art and, not surprisingly, an active participant in University Honors. In all of this, she has maintained an enviable record of academic success.


Rev. Louis P. Penningroth Scholarship Award:  Established by Rev. Penningroth's wife to honor her husband, this award goes to a graduate student who demonstrates a concern for fellow students through her or his teaching practices and skills as a mentor.  
LamakAwardee:  Kefas Lamak
Kefas was nominated by Dr. Raymond Mentzer who says of Kefas, “ I can think of no one more deserving of the Rev, Louis P. Penningroth Scholarship Award. Kefas’s skills as a mentor to undergraduate students and concern for their success are unparalleled. Dr. Menzer says In working with Kefas this spring in “Modern Religion and Culture” I have been deeply impressed by the care he has taken in preparing student for each of the three examinations. Equally remarkable is the manner by which, in each and every one of the weekly discussion sections, he provides a series of precise and thought-provoking questions focused on the reading assignment. The students have benefited enormously, and I am exceedingly grateful.”


Sonia Sands Scholarship Award:  This scholarship was established in 1982 from donations to honor Sonia Sands, housemother of the Phi Epsilon Pi Fraternity for over 20 years. The award recognizes talented students in the area of Jewish Studies. 

BelardoAwardee: Mattison Belardo
Mattison was nominated by Dr. Jay Holstein. She is a junior at Iowa majoring in Business Analytics and Information Systems. Her favorite courses have in common that they all push her to think outside the box and look at problems from many different angles. She is a third generation hawkeye and has been admitted into the Master’s Program of Business Analytics here at Iowa. She will graduate from the Masters program in the spring of 2024. 


Sonia Sands Scholarship Award:  This scholarship was established in 1982 from donations to honor Sonia Sands, housemother of the Phi Epsilon Pi Fraternity for over 20 years. The award recognizes talented students in the area of Jewish Studies. 

Cummings Awardee: James Cummings
James was nominated by Dr. Jay Holstein who says James has been a very enthusiastic participant in several of Jay Holstein’s courses. James heard much praise of Prof. Holstein from alumni who had taken courses with Jay, even before coming to the UI. Eventually he had the opportunity to enroll in some of Professor Holstein’s courses where he has been a very thoughtful and reflective student.


Sonia Sands Scholarship Award:  This scholarship was established in 1982 from donations to honor Sonia Sands, housemother of the Phi Epsilon Pi Fraternity for over 20 years. The award recognizes talented students in the area of Jewish Studies. 

Perkins Awardee: Emma Perkins
Emma was nominated by Dr. Jay Holstein. She is a criminology major with a religious studies minor on the pre-med track. Emma has maintained a high GPA and made the Dean's List two out of three semesters at The University of Iowa. And I might add, she asks some of the best questions of any student I have ever had.  


Charles Schoen Interfaith Scholarship Award: This scholarship honors the late Charles Schoen, who served on the department’s Advisory Board for eleven years. The award is given to an undergraduate religious studies major, based on the student's academic record.
FrostAwardee: Sam Frost
Dr. Diana Cates nominated Sam who is a Religion major (and also a major in Classical Languages) with a very high GPA. Sam was in my course, Living Religions of the East, last semester and stood out as a highly engaged student who made great contributions to the discussion, and who always came to class extremely well prepared. Other professors in the department have had similar experiences with Sam.


Robert and Mary Ann Small Stenger Religious Studies Scholarship: This scholarship was established in 2014 by a department alumna to provide support to a graduate student in Religious Studies.
DegerliAwardee:  Hasan Degerli
Hasan was nomianted by Dr. Diana Cates who says, "While Hasan’s research focuses on Early Christianity, under the directorship of Dr. Dilley, I requested that Hasan serve as the Teaching Assistant for my online course on ethics at the beginning of life. I knew his dedication to teaching excellence because I worked with him in our required graduate seminar on teaching and public engagement. Hasan did such a fabulous job, that I requested him again as my T.A. this semester for my end-of-life course. Hasan can now tell you all about religion’s roles in shaping people’s ideas, perceptions, emotions, and decisions concerning matters of life and death. As a teacher, Hasan is exceptionally conscientious and caring. While holding students to high standards, he effectively communicates to them just how important they and their education are."


2021 Awardees

*You may view the video of the 2021 celebration on our YouTube channel

E.P. Adler Award Established by Betty and Lloyd Schermer to honor Betty’s grandfather, E.P. Adler, one of the department’s founders, and awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student in the Department of Religious Studies.
Leao, NaiaraAwardee:  Naiara Inacio Leão
 Naiara was nominated by her PhD Director, Dr. Paul Dilley, who wishes to recognize her innovative work on women and gender in Early Christianity—especially her scholarship on the role that male authors played in mediating women’s culture in the 1st century Mediterranean world.


E.P. Adler Award Established by Betty and Lloyd Schermer to honor Betty’s grandfather, E.P. Adler, one of the department’s founders, and awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student in the Department of Religious Studies.

Uhlman, SydneyAwardee: Sydney Uhlman
Sydney is a double major in History and Religious Studies, and minors in French, Philosophy, and Social Justice, with an Unclassified Human Rights Certificate.  She was nominated by Ahmed Souaiaia who writes, “After taking several courses in religious studies, Sydney Uhlman has developed a strong curiosity about the role of religion in economic life. Sydney is thinking of applying to a graduate program that will enable her to learn more and research these topics.”


Alice Marguerite Blough Award:  Established in 1994 with a gift from the Estate of Alice Marguerite Blough in memory of her parents, Rev. Albert P. Blough and Estelle M. Blough, and awarded for the best graduate student research paper.
MetcalfeAwardee: Darcy Metcalfe
Dr. Diana Cates nominated Darcy in recognition of her outstanding dissertation on the “Ethics of The Inheritable Genetic Modification pf Human Embryos”, which was written under Dr. Cates' direction and defended this spring.  Darcy was also independently nominated by Dr. Ray Mentzer, who is grateful for the way in which Darcy quietly and conscientiously mentored him as he grappled with the challenges of COVID-required online teaching.  Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren also nominated Darcy, who characterizes Darcy as a scholar-activist of the highest order.


John P. Boyle Award in Catholic Studies:  Established in 1998 in honor of John P. Boyle who served as a professor in the Religious Studies Department from 1972-98, and director from 1979-89. This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in religious studies, based on academic excellence and outstanding work in some area of Catholic Studies.
MartinezAwardee: Carlos Ruiz Martinez
Carlos was nominated by his PhD Director, Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren, in recognition of his innovative and rigorous pedagogy, as well as his celebrated traditional and public scholarship on Latinx religious studies and Catholic Studies. Carlos is unable to be with us today because he is about to present some of his research at Stanford. 


Catholic Studies Scholarship:  This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student who has expressed an interest in the general area of Catholic Studies regardless of religious background.
Martinez
Awardee: Luz Martinez
Luz is majoring in Religious Studies and Spanish and is also seeking a Pre-Medicine degree.  She was nominated by Kristy Nabhan-Warren who writes, “Luz was an absolute delight to have in class last fall 2020. Luz has great interest in Catholic studies, and she is a FirstGen Latinx student who made important, substantive contributions to our class discussions all semester long.  Luz is an ambassador of DEI, interfaith dialogue, and respectful conversations about religion, and she is very deserving of this award.”


President and Mrs. Eugene Gilmore Scholarship:  Established in 1985 to support the study of culture, humanistic values and the quest for new symbols in contemporary culture. This award was named for Eugene Gilmore, past president of the University of Iowa and supporter of the department. This award is given to a doctoral student in religious studies who has an interest in the relationship of religion and culture, especially the visual arts.
ScardinaAwardee: Andrea Scardina
Andrea was nominated by her Dissertation Director, Dr. Paul Dilley, in recognition of the ways in which she has used artistic depictions in sculpture and paintings to advance the current scholarly debate about the early Christian preference for the codex as opposed to the scroll.


Helen Goldstein Undergraduate Research Paper/Project Award:  Established in 2012 to honor Dr. Helen Goldstein, who specialized in medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy, and awarded to the best undergraduate student research paper or project.
TapkenAwardee:  Grant Tapken
Grant Tapken is a double major in Religious Studies and Ancient Civilization who will be attending Concordia Seminary in the fall. He was also recently selected as one of the student leaders to first meet our newly selected university president.  Grant was nominated by Jordan Smith who writes: “Grant has worked with me on his thesis since the beginning of the fall semester and has written a very strong Reception History analysis of 1 Samuel 28 (The Witch/Medium of Endor) that explains how ideological and cultural changes led to a frequent need to reinterpret this passage.”


Alice Lampe Heidel and John B. Heidel Memorial Award:  Established in memory of M. Willard Lampe, the founding director of the department and Mrs. Heidel's father; honors a graduate teaching assistant whose commitment to undergraduate teaching is evidenced by the outstanding performance of assigned teaching duties, and exceptional interest in and service to undergraduate students.
MacDougallAwardee:  Michael MacDougall
Michael was nominated by Dr. Robert Cargill and Dr. Diana Cates for his highly effective work as a TA in their online courses. Michael’s pedagogy reflects a mature understanding of teaching and learning as an unfolding relationship based on mutual respect, openness, and curiosity.  


Karl Hoffman Award:  This award goes to an outstanding junior religious studies major who exhibits academic excellence, strength of character, and a broad and conscientious concern for ultimate and spiritual questions. 
Awardee:  Catherine Freeman
Cate Freeman is a double major in History and Religious Studies, who started out the fall semester working toward a religion minor. Her interest is in the intersection of religion and politics during the “Troubles” between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, and she plans to finish her studies this fall in Scotland.  Jordan Smith says, “I have really enjoyed getting to know Cate this semester because of her interest in history and religion. While she will be missed in the fall, we are proud to support her efforts to study abroad and are confident she will make the most of this experience.”


Islamic Studies Award: This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student who has done outstanding work in some area of Islamic Studies and exhibits academic excellence.
PhilipsAwardee: Lauren Philips
Lauren is a member of the Honors Program, with majors in International Studies, French, and International Business, and is also a Pre-Law student. Prof. Ahmed Souaiaia nominated Lauren, "...for the connections between these fields as in the Middle East, public policy, and the fact that Lauren plans to pursue a graduate degree that sharpens those interests.”


M. Willard Lampe Scholarship Fund:  Established in 2016 to honor the first Director of the School of Religion, this scholarship will fund a graduate student whose scholarship is likely to engage the public in ways that recognize and acknowledge diverse religious beliefs and foster religious tolerance.  
LindgrenAwardee:  Kaitlyn Lindgren-Hansen
Kaitlyn was nominated by Dr. Diana Cates in recognition of her creative and probing work at the intersection of 19th century literature, a U.S. religious movement known as Spiritualism, and the study of religious ethics.  


Barbara W. and Rex Montgomery Award:  Prof. Rex Montgomery was a long-time supporter of the Department and past President of the Advisory Board This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in Religious Studies based on academic merit.  
RifaiAwardee:  Emma Rifai
Dr. Raymond Mentzer nominated Dr. Rifai for her dissertation, which was directed by Dr. Jenna Supp-Montgomerie and Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren and defended this spring. The title is “Secular Embodiments: Body Management, Protestant Culture, and American Secularism in the Twenty-First Century.” Emma was nominated also by Dr. Kristy who characterizes Emma as a model of professionalism and celebrates her deep engagement with the department during her graduate career at Iowa. Dr. Cates also nominated Emma in recognition of her important work in defending academic freedom.


Barbara W. and Rex Montgomery Award:  Prof. Rex Montgomery was a long-time supporter of the Department and past President of the Advisory Board This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in Religious Studies based on academic merit.
Awardee:  Eliza Link
Eliza is an honors student in her 2nd year, taking Art BFA, Art History BA, & Entrepreneurial Mgmt Certificate. Dr. Morten Schlütter’s TA, John Sheridan says, “Eliza Link always comes to class prepared and provides fantastic contributions to discussion. She has graduate level perspectives and insights on course material and related topics and has received top grades on all her course assignments.”


Barbara W. and Rex Montgomery Award:  Prof. Rex Montgomery was a long-time supporter of the Department and past President of the Advisory Board This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in Religious Studies based on academic merit.
Awardee:  Jessica Vogel
Jessica Vogel is a double major in Religious Studies and Ancient Civilization, and she has been accepted into the Classics MA program with funding at the University of Missouri. Dr. Jordan Smith says, “Jessica is one of the best students I have ever taught, and it has been a privilege to watch her growth over the last several years.”


Rev. Louis P. Penningroth Scholarship Award:  Established by Rev. Penningroth's wife to honor her husband, this award goes to a graduate student who demonstrates a concern for fellow students through her or his teaching practices and skills as a mentor.  
SheridanAwardee:  John Sheridan
John was nominated by his Dissertation Director, Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren, for his innovative and rigorous pedagogy and his excellence in the classroom. Dr. Kristy describes John as “a seriously gifted teacher.”


Sonia Sands Scholarship Award:  This scholarship was established in 1982 from donations to honor Sonia Sands, housemother of the Phi Epsilon Pi Fraternity for over 20 years. The award recognizes talented students in the area of Jewish Studies. 

Kaboli
Liam Kaboli

Awardees: Liam Kaboli and Peter Westlund 
Jay Holstein and Ellen Holstein both had these two students in their classrooms, and together they write, “Peter Westlund and Liam Kaboli hold in common the highest virtues: thoroughness and insightful analysis.  Peter is on the path to dental school with a major in Health Science-Multidisciplinary Science, a minor in American Studies, and a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management.

Liam attained a double major in political science and ethics and public policy and earned a certificate in sustainability. In his final year at Iowa, Liam worked as a Research Assistant studying state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Westlund
Peter Westlund

Peter is currently working for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Patient Service Assistant, helping to protect patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and has plans to proceed to graduate school. 
By way of note, both students came to these courses via familial prompting as family members (parents and siblings) had taken these courses in days gone by. It is an absolutely pleasure and privilege to applaud Peter and Liam on their accomplishments.”


Charles Schoen Interfaith Scholarship Award: This scholarship honors the late Charles Schoen, who served on the department’s Advisory Board for eleven years. The award is given to an undergraduate religious studies major, based on the student's academic record.
TimkeAwardee: Kaitlyn “Val” Timke
Val Timke has majors in both English and Creative Writing and Religious Studies and has been invited to join several honors societies like Phi Beta Kappa and Theta Alpha Kappa. Dr. Jordan Smith says, “Val has spent this semester preparing to write an honors thesis and has constantly surprised me with her ability to comprehend advanced material. Indeed, she became even more engaged and interested in the more complicated material, so I ended up changing the reading list.”


Robert and Mary Ann Small Stenger Religious Studies Scholarship: This scholarship was established in 2014 by a department alumna to provide support to a graduate student in Religious Studies.
Lamak, KefasAwardee:  Kefas Lamak
Kefas was nominated by both Dr. Mentzer and Dr. Robert Cargill.  Dr. Mentzer recognizes that Kefas demonstrates the attention, imagination, and discipline that teaching requires and states, “His interactions with students, whether written or oral, are characterized by a thoughtfulness and thoroughness of the highest caliber”. Dr. Cargill also honors Kefas for the great job that he did as a TA for one of Dr. Cargill’s courses.


2020 Awardees

E.P. Adler Award Established by Betty and Lloyd Schermer to honor Betty’s grandfather, E.P. Adler, one of the department’s founders, and awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student in the Department of Religious Studies.
WilliamsAwardee:  Jocelyn Williams
Jocelyn was nominated by Diana Cates who writes, “Jocelyn was one of the brightest, most engaged, and committed students in my Happiness in a Difficult World class last fall. She was a true leader who inspired the other students to think more deeply than they thought possible. She is a political science major who recently added a religious studies minor—to her other two minors, Spanish and philosophy. Jocelyn plans to go to law school in a year and a half to prepare for a career in immigration law. As soon as she took a religious studies course, she understood what a huge impact a religious studies degree could have on her ability to deal compassionately and wisely with diverse and vulnerable people.” 


Alice Marguerite Blough Award:  Established in 1994 with a gift from the Estate of Alice Marguerite Blough in memory of her parents, Rev. Albert P. Blough and Estelle M. Blough, and awarded for the best graduate student research paper.
 Sheridan, JohnAwardee:  John Sheridan
John was nominated by Kristy Nabhan-Warren who writes, “John’s paper for my Fall 2019 graduate seminar Gender and Religion, “Moving Beyond Monoliths: Hutterites, Feminism, and Religion” was an excellent examination of how media can distort the complex realities of non-mainstream religious groups. John asserts that in order to more fully comprehend the relationship between religion and gender within the context of the National Geographic television show American Colony: Meet the Hutterites, we must analyze “the broader discursive dichotomies (traditionalist verses modern, faith verses tradition, and traditionalist verse progressive liberal feminist)  that National Geographic propagated and reified, as well as utilized to bolster and legitimize their program.” John is currently working on editing and revising his paper to submit for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.”


John P. Boyle Award in Catholic Studies:  Established in 1998 in honor of John P. Boyle who served as a professor in the Religious Studies Department from 1972-98, and director from 1979-89. This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in religious studies, based on academic excellence and outstanding work in some area of Catholic Studies.
RippentropAwardee:  Jan Rippentrop Schnell
Jan was nominated by Diana Cates who writes, “Jan came to the UI with little background in Catholic studies. She worked incredibly hard with me to master in a year what takes many students several years to gather, which is Thomas Aquinas’s moral psychology and his ethics of virtue. While very skeptical at first that Aquinas could have anything to do with the thoughts of 21st century women social justice organizers, she came to appreciate the central role that Aquinas’s work has had on the history of Christian ethical thinking about anger.  Her study of Catholic thought culminated in a highly original paper that she co-published with me in the journal Religions, titled “Rethinking Anger as a Desire for Payback: A Modified Thomistic View.”


Catholic Studies Scholarship:  This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student who has expressed an interest in the general area of Catholic Studies regardless of religious background.
RuizAwardee:  Carlos Ruíz-Martínez
Carlos was nominated by Kristy Nabhan-Warren who writes, “Carlos has done a phenomenal job his first year of the Ph.D. program conducting research on Latinx Catholic histories. His work on Midwestern Latinx Catholicism has been recognized and supported by The University of Notre Dame’s Jean and Anna Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism and St Louis University’s Lived Religion in the Digital Age (LRDA). Carlos’s paper for my Gender and Religion seminar in the fall 2019, “Discerning Sanctuary: The Adorers of the Blood of Christ in the 1980s Sanctuary Movement,” demonstrates Carlos’ skill in ethnohistorical methods. In his first month in the graduate program here, Carlos published his first essay, “Two Years Too Long: Pilgrims Honor Alex García’s Sanctuary Journey with 14,000 Steps of Joyful Resistance” with Latino Rebels.” Source: https://www.latinorebels.com/2019/09/26/pilgrimshonoralexgarcia/


Pres. and Mrs. Eugene Gilmore Scholarship:  Established in 1985 to support the study of culture, humanistic values and the quest for new symbols in contemporary culture. This award was named for Eugene Gilmore, past president of the University of Iowa and supporter of the department. This award is given to a doctoral student in religious studies who has an interest in the relationship of religion and culture, especially the visual arts.
LindgrenAwardee:  Kaitlyn Lindgren-Hansen
Kaitlyn was nominated by Diana Cates who writes, “Kaity recently advanced from our MA program to our PhD program with an award-winning master’s thesis. She is an excellent and engaged student who is an inspiration to others. She is now fully invested in preparing a prospectus for a dissertation that explores the entanglement of religion, creative literature, and emotion in the maintenance of racist patriarchy and also in movements that aim to promote greater social justice in the U.S.”


Helen Goldstein Undergraduate Research Paper/Project Award:  Established in 2012 to honor Dr. Helen Goldstein, who specialized in medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy, and awarded to the best undergraduate student research paper or project.
Reynan Awardee:  Clara Reynen
Clara was nominated by Jordan Smith and Kristy Nabhan-Warren who write, “Clara wrote an excellent paper entitled “Warm-up Practices and the Rituals of Performance.”  Among performers across many disciplines, it is common convention to have an individual warm-up practice. Although there are similarities across these practices and among performers, the variation present among them signals a deeper connection to performance than simply readying their physical being for activity. This research paper seeks to explore the connection between warm-up practices and performances, their roots within these communities, and ultimately asserts that treating such practices as a ritual can help performers achieve a spiritual connection to their mode of performance. We should also mention that she graduated with Honors in Theatre with a project that focused on the lack of diversity within stand-up comedy.”


Alice Lampe Heidel and John B. Heidel Memorial Award:  Established in memory of M. Willard Lampe, the founding director of the department and Mrs. Heidel's father; honors a graduate teaching assistant whose commitment to undergraduate teaching is evidenced by the outstanding performance of assigned teaching duties, and exceptional interest in and service to undergraduate students.
Miller, PeterAwardee:  Peter Miller
Peter was nominated by Robert Cargill who writes, “In addition to being one of the brightest students I’ve ever had the privilege of teaching, Peter Miller is one of the best teaching assistants I have ever had in my nine years at The University of Iowa, as underscored by his recent designation as a recipient of a 2019–2020 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award by the University of Iowa’s Council on Teaching. This is not only due to his phenomenal classroom and discussion section teaching ability, but also because of his knowledge of the vast subject material that my course covers. Peter is the kind of teacher who invites students to learn; he is not polarizing, but rather seeks to find some point of common ground with every student in an effort to get them to engage on their terms, and welcomes students wherever they are in their academic journey. He is a wonderful scholar, mentor, and person.” 


Karl Hoffman Award:  This award goes to an outstanding junior Religious Studies major who exhibits academic excellence, strength of character, and a broad and conscientious concern for ultimate and spiritual questions.  Timke Awardee:  Kaityn (Val) Timke
Val was nominated by Ellen Holstein who writes, “Val is in a class of 45 students (Quest) where the grade is based upon a midterm, a final and an essay and she is performing at the top of the class in the grades which have thus far been submitted (essay, midterm). More than that, her paper on 2001: A Space Odyssey was remarkably coherent and filled with thoughtful observations. It is one of the best papers I have read in Quest. There are a number of very good students in Quest this time around, which makes Val's performance on the paper and the exam all the more commendable. Moreover, she is both conscientious and diligent and has periodically checked with me to see that she is on the right track. It is a pleasure to recommend her for this award.”


M. Willard Lampe Scholarship Fund:  Established in 2016 to honor the first Director of the School of Religion, this scholarship will fund a graduate student whose scholarship is likely to engage the public in ways that recognize and acknowledge diverse religious beliefs and foster religious tolerance.
MetcalfeAwardee:  Darcy Metcalfe
Darcy was nominated by Diana Cates who writes, “Darcy’s dissertation project is engaging a broad and inclusive public on a critical issue of religious ethics, namely, the role that profound gender and racial discrimination have played historically in the U.S. in shaping medical research and the development and use of biomedical technologies. Drawing insight from a creative engagement with the thought of Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, Darcy argues that black women in the U.S. are particularly vulnerable to continued unjust harm at the hands of genetic science, most notably the science of genetically engineering human embryos. What Darcy aims to promote is a dramatic rise in social consciousness and conscience among genetic researchers, bioethics scholars, and the public.”


Barbara W. and Rex Montgomery Award:  Prof. Rex Montgomery was a long-time supporter of the Department and past President of the Advisory Board This award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in Religious Studies based on academic merit.

Alessio, HollyAwardee:  Holly Alessio
Holly was nominated by Diana Cates who writes, “Holly is a fourth year Nursing major and Honors Student who is minoring in both Spanish and Religious Studies. She is the only student who has received a rare A+ in both of my Hard Cases in Healthcare courses. She is sure to prove the department right in holding that the best possible nursing care will be provided by people who have keen insight into the role that religion plays in shaping the imagination and the concerns of individuals who are facing matters of life and death."


Rev. Louis P. Penningroth Scholarship Award:  Established by Rev. Penningroth's wife to honor her husband, this award goes to a graduate student who demonstrates a concern for fellow students through her or his teaching practices and skills as a mentor.  
Awardee:  Naiara Inacio Leão
Naiara was nominated by Ray Mentzer who writes, “A large measure of the Graduate Teaching Assistant’s charge is to provide guidance and support for undergraduates – and to do so in encouraging and genial fashion. Indeed, this approach and its application goes to the heart of the Penningroth award. Naiara has consistently and conscientiously displayed these crucial qualities. Her efforts to help students have been exemplary. Indeed, there have been but a handful of times when I have passed her office that she is not working with a student to fine tune an essay or prepare for an examination. Naiara’s dedication to student success is remarkable.”


Sonia Sands Scholarship Award:  This scholarship was established in 1982 from donations to honor Sonia Sands, house-mother of the Phi Epsilon Pi Fraternity for over 20 years. The award recognizes talented students in the area of Jewish Studies. 
CruzAwardee:  Traci Cruz
Traci was nominated by Ellen Holstein and Jay Holstein who write, “Deciding to go to college at the age of fifty-five is not for the faint of heart, but that is what Traci did. She is enrolled in the Bachelor of Liberal Studies with a track in families, community and social support and is now in her third year. She has been a wonderful student in our classes and is currently on the dean’s list with a GPA of 3.93. Traci has studied the influence of religion through intersecting parts of culture, society, and the political realm; and has gained the insight and knowledge that is, as she says, “needed to be a conscientious, informed and thoughtful individual in a multicultural world.”


Charles Schoen Interfaith Scholarship Award:  This scholarship honors the late Charles Schoen, who served on the Department’s Advisory Board for eleven years. The award is given to an undergraduate Religious Studies Major, based on the student's academic record.
Holmes Awardee:  Natalie Holmes
Natalie was nominated by Kristy Nabhan-Warren and Ellen Holstein:
Kristy notes: “Natalie is a wonderful student and all-around individual, and I am happy to be able to nominate her. Natalie was in my Religions in America Today in the Fall 2018 and was an excellent student. She has visited my office hours several times since taking the course and she is a fine representative of our major.”
Ellen notes: “Natalie is an outstanding student. She received a perfect score on her paper in Quest which has only happened 2 to 3 times out of the 25 semesters that I have taught the course and her overall performance in the course placed her at the top of the class.”


Robert and Mary Ann Small Stenger Religious Studies Scholarship:  This scholarship was established in 2014 by a department alumna to provide support to a graduate student in Religious Studies.
MacDougall, MichaelAwardee:  Michael MacDougall
Michael was nominated by Robert Cargill who writes, “In his first year at the University of Iowa, Michael has proved to be an excellent student making outstanding progress toward his degree studying Second Temple Judaism. He performed extremely well in my Dead Sea Scrolls and Flavius Josephus courses, as well as in my Biblical Hebrew I and II courses, and has shown himself to be an excellent researcher and superb writer. He has also proved to be an excellent TA for both Professors Cates and Souaiaia. Michael has also quickly become known as an affable member among the cohort of graduate students in Religious Studies and Classics, and is a constant presence in both the Jefferson Building and Gilmore Hall. He is encouraging to all around him and has rapidly become one of the leaders in our program, despite being a first-year student.”


2019 Graduate Awardees

Grad Awardees

From left:  Pranav Prakash - Barbara W. & Rex E. Montgomery Award, Kaitlyn Lindgren-Hansen - Alice Marguerite Blough Award, Andrea Scardina - M. Willard Lampe Scholarship, Iva Patel - Barbara W. & Rex E. Montgomery Award, John Sheridan - M. Willard Lampe Scholarship, Emma Rifai - Pres & Mrs. Eugene Gilmore Award, Jan Rippentrop - E. P. Adler Award, Troy Mills - Louis Penningroth Scholarship, Darcy Metcalfe - Alice Lampe Heidel & John B. Heidel Award

2019 Undergraduate Awardees

Adler 2019 UG Awardees

From Left:  Andrea Rice - Helen Goldstein Undergraduate Award, Zohar Nadler - Leo W. Schwarz Memorial Award, Marija Pritchard - E.P. Adler Award, Lillian De La Cruz - E. P. Adler Award, Jessica Vogel - Karl Hoffmann Award, Anne Fish - Charles Schoen Interfaith Award
Not pictured: Molly Kelly - Barbara W. and Rex E. Montgomery Award, Makenzie Putz - E. P. Adler Award


2018 Awardees

Poster


2017 Graduate Awardees

Adler Grads

From left:  Kayla Wheeler - Barbara W. & Rex E. Montgomery Award; Kyle Dieleman - E.P. Adler Award; Emma Rifai - Alice Marguerite Blough Award; Peter Miller - Rev. Louis P. Penningroth Award; Jacob Havel - Islamic Studies Award; Cuma Ozkan - Barbara W. & Rex E. Montgomery Award; John Kennedy - John P. Boyle Award
Not pictured: Iva Patel - Alice Lampe Heidel & John B. Heidel Award

2017 Undergraduate Awardees

Adler UG 2017

Andrea Lynch - Islamic Studies Award; Leon Hedstrom - Helen Goldstein Research Paper Award; Nickie Nguyen - Theta Alpha Kappa Undergraduate Achievement Award; Katie Hitchcock - E.P. Adler Award; Spencer Silver - Karl Hoffmann Award; Rebecca Breazeale - Charles Schoen Interfaith Scholarship Award;
Not pictured: Lillian Pypes - Sonia Sands Award


2016 Graduate Awardees

Grad Awardees

Daniel Amodeo - Barbara W. & Rex E. Montgomery Award; Jason Sprague - Louis Penningroth Award; Troy Mills - E. P. Adler Award; Rachel Winter - Islamic Studies Award; Gwendolyn Gillson - Alice Lampe Heidel & John B. Heidel Award; John Kennedy - Alice Marguerite Blough Award;

2016 Undergraduate Awardees

Adler 2016 UG

Ahmed Elkhaldy - Charles Schoen Interfaith Award; David Spanier - Sonia Sands Scholarship Award; Leon Hedstrom - Sonia Sands Scholarship Award; Katherine Seagrove - John P. Boyle Award; Michael Hayes - Student Video Contest Award; Mark Alatalo - Karl Hoffmann Award
Not pictured: Emma Weddle - Islamic Studies Award; Derrick Mitchell Jr. - Student Video Contest Award; Lina Khodor - Student Video Contest Award


2015 Graduate Awardees

Adler Grads 2015

Pranav Prakash - Alice Lampe Heidel & John B. Heidel Award; Gwendolyn Gillson - Louis Penningroth Award; Brandon Dean - Alice Marguerite Blough Award; Kayla Wheeler - Pres. and Mrs. Eugene Gilmore Award; John Kennedy - John P. Boyle Award
Not pictured: Kyle Dieleman - Alice Lampe Heidel & John B. Heidel Award; Hajer Larbi - Barbara W. & Rex Montgomery Award

2015 Undergraduate Awardees

2015 UG Adler

Paige Wilkinson - Helen Goldstein Research Paper Award; Ashley Byrd - E.P.Adler Award; James Laursen - Sonia Sands Award; Ahmed Elkhaldy - Karl Hoffmann Award;
Not pictured: Emily Eilers - Charles Schoen Interfaith Scholarship