The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development held its Celebrating Excellence: Discovery and Innovation Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 28.

The annual event recognizes faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars/fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students and mentors who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments to research in their field.

Each of the winners received a commemorative gift and a cash award for themselves or their departments. View photos of award winners and presenters here.

This year, 16 awards were given, as well as the 2014 Faculty/Staff Startup Award and 2014 Student Startup Award, listed below:

Faculty Awards

Leadership in Research Award

Recognizes distinguished leadership research and scholarly accomplishments over a career.

  • Ernest T. Pascarella, Ph.D., Professor and Mary Louise Petersen Chair in Higher Education, College of Education, Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies​

Scholar of the Year Award

Recognizes outstanding research, scholarly and/or creative activities by tenured and/or research/clinical track faculty members.

  • Randall L. McEntaffer, Ph.D., Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Early Career Scholar of the Year Award

Recognizes tenure-track, research-track or clinical-track faculty members within their first seven years post Ph.D. and within five years of service at the University of Iowa and who are currently involved in research, scholarship and/or creative activity and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field.

  • Elizabeth Stone, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry

Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research Award

Recognizes an individual faculty member who has put addressing public needs and direct engagement with the public in the service of improving quality of life through research at the forefront of his or her academic activities.

  • Colin Gordon, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of History​

Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Humanities Research Award

Recognizes distinguished achievement in humanities scholarship and work in the creative, visual and performing arts.

  • H. Glenn Penny, Ph.D., Professor, Modern European History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of History

Staff Awards

Distinguished Research Administrator Award

Recognizes a staff member who supports research by exploring funding opportunities, assisting in grant proposal preparation, submission, post-award administration and operational support.

  • Lisa Ringen, Departmental Administrator, Department of Pharmacology

Distinguished Research Professional Award

Recognizes a staff member who provides support for research by conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing results and performing operational duties associated with a laboratory or research program.

  • Daniel McGehee, Transportation and Vehicle Safety Policy Research Program Director, Public Policy Center

Postdoctoral Research Scholar Excellence Award

This award honors postdoctoral scholar/fellow research performance and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

  • Cara Hamann, Postdoctoral Scholar, Injury Prevention Research Center, Occupational & Environmental Health, College of Public Health

Graduate Student Research Excellence Awards

Graduate Research Excellence in fine arts, humanities and social sciences

​This award honors students in terminal degree programs conducting research and scholarsly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

  • Eric Zimmer, Walton/Dean's Graduate Fellow, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Graduate Research Excellence in biology, life, mathematical and physical sciences

This award honors students in terminal degree programs conducting research and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

  • Olga Laskina, Graduate Student Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Graduate Research Excellence - in biology, life, mathematical and physical sciences

This award honors students in terminal degree programs conducting research and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.

Undergraduate Research Excellence Awards & Mentor Awards

Excellence in Undergraduate Research

  • Kasra Zarei, Sophomore, Biomedical Engineering, Biochemistry, Psychology and Math (Mentor: Michael Abramoff)
  • Chloe Daniel, Junior, Anthropology and Psychology (Mentor: Robert Fanciscus)
  • Asli Tahan, Junior, Psychology (Mentor: Michelle Voss)
  • Brett Schneider, Junior, Biology and Psychology (Mentor: Daniel Tranel)

Distinguished Mentor Award

  • Larissa Samuelson, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Nominating students: Jordan Mattis and Daniel Plebanek)
  • Brandon Davies, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, Carver College of Medicine (Nominating students: Hannah Shows and Emily Britt)

2014 Faculty/Staff Startup of the Year

  • Iowa Approach, Inc. (Founder, Steve Mickelsen, M.D., Internal Medicine, Faculty Fellow)

2014 Student Startup of the Year

  • Western Wise Consulting (Founders: Emily Roberts, College of Business/Management & Spanish Major; Chen Cui, College of Engineering/Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Also recognized were 2014 license and option recipients and patent recipients.

The UI Office of Research and Economic Development supports and advances research, scholarship, and creative activity on the campus. Through a broad variety of activities and services, it seeks to play an important role in the underpinning of these creative activities in the public and private sectors of Iowa and beyond. More at http://research.uiowa.edu/