University of Iowa

2017 Honors at Iowa Faculty, Staff, & Friend Award Winners

The University of Iowa Honors Program values recognition and wishes to honor those who support the mission of Honors at Iowa. The following awardees were selected from student or staff nominations and will be celebrated at one of our annual spring ceremonies.

Honors Advising Award

John Solow, Professor of Economics, Tippie College of Business

John Solow
John L. Solow is a Professor of Economics in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. Professor Solow received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University and joined the Iowa faculty in 1981. He has published articles in the areas of industrial organization, sports economics, and energy economics. His research interests include antitrust law and economics, sports economics, and public policy. He has worked at the Federal Energy Administration and the Electric Power Research Institute; served as a consultant to the U.S. Departments of Energy and Justice, Mid-American Energy, Qwest Telecommunications and numerous law firms; and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Monash University in Australia. Professor Solow teaches Principles of Microeconomics, Sports Economics, Antitrust Economics, and Managerial Economics for MBAs.

Advisors who distinguish themselves in advising honors students are valuable assets to both departments and to our program. This recognition is given each year to acknowledge the extraordinary dedication of a committed academic advisor on campus.

Honors Award for Campus Support

Laura Goddard, Assistant Director for High Ability Student Recruitment, Undergraduate Admissions

Laura Goddard
Laura Goddard is the Assistant Director for High Ability Student Recruitment in the Office of Admissions at the University of Iowa. She is the liaison to the Honors Program from the admissions office and creates communication, events, and outreach all designed to help future students make their college decision and “make their connection” with the UI Honors community. This feeds her need both for macro-level philosophical discussions about the future of higher education and micro-level need for creating lists and action plans. Laura enjoys working with Honors students because together they can “geek out” on any number of topics. Her life-long love of learning is sustained by Honors staff meeting conversations and FURF/SURF poster presentations. Laura trained as a musician, earning a degree in Piano Performance and a minor in German from The University of Iowa. She keeps an office stocked with tunes, gummy candy, and plants. If you give her a book, you won’t see her until she’s finished reading it.

The Honors Award for Campus Support recognizes the particular efforts of an individual whose steadfast and wholehearted support for the Honors Program looms especially large in the lives of honors educators and students at Iowa.

Honors Teaching Award

The Department of Rhetoric has been selected to receive the 2017 Honors Teaching Award. While the award generally goes to a single outstanding instructor, Rhetoric had seven faculty nominated by honors students to receive this award. Those instructors are Lauren Cameron, Steve Duck, Deirdre Egan, Iris Frost, David Gooblar, Perry Howell, and Jennifer Loman.

The Honors Teaching Award is selected from student nominations and is bestowed upon an individual or department who provides a multidisciplinary, learner-directed classroom environment that facilitates experiential learning to effectively synthesize and evaluate objectives.

Honors Thesis Mentor Award

Kris DeMali, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry

Kris DeMali
Kris DeMali received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Her research includes understanding the “Molecularb Basis of Tumor Cell Metastasis” and signal transduction by cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions. Professor DeMali was nominated by graduating honors student Daisy Pilarczyk, who said, "I left my first meeting with Dr. Kris DeMali feeling a mixture of overwhelmed, confident, and excited to begin this new experience. From the moment I knocked on her door it was clear that she had already created a plan for my last year at the University of Iowa. She detailed out the project I would be working on, while also informing me on which courses I would be taking to fulfill all requirements to graduate with Honors in Biochemistry, a feat I had never considered before walking through her door. As I sat in fear of telling her I was not comfortable giving this type of presentation, her support and belief in my success began to dissolve my worries ... Though she provided constant support, she encouraged me to complete experiments on my own so as to truly learn what I was doing. It was from this learning technique that I have developed a keen sense on how to best do experiments and troubleshoot anything that may go wrong. Her office door was always open and I found myself asking her questions daily."

The Honors Thesis Mentor Award is selected from student nominations and is to acknowledge the critical and central role faculty perform in providing a valuable educational experience to undergraduate honors students.

Lane Davis Award for Honors Team-Teaching

Andrew Forbes, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Andrew Forbes
Andrew A. Forbes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and the Academic Coordinator of the UI Environmental Sciences Program. Professor Forbes has a B.A. in Biology from Colgate University and a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Forbes studies the diversity and evolution of insects, with an emphasis on the role of ecology in the origin of species. His research has been featured in the journals Science, Evolution, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among others. The National Science Foundation currently funds his lab. Dr. Forbes has taught several courses at the University of Iowa, including small seminars, lab courses, large lecture courses, and an honors primetime course (with Dr. Tori Forbes in Chemistry). In 2013-2014, Dr. Forbes participated in the development and implementation of two active learning courses titled Origins of Life in the Universe I and II. Taught by a team of seven different professors from five different departments across the span of a full year, these courses became the first of several “Big Ideas” courses on campus, and Dr. Forbes remains active in the “Big Ideas” teaching community.

Tori Z. Forbes, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Tori Forbes
Tori joined the Department of Chemistry faculty in 2010, having earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Beloit College in 2001 and her doctorate in environmental mineralogy from the University of Notre Dame in 2007. She is a core member of the UI's interdisciplinary Water Sustainability Initiative and a recipient in 2013 of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a 2015 recipient of a Department of Energy Early Career Research Program award, and a 2016 University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Scholar. With research interests in actinide chemistry, the development of metal organic nanotubes, and the transport of nuclear waste and heavy metals, Forbes has authored many peer-reviewed journal articles and delivered numerous invited lectures and presentations. She teaches introductory chemistry (Principles of Chemistry I), inorganic chemistry, and radiochemistry courses in addition to the Honors Primetime course (with Dr. Andrew Forbes in Biology).

Team-teaching is a crucial dynamic of intellectual community. A great way for honors students to pursue inquiry and learn constructive argument is to witness and join lively conversations between professors who bring different educations and interests to important questions. Among many, Professor Lane Davis excelled at team teaching and this award, named in his honor, recognizes and encourages faculty to team teach honors students. Awardees receive a memento and certificate signed by the Honors Director and University President.

Honors Scholar Advocate Award

Martha Kirby, Senior Academic Advisor, Department of Political Science

Martha Kirby
Martha Kirby is the academic advisor for the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She has an M.A. in College Student Development and has worked in undergraduate education—orientation, advising, and academic program management—for over twenty years. Beyond the University of Iowa, Martha serves on the Boards of Directors for the Council on International Visitors to Iowa Cities and the Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors. When not working, Martha loves to bring people together around a table full of good food as well as spend as much time as possible outdoors.

The Honors Scholar Advocate Award was created to acknowledge the critical role faculty and staff play in the cultivation and preparation of competitive applicants for national scholarships and fellowships. While students must come to the process with a distinctive combination of talent, knowledge and skill, it is so often a research mentor or thesis advisor who connects them with our Director of Scholar Development or encourages them to apply for campus nomination.

Honors Award for Alumni & Friends

Brett Williams
Brett Williams graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in physics, focusing on radar and optical sensor technology in 1983. Brett spent his immediate post-undergraduate years at Ling-Temco-Vought Corporation, now Lockheed Martin, working on PAC3’s, or anti-missiles that destroy other projectiles by colliding with them at incredible speeds. Next, he created and patented a highly directional, plasmonic antenna to block unwanted signals that may be picked up by typical antennas.

Brett worked in environmental research at the Houston Advanced Research Center monitoring the health and status of crops from satellites. After a number of years working as a consultant and traveling, Brett returned to Lockheed Martin and worked with an applied research group there until his retirement.

In 2009, Brett established the Guy D. and Betty J. Scholarship Fund in honor of his parents, which recognizes students in physics or the natural sciences who are applying the knowledge and skills gleaned from their education to environmental challenges. He is an award-winning author, holds 21 U.S. patents, and in 2014 became one of the founding members of the Honors Advisory Board.

The Honors Award for Alumni & Friends recognizes an especially distinguished alumni or friend of the program, who has gone above and beyond the call for support. By bestowing this award we honor individuals but also, through them, we recognize the larger community of supporters who promote honors education on campus and beyond.