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Release: March 1, 2002

UI Graduate College recognizes outstanding doctoral research

Photo: Eric Fure-Slocum, Qin Wang and Josef Parvizi, winners of Graduate College dissertation prizes.

The University of Iowa has awarded two 2001 D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prizes and a Graduate Dean's Distinguished Dissertation Award for excellence in doctoral research.

The recipients of the UI Graduate College's highly coveted Spriestersbach prizes, Eric Fure-Slocum and Josef Parvizi, were each presented with $2,500 and a certificate signed by UI President Mary Sue Coleman at a reception Feb. 28 at the Iowa Memorial Union. Qin Wang received a signed certificate and a $500 award as recipient of the Graduate Dean's Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Fure-Slocum won a Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize in the Humanities and Fine Arts category for his dissertation "The Challenge of the Working-Class City: Recasting Growth, Politics, and Liberalism in Milwaukee, 1937-1952." He was supervised by Shelton Stromquist, UI history professor. Fure-Slocum received his doctorate in history from the UI in July 2001, and is currently a lecturer at the University of Minnesota, a visiting assistant professor of history at St. Olaf College, and a research associate at Carleton College.

Parvizi won a Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize in the Biological and Life Sciences category for his dissertation "The Signature of Alzheimer’s Disease in the Brainstem" He was supervised by Antonio R. Damasio, M.D., the Maurice Van Allen Professor of Neurology and head of the neurology department, and by Gary W. Van Hoesen, Ph.D., UI professor of anatomy and cell biology and neurology. After receiving his doctorate in neurosciences from the UI in July 1999, Parvizi remained at the UI College of Medicine as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology.

The Graduate Dean's Distinguished Dissertation Award went to Wang, for her dissertation "Transcriptional Regulation of the Rat Cardiac Troponin T." She was supervised by Jim Jung-Ching Lin, UI professor of biological sciences. Wang received her doctoral degree in biological sciences from the UI in December 1999. She is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and is currently being promoted to assistant professor for research.

Funds for the D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize are provided through the UI Foundation. The award ceremony is funded by the office of the Vice President for Research and by the Graduate College. The award is named for D.C. Spriestersbach, UI vice president emeritus for educational development and research and former dean of the Graduate College, where he served from 1965-1989. The D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize was established to recognize excellence in doctoral research.

Prizes have been awarded annually on a rotating basis in two of four broad disciplinary areas - Humanities and the Fine Arts, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences. The Graduate Dean's Distinguished Dissertation Award is a special occasional award presented to scholars who have also submitted superior dissertations.

Winners of the Spriestersbach Prize also become the UI's nominees for the Council of Graduate Schools/ University Microfilms International Distinguished Dissertation Award Dissertation Prize, a national award. Three UI students have previously won this award, more than at any other university.