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University of Iowa News Release

 

May 4, 2007

UI Faculty, Staff Honored With 2007 Audrey Qualls Diversity Awards

A professor and a staff member in the University of Iowa College of Education who have both demonstrated exceptional commitment to diversity were honored with the 2007 Audrey Qualls Commitment to Diversity Awards. The awards were given May 2 during the UI College of Education Diversity Committee Spring Picnic.

Donald Yarbrough, an associate professor and director for the UI Center for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA), was the faculty recipient, and David Lippe, who works with systems administration programming, was the staff recipient.

"Dr. Yarbrough exudes a keen interest in issues of diversity in his daily interactions with students, advisees, colleagues and clients of the CEA," wrote his nominators. "Issues of diversity within real-world and real-problem contexts have been addressed in every course I have taken with Dr. Yarbrough. He facilitates discussions with and among students by drawing from his experiences with a diverse array of stakeholders."

Yarbrough was also credited with working for social betterment, including programs whose primary purpose includes the promotion of diversity within educational contexts.

Lippe was recognized for volunteering many evening hours over the past eight to nine years to support Opportunity at Iowa's summer youth programs, including the Iowa First Nations Summer Program. The First Nations program, a three-week residential life science program for Native American high school students from across the country, focuses on the environment, the health sciences and the relationship between science and Native American cultures.

The Life Science Summer Program is a two-week residential program that provides underrepresented high school students from around the state of Iowa and surrounding states hands-on laboratory training and classroom instruction covering a wide range of topics in developmental biology.

Lippe helps teach students technology topics and provides background technical support and is currently working on arrangements for the upcoming summer. Last summer, he was awarded a certificate of appreciation by Opportunity at Iowa for superior service, according to his nomination letter.

The Audrey Qualls Commitment to Diversity Award is a student-nominated award given annually to a faculty and a staff member in the College of Education. The award recognizes their demonstrated commitment to diversity. The award was named in honor of the late Audrey Qualls, who was a professor of measurement and statistics in the UI College of Education Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations from 1990 until her death in 2002. The award is named in her honor because she was a selfless and hard working individual who always supported and advocated for students of color. Nominations are solicited each spring.

"She was known to all of us as a person of strong will. She took on the greatest of challenges to achieve great accomplishments in her professional life and her personal life," said Stephen Dunbar, a professor with Educational Measurement and Statistics and the Iowa Testing Programs, who was one of Qualls' friends and colleagues. "It's great to see her honored in this way every year."

Nominees for the award must demonstrate a commitment to diversity; include issues focusing on diversity as an integral part of course content or daily work activities; recognize that there is a diversity of learning and interaction styles, and try to accommodate for this by using a variety of modalities and tools; display commitment to all students; encourage students to offer their viewpoints; and conduct research and/or demonstrate involvement in activities that reflect a commitment to diversity.

For more information on the award, visit http://www.education.uiowa.edu/diversity/AudreyQuallsCommitmenttoDiversityAward.htm.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; Program: Susan Lagos-Lavenz, COE Diversity Committee chair, 319-335-5306, susan-lagos-lavenz@uiowa.edu