2023 Graduate College Awards

Celebrating excellence and scholarship at UNI

During the 2022-2023 academic year, faculty and students at the University of Northern Iowa have continued to work hard and dedicate themselves to innovative research and education.

This time we can shake hands and greet each other in person, the Graduate College would like to take a moment to celebrate excellence in graduate education at UNI. Congratulations to our award winners!

Outstanding Faculty Award Winners


‌Outstanding Graduate Faculty Teaching Award

Dr Eran Hanke photo


Dr. Eran Hanke

Clinical Coordinator of Mental Health Counseling

‌Distinguished Scholar Award

Dr Hockey photo


Dr. Thomas Hockey

Professor of Astronomy

‌James F. Lubker Faculty Research Award

Dr. Atkinson photo


Dr. Kenneth Atkinson

Professor of History


Outstanding Graduate Coordinator 22-23

Dr. Jennifer Garret

Dr. Jennifer Garret

Communication Sciences & Disorders

Dr. Helen Harton

Dr. Helen Harton


Dr. C. Kyle Rudick

Dr. C. Kyle Rudick

Communication & Media

Dr. Schmiddy

Dr. David Schmid

Ed Psychology, Foundations, & Leadership Studies


Outstanding Graduate Secretary 22-23

Lexys headshot

Lexi Byrnes

Languages & Literatures

Janelle F headshot

Janelle Finke

Continuing Ed & Special Programs

Shelly F headshot

Shelly Frein


Staycie L headshot

Staycie Lyman

Women’s & Gender Studies


Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award



Dr. Abby Weiland, Curriculum & Instruction EdD

"Exploring the experiences of one team of teachers: Well-being and navigating the demands of the education profession"

Advisor Dr. Sarah Vander Zanden


Dr. Michael Fisher, Ed. Leadership EdD

"Teacher Hiring and Selection Processes in Iowa Schools"

Advisor: Dr. Timothy Gilson


Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award


Ms. Kenzie Heusinkvelt, School Psychology EdS

"Training for Challenging Behaviors in the School Setting"

Advisor: Dr. Nicole Skaar


Mr. Nicholas Clark, Psychology MA

"Mental Illness Stigma Toward Black and White Elite Male Athletes"

Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Lefler


Outstanding Creative Master's Thesis


Mr. Isaac Campbell, Comm & Media MA

"Pasting our past: Cultural memory, family photographs, and ephemeral street art"

Advisor: Bettina Fabos

Three Minute Thesis Winners




"On the Haunting of Public Memory: Remembering the Dakota 38+2"

Noel Keil

Communication & Media




Sara Awachi

Women's and Gender Studies




Noel Keil

Communication & Media 


Graduate Assistant First Award

This award recognizes Graduate Assistants who excel in commitment, initiative and engagement in their program and at UNI. Supervisors are encouraged to nominate Graduate Assistants who demonstrate consistent abilities to overcome obstacles, show optimism, coordinate work, and embody high standards throughout their time at UNI.

Recipients A-L

  • Andrew Abrams
  • Danejia Lobdell
  • Dylan Haase
  • Hannah Menken
  • Hannah Schmidt
  • Jerrell Bates
  • Kerrigan Tisor
  • Lauren Leman

Recipients M-Z

  • Lexi Harpenau
  • Lexi Retz
  • Madison Motz
  • Olivia Calvin
  • Riley Rodemaker
  • Saydie Peter
  • Shyanne Sporrer
  • Whitman Cler