Through a competitive process, the following faculty and staff members were selected by their peers for awards from the College of Human Sciences. They were recognized on May 3, 2022, for excellence in advancing student success, transformative research and engagement, and community-building leadership and service.

Dawn Bowker: Faculty Award for Inclusive Excellence

Director of Nursing Education and Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing

Food Science and Human Nutrition 

Committed to advocacy for patient care, workplace equity, advancements in the nursing profession, and community-based reform, Dawn Bowker exhibits diversity, inclusion, and service through her work. 

She was selected as a delegate for The American Nurses Advocacy Institute in Washington D.C. from 2017-2020 where she campaigned for nurse’s rights throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She began as a Board Director of the Asia Team for ARAISE in 2019, which focuses on international efforts to advance training and education for nurses globally. Amongst other honors and awards, she has also built and maintained a mutually beneficial relationship/partnership with the Ogalala Lakota Community in Pine Ridge, South Dakota to expand student experiences and support research in underserved communities. 

She continues to advocate for others all while serving as the Director of Nursing Education and Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing at Iowa State University, a professor at Ogalala Lakota School of Nursing, and a mentor for teachers and students in the nursing field. 

Sarah Bennett-George: Term Faculty Distinguished Service

Associate Teaching Professor   

Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management  

Sarah Bennett-George is a committed teacher, supporter, and mentor in the Apparel, Merchandising and Design program who continually works to improve the student experience and provide quality resources to set students up for success.   

Her courses in fashion show production, promotion and management set the foundation for the annual The Fashion Show at Iowa State. She provides students with opportunities for professional skill development and collaboration with organizations across campus and beyond.

Her passion for students’ growth is evident in her ability to facilitate student innovation.   

She has provided contribution through her work on the Faculty Senate, University Academic Affairs Council and University Strategic Planning Committee. Her commitment to the efforts and priorities of supporting and developing faculty exhibit her dedication to the AESHM department.   

Meghan Gillette: Online Teaching Award

Associate Teaching Professor  

Human Development and Family Studies  

Using evidence-based teaching strategies, Meghan Gillette goes above and beyond to engage students effectively through Team-Based Learning (TBL) and other active teaching methods. She has utilized design and development technology to adapt TBL, garnering international attention as she assists faculty at Iowa State and partner institutions improve student engagement online.  

From her experience as a graduate student to her current role as faculty member, she has continued to learn more about TBL and embrace the complex teaching strategy. By working with developers and other members of the TBL Faculty Learning Committee at Iowa State, she piloted a software program called OpenTBL to teach TBL online both asynchronously and synchronously. She ignites curiosity and fosters critical thinking skills in students as well as creating an environment where students can work together, ask questions, and connect in new ways. 

Ji Yeong I: Online Teaching Award

Associate Professor 

School of Education 

Ji Yeong I is credited with developing and delivering EDUC 502/EDUC 593G, Teaching Math to English Language Learners, a completely asynchronous class. This class was refined with support from the College of Human Sciences Innovative Teaching Initiatives grant. Teaching Math to English Language Learners is accessible as a three-credit graduate course and practicing teachers can enroll in EDUC 593G through ISU Extension to complete the course for licensure renewal credits. In 2019, enrollment saw student from 12 different countries, including Venezuela, Morocco, and Cambodia. 

The development, delivery and impact of this course provides evidence of I’s impact on students in the virtual classroom right here in Iowa and beyond.  

Amanda Schickel: P&S Staff Early Achievement in Administration

Director of Career Services 

College of Human Sciences Administration


As an innovative and dedicated professional, Amanda Schickel has been an invaluable asset to the CHS Student Services Center and Career Services Office. Despite the challenge of entering an interim role during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she demonstrated graceful leadership and professionalism. During her time as the Interim Director of Career Services, she utilized technology to best serve students, staff, faculty and external constituents. She was quickly promoted to the role of Director of Career Services based on her impeccable work ethic and attitude.  

Over the past two years, she has continued her education and prioritized her professional development. She was also instrumental in planning the People-to-People Career Fair, Business, Industry, and Technology Career Fair and Teacher Education Career Fair.

She offered virtual one-on-one appointments and student workshops throughout the pandemic as well to ensure students had the resources to succeed. She exhibits innovation, dedication and service through her commitment to the college. 

Teresa Kahler: Merit Staff Distinguished Service

Records Analyst  

School of Education 

Teresa Kahler has served as a Merit employee for a total of 25 years and is an expert in her craft. Her commitment to the teacher education program and profession and her dedication to providing outstanding high-level service continues to leave a far-reaching, meaningful impact.   

In her role within Teacher Education Services, she is instrumental in monitoring and supporting the progression of candidates through the Teach Educator Preparation Program. With an advanced understanding of the program and process, she can utilize data and tools to efficiently collect and streamline the record keeping process with accuracy.  

As a graduate of the teacher education program at Iowa State, she provides her expertise, knowledge and support to candidates as well as other students, faculty and staff across campus. 

Jessica DeWall: Outstanding Advisor

Academic Advisor


Jessica DeWall has a holistic advising style that focuses on supporting students academically, professionally and personally. She believes each student has unique qualities that allow them to succeed, and she focuses on exploring these in her advising conversations. 

Jessica has been serving as the UAAC Co-Chair, and in this role, she serves as a voice for Academic Advisors to the university community, including the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and relevant university committees and offices. She works with campus partners on issues related to the student academic experience and the needs of academic advisors. In this role, she has developed a UAAC Strategic Plan, created five sub-committees, and continued collaboration with campus partners to engage in student advocacy to discuss the needs and concerns of better serving our students with campus-wide policies and procedures.   

As an advising team member, she always helps colleagues and often volunteers to take on extra work. She is recognized as a leader on campus due to her involvement in several committees dedicated to advising development and student support. Her strong work ethic is motivated by her passion for advising and dedication to being an informed and skilled professional. 

Manju Reddy: Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Mentor


Food Science and Human Nutrition 

Manju Reddy’s mentorship provides complete, unwavering, and enthusiastic support. She has mentored 20 graduate students, two post-doctoral scientists, 42 undergraduate students and trained many international scientists. In addition to her mentorship, she has served as an advisor for two student organizations, including the ISU Happy Earth Student Club and the FSHN Club. She also served as an ISU Minority Program mentor. 

Reddy also gives students the opportunity to publish their research. Almost every graduate student she has mentored has a publication and was provided an opportunity to present at national and/or international meetings. Of Reddy’s more than 90 papers, the majority have a graduate student as the first author. 

Reddy believes in the importance of understanding, connecting and building relationships with each student. She allows opportunities for students to see their weaknesses and mistakes as part of their success and lets them learn through hands-on experience, interact with peers and create self-learning opportunities that help fulfill individual interests and objectives. 

Michael Brown: Early Achievement in Research

Assistant Professor 
School of Education 

Michael Brown’s scholarly work is ground-breaking for higher education and is already affecting how scholars and practitioners are conceptualizing the interaction between technology and learning in higher education. 

Evidence of his current success, and positive impact in the field, include a number of research articles in top-tier journals, multiple large collaborative grants to further his research, and recognition from professional peers 

Brown has published manuscripts in highly-respected education technology journals: The journal in The Internet and Higher Education has been sited 193 times, and the journal in Computers and Education has been cited over 101 times. He has also been associated with over $329,000 of external research funding and $611,000 of internal research funding since arriving at Iowa State.  

Brown utilizes his research expertise in his teaching and service. He teaches Educational Statistics to graduate students across campus and mentors graduate students through advising and collaborations on publications.   

Terah J. Stewart: Early Achievement in Teaching

Assistant Professor 
School of Education 

Terah J. Stewart is an educator who understands oppression, agency, advocacy and the power of education to help dismantle, deconstruct and rebuild. He is not only focused on providing opportunities for students to learn content but works to foster creativity and intellectual curiosity in students.  

Stewart’s commitment to inclusive teaching is evident through his use of various learning materials. With the move from in-person to online, he spent time converting his face-to-face activities to an online format. One of his pedagogical techniques was highlighted in Teaching Briefs, a publication developed by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).  

One of the final assignments in his Equity, Diversity and Inclusion class requires students to do cursory research and write an Op-Ed about a population of students or a student affairs issue that they did not address in class. It not only encourages and allows students to engage in a topic of interest to them, but it also reminds them that no course could ever cover all there is to know on a topic and fosters continued learning/education. 

Virginia Griesheimer: Early Achievement in Outreach

Quality Assurance Specialist II 

Human Development and Family Studies


Virginia Griesheimer has worked with the Iowa Department of Human Services and Iowa State University Child Welfare Research and Training Project on a Cultural Equity Statewide Committee for the past two years in developing an equity lens to assess training, facilitators and learning with social workers and community partners in service of children and families. 

Griesheimer worked with various stakeholders to develop a comprehensive tool that could address the needs identified in creating a consistent measurement tool. In addition, the tool has been shared with early childhood, childcare and child abuse prevention partners to consider how they could utilize it in their own training and learning opportunities. 

Griesheimer’s efficient and thorough work enabled the team to provide consolidated, easily accessible data to IDHS funding partners, improved facilitator-team relationships quality and paved the way for training improvements. 

Ji-Young Choi: Mid-Career Achievement in Research

Associate Professor   

Human Development and Family Studies   

Ji-Young Choi demonstrates excellence in her research, focusing on quality early learning experiences for young children. Her impact on the field is most evident in her research on the early language experiences and development of dual language learning children. Her four funded projects and published articles on the topic show this impact.  

Her work impacts Iowans as it addresses the everyday experiences of families and children and, more recently, her work on the Narrow Cost Analysis project. This project gathered pre and mid-pandemic cost and enrollment information from child care centers and homes across Iowa. This data was used to generate an average per child per day cost for centers to provide care. This information is being used by the Iowa Department of Human Services to update subsidy reimbursement rates and inform the distribution of federal relief dollars to providers across the state and enable them to stay open and provide care for children and families. 

While making an impact through mentorship and teaching students, including undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, she offered research opportunities for seven undergraduate students, two of which pursued graduate school.    

Spyridoula Vazou: Mid-Career Achievement in Teaching

Associate Professor  


The pandemic hindered a lot of learning when classes moved online, but this did not stop Vazou from delivering quality education to her students. She was able to find volunteer families to participate in synchronous online movement education lessons so that students could still practice teaching.   

Vazou can always be seen going the extra mile and this was evident when in-person classes returned to campus. While hands-on learning looked different, Dr. Vazou was able to collaborate with Northwood preschool teachers and have them offer up their classrooms so that students could practice their teaching skills in-person.  

Vazou annually receives above average evaluation scores in all of her courses and students consistently explain that they are engaged in her classes because she is a caring and dedicated professor.  

Ann Gansemer-Topf: Mid-Career Achievement in Teaching

Associate Professor  

School of Education


Described as a “crucial pillar” of the School of Education, Ann Gansemer-Topf has been dedicated to the students of Iowa State University for 10 years. During COVID-19, graduation ceremonies had to be cancelled, but Gansemer-Topf organized a drive-through ceremony for students in the Student Affairs program. This speaks to her level of commitment to her students and the character that she possesses.   

Gansemer-Topf has successfully lead 10 PhD students and nearly 70 master’s students into completion of their degree, fostering a new generation in teaching. This devotion does not stop with her students, as Gansemer-Topf also dedicates time to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and research on student-focused teaching approaches.  


A leader in her field, she serves as an Executive Board Member and Chair of Faculty Assembly for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).   

Elizabeth Stegemöller: Mid-Career Achievement in Outreach

Assistant Professor  


In her eight years at Iowa State University, Elizabeth Stegemöller has demonstrated over and over again her commitment to research and service. Not only does Stegemöller contribute heavily in the classroom, but outside of the classroom as well. Participating as one of 25 panelists at an NIH workshop on Music and the Brain in 2017, Stegemöller invited her singing class participants to be a part of the workshop virtually. This is a testament to her character and her support of her participants.  

Stegemöller has developed two new courses at Iowa State University: ‘Physical Dimensions of Aging and Neuroscience and Music. The latter is offered virtually and gives students far and wide the opportunity to participate. At any given time, Stegemöller has between 20 and 25 undergraduate students who perform in her lab, giving them the opportunity to connect and network with community members.  

Guowen Song: Career Achievement in Research

Professor and Noma Scott Lloyd Chair in Textiles and Clothing  

Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

During his tenure, Guowen Song has been instrumental in securing over $2 million in grant monies both internally and externally. This service is a nod to his dedication to research within textiles. In 2019, Song and his team published five refereed journal articles and four book chapters. He was also a co-author of the book, Firefighters’ Clothing and Equipment: Performance, Protection, and Comfort, the first of its kind on the topic.   

In 2018, Song secured a FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety grant and a CDC NIOH R01 PPE research grant. His ability to lead and be successful in a competitive research landscape is a testament to his character and his will to advance PPE technology.  

Jeannette Olson: Career Achievement in Teaching

Associate Teaching Professor 

School of Education


Jeannette Olson has been a staple of the School of Education for over 25 years. From 1993-2003, Olson worked alongside Dr. Pat Carlson, now retired,  and Dr. Anne Foegen on an Iowa Department of Education-funded project that produced a series of eight instructional modules that were published by the Iowa Department of Education in 1999 and updated in 2003. Olson was instrumental in this process because of her experiences in general education.   

Olson has also served as the Project Coordinator for three federally-funded grants that improved the development and implementation of algebra progress monitoring assessments for 10 years.   

Beloved by her undergraduate students, Olson has learned how to shape the educators of the future and not only make them better educators, but better individuals.  

Lesia Oesterreich: Career Achievement in Outreach

Senior Manager Education Extension and Adjunct Assistant Professor  

Human Development and Family Studies

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, there was a lot of uncertainty not only in Iowa but around the world. During this time, Lesia Oesterreich, Senior Manager Education Extension and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies, led her team with an exemplary attitude. She stayed up-to-date on COIVD-19 protocols and made sure that her team stayed informed and safe during those uncertain times. Oesterreich continued to respond to the needs of Iowans by transitioning from an in-person to virtual education.   

A well-respected individual in her field, Oesterreich has remained dedicated to quality education of early care professionals. In 2021, 22,344 early care professionals participated in 90,285 hours of education, led by Oesterreich.   

In 2018, she received the Excellence in Extension Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.