2020 - Kaydee Ecker 

Undergraduate Award

Kaydee Ecker

Kaydee Ecker, from Stockton, California is majoring in English and creative writing with a certificate in disabilities studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As a member for the Society for Disability Studies and president of the UI Students for Disability Advocacy and Awareness, Kaydee has shown their passion for disability studies and advocacy. Kaydee’s ability to lead with commitment and communication has led them to start many successful initiatives. They co-started the petition that resulted in the relocation of the Student Disability Service Center to a more accessible location, getting more than 3,000 signatures. Kaydee also advocated for the creation of an ADHD Support Group facilitated by University Counseling Services. Kaydee has made it their mission to be a voice for disability affairs. They are blending their passions by using the art of language to shed light on concerns of students with disabilities.


Marissa Mueller

2020 - Marissa Mueller

Undergraduate Award

Marissa Mueller from Ontario, Canada is majoring in biomedical engineering on the pre-med track in the College of Engineering. She is currently serving as the first ever student-athlete representative in the University of Iowa Student Government. As the first person to have this title she has helped identify the privileges, roles and responsibilities of her position. Mueller is also the vice president of the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and aids in promoting positive athletic, social and academic opportunities for all student athletes. Her passion for medicine, science and sports is exemplified through her various involvement on campus. Mueller has set records in javelin throwing in the University of Iowa Track and Field Team and she is an active volunteer in various organizations at the University of Iowa. Through her vast involvement Marissa has proven herself as an excellent student, athlete and future doctor.

2020 - Dexter Golinghorst

Dexter Golinghorst

Graduate/Professional Award

Dexter Golinghorst, from Maysville, Iowa is pursuing a master’s in health administration and a juris doctor in the College of Law and Public Health. Golinghorst is currently serving his second year as the president of the Graduate and Professional Student Government, where he has aided in increasing funding opportunities and partnership for research and mentorship. He has worked to include graduate and professional students in campus survey data. Golinghorst has been advocating for students with his involvement in the Path Forward Steering Committee, in which he has offered suggestions for improvement of the UI Budget review process. He has earned the reputation of a reliable representative for student across various colleges, departments, and backgrounds.

Bernadette Nelson

2020 - Bernadette Nelson

Graduate/Professional Award

Bernadette Nelson of Wyoming is a J.D candidate in the College of Law. She is the senior articles editor of the Iowa Law Review, which is a top ten nationally ranked legal journal. Nelson also held the position of vice president for the Organization for Women Law Students and Staff where she personally oversaw a program designed to support, encourage and mentor female law students. Supporting and encouraging women has been a large part of Nelson’s mission at Iowa. She worked with the Voting Rights Restoration Clinic and Community Empowerment Project to promote social justice and equity, especially in underserved communities throughout Iowa. Bernadette uses her skills to work for the common good and has advocated for immigrant rights and raised awareness and funds for breast cancer research. She has established herself as a public citizen and strives to use her knowledge for the public good.