The Iowa Wesleyan College Alumni Association honored four of the College’s graduates with special awards during the annual Alumni Banquet on May 3.
Dr. Linda Gerdner of Burlington was the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award. The award is presented to those who have attained outstanding success and achievement or given extraordinary service to their community, church, country or educational endeavor.
Gerdner is a consulting assistant professor at the Stanford Geriatric Education Center. Her research focus is family caregiving issues for persons with dementia. She was the first to develop and pilot test a protocol for individualized music as an alternative intervention for management of agitation in persons with dementia. Her published work in this area resulted in her winning the International Psychogeriatric Association/Bayer Research Award.
She conducted the first ethnographic study to explore perception and care of dementia by Hmong-Americans. She is the primary author of Grandfather’s Story Cloth, a bilingual picture book that addresses this family issue through a culturally meaningful storyline. Grandfather’s Story Cloth has received six national and international awards.
Gerdner earned her B.S.N. degree at Iowa Wesleyan. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Iowa. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University and served as a mini-fellow in Ethnogeriatrics at Stanford University. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2010.
She served as an instructor in the Iowa Wesleyan nursing program from 1981-1983. She has also taught at Southeastern Community College in Keokuk, Grand View College, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Minnesota. She was project director for the National Caregivers’ Training Project at the University of Iowa. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa and as a visiting scholar in the Southeast Asian Studies – Hmong Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and at Goteborg Universitet Institute of Nursing in Sweden. Her work has been published in a number of professional journals.
Anthony (Tony) Timm of Des Moines received the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. This award is presented to alumni 40 years old or younger who have shown outstanding leadership and a commitment to Iowa Wesleyan College.
Timm was named executive director of the Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS), Iowa’s largest emergency homeless shelter, in 2008. He oversees management, day-to-day operations, fundraising, public relations and volunteer programs. He led the organization through a $15 million capital campaign and oversaw the design and construction of a new $13 million shelter, which opened last September. The 43,000-square-foot shelter in Des Moines includes emergency, transitional and permanent housing options, as well as the Opportunity Center, complete with an on-site health clinic, clothing closet, food pantry and classroom. The facility also includes a Community Resource and Referral Center, which serves as a one-stop resource for homeless veterans and other veterans in need of assistance.
Timm has been awarded the Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year (2012), the International Association of Workplace Professionals Citation Award (2012) and the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s Community Visioning Award for challenging community leaders (2013). He was named to the Des Moines Business Record’s Forty under 40 this year.
He serves on the Executive Committee of the Iowa Council on Homelessness, the steering committee of the Homeless Coordinating Council, the Directors Council of the Polk County Housing Consortium and the Board of Directors of the Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce.
Mick and Susan Michael of Lexington, Kentucky, were the recipients of the 2013 Alumni Service Awards, presented annually to those who have served faithfully in helping to develop a greater Iowa Wesleyan College.
They have been enthusiastic supporters of Iowa Wesleyan College since their days as students.
Sue was active in Zeta Tau Alpha, a cheerleader and a member of Sheaffer-Trieschmann Hall Court, Qui Est and Tri-S. She served on the Homecoming Committee, helped organize Greek Week and gave campus tours. She was selected as Homecoming Queen her senior year.
She graduated with a degree in home economics, then joined the IWC staff as an admissions counselor. She was promoted to assistant director of admissions. She went to Coe College and joined their Admissions Office staff. She worked in sales for International Tours Travel Agency and Merrill Lynch before returning to college admissions work; she spent the last 17 years of her career at Sullivan University, retiring as Director of Admissions in January of this year.
Mick, a physical education and business major at IWC, was active in Phi Delta Theta on campus. He was a member of the Tiger baseball team, where he was named Small College Baseball All-American in 1970 and team MVP in 1971.
Following graduation, Mick joined the IWC Admissions staff. He later became associate director of Admissions for Coe College. He went on to a career in sales, working as regional sales manager and then international sales manager for Link-Belt Construction Equipment Corp. He was regional sales manager for Case Construction Equipment Corp. before becoming regional sales manager for JCB Corp, from which he retired in March.
Sue and Mick have actively supported Iowa Wesleyan as alumni by hosting alumni events, organizing class, sorority and fraternity reunions and assisting with student recruitment. Sue has served on the Alumni Board and the Iowa Wesleyan College Board of Trustees.