Alumni Awards

Every year, Mount Mercy University will spotlight its very own outstanding alumni leaders for their professional accomplishments and service to the community.

Introducing the 2020 Alumni Award Recipients

Distinguished Service | Mary Ann (Miller) Osborn '76

Professional Achievement | Dr. Ann Pleiss Morris '02

Misericordiae | Scott Droessler '13

Certificate of Merit | Arsalan Monawar '12

Join us in congratulating this year’s recipients and plan to celebrate these incredible alumni with us at the next Homecoming and Alumni Week on-campus! Read more about your 2020 Alumni Award recipients below.

Nominate an alum

Nominations are open to persons who graduated from Mount Mercy.

Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Mary Ann (Miller) Osborn '76

mary-ann.jpgMary Ann (Miller) Osborn is the vice president and chief nursing executive at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital, where she’s responsible for enterprise-wide nursing operations including leadership development, deployment of nursing standards of practice, and clinical decisional support.

Mary Ann has held leadership and administrative roles at UnityPoint Health since 2000. She oversaw care transformation across the continuum to establish an integrated ambulatory and in-patient care management model, and other population health strategies. In 2013 and 2009, she led St. Luke’s, Cedar Rapids, to Magnet Designation for Excellence in Nursing Practice and Patient Care.

At the state and national levels, Mary Ann has held leadership roles at the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, and the Cedar Rapids Healthcare Alliance. Her advocacy efforts include participating in the Governor’s Task Force on the Nursing Shortage and serving on President Obama’s first-term Economic Recovery Advisory Subcommittee on Education and Training.

Mary Ann received her BSN from Mount Mercy and her MSN from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in executive leadership.

Professional Achievement Award Recipient

Dr. Ann Pleiss Morris ’02

pleiss-morris.jpgDr. Ann Pleiss Morris is an associate professor of English and the coordinator of ancient, renaissance, and medieval studies at Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin. She teaches courses in early British literature, theatre history, Shakespeare and his contemporaries, women’s literature, British children’s fantasy, composition, literary criticism, and trauma studies.

Her current book manuscript, Pens, Patrons, & Power: Feminine Theatre Forms in Early Modern England, contracted by Vernon Press, re-evaluates the place of women in early English drama.

Ann graduated from Mount Mercy with a BA in English and speech drama and a minor in creative writing. She and her husband, Benjamin Morris ’01, live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with their children Julian, 8, and Margaret, 4.

Misericordiae Award Recipient

Scott Droessler ’13

droessler.jpgScott Droessler enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard at age 17 and rose to the rank of master sergeant, serving during Operation Desert Storm (1991-1992) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2004). He honorably retired after 26 years of service to our country.

Scott recognized a need in our community and combined his passion for art and veteran support by founding the non-profit organization, Community of Artists and Veterans, located in the Veterans Memorial Building in downtown Cedar Rapids. The open atmosphere creates a safe place for military veterans and families to explore one or a variety of mediums. The studio space provides various veteran-led artistic instruction that continues the sense of camaraderie experienced during military service.

“Through art, veterans can engage with a community. This allows for integration back into society, which sounds easy but may not—or is not—always the case. The bottom line is we are a studio of veterans—veterans supporting veterans through creative dialog and continued learning,” he says.

Scott earned his BFA from Mount Mercy, and his senior thesis was in glass with concentration in printmaking and drawing.

Merit Award Recipient

Arsalan Monawar '12

arsalan.jpgArsalan Monawar is a creative entrepreneur, founder of Monawar Studios, a visual storyteller, and host of the podcast and global community that has amassed 40,000+ followers known as “The Abundant Desi”.

With a keen sense of visual and creative storytelling, Arsalan has been producing videos since the age of 8. What started as a hobby has blossomed into a career that has led to 5+ million video views on social media. 

In the Fall of 2007 Arsalan attended Mount Mercy University and graduated with a double major in Marketing and Management and a minor in Psychology in the Spring of 2012.

Telling others stories is Arsalan’s true passion and gift. He always wants the best for others and offers knowledge and support to fellow entrepreneurs as much as he can. Which leads to his most recent endeavor, public speaking to empower, inspire and educate everyone to turn their passions into profit and success. 

For Arsalan, this is only the beginning, as he wants to help one million people around the world in pursuing and achieving a life of success and abundance.

Alumni Award Criteria

Nominations are open to persons who graduated from Mount Mercy.

May be awarded to any graduate who has improved the quality of life in the community by influencing social structures or establishing and promoting services to others or for outstanding service rendered to Mount Mercy over a period of years. (The most prestigious award presented to an alumni.) Candidates from the undergraduate and graduate level may be nominated for this award.

May be awarded to any graduate for significant contribution or achievement in his/her chosen professional field. (Recipients are established in their career and usually have graduated at least 10 years earlier.) Candidates from the undergraduate and graduate level may be nominated for this award.

May be awarded for humanitarian service to others through professional or volunteer activities. (Recognizes service.) Candidates from the undergraduate and graduate level may be nominated for this award.

May be awarded to alumni who graduated within the previous 10 years whose use of their Mount Mercy education and leadership qualities show promise of significant professional growth and achievement. (Recognizes achievements of recent graduates.) No graduate level candidates will be considered.