Alumni Awards

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

2020 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Mary Ann (Miller) Osborn '76

Mary-Ann-Miller-Osborn.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.

Distinguished Service Award

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.

Mary Andrus '78, 1998 | Sister Vicky Arndorfer '70, 1992 | Dr. Dawn Axon Bazarko '85, 2011 | Dolores Trierweiler Beierschmitt JC'39, 1980 | Loraine Bomkamp JC'50, 1972 | Catherine Collins Boyle JC'33, 1965 | Colleen Shaughnessy Brems '75, 2007 | Sylvia Howes Campion JC'57,'59, 1987 | Sister Mary Cashman JC'33, 1978 | Marlene Schnoebelen Cebuhar '73, 1981 | Marie Clancy CM'28, 1981 | Dianne Quinn Danaher '68, 2000 | Linda Steele Dearinger '65, 1991 | Pamela Schmitz Delagardelle '84, 2012 | Edna Derga AC'47,JC'49, 1970 | Sister Regina Differding RN'29,JC'32, 1978 | Sister James Donahue RN'51,'59, 1999 | Marjorie Donohue AC'16, 1964 | Patricia Ryan Doyle '75, 2008 | Sister Susan Dunnwald JC'55,'66, 1986 | Lucyle Urich Florian AC'30,JC'32, 1966 | Sister Lawrence Hallagan JC'30,RN'36, 1970 | Mark Hennessey '88, 2016 | Sister Mary Agnes Hennessey AC'27,JC'30, 1976 | M. Blanche Kinley Hennessey AC'22,RN'31, 1970 | Pat McDonald Henricksen '64, 1989 | Mae Bresnahan Henry JC'31, 1979 | Ethel McElroy Herring '69, 1997 | Dr. Abby Hitchcock Heydman RN'64, 2009 | Gary Hinzman '76, 1985 | Dorothy Hronek JC'42, 1978 | Charlotte Hubbard JC'34, 1965 | Jaye Hunt Kennedy '82, 2016 | Tammy Clemenson Koolbeck '86, 1996 | Paula Eggleston Land '90, 2017 | Dr. Marilyn Langhurst '76, 1994 | Susan Liddell '76, 1999 | Viola Ludwig JC'35, 1966 | Sister Mary Lyness Memorial Fund, 2003 | Mary McGovern Magill '60, 1984 | Dr. Leslie Brusletten Marshall '90, 2005 | Margie McDermott McAllister JC'53, 1974 | Mary Eileen Sheehan McAndrews JC'42, 1974 | Cecelia Cashatt McGregor '74, 1982 | Venona McGuire RN'32, 1978 | Rose Mary Jennings Miner JC'48, 1977 | Dr. Susan O'Conner-Von '76, 2011 | Robin Bourret Perry '87, 2004 | Delaine Bachman Petersen '82, 1996 | Mary Plamadore JC'38, 1964 | Sister Mary Lou Podzimek AC'52,'66, 2002 | Margaret Ryan Trust RN'49, 1974 | Dr. Rachel Schemmel JC'49, 1971 | Sister Shari Sutherland '71, 1995 | Kathy Harbaugh Swift '77, 2018 | Dr. Mary Tarbox '74, 2019 | Dr. Marita Ball Titler '74, 2006 | Sister Ruth Torpey AC'25, 1976 | Liz Hennessey Valliere AC'52,JC'54, 1978 | Peggy Boyle Whitworth '64, 2000 | Sister Mary Cephas Wichman JC'51,'61, 1978 | S. Jayne Stevens Woodson '73, 1998 | Barbara Lemon Wright '66, 1983 | Diane McGrane Wyckoff '68, 1990

2020 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.

Professional Achievement 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.

Tracy Rich Alshouse '87, 2005 | Dr. Clara Baldus '76, 2004 | Patrick Ball '96, 2008 | Barb White Barhamand '77, 1997 | Lois Bentler-Lampe '86, 2010 | Hedy Kruidenier Bextine '91, 2004 | Jayni Riley Blackburn '70, 1991 | Anna Lappi Blakeley '78, 1996 | Mary Bruggeman Boeding '77, 1997 | Dianne Richardson Bonebrake '77, 2008 | Mark Bordignon '93,'12, 2001 | Greg Bordignon '82, 1996 | Peg Huber Bradke '76, 2004 | Greg Buelow '95, 2010 | Jean Bushman RN'55, 1995 | Lynne Campbell '88, 2003 | Bill Campbell '89, 2002 | Mary Clarke '82, 2010 | Jason Connell '99, 2016 | Mary Cooney Cooper '71, 1990 | Mary Corrigan-Psihoyos '85, 2008 | Eugenie Dean '69, 2000 | Greg Dickinson '83, 1988 | Madonna Feeney Edel JC'36, 1993 | Tasha Bohr Everman '89, 2006 | Melissa McKenna Fagan '88, 2009 | Mary P. Ferguson '75, 1995 | Lt. Kelly Fitzpatrick '83, 2008 | Sandi Fowler '93, 2009 | Sister Margaret Friedhoff '74, 1999 | Brian Gardner '96, 2011 | Larry Greco '76, 1994 | Cammie Hagen Greif '88, 2008 | Mary Kalkhoff Hagen '77, 2002 | Dotty Ranson Harpool and Family, 2000 | Carol Heaverlo '89, 2017 | Beth Hirleman Houlahan '77, 2002 | Matthew Hunter '89, 2001 | Rhonda Ballou Jackson '91, 2005 | W. Scott Jamieson '01, 2009 | John Kalis '04, 2018 | Dr. Dick Kettelkamp '93, 2009 | JoAnn Zinkula Kintzel '86, 2013 | Dr. Robert Kirkpatrick Jr. '96, 2008 | Mike Klappholz Sr. '77, 1994 | Pamela Pranger Kostle '83, 2012 | Kevin Kucera '81, 1995 | Mary Schulte LoVerde '75, 2001 | Judy Stender Lubben '03,'15 MBA, 2016 | Cindy Moroney Lyness '75, 1994 | Lt. Col. Tamara Riley Matter '84, 2009 | Dolores Law McMullen '64, 1996 | Dr. Jane C. Meyer '82, 2000 | Mary Moseman Meyer '78, 2000 | Dr. Tony Miksa '92, 2011 | Fran Carey Millard JC'57, 1990 | Lt. Charles Mincks '88, 2003 | Mike Myers '83, 2011 | Dr. Wendell Oderkirk '76, 1991 | Mary Ellen Oglesby '92, 2006 | Mary Kuiper Osborn '00, 1999 | Dawn Sherman Oxley '81, 2009 | Nathan Peck '97, 2019 | Janet Palmer Peck '82, 2001 | Darla Deal Petersen '87, 2010 | Connie Richardson '81, 2001 | Theresa Robinson '67, 1992 | Betty Van Steenhuyse Rogers '67, 2005 | Dr. Jean Hoffman Saigh '73, 1991 | Dr. Cindy Beyer Scherb '79, 2008 | Dorita Pion Sondereker '82, 2012 | Maria Meyer Steele '79, 2004 | Dale Todd '83, 2009 | Marie Hansen Trachta '63, 1996 | Dr. Ann Romick Valentine '80, 2007 | Scott Wallingford '97,'13, 2016 | Ann Palmer Wilson-Grant '86, 1998 | Julie Gach Woodruff '77, 2007 | Randi Youells '73, 2005 | Dr. Rae Yuan '92, 2004 | Connie Yuska-Bildstein '73, 1998

2020 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.

Misericordiae 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.
Marian Fischels Beckett '87, 1994 | Genny Monaghan Bennett JC'55, 2005 | Robin Wazac Borrett '81,'16 MSN, 2017 | Dr. Michael Condon '95, 2013 | Marcia Carroll Cooper '76, 2002 | Loretta Dostal RN'62, 1992 | Karen Driscoll Faricy RN'64, 2019 | Katie Ferris Feldman '80, 2010 | Rev. Barbara Egglestone Furman '86, 1998 | Julie Meloan Gallo '90,'94, 2000 | Dr. Susan Kelly-Taylor RN'69,'73, 1996 | Kellie J. Lala '89, 2009 | Sister Mary Lyness Memorial Fund, 1990 | Joan Kress McFarland '92,'16 MSN, 2016 | Lurine Russell McGee RN'43, 2003 | Ann Stanton McNee '65, 2008 | Joyce Nelson-Shellhart '77, 1997 | Deborah Reddick Oldakowski '78, 1994 | Sister Mary Lou Podzimek AC'52,'66, 1996 | Ann Woods Schrader JC'55,'70, 1995 | Joan McCoy Stien '91, 2001 | Paul Swanson '85, 2009 | Sara Ford Todd '85, 2012 | Jennifer Welton '05, 2018 | Barbara Posekany Zmolek '66, 1991

2020 Merit Award Recipient

Arsalan Monawar '12

Arsalan-Monawar.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.

Merit 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.

Tracy Rich Alshouse '87, 1995 | Dr. David Altimore '88, 2012 | Megan Spurgin Andresen '98, 2007 | Frank Arroyo '89, 1994 | Michael Barnhart '97, 2004 | Amber Hageman Bisinger '00, 2006 | Dr. Tim Brezina '91, 1999 | Dr. Julie Madison Corkery '83, 1994 | Mary Corrigan-Psihoyos '85, 1990 | Danielle Delaney Cripe '05, 2012 | Doug Doyle '09, 2017 | Dennis Dozier '00, 2006 | Clare Armstrong Duffy '08, 2016 | Kathy Halvorsen Enstrom '96, 2002 | Brad Feickert '09, 2016 | Ed Ferreter '80, 1990 | Kris VonSprecken Franzen '91, 1997 | Gabe Gluba '04, 2010 | Steven Grieb '93, 2001 | Paula Back Gunter '08,'19 MBA, 2009 | Renee Marks Hanrahan '91, 1997 | Sarah Sherman Hermanson  '00, 2007 | Damon Hines '10 MBA, 2016 | Tricia Hoffman-Simanek '98, 2005 | Dan Husmann '02, 2012 | Missy Gerlach Janssen '08, 2010 | Michael Kaduce '09, 2018 | Sara Kendall '90, 1995 | Dr. Nate Klein '07, 2011 | Christine Harstad Landa '92, 2000 | Corby Laube '96, 2002 | Jolonda Mahoney '86, 1996 | Laura Howell McCreery '03, 2011 | Dr. Paula Schmitz McFadden '86, 1994 | Bridget Burke Metzger '02, 2007 | Dr. Jane C. Meyer '82, 1992 | Tamra Dyer Mitchell '84, 1991 | Michael Moseley '90, 1996 | Joe Nolte '95, 2003 | Les Oelke '80, 1990 | Justin Oeth '06, 2013 | Wendy Hamilton Orr '85, 1992 | Jodi Miller Palmer '99, 2006 | Adam Parsons '02, 2002 | Julie Blow Pegump '03, 2008 | Nichole Clefisch Plagge '97, 2006 | Malinda Dittberner Poduska '89, 1999 | Brittany Prins '07, 2010 | Todd Schissel '96, 2003 | Ny-Oka Thomas Sokol '03, 2009 | Dr. Mary Kay Steen-Mueller '82, 1992 | Dr. Eric Stenberg '89, 1994 | Debbie Karr Stien '96, 1998 | Jon Stuckenschneider '95, 2002 | Jennifer Partridge Sweeney '93, 1999 | Angela Takes '96, 1999 | Renee Fahey Thies '96, 200 | Susan Koss Tremblay '87, 1994 | Stephanie Klein Van Hemert '09, 2019 | Nicole Palof Van Zante '04, 2009 | Kimberly Larson Venner '97, 2001 | Alice Swenka Vontalge '90, 1997 | Sarah Jencks Watson '08, 2012 | Mike Wehr '03, 2003 | Lanny Zieman '06, 2012