May 15, 2022

Amber Grimm '17, '22 MAEd recognized with first Sister Mary Lou Podzimek Award

Mount Mercy University graduate Amber Grimm '17, '22 MAEd received the first ever Sister Mary Lou Podzimek Award during the 2022 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15.

Grimm received her bachelor’s degree from Mount Mercy in 2017, majoring in elementary education. On Sunday, she graduated with her Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in early childhood inclusive classroom.

This award is the highest honor conferred upon the graduate who—in addition to a GPA of 3.0 or above—has exemplified leadership, collaboration, and integrity.

The award is named for Sister Mary Lou Podzimek, who continues to be a part of the Mount Mercy community after more than 70 years—as a Sister of Mercy and as a former administrator, Board member emeritus, and Mount Mercy alum.


Grimm is an exceptional student with a GPA of 4.0. She has worked closely with undergraduate faculty, student teacher supervisors, field placement faculty, and academic advisors during her educational journey at Mount Mercy. As a teacher at Kenwood Leadership Academy in Cedar Rapids, Amber has taught early childhood education and in an inclusive preschool program over the past four and a half years.

One of Grimm’s adjunct instructors said, “I feel fortunate to know Amber through my work at Grant Wood Area Education Agency, and have been in meetings with her where I’ve seen her apply what she’s learned at Mount Mercy within her classroom setting.”

Grimm tutors students, teaches summer school, and has served as the Youth Development Lead Staff and Educational Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of the Corridor. Grimm practices servant leadership in her career and collaborated with others in the graduate program, often making helpful suggestions about her peers’ assignments and projects to lead them to success.

Grimm shared that she might want to become an adjunct instructor at Mount Mercy.

Congratulations, Amber!