Five Upper Iowa University graduates were specially honored during the annual Alumni Awards and Honor Class Brunch as part of the University’s “Peacocks United 202ONE” Homecoming celebration September 27-Ocober 3. Being recognized for their accomplishments either professionally, as an emerging alum or through service to the University, community or country were the following award recipients:
Service to Country Award
SFC, US Army (Retired), Dietrich Denali Cerna – Class of 2011
Grand Prairie, Texas
Dietrich Denali Cerna joined the U.S. Army in December 1993. He attained the rank of sergeant first class and was a leader in multiple facets all through his career in the Army. Cerna retired after over 20 years of honorable military service, which included numerous deployments and oversea tours. He was deployed to Kosovo and Iraq twice in America’s effort to counter terrorism. His oversea tours included Alaska, Germany and Korea. Cerna’s many awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (2), Commendation Medal (6), Achievement Medal (5), Army Good Conduct Medal (6), National Defense Service Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Kosovo Campaign Medal.
Service to Community Award
Jon Miller – Class of 1975
While attending UIU, Jon Miller was a founding member of the Acacia fraternity. His dedication to the organization continued long after graduation, assisting with its 45-year reunion, including a corresponding golf event, brunch, tailgate and dinner. Similarly, he has provided a lifetime of service to his local churches, youth programs, and other community organizations and events. A Knights of Columbus member, he has planted Tulips for the Pella Tulip festival, umpired baseball and softball games, coached Little League, organized an AAU girls’ basketball program, organized two Mar-Mac all-school reunions, and volunteers at the local Hospice Comfort House and Principal Charity Classic. In 2011, Miller retired after a long career as a business manager/school board secretary for the Mar-Mac (Marquette/McGregor), Carlisle, Independence and Pella, Iowa, school districts.
Service to University Award
Marcia Andrews – Class of 1973
As co-founder of UIU’s E.Y.E. fraternity, Marcia Andrews helped to establish the group as a freshman in 1969. Over five decades later, she continues to dedicate a tremendous amount of time and effort to keep the legacy of E.Y.E. alive at UIU. Andrews is normally the point person for annual E.Y.E. reunions and leads the effort to celebrate the organization’s other milestone anniversaries. In 2019, she helped reconnect nearly 200 UIU alumni by organizing E.Y.E.’s 50-year reunion. Her dedication to UIU and E.Y.E. is about more than simply sending letters and invitations. For example, when Graff Hall was razed at Fayette Campus, Andrews filled the trunk of her car with bricks to deliver to as many E.Y.E. members as she could so they would always have a piece of UIU with them. At reunions, she organizes elaborate trivia games on the subject of E.Y.E. and UIU women. The end result has been cementing countless lifelong friendships and an endless passion for UIU.
Emerging Alumni Award
Hadeel Osman – Class of 2014
An active student while attending UIU, Hadeel Osman is credited for always been a deeply passionate, motivated and creative individual. As the founder of DAVU Studio, she was most recently listed among the 2020 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30. Osman is a creative director, mentor, stylist and designer who has worked on several projects with clients in Dubai, Kenya, Singapore, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Sudan to enhance their visual branding strategies. Detail-oriented and solutions-driven, she is an advocate for change and development in Sudan and across Africa, and is heavily involved in the pursuit of evolving the local and regional contemporary fashion scene into a fully functioning industry. An ambassador for the Slow Fashion Movement, country coordinator of Fashion Revolution Sudan, and board member of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, Osman has taken a stand against the negative impacts of industrial fashion practices, while embracing a more holistic and decolonized approach to making, wearing and restoring garments.
Professional Accomplishment Award
David Stevens – Class of 1977
David Stevens has been a longtime contributor to the information technology industry. Between 1993 and 1997, Stevens served as a University of Iowa adjunct professor of business policy. He has since held key IT leadership roles with nationally and globally recognized companies including Alliant Energy, Hewlett-Packard (formerly EDS), and Fujitsu America, where he currently holds the head position of governance and assurance. Throughout his business career, Stevens has helped transition and transform the IT services and systems of customers including those for NASA, US Military Health System, Navy-Marine Corps, Kraft, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Homeland Security.
In addition to each of the alumni award recipients, UIU recognized Heritage Society members and the classes of 1970 and ’71 during the annual Alumni Awards and Honor Class Brunch.