Dave Kurns, recipient of the 2018 Iowa State University Alumni Association Alumni Service Award, and Dean Beate Schmittmann
Dave Kurns, recipient of the 2018 Iowa State University Alumni Association Alumni Service Award, and Dean Beate Schmittmann

Greenlee School alumni and friends honored during 2018 Homecoming Week

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Iowa State University Alumni Association presented awards to several Greenlee alumni and friends at the LAS Honors and Awards Ceremony Oct. 25, 2018, and a university ceremony Oct. 26, 2018.

David Kurns, 2018 ISUAA Alumni Service Award

Dave Kurns (’82 journalism and mass communication) of Ankeny, Iowa, was selected as the recipient of the 2018 ISUAA Alumni Service Award for exceptional leadership and service to ISU and LAS.

Kurns served on the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication’s Advisory Council for over 10 years, including three years as chair. While chair, he spearheaded a number of initiatives, including creating a comprehensive communication plan for the school. He helped develop Greenlee’s Futures Forum (now endowed by William F. and Linda Z. Tubbs), which brings experienced industry professionals to the Iowa State campus to prepare students for their transition to careers. In 2012, he helped lead the redevelopment of the Society of Greenlee Alumni and Friends, which has been active in Central Iowa and is seeking to expand. Currently the editorial content director of Successful Farming, the longtime Meredith Corporation employee also helped establish the Meredith Apprentice Program at Iowa State.

He is a lifetime member of the ISU Alumni Association, belongs to the Order of the Knoll President’s Circle and is an active member of the Cyclone Club.

Henry Ong, 2018 LAS Dean
Henry Ong, 2018 LAS Dean's Arts and Humanities Award recipient

Henry Ong, 2018 LAS Dean’s Arts and Humanities Award

The late Henry Ong (’78 MS journalism and mass communication) of Los Angeles was posthumously awarded the 2018 LAS Dean’s Arts and Humanities Award, which recognizes alumni and friends who have enhanced appreciation of the arts and humanities at a local, state, national or international level. Ong was a playwright whose work was recognized throughout the world. He died Sept. 28, 2018.

Ong made his playwriting debut in 1989 with Madame Mao’s Memories, a one-person play about Chairman Mao Zedong’s widow. The play received instant acclaim and was produced nationally and internationally, including San Diego (Old Globe Theatre), London, Scotland (Edinburgh Arts Festival) and Singapore. His most recent production, The Blade of Jealousy, a contemporary retelling of the Tirso de Molina’s Spanish gem, Jealous of Herself, premiered at Whitefire Theatre, Los Angeles this summer.

Ong wasn’t a lifetime playwright – he utilized his degree from Greenlee in a public relations role at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for 25 years. After taking a UCLA Extension class, he pursued a career as a playwright, and never looked back.

Art Slusark, 2018 LAS Distinguished Service Award recipient, and Dean Beate Schmittmann
Art Slusark, 2018 LAS Distinguished Service Award recipient, and Dean Beate Schmittmann

Arthur Slusark, 2018 LAS Distinguished Service Award

Art Slusark of Des Moines, Iowa, received the 2018 LAS Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service and academic contributions that have furthered the educational mission of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

As chief communications officer for Meredith Corporation, Slusark oversees all external and internal communications; board-related and strategic planning activities; federal and state lobbying; and Meredith’s education, community and charitable initiatives.

Slusark brings over 40 years of experience as a journalist and public relations professional as the continuing corporate member of the Greenlee School’s Advisory Council. He was also instrumental in establishing the Meredith Apprentice Program and the Meredith Integrated Media Suite at Iowa State University. Now in its 15th year, the apprentice program places Iowa State students in editorial, digital and graphic design apprenticeships with several of Meredith’s media brands and departments. Slusark also advises journalism and communication programs at several other educational institutions in Iowa.

Slusark earned a master’s of administrative science degree in business management from the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business. He holds undergraduates degrees in journalism and political science from Duquesne University.

Dan Winters, 2018 LAS Young Alumnus Award recipient, and Dean Beate Schmittmann
Dan Winters, 2018 LAS Young Alumnus Award recipient, and Dean Beate Schmittmann

Dan Winters, 2018 LAS Young Alumnus Award

Dan Winters (’03 journalism and mass communication) of Urbandale, Iowa, received the 2018 LAS Young Alumnus Award, which recognizes alumni who are under 40 years of age who have excelled professionally and provided service to the community. A five-time Regional Emmy Awards winner, Winters has worked as a TV and radio journalist for 20 years. Before becoming the main anchor weeknights on WHO-TV, Channel 13 in Des Moines, Winters made a name for himself as an investigative journalism aimed at improving public policy. Winters has interviewed thousands of people during his career, including President Barack Obama during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.

Winters started his broadcasting career at the age of 16 at KMA Radio in Shenandoah, Iowa. After high school, he landed a job as a news anchor and editor for the CBS radio affiliate in Houston, Texas. After one year, he quit and enrolled at Iowa State. Winters was the seventh member of his family to attend ISU. As a student, he was president of the local chapter of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He also served on the Interfraternity Council, attended ISU Broadcasting Club and worked part-time as a reporter at KCCI-TV in Des Moines.

Winters emcees many philanthropic events, including the Alumni Association’s annual Cardinal & Gold Gala. He and his wife, Shannon, are life members of ISU Alumni Association.

Bill Tubbs, 2018 James W. Schwartz Award recipient, pictured with Greenlee School Director Angela Powers (left) and Dean Beate Schmittmann (right)
Bill Tubbs, 2018 James W. Schwartz Award recipient, pictured with Greenlee School Director Angela Powers (left) and Dean Beate Schmittmann (right)

William F. (Bill) Tubbs, 2018 James W. Schwartz Award

In addition to the college and university honorees, departmental award winners were also recognized at the LAS Honors and Awards Ceremony. William F. (Bill) Tubbs (’71 agricultural journalism) was presented the 2018 James W. Schwartz Award for distinguished service to journalism at the LAS Honors and Awards Ceremony. Tubbs and his wife, Linda, are co-publishers and co-owners of the Eldridge North Scott Press and the Wilton-Durant Advocate News. The Schwartz Award is the highest honor conferred by the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and was established in honor of James W. Schwartz, who served as the department chair from 1966-1977.

Jen Sorenson, 2018 CALS Outstanding Young Professional Award recipient
Jen Sorenson, 2018 CALS Outstanding Young Professional Award recipient

Jen Sorenson, 2018 CALS Outstanding Young Professional Award

During the 2018 Homecoming Weekend, Jen Sorenson (’01 animal science, journalism and mass communication) of Ankeny, Iowa, was honored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as recipient of the 2018 CALS Outstanding Young Professional Award for her work in agricultural communications. The citation honors CALS alumni who have distinguished themselves through significant advancement and achievement in their field. As communications director for Iowa Select Farms, Sorenson is an advocate for rural development and empowers employees by highlighting their accomplishments and encouraging involvement in local communities.