Hawkeye Trio Earns Top University Awards

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa student-athletes Jason Kerst, Amy Lenderink and Marissa Mueller were honored Tuesday as part of the 103rd Finkbine Dinner Awards presentation by UI President Bruce Harreld and UI Vice President for Student Life Sarah Hansen. Mueller received a prestigious Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, while Kerst and Lenderink received the Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award.
Mueller, a native of Ontario, Canada, is a junior member of the women’s track and field team. She is one of only two undergraduate UI students to receive a Hancher-Finkbine Medallion this year and is thought to be the first female student-athlete and the fifth Hawkeye to receive the award in school history. Past known student-athlete recipients included men’s basketball players Dennis Pauling (1966) and James Moses (1970), football player Bob Elliott (1976), and men’s track and field athlete Alvin Matthews (1978). The Hancher-Finkbine medallions, established in 1964, are the most historic and prestigious UI awards, recognizing four students, one professor, one staff member, and one alumnus each year. It is the pinnacle campus wide award recognizing “Learning, Leadership, & Loyalty”.
Mueller, who holds the third-best javelin mark of 154-3 (47.02 meters) in school history, is a Biomedical Engineering and Pre-Medicine honors student with a 4.22 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. She is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, four-time UI President’s List honoree, Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team member. She serves as the current Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC) Vice President, which includes a student-athlete representative position on the UI Student Government. Mueller has logged over 600 hours of community engagement with top areas of service including the UIHC Burn Trauma Unit, the Ronald McDonald House and a children’s church leader at Life Church.
The Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award is named after a former dean and longtime UI faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference. The award is annually presented to a male and female student athlete who demonstrates outstanding academic and athletic excellence and leadership.
Lenderink, a senior member of the women’s swimming and diving team from Parker, Colorado, will graduate in May 2020 with a degree in psychology.  She will also earn a certificate in leadership studies and a minor in human relations.  Lenderink is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, has been on the University of Iowa Dean’s List seven semesters, and has received the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar award twice (2018 and 2019). The butterfly/freestyler has been an ISAAC representative since 2018 and has also served on the Leadership Team for Athletes in Action since 2017. Lenderink was selected as a team captain for 2019-20 and finished her career ranking ninth in school history in the 200-yard butterfly (2:02.51). Following graduation, Lenderink plans to pursue a postgraduate degree in educational policy and leadership studies from the University of Iowa.
Kerst is a four-year letterwinner on the men’s tennis team from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was a part of the Hawkeye singles lineup that recorded a 12-2 overall mark, achieved its highest national ranking in program history (No. 20), and was on pace to qualify for the program’s first NCAA Tournament before the season was canceled in March due to concerns over the coronavirus global pandemic.
Kerst will graduate in May 2020 with a degree in Management from the Tippie College of Business, as well as earn minors in Spanish and Sport and Recreation Management. In addition, he is a member of the honors program, and will graduate with honors designation. A two-time ISAAC representative, Kerst was elected President of the committee for 2019-20, and served as a Senator for UI Student Government. He earned the Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA) Medallion three times, was a five-time Dean’s List honoree, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, an International Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar Athlete, and was the Male Hawkeye of the Year recipient at the 2018 Golden Herkys. Following graduation, he will attend the University of South Carolina (on a full academic scholarship), where he will earn an MBA with career aspirations in Athletics Administration.

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