Three COL students receive UI’s highest honors

Congratulations to COL students Michael Todd Appel, ’13, Mauricio Cardona, ’13, and Abhay Nadipuram, ’13, who were presented the University of Iowa’s highest honors at the 96th annual Finkbine Dinner on April 9.

Michael Todd Appel received the Hancher-Finkbine Graduate/Professional Student Medallion. He is a third-year law student from Iowa City. Appel has served as Vice President and President of the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students. He introduced the One Biggest Improvement initiative, encouraging council delegates to enhance one area of their respective colleges. Appel also proposed a plan titled Universities for a Better Iowa, to the Iowa Board of Regents, in order to emphasize the benefits of state institutions. The initiative boosted publicity for the UI and other state universities.

As National LGBT Bar Association regional chair for the Midwest, Appel increased collaboration among law schools, and helped establish advocacy organizations at schools without LGBT-friendly policies. He also has served as a judicial intern and law clerk, participated in Moot Court, joined the Citizen Lawyer Program, and received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Mauricio Cardona received the Hubbard Human Rights Award—Graduate/Professional. He is a third-year law student from Delta, Colorado. Cardona has helped lead the Latino Law Student Association (LLSA), served on the Dean’s Advisory Council on Diversity, and worked as a student intern in the College of Law Legal Clinic.

Through the LLSA, he organized a spring break trip to Austin, Texas, for student volunteers at the Workers Defense Project. Long-range goals of this project include encouraging students to use their Texas experiences to support low-wage immigrant workers in Iowa.

Cardona has helped establish the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, uniting a diverse group of Johnson County people and organizations to assist low-wage workers.

Abhay Nadipuram received the Graduate/Professional Distinguished Student Leader Certificate. A third-year law student from Waterloo, Iowa, he is currently the note and comment editor for the Journal of Corporation Law, working closely with students to develop their scholarly writing.

Nadipuram has served as a Research Assistant for Alexander Somek, Professor of Law, analyzing comparative law topics. As Co-President of the Iowa Student Bar Association, he advocates for student learning and development, and works with administrators to consider more LGBT-related course work.

As Governmental Relations Coordinator for the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students, Nadipuram coordinated town hall events and Regents’ Day with student leaders, and spoke at the Universities for a Better Iowa event. He was the council’s Member of the Year in 2012.

He’s also served with the Pro Bono Society, Iowa Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and the Asian-Pacific American Law Student Association. In 2012, he was named Student Organization Leader of the Year.