Awarded to a graduate student in the College of Education who will work at the Hospital School (now the Center for Disabilities and Development) to evaluate and develop learning programs for students with mental disabilities, including Down Syndrome, or to students pursuing careers in special education and established by J. Christian and Geraldine K. Clausen in memory of their daughter, Debra.

More about Debra Clausen

Debra was born with Down Syndrome in 1951 to Chris and Gerry Clausen, long-time residents and farmers in Hills, IA.  Chris and Gerry devoted themselves to raising Debra in a loving and normal environment and supported her food service training in the UI Hospital School where she then worked for 25 years.  Debra’s family feels she was able to reach her potential because of the care and understanding of outstanding teachers.  Debra died in 1996 due to complications from Alzheimer’s.  

Recent recipients

  • 2017 - Kathryn Marie Patterson
  • 2016 - Yingxue Wu
  • 2015 - Lindsey Dixon
  • 2014 - Emily Vasquez
  • 2013 - Max McIlwaine
  • 2012 - Minkowan Goo
  • 2011 - Julie Olive
  • 2010 - Sara Breitbach
  • 2009 - Laura Berger
  • 2007- Kristen Neve