Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Karah Kluck, student assistive technology coordinator and Meg Mechelke, lead student writer, were recognized as Student Employee of the Year—Certificate of Distinction recipients.

Each year, University of Iowa student employees are recognized for the work they do for their department and the university. Students are nominated based on reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and uniqueness of contribution.

Kluck and Mechelke received Certificates of Distinction for being voted in the top seven students overall.

Kluck is a second-year student studying speech and hearing science and has worked at the Iowa Reading Research Center since 2019. She meets with families during assistive technology consultation appointments to demonstrate devices and apps that children with reading disabilities can use to complete academic and daily tasks. She was the original co-coordinator of this service.

“Nobody has been more instrumental in building the assistive technology consultation appointment than Karah,” said IRRC Director Dr. Deborah Reed. “It’s remarkable for a second-year student to be coordinating a service like this. She always puts the families first, and she lifts everyone around her with her energy and enthusiasm.”

Mechelke is a second-year student studying English and creative writing and theatre arts and has worked at the Iowa Reading Research Center since 2020. Mechelke writes Varied Practice Reading passages and accompanying comprehension questions for students in Grades 1–8 for the purpose of reading research and instruction. As the lead student writer, she also provides feedback to peer colleagues on the writing team and trains newly hired student writers.

“The quality of Meg’s work and the responsibilities she was assuming were akin to that of a graduate student,” Reed said. “We created a new position to promote Meg to lead writer, and her ability to fulfill this leadership role has immensely improved the quality of all the writing produced for the Varied Practice Reading project.”

“The work Meg and Karah do contributes to the mission of the IRRC by serving children, educators, and families. They deserve to be recognized for their innovative thinking and hard work, and we are so proud to have them on our team.”