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Alumni Awards

Recognizing our alumni for doing great things

If you know an alum that should be recognized for their achievements, we want to know about them!

Please nominate a Simpson alum for their achievements so we can recognize and award them in October during Homecoming.

Nominate an alum

Click here to view past award recipients

2023 Alumni Award Honorees

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Dr. Chris Jones ’83 chose Simpson because of its proximity to his hometown of Ankeny. Additionally, Chris was drawn to the beautiful campus, engaging faculty, and the opportunity to be a student-athlete.

While at Simpson, Chris was a varsity basketball letter-winner, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a member of the Beta Beta Beta biology honor society and received the outstanding senior biology student award. Following earning his bachelor of arts degree in chemistry and biology from Simpson, he attended Montana State University where he would earn his Ph.D in analytical chemistry in 1989.

Chris’ career has been continuously focused on Hydroscience and Hydrology. He has worked for municipalities and industry. From 2003-2011 he was the Supervisor of Water Quality for the Des Moines Water Works. In 2011, he accepted a position with the Iowa Soybean Association where he started, from scratch, a state certified testing laboratory serving agriculture. He also worked with farmers on conservation projects and wrote many analytical communication pieces for the Soybean Association. Chris received the Governor’s award for environmental excellence for this work.

In 2015, Chris accepted a position as Research Engineer at IIHR Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa where he managed the university’s network of water quality sensors and conducted research on contaminant hydrology in agricultural landscapes, municipal drinking water supply, and water monitoring. Chris is now enjoying retirement, having retired in May of this year.

Chris has published over 50 research papers and several of them have become classics in the field. He has written several papers on nitrate loads from Iowa to the dead-zone in the Gulf of Mexico which have led to more and more research on the subject. He is now nationally known and respected as one of the foremost experts on nutrient pollution and its role in the dead-zone. He continues to be a tireless voice for clean water and the well-being of Iowans. An example of this was Chris being the Keynote Speaker at Simpson College’s 2023 Research and Creativity Symposium. His book, The Swine Republic, was released in June 2023. And we have copies available for purchase in the Simpson College Spirit Shop.

When asked how Simpson helped contribute to his success, Chris stated, “so much of higher education now is training rather than education. Simpson was the latter. A well-rounded liberal arts education brought perspective to my scientific work and helped make me a better writer, listener, and problem solver.” Chris doubled-down on his belief in a Simpson education with his daughter, Emma graduating from Simpson in 2015.