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A glance at university engagement on state, national, and global levels

Mason outlines new scholarship commitment

A new University of Iowa program to bolster student scholarship support for Iowa resident undergraduates is the cornerstone of $260 million in student success initiatives under way at the university.

The program, Golden Pledge: A Presidential Partnership for Student Success, will match the payout from new, privately funded endowed scholarships of $100,000 or more. It will dramatically enhance the more than $154 million in scholarship support already committed for University of Iowa students.

UI President Sally Mason committed to match these new scholarship dollars through a fund established in the UI Foundation to support student scholarships. The program will run through calendar year 2017 and is designed to significantly increase the number of scholarships for Iowans.

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Mason leads delegation to build on relationship with Asia

To help build on an already remarkable and fruitful relationship with the region, UI President Sally Mason traveled with a delegation to Asia on a trip that ran from June 29 to July 9 and included stops in Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai, and Beijing.

The trip comes on the heels of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s visit to Asia as part of an economic delegation and meetings with incoming Chinese President Xi Jinping, who visited Iowa 27 years ago when he was a provincial agricultural official.

While in Asia, the UI delegation met with education, business, and cultural leaders, alumni, donors, and others.

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President Barack Obama speaks inside the University of Iowa Field House on April 25. Obama spoke about college affordability and student loans. Photo by Bill Adams.

Obama addresses 5,500 Hawkeyes on college affordability

President Barack Obama addressed University of Iowa students and community members during an April 25 speech at the UI Field House.

It was Obama’s second visit to the UI as president, and according to UI archivist David McCartney, only the third campus visit by a sitting U.S. president.

President Obama spoke about keeping college affordable, particularly his call for legislation that would keep interest on federal Stafford loans at 3.4 percent. “This is at the heart of who we are,” he said. “We’ve got to make college more affordable for more young people.”

Photo gallery from the visit:

Hawkeye Caucus hits Des Moines to inform legislators about UI's value

The Hawkeye Caucus works to inform Iowans why the UI matters and what it’s doing to benefit the state and its citizens. One way it does that is by hosting an annual Hawkeye Caucus Day at the State Capitol, which this year took place on March 27.

Representatives from all UI colleges and various centers, programs, and initiatives commandeered the first floor of the Iowa Statehouse rotunda to tell Iowa lawmakers about the university’s value, showcasing everything from education and health care to research and economic development.

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Symposium looks at history, education, literature, art, and civil rights struggles of Latinos in the Midwest

While food, culture, and music are the most visible manifestations of Latinos’ presence in the Midwest, their influence in the region is more widespread but less known. Latino workers have harvested the region’s crops, manufactured its industrial goods, and processed its livestock. Moreover, Latino business owners have rejuvenated abandoned downtowns, while students have increased enrollments and diversified schools.

The contributions of Latinos to the nation’s heartland were the focus of The Latino Midwest, the 2012-13 University of Iowa Obermann-International Programs Humanities symposium.

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Iowa Now: A new platform, a new philosophy for telling the University of Iowa story

Iowa Now, launched in March, presents a brand-new platform for telling the UI story—and a brand-new philosophy for taking that story directly to the university’s varied and widespread audiences.

The Iowa Now website offers a one-stop online shop for news, multimedia, and features about UI people and programs. The content it delivers is designed not just to inform people, but also to intrigue and inspire everyone who feels a connection to the university.

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Experience the Powwow

The 19th annual UI Powwow was held Saturday–Sunday, April 7–8, in the UI Recreation Building. The event honors American Indian music, competitive dance, art, and food. Its purpose is to bring together the American Indian community from various states to sing, dance, and socialize.

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'Combined Efforts' engages all in community outreach

Janet Schlapkohl—playwright, director, actor, and recent UI Master of Fine Arts graduate in playwriting—designed Combined Efforts to be inclusive. The nonprofit theatre group welcomes performers, set designers, writers, and other lovers of theatre from a wide variety of backgrounds. Her community-wide vision of theatre also specifically integrates people with special needs into its productions.

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From China to the Mississippi

students on pontoon
Herky and students from China enjoy the chance to get out on the Mississippi River on the LACMRERS pontoon boat. The students were at the University of Iowa-led research station as part of an educational program called Rivers as Bridges. Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

The Mississippi River, which holds such an important place in North America’s geography, ecology, and culture, is also helping build bridges between the United States and China. Top Chinese high school students visited a UI-operated research station near Muscatine, Iowa, to learn about the Mississippi and get a taste of U.S. culture.

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State Archaeologist and volunteers dig up evidence linking Meskwaki with early traders

What do you call six or eight people lying flat on the ground with their heads in a small hole in a big farm field?

In this case, very dedicated volunteer archaeologists having a good time while also making a significant contribution to our understanding of Meskwaki life around 1840.

Sixty volunteers helped out with a 10-day dig this past March and April on the Amana Society farmland just outside of South Amana. They came from as far away as Minneapolis and St. Louis, but also from much closer to home, including a retiree from the Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) at the UI, which coordinated the dig.

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30 countries and counting: Pharmacy grad Lukas to continue global health pursuits

The trip across the stage to collect her diploma will be the shortest leg on the journey so far for Stephanie Lukas.

Last spring, she was in West Africa, completing an elective rotation for her pharmacy degree. During four weeks in Liberia studying the pharmacy system and ways to improve it, she met with the ministry of health’s medication supply chain manager, interviewed health care providers and patients, and participated in a training session for pharmacy workers who dispense medications. Liberia was the 30th country Lukas has visited but definitely won’t be her last. Leaving the UI with a Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health, she sees herself working with a global health organization to develop and deliver sustainable health care.

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Helping Dubuque, and Iowa, improve energy management

Power plants go online and offline on a routine basis. Alliant Energy is analyzing the Dubuque Power Plant to determine whether to shut it down in 2015. If it does, local residents, businesses, and industries would need to import electrical power from elsewhere—unless they can develop their own energy sources.

That's where the UI comes in. Graduate students in the UI School of Urban and Regional Planning are helping the community think smarter about energy, in several ways.

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Road to riches paved with problems?

New rock-fracturing technology has brought oil boom times to North Dakota. However, the roads leading to the state’s oil riches may be paved with a potential health hazard.

That’s the message from UI researcher A. Umran Dogan to residents of western North Dakota, where oil production from the Bakken Formation soared from about 1,500 barrels per day in 2004 to some 440,000 barrels per day in 2011. The boom times, however, may have come at a high cost for workers because some of the rural roads leading to the wells may contain a cancer-causing mineral called erionite.

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Phil was here (we have proof)

women in phil was here shirts in front of old cap
Short for philanthropy, “Phil” represents all who donate to the UI, as well as the students, faculty, and staff who benefit from those gifts. Photo by Jill Tobin.

On April 24, 2012, the UI and the UI Foundation celebrated the first-ever Phil’s Day on campus. Short for philanthropy, “Phil” represents all who donate to the UI, as well as the students, faculty, and staff who benefit from those gifts.

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UI, Kirkwood partner to strengthen Iowa K-12 science, math education

The UI and Kirkwood Community College are partnering to create a joint regional center focused on enhancing technical education and examining new models to stimulate additional student interest in STEM careers and four-year degrees and will co-lead one of the governor’s recently proposed regional STEM hubs.

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Kid Captain alumni shine bright beyond the spotlight

Three years ago, the UI Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes started the Kid Captain program, designed to tell the stories of determination, strength, and hope of the children cared for at UI Children’s Hospital. For many, their work with the hospital is ongoing as they continue to heal. We caught up with a handful of former Kid Captains to see how they’re doing now.

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Hawkeye Spirit blows through Windy City

fans outside wrigley field
Hawkeye families gather at Wrigley Field for a Chicago Cubs game on Friday afternoon. The Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants, 6-4.

The UI football team kicked off its 2012 season Sept. 1 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Thousands of Hawkeye fans invaded the Windy City, seeing the sights and spreading Hawkeye cheer everywhere they went. Check out the scenes from Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, and the site of the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies.

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UI delegation travels to Turkey to learn about media and culture

A group of UI professors and local media professionals traveled to Turkey to learn about Turkish media and culture in the hope of building further relationships with educational institutions and media entities in that country.

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Iowa health care organizations launch new partnership

Four of Iowa’s premier health care organizations have announced they are creating a health care alliance in Iowa and contiguous areas. The announcement was made in a statewide press conference, held today, June 28, in several cities simultaneously.

The new alliance, to be called UI Health Alliance (UIHA), will include over 50 hospitals and more than 160 clinics. The members of the alliance will work together to advance the high quality of health care services, to improve the health status of patients and communities, and to achieve efficiencies that will help member organizations reduce the rising cost of care for their patients.

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Picture perfect: Getty to undertake technical study, conservation of Pollock’s Mural

Pollock’s seminal work Mural (1943) will be conserved over the next two years as part of an agreement between the Getty and the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Photo by Tim Schoon.

A collaboration with the Getty in Los Angeles will provide new technical insight into Jackson Pollock's painting Mural (1943) and give the West Coast a chance to see up close one of Iowa's cultural treasures.

Pollock’s seminal work will be conserved over the next two years as part of an agreement between the Getty and the UI Museum of Art.

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Engagement program offers children who stutter a safe, supportive place

Many of us take for granted the ability to communicate with ease, but for individuals with communication disorders, operating in a hearing and speaking world can be a daily challenge.

UI SPEAKS is comprised of two summer programs—one for elementary school children, and another for teens who stutter. Both give kids who stutter a safe and supportive place in which to “let stuttering out.”

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A voice for troubled youth

A UI law student has developed a new program that gives a voice to kids from troubled families caught in multiple prongs of the justice system.

“Everyone involved in the juvenile system always wants to do what’s in the child’s best interest, but the child still doesn’t have a voice,” says Hasti Barahmand, a third-year Iowa law student. “There’s this population of youth that doesn’t have anyone to advocate for them right now. There’s nobody looking out for them.”

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doctor holding baby girl in his home
Dr. Chris Buresh holds Bedica Ermilus in his home before heading off to work. Bedica stayed with the Buresh family in Iowa City while she recovered from surgery. Photo by Tim Schoon.

Little girl, big journey, forever remembered

Bedica Ermilus will never know of all of the people who came together and worked hard to bring her to UI Children’s Hospital for a surgery in an attempt to save her life but it’s a sure bet they’ll never forget her.

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Farm Manuals Fast: The name says it all

Farm Manuals Fast, based in the UI entrepreneurship incubator, has sold and downloaded more than 5,000 agricultural implement manuals to farmers in 22 countries in its first two years.

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Pharmacy students take message to middle school

Five UI College of Pharmacy students visited Iowa City’s North Central Junior High School on March 23 to discuss medication safety, joining state and national efforts to address prescription-drug misuse.

The UI students, members of the UI Pharmacy Recovery Network (UI-PRN) and Generation Rx, cited real-life examples of the dangers of mixing prescription drugs and provided additional resources for information.

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Student-owned micro-lending business helps local start-ups

The UI is helping a new business get off the ground. Its focus: helping other new businesses do the same., a start-up micro-lender of sorts that’s owned by UI student Jeromy Sonne, is headquartered in the Bedell Entrepreneurial Learning Laboratory (BELL), the university’s student business incubator.

“It lets people who want to invest small amounts of money in the local economy put that money into small businesses in their communities,” says Sonne, a senior political science major and economics minor at UI.

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Building homes and hope

The UI Tippie College of Business’ fifth home built for Habitat for Humanity was dedicated May 5, at 2547 Whispering Prairie Ave. in Iowa City.

On hand was the family that will live in the house, Mahamadou Traore and Aissata Diallo and their three daughters. Mahamadou immigrated to the United States from Ivory Coast in 2002 to escape the civil war. Diallo emigrated from Mali in 2004.

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Marketing project aims high

A nonprofit group that runs educational tours in Yellowstone National Park is working with a group of UI marketing students to improve its share of visitors to the park.

The students, in a class taught by marketing faculty member David Collins in the Tippie College of Business, are helping the Yellowstone Association get an edge over dozens of other tour operators at a time when the number of visitors to the park is largely static.

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UI student and alumni bring youth theater to Osage

Kids in Mitchell County will have a chance to "tread the boards" every summer thanks to a new theater program started by a UI student and two alumni.

The Osage Summer Theatre Program was founded by UI senior Maggie Blake, along with Theresa Augsburger and Maggie Jones, two recent UI alumnae. Blake said the three of them, all theater majors, wanted to use their education and their skills to work with children and provide a kind of community service. They settled on Osage, population 3,400, as the location for their theater because it's Jones' hometown.

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School of Social Work hosts 14th annual Iowa Latino Conference

Coordinated by a statewide planning committee and the UI School of Social Work in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the conference aims to explore the changing demographics and dynamics of Latino communities in Iowa, and to strengthen the responsiveness of policy makers, business leaders, and community organizations.

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Christopher Clair, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0900


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