Public invited to lectures, celebration with panel discussion
Monday, September 16, 2013

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) welcomes its 2013 class of alumni fellows to campus this week, and offers the public opportunities to interact with these distinguished Iowa graduates.

In addition to a public presentation by each alumni fellow, the public is invited to a free celebration and panel discussion with all the Fellows moderated by Joan Kjaer, host of UI International Programs’ WorldCanvass public radio and television series. The Alumni Fellows Celebration, co-sponsored by CLAS and the UI Alumni Association as part of its Lifelong Learning series, takes place in the Old Capitol Museum Senate Chamber on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Register for the Alumni Fellows Celebration.

Each year, several CLAS alumni are honored as alumni fellows for their outstanding contributions to society, their professions, the college, and the UI. Each fellow visits his or her home department to speak to classes, meets with small groups of faculty and students, and makes a public presentation based on his or her experiences since leaving the university. The program is made possible by funds from the UI Alumni Association Dean’s Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Below are brief biographies of this year’s alumni fellows, with information about the public presentations they are offering to the university and community. For longer biographies, visit the CLAS website.

Rick Cleveland

Rick Cleveland
Master of Fine Arts 1995
Theatre Arts

Cleveland has a successful and flourishing career in television and film. As a writer for The West Wing television series, he won the 2000 Emmy Award for Best Writing for a Drama Series, and is currently a co-producer and writer for the series House of Cards, nominated for the 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. He has also been a writer and/or producer for the series Six Feet Under, Nurse Jackie, and Mad Men. He co-wrote the film Runaway Jury, and he won the Jury Award for Best One Person Show at the 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Public Presentation: Public discussion with Rick Cleveland, Thursday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m. in the UITheatre Building

John Falsey

John Falsey
Master of Fine Arts 1978
Iowa Writers’ Workshop

Falsey is an award-winning and influential television writer and producer. He has been nominated for 11 Emmy Awards, and won three: Outstanding Mini Series in 1987 (for A Year in the Life), Outstanding Drama in 1992 (for Northern Exposure), and Outstanding Dramatic Writing in 1992 (for I’ll Fly Away). Falsey has won numerous other prestigious awards, and in 1992 he was featured in Newsweek as one of the “100 Cultural Elite in America.” In February 2013, he won the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television, the Writers Guild of America’s lifetime achievement honor.

Public Presentation: “Moving from Poetry and Fiction Writing to Screenwriting,” Friday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. in theDey House Frank Conroy Reading Room

Simone Ferro

Simone Ferro
Master of Fine Arts 2000

Ferro came to Iowa having performed as soloist for such prestigious dance companies as Balé da Cidade de São Paolo, Ballet do Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, and Ballet Du Grand Théâter du Genève. Ferro joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2001, where she is chair and professor of the Department of Dance in the Peck School of the Arts. She travels regularly to Brazil to document and research the traditionalBumba-meu-boifolk festivities in the northeastern state of Maranhão, resulting in choreographed works and a unique research repository of dozens of video clips of traditional Bumba-meu-boi.

Public Presentation: "Evolution of Popular Culture in Maranhão, Brazil,” Friday, Sept. 20, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 150 Clinton Street Music 6

Howard Kerr

Howard Kerr
Bachelor of Arts 1960
Political Science

Kerr, an Iowa City native, served as Commanding Officer of U.S. Navy destroyers and as Commander of Destroyer Squadron Thirty-Three. He earned Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Kerr served as a military aide to Vice Presidents Agnew and Ford, as a naval side and feputy presidential counselor to President Ford, and as a military fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations. Upon leaving the military, he developed a successful private-sector career, becoming president and CEO of Custom Technologies Corporation, Grabill Aerospace Industries, Ltd., and Pocklington Financial Corporation. He also served as mayor of Lake Forest, Ill.

Public Presentation: “A Diverse Journey,” Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 5 to 6 p.m. in 40 Schaeffer Hall

Stamatios "Tom" Krimigis

Stamatios “Tom” Krimigis
Master of Science 1963, PhD 1965
Physics and Astronomy

Krimigis earned his doctoral degree under the supervision of James Van Allen, briefly served on the UI faculty, and then began a lifelong career at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He has been involved with instruments that have flown to eight planets, acting as a principal investigator or co-investigator for 21 instruments on space missions including the Cassini, Voyager, and Explorer missions. Krimigis has authored more than 500 scientific papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings. In addition to having an asteroid named after him (“8323 Krimigis”), he has won dozens of prestigious awards, including two NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and the Smithsonian Institution Trophy.

Public Presentation: “The Voyager spacecraft after 36 years in space: The quest for traveling beyond our solar system,” Thursday, Sept. 19 from 12:30to 1:50 p.m. in 70 Van Allen Hall

Lewis Lipsitt

Lewis Lipsitt
PhD 1957

Lipsitt, professor emeritus of psychology, human development, and medical science at Brown University, is a pioneer in the field of child psychology. Lipsitt’s discoveries laid the bedrock for much of what we know today about early language and cognitive development. Among many awards and honors, he was a Guggenheim Fellow, and has received the Nicholas Hobbs Award for "Science in the Service of Children" in 1990 from the American Psychological Association. Lipsitt also won the American Association for the Advancement of Science Lifetime Achievement Mentor Award for helping women and minorities in the pursuit of scientific careers, and in 2012, he was given the Vincent De Francis Award from the American Humane Association.

Public Presentation: "Baby behavior, hedonics, early learning, and crib death: An Iowa legacy," Friday, Sept. 20, at 3:30 p.m. inW207 Pappajohn Business Building

J. Paul Oetken

J. Paul Oetken
Bachelor of Arts 1988

Oetken is a judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He was nominated to the seat by President Obama and received his commission in July 2011. Oetken earned a degree from Yale Law School and went on to clerk for two federal judges and for Justice Harry Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. He served as an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice, and as associate counsel in the Office of Counsel to the President. Before assuming his current judgeship, he was with Cablevision Systems Corporation as associate general counsel and senior vice president.

Public Presentation: Judgment and Judging: “The Importance of a Liberal Arts Education and a Career in Law,” Friday, Sept. 20, at 3:30 p.m. in 2217 Seamans Center

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Fellows Celebration on Thursday, Sept. 19, will be live-streamed on the CLAS website. For more information on the Alumni Fellows program, click here.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend the events, contact the Nic Arp in advance at 319-335-2818 or