CONTACT: CATHY CLEMONS
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0008; fax (319) 384-0024
UI's Mizuhara award recipients announced
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa City residents Luis Sierra and Linda Walking
Woman are the recipients of this year's Mariko Mizuhara Award for Cross-Cultural
Understanding, given by the University of Iowa Office of International
Education and Services (OIES).
Two awards are given annually in memory of Mariko Mizuhara, a music
major from Japan who died unexpectedly in 1992. Mizuhara was a student
at the UI from 1988-1992.
Mizuhara's parents, Shunji and Noriko Mizuhara, established a memorial
fund for the awards. The awards are given annually to organizations or
individuals who have gone beyond their normal professional job duties to
promote cross-cultural understanding, appreciation for diversity and cooperation
among culturally diverse groups.
Sierra, a special education associate at City High School, works with
a wide variety of students with diverse needs and from various ethnic backgrounds.
He also serves as City High's assistant drama coach and the Paint and Patches
director. He has assisted various language arts and social studies teachers
with drama related activities and helps Spanish teachers with activities
for Hispanic Awareness Week. His love of drama has also lead to acting
endeavors with both the UI and Riverside Theater. His nomination papers
read, "His productions have such vitality with the cross-cultural
element always present."
In fact, Latino/Hispanic Awareness Week did not exist at City High beyond
Spanish classes, until Sierra got involved. Sierra also devoted a great
deal of time to The Multicultural Nonsexist student organization. He has
also helped with a multicultural puppet show and has done much to build
contact with Latino students at City High.
Walking Woman, a UI graduate student in science education, has volunteered
and performed for thousands of children and adults at local libraries and
schools. She is famous for her coyote storytelling, Native American dances,
beadwork demonstrations and stories about Native American horticulture.
When Walking Woman was a child, her mother and grandmother told stories
about the coyote and the horned toad, but the tradition was dying, so Walking
Woman, a Lipan Apache, has been adapting stories from the Lipan Apache
Coyote Cycle of tales.
The two awards of $200 will be given at the UI OIES foreign student
graduation reception at noon Friday, May 16, for activities that took place
between August 1996 and April 1997. Those nominating a person or organization
may nominate more than one person. Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominations
can be either U.S. or international students or groups.