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Release: Feb. 10, 2000

Memorial residency recipient named in UI Clinical Pastoral Education Program

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has named a Nigerian pastor and professor as the first recipient of a memorial residency in the UI's interfaith Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program.

Dr. Ahaziah Umanah was named to the Alice Stevens Memorial International CPE Residency by the CPE program and the UI Foundation at a luncheon held at the UI's Levitt Center for University Advancement Feb. 4. The award provides a stipend for selected individuals from developing nations who are completing CPE residencies.

Umanah said he was humbled by the award. "It's a great honor for me. I hope to apply what I learn in the program to Nigeria, where we don't have such a chaplaincy," he said.

A UI graduate who earned master's and doctorate degrees at the university in the 1970s, Umanah is a pastor in the Nazarene Church and a professor of mass communications at the University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. During his one-year residency, he will be an active member of the interfaith chaplaincy corps at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education in Decatur, Ga., the UI CPE program prepares people of all faiths to tend to the spiritual needs of sick and dying individuals and their families. Graduates of the program work in hospitals, prisons, nursing homes and other institutions.

The memorial residency was created by Richard L. Stevens of Le Claire, Iowa, in memory of his wife, Alice Stevens, who died in 1996. Currently, resources are available to award the residency every three years, though efforts are under way by the UI Foundation to raise the funds necessary to award it yearly.

Alice Stevens earned a B.A. degree from the UI in 1954 and was a longtime supporter of the CPE program. Richard Stevens earned a law degree at the UI in 1939. As a consultant to the CPE program, he helped identify international religious organizations that might promote candidates for the residency. He was named an honorary permanent resident of the CPE program at the luncheon.

The Rev. Dr. F. Larry Shostrom, pastoral services coordinator for the UI Hospitals and Clinics, said Umanah is an excellent choice to be the first recipient of the Alice Stevens Memorial Residency.

"Dr. Umanah has a compassionate heart for people, years of experience working in the church and longtime ties to the university. He will provide a valuable service to the patients of the UI Hospitals and Clinics and their families while working in the residency."

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.