CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 7, 2001
Obermann Center director elected to Humanities Iowa
Board of Directors
Dr. Jay Semel of Iowa City has been elected to the
board of directors of Humanities Iowa, the state affiliate of the National
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Semel's recommendation came from University
of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman.
Semel is director of the University of Iowa's Obermann
Center for Advanced Studies, an interdisciplinary research center within the
Office of the Vice President for Research that promotes interaction among
scholars and researchers in all fields and disciplines. Semel established
and now administers several Obermann Center grant programs that support interdisciplinary
and collaborative scholarship.
Semel also is assistant for interdisciplinary programs
to the vice president for research and the dean of the Graduate College. He
serves on the Research Council and Graduate Council, and helps administer
UI Interdisciplinary Graduate Degree Programs. He chaired the University of
Iowa Arts and Humanities Research Task Force and he helped establish the UI
Arts and Humanities Initiative, which funds UI humanities scholarship and
work in the creative and performing arts. He is the UI liaison officer to
Imagining America, a national association of universities promoting academic/public
partnerships in the humanities.
Semel has received several Humanities Iowa grants for
programming in Iowa City and he directed NEH-funded consortial projects that
developed statewide public programs on the Renaissance, on science and technology,
and on utopian literature and history. He has been an NEH review panelist
for the divisions of Education, Research, and Public Programs. He served on
the International Advisory Board of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and
He was educated at Temple University, the University of
Delaware and the University of South Carolina, was an English professor at
the State University of New York-Geneseo, and was a senior Fulbright Professor
in the former Yugoslavia.
Semel will serve on the Humanities Iowa board of directors,
which includes David Vikturek, Mason City; John M. Lewis, West Des Moines;
Jane Ann Stout, Ames; Madeleine M. Henry, Ames; Elaine Baxter, Burlington;
Jane Bell, Atlantic, Gladys Buffalo Benson, Tama; Wes Boldt, Des Moines; Willard
L. Boyd III, West Des Moines; Bruce Ellingson, Storm Lake; John Fitzpatrick,
Cedar Rapids; Harv Klevar, Decorah; Casey D. Mahon; Iowa
City; Madelyn Mayberry, Marshalltown; Lorenzo Sandoval, Clive; Bob Schnucker,
Parkersburg and Michelle Venable-Ridley, Sioux City.
Humanities Iowa is a private, non-profit state affiliate
of the National Endowment for the Humanities whose mission is to enhance the
civic life, culture, and identity of Iowans. Drawing on history, literature,
philosophy, law, and other humanities fields, it fosters life-long learning,
critical thinking, and community connections.