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Release: Sept. 18, 2001

UI visitor to speak on civic engagement Sept. 20

IOWA CITY, Iowa – A leading political scientist and expert on civic engagement will visit the University of Iowa Sept. 20-22 as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor, sponsored by the political science department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. During her visit, Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, will give a free public lecture on "Civic Engagement in American Democracy: From Membership to Management." Her presentation is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20 in Room W401, Pappajohn Business Building from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The presentation will draw on her extensive research done on civic volunteerism. In addition to her academic appointment, Skocpol is director of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient.

Skocpol is a prolific author who has published many books and is a frequent contributor to leading journals. Her publications have won many awards, including a number of the most prestigious honors available from the American Political Science Association and the American Sociological Association. Her most recent book is "The Missing Middle: Working Families and the Future of U.S. Social Policy."

Skocpol's visit is cosponsored by the UI sociology and history departments. Her activities at the UI are supported by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, which brings outstanding scholars to the UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic year. A native of Vinton, Iowa, Beam willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Proceeds from the sale of the farm were used to establish the visiting professorships program in her name. Since 1977, hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists have visited the UI campus to give public lectures and to meet with students and faculty.