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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 25, 2003

Three UI Students Receive Braverman Scholarships

Three University of Iowa graduate students have been awarded the David Braverman Scholarship, given annually to graduate students with disabilities who have demonstrated academic excellence and who have contributed to the betterment of their undergraduate institutions and communities.

Barbara Davidson of Northwood, Iowa, Chana Barron of New York City, and Kellie Haigh of Indianola, Iowa, are this year's recipients of the $1,500 scholarship.

Davidson is currently working on her master of public health coursework as well as a Ph.D. in medical anthropology. Her fieldwork research was in northern Thailand, where she interviewed a selected group of Hmong villagers with tuberculosis to understand the cultural interface between the hill tribe population and Thailand's national TB program and the implications of that relationship to treatment success.

Barron is in her third year of doctoral studies in the Department of Sociology and is pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology with the goal of becoming a teacher and eventually conducting research within an academic environment. She also hopes to work to promote better understanding about the processes that facilitate equality, tolerance, and improved standards of living for all members of society.

Haigh plans to finish her graduate degree in social work, and her certification requirements, in May 2004. She would like to work with people and families facing terminal illness. In the essay she was required to submit as part of the scholarship application process, Haigh said she believed it is the task of educational institutions such as the UI to begin dismantling some of the societal stereotypes regarding people with disabilities.

The scholarships were presented during a Nov. 4 gathering of more than 60 members of the UI community, a ceremony sponsored by the UI Office of the Provost. Among the attendees were the David Braverman's widow, Rosalie, her son, Mace, and her daughter-in-law, Kay, as well as UI President David Skorton, who addressed the gathering.

David Braverman and the Braverman family originally endowed a fund in 1976 to support various projects for people with physical disabilities who were attending the UI. The initial project was funding of the paratransit system, called the "Bionic Bus", to transport students and university employees to and from classes and work. The "Bionic Bus" is still in running today and is operated by the university Cambus system.

The fund has been extended is now used to support, through scholarships, all students with disabilities who are enrolled in University of Iowa graduate or professional studies. Since 1979, when the scholarship was first given, 80 Braverman scholarships have been awarded.

The UI Foundation and Office of Student Disability Services administer the scholarship program with private funds provided by the Braverman family.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,