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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 7, 2003

UI Senior College Sets Spring Class Schedule

The University of Iowa's Senior College begins its spring term on Jan. 20, offering several courses for retirees who want to enrich their knowledge in a wide range of subjects.

Senior College offers short-term, low-cost classes taught by emeritus UI faculty, current UI faculty and experts in the community. Senior College is a joint project of the UI Emeritus Faculty Association and the UI Retirees Association (the Gray Hawks). The UI Alumni Association coordinates registration for the classes, which are $30 each for four sessions.

This spring's classes include:

-"Understanding Southern Africa and AIDS" meets Tuesdays Jan. 20 and 27, Feb. 3 and 10, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. on the UI campus, Van Allen Hall, Lecture Room 2. Registration deadline is Jan. 13. Nowhere in the world suffers more from the devastation of HIV and AIDS than South Africa. This course will explore the cultural, political and historical nature of South African nations, including an update on the instructor Joseph Ascroft's research into the causes behind the spread of HIV/AIDS and how to confront this crisis of astounding proportions.
Ascroft is a retired communications professor at UI. Currently serving as a consultant to the UNICEF representative in Swaziland, he has both a personal and professional interest in South Africa.

-"An Obesity Epidemic in a Consumptive Society" meets Fridays Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. in Van Allen Hall, Room 70. Registration deadline is Jan. 30. Obesity is an American epidemic and the leading health problem in the U.S. today. Yet, in 1950, it wasn't even considered a disease. Many seniors have watched as the societal scale started to tip 20 years ago. This course will consider solutions to the obesity problem, including the surgical treatment of obesity known as gastric bypass or stomach stapling -- and who of the eight million possible candidates in the U.S. should have the operation. Instructors are UI alumni Edward E. Mason and Khurram Qadir. Mason is an Iowa City native who joined the UI's surgery department in 1953. Considered the father of obesity surgery, Mason introduced two stomach operations, including the gastric bypass, as treatments in 1966 and 1980. He has lectured on this subject around the world. Qadir is a gastroenterologist developing a new statewide obesity program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

-"Astronomical Surprises" meets Thursdays: March 4, 11, 18, 25 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. in Van Allen Hall, Lecture Room 2. Registration deadline is Feb. 26. This course will trace the evolution of our cosmic understanding, with an emphasis on modern technology and current findings. Topics include space exploration techniques, the solar system, relativity, the Big Bang, black holes and gravity waves. These will be addressed from a non-mathematical perspective intended to help attendees appreciate today's science headlines. Instructor Ken Gayley is a UI associate professor of physics and astronomy. A zone councilor for the Society of Physics Students and a member of the American Astronomical Society, his research focuses on the hottest stars -- those responsible for supernovae and the majority of the elements comprising the periodic table.

- "March Madness III: American Tableau" meets Fridays: March 5, 12, 19, 26 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Registration deadline is Feb. 27. At the center of this course is the special exhibition "American Tableau: Selections from the Collection of the Walker Art Center." Some of the best work from the prestigious Minneapolis museum will grace the UI Museum of Art's newly renovated gallery space. This look at 20th century creativity will explore a variety of topics, including the roles parody and irony play in the arts. Three UIMA curators Dale William Fisher, Kathleen Edwards and Pamela White Trimpe will serve as course instructors, presenting an overview of the exhibition and special lectures on specific themes and artists.

-"The Making of the Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival" meets Saturdays: April 3, 17, and 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Riverside Theatre, 213 N. Gilbert Street, Iowa City. Registration deadline is March 26. On the first two Saturdays of the class, students will join Miriam Gilbert, a Shakespeare scholar and UI English professor and Riverside Theatre's co-artistic directors Ron Clark and Jody Hovland for a sneak peek at the 2004 summer festival schedule. Discussion will cover "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Measure for Measure," both being performed at this summer's festival production. Kristin Horton, the director of "Measure for Measure," will join the group on April 17 for the introduction to this play. On April 24, attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into staging the festival, from production development to show design and casting.

- "Iowa, A Living Tapestry" meets Tuesdays April 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Kent Park Conservation Educational Center. Registration deadline: March 30. Participants in these sessions will examine the abundant natural history of eastern Iowa -- prairies, woodlands, wetlands and other ecosystems that provide habitats for the state's mammals, resident and migratory bird species, reptiles, amphibians and fish. The course will explain the identification of these ecosystems as well as management techniques that participants can employ on their own properties. Instructor Brad Freidhof is a naturalist for the Johnson County Conservation Board, where he is developing conservation and environmental education programs.

-"Literature, Opera, Film: La Traviata and Camille" meets Fridays: May 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. at the Seamans Center, Room 1505, on the UI campus. Registration deadline is April 30. Verdi's "La Traviata," the tragic love story of a 19th-century Parisian courtesan and the young man who can offer her love but not luxury, is based on Alexandre Dumas Jr.'s novel "La Dame aux Camelias." The story was also adapted into a play, known in English as "Camille," that spawned several film adaptations, including the 1936 version starring Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor. In this course, participants will read the novel and explore these two significant adaptations, in opera and in film. Instructor Thomas Dean, special assistant to the president and UI adjunct assistant professor of literature, science and the arts, received his degree in English and has training in both film and music.

To register or for more information, contact Jan Rigotti at the UI Alumni Association at 319-335-3245 or see the Senior College website at Registration is also available online at the Senior College site. Classes are open to any retired person.

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

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,