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University of Iowa News Release

April 1, 2005

Gandhi Workshop April 2-3 Draws Teachers From Around State

Fifteen middle and high school teachers from around Iowa will participate in a weekend workshop April 2 and 3 at the University of Iowa to learn about non-violent conflict resolution methods and ways to implement them in their classrooms. The UI International Programs Weekend Workshop, "M.K. Gandhi: The Man, His Ideas and Their Contemporary Applications," will be held in the Iowa Memorial Union Michigan Room (Room 351) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday.

Thomas Walz, UI professor emeritus and former director of the UI School of Social Work, will conduct the workshop, which introduces Gandhi in terms of his developmental history and background, his later life experiences and how these multiple forces combined to influence his ideas.

"The workshop is an excellent opportunity for teachers of all subject matters to gather information and perspectives that will be invaluable in helping their students understand the far-reaching issues and implications that spring from the life and philosophies of Gandhi," said Buffy Quintero, outreach coordinator for UI International Programs, a co-organizer of the workshop.

Walz is former director of the Peace Corps in Honduras, and the founder of the Institute for Social Development and its director for many years in Mexico. For 35 years, he led travel-study seminars to Central America and later, to India. He was a visiting faculty member at the University of Hawaii and the University of Perm in Russia.

In his retirement, Walz directs the Extend the Dream Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides ownership and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Workshop participants will be given a tour of one of Walz's projects, Uptown Bill's Small Mall, 301 S. Gilbert St., Saturday, April 2, at 6 p.m. Since his retirement, Walz has been named to the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame and was a top 10 finalist in the national Volvo for Life Award program.

Participating teachers include:

ANKENY: Aaron Puffer, Ankeny Community School District

CEDAR RAPIDS: Betsy Huston, Johnson School of the Arts, Facilitator

IOWA CITY: Cathy Covington, City High School, AP government; Mitch Gross, West High School, American studies, American government

MARSHALLTOWN: Aaron Benscoter, Timothy Johnson, Robert Matz, Marshalltown Community School District

MUSCATINE: Andrea Wilford, Muscatine Community School District, social studies

WEST DES MOINES: Karen Downing (English), Lori Hinton, Diane Van Wyk (social studies), Valley High School

WINTERSET: Cynthia Watson Pottebaum, Winterset Community School District

Funding for this workshop is provided by UI International Programs and with co-sponsorship from the UI Center for Credit Programs. For more information about the workshop, contact Quintero at 319-335-0345.

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects, and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

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

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Buffy Quintero, 319-335-0345; Writer: Po Li Loo