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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 11, 2004

UI's Godina Named To Christie Vilsack Board

Heriberto Godina, an assistant professor of English education in the University of Iowa College of Education, has been named by Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack to her Stories 2000 Board of Directors.

With the appointment, Godina becomes the first UI professor to serve on the 12-person board since the program was launched four years ago. Godina also serves as a commissioner of Latino Affairs, a position appointed by Gov. Tom Vilsack.

"It's been an honor to be asked to work with Governor Vilsack and First Lady

Christie Vilsack," Godina said. "I have found them to be genuinely committed and sensitive toward improving educational opportunities for all children, including the needs of a growing Latino population in Iowa. I'm happy I could make a contribution to this shared effort."

Christie Vilsack's Stories 2000 program promotes literacy across the state of Iowa and organizes readings, story sharing and other activities at libraries and schools. The program's objectives include encouraging the reading and sharing of family stories with children early in life, rebuilding a sense of community in Iowa, focusing on public and school libraries as community centers for lifelong learning and recognizing communities that achieve a high level of literacy through support of their libraries and the development of partnerships.

Each year, the First Lady tours the state promoting a book to children, teachers and families. In 2004 the book was Lori Erickson's "Sweet Corn and Sushi: The Story of Iowa and Yamanashi," which recounts -- in English and Japanese -- the story of the Iowa hog lift of 1960, when 35 hogs were flown to Yamanashi, Japan, to help the region's livestock industry recover after two devastating typhoons.

Another bilingual book is on the horizon, Carmen Lomas Garza's Spanish-English "Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia". The book will be shared with Iowans later this spring. Previous book titles included as part of Stories 2000 were Susan Knapp's "Bells Goes to the Fair" (2003) and Mary Ann Gensicke's "I is for Iowa" (2002).

A Holmes scholar, Godina, who works in the UI College of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Language and Literacy Division (1998); a master of arts degree in teacher education from the University of Texas at El Paso (1992) and a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and printmaking, also from the UT-El Paso (1983). Additionally he holds a public school teaching certificate in secondary English and reading.

He is a member of the International Reading Association, the American Educational Research Association, the National Reading Conference, the National Association of Bilingual Education and the American Anthropological Association.

His publications include, most recently, "The contradictory literacy practices of Mexican background students: Results from an ethnography in the rural Midwest" (Bilingual Research Journal, 2004); a chapter, with Georgia E. Garcia, on "Addressing the literacy needs of adolescent English language learners" in T. Jetton & J. Dole (Eds.), "Research and Practice in Adolescent Literacy (2004); and "Mesocentrism and students of Mexican background: A community intervention for culturally relevant instruction" (Journal of Latinos in Education, 2004).

More information about Stories 2000 may be found online at

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

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