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University of Iowa News Release

July 8, 2005

UI Names Pienta Director Of Center For Teaching

Norbert J. Pienta, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry, has been named director of the UI Center for Teaching, effective immediately.

The Center for Teaching enhances UI instruction by supporting and promoting the development of teaching skills, strengthening the culture of teaching, serving as a symbol of the UI's commitment to teaching and influencing policy discussions in ways that support the development of an excellent teaching and learning environment.

"I'm very pleased that Professor Pienta has agreed to serve as director of the Center for Teaching," said UI Provost Michael Hogan. "His successes locally and nationally in reforming the ways in which chemistry is taught, as well as his broad involvement with the University, position him well for this important leadership position."

Pienta, who earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1978, came to the University of Iowa in 1999 after having served as director of undergraduate curriculum development and director of laboratories at North Carolina between 1989 and 1999. From 1985 until 1989, he served as associate professor of chemistry at the University of Arkansas, Fayettville. His current scholarship includes a monograph to promote faculty development, The Chemists' Guide to Effective Teaching, and his research in chemistry education includes using artificial neural network analysis of student problem solving.

Pienta succeeds Wilfrid Nixon, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the UI College of Engineering, faculty research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering and researcher in the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, who served in the position from July 2002 through July 2005. Pienta's salary will be $75,705.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,