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University of Iowa News Release

May 17, 2005

UI Student Gets Photo On Billboard, Appears On Talk Show

University of Iowa student Jennifer Palmer is making it big...really big, thanks to the "Ellen DeGeneres Show." 

Palmer now has her photo on a billboard located off the Highway 61 bypass in Muscatine. It's always been one of her dreams, and the show made it possible. She is scheduled to appear on the show today (May 17), at 4 p.m. on KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids and 3 p.m. on WQAD-TV in the Quad Cities.

For the "Oh, Yes You Can" segment on "Ellen," viewers are encouraged to email the show with things they've always wanted to do. So Palmer, 19, of Muscatine sent in a request that she wanted to have her face on a billboard. The show's producers liked the idea and called her two days after she sent the email.

"I was so surprised, especially hearing from them so soon. I didn't expect this to happen," Palmer said.

Palmer, who is a pre-business and art history major, sent a photo taken by a family member to the show. On Monday, the billboard was up, but was covered until 6 p.m., when a group of friends and family gathered for an unveiling. The exact location unveiling was kept a secret from Palmer; her mother, Mary, gave out the location information so people could gather for the unveiling, which was taped for today's show.

"When I was younger my family would visit family in Chicago a lot and I remember looking at all the billboards and thinking, 'Hey that'd be cool!'" she told the Muscatine Journal.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,