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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 8, 2005

International Education Week Nov. 14-18 Promotes International Engagement

University of Iowa International Programs invites the public to learn about many ways to be engaged in international education through a series of activities to celebrate International Education Week Nov. 14-18.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

University of Iowa President David Skorton said this is an especially good time to reflect upon the many international education opportunities available to students, faculty, staff and the community year round - as well as look for ways to strengthen international education and exchange.

"Despite our successes and support of internationalization at the UI, our country and our world are at an especially critical juncture -- socially, culturally, and academically -- that compels us to pay attention to educational exchange between the United States and our academic colleagues throughout the world," Skorton says. "I encourage everyone to look for more ways to be engaged with international education."

Activities at the UI include a reception to honor the winners and runners-up of the International Programs Fourth Annual Photo Contest, "Show Us the World Through Your Eyes," as well as a new essay contest "Coming to America," Friday, Nov. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Blank Honors Center on the UI campus. This event is free and open to the public.

Almost 60 photos were entered in the contest from the perspective of an international student studying in the United States or from the perspective of a U.S. student studying abroad. All entries are displayed on the fourth floor of the Blank Honors Center for the entire month of November. The photo contest is sponsored by the UI Office for Study Abroad, and the essay contest is sponsored by the UI Office of International Students and Scholars. Both contests are co-sponsored by International Programs. The winners of the essay contest, which was open to all international students, will be announced at the Friday reception.

The following students won prizes in the "Study Abroad Students' Views of the World" category:

* Brooke Peterson, a senior art major from Des Moines, won the grand prize for her photo, "Doge Palace Lady," taken in Venice, Italy.

* Rachel Olsson, a sophomore international studies major from Urbandale, won the runner-up prize with her photo, "Party in the Streets," taken in Caracas, Venezuela,

* Adam Garcia, a senior marketing major from Aurora, Ill., won the third-place prize with "The Hammock," taken in Fiji.

* Emily Roberts, a senior anthropology major from Iowa City, won honorable mention for her untitled photo taken in Mysore, India.

* Fran Boyken, a senior international studies major from Iowa City, won a popular choice award for her photo "Riverscape," taken in Veranasi, India.

* Jessica Horwitz, a senior English major from Minneapolis, Minn., also won a popular choice award with her photo, "Per Dare Amore," taken in Cinque Terre, Italy.

The following students won prizes in the "International Students' Views of the U.S." category:

* Mitul Sarkar, a graduate student in neuroscience from Luknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, won the grand prize with a photo, "Janitor and Proud of It," taken in Washington, D.C.

* Weidong Xu, a graduate student in physiology from Suzhou, China, won the runner-up prize for a photo, "Perception," taken in Pella.

* Guolin Zhao, a graduate student in graphic design from Xian, Shaanxi, China, won the third-place prize for an untitled photo taken in Bartlesville, Okla.

* Yugang Sheng, a graduate student in physics from Beijing, China, won honorable mention for a photo, "The People," taken in Grant Park, Chicago.

* Jing Xu, a graduate student in statistical genetics from Beijing, China, won a popular choice for a photo taken in Santa Fe, N.M., entitled, "Apache Warrior in Snow."

To view the winning photos, visit the IP Web site at and click on the IEW Show Us The World winning photos online gallery.

Other highlights from the International Education Week schedule include:

-- Thursday, Nov. 10: "Night of a Thousand Dinners: Eat Away at Landmines," 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Old Brick, 20 East Market Street, Iowa City: Alexis Bushnell, a UI student who was in Cambodia and worked for Cambodian Mine Action, will be the guest speaker. There will also be a silent auction, Chinese music and other related activities. Please contact Nittaya P. Burnham at for tickets or more information on the Night of a Thousand Dinners.

-- Tuesday, Nov. 15: "Living Locally, Thinking Globally: Issues Facing International Women in our Community," 7 p.m. at the Women's Resource and Action Center. Facilitators will include Linda Kroon, Amina Mahmood and Helen Jameson. The format will be an informal discussion of experiences common to international women in the Iowa City area. Many of the challenges and benefits of Living Locally and Thinking Globally will be shared. The public is welcome, and childcare will be provided. This event is co-sponsored by WRAC and the Office of International Studies and Scholars as part of the Life in Iowa Series.

-- Thursday, Nov. 17: noon to 1 p.m. in the UI International Center Lounge: International Thursdays speaker, Allison Pinneke, a UI Peace Corps Representative, will discuss her Peace Corps experience in Turkmenistan, "Two Years in Turkmenistan." Refreshments will be provided.

-- Friday, Nov. 18: "Café Central: African Experiences," 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Gerber Lounge (room 304) of the English-Philosophy Building: This forum will be used to showcase African cultures, as well as education and socio-economic issues. Four doctoral students from four regions of Africa will present parts of their works. The focus will be on language, geopolitical features in Africa and socio-economic issues. African foods will also be provided. This event is sponsored by the African Students Association and OISS.

For a complete schedule of UI International Education Week events, visit the UI International Programs Web site at

For more information or special accommodations to attend any of the events, contact Leslie Aktan, International Programs, at, 319-335-3862. For more information on the national celebration of International Education Week, visit

UI President David J. Skorton has declared the 2005-2006 academic year the Year of Public Engagement, during which the University community is intensifying its efforts and sharpening its focus on engagement with the public and public issues at the local, state, national, and international levels. More information is online,

International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the 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.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Writer: JoAnn Seeman