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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 29, 2006

Obermann Center Seeks Graduate Student Applicants For Institute

All University of Iowa graduate students are invited to apply to the first Obermann Graduate Institute for Public Engagement, sponsored by the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. The Institute, which will meet from Jan. 9 to 15, 2007, will provide 15 competitively selected UI graduate students with an opportunity to learn about how public engagement can be merged with teaching and research.

Participants will be awarded $500 stipends and the title of Obermann Graduate Fellow.

During the weeklong Institute, participants will study methods for engaged teaching and research and develop plans for a project that reflects the methodology and theory studied. Participants will meet with:

-- Nationally recognized experts in graduate student engagement.

-- UI faculty who are currently involved in this kind of work in their classroom and research, such as an art education professor who works with incarcerated women and an English professor whose students develop projects at the local animal shelter.

-- Graduate students who have started engaged projects, such as engineering students who proposed and then created an undergraduate course on sustainability; an MFA candidate who coordinates program for chronically ill patients at UI Hospitals & Clinics; and medical students who run the Mobile Clinic, which reaches underserved populations in and around Iowa City.

-- Representatives from community organizations in the social sciences, arts, and business, who have worked with UI faculty.

-- Administrators who will address how engagement is encouraged and recognized.

The Institute is co-directed by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences professors Teresa Mangum (English) and David Redlawsk (political science), both of whom have participated in the UI's Service Learning Institute, taught engaged undergraduate courses and served on local boards.

Keynote speakers for the Institute include Sylvia Gale, a graduate student in the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin, program assistant for the Humanities Institute at UT Austin, and coordinator of Imagining America's Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) program; Willard "Sandy" Boyd, director of the Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center and former president of the UI and The Field Museum; Monique DiCarlo, director of the Women's Resource and Action Center; and Katie Roche, executive director of the City of Iowa City's Summer of the Arts.

Graduate students in all fields and at all stages of their studies are eligible. Applicants may already have a project underway that they wish to develop further with the support of a group and an organized set of readings and discussions, or they may use the Institute as an opportunity to develop a project that will be launched in the future.

The mission of the Obermann Center is to provide an environment and resources conducive to reflection and writing and to the exchange of ideas. Scholars from a broad range of disciplines and institutions interact with one another and with the public to create and disseminate new knowledge and to establish a diverse and vibrant intellectual community. 

Applications are due October 1. For more information about the Obermann Graduate Institute for Public Engagement and the Academy, including full guidelines, see:, or contact Jennifer New for more information:, 319-335-4360.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, or Lesly Huffman, 319-384-0077,; Program: Jennifer New, 319-335-4360,; Writer: Jennifer New

OTHER INFORMATION: Obermann Graduate Institute for Public Engagement and the Academy:

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