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University of Iowa News Release


March 1, 2007

Digital Communications In Developing Countries Is Focus Of March 6 Lecture

Cliff Missen, director of the University of Iowa's WiderNet Project and instructor in the UI School of Library and Information Science, will discuss "Improving Digital Communications In Developing Countries" at the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St., Iowa City.

Missen has more than 20 years of experience in computers, networking, multimedia design, teaching and applications development. He also oversees the development of the eGranary Digital Library, an innovative way to deliver the world's knowledge to people and institutions with inadequate Internet access.

Missen visited Africa with a medical team for the first time in 1982. Since then, he has continued to teach and promote appropriate water well drilling technology through Wellspring Africa, a U.S. nonprofit organization that seeks to improve water procurement in rural Africa. Following a year as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Jos in Nigeria in 1999, he founded the UI's WiderNet Project, which has delivered technology-training programs for more than 3,000 African university administrators and technicians.

The WiderNet Project works to improve digital communication in developing countries through the development of human capacity and programming. The project is made possible through funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State.

The luncheon is presented with the support of River Products Co. and the University of Iowa Community Credit Union. The Cottage will cater the event. For those unable to attend, the lecture will be broadcast on WSUI-AM at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 11.

Reservation forms with a check can be sent to: Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, 1111 University Capitol Centre, Iowa City, IA, 52242-5500. Reservations are $7.50 for members and $8.50 for non-members. The deadline to register is by noon Friday, March 2.

For more information on this program, the ICFRC or special accommodations to attend this lecture, contact Thomas Baldridge at 319-384-2260 or Marianne Weiss at 319-335-0351.

ICFRC is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

ICFRC is a part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Joe Nugent, 319-335-2026,; Program: Marianne Weiss, 319-335-0351,; Writer: Erin Vaughn