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University of Iowa News Release


March 16, 2007

Pulitzer Prize Winner To Help Commemorate Graduate Student Recognition Week

A Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of J. Robert Oppenheimer, "father of the atomic bomb," will visit the University of Iowa this month as the keynote speaker for Graduate Student Recognition Week.

Martin Sherwin will present "From Harvard to Hiroshima, The Educations of J. Robert Oppenheimer" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 in room W10 of the Pappajohn Business Building, with a reception to follow. The talk is free and open to the public.

Sherwin co-authored "American Prometheus" with Kai Bird. He spent a quarter-century interviewing nearly 100 of Oppenheimer's friends, relatives and colleagues and poring through thousands of FBI records. According to a review in The New Yorker, the book tells the story of a "physicist who oversaw the creation of the atomic bomb, was lauded as a patriot after the United States dropped the bomb on Japan, but nine years later was disgraced, accused of Communist sympathies" and character defects. It won the Pulitzer in 2006.

Sherwin's talk is a highlight of Graduate Student Recognition Week, which runs March 26-31. The celebration was established last year to recognize the unique and vital role graduate students play on campus. The Graduate Student Senate organizes events, working closely with the Graduate College and departments and programs across campus.

"The Graduate Student Senate recognizes that grad students wear many hats on campus, from teacher and student to researcher and employee, and works hard to advocate for grad students," said Sarah Vigmostad, a grad student in biomedical engineering, former Graduate Student Senate president and an organizer of the events. "Graduate Student Recognition Week is designed to recognize these many roles, and to celebrate graduate education on campus."

The public is invited to the Intermedia Graduate Open House, dubbed "part art exhibition, part science fair, part beaux art ball," from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 30 at the old International Center.

The event features video, installations and performances, all of which showcase grad students' interdisciplinary research and collaboration. The Intermedia Area of the School of Art and Art History, which is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is an interdisciplinary program committed to experimental, hybrid creative research, development and production in time-based media, installation, community-based practice and new media.

The week wraps up with the Ninth Annual Jakobsen Graduate Conference on Saturday, March 31.

The Jakobsen conference, sponsored by the Graduate College, showcases the innovative and diverse graduate research taking place campuswide. Research is presented in layperson's terms, and members of the public are welcome to attend any portion of the conference that may be of interest. Humanities, social sciences, biological and life sciences, physical sciences, math and engineering work will be presented from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blank Honors Center. Fine and performing arts presentations will be made from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum.

Throughout the day, workshops will be offered on grant writing, dissertations and the tenure process. In addition, graduate students will present a roundtable discussion offering advice for those planning to pursue graduate education. For workshop times and locations, visit

A complete schedule of Graduate Student Recognition Week events is available at

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

CONTACTS: Media: Nicole Riehl, 319-384-0070,; Program: Sarah Vigmostad,