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University of Iowa News Release


March 21, 2007

Momentum Plus Initiative Launched To Encourage Diversity Outreach

University of Iowa Vice President for Research Meredith Hay and Provost Michael Hogan have announced a three-year renewal of the Iowa Promise Momentum Plus initiative, a program that offers competitive grants to UI researchers, scholars, and artists seeking to incorporate diversity outreach in their work. 

Named for The Iowa Promise, the UI Strategic Plan for 2005-2010, this initiative will award supplemental grants to individuals who have already competed successfully for external funding and who want to enhance a funded project with an additional diversity component. 

The program will distribute a total of $20,000 in supplemental grants each year for the next three fiscal years, to faculty, staff or students who have a currently funded external grant. 

"The awards committee was delighted by the interest in the project last year," said Marcella David, the special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity and associate provost for diversity.

Grants awarded in 2006 pilot project for Momentum Plus included: the Department of Mathematics sponsorship of Sonia Kovalevsky Day, a daylong workshop intended to encourage women to study science and math; a student summer research program sponsored by Department of Physics and Astronomy; a conference on cultural diversity and racial disparities held by the School of Social Work's National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice; and a joint social work and pediatrics program on youth development. Each of the above sponsoring departments and programs is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

David encourages other departments and researchers to think of ways they might use Momentum Plus funds to add diversity components to their research programs. Examples of diversity outreach include: K-12 programming with students from diverse communities; career exploration programming; K-12 teacher enrichment programs; research opportunities including lab work, fieldwork, or professional development; service learning opportunities that place current Iowa students in diverse communities; and collaborative work with minority-serving institutions.

"Increasing diversity in everything that we do is one of the key goals of The Iowa Promise," said Hogan. "It is essential to the educational experience and central to all parts of the university's mission, including our research, scholarly, and artistic endeavors."

The Momentum Plus grants are intended to help advance goals in the five key focus areas of The Iowa Promise: undergraduate education, graduate and professional education and research, diversity, vitality and engagement.

"The point of the Momentum Plus program is to encourage all of us to think of ways to incorporate diversity outreach into our everyday research, scholarship, and artistic efforts," said Hay.  "I am confident that UI scholars and researchers will have many terrific ideas for diversity outreach." 

Those looking for help to develop ideas, should contact Opportunity at Iowa, 319-335-3555; Women in Science and Engineering, 319-335-3511; Support Service Programs, 319-335-1416; or one of the many other UI offices that work with diverse communities on and off campus to learn more about ongoing efforts.

Details on the submission process are available at

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

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: Marcella David, 319-335-0705,