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University of Iowa News Release


March 27, 2007

Catalyst Award Seed Grant Winners Announced

The University of Iowa Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity has announced the recipients of the 2007 Catalyst Award Seed Grants. The Catalyst Award annually recognizes faculty, staff, students, and units for distinctive and innovative diversity contributions at the UI.

Supported campus wide, the Catalyst Award Seed Grants are targeted toward creative projects that would have an immediate impact on reaching the diversity goals of the university's strategic plan, The Iowa Promise. Projects that advance cross-cultural understanding, strengthen positive inter-group relations and promote a welcoming learning, living and working environment were given preference by the selection committee.

Recipients of the newly created Catalyst Award Seed Grants are:

 --Helen Jameson, assistant director for programming, and Lee Seedorff, advisor in the Office of International Students and Scholars in International Programs will be given a $950 grant for "Bridging Domestic & Global Diversity: A Training Program For Student Leaders." Jameson and Seedorff will develop and implement a training program for student leaders designed to bridge the gap between underrepresented, domestic racial/ethnic groups and international student groups at the UI.

--Laurie Croft, administrator for professional development with an adjunct appointment in teaching and learning, and assistant professor Malik Henfield, both in the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development in the UI College of Education, will be awarded a $750 grant for "Seeds of Understanding in Gifted Education." The program will help selected students in the Teacher Education Program learn to identify and meet the needs of traditionally underrepresented students in gifted education programs.

--Instructors Sue Almén-Whittaker, Nicole Smith and project assistant Jenna Hammerich in the English as a Second Language program in the Department of Linguistics will receive $270 grant for "Conversation Partners." The project will pair students in the Iowa Intensive English Program and the Teaching Assistants Preparation in English Program with UI faculty or staff members to create cross-cultural communication and dialogue. The program is in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

--Students Latisha Myers and Karen Ladjahasan will receive a $205 grant for their "Postcards" project. Submitted on behalf of the Minority Student Nurse Association, underrepresented and minority pre-nursing students at the UI will be in invited to participate in its mentoring program.

Seed money was provided for startup projects, programs that had potential sustainability as well as short-term projects that could demonstrate significant impact.  Projects are expected to be completed within the next calendar year.

For additional information about the 2007 Catalyst Award Seed Grant, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity at 319-335-0705.

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: Dorothy M. Simpson-Taylor, director of diversity resources, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 319-335-0705,