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University of Iowa News Release


May 24, 2007

UI Student To Participate In One World Foundation's Young Leaders Program

University of Iowa undergraduate student Laila Mohamed, a Japanese and linguistics major in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) from Coralville, is the first UI delegate to the One World Foundation's Summer Young Leaders Program.

The One World Foundation's summer programs take students of color from across the United States on service learning volunteer projects in developing countries. This is the program's first year, and the UI has joined Yale University and Lincoln University as the first university sponsors of scholarships for students to participate in summer programs in Cambodia and Mali. The UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment and UI International Programs are sponsoring the $3,500 scholarship to cover Mohamed's travel and accommodation expenses in the program.

During the summer program, Mohamed will work in Cambodia for Cambodian Living Arts, an organization that supports the revival of Cambodian traditional art forms and inspires contemporary artistic expression. The One World Foundation's mission is to encourage young people of color to become actively engaged in the human rights and development arenas, particularly as they affect indigenous and minority rights.

"Laila is the perfect person to represent the UI in this inaugural partnership," said Adrienne Hurley, assistant professor of modern Japanese literature in CLAS and coordinator of UI's partnership with the One World Foundation. "She has a keen sense of social justice, a sincere desire to make a positive difference in the world, and a seemingly endless supply of energy."

Mohamed was born in Sudan. When she was four years old, her family moved to Egypt, where they lived for five years. She also lived in Russia, New York and Texas before her family relocated to Iowa, where she has lived since seventh grade.

"I'm extremely honored to be selected for this," Mohamed said. "I think an opportunity to do something for another human being is one of the best things one can do with one's life."

Mohamed will fly to New York on May 30 for an orientation before her group departs for Cambodia on June 1. She will return on August 1 and will share her experiences in several on-campus presentations.

For more information about the One World Foundation, visit

The Center for Diversity and Enrichment, a program run from within the Office of the Associate Provost for Diversity, provides the primary leadership and coordination for outreach and service to under-represented minority communities, for pre-college student development and recruitment, and for developing and sustaining programs and activities that support the academic success and graduation of under-represented minority students. This includes working collaboratively with such offices as Admissions, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the Graduate College, Orientation, Student Financial Aid, Undergraduate Advising, and Support Service Programs in a university-wide effort to facilitate recruitment and retention efforts, and creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment.

University of Iowa International Programs enables UI 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 UI Office of the Provost.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Kelli Andresen, 319-335-2026,; Program: Adrienne Hurley, 319-335-2155,