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University of Iowa News Release


April 1, 2008

At A Glance

UI seeks honorary degree nominations

The University of Iowa Honorary Degree Selection Committee is seeking nominations for the next round of honorary degree awards.

Degrees are conferred during UI commencement ceremonies upon individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary and sustained achievements in such areas as research, scholarship, education, artistic creation, social activism, human rights, humanitarian outreach or other endeavors consistent with the values of the UI. 

Nominations may come from colleges or from individual faculty members and are reviewed by an eight-member faculty committee. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa approves the committee's recommendations.

In 2007 honorary degrees were awarded to clubfoot treatment pioneer Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, professor in the Carver College of Medicine, and Marvin Pomerantz, university alumnus, business leader, benefactor and former regent.

Nominations should be made in a two-page statement or letter, outlining the nominee's achievement, and forwarded to Evalyn Van Allen-Shalash, Office of the Provost, 111 Jessup Hall; or via email attachment to; or via The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 9.

For more details on nominations, see or contact Van Allen-Shalash at 319-335-0142.

Tippie M.B.A.'s Henry Fund named top student-managed fund for third year

The Henry Fund, the investment fund managed by M.B.A. students in the University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie School of Management, was recently named the top fund in its class for the third consecutive year. The fund had the highest risk-adjusted return in the Graduate Large-Cap Growth Equity category for 2007 and was honored at the annual Redefining Investment Strategy Education (RISE) conference at the University of Dayton March 27.

The Henry Fund, named after is benefactors, Henry Tippie and Henry Royer, provides Tippie M.B.A. finance students with real-world investment experience. The fund, which holds about $1.5 million in assets, posted a return of 12.57 percent in 2007.

Student managers who attended the conference included Bill Aldridge, Anne Thimsen, Joey Reed, Gabe Hilmoe and Meenakshi Sundaram Ramasamy.

Income from the fund is used to support scholarships for first- and second-year M.B.A. students, guest speakers and educational travel opportunities for students.

For more information about the Henry Fund see

Students honored for business plans

Two University of Iowa students in the Tippie College of Business were named regional winners in the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition held March 27 in Des Moines. Jared Garfield and John Slump won first place in the regional competition for their business plan for J&J Solutions, the developer of a drug transfer device for the safe handling of hazardous drugs used in IV drug therapy. They received $5,000.

Second place in the regional contest went to Stephanie Hall for her business plan for Dream Day, which allows couples getting married to create a registry of gifts other than items for the home, such as cash donations for such items as honeymoon packages or wedding albums. She received $2,500.

The competition was sponsored by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, which can be found online at

Museum of Natural History presents 'Fossil Guy' programs in April

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns in April with educational programs at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoons at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. At each program, Johnson, a local amateur paleontologist and UI staff member, will give a 20-minute talk, followed by a close-up, hands-on, question-and-answer session using Johnson's collection of ancient fossils and artifacts. His presentations are geared toward elementary-age school children, but dinosaur lovers of all ages are invited to attend. All events are free and open to the public.

The dates of the programs and their subjects are:

--April 12: "When Tyrannosaurs Roamed Montana."
--April 19: "Duck-billed Dinosaurs: Pretty Faces of the Cretaceous."
--April 26: "Raptor Dinosaurs: Feathered Killers!"

For more information on the "Fossil Guy" and other Museum of Natural History programs, call 319-335-0606.

Outdoor expo and gear swap set for April 12

The University of Iowa's Touch The Earth Program will host an Outdoor Expo and Gear Swap on Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be held at the UI's Outdoor Rental Center, 2820 Prairie Meadows Drive in Iowa City and will include outdoor presentations given by local enthusiasts on mountaineering, bike touring and raptors in Iowa. Several tables will be available for selling or swapping outdoor gear; a raffle and a silent auction will also be held.

For more information and a complete list of events and times visit or call the Outdoor Rental Center at 319-384-1225.

Folsom featured in Walt Whitman documentary April 14 on PBS

University of Iowa English Professor Ed Folsom is featured in an upcoming documentary on American poet Walt Whitman. The program will air from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday, April 14, on PBS as part of the network's "American Experience" series.

A related Web site may be found at

The film discusses Whitman as one of the most recognized figures in American literary history, but also examines failures he experienced during his lifetime -- failures to reach a general audience, to receive the honors he craved, or to curb the impending civil war.

Folsom, a well known Whitman scholar, has been involved with the documentary for five years, contributing six hours of interviews and helping to edit the script. He discusses Whitman's life, work and "urban affection" -- the way his poetry responds to and helps create a poetics of the city.

For details on the documentary, see

As co-director of the Walt Whitman Archive,, Folsom is working to make Whitman's work accessible worldwide. He edits the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and the Whitman Series for the UI Press. On a Guggenheim Fellowship, he's writing a "biography" of Whitman's influential book "Leaves of Grass."


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.