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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 9, 2008

Obermann Graduate Institute for Public Engagement names 2009 fellows

Fourteen University of Iowa graduate students will learn ways to combine academic interests with civic engagement at the Graduate Institute for Public Engagement, sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Graduate College.

During the workshop Jan. 13-19, the students will focus on how teaching, research and creative work can advance their careers while addressing community needs. Participants will explore new ways to connect scholarship, the arts and higher education to local communities.

Co-directors of the third annual institute are Teresa Mangum, associate professor of English, and David Redlawsk, associate professor of political science.

"The purpose of the institute is to create leaders in higher education who have the commitment and the tools to deepen relationships between colleges and universities and their local, national and global communities," Mangum said. "We hope to initiate long-term philosophical changes in the way these future leaders view the goals, responsibilities and work of colleges and universities."

Fellows receive a $500 award. Participants from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are Douglas Grane, Geography; Janet Hendrickson, Nonfiction Writing Program; Peter Likarish, Computer Science; Matt Low, English; Ann Pleiss Morris, English; Timothy M. Paschkewitz, Chemistry; Leah Pesola, French and Italian; Andrew P. Saito, Theatre Arts; Barb Shubinski, American Studies, and Craig Webster, Cinema and Comparative Literature. College of Education participants are Mohammed A. Basir, Science Education; Matt Cassidy, Teaching and Learning; Amy Lynn Jones, Teaching and Learning, and Ashley Meredith, Educational Policy and Leadership Studies. For more on the fellows, visit

Students will discuss readings, meet with scholars who have integrated public engagement with their teaching and research, and visit community sites.

The students will participate in a public program, "Lessons from the Flood -- Collaborating in a Crisis," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15 in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library. A public reception follows at the Englert Theatre. Michael Lombardo, Iowa City city manager, is the featured speaker. He will be joined by panelists Gregg Oden and Barbara Eckstein, UI faculty members who will share perspectives on pollution in the Iowa River and on serving on the UI's flood mitigation task force. The event is co-sponsored the UI Center for Teaching, UI Civic Engagement Program, the City of Iowa City, the Women's Resource and Action Center, and UI Associate Provost for Diversity.

Participants will also have the chance to develop their own public engagement projects. The public is invited to learn about the students' projects from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 at the Iowa City Public Library.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies provides an environment and resources for reflection and writing and for the exchange of ideas. Scholars from a broad range of disciplines and institutions interact with one another and with the public to create and communicate new knowledge and to establish a vibrant intellectual community. For more information on the Graduate Institute for Public Engagement call 319-335-4034 or visit

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Diana Baculis, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, 319-335-4360,; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070 (office), 319-430-6576 (cell),