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University of Iowa News Release


June 11, 2008

Summer program brings Native American high school students to UI

High school students from Native American tribes throughout the United States are spending part of this summer at the University of Iowa, getting a glimpse of college life and learning how to conduct research in the field of biochemistry.

Iowa First Nations Summer Program 2008, which begins on Saturday, June 14, with an opening ceremony at North Ridge Park in Coralville, concludes Saturday, June 28. The program will bring together 12 students from Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona representing the Dine, Meskwaki, Lakota, Kansas Kickapoo, Omaha and Hidatsa/Arikara nations.

For 19 years the Iowa First Nations Summer Program has blended lectures, laboratory work, computer experience, field trips and other activities at the UI. During the intensive two-week program, students are immersed in health and life sciences as well as liberal arts disciplines, while getting the chance to learn about each other's cultures.

The students prepare for college while exploring career possibilities and working with native role models. Marisa Moore, multicultural coordinator for the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment and a member of the Omaha tribe of Nebraska, coordinates and directs the program. Mary Lestina, a current physics teacher at City High in Iowa City, is an instructor for the program.

John Achrazoglou and David Lippe, coordinators of technology in the UI College of Education, said they and their colleagues are showing students how to search the Web for information, how to use spreadsheet programs to analyze and chart their experimental data and how to put together Power Point presentations at the end of the two-week session.

Students also have had plenty of time for social activities. The schedule includes games, bowling, canoeing, a scavenger hunt and field trips. The closing ceremony will include a dinner and an awards ceremony. For a complete schedule of events, contact Moore at 319-335-0591 or

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Marisa Moore, Center for Diversity and Enrichment, 319-335-0591;; George McCrory, University News Services 319-384-0012,