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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 9, 2008

Hamot named new director of UI Center for Human Rights

Greg Hamot, professor of secondary social studies education in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the University of Iowa College of Education, will become the new director of the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR) for a two-year term effective immediately.

Hamot succeeds Downing Thomas (photo, lower right), UI International Programs associate provost and dean and professor in the UI Department of French and Italian in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), who has served as director since July 1, 2007.

Initiated by a multidisciplinary group of faculty in 1998-99, the UICHR supports the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad by providing leadership in human rights research, education and public service to the UI, its surrounding community, the state of Iowa and beyond.

Hamot was on the committee for the 50th anniversary celebration of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights that sparked the creation of the UICHR and has been involved with the center as a board member since its inception. He has also worked with the center on its Child Labor Project initiative and served as chief editor of the curriculum component of the project, assisting area teachers with the creation of six teaching modules addressing child labor issues.

"Greg has been an invaluable contributor to the UI Center for Human Rights since its inception, and has just the right mix of energy and commitment to lead it," Thomas said.

In addition to his work with the UICHR, Hamot has focused on democratic citizenship education reform work in Poland, the Czech Republic, Armenia, Bulgaria and Kyrgyzstan. He has also worked on Holocaust education curriculum development in Latvia. For more than a decade, he has orchestrated the UI International Day program, which focuses on a different human rights theme each year. From 1976 to 1991, Hamot worked as a secondary social studies teacher in the Chicago area.

Hamot has been a member of the UI faculty since 1995. He received his doctorate in social studies and global education as well as a master's degree in secondary social studies education from The Ohio State University. He received his bachelor's degree in history and grades 7-12 social studies certification from Northwestern University. In addition to his work on democratic citizenship education reform in post-Communist countries, his research focuses on infusing global perspectives into the curriculum.

He has served on the executive committees for both UI International Programs and UICHR and is the College of Education Coordinator for International Students and Programs. He has also served as the faculty sponsor for UI's Teacher Education Convocation. He is the state director for the "We the People: The Citizen and Constitution" program. Hamot is a member of the American Educational Research Association, National Council for the Social Studies, John Dewey Society, National Society for the Study of Education and Phi Delta Kappa.

Hamot said he is eager to continue and expand his involvement with the UICHR through his new role.

"I am looking forward to the possibility of a new degree program in human rights, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 10th anniversary of the center," Hamot said. "I am also looking forward to helping faculty find areas of scholarship, teaching and service in human rights that can benefit our students and their careers."

The UICHR is affiliated with UI International Programs, which 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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Downing Thomas, 319-335-0373;; Gregory Hamot, 319-335-5382,; Kelli Andresen, 319-335-2026,