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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 16, 2008

Four University of Iowa employees win Fulbright awards

Four University of Iowa employees won Fulbright grants to lecture or conduct research internationally during the 2008-09 school year. The recipients are Eugenia Crosheck, Charles Helms, Adriana Méndez Rodenas and Phillip Round.

The Fulbright program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Crosheck, associate director of the Division of Sponsored Programs, part of the Office of the Vice President for Research, will participate in a Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminar in Germany. She will study German higher education, seek opportunities to work collaboratively with German institutions, and network with other international education administrators from the United States. Crosheck's job at the UI involves advising faculty and others on preparing Fulbright applications as well as applications to numerous other grant sponsors. Now that she's experienced the process first-hand, she'll be able to provide additional insight on preparing a successful Fulbright application. She plans to share that information with groups on campus.

Helms, professor of internal medicine in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will conduct vaccine policy research in Australia. Helms, an infectious diseases specialist and medical director of the Office of Clinical Quality, Safety and Performance Improvement at UI Hospitals and Clinics, will travel to New South Wales, Australia to study their new policy of health care worker immunization, which requires the screening and vaccination of all health care workers for preventable diseases. Its goal is to radically reduce the transmission of such diseases among health care workers and to patients. Iowa and most other U.S. states do not require mandatory programs of health care worker vaccinations. Hence, understanding the impact of the Australian directive could be key to shaping vaccination policies in the United States, Helms said.

Adriana Méndez Rodenas, professor of Spanish and international studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and International Programs, was awarded a distinguished chair in American Studies at Uppsala University in Sweden. Méndez Rodenas will teach an advanced course on Latino autobiography at the Swedish Institute for North American Studies, affiliated with the Department of English at Uppsala University, the oldest university in Sweden. In April, she will present a major lecture on her research on Fredrika Bremer, a 19th century novelist dubbed the Swedish Jane Austen. Bremer traveled to the United States and Cuba in 1851 with a utopian view of America. Méndez Rodenas plans to edit the author's sketchbooks, which offer a comprehensive view of American culture and plantation society in Cuba.

Phillip Round, associate professor of English and American Indian and Native Studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will lead graduate seminars at the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona in American cultural studies. His seminars, titled "Borders and Homelands, Margins and Translations: American Literatures and Geographies of Contact," draw upon his most recent book, "The Impossible Land: Story and Place in California's Imperial Valley" (New Mexico, 2008). Round's seminars will emphasize the increasingly global and transnational nature of contemporary American society and its literature.

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has exchanged about 273,500 people -- 102,900 Americans -- who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 170,600 students, scholars, and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States. The program operates in over 150 countries.

For details on the Fulbright Program, visit

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070,