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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 24, 2008

At A Glance

Deadline looms for Working at Iowa Survey

About 45 percent of University of Iowa faculty and staff have taken the Working at Iowa Survey, breaking the record of participation when the survey was last conducted in 2006. But UI officials are still hoping to hit 60 percent participation before the survey ends in a little over a week.

UI faculty and staff have until Monday, Nov. 3 to take the quick and easy survey at

UI Human Resources will use the results to improve the work environment and the engagement of faculty and staff to their work. There are other potential payoffs as well. Survey participants are eligible for weekly drawings for $100 cash prizes.

'Democracy Promotion in a Time of Transition' topic of Oct. 29 luncheon

Thomas O. Melia, deputy executive director of Freedom House, will present "Democracy Promotion in a Time of Transition" at a noon luncheon of the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council Wednesday, Oct. 29 at Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City.

Freedom House is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that strives to be a voice for democracy and freedom around the world. Through an array of international programs and publications, Freedom House works to advance the worldwide expansion of political and economic freedom. Melia oversees the organization's research and analysis, advocacy efforts and assistance programs to counterparts on five continents. On behalf of Freedom House, he testifies to Congressional committees, speaks at conferences and to audiences in the U.S. and abroad, and frequently to the media.

Mam's Deli will cater the event. Reservations are $7.50 for council members and $8.50 for nonmembers. The deadline to register is noon Monday, Oct. 27.

For more information visit or call 319-335-0351.

Cizek to speak on testing validity at Oct. 30 Coffman Lecture

Gregory Cizek, professor of educational measurement and evaluation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will discuss fundamental validity issues related to the use of test results to measure student achievement at the University of Iowa William E. Coffman Lecture. The lecture will begin at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Jones Commons of the E.F. Lindquist Center on the UI campus, followed by a reception. Both events are free and open to the public.

The introduction of consequences of test use as a source of validity evidence has prompted considerable debate in the educational measurement community, according to Iowa Measurement Research Foundation President Robert Forsyth, who is also professor emeritus in the UI College of Education. Cizek will summarize the roots of the debate and raise concerns about incorporating consequences into the concept of validity in his lecture, "Error of Measurement: Reconceptualizing Validity Theory and Practice."

His presentation will present a proposed framework to potentially improve test validation practice. More information on Cizek is available at

For more information or special accommodations to attend this event, contact Forsyth at 319-335-5412 or

Joel Schoenhals will present UI guest recital Oct. 30

Joel Schoenhals, piano faculty member at Eastern Michigan University and the Summer Piano Program at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y., will present a University of Iowa guest recital at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI Pentacrest.

His recital will be free and open to the public.

Works by two of the major Romantic composers in the piano repertoire comprise the program. Schoenhals will open with a performance of the Sonata in D major, D850, by one of the earliest Romantic composers, Franz Schubert. And after intermission, he will play a group of works by the 20th-century piano virtuoso/composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, who ranks as one of the last great Romanticists.

An active performer and recording artist, Schoenhals is a Steinway Artist. He is also a dedicated teacher who is active in local and state chapters of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). He has been keynote artist and a lecturer, and presented master classes at MTNA conventions around the country.

For more information visit

Oct. 31 Symposium will examine intersection of art, pop culture and terrorism

The University of Iowa Museum of Art and UI College of Law will present "Face-To-Face: The Terror of Interrogation," a free, public symposium examining the intersection of art, pop culture and terrorism, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum on the UI Pentacrest.

Considering the television program "24" and other popular portrayals of terrorism, speakers will address how visual media contribute to the public attitude toward human rights issues. The program will include a video screening by symposium co-organizer David Danzig, director of "The Prime Time Torture Project" with Human Rights First; a presentation by Joshua Casteel, former interrogator and author of "Letters From Abu Ghraib"; and a panel discussion with UI law faculty member Tung Yin and symposium co-organizer Serena Stier, UI adjunct professor of law and art history.

"Face-To-Face" is presented in conjunction with the UIMA exhibition "Eye Witness: Daniel Heyman's Portraits of Iraqi Torture Victims." Attendees will be invited to a preview tour of the exhibition following the symposium.

For more information visit or or call (319) 335-1727.

Blues/soul artist performs on 'Java Blend' Oct. 31

Blues and soul artist Gina Sicilia will perform live on Iowa Public Radio's performance series "Java Blend" from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, at Iowa City's downtown Java House.

Sicilia, 23, is from Philadelphia. Her first CD, "Allow Me To Confess" garnered rave reviews from publications around the world and earned her a "Best New Artist Debut" nomination at last year's Blues Music Awards. Sicilia's latest CD is titled "Hey Sugar."

The free show originates from University of Iowa's WSUI-AM 910 and will be recorded for broadcast Saturday, Nov. 15 and Sunday, Nov. 16, across the state on Iowa Public Radio.

For broadcast times and stations visit

'Fossil Guy' talk Nov. 1 at UI Museum of Natural History

Don Johnson, a local amateur paleontologist and UI staff member also known as "The Fossil Guy," will present "Sharp Teeth and Claws in the Age of Dinosaurs" at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium.

Johnson's presentation will consist of a 20-minute talk introducing visitors to meat-eating dinosaurs, followed by a hands-on, question-and-answer session using his collection of ancient fossils and artifacts. Examining the fossil evidence, visitors will learn about dinosaur hunting behavior, physical adaptations and habitat. They will also meet some of the other creatures with sharp teeth and claws that lived during the Age of Dinosaurs.

"Fossil Guy" presentations are geared toward elementary-age schoolchildren, but dinosaur lovers of all ages are invited to attend.

For more information on this and other Museum of Natural History programs, visit or call 319-335-0606.

'Piano Sundays' series continues Nov. 2 at Old Capitol Museum

The University of Iowa's "Piano Sundays" series continues at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum with a concert featuring six graduate students from three piano studios at the University of Iowa School of Music.

Performing are: Diego Arango, Allison Bechtum, and Catherine Sowder, students of Alan Huckleberry; Jeung-Yoon Lee, a student of Réne Lecuona; and David Hsu and Victoria Tsangari, students of Ksenia Nosikova. The program includes music by Sergei Prokofiev, Antonín Dvorák and Franz Schubert, among others. The concert is free and open to the public.

This marks the third year that the Old Capitol Museum, the UI School of Music and West Music have collaborated to bring the Iowa City-area community the "Piano Sundays" series.

For more information on the Old Capitol Museum visit

MFA students will read at Prairie Lights Nov. 2

Master of Fine Arts writing students from the University of Iowa will read from their work in a free event at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

This Sunday time slot in the fall is usually filled by residents in the UI International Writing Program, but the weekend of Nov. 2 they will be in Chicago for a literary conference.

The Nov. 2 event will feature graduate students in the Writers' Workshop, the Nonfiction Writing Program, the Playwrights Workshop and the Translation Workshop.

International writers will discuss 'Images of America' Nov. 7

Writers in residence with the 2008 University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) will discuss their "Images of America" -- in the midst of turbulent current events and a presidential election -- at noon Friday, Nov. 7, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

The annual "Images of America" panel, which comes at the end of the on-campus residency period, is usually casual and free ranging, with many of the IWP participants contributing in an impromptu manner. The result is usually a discussion filled with insight, humor and surprises.

For biographies of the writers in residence visit


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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.