Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


April 22, 2009

At A Glance

UI has highest number of 'Power Down for the Planet' pledges

The University of Iowa gathered 6,013 pledges for the "Power Down for the Planet" challenge, the most by any university participating in the program and a third of the pledges made by all participating universities nationally.

The UI joined 18 other college campuses across the United States from March 23 to April 17 for "Power Down for the Planet" by asking students, faculty and staff to pledge to make simple changes to their personal computers' power management settings and to look for Energy-Star qualified equipment when making purchases.

The UI finished third in the challenge based on the percentage of users on campus who pledged, with 13 percent participation. The University of Maine at Farmington won the challenge with 24 percent participation.

Organizers of "Power Down for the Planet" predict that the UI could save an estimated $157,841 and 1,444,623 kilowatt hours of energy per year based on the number of total pledges. The total carbon offset is estimated at 1,097 tons per year.

For more information contact Lynnette Racevskis, Information Technology Services, 319-335-5536 or visit

Golden Girl is golden at World Baton Twirling Championships

University of Iowa sophomore and Golden Girl Chelsea Russell won a gold and two bronze medals at the World Baton Twirling Championships in Gent, Belgium April 8-12.

Russell is the Golden Girl feature twirler with the Hawkeye Marching Band. She is the first Golden Girl to qualify to compete in the world championships and has qualified in every age division to represent the United States. In the 19-year history of the National Baton Twirling Association world championships, she is one of only three twirlers to accomplish representing the United States four times in individual events. Only three twirlers can qualify to represent their country in individual events, and only one duo per country competes in the World Championships.

Her world-level medals include seven golds, two silvers, and five bronze medals won in the four world championships where she has competed. Russell is a former Grand National Twirling Champion and Miss Majorette of America, and has traveled to perform and compete in England, France, Holland, Japan, Canada, Peru, and Belgium, as well as across the United States.

Watch Russell's performances on YouTube at and

Journalism School places 10th in national writing competition

University of Iowa alumna Susan Elgin won eighth place for spot news in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation's Journalism Awards Program.

Elgin's award helped the UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication place 10th in the nation in the Hearst Intercollegiate Writing Competition. Conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, the contest consists of writing, photography, broadcast and multimedia competitions throughout the academic year.

Elgin, of West Des Moines, graduated in December with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. She won for her story about the 20th anniversary of the in vitro fertilization clinic at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The article, "A New Way to Life," was published in the May 12 issue of The Daily Iowan. Seventy-nine students from 46 colleges participated in the competition. Elgin received a $500 scholarship.

The University of Kansas won first place in the overall competition, followed by University of Missouri, Northwestern University, Arizona State University, University of Kentucky, University of Montana, Syracuse University, University of Georgia/University of Illinois (a tie), and the UI.

For samples of winning work visit

UI Hospitals and Clinics transplant programs approved

University of Iowa Health Care leaders announced today that they recently received letters of approval from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicating that the institution's organ transplant programs meet the strict "Conditions of Participation" established by the federal government last year.

The new UI adult lung transplant program also received a letter of approval.

Survival rates for transplant patients at UI Hospitals and Clinics are among the best in the nation, said Alan Reed, M.D., director of the Organ Transplant Center.

Reed also attributed the rapid growth of the new lung transplant program to the hard work of the program's entire team.

Comedian Finesse Mitchell appears at IMU May 1

Comedian, actor and former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Finesse Mitchell will appear Friday, May 1, in the Iowa Memorial Main Lounge.

Mitchell has appeared in movies such as "The Comebacks," "Mad Money," and "Who's Your Caddy." He had has his own special on Comedy Central, and has been on BET's Comic View. Mitchell headlines at top comedy clubs across the country and is in high demand to perform at universities and colleges.

Doors open at 10 p.m. for the show. Tickets are available at the University Box Office starting Monday, April 27. Tickets in advance are $3 with UI student ID, $7 for general public. At the door tickets are $5 with UI student ID, $10 for general public.

The event is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, Associated Residence Halls and Late Night at Iowa.

For more information visit

'Fossil Guy' program set for May 2 at Museum of Natural History

For the final program of the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History's spring "Fossil Guy" series, local amateur paleontologist and UI staff member Don Johnson will discuss some of the strange, early ancestors of well-known mammals. The free, public talk, titled "Three-toed Horses and Other Strange Mammals of the Past," will take place at 2 p.m. May 2 in the museum's Biosphere Discovery Hub, located on the third floor of Macbride Hall.

Using his personal fossil collection, Johnson will demonstrate how the predecessors of horses, dogs, rhinos, deer, camels and rodents looked quite different from species living today. He will also share some of his experiences hunting for the mammal fossils in the White River Badlands of Nebraska.

Each "Fossil Guy" program consists of a 30-minute talk followed by a question-and-answer session for visitors to get an up-close look at the fossils and artifacts in Johnson's collection. The series is designed as a hands-on, interactive way to teach children about dinosaurs and other ancient animals.

For more information on the "Fossil Guy" and other Museum of Natural History programs visit or call 319-335-0606.

UI public lectures celebrating International Year of Astronomy continue May 6

The UI series of free, public talks celebrating the International Year of Astronomy 2009 will continue with a talk by William S. Kurth, UI research scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, in Lecture Room 1 of Van Allen Hall.

Given by faculty and staff in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Physics and Astronomy, lectures are aimed at a nonscientific, family audience and followed by an informal discussion period. The series, with all events beginning at 7 p.m. in Lecture Room 1 of Van Allen Hall, (except as noted for the July 18 program) includes:

--Wednesday, May 6, "Future Spacecraft Exploration of the Solar System," William S. Kurth.
--Saturday, July 18, "Star Clusters: Cities of Stars," Steven Spangler, to be held at the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center near Mt. Vernon, Iowa, beginning at 8 p.m.
--Wednesday, Sept. 2, "Exploring the Ancient Climate of Mars," Ingrid A. Ukstins Peate.
--Wednesday, Oct. 14, "Black Holes of All Sizes," Philip Kaaret.
--Wednesday, Nov. 11, Subject TBA.

For more information visit


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

For arts information and calendar items visit

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.