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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 26, 2009

At A Glance

Proposals sought for Catalyst Award Seed Grants

The University of Iowa Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) is seeking proposals for the Catalyst Award Seed Grant. The Catalyst Award celebrates distinctive and innovative diversity contributions at the UI.

Supported campus wide, the seed grants are intended for projects that enhance the diversity goals outlined in The Iowa Promise, the UI's strategic plan. Preference is given to collaborative grants that support projects and programs that advance cross-cultural understanding; strengthen positive inter-group relations; and promote a welcoming learning, living and working environment.

Available to UI faculty, staff and students, the grant provides $500 to $1,000 in seed money for start-up projects or programs that are sustainable, as well as short-term projects that demonstrate significance and impact. Guidelines and selection criteria are available at

Applications are due Friday, Feb. 13. Send a hard copy of the application to the EOD, 202 Jessup Hall, or via e-mail to Awardees will be announced Friday, Feb. 27; funds must be used by Feb. 26, 2010.

For more information contact Dorothy Simpson-Taylor at or 319-335-0705.

UI Opera Studies Forum opens spring semester with 'Opera Cut Short' Jan. 30

The University of Iowa Opera Studies Forum, in collaboration with the Sound Research Seminar, will present a talk by Jennifer Fleeger from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30 in E105 Adler Journalism and Mass Communication Building.

Fleeger, a doctoral candidate in the UI Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature, will present "Opera Cut Short: From the Castrato to the Film Fragment."

Between 1926 and 1931, the Vitaphone Corporation, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., produced 65 operatic short films. With a maximum duration of 11 minutes, the films were excerpts from performances that never existed, generated for mass audiences that Vitaphone hoped would learn to appreciate high culture. This talk examines the visual style of the conversion-era opera short in relation to issues of gender and ethnicity by focusing on Marion Talley and Giovanni Martinelli, both singers with the Metropolitan Opera who signed early contracts with Vitaphone.

For more information visit

Harvard professor to discuss enfeebled presidency in law school lecture Feb. 2

Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith will discuss the current state of the U.S. presidency when he delivers the University of Iowa College of Law's 2009 Murray Lecture on Monday, Feb. 2.

"Our Enfeebled Presidency" begins at 3 p.m. in Levitt Auditorium in the Boyd Law Building. Admission is free and open to the public. Goldsmith will discuss the many ways that presidential national security power has decreased over the past eight years.

Graduate students present public engagement projects Feb. 5

The public is invited to view and discuss 14 University of Iowa graduate students' plans for public engagement projects from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 at the Iowa City Public Library.

The students spent a week in January studying ways to combine academic interests with civic engagement at the Graduate Institute for Public Engagement, sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Graduate College. During the workshop, they studied how teaching, research and creative work can advance their careers while addressing community needs.

The institute was directed by Teresa Mangum, associate professor of English, and David Redlawsk, associate professor of political science. The student fellows represented a variety of fields: geography, nonfiction writing, computer science, English, Italian, theatre, American studies, cinema and comparative literature, and education. For bios on the presenters visit

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies provides an environment and resources for reflection and writing and for the exchange of ideas. Scholars from a broad range of disciplines and institutions interact with one another and with the public to create and communicate new knowledge and to establish a vibrant intellectual community.

Illustration workshop to be Held at Museum of Natural History Feb. 8

Local illustrator Claudia McGehee will present a workshop to demonstrate how and why artists use scientific models in their art from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, in Macbride Hall at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History.

This workshop is open to students in the third through sixth grades. McGehee will use birds and animals from Museum of Natural History collections in her presentation about the field of scientific illustration. Students will be able to try their hand at illustration by using the scratchboard medium and specimens from the museum's collections, and hear a history of the UI Museum of Natural History, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008.

McGehee works in scratchboard, a medium that imitates woodcuts, and her interests in history, archaeology, animals, and the environment often find their way into her art. She has illustrated "A Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet" and "A Woodland Counting Book," (University of Iowa Press), and used natural history museum collections, including those from the UI, to research the books.

Pre-registration for the workshop is required and class size is limited to 15.

To register, call 319-335-0606 or email


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.