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University of Iowa News Release


March 24, 2009

At A Glance

UI summer program can help children with speech and reading needs

Summer program enrollment is now open for children who need one-on-one assistance with mild to severe communication problems.

The six-week Eastern Iowa Scottish Rite Care Program for Speech and Reading will offer sessions from June 15 to July 23 at the University of Iowa Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center in Iowa City.

Participants must enroll in at least one 60-minute session per week or two 30-minute sessions per week. Additional sessions are available.

Certified speech pathologists conduct all sessions, which parents may observe. The fee for six one-hour sessions or twelve 30-minute sessions is $400. Health insurance benefits may be applicable, and scholarships from the Eastern Iowa Scottish Rite Masons are available for eligible children.

The program is directed by Betty Merrifield, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of communication sciences and disorders in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information contact the center at 319-335-8736 or Merrifield at or visit (click on "Scottish RiteCare").

UI professor is president-elect of national organization

William Talman, M.D., professor of neurology and neuroscience in the UI Carver College of Medicine, has been appointed president-elect of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). His term as president-elect begins July 2.

Talman is vice chair for basic research and directs the Laboratory of Neurobiology in the UI Department of Neurology. He also serves as chief of neurology at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

FASEB has 22 member societies representing more than 80,000 scientists. For more information on this group visit http:/

UI College of Education Diversity Committee garners national award for efforts

The University of Iowa College of Education Diversity Committee was one of the top 25 organizations across the nation recognized as a recipient of the First Annual Diversity Council Honors Award. UI ranked number 14 and was the only institute of higher education chosen for this honor.

John Achrazoglou, a member of the UI College of Education Diversity Committee, accepted the award on behalf of the entire committee during the Diversity Council Awards Reception, March 17th at the 2009 Linkage Summit on Leading Diversity Conference in Atlanta, Ga.

Dorothy Simpson-Taylor, director of the Diversity Resources Office in the UI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, nominated the committee because of its outstanding commitment to promoting diversity initiatives at the highest levels of the institution and supporting the goals of The Iowa Promise as well as its involvement in numerous other initiatives and projects involving recruitment, education and advocacy.

The award recognizes and honors the outstanding contributions and achievements of the nation's top 25 diversity council groups that lead diversity processes in their organizations.

For more information on the award visit

For more information on the committee visit

The Great Lakes Myth Society on Iowa Public Radio's 'Java Blend' March 27

The Michigan-based band The Great Lakes Myth Society will perform live as part of the Iowa Public Radio performance series "Java Blend" at noon Friday, March 27, at Iowa City's downtown Java House. The show will be recorded for later broadcast on Iowa Public Radio.

The Great Lakes Myth Society introduces Iowa Public Radio listeners to what they call their "alternately brooding and nostalgic blend of muscular English folk-rock, pine-kissed Northern Americana and Midwest carny grit." "Compass Rose Bouquet" is the title of their latest CD.

For more information on the band visit

Broadcasts for this performance will be on Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, on Iowa Public Radio. For broadcast times and stations visit

UI students to take 'Polar Plunge' for Special Olympics March 28

Special Olympics is hosting a Polar Plunge Saturday, March 28, at noon at Coralville Lake. The Polar Plunge is an opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics Iowa athletes by "Freezin' for a Reason."

Participants, which include several University of Iowa students, collect pledges from friends, family and co-workers in exchange for jumping into icy waters.  All proceeds collected benefit Special Olympics Iowa.

Supporters can donate funds to Special Olympics online at So far, Special Olympics Iowa has raised $36,046.

Special Olympics Iowa Director of Development Jeanette Steinfeldt estimates that more than 200 plungers have registered online for the event. This event is also a philanthropy project for the UI fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon, and many Greek chapters have registered teams to take the plunge for Special Olympics.

Shuttles to the event from UI residence halls will be available, picking up students at 10:30 a.m. at Slater Residence Hall and 10:45 a.m. at Burge.

For more information contact Steinfeldt at 515-986-5520 or visit

King to speak on Iraq Education Initiative March 30

Scott King, director of the University of Iowa Office of International Students and Scholars in International Programs, will present "The Iraq Education Initiative: An Opportunity for Academic Leadership" as part of the International Mondays lecture series. The presentation takes place from noon to 1 p.m., Monday, March 30, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

The UI was one of only 21 U.S. educational institutions that participated in recent forums in Baghdad and Sulymania that discussed an educational initiative to send thousands of Iraqi students overseas for study, as well as plans to rebuild the country's educational system. King will report on his trip, the goals of the initiative, and how the UI's involvement may impact the university and the state.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information and a complete schedule of events contact Amy Green, 319-335-1433, or visit or

Gallery series presents 'The House of Grateful' April 2-4

The University Theatres Gallery series will present "The House of Grateful" by Iowa Playwrights Workshop student Sheela Kangal at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 2-4, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 5, in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

In a small Florida town there is a war taking place -- a war for the true believers. "The House of Grateful" follows the path of six unlikely saviors and their attempt to capitalize on the gullibility of others.

Lavinia Mae Bot is on the rise to the top of this religious pyramid, a budding teleministry with a growing flock of followers, and she will do whatever it takes to secure her position on the altar and to raise the number of her 'pretty little ponies.'

Until recently Kangal was a senior artistic programs associate at the Theatre Communications Group in New York. She was active in No Shame Theatre at the UI in the 1980s and has continued to collaborate with No Shame co-founder Jeff Goode.

The production is directed by graduate student Anthony Nelson.

Admission to "The House of Grateful" will be $6; $4 for students at the door.


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.