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University of Iowa News Release


March 27, 2009

At A Glance

New marrow donors can sign up April 1

UI health science colleges are bringing new meaning to the idea of "interdisciplinary collaboration" by hosting a marrow donor drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, for the Iowa Marrow Donor Program. The event will be held in two campus locations: the Medical Education and Research Facility atrium and the College of Nursing Building ground floor atrium.

The colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health are banding together to help a colleague in the UI College of Dentistry find a tissue-typed matched donor. The dental college also hosted a drive last week.

Jay Pronk, 31, visiting professor in oral and maxillofacial surgery, has been diagnosed with leukemia. For thousands of patients like Pronk, a marrow transplant is the best treatment and even only hope for a cure.

Patients first try to find a donor among family members. However, 70 percent of patients, including Pronk, do not find a suitable related match and must rely on marrow donor programs.

Registration includes completion of a consent form and a simple cheek swab. The process takes about 15 minutes. Donors must be between the ages of 18 and 60, willing to donate to any patient in need, and meet the registry's health guidelines.

For more information contact the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, 319-356-3337 or or visit

John Calvin subject of April 3 'Finding God' Forum

At the next "Finding God at Iowa" Lunch Forum on Friday, April 3, Raymond Mentzer, professor of religious studies at the University of Iowa, will give his reflections on the life and legacy of John Calvin, one of the central figures of the Protestant Reformation.

The talk, "Happy 500th Birthday, John Calvin," will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Michigan Room (Room 351), of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The forums, sponsored by Geneva Campus Ministry, provide an opportunity for UI faculty/students reflect on issues from the standpoint of their faith. For more information contact, Ed Laarman, 319-341-0007 or

UI Sonia Kovalevsky Day encourages women to study mathematics April 4

Up to 150 girls from high schools in and around Johnson County will be on the University of Iowa campus Saturday, April 4, for the fourth annual Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Day, a program featuring workshops and opportunities for social interaction among peers who share a passion for mathematics. All events will take place from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences.

UI Professor Vicki Grassian will deliver an 8:50 to 9:20 a.m. welcome for the event. The theme of the event is "Look around you: Math." Sonia Kovalevsky Day is intended to encourage more women to study science and math at the UI or other universities and to pursue science and math careers by following in the footsteps of Sonia Kovalevsky, a renowned 19th century mathematician and the first female granted membership in the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as a writer and women's rights advocate.

For more information contact Professor Bor-Luh Lin,, or graduate student Shannon Talbott, To register online through April 1 visit

Osher classes on fiction and civic engagement begin April 6 and 7

Enrollment is open for a class on fiction writing and another on civic engagement. Both courses begin the week of April 6 and are offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the UI.

In "The Lie That Tells The Truth: The Art of Fiction," instructor Rachel Yoder will explore contemporary fiction, focusing on literary writing. The class will meet Mondays from 3 to 5 p.m., April 6 through May 4, in Room 1163 of the Medical Education and Research Facility on the west side of campus. The course fee is $50 for OLLI members and $65 for nonmembers.

Instructor Peter Nathan will lead discussions on a diverse collection of readings about civic activity in the course "The Civically Engaged Reader." The class will meet Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m., April 7 through May 12, in Room 5159 Westlawn, also on the west side of campus. The course fee, which includes the book fee, is $50 for OLLI members and $65 for nonmembers.

For more information contact Julie Bobitt, 319-384-4222 or

To register online 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.