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University of Iowa News Release


April 19, 2010

American Academy of Arts and Sciences selects two UI faculty members

Two University of Iowa faculty members -- Garrett Stewart, James O. Freedman Professor of Letters, and Marilynne Robinson of the Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty -- are among the 229 leaders in the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A center for independent policy research, the Academy is celebrating the 230th anniversary of its founding. Established in 1780 by John Adams and other founders of the nation, the academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research.

Current projects focus on science and technology, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.

A complete list of the 2010 class of new members is located at The scholars, scientists, jurists, writers, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders include winners of the Nobel, Pulitzer and Shaw Prizes; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows; and Grammy, Tony, and Oscar Award winners.


UI Museum of Art Word Painters series offers readings on April 22

The final reading in the University of Iowa Museum of Art Spring 2010 Word Painters series will take place Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Capitol Museum's Senate Chamber. The event is free and open to the public.

Kerry Howley, an Iowa Arts Fellow in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program, will read from her essay, "Ring Girl," which she will be developing into her thesis. Howley's work has appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, The American Prospect, and The New York Times, and she has an essay forthcoming in Book Forum.

Susan Lohafer, UI professor of English, will read from her essay, "In the Bullring." Lohafer headed the original UI graduate program in nonfiction in the late 1970s. She has written several scholarly books, and her essays on short fiction theory have appeared in various journals and collections. She has also published short stories in venues such as The Antioch Review and The Southern Review.

Following this semester, the Word Painters program, currently in its fourth year, will be temporarily suspended until the UIMA establishes a greater physical presence on campus.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art, including updated event listings, visit


Public invited to attend MiniSim open house April 22

The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) will hold a free, public open house where visitors can test drive the new NADS MiniSim Driving Simulator 2-4 p.m. Thursday, April 22, in Room 1501A, Seamans Center on the UI Campus.

NADS researchers developed the MiniSim for projects that require a portable driving simulator, and don't need the full capabilities of the larger NADS simulator.

Visitors will also be able to discuss research areas and student involvement with the MiniSim.

For additional information, contact Andrew Veit at or 335-4361.


Bike to School and Green Summit events scheduled for UI Earth Week

University of Iowa students, faculty and staff are encouraged to dust off their bikes and ride to campus on Thursday, April 22. Also during UI Earth Week, students can attend the Green Summit and Networking Event, Friday, April 23 at the Iowa Memorial Union.

The Bike to School event features hospitality tents on the Pentacrest from 1 to 4 p.m., offering free ice cream, smoothies and bike checks by local bicycle shops. UI student organizations Engineers for a Sustainable World and UI Environmental Coalition are co-sponsoring the bike break.

UI students interested in careers in old and new industries related to the low carbon economy are invited to attend the Green Summit and Networking Event, Friday, April 23 at the Iowa Memorial Union. Keynote speaker for the conference is UI alumnus, Ori Sivan, director of market development at Green Depot. A one-hour networking event with representatives from various green-related businesses follows the morning conference.

The summit is free but students must pre-register to attend. More information is available online: or by contacting Abbie Gruwell, A list of Earth Day-related activities can be found on the Office of Sustainability website,


Humorist to perform at disability awareness event April 22

The University of Iowa Disability Planning and Action Committee will present a disability awareness event featuring comedian David Roche 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22 in the Pomerantz Center Auditorium.

Roche is an inspirational humorist who has transformed the challenges and gifts of living with a facial disfigurement into a message about self-esteem, diversity, disability, and facing change. For more information, see

Jack Lewis will open for Roche. Lewis is the host of Comedy Night at The Summit and a touring road comic, entertaining audiences across the Midwest.

Several local businesses have donated door prizes; copies of Roche's book "The Church of 80 Percent Sincerity" will also be given as door prizes.

A sign language interpreter will be available for the event. For more information or for accommodations to participate in this program, contact Laura Schwab at 319-335-5820 or


Feminist scholar to speak at Crossing Borders Convocation April 22-24

The 2010 Crossing Borders Convocation, "Celebrating Border Crossings," will be April 22-24, primarily in Room 1117 University Capitol Centre (UCC). The convocation consists of major addresses, panel discussions and student presentations. The public is invited.

The first event is a speech to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council by Richard Rhoda titled "Significance of Mexico to the U.S." Rhoda speaks from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, at the Congregational Church, 30 North Clinton St., Iowa City. Richa Nagar, professor of gender, women and sexuality studies and associate dean for faculty in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, will deliver the keynote address at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, in Room 1117 UCC. Nagar will discuss her research among South Asians in Tanzania and Sangtins in India and focus on the politics and practices of knowledge production.

Crossing Borders fellows and Junior Faculty Development Program members will present scholarly papers and discussion throughout the event. The convocation is sponsored by Crossing Borders and co-sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program, the Department of Women's Studies and the African Studies Program.

More information at or contact Elena Osinskaya at 319-335-2825.


CDC expert to discuss foodborne disease investigation April 23

John Besser, deputy chief of the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will discuss new developments in foodborne disease outbreak detection and investigation at noon on Friday, April 23. The talk will be held in E331 General Hospital (Medical Alumni Auditorium) on the University of Iowa campus.

The free presentation also will be available via streaming video on the Web for viewers who register in advance. Registration and program details are available at:

The event is sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, based in the UI College of Public Health.


Reasoner to deliver UI law lecture

University of Iowa general counsel and interim vice president for legal affairs Carroll Reasoner will deliver the keynote address at this year's Katherine Fine Milleman Memorial Award Presentation at the UI College of Law.

The ceremony will begin at 12:40 p.m. in Room 235 of the Boyd Law Building on Friday, April 23. Reasoner, who received both her B.A. and law degrees from the UI, was appointed general counsel in 2008. Before that, she was a partner in the Cedar Rapids firm Shuttlesworth & Ingersoll and was the first woman president of the Iowa State Bar Association.

The award and address commemorate the memory of Katherine Finn Milleman, a 2005 Iowa law graduate. The award allows a UI College of Law student to explore how their interests supplement the law.


Poet Brett Eugene Ralph reads April 29 in Prairie Lights

Brett Eugene Ralph will read from his first collection of poems, "Black Sabbatical," at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 29, in Prairie Lights Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in Iowa City. The free "Live from Prairie Lights" event will be streamed live and archived on the University of Iowa's Writing University website,

Ralph grew up in Louisville, playing football and singing in punk-rock bands. His work has appeared in Conduit, Willow Springs and American Poetry Review, and he has been anthologized in "The McSweeney's Book of Poets Picking Poets" and "The Stiffest of the Corpse, An Exquisite Corpse Reader."

When asked about his influences, Brett Eugene Ralph points to three enduring sources: growing up Southern working class in the 1970s and '80s, playing punk rock and practicing Tibetan Buddhism.

You can sample his current band, Brett Eugene Ralph's Kentucky Chrome Revue, at Visit the Sarabande Books webpage for "Black Sabbatical" at


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

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

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.