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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 11, 2010

At A Glance

Samuelson earns APA distinction in developmental psychology

The University of Iowa's Larissa Samuelson has received the 2010 American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of developmental psychology.

Samuelson is an associate professor of psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, coordinator of the Developmental Science Training Area, a member of the UI Delta Center, and director of the Child Human Imaging Laboratory in Developmental Science.

Her research on word learning, category formation and cognitive development is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and examines how children use what they already know about names and objects to learn new words. In particular, she showed that children learn to categorize objects by shape as they begin to develop their vocabulary. This attention to shape when learning new names around age 2 helps them acquire new words more quickly.

Samuelson, who joined the UI faculty in 2000, teaches courses on developmental science, language acquisition and explanations of development.

She and co-recipient Simona Ghetti of the University of California at Davis will be honored at the APA convention in San Diego this August. They will share a $1,000 prize.


UI seeking volunteers for Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The University of Iowa's Civic Engagement Program is working with Iowa City-area nonprofit organizations to arrange volunteers for the MLK Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 18. The CEP will also provide transportation for the volunteers.

Anyone can volunteer at any of 13 service sites for organizations that are in need of assistance, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Community members can volunteer all day or for just a few hours.

Volunteers should report to the North Room of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) no later than 9 a.m. to be assigned to a site. Free parking will be available in the North Campus Ramp and the IMU Ramp. The UI Office of Student Life will provide van transportation to and from the service sites, or participants may provide their own transportation.

Participants are encouraged to pre-register with the Civic Engagement Program in advance at Groups and families are welcome. A parent or responsible adult must accompany volunteers under the age of 16.

Learn more about the 2010 MLK Day of Service at or the Civic Engagement Program at


Boyd to present Jan. 14 talk about Met Opera's transmission of 'Carmen'

Melinda Boyd, assistant professor of music history at the University of Northern Iowa, will present a half-hour introductory talk on Bizet's "Carmen" at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, in Room 2520D on the second floor of the University Capitol Centre on the University of Iowa campus.

The event, which is sponsored by the UI Opera Studies Forum, part of International Programs at the UI, is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the adjacent municipal ramp at 75 cents per hour.

This talk is specifically designed to prepare audiences for the Metropolitan Opera's high-definition transmission of the opera Saturday, Jan. 16, at Sycamore Theatres in Iowa City.

The UI Opera Studies Forum was established to provide opportunities to explore opera and related genres from interdisciplinary perspectives. The forum's purpose is to bring together scholars, practitioners and members of the public who have special expertise or interest in opera to share their views on various issues associated with research and performance of operatic works. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Heidi Vekemans at 319-335-3862 or


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.