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UI in the News

March 2010

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Study links pesticides to skin cancer (Scientific American, March 31)
Workers who apply certain pesticides to farm fields are twice as likely to contract melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, according to a new scientific study. The report was conducted by epidemiologists from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

UI to begin new superintendent program (KWWL, March 31)
The University of Iowa will soon begin a new program that will prepare its students to be school superintendents. The program was approved by the State Board of Education a few weeks ago. ANNE SULLIVAN with the UI College of Education says there is a growing need for these programs in the state of Iowa, as many superintendents prepare to retire.

UI helps in physics discovery in Geneva (Press-Citizen, March 31)
The University of Iowa has contributed to an international research effort that scientists say achieved a breakthrough that could lead to answers about the makeup of the universe. The world's largest atom smasher -- the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland -- conducted its first experiments Tuesday at conditions nearing those after the Big Bang, breaking its own record for high-energy collisions with proton beams crashing into each other at three times more force than ever before. "This is the highest energy the machine has achieved so far. Nobody has achieved it in the world," said YASAR ONEL, a UI physics professor.

UI exhibit features hip-hop photos (, March 31)
Legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its classic album "Fear of a Black Planet" as a part of a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA exhibit. The exhibit, titled "Two Turntables and a Microphone: Hip-Hop Contexts," features hip-hop activist Harry Allen's "Part of the Permanent Record: Photos from the Previous Century.” In addition to the display, Allen will kick off a panel discussion Thursday, April 1 celebrating the 20th anniversary of Public Enemy's groundbreaking album.

Woman raises cancer awareness (Huntington Beach Independent, March 29)
A California woman has started an effort to raise awareness about Ewing's sarcoma, a type of cancer usually found in children and young adults. She is writing a book, created a jewelry line to raise money and has launched a Web site, which includes a mission statement about the Matt Morrell and Natalie Sanchez Pediatric Cancer Fund at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA FOUNDATION. The fund is used for a fellowship program, to support research involving genetic/hereditary studies of Ewing's sarcoma, to aid in treatments and cures and to buy medical equipment, among other important causes. The newspaper is based in California.

Other Recent News Highlights

UI alumnus plans 'world triathalon' (Des Moines Register, March 30)
alumnus Charlie Wittmack will embark on a "World Triathalon" in July. He plans to swim the English Channel, bike from France to Nepal, then climb Mount Everest. His 12-nation, nearly 12,000-mile journey is set to last 11 months.

UI students urge action on climate change (Press-Citizen, March 30)
students will join forces with students from other Iowa colleges and universities today in urging Iowa's U.S. senators to support climate change legislation. The bipartisan legislation is being backed by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John Kerry, D-Mass.

Regents remind students to fill out Census forms (Press-Citizen, March 30)
The Iowa state Board of Regents is urging students to participate in the 2010 U.S. Census. The regents have organized awareness days and are working with student governments at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa to remind students of their obligation to be counted.

UI Press releases book on flooding (Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, March 29)
A book released earlier this month by UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS explores the dynamics of the flood two years ago. "A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008," in part, looks at the state's history to explain why severe flooding is occurring more frequently. According to the book, grain production is a primary reason.

UI launches superintendent licensing program (Radio Iowa, March 29)
A survey of Iowa school superintendents finds more than a third of those questioned plan to retire within the next few years. In response, the University of Iowa is launching a superintendent licensure program. ANNE SULLIVAN, a professor of educational administration policy at the UI, says the two-year program will start this summer.

Students flock to alcohol-free Night Games (Daily Iowan, March 29)
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA senior Miguel Cajipe chose to avoid the downtown bar scene over the weekend, opting instead to compete against other UI students in a volleyball tournament. Cajipe was one of a host of students who showed up for the monthly Night Games -- alcohol-free athletics contests -- in the Field House on March 27. University officials hope that such events could help curtail problematic drinking. "I'm partly regular whenever they have it, [though] they only have it once a month," said Cajipe, who entered the tournament with his former intramurals team. "[It's] something else to do besides going downtown."

UI hires Siena's McCaffery (, March 28)
Fran McCaffery will leave Siena to become the Iowa Hawkeyes' new men's basketball coach. Athletic director GARY BARTA announced the hiring in a release Sunday and said McCaffery would be introduced in a press conference on Monday in Iowa City. McCaffery went 112-51 in five seasons at Siena, leading the Saints to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. McCaffery, a Philadelphia native who turns 51 in May, has taken three different programs to the NCAA tournament as a head coach. The story appeared numerous media outlets.

I-CASH staffer writes about grain bin safety (Iowa Farmer Today, March 24)
In this column, LAMAR GRAFFT of Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health writes about prevention of injuries and fatalities of farmers who work in, on and around grain bins.

Buresh seeks tents for Haitians (Press-Citizen, March 28)
A University of Iowa doctor who has traveled to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake to provide care now is attempting to secure shelter to protect patients in the ravaged country. CHRISTOPHER BURESH, an emergency medicine and pediatrics physician at UI Hospitals and Clinics, is working to gather 200, 10-person tents to send to Haiti by April 9. The tents will be able to house 2,000 to 2,500 patients recovering from surgery.

Obama spoke on health care at UI (Bloomberg, March 27)
This month, President Obama has made three appearances on college campuses -- in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Iowa -- to sell the health-care legislation approved by Congress earlier this week. "All new plans and some current ones will allow you to stay on your parents' insurance policy until you're 26 years old, starting this year," Obama told an audience March 25 at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. "As you start your lives and your careers, the last thing you should worry about is whether you go broke just because you get sick."

Obama visits UI (NPR, March 27)
On Thursday, Obama visited Iowa, the state that launched his presidential bid and the place, he says, where change began. At the end of the speech, music was cranked in the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA FIELD HOUSE. Instead of the old-fashioned, John Philip Sousa marches that have accompanied the president since he took office, fans heard Brooks and Dunn, U2 and Bruce Springsteen -- a reprise of the soundtrack from Obama's unlikely campaign.

Kerber, Merrill discuss dwindling humanities funds (Huffington Post, March 26)
LINDA K. KERBER, the May Brodbeck Professor of History and Lecturer in Law at the University of Iowa, and CHRISTOPHER MERRILL, director of the UI's International Writing Program, coauthored an article titled "The University Is Not a Factory: On the Crisis in the Humanities."

Obama gives healthcare speech at UI (New York Times, March 26)
President Barack Obama delivered a speech on health care at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Thursday, just two days after signing into law an extensive health insurance reform bill. The event was covered lived by all major media and wire services, which also covered responses, both positive and negative. Here is the text of the speech, published by the New York Times.

UI students fund Ped Mall cameras (Daily Iowan, March 26)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA STUDENT GOVERNMENT is contributing $2,000 to a project aimed at making downtown Iowa City safer. The program would install eight cameras that would record activity on the Pedestrian Mall.

Mason backs higher age for bars (Omaha World-Herald, March 26)
University of Iowa president SALLY MASON says a proposal that would increase the minimum age to enter bars in Iowa City will allow the school to recruit "serious students." Mason says in a letter to the City Council that raising the minimum age to enter bars from 19 to 21 will help reduce the university's image as a party school.

UI tests new phone technology (Irish Times, March 26)
Verizon, the largest U.S. mobile network, is currently conducting trials at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA on technology to prevent texting while driving.

UI studies brain's moral judgments (Medical News, March 25)
A new study suggests that our ability to respond appropriately to intended harms is seated in a brain region associated with regulating emotions. The finding offers a new piece to the puzzle of how the human brain constructs morality. Among the study's authors is DANIEL TRANEL of the University of Iowa.

Obama to speak on health care at UI (Reuters, March 25)
Taking his public relations blitz outside of Washington as he seeks to overcome public doubts and stiff Republican opposition, the president was scheduled to make an afternoon speech at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Field House in Iowa City. Obama first announced his health care plan in the Midwestern city in May 2007, launching a campaign that aides say led to the measure passed by the House of Representatives this week.

UI encourages respect at Obama event (CNN, March 25)
Barack Obama's journey to reform America's health care system comes full circle Thursday as he returns to the place where he launched his ideas. Three years ago, Obama began his crusade with a memorable speech focusing on health care that was delivered in Iowa City, Iowa, the state that holds the first presidential caucus in an election year. The president will speak on the newly signed law at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA in the afternoon, his first event since the historic passage of the landmark legislation. After fiery debate and a spate of threats and vandalism against lawmakers, the University of Iowa issued a statement encouraging those who attend Obama's speech "to demonstrate courtesy and respect toward guests and one another, an expectation for participants and spectators of all campus events."

UI student Republicans rally against new health care law (WQAD, March 25)
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Student Republican leaders sponsored a rally Wednesday to voice their opposition ahead of President Obama's planned trip to Iowa City on Thursday. The chair of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans, Dane Nealson, says he hopes students will speak up.,0,4740324.story

Health care law opponents rally ahead of Obama speech (Radio Iowa, March 25)
President Obama is due to speak in Iowa City early this afternoon, returning to the state where candidate Obama began laying out his vision for health care reform nearly three years ago.  In May of 2007, during a speech at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Medical School, Obama said it was time to take action to end "skyrocketing" health insurance premiums. "When it comes to health care we have talked and we have tinkered and let this crisis fester for decades," Obama said, in Iowa City, in 2007.  Last night, over 200 opponents of the health care reform bill gathered for a rally on the University of Iowa campus. Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, the third-ranking Republican in the U.S. House, spoke to the crowd via Skype as his image was broadcast to the crowd on a huge TV screen. Four Republican candidates for Iowa's second district congressional seat spoke at last night's rally.

Regents approve early retirement program (Daily Iowan, March 25)
The state Board of Regents approved on Wednesday a second Early Retirement Incentive Program at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. The plan passed 6-3, allowing UI officials to go ahead with a setup they hope will retire more faculty and save more money. Regents Craig Lang, Ruth Harkin, and Michael Gartner voted against the program, citing major inequity concerns they also expressed last month. UI spokesman TOM MOORE said that despite the remaining concerns with the plan, UI President SALLY MASON and other officials are confident. "It is essentially important for each individual institution to sculpt a program that works for it," Moore said. "Our program, we feel, works well for us."

Engineering professor inspires students (Daily Iowan, March 25)
Most University of Iowa engineering students would be surprised to know their electrical and computer engineering professor, ER-WEI BAI, doesn't have a high-school diploma. Bai, a man who is continually smiling and tinkering with homemade motors and robots, becomes more serious when he talks about the 14 years he spent in a factory, when he should have been in high school. During China's Cultural Revolution, high schools and universities were closed to students, leaving the then 15-year-old Bai without a formal education. Unlike many of his friends, he studied mathematical textbooks in his free time, learning the material on his own. The state Board of Regents recognized Bai for creative approaches to engineering last year with an award for faculty excellence.

UI report: Cancer becoming No. 1 killer in Iowa (Press-Citizen, March 24)
Doctors at the University of Iowa said Wednesday that cancer is poised to become the leading cause of death in Iowa. CHARLES LYNCH, medical director of the State Health Registry of Iowa and UI professor of epidemiology, GEORGE WEINER, director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and UI professor of urology RICHARD WILLIAMS presented the annual "Cancer in Iowa" report to the media at the John W. Eckstein Medical Research Building.

UI issues annual 'Cancer in Iowa' report (Radio Iowa, March 24)
Fewer Iowans are dying from cancer, but a new report finds cancer has passed heart disease as the leading killer of Iowans. The annual "Cancer in Iowa" report is being released today by the State Health Registry of Iowa, based at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA College of Public Health.

Faculty Senate backing bar entry ordinance (The Gazette, March 24)
The UI Faculty Senate group passed a resolution backing the city's plan to raise the bar entry to 21 on Tuesday. "It's ridiculous to stay quiet," Faculty Senate President DAVID DRAKE said. "We have to take a stand." MICHAEL TAKACS, clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine, presented data on ER visits and binge drinking at the university and shared statistics from a University of Missouri study showing that more Friday morning classes has led to less Thursday night drinking. "I fear students are going to their dorm rooms in the same state," he said, referring to the dangerous conditions students are seen with at the hospital many weekends.

Council moves forward on bar entry ordinance (Des Moines Register, March 24)
Six of the seven members of the Iowa City Council, saying they were fed up with allowing downtown bars to serve as a destination for underage and binge drinking, made the first move toward raising the bar entry age to 21 on Tuesday. The council, with member Regenia Bailey the lone dissenter, passed an ordinance through its first reading that would keep 19- and 20-year-olds out of bars. Several University of Iowa leaders were among the nearly 70 people in attendance and the 20 who stepped to the podium to address city officials. "Sure, some students might gain admission to some bars with fake IDs, and some students might drink elsewhere," said TOM ROCKLIN, UI vice president of student services. "But others won't, and they'll be safer and healthier because of the ordinance you're considering." The article also appeared in the PRESS-CITIZEN.

Drumheller comments on ancient crocodiles (National Geographic, March 24)
Rock-hard feces and oddly bitten bones are helping to flesh out one of the biggest crocs of prehistory, researchers say. As long as a stretch limo, Deinosuchus -- "terrible crocodile" -- likely prowled shallow waters and hunted dinosaurs its own size, the evidence suggests. Tooth marks on bones, though, can show us only part of the picture, said Stephanie Drumheller, an expert on ancient crocodile bites. "Modern crocodilians"-crocodiles, alligators, and related extinct forms-"are more than capable of swallowing smaller prey whole and disarticulating larger animals into bite-sized pieces," leaving little evidence behind, said Drumheller, a Ph.D. candidate in geoscience at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Obama to speak at UI (ABC News, March 23)
After more than a year of negotiations, debate and political drama, President Obama on Tuesday signed the historic health care bill. On Thursday, the president will return to the stump in Iowa to explain to the public how changes in the health care system will affect them. The White House picked Iowa City because in 2007, then-Sen. Obama delivered his first major speech on health care reform as a presidential candidate at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Student aid reform could mean more UI Pell Grants (Daily Iowan, March 23)
UI students will likely see more federal money under massive changes to a national student-aid program passed late Sunday by the U.S. House of Representatives. Under the new plan, Pell Grant funding will increase and the federal government will take more control of student loans from private lenders. The changes were passed in conjunction with health-insurance reform. MARK WARNER, the director of UI Office of Student Financial Aid, said he hopes to see more students qualify for financial assistance. The UI is already part of the federal Direct Student Loans Program, Warner said. The biggest change will be more Pell Grants for UI students; the new legislation invests nearly $36 billion more in the need-based program.

UI to host hip-hop exhibit (ABC News, March 22)
An exhibit chronicling moments in hip-hop's early years will soon go on display. The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA MUSEUM OF ART is hosting an exhibit called "Two Turntables and a Microphone: Hip-Hop Contexts featuring Harry Allen's 'Part of the Permanent Record: Photos from the Previous Century.'" It opens Saturday and ends June 27.

Andreasen book discusses creative people and depression (Back Stage, March 22)
In her book "The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius," NANCY C. ANDREASEN, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the University of Iowa, argues that the same attributes that help artists create -- such as openness and sensitivity -- may also make them more susceptible to mental and emotional problems. Back Stage is a Web site devoted to covering the theatrical industry.

Obama will make case for health plan in UI speech (ABC News, March 22)
A blog entry noting the politics of President Obama's health care plan notes that he will discuss it in a speech at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA on Thursday.

UI parents back under-21 ordinance (Daily Iowan, March 22)
A group of University of Iowa parents is voicing support for the proposed 21-ordinance as part of a larger solution to curbing underage drinking. In a recent letter to the Iowa City City Council, which was also sent to The Daily Iowan, the UI PARENT ASSOCIATION'S ADVISORY BOARD said it supports making the entry age for Iowa City bars 21 and up. The City Council is set to hold the first of three readings of the ordinance Tuesday night.

'Construction Comic' graduated from UI (Herald-Tribune, March  22)
Carmen Ciricillo, who earned a marketing degree at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, tells jokes about home builders as part of his comedy routine.  In this profile, it's noted that he enjoys his niche in home building entertainment. He still plays national conventions in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The newspaper is based in Florida.

First Iowa heart transplant recipient dies (Des Moines Register, March 21)
On June 2, 1985, Emerson Martin became the first heart-transplant recipient in Iowa history at the age of 25. He loved his 25 years of extra life before his death last week. Since the day when doctors placed a motorcycle accident victim's heart in Martin's chest at UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITALS AND CLINICS, the Iowa City institution has performed more than 200 heart transplants, including 18 last year.

Event supports families of young cancer patients (Press-Citizen, March 21)
A tragic situation has turned into so much good, participants said Saturday as they participated in the seventh annual Aiming for a Cure hunting and sporting clays event. The Aiming for a Cure Foundation provides funding specifically for pediatric bone marrow patients and their families. The foundation was founded in honor of Ben Ries, a patient at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital for five years before his death in 2005. "It's incredible," said MICHELLE ALTMAIER, director of the Children's Miracle Network at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. "It does so much for our young patients and their families."

Newhall comments on violence in women's sports (New York Times, March 20)
There have been several highly publicized moments of violent behavior in women's college basketball this season.  Advocates of women's sports are concerned that such untoward behavior could spur opponents of Title IX, the gender-equity legislation that facilitated great participation of female athletes after its passage in 1972, to try to roll back gains that women have made. "Is there going to be a gender backlash, where some people say, 'We give these opportunities to girls and they're not deserving of them?'" said Kristine Newhall, a doctoral candidate in women's studies at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and a co-founder of the Title IX Blog.

UI doctor performs rare heart procedures (Press-Citizen, March 20)
Last year, a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Dr. ROBERT S. FARIVAR performed two heart procedures that had never been done before. Farivar, an assistant professor in the Carver College of Medicine, is the director of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery at UI and surgical director of the Cardiac of the Valve Clinic. He performed the two procedures on two patients in September 2009. "What was neat about these two is they represent unique case reports that have the longest interval between implant and repair or replacement," Farivar said.

Student project uses sonar to measure river levels (Press Citizen, March 20)
A project spearheaded by a group of UNIVERSITY OF IOWA students has the potential to help hundreds of Iowa communities be better prepared in future years when floodwater threatens. The team of engineering students has developed a relatively low-cost, automated sonar sensor that when fixed to the underside of bridges can transmit up-to-the-minute data on river stages. Electrical engineering major Nick Sitter, along with fellow engineering students Ben Peiffer and Matt Kemp, all undergraduates, and graduate student Jim Niemeier have been building and tweaking the sensors since last fall as part of their senior design project.

Porter comments on book accuracy (San Jose Mercury News, March 20)
Earlier this month, Henry Holt & Co. stopped printing and selling "The Last Train From Hiroshima," about the atomic bombing of Japan, because its author, Charles Pellegrino, had relied on a fraudulent source for a portion of the book and possibly fabricated others. "There's a hazy line between 'truth' and invention in creative nonfiction, but good writers don't have to make things up," JEFFREY PORTER, an associate professor of English and nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa, wrote in an e-mail message. In the case of Pellegrino, whose book claimed to expose a secret accident with the first atomic bomb, Porter wrote: "Maybe the idea of a scoop was irresistible. But somebody should have been skeptical." The newspaper is based in California.

Stringer's bond with the UI is still strong (New Jersey Star-Ledger, March 19)
C. Vivian Stringer's heart began to ache this past Monday night when she saw No. 9 Rutgers parked next to No. 8 Iowa in the NCAA Women's Tournament bracket. A thousand miles away, in Iowa City, her bewilderment and unease were shared. "Oh, no!" wailed CHRISTINE GRANT, the retired Hawkeyes women's athletics director, who brought Stringer to Iowa in 1983. "Anybody but Rutgers." "She's one of those people, you just have to say her first name, and everyone knows who you're talking about," Grant explained. "Like Madonna." At Iowa, Stringer helped set a new standard for her sport -- the first advance sellout in women's basketball history in 1985 -- and cried on nights when the Hawkeyes lost because she feared she had let down the community.

UI breakfast research is cited (South Carolina Now, March 18)
According to a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study, children do much better in school and behave better when they eat a good breakfast. Also, children who normally skipped breakfast showed an improvement in their schoolwork when they began eating breakfast. A good breakfast was also associated with less susceptibility to infections and fatigue.

Perlmutter writes about families, academia (Chronicle of Higher Ed, March 18)
In a column, DAVID PERLMUTTER, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a professor and Starch Faculty Fellow at the University of Iowa, discusses the protocols of families and children in an academic setting.

Hagle examines Culver insurance decision (Des Moines Register, March 18)
TIMOTHY HAGLE, professor of political science, discusses Gov. Chet Culver's order for an outside review of a proposed Wellmark health insurance premium increase.

UI study hopes to improve teen driving (U.S.News & World Report, March 18)
A yearlong UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study examined how different technologies can help teen drivers. If a driver swerved, stopped suddenly, or made other risky moves, electronic sensors in the car picked up the problem and a light on the camera alerted them that the system had been triggered.

UI examines employee vaccination patterns (UPI, March 18)
Increasing vaccination rates of health care personnel substantially improves patient safety, lowering flu deaths by 40 percent, researchers suggest. Epidemiologists and computer scientists at UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Health Care found healthcare personnel are more likely to be vaccinated if their close contact co-workers -- referred to as neighbors in the study -- are vaccinated.

Fisher comments on enterprise zones (Arizona Daily Star, March 17)
A story about the possible creation of an enterprise zone in Arizona notes that research by PETER FISHER of the University of Iowa has found that enterprise zones rarely help economic development. The Daily Star is published in Tucson, AZ.

NWP student will launch new anthology (Press-Citizen, March 16)
The “Best Women's Travel Writing 2010" editor Stephanie Elizondo Griest, a student in the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Nonfiction Writing Program, and Iowa City contributors Marisa Handler, Kendra Greene and Jennifer Percy will launch the book at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 28, at Prairie Lights in Iowa City.

Caspers publishes new research findings (OneIndia, March 16)
A new study suggests that men and women with a history of alcohol abuse may not see long-term negative effects on their memory, but female smokers do. The lead researcher was KRISTIN CASPERS, an assistant research scientist in the department of psychiatry at the University of Iowa.

Pappajohns rank high in philanthropy (Des Moines Register, March 16)
The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks John and Mary Pappajohn of Des Moines No. 23 among "50 Americans Who Gave the Most in 2009." Their contributions include $26.4 million to the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA to create a biomedical institute.

UI students in Mississippi for alternative break (Jackson Sun, March 16)
Sophia Lou was one of 29 students from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA participating in an alternative spring break project in Mississippi.

UI research finds promise in antidepressant drug (Health and Age, March 16)
Researchers from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA now report on a promising new study, involving the antidepressant drug escitalopram. Antidepressants act on the brain and the study suggests they help not just with depression, but also after a stroke.

UI research links smoking, mental impairment (All Headline News, March 16)
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA researchers said women who smoked in the past show signs of mental function impairment, but people with a history of alcohol abuse may not.

UI receives Russian culture study grant (Mason City Globe Gazette, March 12)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is to receive a nearly $75,000 federal grant for Russian studies. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley announced the grant from U.S. Department of Education.

Post office named for Tuskegee Airman, UI alumnus (Delaware County Times, March 15)
A story about a post office in Pennsylvania being named for Tuskegee Airman Capt. Luther Smith notes that Smith attended the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA before joining the World War II Army Air Corps unit made up of black pilots. The Times is published in Pennsylvania.

Lynch comments on Dubuque sibling cancers (Dubuque Telegraph Herald, March 14)
A story notes that all five siblings in a Dubuque family suffer from various cancers. It is unusual for all siblings to have cancer, said CHARLES F. LYNCH, a professor in the University of Iowa's Department of Epidemiology. "It likely indicates the family has genetic susceptibility to the disease," Lynch said. "Given there are several different cancers affecting the family members, it may be more difficult to identify the specific genetic susceptibility factors."

Bloom discusses Postville (KWQC-TV, March 14)
A University of Iowa journalism professor says more towns in rural America will soon look a lot like Postville does today. STEPHEN BLOOM wrote a book about the cultural divide in the town several years ago. He studied Postville in the mid-90s along with the Hasidic Jews who moved to town when the slaughterhouse was built and the locals who had grown up there.

UI students help with project at Kansas City Zoo (KCTV-TV, March 14)
More than 1,100 college students from across the country, some from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, spent Saturday paying it forward, including some helping spruce up the Kansas City Zoo.

Rambo creator was UI professor (Chicago Tribune, March 14)
A story about thriller author David Morrell notes that he was an English professor at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA when he dreamed up the character John Rambo.,0,4140177.column

Gaffney discusses symptoms of Asperger's (Flint Journal, March 13)
A story about children with Asperger's Syndrome notes that they may avoid eye contact or stare, have difficulty reading body language or facial expressions, and be preoccupied with one or few interests. "They can have a very high IQ, but get caught up on astronomy or Pokemon and know everything about it," said Dr. GARY GAFFNEY, University of Iowa associate psychiatry professor.

UI President Sally Mason answers questions (Daily Iowan March 12)
UI President SALLY MASON responds to questions about a variety of issues ranging from the proposed 21-ordinance to student retention.

Pradarelli comments on flood preparations (KCCI-TV, March 11)
The University of Iowa is still recovering from historic floods in 2008, but the school is preparing for the potential for more high water this spring. "Right now, we don't seem to be at any imminent risk of serious flooding, but we're keeping an eye on it," said STEPHEN PRADARELLI of the University of Iowa. "We're ordering pumps that would be used to pump out water from behind barriers if those need to be set up. We're identifying places to stockpile sand, if that were needed."

UI studies pilot fatigue (WBZ-TV, March 11)
At the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, researchers from NASA are studying the effects fatigue has on airline pilots. Sleepy pilots in flight simulators are having their brain patterns monitored as they try and land planes. WBZ is located in Boston, Mass.

Keleher joins Buresh in Haiti (Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun, March 11)
MONICA KELEHER, a nurse with a background in nephrology (kidney issues) and neonatal care at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, will join the medical group of UI physician CHRIS BURESH that is providing services in Leogane, Haiti. The group will be in Haiti March 20-29.

Peace worker attended the UI (Baltimore Jewish Times, March issue)
A profile of Jennifer Arndt Robinson, deputy director of the University of Maryland Baltimore County's Shriver Peaceworker Program, notes that she majored in education at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA before joining the Peace Corps.

Fuortes comments on aid for nuclear weapons workers (Iowa Independent, March 11)
Iowans who got sick working for the nuclear weapons industry during the Cold War were promised that a federal program would provide them medical benefits and lump sum payments for illnesses associated with their work. But since its inception only a third of Iowans who have made claims have seen any payment. “It is antithetical to the concept of public health to wait until you have human bodies to do something,” said Dr. LAURENCE FUORTES, a University of Iowa professor of occupational and environmental health and director of the Former Worker Medical Screening Programs.

Durham comments on “prosti-tot” culture (AlterNet, March 11)
, professor journalism and media studies at the University of Iowa, discusses the increased use of children in sexualized images. “The most basic answer is that it’s highly profitable,” she said. “These sexualized images are all commercially driven. The younger the demographic advertisers target, the more they can create cradle-to-grave consumers.”

Anderson study reduces enzyme’s negative effects (Times of India, March 11)
A study led by University of Iowa scientists, demonstrated in theory that it might be possible to use drugs that maintain the positive effects on heart function of a known enzyme called calmodulin kinase II (CaM kinase) while reducing its negative effects. MARK E. ANDERSON, professor and head of internal medicine at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, said: "CaM kinase helps regulate calcium, which is essential to heart function, but CaM kinase's calcium connection also can play a role in electrical problems that lead to irregular heart beats and cell death.”

UI stockpiles flood supplies (WQAD-TV, March 11)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is stockpiling barriers, sand, pumps and other supplies in case of flooding again this year. WQAD is based in Moline, Ill.,0,6809291.story

Pollster Gallup was DI editor (Investor’s Business Daily, March 10)
A story about pollster George Gallup notes that he was a graduate of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and the editor of the Daily Iowan, where he became fascinated with the question of why people read what they read.

Professor leads probe into rare eye disease  (Daily Iowan, March 10)
has one very ambitious aspiration. "My mentors have invested their efforts into training me for one goal," said the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics doctor. "Cure the blind." Mahajan is an assistant professor of vitreoretinal surgery and diseases who has been researching, teaching and performing eye surgeries at the UI for almost four years.

UI group tackles retention rate (Daily Iowan, March 10)
A 20-member UI Early Intervention Implementation System Committee helps students who may be struggling at the university: emotionally, academically and financially. Already, in the group's first year of existence, the university has seen results. The team contacted more than 350 "at-risk" freshmen last semester. The UI usually loses around 250 freshmen between first and second semester; 191 didn't return this academic year. "No one should have to leave this university unless he or she wants to," UI Registrar LARRY LOCKWOOD said.

UI student film entered in festival competition (New York Times, March 9)
Next week in Austin, Texas, the South by Southwest festival will honor the winners of a film and television titles competition, a rare move to recognize those miniature stories and graphics displays that surround the opening credits before the real story unfolds. For "Wowie," one of 18 finalists chosen from about 100 entries, the emphasis was more on imagination than technique. The credits were scrawled with a Sharpie on the writhing belly and hairy limbs of that eight-minute short's star. "He was going to have them written on his hand, that's where it started," said Craig Webster, a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA graduate arts student who, with Florina Titz, directed, edited and produced the film, a love story about a "delusional postman."

Diekema comments on H1N1 (Press Citizen, March 9)
As the H1N1 scare of 2009 winds down, it appears it won't live up to the hype, a University of Iowa internal medicine physician said. Cases of H1N1, referred to by some as swine flu, have quieted down all over the country, including in Iowa, said DAN DIEKEMA, a professor of internal medicine and pathology at the UI Carver College of Medicine. "Right now, it is really quiet at this point. That third wave of H1N1 that we all feared hasn't come yet, and the closer it gets to the spring, the less likely the third wave will come," he said.

Mutel to discuss flood science in Des Moines (Des Moines Register, March 9)
CONNIE MUTEL, an historian and archivist at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa, is giving a presentation about the scientific lessons of the floods of 2008. She is also the editor of the book "A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Floods of 2008," published by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS.

UI knee pain study cited (Daily Southtown, March 9)
A story about knee pain in women notes that a new study by researchers at the UNIVERISTY OF IOWA Hospitals and Clinics found thigh muscle strength predicts incidence of painful or stiff-knee osteoarthritis. Women with the strongest quadriceps muscles appeared to be protected against the development of knee osteoarthritis symptoms. The Southtown is published in Chicago.,030910wellness.article

Nearly Naked run mentioned (WJRT-TV, March 9)
The Nearly Naked Mile at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is cited in a story roundup.

Porter comments on good faith in book publishing (New York Times, March 8)
In a story about book publishers publishing books with inaccuracies and falsehoods in them, JEFFREY PORTER, associate professor of English and non-fiction writing at the University of Iowa, said, "There's a hazy line between 'truth' and invention in creative nonfiction, but good writers don't have to make things up."

Johnson urges FCC reform at conference (BroadbandBreakfast, March 8)
At a recent conference discussing reform of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C., NICHOLAS JOHNSON, former FCC commissioner and professor of law at the University of Iowa, said all communications with commissioners should be done in writing and, if a meeting is requested, it must occur in front of the full commission and be properly documented.

Some UI students opt for alternative spring break (Press Citizen, March 7)
More than 300 UI students are opting for a so-called alternative spring break this year. DOUG LEE, associate dean of the UI Division of Continuing Education, oversees for-credit trips for service learning, such as Chicago and Loess Hills, and adventures, such as scuba diving and backpacking.

UI converts to electronic cards access (Des Moines Register, March 7)
The days are numbered for University of Iowa custodians patrolling buildings, jingling their big rings of brass keys as they lock and unlock doors. Manual locks mean unlocking doors up to three hours ahead of schedule to unlock them all on time, which creates a security concern, said CHUCK GREEN, UI Department of Public Safety director. As campus continues to expand, keyless access is "absolutely the direction we must head."

UI to require house directors for fraternities and sororities (WCCO-TV, March 7)
Starting next fall, the University of Iowa will require all fraternity and sorority houses to have live-in house directors. The directors are to be on-site mentors when students have questions about life matters, including academics and personal problems, and keep the house in general running order. KELLY JO KARNES, associate director in the Office of Student Life, said, "The house director is hopefully that voice of reason, that adult voice who will make those tough calls when it may be difficult for the students." The story originally appeared in GAZETTE, based in Cedar Rapids, and was also carried by the ASSOCIATED PRESS.

UI study questions value of TIF grants (Asbury Park Press, March 6)
Revel Entertainment Group is building a 1,900-room casino in Atlantic City, N.J. and is seeking a state grant in the form of tax increment financing, or TIF, to fund help fund the project. Some studies argue that tax incentives draw jobs and investment to a region, while others found very little correlation between TIF grants and economic development. In a 2004 paper that appeared in the "Journal of the American Planning Association," University of Iowa professors ALAN PETERS and PETER FISHER said that the benefits to states are unknown. "Since these programs probably cost state and local governments about $40-50 billion a year, one would expect some clear and undisputed evidence of their success. This is not the case," the professors wrote. The newspaper is based in New Jersey.

Students host Nearly Naked Mile (KCRG-TV, March 6)
Students from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA worked to raise awareness about homelessness during the "Nearly Naked Mile" race Saturday in Iowa City. It was the second year UI Students Today Alumni Tomorrow has hosted the event. The group asked students to bring - or shed -- clothes to donate to the Salvation Army. More than 300 students registered for the race. KCRG is based in Cedar Rapids. DAILY IOWAN TV and the PRESS CITIZEN also carried stories about the race.

Whiteman comments on Iowa's economy (Associated Press, March 5)
A leading economist who advises Gov. Chet Culver predicted Friday that Iowa's economy will stay flat for much of the spring but should perk up by summer. "I think we're going to get through this," said CHARLES WHITEMAN, a University of Iowa economist who sits on the governor's Council of Economic Advisers. "I can see light at the end of the tunnel." Whiteman spoke with Creighton University economist Ernie Goss during a taping of the public television program "Iowa Press. The story appeared in several Iowa and national media outlets.

Gronbeck addresses trials for Sept. 11 suspects (The Hill, March 5)
Addressing a question about military trials for the Sept. 11 suspects, BRUCE E. GRONBECK, professor of political communication at the University of Iowa, said: "I think that mixing and matching civilian trials and military tribunals, depending upon the kind of person on trial, makes a good deal of sense. We've already done it and, so far as any of us can tell from news and government reports, without ill effects."

Museum belatedly celebrates anniversary (Press Citizen, March 5)
The celebration continues at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. The museum marked its 150th anniversary in 2008 but pushed back the celebration when campus and much of Iowa City's attention turned to dealing with the flood.

Keller discusses Graduate Education Task Force (Daily Iowan, March 5)
The final report of the Task Force on Graduate Education: Selective Excellence has drawn much attention in the University of Iowa and the higher education community, and rightfully so, says UI Graduate College Dean JOHN KELLER in this guest opinion piece. "It is rare that such an assessment takes place in a comprehensive research university," Keller says.

UI business students learn the value of giving (Daily Iowan, March 5)A UNIVERSITY OF IOWA ethics course teaches MBA students the importance of philanthropy.

UI alumna is honored by UNESCO (ABS/CBN, March 5)
Filipina marine scientist Lourdes Cruz was one of five women scientists honored in the 12th Annual L'Oreal-UNESCO awards in science in Paris. She received a masters and doctorate in biochemistry from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Fisher comments on tax breaks (Maryland Business Gazette, March 5)The basic problem with offering tax breaks to attract key corporate facilities is that the incentive structure for public officials invariably leads to spending more than is needed, said PETER FISHER, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Iowa who contributed to a recent "Good Jobs First" study.

POROI hosts seminar on southeast Iowa City (Daily Iowan, March 4)
The second of three seminars hosted by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PROJECT ON RHETORIC OF INQUIRY focused on the importance of how the community members "imagine" the city's Southeast Side.

Brochu comments on dinosaur discovery (National Geographic, March 3)
A new dinosaur relative found in Tanzania is the oldest known creature of its kind -- a discovery that pushes back the origin of dinosaurs by at least ten million years, paleontologists say. CHRISTOPHER BROCHU, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Iowa who was not part of the research team, commented on the discovery, saying, "It's part of a larger, growing realization that the earliest archosaurs were far more diverse than we ever thought."

Hovenkamp comments on hedge fund executives' meeting (Business Week, March 3)
The U.S. is asking hedge funds not to destroy trading records on euro bets, according to a person with knowledge of the requests. The Department of Justice sent notices to save the records to some of the hedge funds whose executives attended a recent dinner. HERBERT HOVENKAMP, who teaches antitrust law at the University of Iowa College of Law, commented about the meeting.

Porter discusses new foreclosure law (American Banker, March 3)
KATIE PORTER, professor of law at the University of Iowa, says a new Florida law will make mortgage foreclosures more efficient, but won't reduce their numbers. This story is not available online.

UI supports review of raising bar entry age (Press Citizen, March 3)
University of Iowa officials said Tuesday they are supporting the Iowa City Council's efforts to re-address the 21-only issue in Iowa City bars that was rejected by voters more than two years ago. In a statement Tuesday, UI President SALLY MASON said UI "supports a renewed effort by the Iowa City Council to raise the minimum bar entry age within city limits from 19 to 21 years of age." TOM ROCKLIN, interim vice president for student services, added, "We strongly believe that reduced access to alcohol will support our efforts to keep students safe and healthy, which is our paramount concern as stewards of Iowa's future." Related articles also appeared in the DAILY IOWAN, the GAZETTE in Cedar Rapids, and other local media.

Study eyes economic consequences of breastfeeding (Wall Street Journal, March 3)
There is a negative effect of breastfeeding on women's employment status, according to this article. There are also mothers who will endure real economic hardship if they miss work hours to pump or breastfeed. "We can't just look at health outcomes. We must look at economic outcomes as well," says MARY NOONAN, an associate professor at University of Iowa's sociology department and co-author of the working paper. "Money also matters for a child's health."

Author recalls advice given at UI (Morning Sun, March 2)
Speaking about his book, "Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption," Jerald Walker recounted his education after giving up alcohol and drugs. He took a creative writing class at Loop Community College with Professor Edward Homewood, who immediately recognized Walker's talent and suggested he transfer to the University of Iowa to pursue his bachelor's degree. At the IOWA WRITERS' WORKSHOP, Walker received advice from one of his professors that would change the course of his writing career. "He taught me to see my experience as a black man as positive rather than negative and to focus on how I defeated obstacles," he said. The newspaper is based in Pittsburg, Kan. The article appeared in several other newspapers via the GATEHOUSE NEWS SERVICE.

Gronbeck comments on Bunning move on unemployment benefits (The Hill, March 2)
Several political commentators responded to Sen. Jim Bunning's objection to the temporary extension of some unemployment and COBRA healthcare benefits, including BRUCE E. GRONBECK, professor of political communication at the University of Iowa.

Sauder: rankings may harm diversity efforts (National Law Journal, March 1)
A study co-authored by MICHAEL SAUDER, assistant professor of sociology, found that law school diversity may be suffering because of the way schools are managed to maintain positions in rankings from USNews and other organizations.

Colangelo discusses academic acceleration (Iowa Public Radio, Feb. 26)

Only eight states currently have a policy that specifically permits academic acceleration -- defined as the practice of advancing students in subjects at a rate that matches their potential and places them ahead of where they would normally be in school. Iowa is not one of those eight states. Why not? Iowa is among the other states who leave it up to the school districts to develop the practice of acceleration. NICK COLANGELO and other researchers at the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center are at the forefront, nationally, in trying to conduct research to demonstrate the importance of having a national policy for academic acceleration so that gifted kids aren't left behind.

UI experts to aid state in evaluating child abuse (Des Moines Register, March 1)
In the wake of a series of serious injuries and deaths of children who were previously abused, Iowa's Department of Human Services has contracted with UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITALS AND CLINICS to use a variety of medical experts to better evaluate cases of suspected child abuse._The fee-for-service contract will allow human services officials to call medical experts 24 hours a day, seven days a week when medical professionals disagree or are confused about the possible cause of an injury to a child, said Julie Allison, bureau chief for child welfare and community services.

UI senior lands internship (Chicago Tribune, March 1)
Internship placement companies such as the University of Dreams and The Washington Center say they're seeing an increase in applicants for such internships. A Washington Center scholarship paid for Mahmoud Siddig's $9,000 internship, which included housing. Seddig, a senior economics major at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, worked at the Organization of American States last summer, where he helped his supervisor set up and lead meetings. There, he met the Saudi Arabian and Egyptian ambassadors and congressmen from Iowa, Indiana and California, and he discussed issues related to his homeland of Sudan and the United States.,0,1567115.story

UI alumnus founded WealthEngine (Washington Post, March 1)
A company called WealthEngine scours public records in search of rich people who might give money to WealthEngine's extensive client list of nonprofit organizations. "We look for the millionaire next door who started a private business that nobody knows about," said WealthEngine chief executive Tony Glowacki, 49, who majored in general science and studied computer programming at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Gordon discusses women’s heart health (Martha Stewart Living, Feb. 2010)
For years, few women realized the dangers of heart disease. But the dark ages are over. "We've finally gotten the message across," says ELLEN GORDON, a cardiologist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa. "Women know the risks, and they also know what to do about them, from exercising and eating a healthy diet to keeping an eye on cholesterol and blood pressure."

Ampuero comments on Chilean earthquake (Des Moines Register, Feb. 28)
A University of Iowa professor said Chileans were as prepared as they could be for the massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the country's foundation and leveled hundreds of homes and buildings Saturday. "We are a seismic country," said ROBERTO AMPUERO, 55, a Chile native and professor in the UI department of Spanish and Portuguese. "We have a seismic culture. The first thing you learn in school is to look for places to go when there are earthquakes." Ampuero's parents, who live in the center of Chile in Viña del Mar, are fine, he said, but he wishes he could be there to help them and other Chileans. Ampuero was also interviewed for a similar story on KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids.

Bloom's book tells the story of pearls (Quad City Times, Feb. 28)
For almost his entire life, STEPHEN BLOOM has latched onto the wisdom of pearls. He remembers his mother bringing out her strand of pearls for twice-yearly special occasions. He's read "The Pearl" by John Steinbeck at least 25 times. And he admittedly has always had a fascination with the subject. "I am astounded, really, that when I see a woman wearing pearls -- however striking that woman might be -- my eyes lock on one thing: the strand of pearls around her neck," said Bloom, a best-selling author and journalism professor at the University of Iowa. "I've always carried a torch for pearls." That led him to his latest book, "Tears of Mermaids: The Secret Story of Pearls," which was published in November by St. Martin's Press.

Cohen notes impact of ARRA funding (The Gazette, Feb. 28)
JORDAN COHEN, interim vice president for Research and Economic Development at the UI, notes in this guest column, that American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for 141 projects totaling more than $53 million at the UI "is providing an important economic stimulus to our region at a time when it's critically needed. Using carefully determined national metrics, we have estimated that this funding, which will be sustained through 2011, has created or retained 288 jobs." The Gazette is based in Cedar Rapids.

UI student reports on Chilean earthquake experience (CNN, Feb. 27)
LUKE MESCHER felt a trembling fear when the walls around him started to shake Saturday, but standing around confused and scared wasn't an option. "I was more focused on we need to get out of here, and we need to get out of here as fast as we can," said Mescher, a University of Iowa student studying Spanish in Chile. Mescher, 27, was at the home of his host family when the 8.8-magnitude quake struck early Saturday. He and his host family safely escaped a 20-story apartment building, but he later returned for some clothes. "After we were safely outside I made a quick run and grabbed a shirt and some shoes," he said. also recounted his experience on NBC's "Today Show"

Calvinist influence in Robinson's novels explored (Christianity Today, Feb. 25)
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member MARILYNNE ROBINSON's first novel, "Housekeeping" (1980), began as a series of prose exercises inspired by the great 19th-century American writers Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, and Henry David Thoreau. She discovered that one voice influential for those writers was theologian John Calvin, a figure Robinson has been working hard to restore.







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