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University of Iowa News Release


March 29, 2011

At A Glance

UI Chef Wins Gold Medal in NACUFS Culinary Challenge Competition
Creating a dish of beef tri-tip with stone ground grits and fried oyster, University of Iowa Residential Dining chef Anne Jacobsen won top spot in the National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS) Culinary Challenge Midwest Regional Competition, held Monday, March 21, at Iowa State University. 

Jacobsen was awarded a rarely given gold medal in the annual competition that is designed to "recognize outstanding food preparation and presentation skills in collegiate dining services." 
Nine chefs from NACUFS Midwest Region competed in this year's competition, which featured beef tri-tip as the main ingredient. Chefs were judged on preparation skills, taste and overall presentation. Gold medals are given based on point totals and are not always awarded.
By winning the Midwest Regional competition, Jacobsen will compete in the NACUFS National Culinary Challenge Competition to be held July 14 in Dallas.
Jacobsen has been employed as a chef for Hillcrest Market Place since 2008. She was awarded the Silver Medal in the NACUFS Midwest Regional Culinary Challenge competition in 2010, as well as placing first in the National Mushroom Council competition for Best Sandwich Recipe.  
For more information, contact Lisa McKirgan at 319-353-2398 or   


UI student Joshua Nelson selected as 2011 Humanity in Action Fellow

Joshua Nelson, a University of Iowa senior and Honors Program student from New Hope, Minn., has been selected as a 2011 Humanity in Action (HIA) Fellow. Nelson is pursuing a double major in integrative physiology and political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

As a fellow, Nelson will be placed in one of five European countries (Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris or Warsaw) for five weeks this summer, June 2 through July 3. The HIA Fellowship programs bring together international groups of college students and recent graduates to explore national histories of discrimination and resistance, as well as examples of issues affecting different minority groups today.

Each program is highly interdisciplinary and features daily lectures and discussions with renowned academics, journalists, politicians and activists and site visits to government agencies, nonprofit and community organizations, museums and memorials. The programs seek to bridge the gap between theory and practice and highlight different models of action to remedy injustice.

Admission to the HIA Fellowship is extremely competitive. Nelson is one of 44 students nationwide chosen for this honor. He pursued the fellowship with assistance from UI Honors Program Scholarship Interim Director Kelly Dauplaise Thornburg.

For more information, visit


Law students, alumni work together for Make a Difference Day community projects

Students and alumni from the University of Iowa College of Law will team up to help out at an elementary school fun fair, join developmentally disabled clients for a night of games and movies and clean up a creek during the law school's Make a Difference Day weekend April 1-3.

The service weekend is one of the first efforts of the College of Law's newly-formed Philanthropy Council and will bring together local attorneys, alumni and practitioners in Johnson and Linn counties. The weekend's planned volunteer projects include running the Longfellow Elementary School carnival on April 1, entertain clients during the Shelter House Activity Night on April 2, help build a Habitat for Humanity house on April 2, remove trash and debris from Ralston Creek on April 3, and help with a variety of projects at Agudas Achim's Mitzvah Day, including a blood drive, food packaging, blanket tying and kids' crafts, on April 3.

For more information about the projects or to sign up to volunteer, send an email to or call 319-335-9755.


Family communication scholar to speak at UI April 12

Tamara Afifi, a scholar whose research focuses on interpersonal communication in post-divorce families, will speak at the University of Iowa at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in Room 101 of the Becker Communication Studies Building. Her talk is titled "The Impact of Divorce and Parents' Communication Skills on Adolescents' and Young Adults' Physiological Stress Response Systems."

Afifi is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at University of California-Santa Barbara. Her work focuses on how family members cope communicatively with various challenges they face. In addition to researching information regulation in parent-child and dating relationships, with particular emphasis on post-divorce families, Afifi investigates communication processes related to uncertainty, loss, stress and coping in families.

Afifi is delivering the 2011 Hitchcock Lecture, presented by the Department of Communication Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Orville and Maude Hitchcock Lecture Series was established in 1992 in memory of Emeritus Professor Orville Hitchcock, a faculty member in the department for more than 40 years, and his wife, Maude.

For more information on Afifi, visit


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