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University of Iowa News Release


May 4, 2011

At A Glance

UI patient and graduate student featured on the Today show

Some people never forget a face. Tara Fall can never remember one.

Fall, a member of the Iowa Neurological Patient Registry at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, suffers from prosopagnosia, also known as "face blindness." During a surgery in 2003 to cure her epilepsy, the Monticello, Iowa, native had a stroke that ultimately left her unable to recognize faces – even those of friends and loved ones.

Despite experiencing dramatic life changes since the stroke, Fall compensates for her deficiencies and focuses on what she has retained.

Fall shared her inspirational story with NBC Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman on the Today show Wednesday morning:
Justin Feinstein, a UI graduate student studying clinical neuropsychology, also was featured in the story. He conducted an experiment for Snyderman to illustrate the nature of Fall's deficit.


Honoring a visionary: Duane Caryl 'Sprie' Spriestersbach
The University of Iowa has posted an online tribute to Duane C. "Sprie" Spriestersbach, the UI alumnus and professor emeritus who served as a dean, vice president and interim president over a five-decade UI career. Spriestersbach died April 25 at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. He was 94.
The tribute includes an overview of his accomplishments as an administrator at the UI, his vision for UI's commitment to graduate education, a compilation of photos and audio excerpts from a recent interview. To access the tribute, visit
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City. Per Spriestersbach's request, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the UI Foundation for the Fund to Support Student Excellence at the UI Graduate College at


UI College of Public Health to honor two outstanding alumni

The University of Iowa College of Public Health has selected two past graduates to receive 2011 Outstanding Alumni Awards.

Nick Striegel earned a master's degree in public health in May 2010. He also holds degrees in math and science, theology and veterinary medicine and is currently serving as assistant state veterinarian in Lakewood, Colo.

Steve Corbeil earned a master's degree in hospital and health administration in 1984. He is currently the president of the Midwest Health System in Kansas City, Mo., a system comprised of 10 hospitals, five surgery centers and 280 employed physicians located in more than 80 sites.

The awards will be presented at the college's graduation and honors reception on May 13. More information is available at


Cranston to share Pakistan girls' school journey at Finding God at Iowa forum May 6

Jane Cranston, lecturer for the University of Iowa College of Education, will discuss her 2009 journey to a girls school in Pakistan at the next Finding God at Iowa lunch forum from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, May 6, in the Illinois Room (Room 348) of the Iowa Memorial Union.

Cranston will tell about her 2009 trip to Pasrur, Pakistan, to visit a girls' boarding school built by First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City. Cranston, who works to arrange educational sponsorships for impoverished girls in Pakistan, will present a video of her trip and discuss some of the challenges for girls' education in that part of the world.

The "Finding God at Iowa" Lunch Forum series, sponsored by Geneva Campus Ministry, meets once a month during the regular school year.  Christian faculty, staff and students speak on how their faith shapes their lives, their work and their perspectives on university and social issues.
For more information, contact Geneva Campus Ministry at 319-341-0007 or


Rasmussen reads from her debut novel May 10 on the Writing University

St. Louis writer Rebecca Rasmussen will read from her debut novel, "The Bird Sisters," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, in Prairie Lights Books. The free event will be streamed live and archived by the University of Iowa's Writing University website,

The inspiration for "The Bird Sisters" came to Rasmussen while reading her grandmother's journals. Her grandmother lost both her parents at age 17, just after a crisis revealed the failings in their marriage. As she grew older, she grew away from her only sister. This novel is Rasmussen's imaginings of what could have been, had the sisters learned to cling to each other rather than turn away. Learn more at

Rasmussen teaches creative writing and literature at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. Her stories have appeared in Triquarterly Magazine and the Mid-American Review. She was a finalist in both Narrative Magazine's 30 Below Contest and Glimmer Train's Family Matters Contest.

UI Health Care presents community seminar on stroke May 11

Experts with University of Iowa Health Care will present "Understanding Stroke" from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in Room 2117 of the Medical Education Research Facility at the University of Iowa. The event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is encouraged.

Harold Adams, M.D., professor of neurology, and director of the UI Stroke Center, and Azeemuddin Ahmed, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine, will present information about strokes and how to prevent them.

Discussion topics will include the types and effects of stroke, as well as diagnosis and treatment of strokes. The presenters will also cover the risk factors, signs and symptoms, steps you can take to help prevent a stroke and knowing when to go to the emergency room.

Register for the program at 319-335-8886 or 877-MED-IOWA, or online at


UI students presented health-related research at poster session

Forty-three students presented their research April 26 at the 12th Annual Student Interdisciplinary Health Research Poster Session held by the University of Iowa Interdisciplinary Health Group.

This event provided UI undergraduate students, master's degree candidates and doctoral degree candidates working on health-related research an opportunity to highlight their work and interact with researchers from other disciplines.

Thirteen awards of $100 each were presented at the event. The awards are courtesy of the UI Public Policy Center, the UI Center on Aging, the UI College of Liberal Arts and Science and the UI Women in Science and Engineering Program.

A sampling of the research projects included: the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on blood pressure and heart rate in veterans; depression and anxiety following injury among intercollegiate athletes; preventative dental care; and wilderness and emergency medical education.

A complete listing of the participants and their abstracts can be found on the Public Policy Center website:



Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at

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.