The University of IowaAnnual Report 2008-09

May

Person with diplomaThe University presents more than 4,000 degrees to new graduates during spring commencement ceremonies May 14-17. Pathologist and medical researcher Johan Hultin receives an honorary doctorate from the Carver College of Medicine, recognizing his efforts to decipher the causes of the 1918 flu pandemic—work he began as a UI graduate student in microbiology. Commencement events coincide with concern about a new flu epidemic, so officials urge common-sense precautions and offer hand sanitizer to graduates and guests.

The University Hygienic Laboratory becomes one of the first state public health labs certified by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct confirmatory testing for H1N1 influenza.

A study by Katie Porter, professor of law in the College of Law, finds that many struggling homeowners cannot save their homes by declaring bankruptcy. Porter examined 1,733 Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings and found that more than 70 percent of filers live in homes they can’t afford. They won’t be able to make their mortgage payments unless their loans are renegotiated—a step current bankruptcy laws don’t permit.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies convenes a think tank of nationally known authorities on consumer debt, including experts who helped craft 2009 credit card legislation.

Hancher Auditorium announces its 2009-10 season lineup—even though the auditorium itself remains closed due to flood damage. Hancher continues to present concerts, plays, dance, and other events at alternate venues.

Two people tour the Studio Arts exhibit.Nearly 4,000 visitors gather at Studio Arts, the University’s alternate home for flood-displaced art programs. A former home improvement store cleverly repurposed for classrooms and studios, the building provides ample and constantly evolving space for showcasing creative work. The student-organized event features exhibits, demonstrations, food, and music, the second popular open-house event since the facility’s inauguration.

The Ralph Schultz Family Foundation of Waterloo establishes a graduate student fellowship fund named for famed UI Writers’ Workshop grad Flannery O’Connor. The fund will provide additional financial aid to future workshop students.

The Iowa Electronic health Market (IEhM) launches new markets aimed at tracking and forecasting H1N1 flu. A spin-off of the Iowa Electronic Market—a prediction market pioneer—the IEhM draws on the firsthand perspective of health professionals fighting the flu outbreak, asking them to collectively project where H1N1 will appear, how long it will linger, and how many people it will affect.

The College of Nursing co-sponsors the fifth annual “100 Great Iowa Nurses” celebration in Des Moines, recognizing outstanding contributions to care, community, and the nursing profession.

A team led by Petar Lenert, assistant professor of internal medicine in the Carver College of Medicine, generates DNA-like compounds that inhibit cells responsible for the most common form of lupus, an autoimmune condition that currently has no cure.

Lynx in Museum of Natural History display.The Museum of Natural History celebrates its 150th anniversary with a new discovery—a bone from a type of giant Ice Age sloth never before recorded in Iowa. Events at the sloth excavation site near Shenandoah, Iowa, mark the museum's history of education and research.

These highlights offer a snapshot of UI news and achievements during May 2009. For more, visit the University News Services archives.