The University of IowaAnnual Report 2008-09

November

Jim Cramer from Mad Money.A Tippie College of Business student helps bring the CNBC show Mad Money to campus. Finance major Alex Cullen and members of the Financial Management Association student group produced a video on campus last spring, sending it to Mad Money producers in hopes of getting their attention. It worked.

Iowa City receives international recognition as a creative writing and reading center. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designates Iowa City the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and recognizing the international profile of UI writing programs.

Women pile on one another in field hockey game.The UI field hockey team wins its third straight—and fourth all-time—Big Ten tournament title with an overtime win against Ohio State. Only Penn State has won more straight Big Ten tournaments than the Hawkeye team. Iowa advances to the NCAA National Semifinals and closes the season with an 18-5 record.

The Iowa Electronic Markets predicts the final vote count in 2008 presidential election within half a percentage point. The project, operated by the Tippie College of Business as a real-money futures prediction market, is a research and teaching tool with an impressive prediction record, besting alternative mechanisms like opinion polls.

The Career Leadership Academy graduates its first class of students. The four-semester academic program sponsored by the Pomerantz Career Center helps prepare UI undergraduates to become successful professionals after college. Students network with professionals, learn about multiculturalism and effective communication, engage in teambuilding, practice résumé and cover-letter writing, and lead service projects.

Liz ChristiansenThe University hires a director for its new Office of Sustainability. Liz Christiansen, former deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, coordinates programs to promote sustainability, leads efforts to develop conservation goals and policies, and enhances the UI community’s understanding of sustainable practices. Her hire is part of a wide-ranging initiative announced on Earth Day 2008, which includes both greener operations and a new academic focus on preparing students for leadership in meeting present economic, social, and environmental needs without compromising future generations’ capacity to do the same.

A $1 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa, helps the College of Dentistry develop upgrades to the Dental Science Building.

Iowa business leaders Bruce Rastetter and Richard Jacobson each commit $5 million to the UI Foundation, supporting renovation and expansion of administrative and training facilities for the University’s football program.

The Graduate College presents its Outstanding Mentor Awards to Vicki Grassian, professor of chemistry, and Frank Schmidt, professor of management and organizations. Michael Lovaglia, professor of sociology, earns special recognition.

Iowa Memorial UnionPortions of the flood-affected Iowa Memorial Union reopen with “Welcome Back Week” events. Meanwhile, the Big Ten Network’s gift-matching program yields more than $90,000 for the UI Foundation’s UI Flood Relief Fund, bringing total fund contributions to more than $1.1 million.

A UI-led team finds a genetic mutation associated with epilepsy, which could lead to new treatments. Working with colleagues around the globe, lead investigator Alex Bassuk, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Carver College of Medicine, studied 23 people from nine families in the Middle East who shared a form of epilepsy that causes imbalance, tracing the condition to a common mutation in the PRICKLE1 gene.

These highlights offer a snapshot of UI news and achievements during November 2008. For more, visit the University News Services archives.