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Three UI faculty win top teaching award

Three University of Iowa faculty members have won the 2007 President and Provost Award For Teaching Excellence in recognition of their years of outstanding teaching. The recipients are: Craig Kletzing, professor of physics and astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; George Lawry, professor of internal medicine (rheumatology) in the UI Carver College of Medicine; and Edward Thompson, clinical professor in the College of Nursing with a joint appointment in the Carver College of Medicine.

The award, administered by the UI Council on Teaching, was created in 2004 as a University-wide recognition for faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained high level of teaching excellence. Each college may nominate up to three faculty members for the award, which carries a $3,000 prize. Nominees submit a statement of their teaching philosophy along with a resume highlighting teaching activities and letters of endorsement from current and former students and colleagues.

The Council on Teaching selected the three winners from the pool of nominees.


Kletzing has taught in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 1996, and currently serves as associate chair and director of graduate studies for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He received a UI Collegiate Teaching Award in 2006.

In letters supporting his nomination for the award, Kletzing's colleagues recognize him as a progressive and innovative instructor, and students appreciate both Kletzing's talent in the classroom—where he is especially skilled at demonstrating difficult physical concepts—and his commitment as a mentor. Students say Kletzing infects them with his enthusiasm for the subject matter, for the practice of science, and for teaching, which serves them well because many go on to pursue advanced careers in physics and astronomy. Says one such student, “The experiences I received through…daily interactions [with Kletzing] have been invaluable to my education as a scientist.”


Lawry has taught in the Carver College of Medicine since 1993. During that time, he has established a record of teaching excellence that, according to one colleague, “sets the standard for the College of Medicine.” He has been elected Teacher of the Year by the second-year medical student class eight times, by the third-year class twice, by the fourth-year class five times, and by the internal medicine residents three times.

Lawry received a Collegiate Teaching Award in 1996. In addition to being an extremely popular and effective lecturer and clinical mentor at Iowa, Lawry is committed to improving medical practice nationwide. He is developing a three-part, interactive instructional program to help learners—from first-year medical students to practicing physicians—develop better musculoskeletal examination skills, and part of that program has already been incorporated into the leading rheumatology textbook.

Lawry also serves as cochair of a national organization charged with ensuring that a standardized curriculum in musculoskeletal medicine is being delivered in 100 percent of allopathic medical colleges by 2011. Students describe him as energetic, generous with time and feedback, deeply compassionate, “truly a role model,” and “the epitome of teaching excellence.”


Thompson has taught in the College of Nursing and the Carver College of Medicine since 1998, while also serving as director of the Masters of Science in Nursing anesthesia program. Under his leadership, the program has become recognized as one of the premier nurse anesthesia programs in the country.

Thompson has advanced nursing education nationally by serving as a member the American Association of Colleges of Nursing task force working to develop a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, a terminal practice degree in nursing, and he is bringing that national perspective to the development of such a program at Iowa. Thompson, who received the Collegiate Teaching Award in 1993, is known for setting high standards and challenging students to “be the best they can be.”

To date, Thompson has guided almost 300 students to become nurse anesthetists, and all have passed their certification exam on the first try and with highly competitive scores. Many have garnered regional and national awards for their clinical research projects and writing. Colleagues say Thompson is equally effective in the classroom and clinical settings, and that he is as enthusiastic a mentor to junior faculty as he is to students. “It is because of him,” says one former student, “that I can be proud of The University of Iowa, proud of my education, and still want to achieve more.”

For more information on the Council on Teaching and its award programs, see


UI professionals added to the Great Iowa Nurses list

Ten University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics nursing specialists will be honored as elite members in their profession during the 100 Great Iowa Nurses celebration in May. The UI nurses will join 26 of their UI colleagues who previously received recognition for their courage, competence, and commitment to patients and the nursing profession since the 100 Great Iowa Nurses program began in 2005.

The new honorees from UI Hospitals and Clinics are Gail Crowe, Center for Digestive Diseases; Barbara Hannon, Nursing Services and Patient Care; Beverly Herman, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children's Hospital of Iowa; Vicki Kraus, Diabetes Education, Medical Surgical Services; Gayle Nelson, Student Health Service; Susan Olson, Perioperative Division; Alison Pauley, Burn Treatment Center; Margaret (Peg) Raab, Nursing Supervisor in Children's and Women's Services; Traci Stewart, UI Heart and Vascular Care; and Rich Young, Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Children's Hospital of Iowa.

Approximately 2,000 nursing professionals work in the Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care in UI Hospital and Clinics. The department received the prestigious Magnet Hospital Designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2004, becoming the first hospital in Iowa to earn the international award. To see the list of this year's and past years' honorees or for more information about the event, go to


UI individuals, projects, companies honored for excellence in innovation

Four individuals, projects, and companies connected to The University of Iowa have been honored for excellence in leadership and innovation in technology with the Technology Association of Iowa's 2007 Prometheus Awards.

The award winners, nominated by the IOWA Centers for Enterprise and selected as finalists along with six other UI people and initiatives, were the UI College of Engineering's Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) Program; Tom Schnell, director of the UI Operator Performance Laboratory; Joseph Walder of Integrated DNA Technologies, based in the University's Oakdale Research Park; and VIDA Diagnostics, in the University's Technology Innovation Center.

For more information, see the University News Services release at


A dammed river runs through it

The Iowa River was parted this month, but Charlton Heston had nothing to do with it.

Half the river will be dammed for about two months while work crews connect The University of Iowa's east and west chilled water plants so buildings on the east campus can remain cooler in the summer.

Preliminary work on the North Chilled Water River Crossing Project should wrap up in early May. For more on the project, including images via web cam, go to


Swing into spring—sign up for faculty/staff golf league

The Division of Recreational Services is now accepting registration for the 2007 faculty/staff golf league, a 9-hole doubles format with sections grouped by ability level. The league's season lasts 10 weeks, and play will be held on Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, depending on the section.

Registration ends May 1, and leagues are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Go to for more information or to download an entry form, or pick up an entry form at E216 Field House.


UI program wants your smart, money-saving ideas

In responses to last year’s online Working at Iowa survey, more than 99 percent of  UI faculty and staff members said they look for more effective ways to do their jobs.

They can share their ideas through the Unique Ideas Save Money and Reward Thriftiness (UI SMART)—and even receive a cash prize of $100 if their ideas are used. (Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement who receive a UISMART award will receive the $100 as a credit to be used by their department for the employee’s benefit, rather than a cash award.)

Since its inception in 2001, the program has received more than 524 suggestions for saving money on campus, according to Pat Kenner, program coordinator. From those suggestions, 26 faculty and staff members each have collected $100 for ideas that were implemented.

Examples of suggestions that have paid off include an online absence form, a paper-saving UIHC appointment letter, and replacement of incandescent bulbs with subcompact fluorescent bulbs for better energy cost savings.

To submit a suggestion online, go to Be specific, and provide as much detail as possible on ways the University might implement your idea.

If you would like to apply on paper instead of online, contact Pat Kenner, CQI/Organizational Effectiveness, 121-50 USB, 335-0505,



UI professor teaches juvenile offenders the art of healing

Art touches and transforms lives, serving as a creative catalyst and a catharsis. This belief inspired Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, associate professor in the UI College of Education, to create a sustainable arts program in state-operated juvenile detention centers. And thanks to a two-year, $63,324 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa, to the UI Foundation, Williams will make this arts program a reality for troubled young people in Iowa, and eventually across the country.

Williams will create visual arts programs in the Iowa Juvenile Home, operated by the Iowa Department of Human Services based in Eldora, and the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.

Only a few artists, educators, therapists, criminologists, and scholars have conducted studies related to arts education and juvenile offenders, according to Williams, who believes that such programs expand the juvenile offenders' knowledge base about arts while also reducing violent or angry behavior, improving communication with peers and adults, increasing participation in education, and decreasing risk factors such as social alienation, poor conflict management skills and impulsivity.

Williams’ project will include creating a ceramics, painting, and drawing studio and curriculum for the State Training School in Eldora.  Williams and her students in art education will collaborate with teachers in the Iowa Juvenile Home.

Williams has been researching this topic for more than a decade. She says that creating two art labs at the primary juvenile correctional centers in Iowa will allow her to continue this research and provide a needed service to the state of Iowa. She hopes to begin offering summer workshops in the centers in the summer of 2009. For more information, see the University News Release at


New emphysema treatment study under way

Researchers in University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics have begun an international, multi-center clinical trial to explore a treatment that could offer a significant minimally-invasive option for people with advanced widespread emphysema.

The EASE (for Exhale Airway Stents for Emphysema) Trial focuses on a procedure called airway bypass that involves creating pathways in the lung for trapped air to escape and, in turn, relieve emphysema symptoms including shortness of breath.

Geoffrey McLennan, professor of internal medicine in the UI Carver College of Medicine, is principal investigator of the study. The airway bypass procedure could be an excellent option for those who would possibly spend years on a lung transplant list or not be suitable candidates for lung transplant surgery, one of the only other treatment options available for patients with this type of emphysema, according to McLennan. For more information, see the University News Services release at


Compulsive buying deserves greater consideration: UI psychiatrist

Compulsive buying disorder is considered a relatively recent psychiatric condition and one that merits greater consideration among mental health professionals, according to Donald Black, professor of psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine.

Black published a review article on compulsive buying in the February 2007 issue of CNS Spectrums (the International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine). In the article, he notes that examples of excessive spending have been well documented throughout modern history as in the cases of Marie Antoinette, Mary Todd Lincoln, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Princess Diana.

Compulsive buying disorder is best classified as a disorder of impulse control, Black writes. It occurs in as many as 6 percent of American adults and probably affects women more than men. Black notes that most compulsive shoppers have a history of depression or anxiety disorder. It also is linked to other conditions such as eating disorders, problem gambling and Internet addiction. For more information, see the University News Services release at




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