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News in Brief






Emergency numbers

For emergencies requiring police officers or firefighters, call 911. When 911 is dialed, the Iowa City Police Department receives the call and contacts the University Department of Public Safety, using a dedicated line between the two departments if the incident is located on University property. The 911 call also will appear on a computer screen in the UI Public Safety dispatch center.

For building emergencies, call (33)5-5071. Building emergencies include those problems that can cause escalating damage if not attended to quickly. An example of a building emergency would be flooding, as from a toilet overflowing. Facilities Management has someone on stand-by 24-hours per day, seven days per week. For emergencies of this nature, always dial the Work Control Center at (33)5-5071. During normal working hours (Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.), your call will be answered. After hours and weekends, you will get a recorded message that will prompt you to press “0” to speak to someone directly about a building emergency.


IOWA winners announced

The University’s Improving Our Workplace Awards (IOWA) program gives supervisors and coworkers the opportunity to recognize staff for a variety of efforts that have had positive results in their workplace.

The IOWA program recently announced three UI staff members and 10 UI teams as winners of spring 2007 awards for initiative and innovation in improving the experience of faculty, staff, patients, and students.

IOWA-winning staff members are Ruth Geary, clerk IV in admissions; Druet Klugh, librarian in Law Library Public Services; and Debra Wrede, account specialist in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

IOWA-winning teams are the Children’s and Women’s Services Special Order Team; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Shared Governance Webpage Team; the Continuity of Care Program; the Environmental Committee of Capitol Centre; the External Digital Images Team; the ICON Team; the International Programs’ Social Committee; the Nutrition To Go Team; Patient Scheduling for Outreach Clinic; and the UIHC Standardized Concentrations Team.  

For more information, including descriptions of the initiatives and a list of members on each team, go to


MFA art show opens this month

Master of Fine Arts 2007, an exhibition of works by recent recipients of the master of fine arts degree from the School of Art and Art History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be on view in the UI Museum of Art, May 11-June 8. A reception in honor of this year’s MFA graduate artists will be held in the museum, 3-5 p.m., May 11. Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public. For more information, go the University News Services release at


Reviewers see value in The University of Iowa  

The University of Iowa remains one of the best values in undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, a New York-based education services company. The University is one of 165 colleges profiled in the 2008 edition of the guidebook, America's Best Value Colleges. The guidebook profiles colleges with excellent academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Reviewers considered more than 30 factors over four areas: academics, “tuition GPA” (sticker price minus average amount students receive in scholarships and grants), financial aid, and student borrowing. Further information about the guidebook can be found at


Making no butts about it: Campus will go smoke-free   

Gary Fethke, interim UI president, has approved all recommendations of a committee charged with reviewing policies on smoking, with the exception of a proposal to ban smoking on all grounds by July 1, 2009. Fethke would like to study whether the campuswide ban could be implemented a full year earlier—by July 1, 2008. For more information, see the University News Services release at


Behind the wheel and the camera: Teens on the road in new UI study

Teenage drivers and how they are influenced by video feedback is the focus of a six-month study conducted at Eagan High School in Eagan, Minn., by researchers from The University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota.

The Eagan study follows a successful pilot project conducted in rural Iowa, where 25 teens logged more than 350,000 miles. During one year of driving, participants significantly reduced their instances of safety-related driving events, such as speeding through turns and curves.

Daniel McGehee, director of the Human Factors and Vehicle Safety Research Division of the UI Public Policy Center, notes that the scientific study is the first of its kind to look at the use of onboard video event recorders to improve teen driving in urban settings. For more information, go to the University News Services release at


Magazines mix messages over mother’s milk

New parents often hear that “breast is best” when it comes to feeding babies, and the media seem to agree—in theory. But despite the fact that magazine articles encourage women to breastfeed, they tend to focus on its barriers rather than its benefits, according to a study by University of Iowa researchers.

Leah Frerichs, who earned a master's degree in community and behavioral health from the University of Iowa College of Public Health in 2005, collaborated with Julie Andsager, associate professor of journalism and mass communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to examine the messages popular American magazines convey about breastfeeding.

Because so many pregnant women use magazines as a source of health information, the medium may have an impact on breastfeeding rates, Andsager says. The researchers found that specialized magazines, such as Parents and American Baby, are much more useful sources of breastfeeding information than general women's magazines.

However, the researchers learned that even these types of magazines present mixed messages that tell their readers, on the one hand, that breastfeeding is the best option while, on the other, focus on problems—such as anxiety about pain or inability to produce enough milk, and social factors, such as the embarrassment of breastfeeding around others.

“In terms of social barriers, our society tends to be squeamish at the sight of a woman breastfeeding in public,” Andsager says. “The magazine articles did not offer solutions to these problems.”

For more on the study, go to the University News Services release at




Merchant leaving dean position

James A. Merchant will step down as dean of the College of Public Health on July 1, 2008. He will continue as a professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health in the Carver College of Medicine. For more information, go to the University News Services release at



  • Velma Waldschmidt, 81, retired baker, March 29 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Kathleen Strabala, 58, nurse, April 4 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Dale Wurster, 88, professor emeritus, April 4 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Julia Nerit, 81, retired nurse, April 8 in Orlando, Fla.
  • David Belgum, 84, professor emeritus, April 12 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Mary Lou Eckley, 92, retired clerk II, April 12 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Orville Kessler, 88, retired motor pool worker, April 12 in South Bend, Ind.
  • William Kleese, 71, retired environmental systems mechanic, April 16 in Washington, Iowa.
  • Clyde Hershberger, 94, retired custodian, April 25 in Iowa City. (obit)


Office of University Relations. Copyright The University of Iowa 2006. All rights reserved.