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UI presents Earth Week events through April 24

The University of Iowa will hold several events during Earth Week, through Friday, April 24 to promote environmental awareness and sustainable practices on campus and beyond.

The UI Office of Sustainability and the UI Environmental Coalition student group are teaming with campus and community groups to sponsor activities ranging from film showings to a Bike to School Day and the opening of a new student demonstration garden.

Read about the full slate of events at


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences names Collegiate Fellows

Four University of Iowa professors have been named Collegiate Fellows of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in recognition of their distinguished teaching, research, and service. The 2009 Collegiate Fellows are Paul Abbas, professor and chair of communication sciences and disorders; Alan Christensen, professor and chair of psychology; Joseph Kearney, professor of computer science and associate dean of CLAS; and Gary Small, professor of chemistry.

Collegiate Fellows receive a discretionary fund to support their teaching and research. Fellows are invited to meet with CLAS Dean Linda Maxson and the college's associate deans twice each year to discuss opportunities for improving faculty life and undergraduate education.

Read the full University News Services release at


Big Ten Network features UI programming in April and May

The Big Ten Network begins its Campus Programming Showcase in April, in which The University of Iowa and other Big Ten universities have an expanded opportunity to air academic programming.

Upcoming programs produced by the UI Center for Media Production include a new Iowa Magazine episode, "Sustainability," which shows how the University is embracing sustainability from building and planning to renewable energy and education. The program airs Tuesday, April 28 at 9 p.m.; Thursday, April 30 at 1 p.m.; and Friday, May 1 at 10 a.m.

On Tuesday, May 26 at 9:30 p.m., The University of Iowa will debut a new "Conversations from the Iowa Writers' Workshop" episode that features author Andre Dubus III.

The University also will rebroadcast past programs, including "Iowa Magazine: Vitality;" "Performing Iowa: Dance Gala;" "Getting Ready for the Boom!" (about the Iowa Marching Band); and others.

For a complete schedule of the UI programs on the Big Ten Network visit


"Examined Life" conference explores creative writing, medicine April 29–May 1

The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine will host a three-day conference, "The Examined Life: Writing and the Art of Medicine," April 29-May 1 on the UI campus.

The conference focuses on the links between creative writing and medical education and patient care, and offers skill-building sessions on writing, editing and publishing creative work. The conference is open to health care providers, students, educators, writers, publishers and anyone with an interest in creative or reflective writing and medicine.

Registration is required for all concurrent conference sessions and meals, but keynote addresses and plenary sessions are free and open to the public. For conference details, event locations and registration visit


Film on social impact of pornography will be screened April 22

A screening of The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality, and Relationships is set for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 22, in room 101 of Becker Communication Studies Building on the University of Iowa campus.

The free, public event is sponsored by the UI Department of Sociology and the Women's Resource and Action Center.

A discussion with Robert Jensen, a journalism professor at the University of Texas–Austin featured in the film, will follow. Jensen researches and writes about the social costs of pornography from a feminist perspective.

The film features the voices of consumers, critics, and pornography producers and performers. Pornographers discuss their views about women and how men should relate to them, and users of pornography discuss the role it plays in shaping their sexual imaginations and relationships.


Nominate administrator, faculty, staff member for student advocacy award

The Office of the Provost each year honors a University of Iowa administrator or staff member who supports undergraduate education and serves as a strong, effective advocate for undergraduate students and the undergraduate experience.

The recipient of the Lola Lopes Award for Undergraduate Student Advocacy will receive a $1,000 honorarium and a certificate, and his or her name will be added to a plaque displayed prominently in the Admission Visitors Center where prospective students and parents can see the importance placed on undergraduate students and their educational experience.

All UI administrators, staff, and faculty in a non-teaching role are eligible.

All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to make nominations, which should be directed to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, and should include a narrative letter and two letters of support.

Nomination forms and criteria are available at

Nominations are due May 29, 2009.  If you have questions regarding this award, contact Associate Provost Beth Ingram at


Recognize exceptional work of faculty, staff members with awards

The University of Iowa Staff Council Awards Committee is accepting nominations for the awards described below. Any member of the University community (faculty, staff, or student) may submit nominations. Think about nominating colleagues, coworkers, those who serve on a committee with you, or any staff member who has made a contribution that you believe should be recognized. Nomination instructions and forms are available on the Staff Council web site:

The 2009 University of Iowa Outstanding Staff Award recognizes staff members who have made outstanding contributions to the University of Iowa (up to 6 awards).

The 2009 Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award recognizes staff members who have made outstanding contributions to The University of Iowa and to the State of Iowa (up to 6 awards).

The 2009 David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Service to the University of Iowa recognizes individuals who perform exceptional service to the University community (up to 2 awards).

Complete nominations for the awards must include the nomination form; a nominating letter; two supporting letters; the nominee's curriculum vitae/resume; and the nominee's current job description.  All nomination materials must be submitted via campus mail to the Staff Council Office, 606 Jefferson Building, by noon, Monday, May 4, 2009.

Questions regarding the nomination process or requests for more information may be directed to Sarah Tallman, chair, UI Staff Council Awards Committee (; or Kathy Klein, past-president, 2008–2009 UI Staff Council (  

All nominators and nominees will be recognized at a reception in July hosted by UI president Sally Mason before the announcement of the 2009 award recipients. Award recipients and nominators will be notified by mid-August.


See what Learning and Development courses are right for you

UI Learning and Development, a unit of Organizational Effectiveness, provides professional development services to faculty and staff. There are many learning opportunities that will support your professional development and growth. Look for classroom instruction on leadership issues for managers, frontline supervisors, human resource professionals, and office professionals.

Check out the following links:

  • To see the latest online newsletter, with listings of current courses and seminars, visit
  • For registration information, log in at the UI Human Resources Self Service site at and click the “My Training” link to register for any available session. This tool will let you see the status and location of a class, get e-mail confirmations, withdraw from a class, check your course registration history, and even do online evaluations. Courses with a fee (Special Events, 7 Habits, Reframing Your Work) will use the printable registration form.
  • To visit Learning and Development's home page, go to



UI biologist studies ocean plant cell adaptation in climate change

How will plant cells that live in the oceans and serve as the basic food supply for many of the world's sea creatures react to climate change?

A University of Iowa biologist and faculty member in the Roy J. Carver Center for Comparative Genomics and his colleagues came one step closer to answering that question in a paper published in the April 9 issue of the journal Science.

Debashish Bhattacharya, professor of biological sciences in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is studying a tiny (about one micrometer in diameter) and diverse group of organisms called picoeukaryotes. So far, he has found that organisms from two isolated groups of the genus Micromonas—which thrive in ecosystems ranging from tropical to polar—look the same, but have evolved to contain different gene pools.

Read the full University News Services release at


UI chemists' DNA biosynthesis discovery could lead to better antibiotics

Combating several human pathogens, including some biological warfare agents, may one day become a bit easier thanks to research reported by a University of Iowa chemist and his colleagues in the April 16 issue of the journal Nature.

Amnon Kohen, associate professor of chemistry in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said that the study indicated a new mechanism by which certain organisms manufacture the DNA base thymidylate. This new mechanism is so very different from the way humans synthesize this base that drugs targeting this biosynthetic path in the pathogens are unlikely to affect the human path, thus resulting in very reduced side effects or no side effects at all.

Kohen suggested that the process is similar to feeding the "bad bugs" a poison that your own body's cells don't eat.

Read the full University News Services release at


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