Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
fyi Student on campus
Faculty and Staff News
The University of Iowa
Photo Feature
In Brief
Back Issues
Jobs at Iowa
UI News Services

News in Brief






UI Libraries, UI Press to present Iowa City Book Festival in July

As a UNESCO City of Literature, Iowa City is home to a vibrant community of readers, writers, and bookmakers. This summer, a new festival will celebrate and investigate the city's literary connections.

The inaugural Iowa City Book Festival will be held Saturday, July 18, in Gibson Square outside UI Main Library’s south entrance.

Presented by University of Iowa Libraries and the University of Iowa Press, the festival will feature a mix of local and regional booksellers with new and used books for sale, a music stage, children's activities, food vendors, book arts demonstrations, readings, and panel discussions.

The Shambaugh Author Series will bring a mix of local, regional, and national authors from a variety of genres to the festival. Additionally, how-to discussions and hands-on workshops will give festival attendees opportunities to interact in a small-group setting with other readers, writers, and local literary experts on a wide range of topics. Readings and discussions will take place primarily within the library.

More information and updates about the festival can be found at


Faculty member to give free, public “Angels & Demons” lecture May 20

“Angels & Demons” lecture night at The University of Iowa will feature a free, public talk, “Overview of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN,” by UI visiting assistant professor Ugur Akgun at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 20, in lecture room 1 of Van Allen Hall.

A key element of the plot in the motion picture Angels & Demons, based on the novel by Dan Brown, involves a quantity of antimatter supposedly taken from the European particle physics laboratory CERN, where a part of the movie was filmed.

In real life, several teams of UI particle physicists have joined thousands of their U.S. and international colleagues in contributing to the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—the world's largest atom smasher—located at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. Akgun plans to talk about UI contributions to the LHC, as well as describe the project's status.

For further information about the UI lecture and similar events being held across the country, visit


Dan Zanes returns with free Memorial Day family concert to support Hancher

Dan Zanes and Friends, featuring the king of Romper Rock, will present a free family concert to support the future of the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium at 3 p.m. Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, in Iowa City's Upper City Park.

Audience members should bring their own lawn chairs or blankets.

Zanes was one of the 2005 artists in "SPOT: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure," including residencies and performances in Marshalltown, Perry and Spencer, as well as Iowa City/Coralville.

He first came to public attention as the leader of the Del Fuegos, the popular '80s garage band out of Boston, but he left the rock 'n' roll world in the 1990s to record and perform for children and families—including appearances on Sesame Street and Playhouse Disney.

Read the full University News Services release at


UI center provides software to help those with reading difficulties online

The Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER) in the UI College of Education has partnered with BrowseAloud, to provide a free software program that reads all web pages out loud.

Anyone at the University can download the software by visiting or calling Stachowiak at 319-335-5280 for more information.

This will not work with the UI Health Care or athletic Web sites since they have different web addresses.

The software can help anyone who has difficulty reading online, including people with mild visual impairments, low literacy, English as a second language learners, or those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, says Jim Stachowiak, ICATER coordinator.

Once a user has downloaded BrowseAloud, the BrowseAloud icon will appear in the system tray, which is usually found in the bottom right corner of the screen. By placing the cursor over the text, the relevant sentence will be read aloud and simultaneously highlighted. The user can choose to listen to selected sections of text or the entire page from where their cursor is pointed.


Landscape Services teams with UI student volunteers to install 500 trees

Landscape Services staff and 19 student volunteers installed 500 seedlings in various native areas around campus in early April. The planting areas included the Oak savannah west of the Ronald McDonald House, the slopes west of the Boyd Law Building, and the slope east of the College of Nursing circle turnaround.

The 500 seedling varieties consisted of Bur Oak, Black Oak, Northern Pecan, Shagbark Hickory, and Nannyberry Viburnum, and were purchased through the Department of Natural Resources.

The student volunteers earned credit through the 10,000 Hours volunteer organization, and the Landscape Service staff fulfilled a requirement in their pursuit of earning “Tree Campus USA” designation. The Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree Campus USA” program recognizes excellence in campus tree management, as well as student and community involvement in these efforts.

Landscape Services also held an Arbor Day tree planting ceremony April 24 on the UI Pentacrest to fulfill another requirement for “Tree Campus USA” designation.


State Fair booth needs volunteers

University Relations is inviting faculty and staff members to volunteer for the University's exhibit at the Iowa State Fair Aug. 13–23 in Des Moines.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks: answering general questions, distributing posters and other items, and applying temporary Hawkeye tattoos to visitors. The UI booth is located in the air-conditioned Varied Industries Building at the fairgrounds.

Shifts are four hours each: 9 a.m.–1 p.m., 1–5 p.m., and 5–9 p.m. Fair admission, parking passes, and a “Be Remarkable” T-shirt will be provided.

For more information or to sign up for a shift, see the UI State Fair web site at or contact George McCrory at 319-384-0012 or


RVAP volunteer, advocate summer training offered

The University of Iowa Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) is offering training for advocates and other volunteers who wish to help those impacted by sexual assault.

During training, advocates will learn about topics concerning sexual abuse and counseling including general facts about sexual abuse, sexual harassment, incest, the medical and legal processes, victim impact, healing from sexual assault, crisis intervention skills, cross-cultural counseling skills, and general counseling skills.

Summer training for advocates starts Monday, June 1, and includes 32 hours of training at the RVAP office, 320 South Linn Street in Iowa City.

Click here to see the training schedule.


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



Museum of Natural History announces new sloth bone discoveries

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History's Tarkio Valley Sloth Project has discovered a bone from a type of giant Ice Age sloth never before recorded in Iowa, called Paramylodon harlani.

Ice Age sloth expert Greg McDonald, the senior curator of natural history for the National Park Service's Park Museum Management Program and a consultant on the Tarkio Valley project, identified the approximately 5-inch long bone as the animal's fifth metacarpal, which once connected its wrist to its little finger, during a visit to the museum earlier this month.

Southwestern Iowa property owner Bob Athen found the metacarpal nearly two years ago just downstream from the project's current riverbed excavation site near Shenandoah, Semken said. At that time, it was mistakenly identified as part of a Megalonyx jeffersonii sloth, three of which—an adult, a toddler, and a baby—have been uncovered at the site.

McDonald, whose visit was made possible by a recent National Science Foundation grant for the project, checked all the bone identifications as part of his analysis while on campus. He said his goal was to establish an accurate catalog of the bones as a basis for further investigations.

A presentation on the excavation that will display and discuss key findings will be shown at the Greater Shenandoah Historical Society Museum, 405 West Sheridan Ave., on Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30.

Read the full University News Services release at



Hancher Auditorium box office moving to Old Capitol Town Center May 26

The University of Iowa Hancher Box Office is moving to the Old Capitol Town Center, 201 S. Clinton St. in downtown Iowa City. Beginning Tuesday, May 26, the box office will reside on the first floor at the south end of the building closest to the parking ramp, next to Sweets & Treats.

The Hancher Box Office has been operating in the Lindquist Center since it was dislocated from the auditorium by the flood of June 2008.

Hancher Box Office summer business hours, for walk-up and phone sales, are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets also may be ordered online at


Civic Engagement Program will move to Pomerantz Career Center

Beginning July 1, the Civic Engagement Program (CEP) at The University of Iowa will be housed in and administered by the Pomerantz Career Center as a way to incorporate volunteerism into the career development progress of UI students.

CEP is currently housed in the Iowa Memorial Union and is jointly administered by the office of the provost and the vice president for student services.

“We hope that connecting the CEP to the Career Center will encourage students to think about engagement as a way to further their academic and career goals,” says Beth Ingram, associate provost for undergraduate education. “The partnership with the Career Center will also allow the CEP to attain more visibility on campus.”

The program’s mission is to prepare students for community leadership and citizenship. It helps connect students, faculty members and staff with communities, responds to community needs and opportunities, and serves as a portal to the university for community organizations seeking student involvement. CEP sponsors volunteer recruitment fairs, supports service projects and offers consulting services to organizations to arrange appropriate opportunities for student volunteers.

For more information, see


Recent deaths

  • Merle Heick, 86, assistant professor emerita, April 30 in Sapulpa, Okla. (obit)
  • Jimmie Whetstine, 75, retired custodian, May 2 in Wellman, Iowa.
  • Linda Swift-Wheaton, 70, retired account specialist, May 8 in Iowa City.
Office of University Relations. Copyright The University of Iowa 2006. All rights reserved.