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News in Brief






UI Dance Marathon exceeds $1 million for third consecutive year

University of Iowa students raised $1,058,658 during the 16th annual UI Dance Marathon Feb. 5–6 in the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI campus in Iowa City.

More than 700 patients and family members cared for at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital joined more than 1,300 dancers for the 24-hour event.


Dance Marathon photos

Click here to see the Spectator@IOWA slide show of photos from UI Dance Marathon 2010.


“Dance Marathon is an incredible student organization and we are tremendously grateful for all the support they provide to UI Children’s Hospital,” says Michael Artman, physician-in-chief of UI Children’s Hospital. “The money they raise year after year helps us treat and care for hundreds of pediatric cancer patients and their families. But just as important is the emotional support these student volunteers provide to children and families dealing with cancer. The close and enduring relationships that develop produce immeasurable benefits.”

Along with the nonstop dancing and live musical performances, the event featured a “graduation ceremony” for nine children entering their fifth year of remission from cancer.

Over the past 16 years, UI Dance Marathon, which is the largest student-run philanthropic organization at the University, has raised more than $8.5 million to support pediatric oncology programs at UI Children’s Hospital.

More information about UI Dance Marathon is available at


UI alumnus makes gift to start philanthropy program

The University of Iowa will make new philanthropic studies courses available to its undergraduate students, thanks to a gift from a philanthropy-minded UI alumnus.

Kevin R. Gruneich, a Montezuma, Iowa, native now living in Park City, Utah, received bachelor’s degrees in finance and in industrial relations and human resources from The University of Iowa in 1980. He and his wife, Donna, made their $100,000 gift through the UI Foundation to establish the Philanthropic Studies Fund at the University, which will launch one of the nation’s first undergraduate programs in philanthropy.

The initial curriculum for the program, which will be administered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is being developed by Richard A. Nelson, a visiting public-relations professor from Louisiana State University hired using resources from the Gruneich gift.

Read more:


University establishes Office of Postdoctoral Scholars

The University of Iowa has established an Office of Postdoctoral Scholars to provide a professional and administrative home for postdoctoral scholars and fellows on campus.

A collaboration of the Graduate College and the Office of the Vice President for Research, the office will assist postdoctoral scholars and their mentors with activities such as recruitment, education, mentorship, and networking. Postdoctoral scholars hold a doctoral degree and are pursuing mentored research and scholarly training to become independent researchers.

Historically, postdoctoral scholars at many universities were employed directly by a faculty member and had little interaction with other university offices. Today, top research universities across the country are establishing offices to enhance training experiences for postdoctoral scholars and to help them feel connected at their universities.

The University of Iowa employs about 300 postdoctoral scholars per year, with about 60 percent trained in the Carver College of Medicine. Positions are limited to five years and are unique because the scholars aren’t classified as students, faculty, or staff.

For more information, visit the new Office of Postdoctoral Scholars web site at


UI Press publishes first anthology of poetry about the law

Poetry of the Law: From Chaucer to the Present, the first serious anthology of law-related poetry ever published in the United States, will become available March 1 from the University of Iowa Press.

Editors David Kader and Michael Stanford have assembled a collection of 100 poems from the 1300s to the present. Among the UI-connected poets who are represented in the anthology are Philip Levine, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Robert Hass, Thomas Lux, Eavan Boland, Charles Wright, Anthony Hecht, Mona Van Duyn, and Rita Dove.

“Until now there has been nothing like this collection,” says L.H. LaRue, author of Constitutional Law as Fiction: Narrative in the Rhetoric of Authority. “The poems included here have depth, both chronologically and topically, and Kader and Stanford have written an introduction that will appeal to scholars and nonscholars alike. I admire their choice of which poems to include and think that their discussion of why the book is necessary is intelligent and will whet the appetite of any reader.”

Set in courtrooms, lawyers’ offices, law-school classrooms and judges’ chambers; peopled with attorneys, the imprisoned (both innocent and guilty), judges, jurors, witnesses and law-enforcement officers; based on real events or exploring the complexity of abstract legal ideas; the poems celebrate justice or decry the lack of it, range in tone from witty to wry, sad to celebratory, funny to infuriating.

The book is available at bookstores or directly from the press, 800-621-2736 or

Read more:


Staff Council elections end Feb. 26—make sure your voice is heard

UI Staff Council is accepting ballots for Staff Council elections through 11:59 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26.

Prizes will be awarded each day the voting is open. Staff who vote will be entered into a daily drawing for the prizes. The prizes have been donated by various University departments and include items such as athletic tickets, departmental gift certificates, thumb drive, free water testing kit, and T-shirts.

To vote:

  • Visit and login with HawkID and password.  
  • Select the check boxes by the name of the candidates for which the vote is being cast. A candidate can be written in by clicking on “Submit Write-in” and adding the name. (That person should be willing to serve.) In these instances, the check box by the write-in candidate should be marked.
  • Click the “Submit Vote” button at the bottom of the page. A review page allows one last opportunity to edit selections. Clicking the “Confirm” button will record the vote.

Contact Staff Council at or 319-335-3600 with any questions.


U.S. Census forms arriving soon

Questionnaires for the 2010 U.S. Census should be arriving in the mail soon, and University of Iowa officials are encouraging faculty, staff, and students to participate.

The questionnaire will be one of the shortest in Census history, consisting of 10 questions that should take only 10 minutes to answer. Strict laws protect the confidentiality of respondents and the information they provide.

The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data guide the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal funds to local, state, and tribal governments each year. They’re also used to determine Congressional apportionment and to help guide planning decisions, such as the placement of schools, hospitals, transportation, and business and industrial development.

Census data affect school budgets, specifically distribution of Title I and special education funding and college tuition grant and loan programs.

For more information, visit


“Word Painter” reading series kicks off with Feb. 25 event at Old Capitol

The University of Iowa Museum of Art Spring 2010 “Word Painter” reading series kicks off at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. The reading is free and open to the public.

Two writers will be featured:

  • Honor Moore, the University’s Spring 2010 Bedell Visiting Distinguished Writer in Creative Nonfiction, whose recent work, The Bishop’s Daughter, was named an Editor’s Choice by the New York Times and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Moore is also the award-winning author of three collections of poems, and her play Mourning Pictures was produced on Broadway.
  • Jennifer Percy, a graduate student in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program and a 2009–10 Museum of Art “Word Painter” Fellow, will read from her thesis, “Demons,” which explores the psychological aftermath of the Iraq War in America. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Atlantic, Rosebud, the American Literary Review, Redivider, the Indiana Review, and the Literary Review. She recently received a Stanley Award for International Research to study aphorisms.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art, including updated event listings, visit


Experts to discuss legal aspects of food at Feb. 26 symposium

Experts on legal aspects of food will visit The University of Iowa Friday, Feb. 26, to discuss recipe copyrights, food safety and marketing, community-based agriculture, and a century-long ban on yellow margarine in Quebec.

“From Field to Tablet: A Symposium on Food, Culture, and the Law” is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. The free, public talks are sponsored by the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Additional funding was provided by the UI College of Law.

Visit for a full symposium schedule, or contact 319-384-3490 or with any questions.


UI seeks nominations for 2009–10 Diversity Catalyst Awards

The University of Iowa Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity invites members of the UI community to submit nominations for this year’s Diversity Catalyst Awards.

The Diversity Catalyst Awards honor UI community members and organizations that have engaged in diversity initiatives during the previous academic year that promote the development of an inclusive, diverse campus community.

Criteria for the nominations are: 

  • The nominee has developed or implemented an innovative program, policy, or activity to enhance diversity within the University; and/or
  • The nominee’s contributions are distinctive and have had a positive effect on building respect for diversity within the University community.

Nominations are invited for the following categories:

  • Individual faculty or staff member
  • A program or department
  • A student or student organization

Each recipient will receive an award to be presented at the 11th annual Diversity Catalyst Awards reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 21, in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

Forms to nominate outstanding and innovative contributions to diversity and inclusiveness are available at
Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 28.

For more information, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 202 Jessup Hall, at 319-335-0705 (voice) or 319-335-0697 (text).


Improving Our Workplace Award nominations sought

Many faculty and staff continue to focus on improving practices, processes, patient/student/customer satisfaction and safety in their area—IOWA (Improving Our Workplace Awards) looks to recognize them for their efforts.

Nominate individuals or teams for using initiative and innovation to achieve lasting results in your workplace. Nominations are welcomed until March 15. Visit for nomination forms, tips for nominating, and descriptions of past winning efforts. Contact Nancy Noyer at or 319-335-0560 for assistance.


STAR Registry facilitates UI research in aging

In 2007, the University of Iowa Center on Aging developed a registry of research volunteers to aid UI research studies involving participants from older populations. Today, the Seniors Together in Aging Research (STAR) Registry includes more than 1,400 individuals age 50 and older and continues to recruit participants and facilitate clinical research.

STAR matches research volunteers with UI IRB-approved studies for which they are likely to qualify, using information provided by each volunteer. STAR volunteers fill out a four-page registration form about medical history as well as behavioral and demographic information. This information populates a database of searchable fields, allowing the STAR Registry staff to identify subjects who are potentially qualified for specific study requirements. Individual records within the database are updated regularly to ensure accuracy.

For the registry, UI STAR Registry staff continuously recruit adults age 50 and over, specifically targeting Iowans within a two-hour drive of the Iowa City area. In the future, center staff want to broaden the diversity of the registry by focusing on the recruitment of individuals from medically underserved communities, ethnic minorities, and individuals residing in rural areas.

UI investigators may order queries of the STAR Registry database for a $50 fee. Center on Aging staff can assist in recruitment mailings for specific studies at a cost of $2 per mailed piece. Staff also can provide estimated recruitment budgets for grant proposals.

For further information on the STAR registry, visit or contact the Center on Aging at 319-384-4221 or

See which 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:

  • 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



Medicare data reveals differences in orthopedic surgical outcomes

The more specialized a hospital is in orthopedic surgical care, the better the outcomes appear to be for patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery, University of Iowa researchers report in a new study of Medicare patients.

Among more specialized hospitals, there were fewer serious postsurgical complications such as blood clots, infections, and heart problems, as well as fewer deaths.

The findings, which were published online Feb. 11 by the British Medical Journal, were based on data for nearly 1.3 million patients who received hip or knee replacement surgeries between 2001 and 2005 at 3,818 hospitals in the United States.

“The findings suggest that more specialized hospitals have better outcomes even after we account for the type of patients each hospital cares for and the number of hip and knee replacement surgeries that each hospital performs,” says the study’s lead author, Tyson Hagen, fellow in rheumatology in the UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Read more:


Research challenges models of sea level change during ice-age cycles

Theories about the rates of ice accumulation and melting during the Quaternary Period—the time interval ranging from 2.6 million years ago to the present—may need to be revised, thanks to research findings published by a University of Iowa researcher and his colleagues in the Feb. 12 issue of the journal Science.

Jeffrey Dorale, assistant professor of geoscience in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, writes that global sea level and Earth’s climate are closely linked. Data he and colleagues collected on speleothem encrustations, a type of mineral deposit, in coastal caves on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca indicate that sea level was about one meter above present-day levels around 81,000 years ago. The finding challenges other data that indicate sea level was as low as 30 meters—the ice equivalent of four Greenland ice sheets—below present-day levels.

He said the sea level high stand of 81,000 years ago was preceded by rapid ice melting, on the order of 20 meters of sea level change per thousand years, and the sea level drop following the high water mark, accompanied by ice formation, was equally rapid.

Read more:


Transportation trivia: UI research tells history of Iowa highways

The University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist uncovered some transportation trivia as researchers investigated the history of Iowa highways.

They learned, for example, that speeding was a problem in 1915, when vehicles “turned turtle”; collided with each other, bicycles, and buggies; struck people; or ran into trains. And before standardized road signs, motorists relied on markers created by auto clubs to navigate rugged “automobile trails.”

Marlin Ingalls, architectural historian for the Office of the State Archaeologist, is the author of the 346-page report. His research involved five years of field survey and archival work and two years of analysis and writing.

Digital scans of historical documents, many from the Iowa Department of Transportation archives in Ames and the Iowa City branch of the State Historical Society of Iowa, complement hundreds of digital images collected in the field, helping to tell the engineering history of the state’s early arterial highways.

The report, “Iowa’s historic automobile roads: a National Register study of pre-1948 arterial highways,” is available on the Iowa Department of Transportation web site,



Recent deaths

  • Mildred Curry, 96, retired lab technician, Jan. 9.
  • Mildred Carter, 94, retired clerk III, Feb. 6 in Dubuque. (obit)
  • Charles Sharp, 67, retired electronics technician, Feb. 8 in Coralville. (obit)
  • Sandra Donovan, 41, staff nurse, Feb. 14 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Donald D. Smith, 79, retired professor, Feb. 14 in Tallahassee, Fla. (obit)
  • Peggy Blosser, 67, retired licensed practical nurse, Feb. 16 in Iowa City. (obit)


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