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News in Brief






Mason joins other education leaders in call for reducing greenhouse gas

University of Iowa president Sally Mason and 14 other college and university leaders on May 11 called on Congress and President Barack Obama to rewrite the nation's transportation policy so that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is made a top priority.

Mason and her colleagues are members of the Second Nature National Transportation Task Force, a national, Boston-based nonprofit organization that serves and supports senior college and university leaders in making sustainability the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education.

The task force is recommending major changes in U.S. transportation policy to advance clean energy goals, reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil, build healthy communities, create jobs, and assure global competitiveness. Working closely with Transportation for America and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the task force drew on their institutions' recent experience as test beds for low-carbon transportation strategies to make their recommendations, which include:

  • Make reducing greenhouse gas emissions a top-tier goal for transportation programs.
  • Make U.S. leadership in vehicle efficiency and cleaner fuels a national priority.
  • Structure transportation financing and pricing strategies to reinforce energy goals.
  • Expand transportation options to meet local needs.
  • Improve the condition and efficiency of our transportation system.
  • Encourage innovation and expand research, data collection, and evaluation.

A release issued by Second Nature, giving greater details about the recommendations, can be found at

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State Fair exhibit needs volunteers

The Office of University Relations is inviting faculty and staff members to volunteer for the University's exhibit at the Iowa State Fair Aug. 12–22 in Des Moines.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, from answering general questions and distributing posters and other items to applying temporary Hawkeye tattoos to visitors. The UI booth is located in the 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 Hawkeye 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


Deadline May 28 to apply for Rape Victim Advocacy Program summer advocate training

The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) will begin its 32-hour Advocate Training Program Monday, June 7, to prepare area volunteers on providing support and assistance to victims and survivors of sexual assault.

Since training classes are limited to 12 volunteers, those who are interested should apply as soon as possible. The deadline to register is Friday, May 28.

After successfully completing the agency’s 32-hour training, advocates are prepared to provide support, information, and referrals on the local Rape Crisis Line and the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline, as well as respond to calls for supporting a survivor at the hospital or law enforcement.

Training covers all aspects of sexual assault, teaches counseling skills, and includes role-plays designed to replicate typical calls received from victims/survivors. RVAP offers thorough and continuous training, feedback and supervision throughout volunteer advocates’ service with the agency. Attendance to all training dates is mandatory. The training schedule can be found here.

Those interested in applying for the RVAP Volunteer Program may do so online at or call 319-335-6001 or e-mail

For more volunteer information, visit


Don't delay! Staff Council seeks nominations for 2010 staff awards

The UI Staff Council seeks nominations for the Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award, the UI Outstanding Staff Award, and the David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Public Service. Any member of the UI community (faculty, staff, student) may submit nominations.

The Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award recognizes staff for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the institutions as well as the State of Iowa. The UI Outstanding Staff Award recognizes current UI staff who have made outstanding accomplishments and contributions that significantly benefited or brought honor or recognition to the University. The David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Public Service recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions and have shown exceptional imagination and dedication to improving the University community.

Complete nominations must include nominating letter, two supporting letters,
the nominee's curriculum vitae/résumé, and the nominee's current job description.

For complete award criteria, go to the Staff Council web site, Nominations may be submitted electronically at The nomination deadline is May 17.


Nominations sought for Lola Lopes Award for Undergraduate Student Advocacy

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to submit nominations for the Lola Lopes Award for Undergraduate Student Advocacy.

With the Lola Lopes Award for Undergraduate Student Advocacy, the Office of the Provost each year honors a University of Iowa administrator, staff member, or faculty member (in a nonteaching role) who supports undergraduate education and serves as a strong, effective advocate for undergraduate students and the undergraduate experience.

The recipient 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.

Nomination forms and criteria are available at Nominations are due May 31. If you have questions regarding this award, contact Beth Ingram at


ICATER to offer free Universal Design for Learning workshop Aug. 18

A workshop titled “Implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the
Postsecondary Classroom” will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday,
Aug. 18, in the Illinois Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

UDL is a method of course design that allows all students to best utilize
their strengths to learn required material. UI faculty and staff will learn
techniques to make their classes more accessible to all students.

Topics will include: creating a universally designed syllabus, applying UDL
principles to their physical classroom, class presentations, and class tools;
using simple technology to implement UDL in the classroom, using the Smart
Pen; and much more.

The workshop is sponsored by the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology
Education and Research, known as ICATER, in the UI College of Education.

Although it is free and open to all UI faculty and staff, registration is
required by Aug. 1. Lunch will be provided to all participants, and the
first 65 registrants will receive a Livescribe Smart Pen for free, which is
a $250 value.

For more information, special accommodations, or to register, contact James
Stachowiak, at 319-335-5280 or or visit


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



Do health care professionals perform hand hygiene? The University has an app for that

One of the most common causes of preventable health care–associated infections is poor hand hygiene. iScrub Lite 1.5, an iPhone and iPod touch application developed at The University of Iowa, makes monitoring hand hygiene compliance more efficient and accurate.

The availability of the free application on May 5 at the iTunes store coincides with the World Health Organization's (WHO) "5 Moments for Hand Hygiene" campaign. The campaign, which is part of the WHO's "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands" annual initiative, spells out the standard opportunities for health care workers to practice hand hygiene.

"iScrub simplifies the time-consuming and error-prone process of recording observations, analyzing the data, and feeding results back to health care professionals and managers," says Philip Polgreen, one of the application's developers and an assistant professor of internal medicine in the Carver College of Medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline for hand hygiene in health care settings recommends that hospitals periodically monitor hand hygiene adherence by health care personnel and provide feedback to personnel regarding performance. iScrub allows a user to enter data on an iPhone or iPod and periodically e-mail the information in spreadsheet form to one or more e-mail addresses of the user's choosing. "Any institution can easily customize the free application to support their own monitoring needs," Polgreen notes.

A recent review of 96 hand hygiene studies from hospitals in industrialized nations found an overall hand hygiene adherence rate of 40 percent among health care workers. The authors found great variation in the methods used to measure adherence, reflecting the lack of a standardized approach to hand hygiene auditing in health care settings.


Biologist finds key to the evolution of signal pathways in yeast cells

Signal pathways regulate biological processes, including those related to human physiology, and understanding them is fundamental to learning how cancers arise. Recently David Soll, professor of biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and his colleagues opened a unique window into this area of research by examining a newly evolved pathway in the cells of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans.

In an article published in the May 4 issue of the journal PLoS Biology, a flagship publication of the Public Library of Science, Soll and his colleagues describe the evolution of an entire pathway that evolved 40 million years ago in the ancestor of Candida albicans, the most pervasive human fungal pathogen and the cause of a variety of oral, genital, and other human illnesses.

Significantly, the way in which this pathway evolved may be similar to the way in which comparable pathways evolved in human cells.

"This study provides the first glimpse into how the pathways that regulate responses to signals have evolved," Soll says. "They first evolve by borrowing every single component from ancestral pathways.

"We found that in Candida albicans, a signal transduction pathway evolved by taking parts of old pathways and using the same signals, but adding new target functions. Similarly, in human development, cancers, and various other human diseases, signal transduction pathways may also have evolved by first borrowing everything. Then as the pathways become old and evolve, changes occur that blind us to how they first evolved," he added.



Ohio State’s Dodge selected as UI chief diversity officer

Georgina Dodge, an assistant vice provost for the Office of Minority Affairs at Ohio State University, has been named The University of Iowa’s chief diversity officer and associate vice president, effective July 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

In her new position, Dodge will also be appointed an adjunct associate professor of English.

Dodge will lead and coordinate the University’s efforts in all aspects of diversity, inclusion, educational and employment equity, affirmative action, cultural understanding and competency, and civil and human rights.

Dodge received a bachelor of arts, summa cum laude, from the University of California, Irvine, and a PhD in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

As assistant vice provost of Ohio State University’s Office of Minority Affairs, a position she’s held since 2005, Dodge has provided leadership in support of the success of minority students, faculty, and staff. In that role she identified and established new academic collaborations to promote diversity and excellence; convened and directed a campus Bias Assessment and Response Team; helped supervise about 80 staff members across the state to recruit and retain underrepresented minorities; and helped develop curriculum to establish majors and minors in African American studies, Asian American studies, disability studies, Latino/a studies, Native American studies, and sexuality studies.

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Recent deaths

  • Paula Ford, 56, staff nurse, April 29 in North Liberty, Iowa. (obit)
  • Delmar Iburg, 85, retired laborer, May 3 in Iowa City. (obit)
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