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UI geographer Rajagopal plans to make University a leader in social entrepreneurship

Raj Rajagopal
University of Iowa geography professor Raj Rajagopal. Photo by Tom Jorgensen.
   

When University of Iowa geography professor Raj Rajagopal set out to find a model for how he wants the public to view the University's three-year-old India Winterim program—a three-week study abroad program administered through UI International Programs—he didn’t have to look very far.

Nestled in the heart of the UI campus sits the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a center of excellence considered by many to be the preeminent program of its kind in the world. Boasting a roster of former students and instructors that includes such major literary figures as Tennessee Williams, Kurt Vonnegut, and John Irving, the workshop is an institution that most organizations would like to emulate.

Equaling the fame of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop will be very difficult; Rajagopal, strengthened by three years of the program’s growth and guided by a vision, believes he will succeed. A look at plans for the 2009–10 India Winterim shows why.

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Teresa Mangum, associate professor of English, imagines a university where faculty members take their teaching and research out into the communities where they live and work; they share ideas and work with students and community members to answer questions and solve problems.

Of course, many faculty members already do all that at The University of Iowa and elsewhere, but in the future university Mangum envisions—and here’s the sticking point—they will get credit for that activity not only as service, but as part of their research and teaching.

In May, Mangum and former UI faculty member David Redlawsk hosted a three-day faculty institute conceived by Jean Florman, director of the UI Center for Teaching titled “From Engaged Teaching to Engaged Scholarship.” Fourteen faculty members participated in the institute, examining a number of community-based learning experiences they had organized for students and sharing their experiences in these projects and talking about opportunities, successes, and pitfalls of the community-based experience.

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Each year on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the country participate in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, reducing or refraining from tobacco use on that day.

The Great American Smokeout is a great starting point, but people attempting to quit smoking know that cessation is a day-by-day, sometimes lifelong process.

The University of Iowa recognizes this, and offers several resources to help those who wish to quit smoking.

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Audio slide show: Hear the Voices of Soul

Voices of Soul, the University's gospel choir, is in a festive mood right now. The choir just performed its holiday concert on Saturday, Dec. 5, and will celebrate its 40th anniversary this spring. fyi caught up with Voices during a recent rehearsal.

Play the audio slide show...

 

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Recent photo features

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