UI students to volunteer at 2008 Olympics
At least 26 University of Iowa students will travel to China next year to work as media volunteers at the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
Under an agreement signed by the University and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, the UI students will play behind-the-scenes roles at the Olympic Games in August, and some will stay on as volunteers for the Paralympics in September.
The students will serve as reporters and writers on the front lines of the Olympic News Service, which provides continual coverage of all events for use by the international media, with English as the primary language. French will be the second official language and Chinese the third.
Iowa is the first university outside China to sign such an agreement with the Olympic Games.
University implements emergency notification system
A new emergency alert system will notify members of the campus community within minutes of threats to physical safety, such as tornadoes, violence, and hazmat incidents, using voice and text messages.
The first phase of the Hawk Alert System, which includes voice calls and e-mail, was implemented Sept. 1. Text messaging will be added to the system by Nov. 1.
“This new system promises to send messages within minutes to thousands of phones and text-message devices at once, in the event of an emergency,” says Steve Parrott, University spokesperson. “The University also is investing in a series of notification towers equipped with sirens and voice-alert systems that will help ensure that those on campus hear alerts and warnings.”
More information is available at http://hawkalert.uiowa.edu.
Campus town hits home runs
Iowa City drew high praise this year from three national publications. Outside magazine included the campus town in its list of the 30 best towns in America, tapping it as the top town in the Midwest. Bert Sperling of “Sperling’s Best Places” ranked Iowa City No. 5 in the nation on a list of top 10 best places to live and work, created for MSN’s Real Estate web site. Iowa City also made National Geographic Adventure magazine’s first-ever list of the 50 best adventure towns.
Iowa degree a good bang for the buck
The University of Iowa is one of the best values in undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, a New York–based education services company. In particular, the University is one of 165 colleges with excellent academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs that is profiled in the company’s 2008 edition of America’s Best Value Colleges.
University creates web resource for parents
Orientation Services has published a web site geared toward parents of first-year students. The site features a list of recommended reading for parents as well as information on issues common to first-year students, such as homesickness, time management, and living with roommates. Link to site.
Whitt named director of student success initiatives
The University of Iowa has tapped College of Education professor Elizabeth J. Whitt to serve as the first director of student success initiatives. Her appointment is for a three-year, renewable term.
The position was created to bolster the University’s commitment to improving undergraduate student success. Other recent examples of student success initiatives include enhancing living/learning communities, developing outcomes assessment plans for every undergraduate major, and expanding experiential learning opportunities.
Whitt is professor and former program coordinator for the graduate program in student affairs administration and research in the College of Education’s Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation, and Student Development.
University creates new scholarship for transfer students
The University of Iowa has introduced a new $1,000 scholarship for Iowa community college students transferring to Iowa under its 2 Plus 2 Guaranteed Graduation Plan.
Beginning with applicants for the spring semester of 2008, 2 Plus 2 students with the highest transfer grade-point averages will be automatically considered for the new 2 Plus 2 Transfer Scholarship. Up to 25 scholarships will be awarded for spring 2008. The award is renewable for one year.
For more information about UI scholarships for Iowa transfer students, visit www.uiowa.edu/admissions/undergrad/costs/xfer-fin-aid; for more details about the 2 Plus 2 plan, see www.uiowa.edu/2plus2.
University grants hit another high
University of Iowa faculty, together with staff and students, generated an all-time record $382.2 million in grants and contracts for research, education, and service during fiscal 2007, a 4.8 percent increase from 2006. The total surpassed the one-third-billion dollar mark for the sixth consecutive year. These grants represent initiative and accomplishment by faculty—and provide research and creative opportunities for students.
Parent Times seeks parent input
The staff of Parent Times is interested in your thoughts and ideas as parents of UI undergraduates. What’s on your mind? What kind of information would you like to find in Parent Times? If you have an idea for an article, or questions about the University that you’d like answered, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the editor at 319-384-0045.