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FALL, 2008


All booked up: First-year students participate
in community reading project

Keeping afloat and forging ahead

Inspiring and empowering: UI women’s center has long history of fighting oppression

A letter from Parents Association President Susan Beck Bates

“What I did on my summer vacation…”


Beau Hartsock: Driving students toward safety

Let the spirit catch you



The University of Iowa

A young man feeding two giraffes.
Casey Koschmeder, a senior elementary education major from Williamsburg, Iowa, says he learned a lot about himself as a person and as a teacher when spent the summer in Africa teaching in a Kenyan orphanage.

Ah, summer—that time of year when many college students head home, kick back, frolic in the sun, enjoy longer days, and savor the absence of homework.

With an increasingly competitive job market and a relatively new focus on service learning, however, many more students are turning May, June, and July into opportunities to squeeze in a few extra credits, travel the globe, or round out their résumés—or all of the above.

“Summer offers a vast range of options for students,” says Douglas Lee, associate dean, UI Division of Continuing Education. “They can take classes on campus during the three-, six-, and eight-week sessions, or they can return home and continue their studies with an online class. Other students use this time to get a leg up in the job market by participating in an internship. We also have many students who combine learning with travel through one of our numerous study-abroad programs.”

Parent Times caught up with several undergraduates and asked them what they did over their summer vacations.

  Young man formally dressed at the Cannes Film Festival.

Name: Bob Zegler
Hometown: Arlington Heights, Ill.
Year in school: Junior
Major: Cinema and comparative literature; also taking business classes

Career goals: To produce films

What he did: Attended the Cannes Film Festival in France in May as producer of the short film Eyelids

The verdict: “I was at the bottom of the totem pole at Cannes—I wasn’t given the red-carpet treatment, but I was allowed to be on the red carpet—but being there really opened my eyes to the filmmaking business. It was overwhelming and scary but also hopeful, a place to get my foot in the door. I came away with various business contacts and made close friendships with filmmakers from other countries.”

Young woman helping child at a craft table.

Caroline Stedman
Hometown: Afton, Minn.
Year in school: Junior
Major: Journalism and political science

Career goals: To write about nature and outdoor sports for various magazines

What she did: Worked for the National Park Service at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in Wisconsin, staffing a visitor center and assisting visitors out on the water

The verdict: “It was challenging to absorb all of the cultural and natural information about the riverway in a very short period of time. I grew up in the area, but I still learned something new and fascinating every day. I had crash courses in history, natural sciences, and public relations. You can learn a lot in the classroom, but I believe the things I learned this summer are just as valuable. In fact, I now want to minor in environmental sciences. This experience has made me bolder—I know my people skills have improved dramatically and I feel more confident in approaching difficult situations—and I intend to do it again next summer.”

Young man standing on a cobblestone street.

Name: Farfum Ladroma
Hometown: Manning, Iowa
Year in school: Senior
Major: International studies with an emphasis on development and international politics; minoring in French and Spanish

Career goals: To work for the United Nations or a nongovernmental organization with humanitarian or human development projects around the world

What he did: Traveled to Lyon, France, to participate in the Iowa Regents Summer Program, a for-credit, six-week intensive program in the French language; also visited England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Germany

The verdict: “I never imagined I would learn so much! It was very interesting to witness the contrasting cultures and lifestyles between London, Belgrade, Istanbul, and everywhere else in between, and I was able to witness how American politics and culture were perceived throughout the different regions of Europe. I was the first Filipino-American that many people had ever met, and I felt it was an excellent opportunity to show the world that the U.S. truly is a land of diversity. My proudest moment, however, was when I was able to order food at a local patisserie all by myself and the vendor understood everything I said—at least I hoped so.”

  Two young women standing on New York Street below the Radio City Music Hall sign.

Name: Lezlie Callaway (right)
Hometown: Conrad, Iowa
Year in school: Senior
Major: Dance; minoring in business
Career goals: To become a Radio City Rockette or member of a professional dance company

What she did: Took a dance class in Iowa’s three-week session, worked as a lifeguard in the Iowa City area, auditioned in Chicago for the Radio City Rockettes, and participated in the Rockette Summer Intensive in
New York City

The verdict: “There is nothing like being onstage in New York City, performing material from the world-famous Rockette repertoire in front of a paying audience. It was humbling but also motivating. Since I know that dance is what I truly want to do, I will take my last year at Iowa very seriously and try to gain as much knowledge as I can from my professors and discover more about myself as an artist. Each class is an opportunity to improve and move one step closer to my goal of performing.”

Young man surrounded by a group of seven children.

Name: Casey Koschmeder
Hometown: Williamsburg, Iowa
Year in school: Senior           
Major: Elementary education

Career goals: To travel and teach internationally

What he did: Volunteer-taught a variety of subjects, including math and English, to children in a Kenyan school

The verdict: “I learned how a developing country works and what kinds of problems it faces. My seventh graders came from the slums and many were orphaned after the postelection violence in January, and I enjoyed instilling in them the idea that they can fulfill their dreams and become whomever they wish with hard work and dedication. I also realized how extremely important academics are and that I need to focus on them more. Many people—like those in Kenya—don’t have the same opportunities that I have in Iowa, so I need to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Three people in a dolphin tank.

Name: Heidi Zimmerman (right)
Hometown: West Liberty, Iowa
Year in school: Senior
Major: Biology

Career goals: To work as a marine mammal trainer

What she did: Completed a competitive internship at Sea Life Park Hawaii

The verdict: “Every day I got to work and play with dolphins, penguins, and sea lions and educate people about these animals. I loved doing sea lion interactions and seeing people become passionate about trying to help marine mammals and conserving our oceans. This internship helped me apply some of the things I have learned in my science and psychology classes to a real-life situation. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and I plan on applying for a job at Sea Life Park when I graduate.”


  Kelly Johnson

Name: Kelly Johnson
Hometown: Coralville, Iowa
Year in school: Senior
Major: Theatre arts and pre-med, with certificate in global health studies

Postgraduation plans: To pursue an MD and a master's degree in public health, with the goal of working in the public and global health fields

What she did: Traveled to the Dominican Republic, as a recipient of a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research, to study Spanish and conduct research on the breast-feeding and mother-child nutrition practices of Dominican and Haitian women

The verdict: "The program was incredibly varied: I attended Spanish and research classes at a beautiful ecological center, piloted my own research project, experienced a rural Dominican community as well as Haitian immigrant community, lived with a wonderful host family, went to beaches, explored caves, danced the merengue and bachata. I couldn't have asked for a better first time study abroad experience. Writing up my end-of-term research paper was a very helpful exercise, but it was my Spanish skills that developed the most. To speak Spanish and then realize you are not thinking about what you're saying actually holding a conversation is a great feeling."

Joe Place walking through marshland.

Name: Joe Place
Hometown: Oskaloosa, Iowa
Year in school: Senior
Major: Biology and environmental science

Postgraduation plans: To enter pilot training in the U.S. Air Force

What he did: Spent four weeks in the Iowa communities of Okoboji and Spirit Lake to complete a conservation biology course at the University of Iowa affiliated Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

The verdict: “It was challenging to be away from Iowa City during the flood when so many people needed help, but in the class I learned to change the way I think about conservation and that the Iowan landscape is a very different place than it was 200 years ago. This eye-witness experience surely will supplement and enhance future lectures and readings, and I strongly recommend that any student of the natural sciences take a course at lakeside laboratory."

Two men look over documents at at desk.

Name: Thomas Truong (left)
Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa
Year in school: Junior
Major: Biochemistry

Postgraduation plans: To attend professional school in medicine or pharmacy

What he did: Served as an orientation advisor on the UI campus

The verdict: "It was the most incredible summer of my life. I got to work with a group of amazing people who now feel like family rather than coworkers, and being there to deal with and settle the different emotions and expectations of each incoming student was so rewarding. And, besides the hundreds of fun facts I learned about the University, I learned a lot about myself. When I first came to the University, I wasn't very involved on campus and I didn't want to let many people in. Now Ìm more open and more active, and most important of all. I feel like I can connect with anyone."

A group of students standing in a very large hole in the ground	.

Name: Tony Bedel
Hometown: Storm Lake, Iowa
Year in school: Junior
Major: International studies and Spanish

Career goals: To practice law, focusing on human rights and immigration

What he did: Took classes in Spanish, history, and art and performed volunteer work (building stoves and septic tanks, health promotion, and more) in Peru as part of the Iowa Regents Summer Program, a for-credit program focusing on academics and service learning

The verdict: “I can't say enough good things about this Regents program to do it justice. It definitely has made me more interested in developing countries and the positive role that nongovernmental organizations and outsiders can play in it. So much of world history is filled with bigger, more developed countries coming in and exploiting smaller, less developed countries. I realize that does happen, but it’s very refreshing to see firsthand how the developed world lends assistance and how much it can help.”


by Sara Epstein Moninger



Published by University Relations Publications. Copyright The University of Iowa 2004. All rights reserved.

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