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CONTACT: PATRICIA CAIN
Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-3305
e-mail:patricia-cain@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Alcoa grant strengthens UI undergraduate programs

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $30,000 grant from the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) will add an international aspect to undergraduate education at the University of Iowa.

The grant, arranged through the UI Foundation, will allow the UI to modify courses in the Colleges of Engineering and Business Administration, and expand a peer mentoring program for female students studying science and engineering. Alcoa has strategic partnerships with the University of Iowa and 32 other U.S. colleges and universities. This initiative provides more opportunities to broaden Alcoa's involvement with colleges and universities that excel in quality and diversity of education.

"Experiences in international relations for students majoring in business, engineering, and science will help prepare them for successful careers," UI President Mary Sue Coleman said. "Today's students must reach beyond their communities and the campus classrooms. New international education opportunities in established programs will make a UI education even more valuable. We are grateful to Alcoa for recognizing this opportunity."

The ALCOA grant will support:
* Equipping an interactive classroom so that design teams of engineering students can work with engineering students at universities in other countries on a common project under direction of faculty mentors at their respective institutions. In 1998-99 UI students will work with students at the Université de Provence in France.
* The redesign of selected courses at the College of Business Administration to include international elements.
* The Student to Student Support in Science program, which provides academic assistance and social support to first-year female students in the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program.

"Businesses and universities operate in a global marketplace, yet personal or professional experiences that offer global dimensions often are difficult to craft. Alcoa is an international corporation, and we are pleased to help offer global experiences to UI students," said Tim Wilkinson, vice president, Alcoa Mill Products of Bettendorf.

Alcoa matches the gifts made by its employees to charitable organizations. Over the past decade Alcoa and its foundation have provided grants and matching gifts totaling more than $200,000 to the UI Foundation for various UI projects. This includes support for mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering, as well as for WISE. Alcoa also regularly recruits UI engineering graduates for employment. The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support for gifts to all areas of the University. Foundation staff work with corporations, organizations, alumni, and friends to provide support for a variety of UI programs.

11/3/98