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CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
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Iowa City IA 52242
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e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 27, 2000

UI senior earns Glamour's 'Top Ten College Women of Year' award

IOWA CITY- University of Iowa senior Nicole J. Kirkwood of Dyersville, Iowa, is featured in the October issue of "Glamour" as one the magazine's "Top Ten College Women of the Year." "Glamour" annually recognizes college female seniors for their outstanding achievements in academics, leadership and contributions to society.

Kirkwood says the $1,000 accompanying scholarship, the expense-paid trip to New York City and personal introductions to some of the nation's leading women, including UNICEF director Carol Bellamy and author Naomi Wolf, all have been humbling.

"To stand in a crowd of women who inspire me is empowering. The magazine has given me a medium to get my message about mental health across, and the recognition tells me that I'm doing something right."

Kirkwood, a Presidential Scholar, recently helped launch enABLE, an Iowa City-area advocacy and support network that provides resources for persons struggling with mental health problems. She became involved with the project last summer after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic-depressive illness.

"I want to make things easier on others who will travel the same road as I have," she says, alluding to her new dot-org plans.

Since July, she has been developing www.feel-better.org, a site that when up in the coming weeks, will offer a forum for mental disorder sufferers to talk about their challenges and share non-medical advice with persons dealing with similar illnesses. Feel-better.org will not be a substitute for professional mental health services, Kirkwood says.

Kirkwood's academic focus in her economics and global studies majors has led her to a 3.95 grade point average. She is involved and holds several officer positions in 25 campus activities in addition to earning 12 UI, state and national honors and awards, including the Virgil Hancher Scholarship. As a UI junior, she was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa, was named a Harry S. Truman Scholarship finalist for 2000, and will soon see her co-authored research with associate professor of economics John Solow published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Kirkwood will travel to The Hauge, Netherlands for the Nov. 18-25 United Nations Climate Summit, where she will join 200 other university and college students from around the country who competitively applied to take part in the event. Kirkwood's trip is co-sponsored by Ozone Action, a non-profit climate group.

Kirkwood is the second successive UI Student Government member and UI female to receive the "Glamour" honor. Lana Zak (B.A.'00), former UISG president was featured by the magazine last fall and encouraged Kirkwood to submit her own resume, supporting letters, and essays, which is required of all applicants.