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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 29, 2005

Skorton Announces President's Awards For State Outreach, Public Engagement

Five individuals and one group of students are the first recipients of the University of Iowa President's Award for State Outreach and Public Engagement, UI President David J. Skorton announced today.

The new annual award, created as part of the Year of Public Engagement, honors faculty, staff and students (individuals or groups) who demonstrate exemplary outreach to the State of Iowa. The $1,000 awards are given in three categories -- faculty, staff, and students. Group winners share the $1,000 stipend equally.

The 2005 recipients are:

Faculty

* Herman Hein, professor of pediatrics, UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; Iowa Statewide Perinatal Care Program

* Leonard Sandler, clinical professor of law, College of Law; Housing Project

Staff

* Claire Cardwell, Adviser, Office of International Students and Scholars, International Programs; "Painting the Lanes for a Better Understanding Between the International Community in the Johnson County Area and Local Law Enforcement"

* Brad Richardson, associate research scientist, National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice, UI School of Social Work, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; "Disproportionate Minority Contact Resource Center"

Students

* McKinze Cook, Danny Kimball, Amy Liss, Marketa Sonkova and Amanda Styron, student directors, The 10,000 Hours Show

* Bryan Moore, graduate student, Department of Theatre Arts, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Graduate College; Director of Darwin T. Turner Action Theatre

Since 1972 Hein has directed the Iowa Statewide Perinatal Care Program, ensuring quality care for mothers and babies at hospitals across the state. Since the program's inception, all Iowa hospitals providing maternity services have been visited on a yearly basis with each visit including educational programming provided by an obstetrician, a neonatal nurse, an obstetric nurse and a neonatal dietician. When deficiencies are discovered, Hein and his team work with local hospital staff to arrange training at an appropriate time. The program also established a national model for encouraging referral to regional specialty care centers. Since Hein started the program, Iowa's perinatal and neonatal mortalities have dropped sharply and for the last several years have been among the lowest in the nation. "His entire career has been dedicated to reaching out across the state and to touching the lives of countless Iowans," wrote Edward Bell, professor and director of the division of neonatology, and Ekhard Ziegler, professor and director of the division of nutrition, both in the department of pediatrics, in nominating Hein for the award. Hein's contributions have been recognized at the state and national levels with honors including membership in the National Commission to Prevent Infant Mortality from 1987-93, the Richard Remington Award from the Iowa Public Health Association in 1997 and an Award of Merit from the Iowa Medical Society in 2002.

The Housing Project developed by Sandler for students in clinical law programs was intended to assist persons with disabilities and their families in obtaining and paying for modifications to their homes. Sandler and his students prepared extensive written materials designed to inform Iowans about state and federal resources available to fund such renovations and conducted workshops around the state to inform the public about how to obtain such funding. Community development officials, disability advocates, health care professionals, contractors, developers, grant writers, consumers, landlords, civil rights and fair housing officials, and representatives from religious organizations participated in workshops in Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Mason City, Sioux City and Waterloo/Cedar Falls. Noting that the project "has brought the analytical and research capabilities of the University of Iowa College of Law to bear in service to Iowans in their own communities," nominators commended the program for enabling Iowans to access resources available to them. As a result of the workshop, "We now have access to resources that we might never have otherwise known existed," wrote Kelly Larson, director of the human rights department for the city of Dubuque. "In addition, the workshop helped to raise awareness in our community regarding the needs of individuals with disabilities, and spurred further discussions of ways we might improve the accessible housing options that exist in our city. We now think about accessibility details in a way that is much more comprehensive than our past approach, and we turn to the research materials provided during the workshop for guidance and ideas as we face new obstacles."

In the post-September 11 era, Cardwell noticed increasing mistrust of law enforcement among many international visitors, who were not only accustomed to the corruption of police in their home countries, but also confused about new laws that focused the attention of U.S. law enforcement agencies on the activities of the international community. In response to this climate of distrust and fear, Cardwell developed a program to educate international students and visitors about American laws and the role of law enforcement and to provide opportunities for meaningful interaction between law enforcement officials and the international community. She worked with local law enforcement to develop multi-lingual brochures, educational workshops and outreach activities. Each group had opportunities to present information to the other, with law enforcement officials leading workshops on topics such as what to do in case of a car accident and how to install a child car seat properly and international community members giving presentations on law enforcement in their home countries. The program has drawn state and national attention from the Iowa Crime Prevention Association and the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors. Cardwell has given presentations on the program at state, regional and national conferences. As a result of the program, "many law enforcement officers have a greater appreciation for situations which involve international members of the community," wrote Barry Bedford, Coralville Police Chief, in support of the nomination. "My officers gained a greater understanding of what causes someone from another culture to react a certain way in situations involving the law."

The Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Resource Center was founded in 2002, and under Richardson's leadership, it has guided numerous state agencies' joint efforts to reduce the disproportionate numbers of minority youths in the juvenile justice and the child welfare systems. Although minority youth comprise approximately 9 percent of the state's youth population, about 33 percent of youth held in juvenile detention facilities and other secure settings are African-American. Latino and Native American youth are overrepresented in Iowa's juvenile justice system at similar rates. Working with officials in counties where there is significant over-representation of minority youth in secure settings, including Blackhawk, Hamilton, Humboldt, Muscatine, Polk, Scott, Woodbury and Wright counties, Richardson has provided training and technical assistance in developing alternatives to confinement, culturally competent practices and methods that enable communities to monitor their progress toward reducing the disproportionality. He also has worked with officials in Polk and Woodbury counties to help reduce the disproportionate number of African-American children in the state's child welfare system and the over-representation of minorities in school suspensions. "Brad Richardson's leadership of the DMC Resource Center is an outstanding example of state outreach and public engagement," wrote Salome Raheim, associate professor and director of the UI School of Social Work in her nomination letter. "His efforts address a significant issue in the State of Iowa and build partnerships between The University of Iowa and numerous Iowa organizations and communities for the benefit of the public good of Iowa citizens."

The 10,000 Hours (10K) Show is an innovative approach to increasing community volunteer activity among students and other young Iowans. The project is run entirely by volunteers, the majority of whom are UI students, led in its second year by Cook, Kimball, Liss, Sonkova and Styron. The project recruits and rewards volunteers through an annual concert for which admission is verified community service with local organizations. It is the first and only project of its kind in the nation, and was founded by two then-UI students in fall 2002. The project strengthens Iowa's nonprofit sector by providing accessible resources for connecting students and other young Iowans with volunteer opportunities, including "Service Source," a searchable database of Iowa nonprofits on the web. In its second year, 10K recruited 1,684 volunteers from 31 counties, most of whom were between the ages of 17 and 30. They generated more than 20,000 hours of service to Iowa communities. "Lots of students talk about wanting to 'make a difference in the world,'" wrote Robert Kirby and Sarah Prineas of the UI Honors Program in their nomination letter. "These UI students, through the 10,000 Hours Show, truly have made a difference-through their hard work and dedication, they have brought the ideals of the University to the larger community and in doing so have made the world a better place. In the future, the 10,000 Hours Show will continue to be an example of how the creativity and energy of students at the University of Iowa can serve the local and statewide community."

The Darwin T. Turner Action Theatre (DTAT), formerly Black Action Theatre, provides a social outreach component for the UI Department of Theatre Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Moore, as director, organizes presentations of dynamic thought-provoking pieces of theatre for social and cultural awareness, including interactive folk tales, plays, and developmental scenes based on requested issues. Working with the UI's Arts Share program, DTAT has brought its performances to schools and communities throughout the state including Iowa City, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Centerville, Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City and Okoboji. "Bryan has been committed to Arts Share's mission of sharing UI's arts resources with the state of Iowa, strengthening the arts in underserved areas and providing access to life-enriching arts experiences throughout Iowa," wrote Leslie Finer, Arts Share Director, in her nomination letter. "Bryan has not only coordinated all theatre outreach events, but has put great effort into making sure each presentation is tailored to meet the needs of the organization. The success of Darwin T. Turner Action Theatre owes much to Bryan's commitment and professionalism. I am certain that the ensemble will only continue to grow and extend its outreach next year."

UI President David Skorton has declared the 2005-2006 academic year the Year of Public Engagement, during which the University community will be encouraged to intensify its efforts and sharpen its focus on engagement with the public and public issues at the local, state, national and international levels.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu; Program: Thomas Dean, 319-335 1995, thomas-k-dean@uiowa.edu