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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 24, 2005

Peace Corps Volunteers, Iowa Songwriter To Appear On 'Java House' Program

Four former Peace Corps volunteers will share their experiences about working in developing countries on the March 4 edition of WSUI's "Talk of Iowa Live from The Java House" program. Iowa singer-songwriter Matthew Wright will also perform songs from his self-produced album "A Ways to Go."

The show is broadcast from downtown Iowa City's Java House at 10 a.m. Fridays on four public radio stations in Iowa. It is produced by the University of Iowa's public radio station WSUI AM 910.

The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then-Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. Host Ben Kieffer will talk with four former Peace Corps volunteers, who will share their experiences from around the world and discuss the Corps' post 911 role.

The guests include:

--Juanita Limas worked in Nicaragua from 2000 to 2002 doing community health extension. She is now a project assistant at the UI, doing outreach to minority populations.

--Sydney Walden is working towards a Ph.D. in International Library Studies at the UI. While in Ecuador from 1989 to 1991, she worked on organic agriculture projects.

--Ryan Wells volunteered in Samoa from 1997 to 1999 as a science educator. He is now working towards a Ph.D. in Higher Education/International Education from the UI.

--Tokey Boswell, the Peace Corps representative for the UI, specialized in community health project in Guinea, West Africa from 1999 to 2001. He is currently working on a master's degree in urban planning at the UI.

The March 4 show also features Iowa singer-songwriter Matthew Wright performing live.  A Tipton native, Wright's original mix of jazz, blues and funk reflects the influences of pop legends like Stevie Wonder and Dave Matthews.

"I think Matt Wright may be the best Iowa singer-songwriter you never heard of.  He's still in his early 20s and has everything you need for an amazing career -- terrific funky songwriting, a dynamic voice, not to mention a great ear -- you can hear it all on his 'A Ways to Go,'" said Kieffer.

Wright studied for two years at the School for Music Vocations at Southwestern Community College (SWCC) in Creston, Iowa from 2000 to 2002. Wright produced the CD himself, collaborating with fellow SWCC students and faculty on its 11 songs. The 22-year-old Wright continues to write and rehearse new material and hopes to begin performing in the Iowa City area in support of his the new album.

Every Friday morning at 10 a.m., "Talk of Iowa Live from The Java House" serves up fresh-brewed conversation topped off with live local music. Broadcast from downtown Iowa City's coziest coffee hangout, the program offers an eclectic variety of topics and guests. Kieffer moderates the mix of lively discussion, drama, and live music drawn from a rich pool of intellectual, artistic and tuneful talent.

The show is broadcast live statewide to an estimated 30,000 listeners each week on public radio WSUI AM 910 from Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, WOI AM 640 from Ames/Des Moines, KTPR - FM  91.1 from Fort Dodge, and KWOI FM 90.7 from Carroll.  The shows are free and open to the public at The Java House, located at 211 E. Washington St. in downtown Iowa City.

The broadcast can also be heard in streaming audio at http://wsui.uiowa.edu/ by clicking on "Listen to WSUI"; it is rebroadcast on WSUI at 10 p.m. Fridays.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu.