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University of Iowa News Release

June 2, 2006

Skorton Announces President's 2006 Awards For Outreach, Public Engagement

A University of Iowa faculty member, staff member, student and a clinic started by students are this year's recipients of the UI President's Award for State Outreach and Public Engagement, UI President David J. Skorton announced today.

The 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 four categories -- faculty, staff, student and group/organization. Group winners share the $1,000 stipend equally.

The 2006 recipients are Don Coffman, professor and area head in the College of Education's music education program and faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences School of Music; Nancy E. Kraft, preservation librarian in UI Libraries; Mark Kresowik, former UI Student Government president; and the Mobile Clinic, an interdisciplinary project that was started by and engages students from the health sciences across the UI.

"I am very gratified at the large number of nominations we received for this award and for the truly impressive amount of creative and generous outreach and service in which our university community engages," Skorton said. "Our awardees are representative of a remarkable spirit of caring and giving that permeates our entire campus and community. I thank the selection committee for their dedication and excellent work in providing me with a number of wonderful nominations from which to make still-difficult choices."

Coffman (the faculty award recipient) founded and developed the New Horizons Band in 1995 that has provided opportunities for scores of older Iowans to develop musical skills and to continue their participation in musical activities. Under his leadership, the Iowa City area New Horizons Band has expanded rapidly, with the ensemble and sectional groups performing widely throughout the area. The band has become a model for the development of New Horizons Bands in a number of Iowa communities and throughout the country. And it is one of the few using a staff of college music students to provide instruction; UI School of Music undergraduates preparing for teacher licensure and graduate students with teaching experience gain excellent further experience through this initiative. For his efforts, Coffman is receiving a Governor's Volunteer Award for 2006 from Gov. Tom Vilsack.

Kraft (the staff award recipient) is being recognized not only for her general contributions to the preservation and accessibility of historical sources in Iowa, but also for two particular initiatives: the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium (ICPC) and the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections. Kraft has played an important leadership role in the ICPC in developing and delivering a training program for Iowans (delivered in part through the ICN), especially those who work in small repositories around the state, on ways to take care of historical collections of all kinds. Many attendees work in isolated settings with little or no access to additional expertise and advice. Kraft has also led the creation of the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections, a statewide project designed to make the wide range of collections pertaining to Iowa that are housed in different types of libraries, museums and historical societies throughout the state widely available through an online database ( Kraft has helped ensure that Iowa's cultural assets and cultural memory last well into the future and remain widely accessible.

Throughout his tenure as UISG president, Kresowik (the student award recipient) demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm for community outreach and involvement. He complemented his personal values of environmentalism and civic activism with his student representation duties and student advocacy in a variety of ways. During his 2005-2006 term, he traveled across the state to advocate for affordable, quality public higher education; local emphasis on improving town-gown relations in Iowa City; and support for students to serve on nonprofit boards and city commissions. Among his many other activities, he also served as director of volunteer coordination for The 10,000 Hours Show and as a member of the Iowa Arts Council Board of Directors, and he founded the UI Sustainability Coalition. Kresowik expects to graduate this August with a B.A. in interdepartmental studies with a focus on sustainable systems.

The Mobile Clinic (the group/organization award recipient) is an interdisciplinary project that was started by and engages students from the health sciences across the UI. Its goal is to help those who find it difficult to gain access to the healthcare system. Students of medicine, nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, public health and the physician assistant program all work together using their developing expertise in an interdisciplinary team. The Mobile Clinic started by serving the underserved in Iowa City and has gradually expanded its reach to communities outside of Johnson County. It offers services to the poor, the homeless, migrant workers and culturally diverse groups. In addition to providing healthcare services, the students are gaining a pragmatic understanding of the healthcare system, the barriers that inhibit easy access, and the impact of culture on the health of individuals and families. Although the Mobile Clinic is a student organization with student leaders, there is also a dedicated group of faculty and staff from several colleges who provide supervision and guidance, mainly after hours and on weekends.
They are committed not only to supervising patient care but also to acting as role models for volunteerism.

Skorton declared the 2005-2006 academic year the Year of Public Engagement, during which the university community was 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.

CONTACTS: Media: Stephen J. Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,; Program: Thomas Dean, 319-335-1995,