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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 2, 2009

At A Glance

UI center helps reduce racial disparities in juvenile justice, child welfare

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver recently announced significant progress in decreasing Iowa's youth incarceration rates, especially for minorities who are overrepresented in the state's juvenile justice system. Detention of juveniles for minor offenses was reduced by 15 percent in each of the last two years without impacting public safety, indicating that alternatives to incarceration are working.

The UI Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Resource Center has worked for eight years to help achieve these results and played an active role in reducing racial disparities in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

To continue the momentum, the center is bringing together leaders in juvenile justice, child welfare, education, health, and family and human services Dec. 10-11 at the Jordan Creek Marriott in West Des Moines. Media are invited to cover the conference, or to interview DMC officials about the center's role in the state's progress.

The center is a joint effort of the Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Human Rights, Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning and the UI School of Social Work in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, visit or contact Brad Richardson at 319-335-4924, 515-771-3589, or


WRAC seeks applications for Margaret P. Benson Memorial Scholarship

The Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) at the University of Iowa invites applications for the Margaret P. Benson Memorial Scholarship program for the 2010-11 academic year. The application deadline is Feb. 12.

Created by a designated bequest to the University of Iowa Foundation, the Margaret P. Benson Memorial Scholarship recognizes qualified female applicants who demonstrate financial need and are committed to women's issues, diversity and social activism. One or two awards are available each year. Awards generally range from $1,000 to $2,000 per academic year to be applied toward tuition, fees, living expenses, or books. The scholarship is presented at the UI's Annual Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women, which will be April 7, 2010.

The Margaret P. Benson Memorial Scholarship is administered and selected by individuals affiliated with WRAC. The center is a diverse community dedicated to fostering women's individual empowerment and systemic solutions to all forms of oppression.

Information about eligibility and application procedures is available at or call Linda Kroon, WRAC interim director, at 319-335-1486.


Fair features research of UI undergraduate students Dec. 3

The Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates at the University of Iowa invites students, staff, faculty and members of the general public to attend the first Fall Undergraduate Research Festival from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in the University Capitol Centre second floor north atrium in the Old Capitol Town Center. Organizers said the fair will be an annual event.

This event will showcase more than 30 outstanding undergraduate researchers at the UI from a variety of disciplines. Participants will include international studies students who have addressed issues such as gender in Tanzanian farms, English majors examining arts education for incarcerated women and biochemistry majors addressing factors contributing to deafness.

For more information about the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates visit

For more information or special accommodations to attend the fair, contact Katie Wildman at 319-335-8336 or e-mail


African American Studies Program celebrates 40th anniversary Dec. 4

The UI African American Studies Program will mark its 40th anniversary with a program, "Building Upon a Legacy and Securing a Future," from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the Black Box Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The keynote speaker is Melba Boyd, distinguished professor and chair of Africana studies at Wayne State University. She is the author of 11 books, including "Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press," which won the Black Caucus of the American Library Association book honor for nonfiction.

The evening also includes a reception and remarks by Vershawn Young, associate professor of African American studies and rhetoric, Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a reading titled "Let the Documents Speak" directed by Tisch Jones, associate professor of African American studies and theater arts, and closing remarks from Venise Berry, coordinator of the African American Studies Program and associate professor of journalism.

For more information, contact or


Ponseti memorial service is Dec. 6

A celebration of life for clubfoot treatment pioneer Ignacio V. Ponseti, M.D., will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in the Coral Ballroom at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville. The service is open to the campus community and public.

Ponseti, a University of Iowa emeritus professor of orthopaedics since 1944, died Oct. 18. He was 95. Although he retired in 1984, Ponseti returned to work in 1986 in consultative practice and continued to treat patients, teach and conduct research. Ponseti was at work just days before his death.

Memories and condolences may be shared at

A biography of Ponseti is available online at


University Band and Concert Band share a Dec. 7 program

The University Band and Concert Band of the University of Iowa School of Music will share a free concert, led by faculty member Kevin Kastens and student conductors, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, in the Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The University Band will perform "Cenotaph" by Jack Stamp and "An American Elegy" by Frank Ticheli under the direction of Marc Decker; and "The Wren Polka" by Eugene Damare and "Balkanya": Three Balkanese Dances by Jan Van der Roost, under the direction of Matthew Wanken.

After intermission, the Concert Band will perform "Flight" by Claude Smith, under the direction of Richard Chapman; "Blithe Bells" by Percy Grainger, edited and conducted by Kastens, the director of the Hawkeye Marching Band; Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo by Malcolm Arnold, conducted by Curran Prendergast; and "Trittico" by Vaclav Nelhybel, conducted by Kastens.

Two of the concert wind ensembles in the UI Band Department, the University and Concert Bands are open to UI students. They share the program for a concert at least once each semester. For more information on UI bands visit their Web page Read Kastens' bio at


UI School of Music presents 'Opera Without Elephants' Dec. 11 and 12

The University of Iowa will present "Opera Without Elephants! A Celebration of the Singer-Actor's Process" a free program of opera scenes by composers including W.A. Mozart, Benjamin Britten, Stephen Sondheim and Kurt Weill, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, in the historic Englert Theater.

Under the guidance of opera director Gary Briggle and music director Shari Rhoads, and with the assistance of pianist Daniel Kubus, student directors and singers will present scenes from Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro," "Cosi fan tutte," "The Magic Flute" and "The Pretend Garden-Girl"; the opening scene of Britten's "The Rape of Lucretia"; the 'hatbox trio" from "Postcard from Morocco" by Dominick Argento; "Pretty Women" from Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd"; the "jealousy duet" from "The Beggar's Opera"; a scene from "Susannah" by Carlisle Floyd; and a scene from Weill's "Threepenny Opera."

Student directors from the music and theater departments will include Megan O'Brien, John Kaufmann, Anthony Nelson, Jacqueline Lang, Brandon Bruce, Clara Osowski, Joe Luis Cedillo and Allison Holmes.

Briggle is a versatile singer/actor, director and teacher with more than 30 years professional experience in musical theater, including several recent productions at the UI. Read Rhoads' biography at


Collaborative Performance Project will be performed Dec. 10-12 at the UI

"Mixed Signals: swinging between absence," a production of original dance, music and experimentation, will be performed at 8 p.m. Dec. 10-12 in the Space Place Theater of the University of Iowa North Hall.

"Mixed Signals" was created as a Collaborative Performance Project by graduate dance, music and theatre students, under the guidance of UI dance faculty member Charlotte Adams.

"THREE : FOUR" is an exploration of kinetic and potential energy using the human body and a suspended swing. The structured improvisation of live musicians provides a framework for dialogue between sound and movement.

"I Ran Out of Paint" addresses absence and presence through the elements of light, sound and movement.

And "MIA BRB" deals with the schizophrenia of modern communication technology, including  compartmentalized data, constant message alerts and the sensation of being two places at once.

The event if free for UI students with a valid UI ID. For non-students, tickets are $12 ($6 for senior citizens and youth). Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Hancher Box office, 319-335-1160 or 1-800-Hancher, The box office is located on the ground floor of the Old Capitol Center. Any remaining tickets will be on sale at the door.


UI jazz concert features guest artist from Brazil Dec. 12

Acclaimed Brazilian saxophonist and composer Rodrigo Ursaia will join the jazz area of the University of Iowa School of Music in a free "early Christmas gift to the community" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Englert Theater.

The concert will include performances by the Jazz Repertory Ensemble, the Latin Jazz Ensemble and Johnson County Landmark, and will feature solos by three faculty members -- guitarist Steve Grismore, percussionist Jim Dreier and trumpeter Brent Sandy -- as well as solos by several students.

The program includes well-known Brazilian composers including Tom Jobim and Chico Buraque as well as recently arranged material from Ursaia, UI jazz studies director John Rapson and the up-and-coming trumpeter Rubinho Attunes.

Ursaia has become well-known for the passion and urgency of his sound while playing and recording with Rosa Passos, Ivan Lins, Toninho Horta, Banda Mantiqueira and Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica, before arriving in the United States in 2000 to pursue his master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music. He has been performing with various artists in the New York area, but he plans to return to Brazil as a full-time resident musician in the coming year. Visit his MySpace page at


Fall series Movies@MNH closes with 'Curious George' Dec. 13

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History's final Movies@MNH showing of the year will feature "Curious George," Sunday, Dec. 13.  The screening takes place at 2 p.m. in Macbride Auditorium.

"Curious George" (2006), adapted from the children's story of the same name, follows Ted Schackleford (Will Ferrell), The Man with the Yellow Hat, who works at a natural history museum that has fallen on hard times. Ted offers to go to Africa to bring back a mysterious artifact to help bring in crowds. However, he accidentally brings back a troublesome monkey, which he names George (Frank Welker).

The UI Museum of Natural History features three permanent galleries exploring natural history and emerging environmental research in Iowa and beyond.  For more information call 319-335-0606 or visit


UI Gallery series presents 'How Catherine D___ Got Her Expression' Dec. 10-13

The Gallery Series of the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will present "How Catherine D___ Got Her Expression," written by Iowa Playwrights Workshop student Lisa Leaverton and directed by Alex Iben, at 8 p.m. Dec. 10-12 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, in Theatre B of the UI Theatre Building.

A French celebrity is interviewed about the origin of her mysterious "expression," as an adoring yet volatile crowd looks on. The play contains periods of blackout and air-borne aromas. Allergies should be discussed with the house manager prior to the performance. Seating on stage is available.

Leaverton, winner of the UI Center for Human Rights Playwriting Award, is a playwright, musician, collaborative artist and eco-activist. Her works have been produced by the Living Theatre, Portland Center Stage and Philadelphia Fringe.

Admission will be $5 (free for UI students with a valid UI ID).


Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki exhibit on display in UI Main Library

The current exhibit in the University of Iowa Main Library North Exhibition Hall, "Material Witness: Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki," features a Hiroshima-Nagasaki poster collection donated to the UI Libraries by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The exhibit -- on display through Feb. 28, 2010 -- covers the history of the atomic bombings in Japan up to present day peace activism.

The Hiroshima Peace Foundation organized a U.S. poster exhibition tour from September 2007 through December 2008 to convey the reality of the damage and horror of those events, as well as to extend the foundation's efforts to abolish nuclear weapons and promote peace.

The exhibition was organized by Chiaki Sakai, Japanese studies librarian; Marianne Mason, federal documents librarian; and Duncan Stewart, cataloging librarian.

A paper crane making session will be held Thursday, Dec. 3 from 2-4 p.m. in the Main Library, North Exhibition Hall, with the goal of sending 1,000 paper cranes to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The origami cranes have become a symbol of world peace.

To arrange a group tour of the exhibit, contact Kristi Bontrager, or 319-335-5960. For more information, see


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.