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UI in the News

January 2009

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UI study cited in hoarding column (Evening News and Tribune, Jan. 30)
Terry Stawar writes in a column on how the desire for simplification has grown stronger for many people, some who have packrat tendencies. Sophisticated imaging studies have shown distinctive brain activity in people who engage in compulsive hoarding. In many of them, there is decreased activity of the brain center that is responsible for attention and decision-making. A recent study at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA also found that damage to certain areas of the right fontal cortex often causes compulsive hoarding. THE EVENING NEWS is published in Jeffersonville, Ind. and THE TRIBUNE is published in New Albany, Ind.

UI partners on intestinal worm study (The Med Guru, Jan. 30)
Children usually put into their mouths whatever they lay their hands on. This causes concern for parents but a new study revealed that allowing dirt to enter the body might be beneficial. Researchers of the "hygiene hypothesis" explained that organisms that enter the body through unclean substances may be advantageous to people's health. They stated that bacteria, viruses and even worms allow the body's immune system to develop. Dr. Joel Weinstock has performed a study together with Dr. DAVID ELLIOTT, a gastroenterologist and immunologist at the University of Iowa regarding intestinal worms. THE MED GURU is a health publication based in India.

Loh says prepare for pay freeze (Omaha World-Herald, Jan. 29)
A University of Iowa official says faculty should prepare for a pay freeze and bigger classes as the school trims costs to absorb state budget cuts. Provost WALLACE LOH issued the warnings in an e-mail sent to faculty and staff members this week. College deans have been asked to develop plans by March 20 to trim costs to offset budget cuts in fiscal year 2010 and to generate more revenue. Loh says the university also plans a new incentive program to reward colleges that generate additional revenue. Versions of this ASSOCIATED PRESS story appeared on other media Web sites.

UI researches liver damage in mice (Derbyshire Times, Jan. 28)
A study conducted by Yale University and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA looked at how acetaminophen (paracetamol) causes liver damage in mice, and whether drugs could prevent this damage. Pre-treating mice with low-dose aspirin increased their survival after paracetamol exposure compared to no pre-treatment. The DERBYSHIRE TIMES is based in the United Kingdom.

Andrejevic makes appearance on C-SPAN'S 'Book TV' (Helium, Jan. 28)
A columnist describes a Book TV appearance by University of Iowa communication studies faculty member MARK ANDREJEVIC. He was discussing his latest book, "iSpy," which describes how technology causes people to sacrifice privacy. HELIUM is an online publication based in Andover, Mass.

Compulsive buying may be considered as a disease (New York Times, Jan. 28)
As spenders spend while the economy plummets, the psychiatric world is trying to decide whether compulsive buying should actually be considered a disease. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not list the condition as a technical disease. While shopaholism, as laymen say, has been recognized by the German psychiatric community as a subset of obsessive-compulsive disorder, it still awaits its day in the United States. A leading expert in the field, Dr. DONALD W. BLACK, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa, suggested that compulsive shoppers tended to be women who have had relatives also predisposed to buying binges, and lived in areas overflowing with goods and the disposable income to buy them. He added that medical trials to treat the condition have been stymied by a lack of government funding.

UI graduate named community college president (Lake County News Sun, Jan. 28)
Girard "Jerry" Weber will lead the College of Lake County starting on April 4. On Tuesday, the Board of Trustees appointed Weber as the sixth president of the two-year community college located in northeastern Illinois. He holds a doctorate in higher education administration and a master's degree in educational measurement and statistics, both from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. The Newspaper is based in Illinois.,5_1_WA28_CLCPREZ_S1.article

UI graduate is finalist for head of tech college  (Salina Journal, Jan. 28)
Greg Goode, vice president of student services at the Community College of Aurora in Colorado, is a finalist for president of Salina Area Technical College. Goode has a bachelor's degree in finance from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, and a master's in business administration from Bemidji State University in Minnesota. The newspaper is based in Kansas.

Fritts comments on electronic music (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Jan. 30)
Electronic music has not thrived in the academic setting, in part because classically trained performers are required to focus almost exclusively on repertoire from the 18th and 19th centuries, says LAWRENCE FRITTS, associate professor of music composition and theory at the University of Iowa. Professors often "see new music as the refuge for persons who can't play Beethoven," he says.

Elliott comments on immunity benefits of worms (New York Times, Jan. 27)
Studies conducted by Dr. Joel Wienstock, with Dr. DAVID ELLIOTT, a gastroenterologist and immunologist at the University of Iowa, indicate that intestinal worms, which have been all but eliminated in developed countries, are "likely to be the biggest player" in regulating the immune system to respond appropriately, Dr. Elliott said in an interview. He added that bacterial and viral infections seem to influence the immune system in the same way, but not as forcefully. Most worms are harmless, especially in well-nourished people, Dr. Weinstock said.

UI study finds dangerous occupations in Iowa (WOWT-TV, Jan. 27)
A study by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA finds that farming and transportation are the most dangerous occupations in Iowa. WOWT is based in Omaha.

Pollock controversy noted (Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 27)
A story about Brandeis University selling its art collection and closing its art museum to raise money notes that a member of the Iowa Board of Regents investigated selling Jackson Pollock's "Mural" from the collection of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Museum of Art to pay for flood damage.

Tippie MBA ranks high in finance (Financial Times, Jan. 26)
An alumni survey conducted by the Financial Times ranks the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA's Tippie MBA program as one of the top 10 programs worldwide in finance.,dwp_uuid=3d473b3c-dda6-11dd-930e-000077b07658.html

Ramirez finds low rate of injuries in disabled teen athletes (Reuters, Jan. 26)
A new study suggests that most disabled teenagers who take part in school sports programs have a low rate of injury, though some may be at relatively higher risk. Overall, Dr. MARIZEN RAMIREZ of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues found that the injury rate over four years was fairly low: two injuries for every 1,000 games and practice sessions. The same story appeared on the Web site of the POST-CHRONICLE.

Political bias at law school alleged (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 26)
TERESA R. WAGNER, the associate director of the University of Iowa College of Law Writing Resource Center, sued the school and its dean, Tax Prof. CAROLYN JONES, claiming that she was twice rejected for a legal writing faculty position because of her conservative political views. An Iowa AP story also appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

Field urges radon regulations (Medical News Today, Jan. 26)
The President's Cancer Panel has urged stronger regulations on radon. WILLIAM R. FIELD, a professor and epidemiologist at the University of Iowa, told the panel, "There is precedent for legislating practices to limit exposure to toxins in construction. The prohibitive use of lead-based paint in the U.S. is an example. The requirement of radon-resistant construction methods, at an approximate cost of $500 per home, is cost-effective when one considers potential savings in health care expenditures from disease prevention." Medical News Today originates in the UK.

Quaker activist attended the UI (Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 26)
Lillian Pemberton Willoughby, a retired dietitian and Quaker activist, went to jail to protest the war in Iraq three months before her 90th birthday. For 65 years Willoughby demonstrated against war, racism and nuclear proliferation. She grew up on an Iowa farm and attended the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Blumberg's book is recommended (Financial Times, Jan. 26)
A review recommends UI psychologist MARK BLUMBERG's book "Freaks of Nature" as "a stimulating read." The Financial Times is published in the UK.

Saunders assesses birth statistics (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 25)
The number of babies born out of wedlock is at a record high, and experts expect the trend to continue. EDWARD SAUNDERS, an associate professor who directs the University of Iowa School of Social Work, said the data indicates comprehensive adolescent pregnancy prevention programs in 54 Iowa counties have proven to be effective but a large segment of the state remains unserved or underserved.,0,518793.story

Porter describes mortgage crisis (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jan. 25)
The modern mortgage market has become so complex that it is difficult to unwind the history of a mortgage. Most mortgages are originated by one lender and then sold -- often repeatedly -- to other lenders or groups of investors. Other companies are often brought in to process payments and manage escrow accounts. KATHERINE PORTER, a University of Iowa law professor, found in a study that lenders routinely fail to file required documents in bankruptcy cases to prove what consumers owe. And their accounting systems, she said, make it hard for them to track the history of payments over the life of a loan, especially when numerous lenders are involved.

UI hospitals to evaluate defendant (Washington Times, Jan. 25)
In an unusual murder case, the court ordered that a woman with Huntington's disease be evaluated at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITALS AND CLINICS to determine if she is competent to represent herself. The woman had pled guilty to murdering her husband and has asked to be incarcerated for life. This is a story from the Associated Press.

Sculptor attended the UI (Pittsburg Morning Sun, Jan. 24)
"Mind and Matter," an exhibition of art works by JinMan Jo, who earned a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, is currently on view at Pittsburg State University in Utah.

UI studies road taxes (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Jan. 24)
In 2005, the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA began a four-year study with 2,700 participants in six areas to determine if a mileage tax should replace gasoline taxes.
The six areas were Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Boise, Idaho; eastern Iowa; the "research triangle" of North Carolina; and San Diego.

UI students may get tax break (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 24)
The Internal Revenue Service has designated a "Midwest Disaster Area," which includes the University of Iowa's Iowa City campus. The designation means that qualified taxpayers can receive a larger education tax credit. University spokesman STEVE PARROTT says the school wants to make sure that students are aware of the credit.,0,6676888.story

Ferguson researches rare disorder (Ravenna Record, Jan. 24)
The disease afflicting Chloe Batsch of Roostown, Ohio, had doctors stumped before she was finally diagnosed with chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), a rare autoimmune disorder that attacks the bones. The family drove to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. There, they met Dr. POLLY FERGUSON, who researches the rare disorder.

Alumnus shows gratitude with performance (International Herald Tribune, Jan. 24)
Ken Wolberg, who received a master's degree in viola at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, recently performed for the staff at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, who saved his arm after a traffic accident. "I wanted to show I had my violin-playing back. I wanted them to see the work they'd done was successful," he said. This story also appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

Eagles fund UI diabetes institute (The Clearfield Progress, Jan. 24)
On Aug. 12, 2008, the Fraternal Order of Eagles established the Eagles Diabetes Institute at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. The order will raise $5 million annually for the next five years and the UI will match the $25 million contribution. The Clearfield Progress originates in Pennsylvania.

Porter comments on bankruptcy (New York Times, Jan. 23)
The idea of declaring bankruptcy may be unpleasant, even abhorrent, but for many people right now it could be the best option. "When we surveyed people about how long they seriously struggled, over 40 percent said more than two years," said KATHERINE M. PORTER, associate professor at the University of Iowa law school and a researcher with the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. "A lot of attorneys say they wish people would come earlier, before they emptied their retirement accounts or lost their car to repossession," she said.

UI MRSA research requires action (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 23)
A columnist notes that U.S. pigs and farmers carry methicillin resistant staph audreus (MRSA), but federal food safety agencies are doing little to see if the pork is safe. The MRSA finding came in studies recently published by TARA SMITH and her team at the University of Iowa's Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. No US agency conducts systematic testing for MRSA in the meat supply.

UI researchers find drug-resistant staph in pigs (Scientific American, Jan. 23)
A strain of drug-resistant staph identified in pigs in the Netherlands five years ago, which accounts for nearly one third of all staph in humans there, has been found in the U.S. for the first time, according to a new study. The study marks the first time researchers have tested for the strain in the U.S., so there's no way yet to tell when or how it arrived or how widespread it may be, says TARA SMITH, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa.

UI tracks premature babies across world (Norwich Evening News 24, Jan. 23)
In an article featuring a mom who has given birth to three premature babies, the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is mentioned for tracking the birth of premature babies across the world. The NORWICH EVENING NEWS is based in the UK. (Note: Link may not work on some browsers.)

Yin comments on impact of closing prisons (Globe and Mail, Jan. 23)
With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama scrapped many of the tools of the Bush administration's "war on terror," ordering the closing of Guantanamo's prisons and an end to brutal interrogations, and opening the way for the release of many detainees. Some "high-value" detainees, such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, have trials already under way. In "KSM's case there are multiple types of evidentiary problems. ... among other things he was water boarded, and anything extracted then would all be inadmissible in a civilian federal trial," said TUNG YIN, an expert in national security law at the University of Iowa. GLOBE AND MAIL is published in Canada.

UI staff member sues law school (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Jan. 22)
A staff member in the law-school writing center at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA has sued the school and its dean, saying she was turned down for teaching positions because of her conservative political views, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported. Teresa Wagner filed the lawsuit against the school and its dean, Carolyn Jones, on Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

PCBs surface in Chicago (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 22)
More than three decades after highly toxic PCBs were banned in the United States, an unusual PCB compound has turned up in the air outside several Chicago schools. Polychlorinated biphenyls are a group of chemicals that once were widely used as coolants and lubricants but were outlawed after studies linked them to cancer, liver and kidney damage, and other ailments. A study by University of Iowa researchers published late last year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology is the first to detect PCB-11 in air samples.  They were surprised to find it because PCB-11 isn't a chemical that was intentionally manufactured and marketed. "We might have done a pretty good job shutting down direct sources of PCBs," said KERI HORNBUCKLE, a civil and environmental engineering professor who oversaw the study. "But this shows we aren't doing enough to shut down what's still out there.",0,7312688.story

Yin comments on Guantánamo detainees (Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 22)
President Obama's pledge to close the terror prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is being hailed as a major step toward restoring world opinion of the United States as a champion of human rights and the rule of law. Obama administration officials agree that certain Al Qaeda suspects at Guantánamo should be tried in federal or regular military courts rather than the special military commissions. Analysts warn of the potential consequences of trying to force the prosecution of cases built on evidence tainted by coercive interrogations or torture. "It may make it impossible to prosecute them under the normal rules of criminal procedure," says TUNG YIN, a national security law expert at the University of Iowa College of Law in Iowa City. "In a regular criminal case we would say the government violated the constitutional rules so the remedy is to suppress the evidence. The government can't make its case without the suppressed evidence so the defendant has to be let go."

Executive job searches on hold at UI (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 21)
Searches to fill four executive-level jobs at the University of Iowa are on hold because of budget pressures. Spokesman DAVID KIEFT says the hold is temporary, and a decision will be made soon on whether to proceed or delay the process until the economy stabilizes. The positions are vice president for legal affairs and general counsel; vice president for student services; vice president for strategic communication; and associate vice president/associate provost for diversity. The university has to cut $7.5 million from its budget by June 30 as part of statewide budget cuts. The ASSOCIATED PRESS story appeared in several other media Web sites.,0,3160874.story

IEM offers movie box-office prediction market (, Jan. 20)
In a story about the Hollywood Stock Exchange's Oscar prediction market, it's noted that the Iowa Electronic Markets offered markets to predict box-office figures for some time now, and marketing professor TOM GRUCA said neither the IEM nor the HSX has been very good at the game. The average percentage error for the IEM's forecasts is 38 percent, while the equivalent predictions from the HSX have been off by 31 percent on average. "Forecasting movies is a very difficult problem," Gruca said. "There's an enormous amount of data out there for traders to aggregate, but how do you put it all together? Nobody's learned yet how to distill all that information into a consistently accurate forecast."

Charity-care costs jump at hospitals (KSFY-TV, Jan. 20)
The number of uninsured patients seeking free care at Iowa hospitals is rising and hospital officials say they are preparing for even more as the economy continues to worsen. The Iowa Hospital Association says in a copyright story in The Des Moines Register that charity-care costs statewide jumped 26 percent in the third quarter of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. Officials at Trinity Regional Medical Center, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITALS AND CLINICS in Iowa City and Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines say they also have seen steady increases in charity care. The TV station is based in Sioux Falls, S.D. The ASSOCIATED PRESS story appeared in several other media Web sites.

Research uses IEM to see effects of events (Medical News Today, Jan. 20)
A team of Northwestern University researchers has created a model of how prices fluctuate in prediction markets like the Iowa Electronic Markets at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business, a model that could eventually be used to tell how certain events affect the outcomes of elections. Other members of the team included TOM REITZ, a professor of finance at UI.

Merrill: More translation for Korean literature (Korea Herald, Jan. 20)
CHRISTOPHER MERRILL, director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, is widely known as a leading writer and critic. But he has another specialty -- Korean literature. Merrill, who has collaborated with Korean writers to translate major literary works, said yesterday that more Korean literature should be translated for readers across the world.

Gronbeck discusses Obama speech (Hollywood Reporter, Jan. 19)
A story about Barack Obama's inaugural speech notes its historic nature, and says that political experts believe he will have words to match the historic circumstances facing the nation. "You will get a Kennedy-esque kind of moment by the end, where Obama will acknowledge he can't do it alone and the cooperation he needs," said BRUCE GRONBECK, a political science professor at the University of Iowa. "Every president since Kennedy has had to do that." The story was originally published in the NEW YORK TIMES.

Hovenkamp discusses suit against Microsoft (New York Times, Jan. 19)
, professor of law at the University of Iowa and an expert in antitrust law, comments on a lawsuit brought by the European Union's antitrust agency charging Microsoft with breaking the law by bundling its Internet Explorer with Windows.

UI theater building reopens (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 19)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Division of Performing Arts is back at home. After three moves because of damage during June's flooding, the UI's Theatre Building, west of the Iowa River, has reopened.,0,7465449.story

Gronbeck discusses Obama speech (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jan. 18)
BRUCE GRONBECK, director of the Center for Media Studies and Political Culture at the University of Iowa, discusses what he thinks people can expect from Barack Obama's inaugural address. "Especially in his big speeches, Obama seems to speak in what would be considered a very conservative rhetorical form found mostly in the Puritan preachers in the 17th and 18th centuries. In every one of his big speeches, you find the people-of-destiny conclusions. He ends many speeches reviewing the course of history, showing progressive development with a theme, [such as] people of color moving progressively to a bigger and better place in the American community."

UI student recalls Obama speech (Rockford Register Star, Jan. 17)
In May 2005, 39 of the area's brightest high school students gathered to receive the Young Americans award from the Rockford Register Star and hear the keynote speaker -- a rising Democratic star who the year before had become the fifth black in history elected to the U.S. Senate. Three-and-a-half years later those students watched as that senator, Barack Obama, become the first black to be elected President of the United States. The words of the speech came rushing back to Hannah Miller, who is now a senior at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Covington comments on Obama agenda (Investor's Business Daily, Jan. 16)
A story about Barack Obama's Congressional agenda notes that disappointment among some Obama supporters could lead to a backlash. "It's already happening," said Professor CARY COVINGTON, an expert on the presidency at the University of Iowa. "One thing Obama has instituted is an organizational mechanism that is not just top down, but bottom up. The Internet, blogs -- people can show their dissatisfaction. I think the mini-controversy surrounding Obama having dinner with George Will and other conservative columnists gives you a taste of that." The story was also published on FORTUNE.COM, AOL MONEY and CNN/

Thorne: mega hog lots can harm health (Science News, Jan. 16)
The manure generated by thousands of cows or pigs doesn't just stink -- it may seriously affect human health. A new study is in line with several others that document the ill effects of megafarms, which typically have thousands of animals packed into small areas, comments PETER THORNE, director of the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Higher rates of lung disease have been found in workers at large poultry and swine operations and respiratory problems increase in communities when these large-scale farms move in, Thorne notes.

UI-Quaker Oats partnership noted (Triad Business Journal, Jan. 16)
A columnist writing about green projects notes that Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA have an agreement for the university to burn Quaker's oat hulls in its energy plant. The Business Journal is published in North Carolina.

UIHC treats people for cold-related injuries (Washington Post, Jan. 16)Iowa City hospitals had treated three people for cold-related injuries by midday Thursday, said University of Iowa Hospitals spokesman TOM MOORE in an article on how today could be one of the coldest in years as chilly Arctic air keeps spilling south from Canada. Overnight temperatures in eastern Iowa reached minus 24 degrees. Versions of this AP story appeared in SALON and more than 20 other media outlets.

UI cited as example of potential funding recipient (Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 16)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is mentioned in a column about institutions that could have priority in receiving funds as part of a massive, $825 billion stimulus package released by Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives Thursday. In regard to funds slated for higher education infrastructure, priority would be given in distributing the money to colleges that "serve high numbers of minority students, institutions impacted by a major disaster" -- a boon to the Gulf Coast institutions affected by Hurricane Katrina and, probably, to the University of Iowa -- "and institutions proposing to improve energy efficiency."

UI student will attend inauguration (Washington Post, Jan. 15)
Six hundred thirty-four days ago, Caitlin Ross first stenciled Barack Obama's name on a poster before a rally in Cedar Rapids. In five more, she'll stand on the Mall and watch him be sworn in as president. Ross is a 21-year-old UNIVERSITY OF IOWA student who was active in Hawkeyes for Obama.

Jones comments on voting audit (Wired, Jan. 13)
Computer audit logs showing what occurred on a vote tabulation system that lost ballots in the November election are at the core of an investigation by the California secretary of state's office into why the GEMS tabulation system deleted 197 ballots from the tallies of one precinct in Humboldt County, Calif. during the Nov. 4 general election. "These audit logs could give us some assurances [about an election] if they were genuinely designed so that a casual bystander could look at them and understand them," says DOUG JONES, a University of Iowa computer scientist and former chairman of a board that examines and approves voting machines for use in Iowa. "[But] having them cryptic and obscure destroys the value in terms of election transparency."

New Colts coach graduated from UI (Associated Press, Jan. 13)
Jim Caldwell, the new coach of the Indianapolis Colts, earned a bachelor's degree from UNIVERSITY OF IOWA in 1977. He also worked at the UI as a graduate assistant in 1977. notes that Caldwell was a four-year starter and letter winner at defensive back for Iowa in the mid-1970s.

Former UI staff member announces mayoral bid (Register-Mail, Jan. 13)
David Roknich has announced that he will run for mayor of Galesburg, Ill. Roknich, who works as a Web designer, is a Knox College graduate. He worked as an adviser to the Knox College literary magazine Catch in 1991 before moving to Iowa, where he worked as a staff engineer at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA until 2000. The newspaper serves Galesburg, Ill.

UI is on U.S.News' ear, nose and throat best-of list (Helium, Jan. 13)
A story questioning the validity of the U.S.News & World Report's ranking of best ear, nose and throat hospitals notes that among the top five is the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Hospitals and Clinics.

UI student directs play at Chicago theater (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 13)
A review of the play "The Little Foxes" at Chicago's Shattered Glass Theatre notes that it was directed by Brandon Bruce, a student at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.,0,5863999.story

UI study finds faith leads to long life (The Mail, Jan. 12)
A story about ways to live longer notes a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study that found those who attended religious services at least once a week were 35 percent more likely to live longer than those who never attended a church or other faith-based events. The Mail is published in Britain.

UI student writes about Ghanaian democracy (JoyOnline, Jan. 12)
Etse Sikanku, a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA graduate student in Journalism and Mass Communications, writes about the prospects for democracy in Ghana. The online news portal touts itself as "Ghana's leader in news and information delivery."

Former NBA player studied poetry at the UI (Contra Costa Times, Jan. 10)
Basketball player Tom Mechery, who entered the NBA in 1961, later earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, leading to a second career as a teacher and writer. Mechery's career rebounding record at St. Mary's College was finally broken this year after a half-century.

Goepferd comments on thumb sucking (MedGuru, Jan. 9)
Experts agree that up to the age of 5, sometimes thumb sucking is not really a problem. "If the child thumb-sucks only occasionally, and it doesn't appear to be harming teeth or fingers, there's no need to do anything," says STEPHEN GOEPFERD, professor of pediatrics dentistry and director of dentistry in the Division of Developmental Disabilities at the University Hospital School at the University of Iowa. MedGuru originates in India.

UI chooses across-the-board cuts to save money (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 9)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and the University of Northern Iowa will not follow Iowa State University's action and have top officials take furloughs to offset budget cuts. Instead, the two schools will use across-the-board cuts to save money from their budgets.,0,3994527.story

Regents approve UI bond request (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 9)
The Iowa Board of Regents has given the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA permission to obtain a $30 million short-term line of credit to help pay for flood recovery expenses.,0,902841.story

UI art alumna's work is exhibited (Pegasus News, Jan. 9)
Video art works by Wendy Kveck, who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, will be part of the exhibition "The Unseen Seen." She now teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Pegasus News originates in Texas.

UI research questions safety of BPA (Columbia Missourian, Jan. 9)
The use of Bisphenol-A (BPA), an estrogen-like chemical found in hard plastics and metal food cans, has been brought into question by new research by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA strongly showing links between BPA and health consequences. Earlier studies have linked BPA exposure to obesity, heart disease and cancer. A ban on the chemical has now been proposed.

UI playwriting alumnus will be in Play Group (Broadway World, Jan. 9)
Sam Hunter, a recent graduate of the IOWA PLAYWRIGHTS WORKSHOP, has been selected for the Play Group, a selective group of young writers at Ars Nova in New York.

UI English alumnus exhibits photographs (Eagle Newspapers, Jan. 9)
Bob Gates, who earned a doctorate in English at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and teaches at Syracuse University, has also been a successful photographer with images appearing in the National Geographic Traveler and other publications. An exhibition of his work opens this week in Camillus, N.Y. Eagle Newspapers is a group of 15 community weekly newspapers in Onondaga and Madison counties, N.Y.

Columnist discovered book at UI writing festival (South County Times, Jan. 9)
Columnist Dwight Bitkofer writes that he discovered the book "First Church of the Higher Elevations, Mountains, Prayer and Presence" when he met the author, Peter Anderson, at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA SUMMER WRITING FESTIVAL. The South County Times is published in Missouri.

Porter comments on impact of bankruptcy filing (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 9)
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, under which debtors can work out a plan to reduce some debts and pay back creditors over three to five years, is a painful and potentially costly option for homeowners. The proceedings can cost borrowers about $4,000, according to KATHERINE PORTER, a University of Iowa law professor, and result in a blot on personal credit reports for seven to 10 years. Porter made the comments in an article about a Senate bill aimed at giving strapped homeowners more leverage in renegotiating their mortgages.

UIHC hospitals providing 'deep brain stimulation' (Omaha World-Herald, Jan. 9)
Larry Broadfoot felt instant relief from some of his Parkinson's disease symptoms when a surgeon implanted two wires in his brain two years ago. Broadfoot, 52, was diagnosed with the degenerative disease more than 20 years ago. New study results indicate that the procedure, called "deep brain stimulation," can provide significant relief to patients with advanced Parkinson's, when compared with medication. Deep brain stimulation is performed at several hospitals in the region, including the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITALS AND CLINICS, among others.

UI awaits decision on flood recovery bonds  (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 8)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA will have an idea by Friday whether it will get $30 million in bonds from the Iowa Board of Regents. The regents will hold a telephone meeting on Friday to talk about the bonds, which would be for flood recovery and flood prevention. FEMA would pay the school back if it is issued the bonds. This is an ASSOCIATED PRESS story.,0,2627274.story

Sale: bank regulators should be reorganized (Kansas City Info Zine, Jan. 8)
HILLARY SALE, a securities law expert in the University of Iowa College of Law, believes federal agencies should be realigned so that some oversee consumer protection and others oversee the institutions' financial health. The regulation of banks and other financial institutions in the United States is a "crazy quilt" of decentralized federal agencies that need to be reorganized to make future market meltdowns less likely, according to Sale.

UI Press to publish breast cancer survivor memoir (Chicago Reader, Jan. 8)
S.L. Wisenberg, who will have a memoir titled "The Adventures of Cancer Bitch" published by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS in March 2009, writes about the critical role of humor in coping with breast cancer.

Eating habits affect the environment (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jan. 8)
Can what you eat be more important to the environment than what you drive? Kate Geagan, registered dietitian in Park City, Utah, says Americans have an "SUV eating style" that contributes to global warming more than the cars we drive. The average distance that your food travels to get to your table is about 1,500 miles, according to a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study," Geagan said. "When we choose highly processed packaged foods, we contribute to global warming, so food is a new part of the dialogue about the environment."

UI receives $500,000 NSF grant (KMTV, Jan. 7)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA has received a more than $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant, which was announced on Tuesday by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, will help to pay for a cyber-enabled 500 MHz solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. The nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer is a tool used to help chemists analyze materials. The ASSOCIATED PRESS article also appeared on the Web sites of several other media outlets. The TV station is based in Omaha, Neb.

Writers' Workshop graduate directs new plays (Broadway World, Jan. 6)
New York Stories, featuring the premiere of five short plays by Paul Manuel Kane, will open at the Roy Arias Theaters on Thursday, Jan. 22. The production is directed by best-selling political author and biographer Paul Alexander.  The evening focuses on five specific instances of tested friendships, changing relationships and lives in flux. Alexander is a graduate of the IOWA WRITERS' WORKSHOP at the UI.

Durham comments on sexualized teen culture (Helium, Jan. 6)
A story about a culture that encourages young girls to act in overtly sexy ways notes that MEENKASHI GIGI DURHAM at the University of Iowa has conducted extensive research on teen media use among middle-school girls. She thinks that we, as a society, should worry about the trend. "All the girls I have talked to have expressed some dissatisfaction with their bodies, and many of them have resorted to extreme measures such as starvation," she said. Durham also believes the magazines are missing a chance to help girls develop a healthy attitude toward sex. "What's presented as sexy is the bare midriff, the busty blonde. It's such a fiction. Anyone of any body type and race can experience her sexuality and enjoy it, but these magazines don't offer this message." Helium is published in the UK.

UI study notes flaws with nursing home social workers (McKnight's, Jan. 6)
Inconsistent state laws and low federal standards have resulted in varying qualification and certification standards for nursing home social workers, according to a recently released report from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. McKnight's covers the long-term care and assisted living industry.

Nixon comments on road salt use (Town Hall, Jan. 5)
An opinion piece notes that officials in Seattle, Wash., disregard advice to not use salt on snow and ice-covered roadways in an effort to protect the environment. But winter-highway-maintenance expert Prof. WILFRID NIXON of the University of Iowa College of Engineering says good, old-fashioned salt is the best ice-buster. And another thing for the environmentally conscious to consider is the impact accidents have on the environment. "Every crash in the winter is an environmental disaster," Nixon said. "You have spills of engine oil, gas, coolant. It may not be hundreds of miles of road, but the effect is intensely local."

Anaya writes about indigenous rights (Indian Country Today, Jan. 5)
S. James Anaya, a former faculty member of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA COLLEGE OF LAW, writes about advances in indigenous rights in Nicaragua.

Gronbeck comments on Obama children (Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, Jan. 4)
Americans are intrigued by the notion of children growing up in the White House. At ages 7 and 10, respectively, Sasha and Malia Obama will be the youngest children to inhabit the executive residence in decades. BRUCE GRONBECK, director of the University of Iowa Center for Media Studies and Political Culture, said that when the first family has young children, "the family images are so rich." "We always look at the family, and then you watch and try to figure out how that family is working," Gronbeck said, adding, "The way the household runs is kind of a mini version of how a country runs." The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal is published in Pennsylvania.

Workshop faculty member McPherson is interviewed (St. Petersburg Times, Jan 4)
In connection with the UI appearance in the Outback Bowl, Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty member JAMES ALAN MCPHERSON is interviewed.

Porter assesses bankruptcy struggles (Newsweek, Jan. 3)
Most families struggle to avoid bankruptcy longer than they should, says KATIE PORTER, UI law faculty member. By the time they give in, they've lost assets they could have used to start over again.

UI study estimates Freecycling impact (Yahoo! News, Jan. 2)
A story about Freecycling notes that a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study analyzed the average number and weight of items posted daily on the site and estimated that the network -- which encourages people to give away unwanted items instead of throwing them in the garbage -- is eliminating more than 300 tons of garbage a day.;_ylt=Al8TTqT_alVxooLFXkv5pNzAF4l4

Murray writes about the Plains (, Jan. 1)
WILLIAM COTTER MURRAY, who teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa, writes about the ecology and history of the Great Plains.

IWP alumna wins poetry award (South China Morning Post, Jan. 1)
Agnes Lam Shun-ling, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Applied English Studies, won the Special Mention award in the 24th Nosside International Poetry Prize for her English poem titled, "Vanilla in the Stars." Shung-ling was an honorary fellow in writing at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA for her participation in the International Writing Program in Iowa last year.






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