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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 5, 2009

At A Glance

Family Weekend is a go despite small fire at Iowa House Hotel

University of Iowa officials said Family Weekend activities will go on as scheduled Friday, Nov. 6, to Sunday, Nov. 8, despite a small fire in the Iowa Memorial Union's Iowa House Hotel early this morning.

About 33 guests of the Iowa House Hotel were evacuated to the nearby Danforth Chapel around 2:24 a.m. today (Thursday, Nov. 5) when fire alarms sounded. No one was injured and guests were able to reclaim their possessions this morning after receiving other accommodations at nearby hotels.

The incident is still under investigation but the source of fire is believed to be electrical and was confined to a mechanical chase, a narrow shaft with utility cables that extends through multiple levels of the building. However, the Iowa House remains closed today, so crews can repair minor damage, such as replacing damaged ceiling tiles and cleaning the affected areas.

The rest of the IMU remains open today, and the Iowa House is expected to partially reopen Friday after being cleaned and passing inspection.

More than 400 families are registered for the Family Weekend, which will include music, entertainment and a Game Day Breakfast, among other activities. For a complete list of activities, visit

UI Chamber Orchestra performs work-in-progress by UI alumnus Michael Cash

The University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of William LaRue Jones, will perform works by UI alumnus Michael Cash and Camille Saint-Saens at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in the Riverside Recital Hall.

The program will include Cash's "The Dragon with the Three Golden Feathers," for orchestra with narrator, and the ever-popular "Carnival of the Animals" by Saint-Saëns, featuring faculty pianists Rene Lecuona and Alan Huckleberry.

"The Dragon with the Three Golden Feathers," in development as a full-length animation with the support of the Iowa Arts Council, features narrator Eric Forsythe, a faculty member in the UI Department of Theatre Arts; Monica Leo of the Eulenspeigel Puppet Theatre; and Kate Carol of Kate Carol and Company Dance. The project will be completed in 2010.

Cash, a graduate of the UI Composers Workshop, has collaborated on numerous dance and theater productions at the UI, including Chekhov's "Three Sisters" and "Uncontrollable Mystery" for the UI Theatres Mainstage, "Spiritual Machine" for a department of dance thesis concert, "Ark" by dance faculty member Charlotte Adams and "Black" by UI dance alumnus and former faculty member Jeffery Bullock.

UI faculty discuss translation in free Nov. 9 event

University of Iowa faculty members Robin Hemley, Christopher Merrill, Cole Swensen and Russell Valentino present a free reading and discussion, "Crossing Borders -- Translating Place," at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, in Prairie Lights at 15 S. Dubuque St., in Iowa City.

The event, sponsored by The National Book Critics Circle and moderated by Sarah Fay, a doctoral candidate in the UI English department and an advisory editor of the Paris Review, will be streamed live and archived through the UI Writing University Web site:

The participants will focus on what works in translation have most influenced them, and each will read from some of those works.

Merrill, director of the International Writing Program, is a poet, journalist and translator whose work has been translated into 25 languages, and book critic for the radio program, "The World." Swenson, a poetry faculty member of the Writers' Workshop, won the 2004 PEN USA Literary Award for Translation and has collaborated in translation projects with numerous organizations.

Valentino, the editor of the Iowa Review, has translated fiction, nonfiction and poetry from Italian, Croatian and Russian. Hemley, a graduate of the Writers' Workshop, is the director of the UI Nonfiction Writing Program.

Public invited to attend 'Grabbing the Globe' seminar Nov. 12

Andrew Haun, engineering director, electronic and software engineering for Schneider Electric of Raleigh, N.C., and a UI College of Engineering alumnus, will speak at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in the MidAmerican Energy Classroom, Room 2229, Seamans Center.

A part of the Randall and Barbara Meyer "Grabbing the Globe" Seminar Series, the free, public talk will offer views, perspectives, and experiences on succeeding professionally and technologically in a global marketplace.

Haun, who earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1984, has spent his entire career with Schneider Electric, previously serving as manager of electronic engineering, staff electronic design engineer, and electronic design engineer at Schneider Electric's Cedar Rapids, Iowa, plant. He also serves as a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board.

The "Grabbing the Globe" Seminar Series is designed to prepare engineering students for global success. It recognizes UI Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy member and retired Exxon USA president and CEO Randall Meyer and his wife, Barbara.

Jack Quartet performs Nov. 15 as a guest of the Center for New Music

The Jack Quartet, a guest of the University of Iowa Center for New Music, will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in the Riverside Recital Hall (St. Thomas More church) on N. Riverside Drive in Iowa City. Free parking is available in the Hancher lot just across the street.

The program will feature Three Machaut Pieces, transcribed and arranged by Ari Streisfeld; "The Boreal" by Elliot Sharp; Zach Browning's String Quartet; and "Tetras" by Iannis Xenakis.

The Jack Quartet, winner of an ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, is violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards and cellist Kevin McFarland. The quartet has quickly established a reputation for giving high-energy performances of today's most demanding works for string quartet, and has studied closely with the Arditti Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, the Muir String Quartet and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.

They have performed at Carnegie Hall, La Biennale di Venezia in Italy, the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland), the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik in Germany and the Festival Internacional Chihuahua in Mexico.

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