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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 12, 2009

At A Glance

UI senior receives Technology Association of Iowa Award

University of Iowa senior and Presidential Scholar Alexandra Keenan of Urbandale, Iowa, is one of nine winners of Women of Innovation Awards from the nonprofit Technology Association of Iowa.

As the recipient of the Collegian Innovation and Leadership award, she was cited for her work in India to prevent the spread of the parasitic infection visceral leishmaniasis, a disease with over 500,000 new cases annually. She was also cited for helping develop a community-based cervical cancer-screening program for low-income women in Madurai, India, during 2008, and participation on an EPA-award-winning Student Sustainable Design Competition team focused on delivering safe drinking water in developing countries.

In October, Glamour magazine listed her as one of the "Top 10 College Women" on U.S. college campuses. Keenan plans to graduate with three bachelor's degrees, one in biomedical engineering from the UI College of Engineering, one in biochemistry from the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), and one in international studies, administered by UI International Programs through CLAS.

The event was supported by Rockwell Collins, the Principal Financial Group, the Iowa Math and Science Education Partnership, and by the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

Department of Physics and Astronomy receives LaserFest grant

Vincent Rodgers, professor, and Dale Stille, instructional resource specialist, in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Physics and Astronomy, have received a $6,000 "LaserFest on the Road" outreach program award from the American Physical Society.

Begun as a collaboration between the American Physical Society, the Optical Society and SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics), LaserFest 2010 is a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the invention of the laser.

The grant is intended to enhance the "Hawk-Eyes on Science" outreach program by the acquisition of lasers, holograms and other optical equipment. The program has provided outreach activities to schools within a 250-mile radius and at other public venues such as the Iowa City and Coralville public libraries, the Iowa State Fair and "I'll Make a World Convention" held in Des Moines. The "Hawk-Eyes on Science" Web site is

The "Hawk-Eyes on Science" program is part of the UI Optical Science and Technology Center, where nine Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty join colleagues in conducting state-of-the-art experiments and testing the latest theories for the next generation of lasers and laser applications.

Philip Graham reads from travelogue/memoir in free Nov. 18 event

Philip Graham, who teaches creative writing at the University of Illinois, will read from "The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches From Lisbon," just out in paperback, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Prairie Lights, 15 S. Dubuque St. The free event will be streamed live and archived on the University of Iowa Writing University Web site:

In an exuberant yet introspective account of a year's sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter, Graham explores Portugal past and present, touching on food and sports, religion and language, music and literature and art.

Graham is the author of two short story collections and a novel, and co-author of two Africa memoirs. He is a founding editor and the current fiction editor of the literary/arts journal Ninth Letter.

His fiction has appeared in periodicals including The New Yorker, the North American Review, Fiction and the Los Angeles Review, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers Magazine, and the Washington Post.

Barnes will perform his arrangements of Philip Glass Nov. 20

Pianist Paul Barnes will feature several of his arrangements of the music of Philip Glass in a University of Iowa School of Music guest recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, in the University Capitol Centre Recital Hall.

In addition to arrangements of Glass -- movements of the Trilogy Sonata, the "Orphee" Suite and Piano Concerto Nov. 2 ("After Lewis and Clark") -- Barnes will perform Ballade, Op. 46, by Barber; a Sonata in A-flat Major by Haydn; and an arrangement of the Orthodox hymn "Potirion Sotitiu (The Cup of Salvation)," composed for Barnes by Victoria Bond.

Barnes, a faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln noted for his cutting-edge programming, has been featured four times on radio's "Performance Today" and on the cover of Clavier Magazine.  He recently performed throughout Europe and the Far East, as well as across the United States. Recently elected to the board of the American Liszt Society, he will host the Liszt Society Festival next year in Lincoln, Neb.

Barnes commissioned and premiered Glass' Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. Nebraska Educational Telecommunications' production "The Lewis and Clark Concerto," a documentary/performance of the concerto featuring Barnes, won an Emmy.


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

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