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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 1, 2009

At A Glance

Podcast: history of nerds, art and the Constitution, public health professions

The October 2009 edition of "Iowa Insights," a monthly podcast produced by the University of Iowa Office of University Relations, focuses on explaining the history of "nerds," discussing art and the Constitution and highlighting professions in public health.

Benjamin Nugent, a student in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, discusses his book "American Nerd: The Story of My People." In the book, Nugent explains the history of nerds, reflects on his own experience as a nerd, and catches up with some of his nerdy friends from high school to see what became of them. Randy Bezanson, professor in the UI College of Law, discusses his new book, "Art and Freedom of Speech," and why the legal system is so reluctant to examine that issue. Beth Hochstedler, University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL) education and outreach coordinator, talks about "Did You See That?," a new DVD-based game created by UHL that highlights the many professions in public health.

More information at


UI wins Healthy Iowa University Award

The University of Iowa has received the Healthy Iowa College or University Award from the Academy for a Healthy Iowa -- a collaboration between the Iowa Department of Public Health, Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, and Nutrition and Wellness Council of Iowa.

Award winners are selected based on providing access to wellness, programming, financial commitment, measurability and sustainability. Winners retain the "Healthy Iowa" designation for three years at which point they must reapply.

The award was presented in Des Moines on Oct. 1 to Joni Troester, assistant director of UI Human Resources and director of UI Wellness; Megan Moeller, UI Wellness coordinator; Tanya Villhauer, associate director of UI Student Health Service; and Lisa James, interim administrative director for Student Health Service.


Oct. 2 ribbon-cutting for IMU footbridge cancelled

Because of the rainy forecast, the University of Iowa has cancelled a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2 to celebrate the reopening of the Iowa Memorial Union footbridge and riverfront sidewalks. The walkway and sidewalks will open as scheduled Friday; the ribbon-cutting ceremony may be scheduled for a later date.


UI Chamber Orchestra opens its 2009-10 season with Oct. 11 concert

The University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of William LaRue Jones, will open its 2009-10 season with a free concert, featuring works by Handel, Haydn and Bizet, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, in Mabie Theatre of the UI Theatre Building. Faculty soloists will be organist Greg Hand and new trumpet faculty member Amy Schendel.

The program is the Organ Concerto in F Major by George Frideric Handel, the Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major by Franz Joseph Haydn and the Symphony No. 1 in C Major Georges Bizet.

The UI Chamber Orchestra, designed for graduate students in the UI School of Music, is based on the ensemble format established during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, prior to the emergence of the larger, modern symphony orchestra. Its repertoire covers a broad range from Classical and early Romantic composers to contemporary compositions.

For biographies of the faculty artists featured in this concert, visit


UI professor shares Iowa stories at Oct. 13 Lifelong Learning event

Everyone has a story to tell, and UI Professor Steve McGuire has many.  At a University of Iowa Alumni Association Lifelong Learning event on Tuesday, Oct. 13, McGuire will discuss his 504-mile journey through Iowa that engaged Iowans in conversation about Iowa, its culture, heritage, and history.

McGuire is a professor of art education in the colleges of education and liberal arts and sciences and a renowned storyteller. As part "Storytelling Experience" graduate seminar, he collected interviews, stories, and visual images for a DVD titled, "On the American Discovery Trail: Iowa Route." He will share highlights from this DVD at the event, which is free and open to the public.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Melrose Meadows Retirement Community, 350 Dublin Drive, Iowa City. RSVP by Tuesday, Oct 6. at For more information, call 1-800-IOWALUM.


Artist Jan Aronson will lecture on portraiture Oct. 15 at the UI

New York artist Jan Aronson, a guest of the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, will present a free lecture on portraiture at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct 15, in Room W151 of the UI Pappajohn Business Building.

Aronson, who has taught at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Dillard University, the Southern Vermont Art Center, Ethan Allen Community College, Johnson State College and the Pratt Manhattan Center, has been a full-time artist since 1986. Her work is in public and corporate collections in the United States and Europe.

Particularly known for her landscapes, Aronson is noted for her portrait work as well, having painted Arthur Hertzberg, Mariel Hemingway, Norman H. Nie and Edgar Miles Bronfman.

View her work at


Biometrics expert to deliver annual Kurtz Lecture Oct. 15

Jan Jelinek, senior fellow at Honeywell Advanced Technology Labs, Minneapolis, will deliver the 41st annual Kurtz Lecture at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in Room E-105 of the Philip D. Adler Journalism and Mass Communications Building.

The free, public lecture is titled: "Visual Biometrics" and is sponsored by the UI Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

A 1990 recipient of the W.H. Sweatt Award, Honeywell's highest recognition of technical achievement, Jelinek was the principal investigator or a major technical contributor on various large, federal research and development projects. Recently, he has been developing long-range iris recognition systems, with interest primarily in iris image data acquisition and sensor design.

Since September 2001, security systems have adopted new approaches exploiting the visual appearance of various unique human body parts, most notably the face and iris. The talk will review advances and outline challenges and research opportunities in the field.

Funded by an endowment from the Iowa power industry, the annual Kurtz Lecture is named for the late Edwin B. Kurtz, professor and head of the UI Electrical Engineering Department from 1929 to 1960. Kurtz was the architect of the world's first educational television station, directing experimental station W9xk in Iowa City during the 1930s.


University Theatres Gallery series presents 'Lost Sharks'

The University Theatres Gallery series will present "Lost Sharks" by Iowa Playwrights Workshop student Kevin Artigue at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 15-18, in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

"Lost Sharks," directed by Master of Fine Arts candidate John Kaufmann, is a hard-boiled mystery set in 1973 Los Angeles. Things are looking groovy for Chester Farrago, bartender at the infamous Sharks Den, a run-down jazz and burlesque club... until a stranger arrives asking too many questions.

The production includes material of an adult nature. Potential audience members who are concerned about whether it is appropriate for them should contact the Department of Theatre Arts, 319-335-2700, for additional information.

Artigue, who has been a faculty member at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, is both a playwright and an actor. His full-length plays include "Read-Only-Memory," "People Like You," "Good and Mourned" and "In the Starry Nights," which was a semi-finalist for the 2009 O'Neill Conference.

Admission will be $5 at the door. Admission for UI students is free with a valid UI ID.


Forum to promote farm safety, health Nov. 18-19

Iowa's Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (I-CASH) and the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, both based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, will host the Midwest Rural and Agricultural Safety and Health Forum Nov. 18-19 at the Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston, Iowa.

The forum will provide updated information on agricultural and rural safety and health, and strengthen collaborative efforts among researchers, practitioners, agricultural producers and medical professionals.

S. Leonard Syme, Ph.D., nationally recognized expert on community-based participatory research and faculty member emeritus from the University of California-Berkeley, will deliver the keynote address. Robert (Chip) Petrea, Ph.D., University of Illinois agricultural safety research specialist, will describe the rural roadway safety initiative in the Midwest. The conference will also feature sessions on social marketing, research-to-practice, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and H1N1 influenza.

Registration discounts are available to farmers and students. For details and registration, visit or contact Eileen Fisher at 319-335-4224.


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.