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University of Iowa News Release


April 14, 2010

At A Glance

UI student Julia Zalenski wins Weston Human Rights Essay Prize

The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) recently awarded UI undergraduate student Julia Zalenski with the annual Burns H. Weston International Human Rights Essay Prize.

The $750 prize in the undergraduate student category went to Zalenski for her essay "Human Rights Policy: The Bridge between Rights Philosophy and Rights Practice." The selection committee chose this paper for its rigorous and dispassionate analysis of an omission in the area of human rights as opposed to harmful action. Zalenski, of Williamsburg, Iowa, is majoring in international studies and pre-law.

The Weston Essay Prize is intended to promote understanding and the continuing advancement of international human rights, as well as honor Burns H. Weston, internationally renowned scholar in international human rights law and the former and founding director of the UICHR.

For more information, visit or contact LIz Crooks at or 319-335-3900. UICHR is part of International Programs at the UI.


UI earns Tree Campus USA award

The University of Iowa Landscape Services staff accepted the Tree Campus USA award in Des Moines on Tuesday, April 6 at the annual Community Forestry Awards luncheon.

The UI was designated Iowa's first Tree Campus USA institution by the Arbor Day Foundation in December 2009. Each year the UI must renew its designation by fulfilling a number of tree stewardship and service learning requirements.

On Wednesday, April 7, Landscape Services held its annual service-learning project behind the Boyd Law building. Student volunteers and retired Facilities Management staff member Larry Wilson helped the landscape crew plant 500 oak seedlings and remove garlic mustard, an invasive weed that can take over wooded areas and choke undergrowth.

Shawn Fitzpatrick, landscape services supervisor and certified arborist, Andy Dahl, certified arborist and municipal specialist, Mike Rhinehart, certified arborist, and Allan Allgood, tree trimmer, maintain more than 7,000 campus trees and plant over 300 campus trees each year. Landscape Services pursued the Tree Campus USA designation as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability.


Culver to sign appropriations legislation on campus April 15

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver will be on the University of Iowa Campus Thursday, April 15 to sign into law two bills recently approved by the Iowa General Assembly: Senate File 2380 Tax Credit Legislation, and Senate File 2366 FY2010 Appropriations Adjustments Bill.

The signing ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. in the Old Capitol. David Miles, president of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; Iowa Sen. Joe Bolkcom; and the governor will make remarks during the event, which is open to the public.

Senate File 2380 seeks to reduce the state’s tax credit payments by $115 million, or roughly 22 percent, by suspending the film tax credit program for two years and scaling back other credits or placing caps on their awards. Senate File 2366, among other things, provides $14.3 million in one-time, supplemental support to the University of Iowa’s general education fund for the current fiscal year.

The governor’s approval of Senate File 2366 will enable the universities to refund the $100 tuition surcharge approved by the Board of Regents and applied for the 2010 spring semester. Student refunds will begin immediately.

NOTE TO MEDIA: A multbox will be available at this event.


Sustainability at John Deere topic of engineering seminar April 15

UI alumna Laurie Zelnio (bachelor's degree in biochemistry), director of safety, environment, and standards for Deere & Company, Moline, Ill., will speak on "Sustainability at John Deere" from 4:30 to 5:20 p.m. Thursday, April 15, in W290 Auditorium, Chemistry Building.

Zelnio is the guest speaker at the free, public College of Engineering Sustainable U Seminar.

Zelnio began her career with Deere in 1979 as a chemist at the company's Harvester Works and has held several successive assignments until being named director of safety, environment and standards in 2002. Previously, she served as a biochemist at UI and as a chemist at Lutheran Hospital in the Quad Cities. She is a member of the board of directors of the National Safety Council, and a member of the Corporate EHS Roundtable, Conference Board-Environmental & Safety/Health Councils, and Manufacturers Alliance-Environmental Council. Zelnio also is a member of the UI Water Sustainability Initiative Advisory Board, the College of Public Health Advisory Board, and a board member of the Deere & Company Credit Union.

The Sustainable U seminars are designed to share sustainability experiences, challenges, and best practices from industry leaders recognized for world-class sustainability programs with students, faculty, staff, local and state government officials, and corporate partners.


Middle school students learn about college life during UI visit April 16

Almost 100 middle school students and teachers of African descent from Cedar Rapids middle schools will visit the University of Iowa Friday, April 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for an interactive, on-campus visit directed by UI College of Education faculty, staff and students.

Morning activities for the African American Awareness Program will be in Jones Commons in the UI Lindquist Center, and afternoon book discussions will be held at the Blank Honors Center. This year students will read "We Beat the Street; How a Friendship Pact Led to Success," by Davis, Jenkins and Hunt.

The purpose of the trip, according to John Achrazoglou, adjunct faculty and director of the Education Technology Center in the UI College of Education, is to provide students with insight into college life and to inspire them to plan for their futures. The visit will also give UI students and staff an opportunity to work with the students.

The College of Education Diversity Committee, the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment and the Belin-Blank Center are sponsoring the visit.

For more information or a complete schedule, call Clar Baldus, Belin-Blank Center, at or 319-335-6189 or Achrazoglou at 319-335-5620 or at


Volunteers needed for stormwater drain stenciling April 17

Volunteers are needed for stormwater drain stenciling from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, April 17, on the University of Iowa Campus.

In this Earth Month activity, volunteers will meet at the University Water Plant, 208 West Burlington St., and then attach plaques to storm drains around the university campus that say "No Dumping, Drains to River" as a way to educate the community about the connection of storm drains and water quality.

Interested volunteers are encouraged to call or email David McClain with the University Water Plant, or 319-631-2331. For a full schedule of Earth Month activities see


Earth Month film series continues with 'No Impact Man,' 'Kilowatt Ours'

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History's "Movies@MNH," continues its Earth Month film series with free public showings of "No Impact Man," and "Kilowatt Ours." The films will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, in Macbride Auditorium.

"No Impact Man" follows Colin, Michelle and their 2-year-old daughter as they attempt for one year to make as little environmental impact as possible. As they strive to use no automated transportation, no electricity and only eat local food, they find how much this experience has impacted their lives.

"Kilowatt Ours" takes a look at America's energy-related problems, traveling from the coal mines of West Virginia to the solar panel fields of Florida. The film shows everyday Americans finding ways to harness power from the wind and sun, and offers simple ways to dramatically reduce home energy bills.

The UI Museum of Natural History and the UI Office of Sustainability are sponsoring the film series.

The final film of the series, "Mad City Chickens," will be shown on April 25.

For more information call 319-335-0606 or visit


'Story-time Explorers' explore trees at UI Museum of Natural History

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History's "Story-time Explorers" series continues on Sunday, April 18, with children's book readings about trees in honor of Arbor Day and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The program will take place at 3 p.m. in Iowa Hall, located on the first floor of Macbride Hall on the UI Pentacrest.

The program is free and open to the public. Stories are geared toward elementary-aged children and their families. Children will learn about trees and the history of Arbor Day. After story-time, visitors will have an opportunity to do leaf rubbings and make handprint trees to take home.

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 Department of Dance presents thesis concert April 22-24

The University of Iowa Department of Dance will present "Continuing to (w)Rite," a graduate thesis concert by Ana Cortes, Chih-Hsien (Joan) Lin, Katharine Vigmostad and Keely Shaffer Glenn at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 22-24, in the Space Place Theater of UI North Hall.

"Continuing to (w)Rite" investigates ideas of past and present, as well as the cycle of life.

"The Dissolving Agent," choreographed by Cortes, investigates the life-supporting nature of water and its function in the environment.

Lin’s performance of "Warrior in A Self" is a triptych depicting the journey to discover a complete self, choreographed by faculty member Alan Sener, Lisa Gonzales and Vigmostad.

Using interviews with her grandmother, Vigmostad paints life's joys and hardships experienced in a lifetime in "Present Reminiscence."

Glenn designs a world of the surreal and familiar using nursery rhymes and Rene Magritte’s paintings for "Second Lessons," exploring how the everyday can become a playground for movement, art and the imagination.

Tickets are available in advance through the Hancher Auditorium Box Office at 319-335-1160 or 1-800-HANCHER, or at Tickets are $12 ($6 for senior citizen and youth). Admission is free for UI students with a valid UI ID.


Calzón discusses human rights in Cuba today at April 23 lecture

Frank Calzón, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, will present a lecture titled "The Revolution on Balance: Human Rights in Cuba Today" from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, April 23, in Room 315 Phillips Hall on the University of Iowa campus. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Calzón will discuss the current stage of the Cuban Revolution and its leadership, assessing its impact on the people of Cuba. He will also speak about the "Damas de Blanco" (Ladies in White), an organization of Cuban mothers and grandmothers fighting for the humane treatment of political prisoners. The "damas" have recently faced severe repression that has been met with an international uproar.

The Center for a Free Cuba is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan human rights and pro-democracy organization. Calzón is a political scientist and has testified before congressional committees and the United Nations in Geneva about the violation of human rights in Cuba.

This lecture is sponsored by the Iowa United Nations Association, the UI Center for Human Rights, the UI Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and UI International Programs.

For more information, contact Adriana Méndez at or 319-335-2230.


'WorldPrairie' examines how UI spreads knowledge abroad April 23

This University of Iowa-community collaboration, "WorldPrairie," will feature a discussion with UI faculty involved in the WiderNet and Elluminate Internet development projects from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 23, at M.C. Ginsberg, 110 East Washington St. in downtown Iowa City. The event is free and open to the public.

Cliff Missen, director of the WiderNet Project and instructor in the School of Library and Information Science in the UI Graduate College, will discuss the WiderNet's goal of improving digital communication in communities around the world. This includes creation and distribution of eGranary Digital Library, a plug-and-play server that provides millions of digital documents without an Internet connection.

Thomas Cook, UI professor of occupational and environmental health, will speak about Elluminate, an online conferencing tool that takes UI resources to global audiences.

This town-gown event inspires a thought-provoking evening of conversation, offering the audience a chance to interact with guest speakers and converse in a relaxed atmosphere. The program takes place once a month and will later air on Channel 4 and UITV. M.C. Ginsberg, City Channel 4 and UI International Programs present the program.

For more information, contact Amy Green at or 319-335-1433.


Caribbean carnival arts subject of summer institute for teachers

International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa will conduct a summer institute for teachers and lifelong learners entitled "Caribbean Carnival Arts, Past and Present: Explorations in Community, Diversity, and Creativity within a Colonial and Post-Colonial Context." The seminar and workshop will be June 14-18 in the IP Commons, Room 1117 University Capitol Centre. It is open to teachers and community members with both for-credit and non-credit options.

The institute will offer a social, historical and artistic introduction to the carnival arts in Caribbean, Atlantic region, and Diaspora communities, those communities around the world where inhabitants from the Caribbean and Latin America now live. The institute's faculty facilitator is Loyce Arthur, an associate professor of theater arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a costume designer and co-director of IP’s Caribbean, Diaspora, and Atlantic Studies Program. Arthur is also a specialist in mask-making traditions, costumes and the Caribbean performance arts. The afternoon workshops will offer hands-on puppet-making projects, samba lessons and other carnival-related activities.
Those participating for credit must register by June 11; non-credit participants must register by June 4.
For more information, visit or contact Karen Wachsmuth at or 319-335-0345.


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.