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University of Iowa News Release


April 27, 2010

At A Glance

Winners announced in New Venture Challenge business plan competition

Michael Schultz of Viewpoint Molecular Targeting LLC was recently awarded a $25,000 first-place prize in the campus-wide New Venture Challenge business plan competition.

Sponsored by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) and the Iowa Centers for Enterprise, the New Venture Challenge was open to University of Iowa faculty, staff and students, as well as businesses located at the BioVentures Center. Thirty-seven teams competed for $55,000 in prize money from the Grow Iowa Values Fund.

Schultz, an assistant professor in the UI Department of Radiology, heads, Viewpoint, which has developed a new diagnostic imaging agent for prostate cancer detection.  UI staff member Karen Pease of Celadon Applications won the $10,000 second-place prize for a electric vehicle range calculator.

Students Cody Kiroff and Nick Lacina of K&L Associates earned a $5,000 third-place price for their debt management company business plan. Student Casey Everts also placed third for Dibzees, an online auction site where buyers bid up the price of merchandise one cent at a time.

Several other faculty, staff and students won prizes in the competition, which was judged by JPEC and Iowa Centers for Enterprise staff. For a complete list of winners, see

For more information, contact JPEC at 319-335-1022 or


UI students help Johnson County taxpayers reap $1.6 million in refunds

University of Iowa students helped more than 1,000 Johnson County taxpayers receive more than $1.6 million in refunds on their federal tax returns during the recently completed tax season.

The students, from the Tippie College of Business and College of Law, volunteer through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to provide tax services to Johnson County residents who meet certain income qualifications. This year, 99 students volunteered 2,256 hours to prepare returns.

A total of 1,017 1040 forms were completed, up from 922 last year. The $1,635,584 in returns was up from $1,220,448 last year.


Arbor Day ceremony set for April 30 on the Pentacrest

The University of Iowa will conduct an Arbor Day ceremony 9 a.m. Friday, April 30, when Facilities Management Landscape Services will install a bur oak on the northwest corner of the Pentacrest, near the corner of Madison and Jefferson streets in Iowa City.

This installation will double as a retirement gift in honor of Larry Wilson, former campus planner who retired March 1 after 20 years of service to the UI. The public is invited to attend.

This event, as well as a student service learning project earlier this month involving planting 500 seedlings and garlic mustard removal near the Boyd Law Building, helped fulfill the UI's Tree Campus USA requirements.

The UI is one of 75 campuses in the US and the first campus in Iowa to qualify for Tree Campus USA status. To receive the award a campus must meet five minimum requirements: have a Campus Tree Advisory Committee, have a Campus Tree care plan and program, conduct an Arbor Day observance, and organize a service learning project.


Poet Claudia Rankine reads as a guest of the UI Writers' Workshop

Poet Claudia Rankine, a guest of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will present a free reading at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, in the Frank Conroy Reading Room of the Dey House on the UI campus.

Rankine, who was born in Jamaica, is the author of "Nothing in Nature is Private," winner of the Cleveland State Poetry Prize; "The End of the Alphabet"; "Plot"; and "Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric," an experimental multi-genre project that blends poetry, essays, and images. She is co-editor of "American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century."

Her work has been published in numerous journals including the Boston Review, TriQuarterly and the Poetry Project Newsletter. Her poetry is also included in several anthologies, including "Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present," "Best American Poetry 2001," "Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century" and "The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry."

In 2005 she was honored with an American Academy of Poets Fellowship, awarded for distinguished poetic achievement at mid-career. She teaches at Pomona College.


Deadline is May 7 for UniverCity affordable housing applications

University of Iowa faculty and staff interested in buying an affordable home located close to campus and downtown Iowa City are encouraged to consider contacting the UniverCity Neighborhood Partnership.

Three homes are currently available under the new program, a partnership between the UI and the City of Iowa City. The deadline for the first round of applications is May 7.

UNP seeks to preserve and build upon the unique character of residential neighborhoods adjacent to the UI campus by ensuring that they remain vital, safe, affordable and attractive places to live and work.

With special financing from local lenders and a $1.25 million I-JOBS grant, Iowa City will eventually purchase and rehabilitate 25 homes and re-sell them as owner-occupied housing.

To participate, applicants must be pre-qualified for a mortgage and their gross household income must fall within certain income limits. Faculty and staff who qualify under the program and selected to purchase a home may also be eligible for down payment assistance and closing costs, through funding by the UI.

For more information, visit Or pick up an application at the Department of Planning and Urban Development, 2nd floor, City Hall, 410 East Washington, Iowa City.


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

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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.