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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 20, 2010

UI Catalyst Award Diversity Seed Grants awarded

The University of Iowa Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity has awarded Catalyst Award Seed Grants for six projects for 2010, ranging from a new Hispanic living-learning community to a support program that seeks to improve workplace interactions for employees with psychiatric disabilities.

Supported campuswide, the Catalyst Award Seed Grants target creative projects that enhance and encourage the diversity goals of the UI strategic plan, The Iowa Promise. The Catalyst Award Seed Grants recipients and projects are:

-- School of Social Work, Departments of Sociology and Rhetoric, Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), and Intercultural Programs: Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence, a collaborative program that allows undergraduates across all disciplines and majors to earn a certificate in cultural competence.

-- OISS, International Programs, and Autonomous Language Learning Network: Intercultural Translation and Interpretation, a Service for Iowa Communities, which will use the cross-cultural knowledge and skills of international students and American students who studied foreign languages to assist campus and community entities with translation and interpretation. The program will be available for individuals, groups, organizations and businesses.

-- College of Engineering: a display of flags representing nations around the world in the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences to provide a more inclusive and welcoming environment.

-- Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Center for Diversity and Enrichment, University Housing: the Hispanic Culture and Language Living-Learning Community, which will support curricular and extracurricular programming for a new learning community.

-- The Latino Law Students Association, to create Law School Admission Clinic assisting undergraduates in preparing law school applications by purchasing books and supplies for clinic participants.

-- Faculty/Staff Disability Services, Rehabilitation Counseling, for a workplace support program that will create a more welcoming and understanding environment through improved interaction between employees with psychiatric disability, work peers, and supervisors.

Program grants from $510 to $1,000 were provided as seed money for start-up projects or programs that have potential sustainability, as well as short-term projects that demonstrate significance and impact. Collaborative grant proposals were sought that supported projects and/or programs to advance cross-cultural understanding, strengthen positive intergroup relations, and promote a welcoming learning, living and working environment. Cross-curricular, co-curricular and/or extracurricular activities were encouraged.

For more information, contact Dorothy Simpson-Taylor in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity via e-mail at or phone 319-335-0705.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,