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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 1, 2010

At A Glance

Physical therapy researchers receive funding

Two researchers in the University of Iowa Graduate Program in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science have received funding to study ways to treat the problems caused by reduced mobility, which results from stroke and spinal cord injuries.

Susanne Morton, Ph.D., assistant professor, received a two-year, $377,638 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate how the sensorimotor state of one leg affects the motor behavior of the other in patients who have had a stroke that weakened one side of their body.

Richard Shields, Ph.D., professor and program director, received a five-year, $1,556,250 grant from the NIH to determine if vibration and mechanical loading, or a combination of the techniques, can prevent osteoporosis in humans with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury.

Shields also received a two-year, $248,992 grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to study whether mechanical loads induced by electrical stimulation and vibration can trigger formation of muscle and bone in humans with paralysis.

In addition, Keith Avin, D.P.T., a doctoral student, was one of only 11 students nationwide to receive a $15,000 Promotion of Doctoral Studies II scholarship from the Foundation for Physical Therapy Board.


New UI Press book uses toy collecting to examine '50s nostalgia

"Little Big World: Collecting Louis Marx and the American Fifties" by Jeffrey Hammond is now available from the University of Iowa Press.

It is the story of a middle-aged man’s sudden compulsion to collect the toys of his childhood: specifically, themed playsets produced by the Louis Marx Toy Company. Hammond interweaves childhood memories with reflections on what they reveal about the culture and values of cold war America, offering an extended meditation on toys as powerful catalysts for the imagination of both children and adults.

He offers an insider’s take on the culture and psychology of collecting. And he also exposes the dangers of nostalgia by casting an unsettling light on the culture of the '50s and the era’s lasting impact on those who grew up in it.

The book is available at bookstores or directly from the press, 800-621-2736 or Customers in Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at It is also available as a pdf e-book:


UI study abroad fair features opportunities for students Sept. 14

The University of Iowa Office for Study Abroad will hold its annual study abroad fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, on the second floor of the University Capitol Centre, near the south end. All students are invited to attend to learn about global education opportunities.

More than 70 diverse study abroad programs sponsored by the UI will be featured. Former study abroad students, along with peer advisers, program directors and financial aid advisers will be available to answer questions and share their experiences. Students can also talk to program representatives from external institutions in Italy, Morocco and India.

Fair attendees will have a chance to win door prizes including scholarships for study abroad and gift certificates to local travel agencies.

The fair is designed to connect students to international opportunities. The UI’s goal is for 30 percent of all undergraduates to have a study abroad experience. Last year, 19 percent of UI undergraduates participated in study abroad.  

The Office for Study Abroad is part of UI’s International Programs. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the fair, contact Teresa Kout at or 319-384-2238. For more information on study abroad, visit


Students invited to UI College of Education volunteer fair Sept. 16

University of Iowa students can learn about volunteer opportunities to work with school-age children at the UI College of Education Volunteer Fair from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, in the Jones Commons in Lindquist Center North. Organized by the college's Educational Placement Office, the event is free and open to the public.

Education undergraduates and graduate students interested in working with organizations that serve school-age children and families are invited to attend. Students from outside the college are also invited if they want to work with these organizations, especially if they’re interested in applying to become a student in the COE.

Agencies represented at the fair include the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Shelter House, the Iowa Children’s Museum, Coralville Parks and Recreation, FasTrac, Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Program, United Action for Youth, the Iowa City Community School District, Children of Promise and Four Oaks Youth Homes.

Fair organizers said they decided to launch a volunteer fair to provide education students with opportunities to engage in experiences that help them become better teachers and positively affect the lives of students with whom they work.

For more information, call 319-335-5353.


Wagner’s self-promotion topic of Sept. 16 lecture by visiting professor
Nicholas Vazsonyi, professor of German and comparative literature at the University of South Carolina, will present “Richard Wagner: Self-Promotion and the Making of a Brand?” at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, in Gerber Lounge of the University of Iowa English Philosophy Building.
The lecture will discuss various aspects of Vazsonyi's recent book “Richard Wagner: Self-Promotion and the Making of a Brand” (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He will address the assumptions that form the basis of the book, the meaning of self-promotion, the extent to which the techniques Wagner used to attract an audience were special, and whether Wagner created a brand with the claim that his agenda was purely artistic, avoiding all interest in money.
This event is jointly sponsored by the UI's Opera Studies Forum and the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Interdisciplinary Colloquium, both part of UI International Programs.
For more information on this event, visit or contact Heidi Vekemans at


Alumni associations present West Des Moines career networking lunches

The alumni associations of Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa are presenting three career networking lunches this fall at Bravo Cucina Italiana, 120 South Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines.
The series will focus on improving yourself to help improve the workplace. Speakers will discuss ways to leverage career and volunteer skills, make the most of networks, and gain insight into the world of entrepreneurship. 

Upcoming lunches and speaker topics are:

--Wednesday, Sept. 22: “Career Mindfulness and the Volunteer Experience,” RSVP by Wednesday, Sept.15
--Thursday, Oct. 14: “What’s the Buzz about Entrepreneurship?” RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 7
--Wednesday, Nov. 17: “Network-Etiquette: Ask Not What Others Can Do for You….”
RSVP by Wednesday, Nov. 10

Each networking lunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $12 per lunch for UI, ISU and UNI alumni association members and $14 for nonmembers and includes meal, beverage and gratuity. To register, go to


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.