Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 21, 2012

At A Glance

UI engineering student wants to be America's Next Eco-Star

University of Iowa Office of Sustainability intern and College of Engineering student Elliot Beenk is in the running to be America's Next Eco-Star.

The contest is sponsored by SmartPower and the U.S Department of Energy, which are looking for students and young professionals who demonstrate energy leadership and represent the next generation of clean energy leaders.

Beenk is investigating biomass fuels to meet the UI’s 2020 renewable energy targets at the UI Office of Sustainability. In addition, he is finishing his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and will start a master's degree in environmental engineering this spring.

See his video on YouTube, and vote for him on the America's Next EcoStar Facebook contest page, or go directly to Voting goes until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, and the top 10 nominees with the most public votes will move on to the next phase of the competition.

The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the summer 2012 Sustainable Futures Academy, and a fellowship in with SmartPower, a nonprofit marketing firm dedicated to promoting clean, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

For more information about America’s Next Eco-Star and Beenk, see


Construction will affect Hawkins Drive Feb. 21 through March 17

Construction managers overseeing the West Campus Transportation Center project today announced several overnight lane/road closures that will affect people traveling to and around University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 21, through Saturday, March 17, construction crews will continue the erection of structural steel for the West Campus Transportation Center skyway. To accomplish this, the north entrance to Parking Ramp 2 (off the main entrance to UI Hospitals and Clinics) will be closed at 7 p.m. each night and reopened by 5 a.m. the next day. The southeast entrance to Parking Ramp 2 will remain open.

For more information, contact Jason Miller, UI Hospitals and Clinics Capital Management, at 319-467-5512 or Kirsta Scranton, UI Facilities Management, at 319-384-2178.


UI hosts Iowa FIRST Tech Challenge-Iowa Championship at IMU Feb. 25

For the third consecutive year, the University of Iowa College of Engineering will host the Iowa Championship Event of the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Program, a robotics competition involving high school teams. The event, which is free and open to the public, will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Iowa Memorial Union.

The UI is an Affiliate Partner, in cooperation with official national sponsor Rockwell Collins Inc. The top 32 teams from Iowa have been invited to compete in the championship, based upon their performances at one or two qualifier tournaments held across Iowa. Individual teams are composed of five to 10 high school students.

In addition to the teams, the competition will include more than 60 volunteers, including high school students, college students, graduate students, professionals, and retirees.

FTC requires teams to construct robots that move over a 12-foot-square field in a game called "Bowled Over!" Robots earn points for using bowling balls, racquetballs, and crates.

Teams advancing from the Iowa Championship will be invited to compete at the FTC World Festival April 25-28 in St. Louis.

For more information visit or contact Rebecca Whitaker at 319-335-5706 or


Henderson will read from Ten Thousand Saints for Writing University live stream

Eleanor Henderson will read from her hit debut novel, Ten Thousand Saints, just out in paperback, at 7 p.m. Friday, March 2, in a free Prairie Lights Books event that will be streamed live on the University of Iowa website.

The novel was selected as one of the top 10 books of 2011 by the New York Times Book Review, a Year's Reading selection by the New Yorker, Top 5 Fiction by O Magazine, and a favorite book of the year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Newsweek.

Restless, marginal Jude Keffy-Horn spends much of his youth getting high with his best friend Teddy in their numbing Vermont town. But when Teddy dies of an overdose, Jude’s relationship with drugs and with his parents devolves to new extremes. He stumbles upon straight edge, an underground youth culture powered by the paradoxical aggression of hardcore punk and a righteous intolerance for drugs, meat, and sex, and that involvement has its own dangerous consequences.

Henderson's work has appeared in venues including Agni, the North American Review, Ninth Letter, Columbia, and Salon. Her story The Farms was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009.


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at

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.