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Contact: 

Katherine van Wormer, professor of social work, (319) 273-7369, Katherine.vanWormer@uni.edu
Steve Taft, GBPAC director of educational & special programs, (319) 273-3679, (319) 273-3660, steve.taft@uni.edu
Dianna Briggs, instructor, Office of Student Field Experiences, (319) 273-6382, dianna.briggs@uni.edu

Evils of gambling outweigh economic gains, says UNI professor

Although it sounds tempting, Katherine van Wormer, professor of social work at UNI, says the economic gains provided by gaming venues aren't worth the social costs. 'We're all very desperate for this money right now, but national statistics show that for every $1 the state gains from a gambling establishment, there are $3 in social costs.' Those social costs come in the form of divorces, bankruptcies, and embezzlements and other crimes.

Further, she says, although gambling-addicted individuals make up only about 3 percent of all gamblers, the rate of problem gamblers within a population increases when a gaming establishment sets up shop nearby. 'Before they brought gambling boats to Davenport, the rate of problem gamblers was 1.7 percent. After the boats, the rate increased to 5.4 percent.'

Van Wormer is author of the book, 'Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective.'

Contact

Katherine van Wormer, professor of social work, (319) 273-7369, Katherine.vanWormer@uni.edu

Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761





UNI's Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center uses unconventional strategy to build record youth audiences

On Thursday and Friday, Oct. 9 and 10, almost 4,800 eastern-Iowa children will attend the Kennedy Center's touring production of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' at UNI's Gallagher-Bluedorn Peforming Arts Center (GBPAC). The performances are part of the GBPAC's Kaleidoscope Youth Series, an outreach program to school-age children. During the past year, the GBPAC has used an unconventional pricing strategy to build its Kaleidoscope audience. Tickets prices were dropped from $4 per student to $1 per student. It's called the 'A Buck a Kid' program.

The A Buck a Kid idea was developed by GBPAC Executive Director, Steve Carignan. 'With the budget crisis facing the university, some thought this was a crazy idea,' explains Steve Taft, GBPAC director of educational & special programs. 'But Kaleidoscope's mission is to expose kids to the performing arts. Students come first.' This year, the A Buck a Kid program will serve more than 21,000 children from the Minnesota border down to Iowa City -- up from just 12,500 last year. 'Allen Memorial Hospital, the Friends of the GBPAC and others have stepped in to support the program,' says Taft. 'Because of their support we've been able to increase our outreach to kids, build our audience and meet our financial goals. It's a true success story.'

Contacts:

Steve Taft, GBPAC director of educational & special programs, (319) 273-3679, (319) 273-3660, steve.taft@uni.edu

James O'Connor, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761





Ice climbing in the Heartland

Dianna Briggs, an instructor in the UNI Office of Student Field Experiences recently edited and produced the book, 'Silo Ice Climbing, Ice Climbing in the Midwest.' The book is authored by Don Briggs, an instructor in UNI's School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services. The book shows how covering silos in ice -- via water hoses -- can provide particularly challenging ice climbing activities.

'Ice climbing is a sport that is really growing in popularity, but there are no steep cliffs or mountains here in Iowa where it could be practiced,' explains Dianna Briggs. 'It's been really exciting to find access to the sport right here in our own backyards -- where things are relatively flat.'

Contact:

Dianna Briggs, instructor, Office of Student Field Experiences, (319) 273-6382, dianna.briggs@uni.edu

Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing and Public Relations, (319) 273-2761