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News Release Archive

June 19, 2013 - 11:07am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy will host a four-day institute on comprehensive literacy Monday, June 24, through Thursday, June 27, at the Park Place Event Centre in Cedar Falls.

Based on the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy (PCL) model, the institute offers educators resources aligned with the Iowa Core Literacy Standards, supported by theory and research of best practices in the literacy field.

Participating in the institute will be PCL coaches, coach candidates, school administrators, classroom teachers, Title I teachers, special education teachers, curriculum directors, Area Education Agency (AEA) consultants, AEA chief administrators and superintendents. UNI graduate credit is available for PCL coach candidates; UNI graduate workshop credit is available to all other participants.

Developed under the leadership of Linda Dorn, director of the Center for Literacy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, PCL is a model of school transformation that focuses on improved literacy learning for all children.

The Jacobson Center partners with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Maine, National Louis University, the University of Kentucky and Georgia State University as a PCL university training center.

For more information about the summer institute, visit

June 17, 2013 - 4:08pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE) is holding a Leadership Academy from Monday, June 3, through Friday, June 28. The academy is for students starting middle school in the fall, who have displayed potential for leadership and academic success.

During the four-week program, students will participate in math, reading, writing, social justice and conversational Spanish classes. In addition, students will create art projects, participate in cultural activities and go on field trips.

The Leadership Academy will acquaint students and families with the many free educational services and programs available to them at UNI-CUE. For more information about UNI-CUE and programs offered, visit 

June 17, 2013 - 2:11pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Since October 2012, the Iowa Waste Reduction Center has worked on developing a waste reduction project specific to food waste. At the forefront of that project are Dan Nickey, senior program manager, and Jennifer Trent, program assistant. Both will be feature presenters at an upcoming event in July.

"Wasted: Feed the Folks, Starve the Landfills" will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, July 12, on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Nickey will focus on the multiple facets of the food waste problem, while Trent will share the resources provided by the Iowa Food Waste Reduction Project. In addition, the event, held in partnership with the Iowa Food Systems Council, will also include a panel discussion on reduction strategies, a public policy discussion, networking and tours.

Registration for the free event ends Friday, July 5. Register at

About the Iowa Waste Reduction Center. IWRC has been providing environmental services, including business assistance and industry training, as well as research and development, for nearly 25 years. The IWRC is a nonprofit organization, part of Business and Community Services at the University of Northern Iowa. For more information, visit

June 13, 2013 - 10:25am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host a metal casting curriculum development workshop for high school teachers Monday, June 17, through Friday, June 21. The majority of the workshop will be held on the UNI campus. On Thursday, June 20, participants will be given tours of the John Deere Foundry in Waterloo, Viking Pump in Cedar Falls and ATEK Foundry in New Hampton.

Aside from the tours, the workshop will provide participants with an introduction to metal casting with an emphasis on process control and equipment maintenance; a two-day professional introduction and general overview of the metal casting process provided by the Cast Metals Institute (CMI); an introduction to further academic opportunities though the UNI metal casting program; and a developmental workshop on curriculum development.

Participants can earn 1 unit of UNI undergraduate or graduate credit.  For more information about UNI's Metal Casting Center and programs, visit


June 13, 2013 - 4:14pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Dance Marathon and Relay For Life will receive a 2013 Governor's Volunteer Award during a recognition ceremony at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 25, at UNI's Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

The Governor's Volunteer Awards (GVA) program was created in 1982, with inaugural awards presented in 1983. What began as a small program only available to state government agencies has expanded through the years and now provides all Iowa nonprofit, charitable and government organizations with a way to honor their volunteers with a prestigious state-level recognition award. Several hundred volunteers are recognized each year with awards in one of four categories: Individual, Group, Length of Service or Disaster Volunteer. Both UNI organizations will receive a Group Award.

"Volunteerism is an important part of the state's future and well-being," said Gov. Terry Branstad. "I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize the people of our great state who continue the tradition of neighbor helping neighbor and work tirelessly to improve their communities. Collectively, Iowa's volunteers contribute to our ranking among the top three states in the nation for our volunteer rate."

"The Governor and I sincerely congratulate all of this year's award recipients," said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. "All are very deserving of the honor, and we thank them for their tremendous and selfless efforts and devotion to make a difference."

Alyssa Turcsak, director of fundraising, UNI Dance Marathon, said UNI Dance Marathon "gives students a chance to experience something bigger than themselves. It gives them a chance to give back to an extraordinary cause."

Amanda Robertson, co-president, UNI Relay For Life, said "UNI's Relay For Life was nominated because of all the hard work our volunteers put in, throughout the year, to raise cancer awareness, fight back against cancer and to remember those who lost their battle with cancer. It is amazing, the power people can have on such a horrible disease."

The GVA program is coordinated by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and the Governor's Office. For more information, visit or call 515-725-3094. For more information about UNI's Dance Marathon, visit For more information about UNI's Relay For Life, visit 

June 11, 2013 - 8:53am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host an Iowa Regents Modeling and Physics Resources and Instructional Strategies for Motivating Students (PRISMS) workshop this summer. Twenty-three Iowa high school physics and physical science teachers are participating in the program.

The workshop will be held from Monday, June 10, through Friday, June 28. It will be the third summer workshop in Modeling Instruction for Iowa high school physics and physical science teachers. The first two workshops were offered in 2011 at Iowa State University and in 2012 at the University of Iowa. Modeling Instruction is a research-based high school science program developed at Arizona State University. The 2013 workshop will be integrated with (PRISMS) PLUS, a research-based high school physics program developed at UNI.

The workshop will be facilitated by master high school physics teachers and university physics education faculty. The workshop's goal is to provide Iowa science teachers with local access to exemplary professional development programs of Modeling and PRISMS, along with support for their implementation of the curricula in their classrooms. This support will help them improve their instructional practices and increase teacher and student understanding of physics concepts.

Along with the three-week workshop, teachers will participate in professional development activities and receive support throughout the 2013-14 academic year.

Participants will receive a $2,250 stipend, 6 hours of UNI physics graduate credit, instructional resources and support, housing, meals, and possible access to classroom physics resources available on loan during the academic year. Participants must pay their own tuition, which will be offered at a discounted rate.

The workshop is funded by a grant to the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.

For more information about the workshop, visit

June 7, 2013 - 2:16pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's solar boat team will compete again in this year's Solar Splash World Championship of Intercollegiate Solar Boat Racing. The UNI team has participated in the event since 2002 and has placed in the top five overall since 2007.

The City of Cedar Falls, along with a host of other sponsors, will support the event this year, which will be held Wednesday, June 12, through Sunday, June 16, at George Wyth State Park.

During the five-day event, Solar Splash teams earn points in seven categories, including technical inspections and reports, engineering design, visual displays, workmanship, and on-the-water sprint, endurance and slalom competitions.

Currently, there are 15 teams entered in this year's competition: 13 teams from U.S. colleges and one international team from Delhi Technological University in Delhi, India. There is also one high school team in the mix, Orono High School from Orono, Minn.

The solar slalom will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 13, and sprint heats will begin at 1:20 p.m., Friday, June 14. At 9:30 a.m., Saturday, June 15, endurance heats will start, and at 1 p.m., Sunday, June 16, is the sprint championship. An awards ceremony will follow.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

June 7, 2013 - 3:05pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) has received a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant to institute the Iowa Construction and Demolition Waste Reduction Project. The project will focus on helping construction and demolition businesses reduce waste and divert it from the landfills.

"The amount of construction and demolition waste in landfills has steadily increased in recent years and a vast majority of demolition materials could be reused or recycled, diverting it from the landfill," says Dan Nickey, senior program manager at the IWRC.

The IWRC will be developing a comprehensive educational campaign as well as an online resource center for Iowa's construction and demolition waste generators. "With an industry in constant fluctuation, it's necessary to have on-going resources for construction and demolition companies to access," continues Nickey. The 12-month project will officially begin on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The IWRC has provided environmental services including business assistance, industry training, and research and development, for more than 25 years. IWRC is a nonprofit organization, part of Business and Community Services at UNI.

For more information about IWRC, visit

June 5, 2013 - 3:19pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will offer three robotic-themed camps for youth this summer: Introduction to Robotics, MiniSumo Robotics and Physics of Mario Kart.

Introduction to Robotics will offer youth ages 10 through 14 an opportunity to learn about the construction, design and programming of Lego Mindstorms® robots. Camp goers will learn through a series of hands-on training missions, solving increasingly complex problems. The camp is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 12, at the Innovative Teaching and Technology Center on the UNI campus.

During camp MiniSumo Robotics, students in grades eight through 11 will complete construction of functioning mini-sumo robots. Camp goers will learn aspects of autonomous vehicle construction and programming, all culminating in a mini-sumo robot competition at the end of camp. The camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, June 24, through Friday, June 28, at Begeman Hall.

Physics of Mario Kart will give high school students the opportunity to work in groups to construct and drive life-size Mario Karts. The kart will be controlled using a wireless remote control, and students will be allowed to drive and race their creations. The camp is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, July 22, through Friday, July 26, at Begeman Hall.

All camps will give camp goers experience in physical computing, programming, electronics and engineering.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), under an Iowa EPSCoR grant, supports all camps. For more information about the camps, scholarships and to register, visit

June 4, 2013 - 2:06pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Students who texted in class receive lower grades, according to research results published in the Dec. 6, 2012, edition of the Journal of Marketing Education.

"An Introduction to Multitasking and Texting: Prevalence and Impact on Grades and GPA in Marketing Classes," co-authored by University of Northern Iowa professor of marketing Dennis Clayson and Southeastern Oklahoma University associate professor of marketing Debra Haley, states that even though students thought they could follow a lecture and text at the same time, survey respondents who texted in marketing classes received lower grades than their non-texting peers.

The authors surveyed 300 students from UNI and Southeastern, and found consistent results at the two universities. Among the surveyed students:

- 94 percent received texts in class.

- 86 percent texted someone from class.

- 61 percent didn't think they should text during a class.

- 56 percent had a class that banned texting, but 49 percent reported that they continued to text anyway.

- 47 percent said they could text and follow a lecture at the same time.

- the number of texts sent/received didn't seem to affect the grades; grades were affected by whether students text or not.

"The idea that people can multitask is largely untrue. Studies show that the ability to handle complex cognitive interactions may actually decrease with an increase of multitasking," Clayson said.

Since it's likely a student is going to text in class, Clayson says teachers need to consider how they will handle texting. The issue, Clayson says, is not why texting would lower grades, but why college classes don't carry enough cognitive load so that texting would more noticeably disrupt it. In addition, similar to texting in a meeting, texting in class is unprofessional, he says.

If you are interested in discussing this research, you can contact Clayson at 319-273-6015 or Haley can be reached at 580-745-2374 or


May 30, 2013 - 11:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- "Wasted: Feed the Folks, Starve the Landfills" will be held Friday, July 12, on the University of Northern Iowa campus. This one-day event will focus on exploring innovative strategies to reduce food waste in Iowa.

Hosted by the Iowa Food Access and Health Work Group in partnership with the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC), the event will include presentations, exhibits, tours and networking opportunities.

The free event will be held at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education on the south end of the UNI campus from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Registration ends Friday, July 5. Register at

The IWRC has provided environmental services including business assistance, industry training, and research and development, for more than 25 years. IWRC is a nonprofit organization, part of Business and Community Services at UNI.

For more information about IWRC, visit

May 30, 2013 - 11:26am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant to the University of Northern Iowa to support the project "Iowa STEM Education Evaluation (I-SEE): Navigating the Iowa STEM Roadmap."

"This award from the NSF acknowledges Iowa's 18-month-old STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiative as one of great promise for informing all states as to building a comprehensive and collaborative environment for STEM education reform," said Jeff Weld, executive director, Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "Strong partnerships across Iowa's business and education sectors have positioned us well to lead."

The project will be a collaborative effort of Iowa's three public universities: the Center for Social and Behavioral Research at the University of Northern Iowa; the Center for Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Iowa; and the Research Institute for Studies in Education at Iowa State University.

The proposed plan is to build a coordinated statewide evaluation system that comprehensively assesses the educational and economic changes that occur throughout the long-term statewide STEM initiative.

State STEM Evaluation is a new category within the Research, Evaluation and Technical Assistance (RETA) aspect of NSF's Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program. Iowa is the first state to be given an award of this kind.

The project objectives are to:

1. Generate best practices in developing and implementing evaluation strategies to examine statewide STEM initiatives, as well as translate and disseminate evaluation and research findings to support and improve the state plan to advance K through 12 STEM education.

2. Identify, develop and sustain evaluative capacity and infrastructure that emphasizes accessible and useful resources, especially those that are online.

3. Create a system to examine statewide cultural change related to STEM, particularly in terms of public awareness of and support for STEM education, and workforce and economic development initiatives. 

For more information about the grant, contact Jeff Weld at 319-273-2723 or

May 28, 2013 - 9:46am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Wellness and Recreation Services (WRS) will offer for the first time a climbing camp for youth this summer.

WRS Climbing Camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, July 15, through Tuesday, July 16. The camp is open to youth ages 13 through 17. Participants will learn about bouldering and climbing techniques, tying knots, operating climbing equipment and how to belay. The camp will also focus on team building, goal setting and communications skills. No prior climbing experience is necessary.

The camp will be held at the UNI Wellness and Recreation Center (WRC). Participants will use the university's 35-foot-6-inch indoor climbing wall and will be taught by current WRC climbing wall staff.

For more information about the camp or to register, visit

May 28, 2013 - 11:01am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is getting ready to welcome the new university president, William Ruud, and his wife, Judy Ruud.

A welcome reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, June 6, at the McLeod Center North Concourse. The event is free of charge and open to UNI alumni and friends. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available.

Bill Calhoun, president of the UNI Foundation, says, "We are excited to introduce President and Mrs. Ruud to our alumni and friends in the Cedar Valley and look forward to a great turnout at the reception."

RSVPs must be submitted by Friday, May 31. To submit an RSVP, visit NPE1306&Type=AANC.

May 24, 2013 - 1:49pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Iowa Pride Network (IPN) recognized the University of Northern Iowa's student organization UNI Proud with the Best Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Award. The award was presented at IPN's Honors Benefit on Thursday, May 16, in Des Moines.

All Iowa college GSA and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) groups are eligible for nomination based on their continued efforts toward raising awareness of LGBT issues on their campus and in their communities. Nominees are also considered for the Best GSA Award based on crafting programs that create inclusive and accepting campus environments. UNI Proud took home this award for the second time in the past three years.

UNI Proud was founded on the principles of promoting an inclusive and accepting campus environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and ally (LGBTIA) individuals. The group is open to all UNI students and faculty.

For more information about UNI Proud, visit For more information about Iowa Pride Network, visit

May 24, 2013 - 2:16pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Graduates of the University of Northern Iowa Real Estate Program have gained another competitive edge after The Appraisal Foundation, the industry's federally chartered nonprofit organization, endorsed UNI's program.

In September 2012, three members of The Appraisal Foundation's Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) visited the UNI campus. They reviewed the real estate program, examining all aspects of each class -- everything from syllabi and textbooks, to exams -- then compared what they found to the body of knowledge they want appraisers to have. The board determined that UNI's program satisfies 267 of the 300 credit hours required to become a certified general appraiser. UNI real estate graduates, retroactive to 2005, are now two classes away from completing their 300 hours.

Graduates are still required to take Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), a 15-hour course that must be taken every five years; the second class is Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use course, which Arthur Cox, director of the UNI Center for Real Estate Education, said, "If we could add another real estate class [to our undergraduate curriculum], that's what it would be [Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use]." He went on to say, "I don't think there have been any programs that have been approved for more than 267 [hours]. There's just not enough time in an undergraduate curriculum." Graduates must also complete 3,000 hours of work experience to become certified.

UNI is now the third university in the nation to receive this level of approval from the AQB and the only university in Iowa to offer a four-year real estate program. "This approval will significantly shorten the amount of time needed for aspiring appraisers to become certified, allowing them to establish their careers sooner, making them much more attractive to prospective employers," said Cox.

Along with this endorsement, six UNI real estate students won the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association's 2013 University Challenge. Students bringing home first place honors were Tyler Siegworth of Dubuque; Shay Trask of Cedar Falls; Eric Bohnenkamp of Remsen; Gabriel Tovar of Johnston; Eric Caldwell of Hiawatha; and Keegan Wilkening of Garwin.

For more information about UNI's Real Estate Program, visit

May 23, 2013 - 8:59am


CEDAR FALLS -- Sixteen businesses have been selected from 34 entries to compete in the 2013 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition and the chance to win up to $25,000. The competitors submitted executive summaries in the first round, and must now submit full business plans for review by the judges.

Of these competitors, seven to 10 will be chosen as finalists and invited to present to a panel of judges. Based on the presentations, the judges will select the three winners who will be recognized at a special awards luncheon on Sept. 26 in Des Moines.

"Each year the quality of the businesses competing improves," said Randy Pilkington, director of the University of Northern Iowa's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. "We're pleased to have a wide range of business types with broad geographic representation competing this year."

The John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition is designed to stimulate business development and provide support for outstanding business plans. This year, a total of $50,000 will be awarded to the top three submitted business plans: $25,000 for first prize, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third. Honorable mention and $1,000 will be awarded to additional companies.

For more information, visit the competition website,, or contact one of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers provide entrepreneurial education and business support, partnering with agencies like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), Entrepreneurial Development Centers (EDCs) and local entrepreneurs to assist with funding and other business needs.

May 23, 2013 - 4:01pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Advance Iowa program, a new initiative from the University of Northern Iowa, will be highlighted and showcased at the 2013 National Economic Gardening Conference on June 6, in Kansas City.

Advance Iowa is an innovative economic development program focusing on helping small- and medium-sized businesses grow and expand using custom tailored solutions that have been proven successful nationally.  The program follows the Economic Gardening approach created by the Edward Lowe Foundation, which also puts on this annual event.

Dan Beenken, program manager of Advance Iowa says, "It really is a great opportunity to be a part of a national event like this.  It allows us to share what we have done through our pilot testing and learn from the successes of similar programs outside of Iowa.  Any time you can gather a group of forward-thinkers, good things are going to come from it."

The 2013 National Economic Gardening Conference runs June 5-7, 2013 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.  For more information, visit  

About Advance Iowa.  Advance Iowa is the statewide economic gardening program for Iowa, focused on helping mid-sized companies with strategic growth projects.  Advance Iowa is a program of Business and Community Services at the University of Northern Iowa. For more information, visit

May 22, 2013 - 1:31pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The enrollment deadline for the University of Northern Iowa interdisciplinary K-12 1-hour graduate credit professional development workshop for teachers is Monday, May 27.

The graduate-level workshop, "The Environment and The Way We Live: Our Choices Impact Everyone’s Future," will be held Monday, June 17, through Tuesday, June18, at the EB Lyons Nature Center in Dubuque. A follow-up workshop will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Swiss Valley Nature Center in Peosta. The Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency is co-sponsoring the workshop.

Tuition for the workshop is $50. Upon successful completion, solid waste agencies will reimburse the tuition fee for teachers in Clayton, Dubuque, Delaware, Howard, Linn, Scott and Winneshiek counties, as well as the Postville School District. In addition to the 1-hour of graduate credit, teachers will receive $65 worth of free resources to use in their classrooms. 

Funding support for the workshop comes from the Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternatives Program.  Other supporters include solid waste agencies, landfills and the East Central Iowa Council of Governments.

For more information about the workshop and tuition reimbursements, visit

May 21, 2013 - 11:38am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa student Libby Hurder, a junior majoring in interior design, from Freeport, Ill., claimed a top spot at this year's Durkan D*scover Design Competition for her carpet design. Hurder received a $2,000 scholarship and a trip to Las Vegas for the Hospitality Design Exposition. 

The Durkan D*scover Design Competition was established to exhibit the talent of designers in the hospitality design field and contributes toward the education of future designers.

MaTrasa Phillips, a UNI sophomore majoring in interior design, from Ida Grove, also entered the competition, winning third place and a $300 scholarship.

"When I hear of this great news I get very excited, because it goes to show how hardworking and talented our students are; especially when they are continually recognized on that national level." said Jillissa Moorman, UNI assistant professor of interior design.

For more information about UNI's interior design program, visit

To view the winning designs, visit

May 21, 2013 - 1:14pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Purple and Old Gold awards, recognizing meritorious scholarship or conspicuous achievement in particular areas, were presented to 50 seniors during the University of Northern Iowa's commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 11, in the McLeod Center.

Named after the university colors, the traditional awards were first presented at commencement ceremonies on May 29, 1939. The awards for meritorious scholarship are the highest university honor awarded by academic departments to undergraduate students. Those for conspicuous achievement are granted to students with outstanding accomplishments. Each student receives a certificate and a bronze medallion.

Since 1939, more than 1,959 students have been Purple and Old Gold recipients. Currently awards may be in 54 academic areas, as well as for achievement in particular areas.


HOMETOWN                                    NAME / AREA / COLLEGE


ALTOONA                                    Cory James Pritchard, computer science, CHAS


BUSSEY                                    Jared Dean Parker, history, CSBS


CARLISLE                                    Rachel Elizabeth Tish, communications, CHAS


CEDAR FALLS                        Kyle Steven Bernard, athletics - football, COE **


Megan Ann Lehman, graphic communications (BA), CHAS


                                                Dawn J. Sagert, electronic media, CHAS (Fall 2012 graduate)


CEDAR RAPIDS                        Emily Ann Covington, middle level education, COE


Amy Christine Joens, Spanish, CHAS (Fall 2012 graduate)


Alex Elizabeth Koolbeck, sociology, CSBS


                                                Jennie L. Rickels, elementary education, COE


CENTRAL CITY                        Brittany Michelle Betzer, English, CHAS


CHARLES CITY                        Kelsey Christine Delap, philosophy and world religions, CHAS


COUNCIL BLUFFS                        Danielle Barbara Stuck, psychology, CSBS


DAVENPORT                                    Brannon Lee Fells, music, CHAS **


DONNELLSON                        Kristen Michelle Krehbiel, art, CHAS


DUBUQUE                                    Lindsey Leigh Lang, communication sciences and disorders, CHAS


FORT ATKINSON                        Kathleen Jo Huinker, journalism, CHAS **


GLENWOOD                                    Gregory Lavern Lilly, electronic media, CHAS (Fall 2012 graduate) **


GREENE                                    Elizabeth Cornelia Schroeder, athletic training, COE


GRUNDY CENTER                        Torey Lynn Smith, physical education, COE (Fall 2012 graduate)


HARPER                                    Michaela Nichole Gretter, school of applied human sciences, CSBS

                                                (Summer 2013 degree candidate)

 Michaela Lynne Sieren, science education, CHAS


HARTLEY                                    Sarah M. Pearce, physics, CHAS


INDIANOLA                                    Jessica Lynne Rupp, health promotion and education, COE

                                                (Summer 2013 degree candidate)


IOWA CITY                                    Elizabeth Ann Mastalio, mathematics, CHAS


                                                Harrison Augustus Postler, forensics **


JOHNSTON                                    Ashley Elizabeth Williamson, music, CHAS


KINGSLEY                                    Kenneth Charles Miesner art, CHAS **


LAPORTE CITY                        Nathaniel Ray Rottinghaus, individual studies, CESP

                                                (Summer 2013 degree candidate) **


MARION                                    Brett Stephen Jones, theatre, CHAS (Fall 2012 graduate) **


Lindsey Michelle Ludwig, chemistry and biochemistry, CHAS


MASON CITY                                    Heather Lee Snell, Russian, CHAS (Fall 2012 graduate)


PRAIRIE CITY                                    Brian Wesley Swedberg, geography, CSBS


RED OAK                                    Andrew De Paul Leinen, electrical engineering technology (BS), CHAS


REINBECK                                    Coral Thede, performance studies, CHAS **


SIOUX CITY                                    Meghan Rene Orr, biology, CHAS


SOLON                                    Danielle Christine Wescot, TESOL - English, CHAS


SPENCER                                    Krista Marie DeGeest, athletics - volleyball, COE **


SPIRIT LAKE                                    Gineal Christian Schrunk, social science education, CSBS (Fall 2012 graduate)


STORM LAKE                                    Elizabeth Kay Carver, early childhood education, COE (Fall 2012 graduate)


URBANDALE                                    Rachel Ann Schroeder, social work, CSBS


WAUKEE                                    Sharon Candice Bender, German, CHAS


WAUKON                                    Scotti Lynn Schon, public relations, CHAS


WEST DES MOINES                        Emily Rae Hanson, leisure, youth and human services, COE


                                                Laya Marie Liebeseller, anthropology, CSBS (Fall 2012 graduate)


WILTON                                    Alyson Lauren Kokjohn, criminology, CSBS


WINTERSET                                    Ashley Kay Armstrong, theatre arts, CHAS




SAVANNA, ILL.                         Cara Ariel Wright, earth science, CHAS

                                                (Summer 2013 degree candidate)


PLATTEVILLE, WIS.                        Rachael Margaret Zidon, TESOL - modern languages, CHAS

(Fall 2012 graduate)



May 21, 2013 - 1:23pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Athletic training students at the University of Northern Iowa have set the bar high with a pass rate of 100 percent on their Board of Certification (BOC) exams, compared to the national average of 70 percent.

From UNI, 15 athletic training seniors took the BOC exam this April. The exam can only be taken once a student has completed all of the athletic training course work, field experiences and has mastered various competencies. Upon completion of the exam, students are then certified athletic trainers.

The exam tests candidates in areas of anatomy, physiology, injury assessment, injury pathology, use of technology and modalities for injury care, injury rehabilitation, athletic training administration, psychological factors related to injury and emergency care procedures.

In June, six more UNI seniors are scheduled to take the exam.

For more information about UNI's athletic training program, visit

May 17, 2013 - 10:58am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa presented three graduating students with the Lux Service Award for their service to the university. Karl Baresel, of Davenport; Darvel Givens, of Waterloo; and Theresa Luensmann, of Aspinwall, were recognized during the 2013 spring commencement ceremony as recipients of the university's most prestigious award for undergraduates.

Baresel, a German education major, acted as an academic coach, planning and implementing curriculum workshops, to help a variety of students. He served as the vice president of Finance for Vocal AmmUNItion Show Choir, chair of Golden Graduates/Homecoming activities with Connecting Alumni to Students (CATS) and as member of the German Club. Karl also served as the university's official mascot, TC Panther.

Givens, a business management major, served as president of the Black Student Union, during which the organization increased membership by 700 percent. He has been involved with Black Male Leaders Union, Ethnic Student Promoters, UNI Entrepreneurs, Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG), Campus Activities Board (CAB) and CATS. Givens said, "Leadership is service, it is a selfless thing. I just wanted to make an impact and see a better environment."

Luensmann, a biochemistry and biology major, served as a resident assistant, a summer orientation leader and career guide. She acted as a student admissions ambassador, a NISG representative, a member of Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society and several residence hall organizations. All the while, she maintained a 3.93 cumulative GPA.

A selection committee chose the Lux Service Award recipients based on nominations from UNI faculty, students and staff. Requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA, completion of at least 90 credit hours and demonstration of service to UNI during the recipient's university career.

For more information about the Lux Service Award, visit

May 17, 2013 - 11:24am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will be keeping students active this summer.  UNI Wellness and Recreation Services will provide two camps for elementary and middle school kids: Outdoor Adventure Camp and All Sports Camp.

Outdoor Adventure Camp offers students between the ages of 9 and 12 action-packed activities such as rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fire building and animal tracking and identification.  The camp will be held Monday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 19, at the Wellness and Recreation Center (WRC) at UNI.

In All Sports Camp kids between the ages of 6 and 12 participate in a wide variety of sports including flag football, table tennis, rock climbing, basketball, swimming, kickball, baseball, softball, dodgeball, pickleball and ultimate Frisbee. The camp also includes nutritional and environmental presentations. This camp will be held twice during the summer on Monday, June 24 through Wednesday, June 26 and on Monday, July 29 through Wednesday, July 31, at the WRC at UNI.

For additional information about camps and to register, visit 

May 15, 2013 - 3:50pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is offering a variety of activities this summer to keep students learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), by offering summer camps for middle school and high school students.

Each camp features a unique interactive learning environment through which students can gain hands-on experience while working among students with similar interests. The STEM focused camps include: Smart Art, Camp Multimedia, CSI: Cedar Falls - Crime fighting with Biotechnology, Mini Sumo Robotics, Introduction to Robotics, STEM's Growing in the Garden, Wild Energy Adventure and Physics of Mario Kart.

Camps are one week, held between the weeks of June 10 through July 22, and are located on the UNI campus. UNI faculty, staff and current students will lead the camps.

For additional information about the camps and to register, visit

May 14, 2013 - 3:07pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa has made significant reductions in its use of packaging products for the 2012-2013 academic year.

In the last year, the Department of Residence (DOR) saved $16,423.13 on paper items in the dining centers. The number of disposed packaging items also decreased by 503,535.

Many of these reductions are due to a new carry-out program. In 2012, DOR implemented ToGo, which allows students to get food directly from dining venues and take it with them. The program features reusable clamshell containers, flatware and beverage containers, which have increased options for carry out while reducing the use of disposable containers and waste.

For more information, contact Lisa Krausman, purchasing manager for Residence Administration, at 319-273-6937 or

May 9, 2013 - 9:31am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa student Angela Wrage was awarded a 2013 National Security Education Program (NSEP) Boren Scholarship.

Wrage, a senior chemistry and biology major from Gladbrook, Iowa, will spend an academic year taking courses at Fatih University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is one of 161 award winners selected from a pool of 947 applicants.

David L. Boren Scholarships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of the U.S. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.

For more information on the Boren Scholarship, visit 

May 8, 2013 - 9:30am

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Senior Program Manager at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Dan Nickey will be joining a panel of experts at The Problem with Food Waste: Let’s Talk about Solutions roundtable discussion on May 22 in Cedar Rapids. Presented by the Regional Sustainable Business Alliance, the event will address what can be done to reduce the generation of food waste and its disposal in Iowa landfills.

Other panelists include Jen Jordan from the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, Marie DeVries from the Linn County Solid Waste Agency, and Pam Oldham at Mercy Medical Center.

The event is from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Hy-Vee Community Room in Cedar Rapids. Registration is free but there is limited seating. For more information or to register, visit

About Iowa Waste Reduction Center. 
The IWRC has been providing environmental services including business assistance, industry training, as well as research and development for over 25 years. IWRC is a non-profit organization, part of Business and Community Services at the University of Northern Iowa. For more information, visit

May 6, 2013 - 10:40am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will hold its 5th annual Panther Pick Up, a project to help the environment while benefiting the community, on Wednesday, May 8 through Friday, May 10.

At a time when many UNI students are moving out of residence halls and apartments, Panther Pick Up gives old stuff new life. Instead of throwing unwanted household items in the dumpster to end up in the landfill, usable items can be donated to charitable organizations, which will have pick-up sites at convenient locations on campus.

During Panther Pick Up, St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill Industries International, Inc. and The Salvation Army trucks will accept clothing, dishes, furniture, carpet and other useable household items. Agency staff determines whether or not they can accept certain items. Metal items not accepted can be recycled on UNI's campus at the East side of Redeker, the East Towers and the Commons Circle.

Panther Pick Up locations and times are listed below and on the UNI Office of Sustainability website at, along with additional details about the event.

On-campus donation locations, 1 to 4 p.m., May 8 and 9 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 10:

             - East side of Redeker Center

            - 23rd St. near Commons Circle

            - East Towers

            -Northwest corner of Campbell Hall

Students living off campus may donate items by calling St. Vincent de Paul at 319-232-3366 to schedule pick up of usable furniture, computers, keyboards, printers, computer accessories and other large items.

May 2, 2013 - 9:13am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) has added a new online resource to its arsenal with the launch of the Iowa Food Waste Reduction Project. This online initiative is part of an effort to distribute resources and information, which will help businesses, organizations and individuals reduce food waste and divert it from the landfills.

"There was a clear need for Iowa food generators to have access to information and resources to reduce their food waste and divert it from the landfill," says Dan Nickey, senior program manager at the IWRC.

Created to provide a centralized location for food waste information, the online portion of this project includes resources, outlets, case studies, information for food waste generators and much more. "This will be an ongoing project. The information and resources supplied on the website will be continually updated. This summer an interactive map will also be added where users can find outlets, based on their location, to properly dispose of food waste allowing it to become a valuable resource instead of disposal in a landfill," continues Nickey.

In addition, a series of workshops will be held around the state throughout the rest of 2013 to provide education on this topic.

The Iowa Food Waste Reduction Project was funded through a Solid Waste Alternative Program grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

For more information, visit

About Iowa Waste Reduction Center. The IWRC has been providing environmental services including business assistance, industry training, as well as research and development for nearly 25 years. The IWRC is a non-profit organization, part of Business and Community Services at the University of Northern Iowa. For more information, visit

May 1, 2013 - 3:45pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host three spring commencement ceremonies this year. The ceremony for students receiving graduate degrees will be at 7 p.m., Friday, May 10. The ceremony for undergraduate students receiving degrees from the Colleges of Education, Business Administration and the Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 11. The ceremony for undergraduate students in the Colleges of Humanities, Arts and Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 11. All ceremonies are in the McLeod Center on the UNI campus.

This year's commencement speakers will be Darrina Bledsoe, a graduate student majoring in psychology; Emily Scholtes, a senior majoring in economics: general economics; and Harrison Postler, a senior majoring in communication. Bledsoe will speak at Friday's ceremony, while Scholtes will speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony and Postler will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony on Saturday. The commencement marshal will be John Vallentine, director of the School of Music. The names of the graduates will be read by Gretta Berghammer, professor of theatre; Nicki Zumbach Harken, instructor of communication studies; Deidre Heistad, associate professor of languages and literatures; and Penelope O'Connor, instructor in communication studies.

Immediately following the ceremonies on Saturday, there will be a reception at the Eldon Miller Plaza with light snacks and beverages. Friday's reception will take place in the McLeod concourse. There will also be areas set up for families and graduates to take pictures.

The UNI Department of Military Science will host its annual spring Commissioning Ceremony at 6:30 p.m., Friday, May 10, in the Lang Hall Auditorium. Three students will receive their commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Family and friends are invited to arrive anytime after 6 p.m. and stay for refreshments immediately following the ceremony.

For additional information, visit or contact Philip Patton, university registrar, at 319-273-2244 or


April 29, 2013 - 10:41am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's New Horizons Band will perform a spring concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 6, in the Great Hall of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) on the UNI campus.

The concert will include "Mannin Veen" and "Death and Transfiguration," standard concert band repertoire from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Jim Moeller and Rich Scheffel will be featured as tuba soloists in a performance of "Figuero in Stereo." "At a Dixieland Jazz Funeral" will feature the New Horizons Band Dixieland Combo. A reception will be held in the lobby of the GBPAC immediately following the concert. Admission is free.

The New Horizons Band is sponsored by the UNI School of Music and the UNI Community Music School. The group includes members ages 50 and older with various musical backgrounds who travel from all over Iowa to rehearse and perform. The band started in 1999 with 17 members and now has 80. Diana Blake, retired music educator and director of the New Horizons Band, says new members are welcome to join the group.

For more information, contact Blake at 319-352-3007 or Cindi Mason, New Horizons Band administrative assistant, at 319-273-2142.

April 26, 2013 - 11:33am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa has received a $2 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to create a new center for educational research and development.

The creation of this new Center for Educational Transformation will enable UNI to provide statewide and national leadership in the area of educational research and development. Funds will be used to support faculty and student research.

Gloria Gibson, UNI executive president and provost, said, "We are grateful to the Carver Trust for helping UNI continue its legacy of educational research and development. Shaping pre-K through 12 education in Iowa dates back to UNI's origins as Iowa State Teachers College. As an institution, this rich tradition and focus on improving the educational experience of all Iowa children is one that will remain a focal area of our institution for generations to come."

The center's mission is to transform education in Iowa and the nation through collaborative research, dynamic practice, policy advocacy and sustainable innovation.

Overarching goals for the center revolve around four key areas: research, practice, policy and innovation. Research activities will be a blend of both long-term solutions and opportunities to quickly address an issue and disseminate best practices across the state. These goals connect directly with the State of Iowa's legislative intent for educational research and development.

Roughly 25 percent of Iowa's educators and 33 percent of school administrators come from UNI. More than 12,000 alumni educators live in Iowa and 500 new teachers graduate each year. Annually, around 3,500 in-service educators connect with UNI for professional development and continuing education.  Another 400 in-service educators are enrolled in UNI graduate programs via distance education. This existing network and wealth of knowledge will enable the center to provide transformational leadership for Iowa's learners, educators and systems.

"We are thrilled to receive this funding from the Carver Trust," said Dwight Watson, dean of the College of Education. "We look forward to collaborating with educators across the state to conduct research and to the opportunities this center will provide our pre-professional educators."  

The Center for Educational Transformation will be housed on the UNI campus and will commence summer 2013.

April 26, 2013 - 4:23pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is offering a variety of activities to keep students learning this summer. UNI summer camps are for students in grades K through 12 in the areas of science, athletics, design, digital media, music and much more. 

Each camp features a unique interactive learning environment through which students can gain hands-on experience while working among students with similar interests. Whether its building mini-sumo robots, learning about the physics of Mario Kart, or learning the fundamentals of basketball, the camps offer something for everyone.

The camps are led by UNI faculty, staff and current students. For additional information about the camps and to register, visit

April 26, 2013 - 4:31pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Department of Physics hosted the State of Iowa Physics Competition Wednesday, April 17, in the McLeod Center on the UNI campus.

Approximately 185 students from 21 different schools participated. Decorah High School placed first, led by instructor Tim Hayes; Washington High School placed second, led by instructor Jeff Richard; and Wahlert Catholic High School placed third, led by Tom Stierman.

Individual event winners were Tripoli High School in the self-propelled catapult event, led by instructor Kallie Greenwald; Washington High school in the mousetrap car event, led by Jeff Richard; Decorah High School in the bridge building event, led by instructor Tim Hayes; Turkey Valley High School in the soda straw arm event, led by instructor Caroline Scheidel; Wahlert High School in the challenge problem event, led by instructor Tom Stierman; and Cedar Falls High School in the materials recovery facility event, led by instructors Kenton Swartley and Maria Hoekstra.

For additional information, contact Larry Escalada, UNI professor of physics and science education, at 319-273-2431 or

April 25, 2013 - 1:45pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will offer a new Master of Science in Technology degree starting fall 2013.

The program is designed to prepare and further develop skilled technologists and educators. The curriculum offers online classes, which are taught and supported by UNI faculty. Students will engage in two courses per semester and will graduate in two years. The program is customizable to student needs through supporting elective courses. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

The Department of Technology also offers undergraduate degrees in Construction Management, Electrical Engineering Technology, Graphic Technologies, Manufacturing Technology, Technology Education and Technology Management. In addition to the Master of Science Degree, UNI also offers a Doctor of Technology online degree.

For more information, contact James Maxwell, head of the Department of Technology, at 319-273-2909 or

April 24, 2013 - 11:06am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is one of the 322 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company profiles UNI in the 2013 edition of "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges."

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the "Guide to 322 Green Colleges" is a free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above-average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

The 322 schools in this guide were chosen based on the "Green Rating" scores tallied in 2012. The "Green Rating" is a numerical score from 60 to 99 that's based on data from a 50-question survey conducted among hundreds of school administrators about their school's environmental and sustainability-related commitments and initiatives. UNI received a score of 97, the highest score among any Iowa college or university.

"It is an honor for UNI to be included once again in The Princeton Review's 'Guide to 322 Green Colleges,'" said Eric O'Brien, UNI sustainability coordinator. "We have a tremendous amount of positive momentum in this area on campus as a result of our institutional commitment to environmental stewardship and an attractive, well-maintained campus environment that enhances the living and learning experience for our community."

"Among 9,955 college applicants who participated in our 2013 'College Hopes & Worries Survey,' 62 percent said having information about a school's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school," said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review.

Some of the sustainability efforts UNI is being recognized for include connecting the classroom to sustainability through the liberal arts core by offering a number of sustainability-related and focused courses; managing campus grounds responsibly by reducing and even eliminating pollution and introducing nearly 150 acres of prairie to campus; and practicing responsible and efficient purchasing.

The free guide can be downloaded at or

For more information about UNI's sustainability efforts, including what's planned for Earth Week, visit or contact Eric O'Brien, sustainability coordinator at UNI, at 319-273-7207 or

April 23, 2013 - 9:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Epsilon Theta chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE) was named 2013 Lewis F. Gordon Top Gold Chapter at the National Convention in San Diego. Students in the sales and marketing fraternity competed against chapters from 29 universities across the nation in numerous events and won several awards.

In addition to the Lewis F. Gordon award, the group placed first, second and third in the Boss Games, a marketing company simulation game and was first runner-up for Top Service Project and Top Management Team.

Individual honors include Cris Houlihan, a senior marketing major from Cedar Falls, and Matt Funke, '12, who were first runners-up for Top Project Manager. Brendon Brauer, a senior accounting major from Polk City, was first runner-up for Top PSE Salesperson. Phil Musson, a management and Spanish double major from Iowa City, placed fifth in the Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon and first for the Whan Challenger Award, awarded for excellent leadership skills.

Scholarships were awarded to Samantha Kueny, Ethan Thompson, Jessie Nemesi, Chris Houlihan and Philip Musson.

For more information, contact Steve Corbin, head of UNI's Department of Marketing, at 319-273-6204 or

April 23, 2013 - 9:17am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa student Angela Wrage, a senior majoring in biology and chemistry from Gladbrook, will present her research project, "The Effect of Nutrient Availability on the Evolution of Physiology in Two Tallgrass Prairie Species," at the 17th Annual Posters on the Hill event on April 24, in Washington, D.C. Wrage's project was selected from more than 800 applications. She will be the only student representative from the state of Iowa at the event.

"Legislative support of undergraduate research in all fields, not just the sciences, is absolutely essential to the ability of our universities to prepare students for graduate school or a career," said Wrage. "I feel incredibly honored to have been accepted to Posters on the Hill. As the only Iowa representative at this event, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to represent both my state and my university."

Posters on the Hill is an annual poster session, hosted by the Council on Undergraduate Research, that aims to help members of congress understand the importance of undergraduate research. Only 60 students from institutes of higher education are selected to participate in the event each year.

For more information, contact Mark Sherrard, assistant professor, biology, at 319-273-2770 or

April 22, 2013 - 9:58am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Interpreters Theatre will present "Triskaidekaphobia: 13 Consumer Tragedies," at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, in the Interpreters Theatre in Lang Hall, Room 040. The production is a solo performance created and performed by Amy K. Kilgard, and directed by Alexis Litzky.

In "Triskaidekaphobia," 13 characters face the perils of consumerism. A cashier becomes consumed by her big-box store and a compulsive collector reconciles his obsessions. From Kilgard's own retail experiences to others' (sometime) bizarre customer service interactions, "Triskaidekaphobia" explores commercial rhetoric, as well as everyday and aesthetic performances of consumerism.

Kilgard, an associate professor at San Francisco State University, will be a visiting artist Monday, April 22 through Wednesday, April 24. She will visit with students and offer workshops in several classes.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Megan Wharff, graduate assistant in communication studies, at 319-273-2024 or


April 22, 2013 - 2:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), housed at the University of Northern Iowa, is celebrating National Playground Safety Week April 22 through 29. This week is a time to focus on the safety of all children on the playground.

According to NPPS, more than 200,000 children are injured on America's playgrounds each year. There are four contributing factors, or S.A.F.E. Factors, to properly maintain a safe playground atmosphere: provide proper supervision of children on playgrounds; design age-appropriate playgrounds; provide proper fall surfacing under and around playground; and properly maintain playground equipment.

NPPS suggests taking the time to send letters to your state governor encouraging them to proclaim National Playground Safety Week.  Other suggestions include completing playground equipment safety checks and evaluations and examining local playgrounds.

For more information, visit or contact Donna Thompson, executive director of the National Program for Playground Safety, at 800-554-7529 or


April 22, 2013 - 2:22pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "B.F.A. Group Exhibition" from Monday, April 29 through Saturday, May 11. A reception for the exhibition will be held at 7 p.m., on Monday, April 29, at the UNI Gallery of Art.

The artwork of nine UNI Bachelor of Fine Arts students will be presented. Molly Cashman of Waverly, MacKenzie Clark of Ventura and Faith Wittrock of Primghar have an emphasis in painting. Rayce Harman of Iowa Falls and Pip Lucas of Sigourney have an emphasis in ceramics. Dimitria Klein of Mason City has an emphasis in photography. Carlton James Miller of Milford and Maggie Reifert of Wilton have an emphasis in printmaking. Zach Schnock of Cedar Falls has emphases in printmaking and sculpture.

All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and by appointment.

For more information, visit or call 319-273-3095.


April 22, 2013 - 2:24pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host the eighth annual Mini-Sumo Robotics Competition from 9 to 11:30 a.m., Friday, April 26, in the Hemisphere Lounge of Maucker Union on the UNI campus.

The ship-in robots, which are shipped to the UNI physics department, are operated by UNI students who follow each builder's written instructions. The competition is an elimination tournament in which pairs of mini-sumo robots fight head-to-head, trying to push each other out of a mini-sumo ring. The competition is the world's only ship-in robot competition.

Through the events, students build mini-sumo robots that compete with ship-in robots, and gain experience in many of the skills used in advanced manufacturing and high-technology industries throughout the country. At least four ship-in robot competitors have committed to sending their robots.

The event is free and open to the public, and sponsored by the UNI Department of Physics and the North American Robotics Association (NARA), which is housed at UNI. NARA's main objective is the promotion of mini-sumo robotics in educational and club environments.

There will also be a mini-sumo robots camp from Monday, June 24 through Friday, June 28, for middle and high school students wanting to learn about robotics.

The competition will be broadcast live on the Internet; the link will be posted on the UNI website on the morning of the event. For additional information about the competition or the camp, and videos of past competitions, visit or contact Cliff Chancey, department head and professor in the UNI Department of Physics, at 319-273-2425 or or Dale Olson, professor in the UNI Department of Physics, at 319-215-5501 or

April 19, 2013 - 2:42pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Sastry G. Pantula, professor at North Carolina State University, will present the annual Hari Shankar Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m., Monday, April 29, in Lantz Auditorium, in the McCollum Science Hall on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The lecture will focus on society's increasing dependence on big data, a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process. Pantula will discuss the related applications, methodologies, opportunities and challenges presented by big data.

"This is an issue that has the potential to impact science, education, health, national security and the economy," said Douglas Mupasiri, head of the UNI math department. "Our hope is that the lecture will bring to the attention of the greater Cedar Valley area an issue of such tremendous national interest."

Pantula is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and currently serves as the director of the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation. His lecture is made possible through a donation from Hari Shankar with additional support from UNI's Department of Mathematics. Shankar, who died in June 2008, taught at Ohio University for more than 30 years before joining the UNI Department of Mathematics as a visiting professor.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the UNI Department of Mathematics, at 319-273-2631 or

April 18, 2013 - 4:56pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- UNI Forensics is the home of the intercollegiate speech and debate competition teams. Not only is speech and debate the oldest student activity at the University of Northern Iowa, but UNI is the only university in Iowa to host both a speech and policy debate team. Both teams are doing well, having received several honors at recent national competitions.

The UNI Speech Team received several honors at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in Hutchinson, Kan., April 5 through 8. The team qualified 10 students for a total of 34 events and placed 10th out of 78 teams in team sweepstakes.

Harrison Postler, senior communication studies major, placed first in impromptu speaking, second in dramatic interpretation, was a semifinalist in after-dinner speaking and placed sixth in individual sweepstakes overall. This is the first time a UNI student has won an individual event at nationals since 1992.

Mandy Paris, senior communication studies major, was a quarterfinalist in duo interpretation with Postler. Michael Taylor, senior communication studies major from Danville, Iowa, was a quarterfinalist in program oral interpretation and was a semifinalist in duo interpretation with sophomore communication studies major Ryan Courtney. Courtney, of Coralville, Iowa was a quarterfinalist in dramatic interpretation.

Zoe Russell, senior communication studies major from Ames, Iowa, was a quarterfinalist in impromptu speaking. Keegan Bosch, first year English major from Joliet, Ill., was a quarterfinalist in dramatic interpretation.

AFA-NIET is the most selective and competitive national speech tournament. This marks UNI's second consecutive year placing in the top 10 in team sweepstakes at this event. UNI has received several honors at recent national competitions, including Abbie Shew and Zach Simonson of UNI's Debate Team advancing to triple octafinals at the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament in March.

For more information about UNI Forensics, contact Katherine Lavelle, professor in UNI's Department of Communication Studies, at 319- 273-7200 or

April 16, 2013 - 11:20am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Orchesis Dance Company will present its annual spring show "Reverie" at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 19 and 2 p.m., Saturday, April 20, at the Oster Regent Theater, located on Main Street in Cedar Falls. The show will include student-choreographed performances.

"Orchesis is challenging its members in performance and composition like never before," says Jason Schadt, the company's faculty director. "It's exciting to see students engage in both rigorous physical practice and academic inquiry. The result is a concert full of fun and interesting dances you won't want to miss."                                                                                                                                                                                     

Tickets are $5 for UNI students with a valid student ID and $8 for the general public. For more information, contact

April 16, 2013 - 3:55pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) at the University of Northern Iowa will recognize two area high schools and their respective school officials on Friday, April 19, as part of a challenge grant initiative for their leadership role in adopting and implementing bystander education and prevention programming as directed in Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) and Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM), which is a Futures Without Violence program. The MVP and CBIM programs address bullying, dating violence and sexual assault.

Cedar Falls High School and Union High School in LaPorte City will be the first schools in Iowa to receive matching "Leading by Example" national grants to implement MVP and CBIM. These grants are funded by the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, Futures Without Violence and the Kind World Foundation.

Challenge grants to be matched locally will be awarded to schools and communities across the country throughout the next three years to eliminate and reduce relationship violence and abuse by engaging positive role models and bystanders who support healthy and respectful relationships. At this time, the CVP will be awarded approximately $20,000 to use as matching funds with local and state funding partners.

"Leadership and courage from top school and community officials is paramount to the success of prevention education to eliminate acts of sexual violence and abuse among adolescents and young adults," said Alan Heisterkamp, director of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Institute at UNI's CVP. "We need to be more intentional in our conversations with young men and women about these serious issues. We need more young leaders speaking up."

"We're excited to partner with the University of Northern Iowa and these local high schools to take an active role in ending relationship violence and abuse," said Brian O’Connor, director of public education campaigns and programs at Futures Without Violence. "In the wake of recent news in which high school students have been charged with sexual assault, collaborations such as these are crucial now more than ever."

Cedar Falls and Union High School administration will be acknowledged at a luncheon supported by the HopeLine® from Verizon program following The Y Factor Iowa: Men Leading by Example summit morning session at noon, in the Alumni Suite of the McLeod Center. For more information, contact Heisterkamp at 319-273-3124 or

April 15, 2013 - 9:06am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host Minister Counselor Roberto Matus, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Chile, from 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, in the Curris Business Building, Room 109. The event is part of the Office of International Programs' Diplomat Series.

Matus will present a lecture "Chile: A Road to Development." He will discuss the model of economic development that Chile has applied for more than 30 years and how it has impacted the political, economic and social structure of the country. He will also analyze how this process has defined the relationship between Chile and the U.S. and why this is considered to be successful for both countries.

Matus holds a degree in economics from the Universidad de Santiago, with a mention in Business Administration, and has several postgraduate studies in economics and international relations. He has served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Chile to the United States since September 2009. His previous work includes serving as Chief of Cabinet of the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs, organizing the Department of Implementation of Chilean Free Trade Accomplishments and working as Economic and Trade Attaché at the Embassy of Chile in the U.S.

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Nadia Korobova, assistant director of international programs, at 319-273-7424 or

April 15, 2013 - 9:09am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The University of Northern Iowa will host several events:

-The Violence Prevention and Self-Defense Seminar by Stacilyn Chananie-Hill, instructor of psychology, is at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 16, in the Presidential Room in Maucker Union. Participants will participate in one hour of violence prevention learning and one hour of self-defense technique demonstrations; comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended.

 -An interactive workshop "The Role We Play: Exploring Consent and Gender Through Performance" is scheduled for 5 and 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, in the Center for Multicultural Education. The workshop will explore gender and sexual consent as a college student through image and forum theatre.

-"Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," an event to raise awareness for sexual assault and gender violence, is at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 18, across from University Book and Supply on 23rd Street in Cedar Falls.

-A sexual assault awareness panel discussing sexual consent, personal choice and bystander intervention is at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 18, in Seerley Hall, Room 115. Panelists include Harry Brod, professor of philosophy and world religions; Karen Mitchell, professor of communication studies; Mark Rowe-Barth, coordinator of substance abuse and violence intervention services; and Joan Thompson, health educator and victim services advocate at health education through Wellness and Recreation Services.

- "The Y Factor: Men Leading by Example" summit featuring Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby begins at 9 a.m., Friday, April 19, in the McLeod Center. The summit will focus on the messages, programs and leaders that can help promote leadership and gender violence prevention on college campuses.

-The "Stomp Out Sexual Assault 5K" is at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, April 20, at the Wartburg College cross-country course. The organization Cedar Valley Friends of the Family will host this event to raise awareness and education about sexual assault.

-The lecture "The Violence Against Women Act: Its Past and Future" by Bonnie Campbell, former head of the Violence Against Women Office under the Clinton administration, is at 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, in Sabin Hall, Room 002. Campbell has been recognized as a national leader for her work in bringing victim-rights reform to the country's criminal justice system, and was named one of TIME's 25 most influential people in America in 1997.

-The "Take Back the Night" march starts at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, at the Campanile on UNI's campus. Participants are invited to meet at 3:30 p.m. at Seerley Hall, Room 115, to make posters prior to the event.

All events are free and open to the public. For additional information and a complete list of events, visit

April 15, 2013 - 9:11am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host former Iowa Attorney General Bonnie J. Campbell at 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, in Sabin Hall, Room 002.

Campbell will discuss the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and its recent reauthorization. She will also discuss what the future holds for this legislation.

Campbell has been recognized as a national leader for her work to bring victim-rights reform to the country's criminal justice system. She was selected by President Clinton to head the Justice Department's Violence Against Women Office in 1995, and her effectiveness led TIME magazine to name her as one of the 25 most influential people in America. Campbell has also served as Iowa Attorney General and was a member of the Iowa Board of Regents from 2007 through 2011.

This event is free and open to the public. It's sponsored by UNI's Center for Violence Prevention, Department of Political Science, Women's and Gender Studies Program, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

For more information, contact Donna Hoffman, department head and associate professor of political science, at 319-273-5916 or