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News Release Archive

April 15, 2013 - 9:31am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa College of Education, Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy and the Reading Recovery Center of Iowa will host two literacy events April 18 and 19.

The first annual Jacobson Center and Reading Recovery Literacy Academy will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, April 18, in Maucker Union, Old Central Ballroom. The event will focus on the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy model and Reading Recovery. It will include specific sessions for comprehensive literacy coaches and classroom teachers, comprehensive intervention model coaches and interventionists, Reading Recovery teachers and administrators. The academy will feature keynote speaker Richard Elmore, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The 45th Annual Elementary Literacy Conference and the Iowa Reading Recovery Conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, April 19, at the Schindler Education Center. The conference will include sessions for elementary, literacy and Reading Recovery teachers. Steven Kellogg, an author and illustrator of children's books, is the featured keynote speaker.

For additional information or to register for either or both events, visit

April 15, 2013 - 11:21am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Jessica Valenti, renowned feminist author and founder of the popular blog "Feministing," will speak at the University of Northern Iowa at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, in Sabin Hall, Room 002.

Valenti was named one of the top 100 women by British daily newspaper The Guardian for her work in bringing the feminist movement into the 21st century. Her lecture will explore the social implications of modern parenting, the focus of her latest book "Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness." The event was originally scheduled for Monday, March 11, as a part of UNI's celebration of Women's History Month.

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Catherine MacGillivray, interim director and associate professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Program, at 319-273-7102 or

April 15, 2013 - 11:28am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's International Dance Theatre will present its annual spring concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 27 and 2 p.m., Sunday, April 28, at Strayer-Wood Theatre on the UNI campus.

This year's production is "Traditions," and will feature a wide variety of dance styles from areas all around the world. The dances range from traditional, cultural folk dances to modern styles of dance including ballroom, tap and more. The show will also feature guest performances from UNI's Orchesis Dance Company, the UNI Swing Club and Steve and Hilda Ostby from the Cedar Valley Dance Club.

Tickets are $3 for students and senior citizens and $6 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the door or from members of IDT. For more information or to reserve tickets, contact Daniel Wells, director of IDT, at 319-273-3560 or


April 12, 2013 - 10:22am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host the Adapted Sports Camp from June 12 through 15 at various wellness facilities on UNI's campus. The camp is for young athletes with a lower limb disability who use wheelchairs for adapted sports.

The Adapted Sports Camp is the only opportunity in the state for youth using wheelchairs to compete in recreational sports. Athletes can participate in track and field, basketball, hand cycling, football, rugby, softball, tennis and many others.

"The goal is to get most athletes with a disability to learn that they have many abilities to achieve success in sports activities, and then translate that to have the confidence to look at many other obstacles that may come up in their lives and find a way to overcome them," said Eherenman, co-director of the UNI Adapted Sports Camp. "It's hard to describe in words all the effects that it has on their lives. We see so many changes in all of the athletes from when they come into camp each year and when they go out."

For additional information or to register for the camp, visit or contact Eherenman at 319-493-0978 or

April 12, 2013 - 1:56pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Two UNI faculty members will be among the more than 100 people who will become American citizens at the University of Northern Iowa's citizenship oath ceremony at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, in the Maucker Union Old Central Ballroom. This is the most who have ever participated in the event's three-year history.

"It's somewhat unusual for universities to have the opportunity to host a Naturalization Ceremony. We are honored that UNI will be the host institution for this moving event," said Mark Grey, director of the Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration. "Anyone who has attended one of these ceremonies will tell you they are special, rather moving events."

The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the UNI New Iowans Center and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

For more information, contact Grey at 319-273-6496 or


April 12, 2013 - 2:04pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Tom Schilke, director of the Northern Iowa Junior Orchestra (NIJO), will celebrate 20 years at the University of Northern Iowa at NIJO's annual spring concert at 6 p.m., Sunday, April 21, in Davis Hall, Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Schilke is the former orchestra director for Hoover Middle School and current member of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. He has served as director of the NIJO since 1993.

"NIJO is a regional treasure and Mr. Schilke makes it happen. He knows exactly what he can expect of his students and how it can be achieved," said Ute Brandenburg, director of the UNI Suzuki School. "The group always sounds fantastic. More importantly, the respect these young people show for each other and their ability to work as a team is phenomenal."

The NIJO was founded in the fall of 1990 by Michael Fanelli. NIJO, sponsored by the UNI Suzuki School, aims to challenge, educate and stimulate advanced students of music in Northeast Iowa. Current members include junior high students from schools in the Independence, Dysart, Waverly, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and New Hartford communities.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cathy Craig, coordinator of the Suzuki School, at 319-273-2508 or

April 11, 2013 - 11:00am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Winners from the University of Northern Iowa/Area Education Agency 267 Regional Physics Competition will advance to the state physics competition to be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, April 17, in the McLeod Center on UNI's campus.

Approximately 216 high schools students participated in the regional competition .

Winning teams include: Cedar Falls Team B placed first in the overall team competition and the mousetrap car and bridge-building events; Cedar Falls Team A placed second in the overall team competition; Tripoli placed first in the self-propelled catapult event; Humboldt placed first in the soda straw arm and material-recovery facility events; and Waterloo East placed first in the challenge problem.

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

April 10, 2013 - 8:25am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa student government (NISG) will host a legislative forum presented by a panel of Iowa state legislators at 3:30 p.m., Friday, April 19, in the John Deere Auditorium of the Curris Business Building, Room 109. Legislators will discuss a wide range of topics, including UNI's state appropriations; Q&A will follow.

Panelists include: state senators Jeff Danielson and Bill Dotzler, and state representatives Deborah Berry, Anesa Kajtazovic, Bob Kressig, Walt Rogers and Sandy Salmon. Chris Larimer, associate professor of political science at UNI, will moderate the forum.

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Jaime Yowler, director of governmental relations at NISG, at 319-213-2512 or

April 10, 2013 - 8:27am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host the annual Relay For Life from 6 p.m., Friday, April 12, to 6 a.m., Saturday, April 13, in the McLeod Center. The theme for this year's Relay is "Superheroes...Saving the World One Birthday at a Time!" The event is hosted by UNI Colleges Against Cancer.

The opening ceremony for the event will showcase a celebration for the lives of those who have battled cancer, followed directly by a first lap by survivors of the disease. There will be food available to attendees throughout the night. To sign up or donate to the event, visit

This event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Amanda Robertson, president of the UNI Colleges Against Cancer, at

April 9, 2013 - 8:20am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The second-year Presidential Scholars in the University of Northern Iowa Honors Program will host the groundbreaking of the Panther Plot, a student-run vegetable garden on campus, at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, April 11, at the corner of College Street and University Avenue.

"The UNI Panther Plot garden on UNI's campus will be a living, education tool that will improve the community's understanding of gardening, their health and the local food system," said Rachel Wobeter, program assistant at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education. "UNI's commitment to the garden is a step in the right direction to improving the well-being of students and the community."

The event is hosted in part by the CEEE, UNI Office of Sustainability, Botanical Center, Department of Residence Dining Services, Facilities Services and first-year Cornerstone course.

For additional information, contact Wobeter at 319-273-7883 or

April 9, 2013 - 8:23am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Violence Prevention (CVP), in partnership with Futures Without Violence, HopeLine® from Verizon and the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, will host The Y Factor Iowa, an inaugural summit on Friday, April 19, on the UNI campus. The summit focuses on the messages, programs and leaders that can help promote leadership and gender violence prevention on college campuses.

The morning session, scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m., at the McLeod Center, features Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby as the keynote speaker, who will discuss the importance of men and boys stepping up and taking leadership roles in preventing bullying and gender violence. The summit includes several panel discussions with leaders and advocates, as well as a screening of the short film "New Kind of Strength."

An afternoon workshop is scheduled from 1:30 to 3 p.m., at UNI's Wellness and Recreation Center, Room 155. The workshop features evidence-based programming being used in high schools and on college campuses to engage students in challenging hurtful language and behavior. Presenters include Alan Heisterkamp, director, Mentors in Violence Prevention Leadership Institute at UNI's CVP; Brian O'Connor, director of public education campaigns and programs, Futures Without Violence; and Jeff O'Brien, national director, Mentors in Violence Prevention.

The Y Factor Iowa stems from the national Y Factor summit held in San Francisco in 2012. The summit salutes the work of men who are leading the movement to prevent violence against women and children.

This event is free and open to the public; preregistration is required. Parking for the summit is in Lot R off of 27th Street, southwest of the McLeod Center. To register, visit For more information, visit or contact Alan Heisterkamp at 319-273-3124 or

HopeLine from Verizon works in the community by collecting no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider and turning them into support for domestic violence victims. For more information on HopeLine from Verizon, visit

April 9, 2013 - 8:31am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa eclipsed its goal for the Imagine the Impact campaign by nearly $8 million. When the seven-year campaign ended on Dec. 31, 2012, a year ahead of schedule, contributions tallied $157,857,609.48.

President Ben Allen said, "This is especially significant because the Imagine the Impact campaign, UNI's largest campaign in history, was launched during one of the most challenging economic times in our nation's history. The generosity of our alumni and friends is a reflection of their commitment to the university, and most importantly, to the success of our students."

The primary goal of the campaign was to raise funds for scholarships, faculty support and academic programs. More than $62 million was raised to support scholarships. With the creation of 321 new scholarships, more students will have access to a UNI education. Students will also have more opportunities to participate in internships throughout Iowa and the world, study abroad, present at professional conferences and conduct research. As scholarship endowments grow, these gifts will create even more scholarships for UNI students.

Campaign gifts for program support and program enhancements totaled more than $86 million. In part, these funds provide support for chairs and professorships and help the university to recruit and retain the best faculty. Gifts to the campaign also support lectureships, visiting artists, student activities, athletics, library services, cultural events and children's programming at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

"The entire state is benefiting from the Imagine the Impact campaign," said Mark Oman, campaign co-chair. "The campaign has increased access to higher education, supported faculty research, improved Iowa's economic outlook and enhanced social and cultural opportunities for Iowans."

The campaign's success extends the university's ability to serve the state of Iowa by assisting businesses and communities through faculty research and through outreach programs such as the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, the Student Business Incubator and the Iowa Center for Health Disparities. Program funds also make it possible for UNI to partner with local and state schools through the Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy to help children learn to read.

Campaign co-chair, Bev Riess, said, "I am pleased that so much was accomplished during the campaign. With these resources, we are better able to provide students with an education that gives them the knowledge, experiential learning and global understanding they will need for life and work in a rapidly changing world."

Visit for information about the Imagine the Impact campaign.

April 9, 2013 - 8:41am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Textiles and Apparel Program (TAPP) will hold its 21st annual fashion show, "POW: A Superhero Catwalk," at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 27, in Lang Hall Auditorium on the UNI campus.

All students enrolled in TAPP classes this academic year were encouraged to design and construct original garments for the show. All entered pieces had to be produced in the past two years and were juried by Stephanie Fett and Holly Humke, both TAPP alumni currently working for Powers Manufacturing in Waterloo, Iowa. Garments were chosen for the runway based on details such as construction, creativity and trend sensitivity. Students were also responsible for promotion, stylization, set design, choreography and music for the show.

This year's theme is based on classic comic book stories, the popularity of current comic book revivals into film and the artwork of Roy Lichtenstein, an American pop artist. The show takes these components and creates a superhero comic book runway show.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Annette Lynch, professor in the School of Applied Human Sciences, at 319-273-3054 or

April 8, 2013 - 10:19am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will celebrate environmental efforts during Earth Week Monday, April 22 through Friday, April 26. Earth Week is a campus-wide event that aims to involve the campus community in environmental action through a number of interactive and educational events that take place during five themed days.

Earth Week will begin with an Earth Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Monday, April 22, outside of Maucker Union. The event will feature educational booths, activities, a farmers market and free bike tune-ups. Two outdoor yoga sessions will take place at 3 and 3:30 p.m. on Lawther Field. Those interested in participating should register at

Tuesday, April 23, is Environmental Awareness Day. "The Clean Bin Project" will be screened at 12:30 p.m. in the Center for Energy & Environmental Education, Room 115. The documentary follows a couple's attempt to live waste-free for a year. Lunch will be provided. A campus-wide cleanup will begin at 4 p.m., at the fountain outside Maucker Union. Pizza will be provided to participants who preregister.

Alternative Transportation Day is Wednesday, April 24. A bike ride on local trails will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., beginning at Mulligan's Brick Oven Grill & Pub, 205 E. 18th St. Helmets are required and free T-shirts will be provided to participants who register.

UNI will celebrate Water Conservation Day on Thursday, April 25. Students are encouraged to cut their shower time in half. UNI will celebrate with a bean bag toss tournament at 5 p.m. on Lawther Field. Food will be available to those who pre-register.

Earth Week will conclude with Energy Conservation Day on Friday, April 26. Students are to reduce their energy consumption by going cordless for the day.

The events are free and open to the public. For more information or to register for activities, visit UNI's Recycling & Reuse Technology Transfer Center website at or the UNI sustainability website at

April 8, 2013 - 10:31am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- More than 100 Eastern Iowa Kindergarten through 12th grade students will present their technology projects during a Student Technology Fair from 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, April 10, in the UNI Commons and Georgian Lounge.

More than 60 projects from 11 school districts will be displayed for the public to explore and enjoy. Each of these projects was created as part of the students' instructional curriculum in their schools. The projects span nine different categories including 3-D rendering and non-linear animation, graphics and publishing, innovative technology use, mobile apps, multimedia, music and sound design, programming, video and linear presentation and Web presence.

Local judges will review each project. Projects receiving the Judge's Purple Ribbon awards will be invited to showcase their projects at the Iowa Technology and Education Connection (ITEC) Conference in Des Moines in October.

The Student Technology Fair is sponsored by ITEC and is one of three fairs held this week across the state. More than 300 projects will be presented statewide.

For more information, contact Leigh Zeitz, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, at 319-273-3249 or

April 8, 2013 - 3:25pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa received a STARS gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. This is the second STARS gold rating UNI has received since 2011.

STARS offers bronze, silver, gold and platinum ratings. Of the 245 rated institutions, UNI is one of just 45 to be rated gold. UNI's evaluation by STARS was based on a comprehensive list of credits in three major areas: education and research, operations and planning, administration and engagement. UNI also saw a 5.3 percent improvement in this year's score from its initial rating in 2011.

Highlights leading to the STARS gold rating include:

-       Increase in local food purchases from 25 percent to 34 percent

-       Socially responsible investments

-       77 percent of students get to campus each day by means other than a single occupancy vehicle

-       35 academic departments teach at least one sustainability-related course

-       UNI students performed an average of 45 hours of community service through courses, student organizations or other university-affiliated projects

"The recent rating is reflective of years of work inside and outside the classroom to make UNI a more sustainable campus," said Eric O'Brien, UNI sustainability coordinator. "Our institutional commitment to sustainability has fostered positive change and resulted in noticeable improvements to our STARS rating in just the last two years."

There are 245 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada, including six in Iowa participating in STARS. UNI is the only university in Iowa to receive a gold rating.

For more information about UNI's sustainability efforts, including the upcoming Sustainability Dialogue and Action Conference on April 12 and 13, visit or contact O'Brien at 319-273-7207 or

April 8, 2013 - 4:50pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Several successful graduates of the University of Northern Iowa's College of Education will be on campus again Thursday, April 11, to share their experiences and advice with current students, the campus community and the public.

The participants for the second annual Alumni in Residence event will be 2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year Tania Johnson; Harold "Jay" Colsch, special education coordinator with AEA 267; and Kelly Putnam, director of culture, change and engagement with Trinity Health. The trio will spend the full day on campus guest lecturing in classes, meeting with administrators and faculty and participating in a panel discussion that is open to the public.

Johnson, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood education in 1985 and a master's degree in educational technology in 2001, both from UNI. She spent 20 years teaching kindergarten in the Cedar Rapids School District before moving to the role of teacher quality liaison this school year. Just after accepting her new role, Johnson was named the 2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year. Johnson and her husband, Jim, live in Cedar Rapids with their children, Kai and Cam.

Colsch, of Waverly, Iowa, earned advanced studies certificates in educational administration and in special education administration from UNI in 2002. Prior to his current position at AEA 267, Colsch coordinated special education services for AEA 7; was a special education consultant; was an itinerant work experience coordinator; and served as a classroom teacher. Colsch and his wife, Patricia, have five children and two grandchildren.

Putnam, of Mason City, Iowa, earned a master's degree in health education and promotion from UNI in 1997, then began work as the health and wellness coordinator for Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa in Mason City. While there, she created Kailo, a non-traditional approach to worksite health promotion which received international recognition. She is a frequent speaker and consultant on holistic worksite health promotion and has authored many articles on the subject. She was a member of the UNI faculty from 2006-08, teaching coursework in worksite health promotion. Her current employer, Trinity, is the fourth-largest Catholic health care system in the United States.

The Alumni in Residence program will also include recognition of members of the UNI community who have received teacher-of-the-year honors in several categories. This includes several alumni and a faculty member.

The panel discussion is open to the public and is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., in Schindler Education Center, Room 247. The Alumni in Residence and teacher of the year honorees will answer questions. A reception honoring these individuals will immediately follow.


April 4, 2013 - 10:09am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Mary Vermeer Andringa, president and CEO of Vermeer Corporation in Pella, Iowa will speak at the University of Northern Iowa at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 11, in the University Room, in Maucker Union. Andringa is part of UNI's distinguished guest lecture series featuring top corporate leaders. The lecture is free and open to the public. Mary Andringa

Andringa became president of Vermeer in 1989 and sole CEO in 2009. Andringa is the immediate past chair of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation’s largest manufacturing association. She was the first female to chair the NAM. Andringa is also one of 18 private sector members of President Obama’s Export Council, where she represents the manufacturing sector on important trade matters. She also serves on the Ex-Im Bank Advisory Committee and is a member of the US-Brazil CEO Forum.

"It's a great honor to have Mary Vermeer Andringa on our campus to share her successes, innovation, and challenges working in a global society," said UNI President Ben Allen. "Our campus and community will have an enriching opportunity to learn about the skills needed in today's global world."

Vermeer is an international, family-owned agricultural, construction, environmental and industrial equipment manufacturing company with more than 3,250 employees worldwide.  Its products are used in more than 60 countries.

April 2, 2013 - 10:55am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host a lecture by John Johnson, professor of history at UNI, from 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 10, in Seerley Hall, Room 115.

Johnson will present "Harmony or Discord? The Music of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen as Historical Text," which examines the use of history in the lyrics of two of the most influential songwriters of the last half century. It will feature several music videos and analysis of some of the artists' compositions.

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Johnson at 319-273-7077 or

April 2, 2013 - 11:44am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there were an estimated 643,067 people who experienced homelessness in the United States in 2011. The University of Northern Iowa Interpreters Theatre production of "Home Is Where Your Dog Is" aims to explore the definition of home. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11 through Saturday, April 13, in the Interpreters Theatre in Lang Hall, Room 040.

The play was conceived, written and directed by graduate student Jorge De Leon. Set in modern day urban U. S., the show reveals the struggles of everyday life in the streets. By examining the relationship between Rusty and his dog Chucks, the show explores what happens when the social world begins to deconstruct itself and perhaps creates a new definition of home.

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis beginning at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Megan Wharff, graduate assistant for UNI's Department of Communication Studies, at 515-490-2535 or

April 2, 2013 - 2:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Howard Reich, arts and jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune and child of Holocaust survivors, will present the fifth annual Norman Cohn Family Holocaust Remembrance and Education Lecture at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 15, in Sabin Hall, Room 002, on the UNI campus.

Reich will present excerpts from and discuss his film, "Prisoner of Her Past," based on his book "The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich." The film documents his mother's late-onset PTSD resulting from her experiences during the Holocaust and Howard Reich's own journey to learn about his mother's story of survival. A question and answer period, book signing and reception will follow the lecture.

The Norman Cohn Family Annual Holocaust Remembrance and Education Lecture is made possible by the ongoing support of Norman Cohn, a native of Waterloo and a graduate of UNI.

For more information, contact the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at 319-273-3870, or

March 29, 2013 - 4:47pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host Hans Herren, internationally recognized scientist and World Food Prize winner, at 7 p.m., Monday, April 8, in the auditorium of UNI's Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE). Herren's lecture, "Changing Course in Global Agriculture," will emphasize the urgent need to adopt policies that lead to biological diversity, soil and water conservation, and climate protection.

Herren is an entomologist, farmer and development specialist known for his work in food crisis prevention. He won the World Food Prize in 1995 for leading a biological pest management campaign that prevented a major food crisis in Africa. Herren is the president of the Washington-based Millennium Institute and co-founder and president of the Swiss foundation, Biovision.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kamyar Enshayan, director of UNI's CEEE, at 319-273-7575 or

March 29, 2013 - 4:52pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Majora Carter redefined the field of environmental equality, starting in the South Bronx. Now she's leading the local economic development movement across the U.S. Carter is a keynote speaker for the University of Northern Iowa's Sustainability Dialogue and Action Conference, scheduled for April 12 and 13. She will present "Home(town) Security" at 7 p.m., Friday, April 12, in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center Great Hall.

Carter is an urban revitalization strategist and public radio host from the South Bronx area of New York City. She founded the non-profit environmental justice solutions corporation Sustainable South Bronx in 2001. She hosts the public radio series The Promise Land, which received a Peabody Award in 2010. Carter also has a long list of awards and honorary degrees, including a MacArthur Fellowship.

"Environmental justice means that no community should be saddled with more environmental burdens and less environmental benefits than any other," said Carter during a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) presentation.

The Sustainability Dialogue and Action conference is a two-day conference focused on actions needed to envision a sustainable world and the transformation needed to create it. It will include keynote speakers, a variety of breakout sessions on various sustainability topics, poster sessions and tours.

Carter's presentation is free and open to the public. The conference is open to the public, but preregistration is required. For more information and to register, visit or contact Jenny Bruss, program and community outreach coordinator for UNI's Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center, at 319-273-3689 or

March 28, 2013 - 8:51am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host presentations and a roundtable discussion about teaching language from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Monday, April 8, in Seerley Hall, Room 212. There will be a Q&A opportunity following the presentations.

Leading scholars from UNI, the University of Minnesota, University of Iowa and Iowa State University will discuss their latest innovations in teaching different languages, including critical thinking activities, hybrid online and in-person formats, pronunciation strategies and strategies for adapting language learning to Native American language revival.

"This event will offer valuable and practical ideas for those involved in language education," said Ardith Meier, professor of languages and literatures at UNI. "We are fortunate to welcome well-known language teaching scholars to our campus."

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Meier at 319-273-2785 or


March 28, 2013 - 1:02pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa College of Education will induct 250 students into the teacher education program at the Teacher Education Induction Convocation at 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 2, in the Great Hall of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. A reception will follow in the GBPAC lobby. 

This will be the 45th group of candidates inducted into the Teacher Education program since formal ceremonies began in 1991.

Leigh Martin, international and out-of-state student teaching coordinator/supervisor in the Office of Student Field Experiences, will deliver the convocation address. Katheryn East, chair of the Teacher Education Faculty, will present, pin and affirm the candidates. Gloria Gibson, executive vice president and provost, will grant admission to the teacher education program.

Parents and friends of the candidates are invited, along with UNI faculty and administrators.

For more information, contact Kathy Oakland, instructor, at 319-273-2591 or


March 27, 2013 - 10:06am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education will host the seventh annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in the Cedar Valley at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 7, in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center lobby. The ceremony is held in conjunction with the 2013 National Days of Remembrance. The theme of this year's Days of Remembrance is "Never Again: Heeding the Warning Signs."

The ceremony will feature guest speakers, readings, musical performances, candle lighting and other activities to honor victims of the Holocaust.

Holocaust remembrance ceremonies in the U.S. are the result of a bill passed unanimously by Congress in 1980 that, among other things, established an eight-day period -- the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust -- for civic commemorations and special educational programs to help citizens remember and draw lessons from the Holocaust. The 2013 Days of Remembrance are Sunday, April 7 through Sunday, April 14.

UNI's ceremony is free and open to the public. The ceremony is sponsored by the UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, Sons of Jacob Synagogue of Waterloo, Cedar Valley Interfaith Council, Catholic Parishes of Waterloo, the Peace and Justice Center of the Cedar Valley and UNI's College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Stephen Gaies, director of UNI's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, at 319-273-3870 or

March 27, 2013 - 10:53am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Strayer-Wood Theatre will present William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice (BEACH)!" at 7:30 p.m., April 11 to 13 and April 18 to 20, and at 2 p.m., April 14 and 21, in the Strayer-Wood Theatre on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

In this comedy, Shakespeare weaves together two ancient folk myths. One involves a vengeful, greedy Jewish creditor trying to exact a pound of flesh from a Christian over an unpaid debt, and the other involves a marriage suitor's choice among three chests to win the hand of his beloved. This production has been updated to the Reaganite 1980's and set in Venice Beach and Bel Air, Calif., and features professional actor Larry Paulsen in the role of Shylock.

"The Merchant of Venice (BEACH)!" is the final offering of the Strayer-Wood Theatre's 2012-2013 season, "Renewal: Uplifting the Spirit." The production is directed by Richard Glockner, associate professor of performance. Scenery is designed by Leonard M. Curtis, associate professor of design and production; lighting is designed by Ron Koinzan, technical director of the Strayer-Wood Theatre; costumes are designed by Amy Rohrberg, associate professor of design and production; sound and video effects are designed by Shawn Poellet, senior theatre design and production major; hair and makeup are designed by Kelly Craig, senior drama and theatre for youth major. The stage manager is Jessi Kadolph, a 2012 alumnus of the UNI theatre program.

Tickets are $16 for adults and free for UNI students with their student ID. Tickets can be purchased from the Strayer-Wood Theatre lobby box office between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The box office opens one hour before curtain time. Tickets may also be purchased at any UNItix location.

For more information, contact Eric Lange, artistic director at the Strayer-Wood Theatre, at 319-273-6833 or or call the Strayer-Wood Theatre box office at 319-273-6381 or visit 

March 26, 2013 - 11:45am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's LGBT student organization, UNI Proud, will host the annual campus-wide Pride Week Monday, April 1 through Saturday, April 6. "Pride and Progress" is the theme of this year's pride week, with events that focus on the political aspects of the LGBT movement.

The week's events will begin Monday, April 1 with a march around campus at noon, beginning at the fountain by Maucker Union. The queer monologues, which features performances of monologues written by students, will take place at 7 p.m., in the Bertha Martin Theater in Strayer-Wood Theatre.

A drag show will take place at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, April 2, in the Maucker Union. The show features students performing popular songs to raise money for AIDS awareness. The event attracts a crowd of more than 500.

A celebration of Varnum v. Brian, the case that resulted in the legalization of gay marriage in Iowa, will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on Wednesday, April 3, at the Campanile. The event will feature free food and music. Poet and activist Andrea Gibson will present the keynote lecture and perform her poetry at 7 p.m., in Lang Hall Auditorium.

Marsha Ternus, former Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, will speak at 7 p.m., on Thursday, April 4, in Lang Hall Auditorium.

UNI's Hispanic Latino Student Union will celebrate Pride Week with a special presentation by UNI Proud at its annual Latino Ball at 8:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 6, in the Commons Ballroom.

There will also be lectures by UNI faculty and screenings of LGBT films throughout the week.

The events are free and open to the public. For a complete list of events or more information, visit or contact David Pope, president of UNI Proud, at

March 25, 2013 - 9:43am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Department of Art will host a symposium on graphic design for design professionals, educators and students. The event will take place starting at 5 p.m., Friday, April 26 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 27, in the Kamerick Art Building, Room 111.

The event, titled Envisioning Design, will start with an annual portfolio night. Upper-level UNI graphic design students will present their portfolios, which will be available for public viewing. Two keynote speakers will be featured. Beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, the keynote speaker for the evening is designer and design educator Sang-Duck Seo, associate professor of graphic design and media at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Seo is an award-winning graphic and industrial designer, and he specializes in kinetic typography, brand identity and security printing design. An informal reception will follow the presentation.

Saturday's events begin at 9 a.m., and will include mini-presentations, panel discussions and other events pertaining to a wide range of aspects of graphic design, including design history, typography, theory and education. At 11 a.m., second keynote speaker Claudia Covert, arts librarian and scholar from the Fleet Library at the Rhode Island School of Design, will present. Covert will discuss the school's extensive collection of colorful, World War I ship camouflage designs, produced by American artists.

"This informal symposium will be a delightful, informative way for designers and design students to renew friendships, make new contacts and exchange ideas," says Roy Behrens, professor of art. "It's going to be a wonderful mix of design professionals, design teachers, students, alumni and others."

This event is free and open to the public. If you plan to attend, email with Design Conference in the subject line no later than Monday, April 1. For more information, contact Behrens at

March 22, 2013 - 10:55am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Department of Physics will host the UNI/Area Education Agency 267 Regional Physics Competition from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 27, in the McLeod Center on the UNI campus. Approximately 150 high school students from across Iowa are expected to participate.

The competition is a series of six events. It stresses creativity and ingenuity, as well as an understanding of physics-related principles, and is intended to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Events include the self-propelled catapult, mousetrap car, bridge building, soda straw arm, challenge problem and material recovery facility (MRF). The MRF event is sponsored by the Iowa Recycling Association.

Regional winners and runners-up will advance to the State of Iowa Physics Competition on Wednesday, April 17, in the McLeod Center. For additional information, contact Larry Escalada, professor of physics and science education, at 319-273-2431 or

March 22, 2013 - 11:23am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Iowa's three public universities are partnering with the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) to bring comprehensive college and career readiness programming and resources to students and parents in communities across Iowa, and to support initiatives around the state that support economic growth through increased training and education of Iowa's future workforce.

"Iowa's public universities, UNI, ISU and the UI, support ICAN's mission of making every middle and high school student in Iowa aware of higher education opportunities and we are pleased to be a partner in this important work," said the directors of admission at the three universities. "Our support will enable students across Iowa, and their parents, to have access to critical college planning and financial aid information and resources, leading to positive student outcomes."

Through its partnership with ICAN, the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa will provide support for ICAN's comprehensive planning calendar outlining critical steps for high school juniors and seniors to take monthly on the path to college. ICAN's resource publications, such as the Countdown to College Planning Calendar, impact approximately 300,000 students and parents each academic year.

The ICAN Partnership Program is open to any business, organization or institution with the desire to support long-term economic growth and success for Iowa communities and citizens. The public universities have joined to support ICAN's work in career and college readiness programming which is outlined in the ICAN College Access Power Plan, a suite of programs and services designed to help families better understand college and career planning, how to successfully navigate paying for college, and choosing both a college and major that are the right fit.

"ICAN is proud to partner with all three Regent universities in advancing career and college access readiness programming throughout the state of Iowa," explained Rob Miller, executive director of ICAN. "The College Access Power Plan is designed to guide students beginning in middle school and throughout high school with the rights tips and advice for each level, ensuring that every student is prepared for the level they are in, as well as for the future steps they will need to take to be successful both in college and a career. ICAN offers the most complete, step-by-step guide for parents and students preparing for life after high school. With the wonderful support from the University of Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa, ICAN is able to deliver the College Access Power Plan to communities across Iowa at no cost to the school, its students or families."

The ICAN College Access Power Plan includes age-appropriate, in-person presentations, printed guidebooks, access to a comprehensive website, electronic newsletters containing monthly planning tips and reminders for students and parents as they journey through high school and college, and unlimited access to ICAN staff, via phone or in person, for one-on-one assistance.

ICAN's programs and services are developed and presented by ICAN's highly trained representatives on topics such as high school planning, college and career planning, financial literacy, successful college transitions and financial aid. ICAN serves more than 280,000 students and parents annually. Students are encouraged to check with their high school counseling offices for the dates, times and locations of ICAN presentations in their area or visit Students can also contact ICAN toll-free at 877-272-4692, email or visit

March 20, 2013 - 8:06am


CEDAR FALLS -- The John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition is now accepting entries for the 2013 competition. New and start-up businesses (in business for less than four years) are eligible to enter the competition for the chance to win up to $25,000.

The deadline to enter is April 30. Applicants are required to submit business plan information via a secure online program called Gust. A link to the Gust submission page is available at the competition website,

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.

Assistance with business plan entries is available at the Iowa 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 Small Business Development Centers throughout the state; and the business accelerators in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Red Oak and Mason City.

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.

Rules, eligibility, timelines and more information is available at the competition website,

March 14, 2013 - 9:21am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Elaine Eshbaugh, associate professor of gerontology at the University of Northern Iowa, will host a lecture on Alzheimer's and dementia from noon to 12:50 p.m., Friday, March 29, in Latham Hall, Room 125.

The lecture will focus on common misconceptions about Alzheimer's and dementia, as well as the difference between these two conditions. It will also include tips and ideas for positive interactions with people who have Alzheimer's.

"Because of our aging population, Alzheimer's and dementia are growing concerns," says Eshbaugh. "People are living longer, and that means more people are afflicted with these diseases. Despite that, the general public still has a very low level of knowledge."

For more information, contact Eshbaugh at 319-273-6083 or

March 13, 2013 - 2:48pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa chapter of the national student volunteer organization, Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF), will embark on its first Pay It Forward Tour during spring break, beginning Friday, March 15. The nine-day tour will take students to six different cities and give them the opportunity to participate in a number of volunteer projects.

"Many students spend their spring break either doing the stereotypical thing, going to Panama City Beach or Cancun, while others go home and work," said Melissa Herak, co-chair of the UNI chapter of STLF. "This opportunity is needed for those students who are looking to do something more and affect people along the way by giving back."

The tour will take students to Kansas City, Mo.; Eureka Springs, Ark.; Little Rock, Ark.; Shreveport, La.; Houston, Texas; and Dallas, Texas.

STLF was founded in 2003 and is focused on volunteer leadership. The group has 35 chapters at universities throughout the nation. The UNI chapter of STLF was established in the fall of 2012.

For more information, visit or contact Herak at

March 13, 2013 - 4:46pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- More than 300 people gathered at the Hotel Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, March 7 to attend the Dream Big, Grow Here pitch off event and to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship in Iowa at the sixth annual EntreFest! Conference.

Dream Big, Grow Here is an annual statewide contest for entrepreneurs and small business owners to win cash to start or grow an Iowa business. This year's event was emceed by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. To participate, small business owners simply upload their 'dreams' during a regional contest administered by their local economic development corporation. They then encourage friends, customers and other business owners to vote for them. Each regional contest winner received $5,000 cash and a chance to win another $10,000 cash award at EntreFest! on March 7.

The winner of this year's Dream Big, Grow Here pitch off event was Tom Molhulland of Molhulland Grocery in Malvern, Iowa. "We had to fight to make it,” explains Tom. "We got there as the last finalist, thanks to a lot of help from a lot of friends. This grant will mean so much for my business in our rural community."

Now in its second year, the Dream Big, Grow Here contest has awarded more than $100,000 in business cash to Iowa entrepreneurs. "We are cultivating a spirit of celebrating entrepreneurs, both through the Dream Big Grow Here contests and the EntreFest! conference," said Maureen Collins-Williams, director of entrepreneurship outreach for the University of Northern Iowa. "This year, seven of the 10 Dream Big, Grow Here finalists were from communities with fewer than 20,000 population. We were surprised and very pleased at the response from rural communities.  Increasing awareness and support of entrepreneurship in rural Iowa is critical to long term economic health in the state."

Other Dream Big, Grow Here winners included second-place winner Deri Fehr of EDU Instruments of Terril, Iowa ($1,000) and third-place winner Nikole and Jon Benson of Tug's Daycare and Preschool of Mason City ($500). Other statewide finalists included WW Homestead Dairy of Waukon, The Chicken Sisters of Lamoni, Cryogen Design of Marshalltown, {made} of Burlington, The Depot Family Restaurant of New Virginia, Ready to Go In America of Iowa City, and Recycle Rite of Cedar Falls.  More than 225 companies from 66 counties competed in a Dream Big Grow Here contest in 2012.  For a complete list of contestants and videos from the regional contests, visit

A long list of regional and state sponsors collaborate to provide the contests and cash awards for Dream Big, Grow Here.  In addition to the University of Northern Iowa, state sponsors include the Iowa Bankers Association, Renew Rural Iowa, Delta Dental, VentureNet, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Community Vitality Center and the Technology Association of Iowa.  Host sites can be found at

For more information on Dream Big, Grow Here or EntreFest!, please contact Collins-Williams, at 319-273-4327 or or Andy Stoll at Seed Here at


March 12, 2013 - 8:52am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's new interactive digital studies (IDS) major has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Prometheus Awards. The awards honor companies and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in technology. The IDS program is a finalist in the Innovation in Teaching category.

IDS is a new, interdisciplinary major that represents a collaboration between eight different departments, representing each of UNI's five colleges. All IDS students start with a core set of digital skills that provide them with an understanding of digital culture and communicating through digital technology.

Once they have a digital foundation, students can then tailor the major to their own interests by choosing two concentrations, or "bundles." Each bundle is composed of five classes and is aimed at a concentrated aspect of digital technology. Current bundles include digital advertising, computation, imaging, learning, media and social change, music, visualization and writing.

"We wanted to model the program after the startup culture of new technology firms, where innovation and experimentation lead to a true sense of ownership over the end product," says Matthew Wilson, an instructor of marketing who teaches courses in the new program. "One of the goals of the IDS program is to empower our students to take ownership over their own learning. We want to be the catalyst for a new generation of students to use digital technology to change the world."

The Prometheus Awards are hosted by the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) and LWBJ Financial. The awards ceremony is Tuesday, April 9, at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa.

For more information, contact Wilson at 319-273-6046 or

March 12, 2013 - 10:36am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Lindsay Cohn, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa, has recently been awarded an International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

The IAF began in 1967 and is designed to assist mid-career scholars and professionals in advancing their analytic capabilities and broadening their foreign policy experience. The CFR is a nonpartisan membership organization, think tank and publisher that includes such members as Brian Williams, Fareed Zakaria, Chuck Hagel and many others. CFR awards approximately 10 fellowships each year through a highly competitive selection process.

"As a political scientist, my main motivations for both teaching and research are to understand how society is governed, to help others understand and thus to improve how society is governed," said Cohn. "This is a really exciting chance to do all of those things."

"Professor Cohn is to be congratulated and her selection is a testament to her expertise and promise in the field of international relations," said Donna Hoffman, head of UNI's Department of Political Science. "Upon her return to UNI at the end of her fellowship period, she will bring a wealth of new experience which will no doubt inform both her research and her teaching."

For additional information, contact Hoffman at 319-273-5916 or

March 7, 2013 - 3:19pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art and the UNI Department of Art will present the Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition in the Kamerick Art Building (KAB) from March 25 to April 20.

An awards ceremony and reception for the exhibition will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, March 25, in the KAB Auditorium, Room 111.

This competitive exhibition showcases outstanding works of art by students in the UNI Department of Art. The juror for this year's competition is Fred Burton, professor of painting and drawing at Memphis College of Art. The juror will make a selection from approximately 400 entries and will choose a number of merit awards and honorable mentions. A juror's lecture will take place at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 13, in the KAB Auditorium.

Fred Burton's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he has written art criticism for such noteworthy publications as Art Papers and Number Magazine. In addition, he has completed artist residencies at the Edward Albee Foundation in Montauk, N.Y., the Tyrone Guthrie Center in County Monaghan, Ireland and the Morris Graves Foundation in Loleta, Calif.

All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and by appointment. The gallery is located on the main floor of the KAB.

For additional information, visit or contact Darrell Taylor, director of the UNI Gallery of Art, at 319-273-6134 or


March 7, 2013 - 3:22pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- As part of its ongoing dedication to promote diversity in education, the University of Northern Iowa College of Education will welcome Christine E. Sleeter, professor emerita in the College of Professional Studies at California State University Monterey Bay, from 7 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 13, in the Schindler Education Center, Room 247 on the UNI campus. Sleeter will discuss issues relating to race, class, gender and disability in the classroom.

Sleeter is currently the immediate past president of the National Association for Multicultural Education and previously served as a high school learning disabilities teacher in Seattle, Wash. Her research focuses on anti-racist multicultural education and teacher education. Sleeter has published more than 100 articles in journals and edited books, and she has received numerous awards for her work, including the American Educational Research Association Social Justice in Education Award.

"We look forward to Dr. Sleeter's visit as she shares with the College of Education on teaching in increasingly diverse classrooms," said Stephanie Logan, assistant professor in curriculum and instruction at UNI.

The public is welcome to attend. A reception will follow the program. For additional information, contact Logan at 319-273-5695 or

March 7, 2013 - 3:28pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will hold the conference Poverty Summit: Understanding Poverty in Iowa and the U.S., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 8, in the Old Central Ballroom in Maucker Union.

The keynote speech will be given at 9 a.m. by Heidi Shierholz, an economist on the staff of the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit research institution in Washington, D.C. that specializes in economic inequality and labor market economics. Another speech will be given at 1 p.m. by Robin Jarrett, a professor in the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois, whose research focuses on coping strategies for low-income African-American families and children in inner-city neighborhoods.

The conference will also include workshops on various aspects of poverty in Iowa, including its impact on education and families, the impact of the criminal justice system on poverty and how to successfully advocate for effective anti-poverty programs.

The cost for registration is $35. For additional information or to register, contact Allen Hays, director of UNI's Public Policy Program, at 319-273-2910 or

March 7, 2013 - 3:44pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Dance Team came in fourth place in the nation in Division I for their jazz routine and pom routine at the Universal Dance Association (UDA) Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, Fla. The competition is the most prestigious college cheerleading and dance team championship in the country.

"This is the first time in the UNI Dance Team's history that we have placed top five at the UDA College Dance Team Championship in both pom and jazz," said Megan Wolcott, adviser for the UNI Dance Team. "This is a great accomplishment for the program, and I am excited to see how this motivates the future dance team members."

The dance team will recruit new members during tryouts, which will take place Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14. More information and registration forms can be found at

For more information, contact Wolcott at

March 6, 2013 - 3:43pm


CEDAR FALLS -- A $15 million gift from Des Moines businessman Richard O. Jacobson sets a milestone for teacher education at the University of Northern Iowa. Jacobson's gift to UNI's College of Education is the largest gift UNI has ever received.

Jacobson said, "UNI is renowned for the quality of teachers it produces. It has an outstanding program for preparing principals and superintendents, and the university's leadership has demonstrated their vision, expertise and dedication to pre-K through 12 education. I hope this gift will strengthen and create educational opportunities that will enable all of Iowa's children to achieve success as individuals and contributors to the larger community and society."Richard O. Jacobson

Jacobson's gift will benefit UNI's students and faculty as well as pre-K through 12 students throughout Iowa and the nation. A portion of the gift will support endowed UNI faculty positions in literacy and science, visiting faculty and visiting fellows. Funds will support faculty and student research and an annual education summit, among other initiatives. In addition, Jacobson chose to honor his long-time friend, UNI President Ben Allen, by creating an endowed scholarship in the amount of $5 million. The scholarship will attract talented, accomplished students who have the potential to be excellent teachers.

President Allen said, "We have embraced pre-K through 12 educational leadership as a top priority at UNI. This extraordinary gift affirms our commitment and provides the resources we need to support innovation and leadership in education. I am deeply grateful to Dick for helping us transform education in Iowa and for helping Iowa regain its national leadership in pre-K through 12 education."

Dwight Watson, dean of UNI's College of Education said, "Dick's remarkable generosity will help us strengthen and create education opportunities that propel all Iowa's children to achieve success as individuals and contributors to the larger community and society. Well-trained, highly effective teachers will play a key role in helping to eliminate social, racial and economic barriers so Iowa's children will thrive."

This is Jacobson's third and largest gift to the College of Education. Gifts from the Jacobson Foundation to UNI have totaled $30 million and have been focused on teacher education programs.

March 6, 2013 - 8:45am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa School of Music will sponsor guest lecturer Jennifer Stevenson this month. Stevenson will present her lecture titled "Musical Adventures: How to Compose Music for Children's Outreach Concerts" at noon, on Wednesday, March 13, in Russell Hall, Room 121 on the UNI campus.

Composer and clarinetist, Stevenson has been creating and performing musical outreach programs in Los Angeles and across the country for more than 20 years. Presenting to audiences from infants to adults, Stevenson's innovative concerts incorporate humor, interaction, movement and learning by doing. A CD of her musical adventures for children, released through Tessella Music, is available on iTunes.

This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information on this or other School of Music events, contact Caroline Boehmer, communications and operations coordinator for the School of Music, at 319-273-2028 or

March 6, 2013 - 9:28am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Businesses classified as minor sources throughout the eastern portion of Iowa may be required to submit the Minor Source Emissions Inventory (MSEI) by May 15, 2013. The Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) has provided resources including tutorials and emission calculators since 2010 via to help these businesses. The website has been updated for the 2012 reporting year requirement and the IWRC is adding one-on-one training sessions to its list of services this year.

Businesses with less than 100 employees can register for these free sessions, which allow for small businesses to meet one-on-one with an IWRC Iowa Air Emissions Assistance Program (IAEAP) specialist who can help assist in completing the MSEI. Specialists will be able to answer questions, provide assistance for completing required forms and discuss the additional tools and resources available. Three sessions will be held in:

-Dubuque on Wednesday, March 20

-Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, March 27

-Davenport on Wednesday, April 3

To register for a session, visit the MSEI website. If you are unable to attend any of the sessions listed, you may also schedule an appointment to meet with an IAEAP specialist at the IWRC office in Cedar Falls. Appointments must be scheduled before April 30.

Data collected in the MSEI’s are used by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to track Iowa's progress towards meeting national air quality standards, perform regional and local air pollution dispersion modeling, develop control and maintenance strategies required by the Clean Air Act, and identify emission levels and trends throughout the state.

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


March 5, 2013 - 1:19pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Rialto Dining Center has been awarded a Blue Zones Restaurant Certification. This designation is given to restaurants that complete a set of criteria by implementing changes that create a healthy dining environment.

Actions taken by Rialto which contributed to the certification include: providing menus and nutritional information online, serving healthy sides with entrees, making half portions available, using plates sized 10 inches or smaller, posting signage promoting healthy options for children, maintaining a smoke free environment, and offering a minimum of three healthy dishes at each meal.

The Blue Zones project is an initiative designed to improve community well-being and make healthy choices through permanent changes to environment, policy and social networks. Cedar Falls currently has five restaurants with the Blue Zones designation.

For more information, contact Rosanne Lang, Rialto manager, at 319-273-2205 or

March 5, 2013 - 3:24pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Francine D. Blau, the Frances Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics at Cornell University, will be the featured speaker at the University of Northern Iowa Jepson Symposium on March 28. Her public presentation, "Immigrants and Gender Roles: Assimilation vs. Culture" will be at 4:45 p.m. in the Curris Business Building, Room 320.

In addition to her position at Cornell, Blau is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economics Research in Cambridge, Mass.; a research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany, and of the Center for Economic Studies/Ifo Institute in Munich, Germany; and a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, Germany.

Blau has written extensively on gender issues, wage inequality, immigration and international comparisons of labor market outcomes. Her full biography is available at

The Jepson Symposium is funded by the Lawrence M. Jepson endowment to support activities in international economics. 

March 5, 2013 - 3:33pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Northern Iowa Youth Orchestra, sponsored by the UNI Suzuki School, will present a concert at 6:30 p.m., on Monday, March 11, at Cedar Heights Presbyterian Church in Cedar Falls. 

Members of the orchestra who auditioned in the fall include: Waterloo West High School students Erika Klabunde and Taylor Odekirk; Cedar Falls High School students Charlotte Brandenburg, Jason Cheng, Hanna Gibson, Joel Brich, Lauren Sims, Erik Cheng and Kelli Dekutoski; Waverly Shell Rock students Sanah Munir, Anton Wachmann and Ally Wicks; Holmes Junior High students Jason Cheng, Harrison Sims, Leo Gibson, Seth Harwood and Anjah Droe; Peet Junior High student Karna Christiason; and home school students Rachel Pakala and Emily Schroeder. Musical director for the group is Claudia Restrepo.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information about the orchestra, contact Cathy Craig, coordinator of the Suzuki School, at 319-273-2508 or


March 4, 2013 - 11:42am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Political Science Society will host the 2nd annual OXFAM America Hunger Banquet from 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 9, in the Maucker Union Old Central Ballroom.

The purpose of the event is to increase awareness about the great disparity in world food distribution and the millions of people who remain malnourished. Participants will be randomly divided into groups with different income levels and given meals based on what is typical of that income group.

The event is free and open to the public. The banquet is hosted in part by the UNI Center for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS) and Iowa High School Model United Nations. For additional information, contact Victoria Hurst, student president of the UNI Political Science Society, at 319-215-5860 or

March 4, 2013 - 3:40pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI Child Development Center (CDC) will host an open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 7. The CDC is located at 1901 Campus St. and guests may enter through the north door by the track and field house.

Informal tours of the renovated space will be provided and Dwight Watson, dean of the College of Education, will speak at 6:15 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The UNI CDC is a childcare and instruction resource for the students, faculty, and staff at UNI. The center serves children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The center is staffed by full-time teachers certified in early childhood education and UNI student staff. In addition, UNI students participate in practicum experiences at the UNI CDC.

For more information, contact Tera Weber, interim coordinator of CDC at 319-273-2263 or

March 4, 2013 - 3:44pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- New businesses create nearly all net new jobs, develop new ideas and offer valuable services across the state, and they employ more than half of Iowa's private labor force. Inspiring business owners to grow and develop their business, and providing the tools to do so, is the impetus behind the sixth annual EntreFest! conference, Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8, in Cedar Rapids. EntreFest! brings entrepreneurial information, expertise and inspiration under one roof, providing Iowa entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn, share and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit.

The two-day conference will be held at the Hotel at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids. The registration fee for the conference is $119 per person.

This year's conference will add three new educational tracks focused on helping innovators in startup companies, inside of large corporations and economic developers working to grow more entrepreneurs in their communities. The sessions are geared to help attendees successfully start, grow and manage their businesses.

EntreFest! will welcome three iconic Iowa entrepreneurs who will share their entrepreneurial stories with attendees. Speakers are:

Mike Draper, founder & CEO, RAYGUN; Draper started selling snarky T-shirts on street corners in college and now RAYGUN generates more than $3 million in annual sales through their iconic tongue-in-cheek Iowa apparel.

Christian Renaud, co-founder, Startup City Des Moines; A serial entrepreneur, Renaud mentors dozens of Iowa tech startups and has been nationally recognized for helping to put Iowa on the national entrepreneurial map.

Mary Quass, CEO & president, NRG Media; Quass purchased her first radio station with bank loans and now Cedar Rapids-based NRG Media is the 7th largest radio network in the U.S. with 45 stations.

Attendees will also take part in more than 30 learning sessions on a wide range of topics including building a brand, social media, raising capital, how to manage life outside of business and how to build companies through the latest innovation strategies, including Lean Startup Methodology and Business Model Generation. The conference includes networking opportunities, pitch competitions and hands-on workshops, and the Biz Info Smorgasbord will provide attendees a chance to ask questions of business experts in a fun, informal setting.

EntreFest! 2013 is presented by a committee of Iowa's premiere service providers from across the state, and is sponsored by UNI Regional Business Center, Iowa Area Development Group, Black Hills Energy, MidAmerican, Iowa Farm Bureau, Delta Dental, Iowa Bankers Association, Alliant Energy, Small Business Development Centers, TSB, University of Iowa, UNI Business & Community Services, Kirkwood Community College, Technology Association of Iowa (TAI), Entrepreneurial Development Center (EDC) and the UNI Iowa Waste Reduction Center.

For more information about EntreFest!, including a full schedule and registration details, visit or contact Andy Stoll, event coordinator, Seed Here Studio, at 319-855-0895 or