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News Release Archive

August 21, 2013 - 1:48pm


CEDAR FALLS -- Seven businesses have been selected as finalists in the 2013 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition. The businesses continuing in the competition are: Higher Learning Technologies, HMR Supplies, Memcine Pharmaceuticals Inc., Osteoceramics, r-pipe, ScoutPro Inc. and TelePharm.

"Now that we have selected seven finalists, each business plan competitor will interview with a panel of judges on Sept. 5," said Randy Pilkington, director of UNI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and competition judge. "Based on those presentations, we will choose the top three finalists to recognize at a special awards ceremony on Sept. 26 at Drake University."

This is the third round of competition. In the first round, businesses submitted brief information about their business plans. Based on those entries, judges chose 16 entrepreneurs to submit full business plans. Those 16 business plans were narrowed down to the final seven.

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.

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.

August 21, 2013 - 3:27pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Green Iowa AmeriCorps (GIA) is hosting a 5k Fun Run at 9 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 24. The run will begin at the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) and will take runners on a course through UNI's South Campus Preserve's trails.

Runners are encouraged to wear green attire to support GIA efforts to make Iowa more energy efficient. A prize will be given to the runner with the most creative green outfit. The first 40 registered participants will receive a UNI reusable water bottle along with a variety of other prizes awarded upon completion of the race.

GIA is a non-profit organization based out of the CEEE. GIA's mission is to make Iowans more energy efficient through low impact home weatherization, energy education and community outreach.

A $15 donation to GIA is required as a registration fee. Proceeds will benefit GIA's work in the Cedar Valley.

To register for the 5k Fun Run, visit or call 319-273-7233. For more information about GIA, visit 

August 21, 2013 - 3:40pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa and Kyungpook National University (KNU) Korea are pleased to announce an innovative double-degree program for students training to be teachers of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and physical education, supported by a $3 million grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea. 

KNU is ranked among the top universities in the world by both Academic Ranking of World Universities and Times Higher Education and was recently selected (along with only two other Korean universities) for the National Research Foundation of Korea's new Global Teachers University (GTU) project. The goal of the 12-year project is to train a new generation of internationally qualified teachers. UNI, consistently ranked one of the best comprehensive universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, is a nationally recognized leader in STEM education. 

The double-degree program will permit participating students to graduate with a teaching qualification from both KNU and UNI. A minimum of 60 KNU students will study for two years at UNI with their tuition covered by the National Research Foundation grant. UNI students will study for one year at KNU as exchange students in pursuit of KNU degrees, creating the opportunity for additional KNU students to study at UNI. The first KNU GTU students will join UNI in spring 2015, and UNI students will be welcomed beginning in spring 2014. 

Professor Craig Evan Klafter, associate provost for International Programs at UNI, said, "The University of Northern Iowa is delighted to partner with Kyungpook National University to shape the future of STEM education in Korea and in the United States, and is grateful to the National Research Foundation of Korea for its generous support." According to professor Ui Wook Hwang, coordinator of the KNU GTU project, "This is very significant. The new dual-degree program will be a major factor for increasing the employment among graduates and upgrading the all-round international profile of the Teachers' College at KNU." 

For more information about this grant and UNI's Office of International Programs, visit

August 19, 2013 - 9:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa conducted its annual emergency exercise on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The exercise consisted of a tabletop scenario of a natural disaster on campus. Participants in the exercise included university administrators, public safety personnel and local first responders. The exercise also included setting up the university's emergency call center.

The purpose of the exercise was to review, assess and evaluate the university's emergency plans and capabilities. As part of the exercise, the university's evacuation procedures, including the option of shelter in place in some incidents, were reviewed. UNI also conducts a test of its emergency text messaging system (UNI Alert) semiannually.

For more information about UNI's evacuation plans, visit

August 16, 2013 - 11:03am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Whether it's a new campus or just a new year, all students are invited to participate in the University of Northern Iowa's Welcome Week activities. 

The five-day stretch of events will start at 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 22, with the Panther Picnic on the corner of 23rd and College Street. Celebrate a new academic year with music, food and fun activities.

On Friday, Aug. 23, UNI's Campus Activities Board will present Maxim Magazine's Comedian of the Year Rob Little at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. There will be two showings: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Multiple events will be held Saturday, Aug. 24. The Cedar Falls community and businesses on Main Street invite students to Panthers on Main from 1 to 4 p.m. Join TC and explore the Cedar Falls downtown during a scavenger hunt with opportunities to win prizes. Buses will shuttle students free of charge to and from Main Street for the duration of the event. Campus pick up will be at the corner of 23rd and College Street and the Curris Business Building.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, UNI's Outdoor Recreation invites students to Paddling on the Pond. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards will be available for students to enjoy on the retention pond north of the Wellness/Recreation Center (WRC) from 1 to 4 p.m. Life vests will be provided.

A sand volleyball tournament will be held from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, at the court on the west side of the WRC. No experience is required.

From 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25, Hallapalooza will be held on the Quad Field. Join the Residence Hall Association and bring in the new semester with inflatables, music, games and more.

Welcome Week wraps up on Monday, Aug. 26. Students will end their first day of class with the annual Welcome Back BBQ in the Memorial Garden outside of the Center for Multicultural Education. Food will begin being served at 5 p.m.

Campus direction booths will also be available to students from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 26.

For more information about Welcome Week activities, visit

August 14, 2013 - 2:02pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "The Lawrence Auld Collection: Ceramics from the UNI Permanent Art Collection," from Monday, Aug. 26, through Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Kamerick Art Building (KAB) South on the UNI campus. Auld (B.A. English '55) is a North Carolina-based collector.

An opening reception is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3, in KAB, Room 111. This event is sponsored in part by the UNI Foundation.

Co-curated by professor of art JoAnn Schnabel and gallery director Darrell Taylor, this exhibition features work by Richard Aerni, Sandra Blain, Tara Dawly, Adam Egenolf, Doug Hanson, Mark Hewitt, Shawn Ireland, Ben Jensen, Jamie Kirkpatrick, Sequoia Miller, Hank Murrow and Ben Owen III among others. 

Recently, Auld stated, "In collecting pottery, I apply the following criteria: is the piece attractive to me, i.e., is it a piece that I would enjoy seeing often and handling? If yes, I move to the second criterion, is the price one that I'm willing to pay in order to see it frequently and to handle it? If yes, I add it to my collection. If no, it will remain on the shelf awaiting some other buyer. Note that investment is not a criterion, nor is the question of authenticity." In other words, collecting functional pottery is a personal and hands-on endeavor, ceramics collected are works of art to be touched and used.

The UNI Gallery of Art will also present a new UNI Permanent Art Collection exhibition, titled "Myth & Narrative: It's All in the Telling," which will run through Saturday, Dec. 21. Co-curated by Charles M. Adelman and Taylor, this exhibition represents an ongoing collaboration between the gallery and upper-level art history students. Featured works are by Romare Bearden, Salvador Dali, Honoré Daumier, Reuben Nakian and Gladys Nilsson. Students from Adelman's Myth & Narrative class will present didactic materials for each object.

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 through Saturday; and by appointment. The gallery will be closed Sept. 2 to recognize Labor Day.

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

August 14, 2013 - 2:40pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Craig Klafter, associate provost for International Programs at the University of Northern Iowa, announced recently that a full scholarship will be offered to a Taiwan student of indigenous heritage to study at UNI for a semester during the 2013-14 academic year. The scholarship is the most recent move in an effort to develop closer ties between UNI and the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki).

UNI, in partnership with the National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taiwan, has been working to connect the Meskwaki with indigenous peoples of Taiwan to work on issues of common interest including indigenous language revitalization. In a recent visit to NCCU, Klafter and Meskwaki tribe member and UNI alumna Yolanda Pushetonequa, visited with Deputy Minister Lin Chiang-Yi of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, Executive Yuan, Republic of China. They discussed a wide range of issues and interests common to the Meskwaki and Taiwan's indigenous tribes.

While in Taiwan, Pushetonequa gave a lecture at NCCU, titled "Best Practices in North American Indigenous Language Revitalization," in which she described a range of community-based approaches to language revitalization used in the U.S. and Canada. She was also able to meet members of Taiwan's Saisiyat and Atayal tribes. "It's a beautiful thing to travel to the other side of the world and meet people who are just like us in many ways," said Pushetonequa. "It felt good to see there are others who see the world in a similar way that tribal people in the U.S. do."

Pushetonequa's visit stemmed from her efforts to preserve the Meskwaki language as the founding director of the Meskwaki Language Department and now as a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Minnesota. UNI has supported the efforts of the Meskwaki to preserve their language by providing faculty and staff expertise in teaching second languages to the Meskwaki Settlement School's culture teachers, who are charged with teaching the Meskwaki language.

The Government of Taiwan and NCCU have been in the forefront of indigenous language preservation, helping to revitalize the 40 indigenous languages of Taiwan's 14 indigenous tribes.  "It is our hope," said Klafter, "that by means of this scholarship, the University of Northern Iowa will continue its efforts to build a bridge between the Meskwaki and the indigenous tribes of Taiwan so that they can learn from each other about methods of indigenous language revitalization and work together to address issues of mutual concern."

For more information about UNI's Office of International Programs, visit

August 13, 2013 - 12:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The world isn't just moving into digital dominance, it's sprinting there, and it's the responsibility of educators to keep up. Today, Facebook reports 1.15 billion users; more than 6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube monthly; and Twitter claims 500 million registered users. The University of Northern Iowa recognized this growing digital world and created a new program, Interactive Digital Studies (IDS).

Within six months of the program's launch last year, the number of majors offered doubled. IDS now has 29 majors and 19 minors. Bettina Fabos, associate professor of communication studies, said this will likely double again.

Although housed in the Department of Communication Studies, the program is designed to be versatile, with a focus on interdisciplinary study. The majors allow students to mix and match different "bundles" -- made up of five classes in a certain area of digital interest -- to create a personalized major. Bundles currently include digital advertising, music, computation, media and social change, imaging, writing, learning, and visualization. For the IDS major, a student takes three foundation classes in digital communication, picks two bundles and caps their study with a practicum that brings IDS majors together across disciplines to build a final digital project as a class.

The IDS minor, which requires one bundle, pairs a digital skill dimension to any major currently offered. For example, a history major adding an IDS minor will become adept at digital archiving. "Any UNI student involved in IDS is instantly better positioned for a future career in the digital world," Fabos said. "We are offering this perfect fusion of liberal arts and marketability."

Recognizing UNI's and the Cedar Falls business community's push into the digital frontier, Brand Driven Digital, a social media and digital marketing company based in Iowa City, announced that UNI will be added to its Social Strategy Boot Camp tour. The workshop will help marketers in the Cedar Valley develop comprehensive and actionable social media strategies. The Cedar Falls Social Strategy Boot Camp will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Innovative Teaching and Technology Center (ITTC) on the UNI campus. Registration will be open until the day of the workshop, with a registration fee of $115.

For more information or to register for the Social Strategy Boot Camp, visit For more information about IDS, visit

August 13, 2013 - 12:27pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- For the past two decades, the University of Northern Iowa's Jazz Band One has been producing first-rate records. Their most recent release, "The Hard Way," is creating waves in the jazz community. Reviewer Jack Bowers from All About Jazz, a website produced by jazz evangelists, jazz professionals and web technicians, said in a recent review, "The band is stout as a rampart, the soloists sharp and engaging."

"The Hard Way" marks the band's 20th release and Chris Merz's 10th as director. "We are thrilled by the wonderful review of the CD," said Merz. The CD features both live recordings as well as studio efforts. Jon Snell, a sophomore majoring in music: jazz studies, composed one of the tracks.

The album costs $10 and can be purchased from Merz. The profits will help fund the band's next record.

Looking to the future, Merz said he is "particularly excited" about their next release, titled "This is the Band," going on to say that it will be an exclusively in-house effort, with all nine tracks being written by band members. 

August 13, 2013 - 12:45pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Sabin Hall renovation was awarded LEED® Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The Sabin Hall renovation LEED-certified project is the first LEED Gold level project on campus.

"The Sabin Hall renovation project has been a tremendous success story of cooperation among academic and operational units at UNI," Said Eric O'Brien, university sustainability coordinator. "This common vision preserved historic qualities of Sabin Hall, while enhancing the academic environment and creating a more efficient building."

The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before. The Sabin Hall renovation LEED-certified project, with support from UNI, Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering LLP and Larson Construction Co. Inc., serves as a prime example of what can be accomplished in regards to preserving existing facilities and reviving them into sustainable places of learning.

The Sabin Hall renovation LEED-certified project is just a single piece of UNI's progression towards a sustainable campus. In 2012, UNI's Multimodal Transportation Center received an award from the Central States Region (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma) American Institute of Architects (AIA). The AIA Central States Region Awards are held annually to encourage and recognize excellence in architecture.

The UNI Multimodal Transportation Center added more than 490 vehicle parking spaces at a central location adjacent to campus for off-campus residents and visitors, and provided access to bicycle lockers and the university transit system, Panther Shuttle and the Metropolitan Transit Authority routes, which serve the cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo.

The parking ramp is also supported by an array of solar panels that result in a net-zero electricity use for the facility. Making it one of the first net-zero buildings in the state of Iowa. 

Looking even further back, in 1992, UNI finished construction on Iowa's first modern sustainable building, the Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE).

According to USGBC's project directory, there are 139 LEED-certified projects in the state of Iowa. Of those, 46 are certified at the gold level.

In the process of becoming LEED certified are UNI's new student-housing facilities, Panther Village. The first phase opened to students in the fall of 2012, and the second phase will be finished by the end of this August.

For more information about LEED projects and certification, visit

For more information about UNI's ongoing sustainability efforts, visit

August 5, 2013 - 11:22am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is changing things up this year at the Iowa State Fair with a completely redesigned exhibit. The exhibit will be open to fairgoers from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 8, through Sunday, Aug. 18, in the Varied Industries Building.

The exhibit will offer a new interactive multimedia station, complete with two 55-inch touch screen monitors. The monitors will allow visitors and prospective students to explore the many different majors and opportunities UNI offers. Alumni will also be able to use this station to connect with UNI alumni services.

iPads will be available for fairgoers to take pictures with a life-size cutout of UNI's mascot, TC. The pictures will then be emailed to the fairgoer.

UNI President Bill Ruud will visit with guests, alumni and prospective students and their families from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10.

In addition to the new attractions, many old Panther favorites will be available at the exhibit. Visitors are invited to grab a Panther football poster, a Panther paper fan, a photo frame magnet and a temporary Panther tattoo.

The exhibit will provide prospective students and families the opportunity to visit with alumni, faculty, staff and students to learn more about UNI and campus life. University Book & Supply will sell UNI clothing, Panther gear and memorabilia in conjunction with the exhibit.

For more information, contact Jess Betts, marketing specialist in the office of University Relations, at 319-273-2761 or

August 5, 2013 - 11:26am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Suzuki School is now accepting registrations for the 2013-14 academic year. Violin and viola registration is open to students 7 years and older. Cello and guitar registration is open to students 4 years and older. Adult students are also welcome. Registration forms for returning students are due by Saturday, Aug. 10.

New students will be able to register at an open house from 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, in the lobby of Russell Hall. Interested students and their families are invited to attend. Visitors can meet teachers and staff, watch student demonstrations and get information about the upcoming year.

The UNI Suzuki School offers music instruction for students of all ages in violin, viola, cello and guitar. Students of any experience level are welcome. In addition, the school sponsors several orchestras, music ensembles, has unique music-related classes and numerous performance opportunities, including solo and group performances.

For more information, including registration forms, visit or contact Suzuki coordinator Cathy Craig at 319-273-2508 or

August 5, 2013 - 3:54pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Small Business Development Center will offer a three-day QuickBooks Level 1 class from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Sept. 17, Thursday, Sept. 19, and Tuesday, Sept. 24. The class, intended for small-business owners, will focus on money management, including sales, invoicing, bills and tracking expenses. Students will also learn how to use reports to better understand their business, including profitability and sales trends.

Instructing the class will be Judy Schindel of Grant & Schindel CPA, Inc. in Waterloo. She spent more than 25 years as a controller and CPA and is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

The class will be held in the Business and Community Services building. Room 030. A registration fee of $25 will cover all needed materials.

To register, call the UNI Small Business Development Center at 319-273-4344. Registration is limited to the first 30 applicants.

For more information about the UNI Small Business Development Center, visit


July 26, 2013 - 10:16am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host this year's annual Military and Veteran State Conference from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 23, at Maucker Union on the UNI campus. A military employment fair will run concurrently from 1 to 4 p.m.

This year's conference, titled "Uncamouflaging Campus Diversity: Creating Transparency Through Cultural Competence," aims to educate colleges, universities and Iowans about military culture and the diversity military members bring to campuses and communities.

The keynote presentation will be given by University of Maryland professor of sociology Meredith Kleykamp. Her studies focus on military culture and the soldier's transition back into civilian life.

Additional breakout sessions will be held throughout the day to discuss the aspect of military and family culture, how colleges and universities can be prepared to help military members succeed, and give tools to help overcome the challenges of transitioning back into civilian life.

For more information about the conference, visit

July 18, 2013 - 1:24pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- With the implementation of some aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act just around the corner, many business owners are anxiously waiting to learn what this legislation will mean for their business, and more importantly, their bottom line. The conflicting information that is available has made it very difficult for small business owners to understand what steps they need to take.

This free webinar, "Healthcare Changes for Small Business Owners," will aim to answer these questions and provide small business owners--specifically, entrepreneurs and firms with fewer than 50 employees--the information they need to know.

Guest presenters will be Bob Mreen, director of compliance solutions at TrueNorth, Jim Heckmann, state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Centers, and Rob Williams, business analyst at the University of Northern Iowa's MyEntre.Net.  This presentation is sponsored by the Iowa Small Business Development Centers.

For more information about this webinar or to register, visit 

July 18, 2013 - 3:22pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's New Horizons Band (NHB) will perform a concert Tuesday, July 23, in Overman Park, downtown Cedar Falls preceding the Cedar Falls Municipal Band Concert. The pre-show concert will be at 6:30 p.m.

The final NHB summer performance will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 25, at Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls. This concert will be indoors and will also include a reception following the concert.

The New Horizons Band is sponsored by the UNI School of Music and the UNI Community Music School. The group includes members ages 55 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 over 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.

July 18, 2013 - 3:35pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host the 2013 Iowa EPSCoR (Experimental Program on Stimulate Competitive Research) Annual All-Hands Meeting Monday, July 22, through Tuesday, July 23. The meeting will be held in UNI's Maucker Union. All Iowa EPSCoR faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

Meeting participants will share progress, highlight scientific and broader-impact accomplishments, and feature student research posters. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will provide a keynote address showcasing Iowa's accomplishments in STEM and workforce development at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, July 23.

A panel discussion will follow the keynote address. The panel includes Rob Denson, president of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC); Lisa Lorenzen, executive director of the Iowa State University Research Foundation (ISURF); Craig Just, University of Iowa; and Brent Shanks, Iowa State University.

In addition to speakers, a student poster competition is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., Tuesday, July 23. The competition is open to students currently enrolled in or affiliated with any Iowa high school, community college, four-year college, or university, and it provides an opportunity to showcase their current completed research.

For more information about the Iowa EPSCoR Annual All-Hands Meeting, visit

July 17, 2013 - 2:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa and the Iowa High School Athletic Association have agreed to a five-year extension of the contract for the state football playoff semifinals and finals in the UNI-Dome. The new agreement runs through the 2017 season.

"The University of Northern Iowa is proud to continue our long-standing relationship with the IHSAA and its member Iowa high schools," UNI President Bill Ruud said. "The UNI-Dome is the ultimate destination for thousands of high school football players, their coaches, families and friends. We are pleased to host the playoffs at a venue that provides a positive athletic experience. While high school students and families are on campus this fall for the playoffs, we invite them to our Open Houses, which will provide an opportunity to tour campus, meet faculty and visit the Cedar Valley community."

IHSAA Executive Director Rick Wulkow and UNI Director of Athletics Troy Dannen agreed to the extension which ensures the semifinal and championship rounds of the grid playoffs to remain in the UNI-Dome. The Dome has hosted the championship games since the inception of the building in 1976 and the semifinal rounds since 1998.

"Each year the UNI-Dome staff and UNI Athletics look forward to putting our best foot forward and providing a venue that exceeds championship standards," Dannen said. "We look forward to continuing the partnership between the Iowa High School Athletic Association and UNI Athletics." 

"For the past 37 years our high schools, their players, coaches and fans have come to equate the UNI-Dome as the destination for the season," stated Wulkow. "The facilities are excellent and UNI's administration and the UNI-Dome staff have been great hosts and partners in accommodating our teams, players and fans while removing weather as a game factor."

Dates for this year's semifinals are Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14, 15 and 16 with the title games on Thursday, Nov. 21 and Friday, Nov. 22.

July 12, 2013 - 10:21am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management program (IRVM) reminds Iowans of mowing restrictions prohibiting mowing of state-maintained highway right-of-way and roadside ditches prior to July 15.

Iowa Code 314.17, which includes county secondary roads as well as state primary and interstate highways, extends the existing no-mow period, now from July 1 through July 15 to provide an additional two weeks for hatching and development of young ground-nesting birds and pollinators.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has established two periods for harvesting grass within the state-maintained highway right-of-way: July 15 through Sept. 1, for cool-season grasses and forage legumes and July 15 through Aug. 15, for warm-season native grasses. A permit must be issued by the DOT before harvesting.

Exceptions to the law are as follows:

- Within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling

- On right-of-way within one mile of the corporate limits of a city

- To promote native species of vegetation or other long-lived and adaptable vegetation

- To establish control of damaging insect populations, noxious weeds and invasive plant species

- For visibility and safety reasons

- Within rest areas, weigh stations and wayside parks

- Within 50 feet of a drainage tile or tile intake

- For access to mailbox or for other accessibility purposes

- On right-of-way adjacent agricultural demonstration or research plots

"Intensive roadside mowing during this critical time for wildlife may weaken soil and root structure and may compromise habitat established across Iowa's roadsides along secondary roads," said Rebecca Kauten, IRVM program manager. "Prairies once dominated the Iowa landscape, covering approximately 85 percent of the state. Today, less than one-tenth of one percent of this original landscape remains. The amendment to the mowing law adds an additional 500,000 acres of vegetated right-of-way for habitat and allows a portion of this disappearing ecosystem to exist for birds, insects and other wildlife."

For more information, visit and

July 10, 2013 - 9:33am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Suzuki School will be welcoming parents and new students this August to learn more about the program.

A violin and viola young beginners class for students ages 4 through 6 will begin with a parent orientation at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 12, in Russell Hall on the UNI campus. Pre-instrument sessions will be held for both parents and students at 6 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays, Aug. 15 through Aug. 29, in Russell Hall. Instruments are not required for these sessions.

These sessions are required for students joining the UNI Suzuki School for the 2013-14 academic year. Pre-registration is required. Students younger than 4 may apply, but continued enrollment will depend upon the maturity of the student. Registration deadline is Aug. 10.

For more information, to ask questions or to register, visit or call 319-273-2508. Questions may also be asked via email at

July 8, 2013 - 9:08am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host this year's Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R). This international association of scholars was founded in 1990 and is dedicated to the exploration, criticism and development of René Girad's mimetic model of the relationship between violence and religion in the genesis and maintenance of culture. Scholars from diverse fields and theoretical orientations are invited to participate. Last year's conference was held at the International Christian University in Tokyo.

This year's conference, titled "A Land Between Two Rivers," will focus on ecological issues, using the impact large-scale industrial agriculture has had on the ecosystem in the state of Iowa as a case study. 

The mimetic theory is a model of human relationships that, among other things, focuses on the phenomena of the scapegoat mechanism, a method in which humankind has created, throughout the centuries, common enemies to foster unity and set the foundations of advanced cultural development. By temporally displacing the fear or threat acting on the person or society, social order can be restored, as the "threat" has been identified and eliminated. The mimetic theory says this mechanism can be linked to everything from bullying to war.

The conference begins on Wednesday, July 10, at 4 p.m., in Bengston Auditorium in Russell Hall with a welcome from University President Bill Ruud. The opening keynote lecture, given by Laura Jackson of the Department of Biology at UNI, will follow at 7:30 p.m. Jackson's studies focus on sustainable agriculture. She has worked alongside farmers in northeast Iowa, helping reintroduce native plant life to add diversity and sustainability.  

Another noted speaker, Whitney Bauman, professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Florida International University, will speak on Thursday, July 11, at 7 p.m. in Bengston Auditorium. Bauman's research focuses on how religious beliefs, insights, doctrines and practices have shaped the cultures in which people live, and how this impacts their relationship with the natural world.

Mark Wallace, professor in the Department of Religion at Swathmore College, will speak on Friday, July 12, at 10:15 a.m. in Bengston Auditorium. Wallace's research has focused on how world religions have defined humankind's placement in the natural order. He addresses some of the questions many religions have grappled with throughout history, questions regarding human beings' responsibility to the natural world and other life forms, and the idea of the cosmos having an inherent purpose or function. All questions, Wallace believes influence peoples' treatment of the natural world around them.

For more information about the COV&R and a full conference event list, visit

July 8, 2013 - 2:16pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Sturgis Youth Theatre (SYT) will perform "Jack and the Magic Beans" at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 18, through Saturday, July 20, at Strayer-Wood Theatre on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Matinee performances will be held Friday, July 19, at 10:30 a.m., and Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased by calling the Strayer-Wood Theatre ticket office at 319-273-6387.

Adapted by Vera Morris, this version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" draws inspiration of the story's original British source, "The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean." SYT artistic director and UNI professor of theater Gretta Berghammer is the director. UNI assistant professor of theatre Mark Parrott is in charge of scenery and lighting, Alex Westrum (B.A. '13) is heading costumes, and Ben Merz of Cedar Falls, long-time SYT performer and crew member, is the production stage manager.

The cast is made up of 37 children between the ages of 9 and 16 from the Cedar Valley. Cast members from Waterloo include Kayla Craun, Martisha Greer, Jadi Jacobsen, Laurel Malecek, Camille Malecek and Milo Simpson. Cedar Falls cast members include Jaden Amjadi, Malina Amjadi, Claire Biles, Kellen Chenoweth, Maddy Doeden, Willa Eacret, Gavin Elliot, Aidan Flack, Owen Flack, John Glascock, Nathaniel Harwood, Arlo Hettle, Grace King, Alexis Klug, Sabrina Leistikow, Riley Marten, Sabine Fabos Martin, Cam McReynolds, Grace Mudd, Olivia Rodgers, Caroline Schafer, Margaret Schafer, Sophia Schillinger, Jack Stitcher, Alex Sulentic, Kyra Takes, Madelyn Wood and Sami Zimmerman. Additional cast members include Davis Roth of Jesup, Dylan Roth of Jesup and Alyssa Blackburn of Steamboat Rock.

Another 10 teens from Cedar Falls and Waterloo are interns and staff, working in crew positions.

For a full list of shows or more information about Strayer-Wood Theatre, visit

July 2, 2013 - 8:38am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A $1 million gift for scholarships will benefit students at the University of Northern Iowa. The Gerdin Family Foundation created the Ben and Pat Allen Endowed Scholarship fund in honor of UNI's former president.

Julie Gerdin Durr ('94) said, "Our family members are close personal friends of Ben and Pat. Ben has served on our board of directors at Heartland Express Trucking since 1995. When my dad passed away, the family felt he would have wanted to support Ben and Pat and their contributions to UNI and the state of Iowa by giving a scholarship in their honor."

The endowed scholarship will be awarded annually to one or more undergraduate students to support tuition. The family's intention is to assist hardworking, motivated students.

UNI President Bill Ruud, said, "We are grateful to the Gerdin family for their generous support of our students. This gift adds to the legacy that Ben and Pat left this great university and will impact future generations of students studying at UNI."

The scholarship was given through the UNI Foundation as part of the UNI Scholarship Initiative. To learn more, visit

July 1, 2013 - 2:06pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa President Bill Ruud has been appointed to the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council as both an executive committee, and advisory council member. The council is co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Vermeer President and CEO Mary Andringa.

"I am honored to be appointed to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and I am excited to partner with statewide leaders to continue building a strong STEM education foundation for all Iowans," said Ruud. "As the state’s largest preparer of Iowa's innovative pre-K-through-12 STEM teachers, it's important that UNI be at the forefront of providing leadership to efforts that are crucial to the education and economic progress of Iowa." 

Established in July 2011 to promote STEM education, innovation, student interest and achievements in STEM subjects, and STEM-related careers statewide, the council advises the Governor's office in matters or recruitment and preparation of STEM teachers; mapping of STEM education plans; and economic development with an emphasis on fostering innovation in research and entrepreneurship. The council is headquartered at UNI.

June 27, 2013 - 3:11pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host a junior lifeguarding class for youth ages 11 through 14, from Monday, July 22, through Wednesday, July 24.

The class will provide a foundation in aquatics and leadership knowledge, along with skills for future successful completion of American Red Cross lifeguarding courses. The class will focus on prevention of accidents, fitness, rescue responses, leadership and professionalism.

Participants are required to pass a swim test, which consists of a 25-yard front crawl that displays proper breathing technique; a 25-yard elementary backstroke; a 30-secound back float; treading water for one minute; and swimming 10 feet underwater without surfacing. The test will be given at the start of class Monday.

The cost of the class is $80, which will also cover all course materials. The class will be held at the UNI Wellness and Recreation Center's (WRC) lap pool from 8 a.m. to noon.

To enroll, email To learn more about services provided by the UNI WRC, visit

June 21, 2013 - 11:04am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa MyEntre.Net has partnered with the Iowa Department of Revenue to provide a free webinar series on tax topics of interest to Iowa business owners and entrepreneurs.  The webinars are being made available on

Remaining online presentations include: Iowa Sales Tax Issues for Construction Contractors on July 11, Iowa Sales Tax Issues Related to Agriculture on Aug. 8 and Iowa Sales & Use Tax Basics on Sept. 5.  All webinars are held from noon to 1 p.m.

The presenter for these webinars is Terry O'Neill, taxpayer service specialist with the Iowa Department of Revenue.  Rob Williams of the University of Northern Iowa serves as moderator. 

For more information or to register, visit

June 20, 2013 - 8:40am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --The University of Northern Iowa's physics department has been cited as having one of the outstanding physics teacher education programs in the nation. This recognition was noted in "Transforming the Preparation of Physics Teachers: A Call to Action," a national report published by the American Physical Society with support from the Physics Teacher Education Coalition.

UNI's physics department was recognized for developing in-service physics teacher education programs that prepare teachers to earn state physics endorsements. Accolades were also given for the department's efforts to develop teachers' physics-specific expertise, offering programs designed for in-service teachers in small rural schools and encouraging physics department engagement in teacher education.

"We are excited that our long-term commitment to provide quality professional preparation of Iowa physics teachers has been nationally recognized," said Larry Escalada, UNI professor of physics and science education. "Our efforts not only provide a model for physics teacher preparation for in-service teachers but for pre-service teachers who will be teaching in Iowa schools in the future."

Department recognition was based on a campus visit by members of the Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP). The task force report was published to contribute to the nation's efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) literacy and increase the abilities of a STEM-capable workforce and students who pursue STEM careers.

UNI has emphasized teacher education for more than 130 years, and producing quality teachers has long been central to the campus mission and culture. The university has an undergraduate physics teaching degree track and offers externally funded summer institutes that enable in-service high school science teachers to obtain an endorsement to teach physics. The summer in-service institutes were the focus of the American Physical Society's report and its citation.

For information about UNI's Department of Physics, visit

June 20, 2013 - 11:24am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Thanks to partnerships with the Federal Highway Administration Transportation Alternatives program and the Iowa Department of Transportation Living Roadway Trust Fund, the University of Northern Iowa Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program (IRVM) distributed native grass and native forb seed for roadway plantings that will improve roadway safety and habitats in 34 counties.

The program was awarded $255,000 from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) within the Federal Highway Administration to purchase approximately 12,460 pounds of native grass and wildflower seed in 2013, enough to plant 1,140 acres of Iowa roadsides to native prairie. Eligible county roadside management programs apply for seed based on either a "ditch cleanout mix" of mostly grasses or a "diversity mix" of more than 35 native grass and wildflower species.

Native right-of-way plantings filter water that runs off road surfaces, provide habitat for pollinators and songbirds, improve erosion control and weed control, and provide surface roughness to retain rolling and skipping snow during winter months, thereby reducing the possibilities of roadway icing along wider, hard-surfaced roadways. 

The IRVM program at UNI has helped facilitate this seed purchase since 1998.

2013 counties receiving TAP seed: Adair, Allamakee, Benton, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Dallas, Des Moines, Fayette, Franklin, Guthrie, Hardin, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Mahaska, Marion, Mitchell, Montgomery, Muscatine, O'Brien, Pocahontas, Palo Alto, Polk, Pottawattamie, Sac, Scott, Shelby, Story, Van Buren and Washington.

For more information about native plantings in roadsides, visit For more information about transportation-enhancement funding, visit

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