News Briefs

  • Health and Human Physiology Assistant Professor finds weights lifting could help you live longer

    September 29, 2022

  • Iowa Journalism Professor Stephen Bloom releases new book

    September 27, 2022

    By Charlotte Brookins 

    Stephen G. Bloom, a professor in the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, recently published Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes: A Cautionary Tale of Racism and BrutalityBlue Eyes, Brown Eyes book cover

    The book details the explosive story of Jane Elliott and her meteoric rise to fame, using eye color to simulate the impact of racism. Bloom’s book assesses the historical consequences and significance of Elliott’s bold but failed experiment, as well as the troubling legacy it has left in its wake. 

    “The Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes Experiment belongs with other cruel and callous social experiments, including the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Stanley Milgram Experiment on obedience,” Bloom says. “At its core, the experiment Elliott popularized (but did not originate) has little to do with race. It’s an exercise in the abuse of authority.” 

    During his research in Riceville, Iowa, and elsewhere, which started in 2001, Bloom interviewed more than 200 former students, teachers, associates, and residents. He found a stark difference between those who lionize Elliott and those whose lives were impacted by the experiment. 

    In discovering scores of instances of abuse stemming from the experiment Elliott made popular, Bloom asks in Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes whether there is a better way to heal racial division in America without using hate as a core element. 

    “If we are going to get anywhere to begin to narrow the racial divide in this country, empathy—not sadism and cruelty—will have to be at its core,” he says. 

    In addition to being a professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Bloom is an award-winning journalist and author of five previous nonfiction books: The Audacity of Inez Burns, Tears of Mermaids, The Oxford Project, Inside the Writer’s Mind, and Postville. Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes can be purchased online at the University of California Press website. 

    Bloom has received numerous awards for his teaching and writing, including being named the 2020 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award by the Society of Professional Journalists. 

    In 2011, he was honored with a plaque and inscription on Iowa City’s literary walkway. More recently, his book, Tears of Mermaids, was featured on JEOPARDY! as a clue in the category “Subtitled Nonfiction” for $1,000. 

    Stephen Bloom

  • Iowa archaeologist and Bible expert Robert Cargill digs for meaning

    September 26, 2022

  • Students invited to apply to Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics Jan. 20-23

    September 22, 2022

  • Communication Studies Professor receives award from National Communication Association

    September 22, 2022

    By Charlotte Brookins  

    Assistant Professor E Cram is the recipient of this year’s National Communication Association New Investigator Award.  An image of Assistant Professor E Cram

    The award recognizes current members of the Rhetoric and Communication Division of the association who have established a robust research project within eight years of receiving a PhD and who has the potential to contribute significantly to the field of rhetorical or communication theory.  

    “My research thinks through the intersections of culture and environment in the context of North America,” Professor Cram says, on the research that earned them this award. “Particularly how systems of gender, race, sexuality, and disability are crafted, maintained, and transformed through environmental relationships.” 

    Cram goes on to describe how the experiences and movements of their childhood and early adulthood influenced their views and interests on the topic.  

    “Because of these significant geographic transitions, I started asking a lot of questions about the importance of place, location, and region relative to my primary fields of rhetoric and culture and queer studies,” they say.  

    Cram works in the Department of Communication Studies and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa. Their expertise includes queer ecologies, queer theory, settler colonialisms, environmental cultural studies, rhetorical criticism and publicly engaged collaborative scholarship. 

  • Three things you need to experience on the University of Iowa campus

    September 20, 2022

    By Emily Delgado  

    Whether you’ve lived in Iowa City for months or decades, you may not realize you have access to these unique experiences—and admission is free. 

    Van Allen Observatory

    Come see the stars. Constructed in 1972, the Van Allen Observatory is open to students and community members. 

    Van Allen Observatories Manager Dr. Caroline Roberts says all are welcome to see the natural art created in space. Iowa is unique in that its facility is named after one of the greats of space science, the Physics and Astronomy Department’s Professor James Van Allen.   

    “When you look through a telescope and you see the wispy features of a Nebula or you take images in different colors, and you combine them into a colorful image of a galaxy or a planet, you truly have beautiful scenes right in front of you,” Roberts says.  

    Most large universities feature an observatory on campus, but Iowa is unique in that it opens its space to everyone.  

    “Having a small campus observatory means that our undergraduate students can receive the education they deserve,” Roberts says. “And it means that members of the public can continue to be excited by science in their own backyard.”  

    The observatory will host its fall 2022 Public Observing Nights on Sept. 23, from 8-10 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 7, from 8-10 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, from 8-10 p.m., and a Lunar Eclipse viewing on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 4-6 a.m. 

    An image of the Van Allen Observatory


    Biology Greenhouse 

    Located on the fourth floor of Biology Building East, overlooking downtown Iowa City, is this green oasis.  
    While you will likely find current and future biologists studying and working here, this indoor green space is open to everyone—and it can be a sanctuary during Iowa’s long, grey winters.  

    “The greenhouse provides support to research, teaching, and leisure. People enjoy the plants in the environment on a year-round basis. It is another connection to nature in an urban setting,” Biology Greenhouse Manager Ray Tallent says.  

    The greenhouse features many plants, allowing students to study, but also view for artistic use.  

    “We host a variety of course visits in creative fields such as drawing, creative writing, dance, and photography. On a less formal basis, people may visit on their own for relaxation, reflection, meditation, inspiration,” Tallent explains.  

    An image of the Biology Greenhouse


    Pentacrest Museums 

    Two public museums are located the heart of the UI campus—the Old Capitol Musuem and the Museum of Natural History.  

    As the crown jewel of the University of Iowa campus, the Old Capitol building is far from a secret. However, some may not realize it is also a public museum with expansive exhibits that detail the rich history of the university and state of Iowa. 

    “There's so much to experience and learn about our historical, cultural, natural, government, and university history,” Pentacrest Museums' Communications Coordinator Jessica Smith says.  

    Macbride Hall is home to the UI Museum of Natural History, with fascinating exhibits featuring mammals, birds, fossils, plants, and more. This museum is popular with campus and community visitors alike, for fun programs, field trips, or just roaming around. When you visit, don’t miss the UI’s alternative mascot, Rusty the Giant Sloth. 

    “In many ways I think we are the front door to the university,” Smith explains. “Whether on an admissions tour, exploring Iowa City as a tourist destination, or visiting on a field trip, we’re proud to be your first stop.” 

    The museums are open Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are closed on Sunday-Tuesday. Admission to both museums is always free at the door. 

    An image of Rusty the Sloth at the Museum of Natural History

  • Air Force ROTC cadet, Computer Science student breaks barriers

    September 19, 2022

  • Koylu awarded grant to study migration’s influence on families through the years

    September 19, 2022

  • Iowa surpasses Harvard, Princeton as No. 2 for writing

    September 12, 2022

  • Q&A: What is 'critical race theory,' really? A new book tries to explain

    September 12, 2022


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.