News Briefs

  • Graduate course takes students to Native American communities to learn, practice community-engaged scholarship

    November 10, 2022


    By Charlotte Brookins 

    Graduate students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have the unique opportunity to visit Native American communities as part of the only community-engaged scholarship course taught at the graduate level this semester.  

    Stephen Warren
    Professor Stephen Warren

    The course, HIST:6140 Engaged Scholarship in the Humanities, taught by Stephen Warren, a professor in American Studies and History, explores literature in the humanities, including the pioneering work of engaged scholars in Native American, Latino, and African American studies. Students are exposed to the many ways an individual can interact and engage with their community and they gain hands-on experience through visits to Native American communities in this course.  

    “Community-engaged scholarship is collaborative, team-based research conducted on behalf of communities outside of academia,” Warren says. “Research questions and outcomes are determined in partnership and respect, and the collective goal of these endeavors is to build capacity in Indigenous communities.” 

    So far, the class has visited Kiihkayonki, now known as Fort Wayne, Indiana, and White Oak, Oklahoma. Kiihkayonki is former capitol of the Miami Nation of Oklahoma, before native people were forced to leave. Participating students experienced a community event in Indiana and a Shawnee Bread Dance in Oklahoma. 

    “The field trips demonstrate that Native people are still here,” Warren explains. “And that their cultures are vibrant. I was pleased to give students the ability to observe these realities and get to know tribal leaders.” 

    Community engaged scholarship visit in Oklahoma

    The course and its field work around community-engagement expose graduate students to experiences and interests that may translate into careers that work within different communities, especially those with Native populations.  

    “Community-engaged scholarship gives graduate students the opportunity to consider careers beyond the professorate,” Warren adds. “They might work with area non-profits, government agencies, regional or national museums, or, in my case, federally-recognized Native nations.” 

    This is an opportunity that isn’t always readily available but is a priority at the University of Iowa to ensure students not only learn about Native communities but also experience them. This exposure provides value to students and the people in the communities they are entering.  

    “It is a privilege to harness the power of the University of Iowa to create scholarship that is meaningful to people who have typically been excluded from higher education in the United States,” he explains. 

     

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  • CLAS staff member helps Hurricane Ian victims recover from storm

    November 10, 2022


    Emily Delgado 

    George McCrory has worked for the University of Iowa for more than two decades. In addition to his work for the university, he also volunteers for the American Red Cross and has raised his hand repeatedly to help following devastating natural disasters, including Hurricane Ian, which wreaked havoc on Florida in September. George McCrory volunteering in Florida following Hurricane Ian

    “It’s something I’ve done before,” McCrory explains. “I like the contact, helping people in the affected areas.” 

    McCrory was in Florida from September 30 through October 13, working as part of a unit to help distribute emergency supplies to storm victims. His work took him into residential areas that were struggling following the storm surge. Some days he went door-to-door, providing basics like food and water. 

    “Even though the supplies we passed out may seem basic, they were much appreciated by those affected by the hurricane,” he says. “Some days we counted the hugs we received in addition to how many households we served.” 

    McCrory earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa. After graduation, he moved to California to work in news and communications, but found his way back to Iowa where he has raised a family and worked in several communications roles for the UI. 

    For the last three years, McCrory has been a part-time writer in Physics and Astronomy, which has allowed him the flexibility to volunteer for the Red Cross. To ensure he can go on two-week deployments, he works ahead and is supported by his co-workers who help where needed. 

    McCrory says the adventure aspect of helping the Red Cross is something he enjoys. 

    “Not only do you not know exactly where you're going each day, but you're also dealing with trying to make sense of a sometimes-chaotic situation,” McCrory added. 

    He says an essential part of volunteering is being flexible and knowing he is helping others. 

    “I remember that the difficulties I encounter are nothing compared to those faced by the people who survived the storm,” McCrory said. 

    In addition to his work on the ground, McCrory also writes for a Red Cross blog. You can read a post he penned on his experience following Ian on the Red Cross website

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  • New study finds Martian crust more complex, evolved than previously thought

    November 07, 2022


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  • UI Salutes the Service of Seven Hawkeye Veterans

    November 07, 2022


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  • University of Iowa Orchestra performs for Fourth graders in Iowa City Schools

    November 04, 2022


    By Charlotte Brookins  

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, many longstanding traditions at the University of Iowa were forced into hiatus, including the School of Music’s annual performance for all fourth graders in the Iowa City Community School District. But in October, Voxmann Music Building opened its doors to these young students for the first time in two years.  

    Professor Mélisse Brunet, Director of Orchestral Studies at the School of Music, says she and her students have been looking forward to the return of this opportunity for local youth as they benefit from coming and hearing the music.  

    “Learning about the arts really helps kids with their development and for helping them to be happier later in life,” she explains.  


    4th grade students from Iowa City Schools enjoying an orchestra performance.
    Photo credit: Iowa City Schools


    Brunet led the UI Orchestra during their performance for a crowd of eager young students, and for some, providing a reminder to the performers just how far they have come in their journey with the arts. 

    These annual performances assert that the college’s orchestra is not only important to the university, but also holds great significance to the surrounding area.  

    “A university needs to be relevant in their community,” says Brunet. “We are performers; we perform not only for the students but for the community. One of the main goals for me is to share classical music with our community.” 

    The opportunity to share these experiences wouldn’t be possible without generous donations and support beyond the university.   

    “We have generous patrons in the community who care about funding these performances,” Brunet adds. “So, it is both the community giving to the university and the university giving back to the community.” 

    For more information on the School of Music and its upcoming events, visit its website and events calendar.

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  • Graduate student receives highly competitive NASA fellowship

    November 04, 2022


    By Emily Delgado  

    Second-year University of Iowa Physics and Astronomy doctorate student Jared Termini is living out his dream—he's working closely with NASA scientists and engineers all over the country.  

    Jared Termini working in a lab for NASA.
    Jared Termini working in a lab for NASA. 

    Termini landed a highly competitive, national graduate fellowship that allows him to work on new technology projects in the realm of astronomy, space physics, planetary science, and more. Specifically, he’s evaluating the performance of cutting-edge UV gratings for NASA’s next generation of space telescopes. He is in the prep phase of his project, which is focused on simulation work, but is moving towards measuring and evaluating prototypes. 

    As part of this fellowship, he is visiting NASA centers across the U.S., like Goodard Space Flight Center in Maryland, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. All while working one-on-one with scientists that have inspired him and his career goals.  

    “My dream has always been to work for NASA. I’ve always wanted to do astrophysics research, but I’ve never really had an interest in going into academia. So, NASA seemed perfect,” Termini says. 

    Termini received his undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics from the UI. He says his undergraduate professor Casey DeRoo helped him discover his passion for instrumentation.  Jared Termini

    “In undergrad, I knew I wanted to do something in astronomy, but I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do. Professor DeRoo introduced me to instrumentation, and I immediately knew that I wanted to continue my career in astronomical instrumentation,” Termini explains. 

    Termini said his graduate Professor Keri Hoadley has been a vital support system and that she encouraged him to apply for the NASA Fellowship. He recommends every student try to build relationships with the faculty in their areas of study.  

    “Don’t be intimidated by talking with professors or asking if you can work with them and their research group. Even if a professor does not have a position available, they can still recommend other professors who do similar research and may know if other professors are looking for students,” Termini explains. 

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  • Dance Gala returns to Hancher with themes of mental health, inclusivity

    November 01, 2022


    After two years of virtual or limited presentations, Dance Gala will take the stage at Hancher Auditorium on November 11 and 12. The 2022 performance titled In Motion, presented by the Performing Arts at Iowa, features a diverse program with choreography by the Department of Dance that addresses heavy topics— like mental illness, coping, and community. It will also feature live musical performances by the School of Music, analog and virtual technology, and production assistance from the Performing Arts Production Unit.  

    A solo University of Iowa dancer leaping on stage

    Eloy Barragán is an associate professor in the Department of Dance and the artistic director for this year’s gala and choreographed the piece UNFINISHED, which he says is inspired by schizophrenia. His close friend, Michael Judge, had two brothers who suffered from the disorder, which can cause hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking. One of the brothers ultimately died by suicide at just 21 years old.  

    Eloy Barragán
    Eloy Barragán

    “His experience moved me greatly,” Barragán explains. “As did the family’s perseverance and determination to advocate for the estimated 14.2 million others in the U.S. who suffer from serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.”  

    Through the Judge family, Barragán also made a connection with MargaLea Warner, an Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and schizophrenia survivor who writes about her personal experience in her project 27 Keys to Wellness. Barragán says his choreography is a tribute to survivors like his friends, Warner and Judge, but also honors those who succumb to the illness, which, unfortunately, isn’t uncommon.  

    According to a study published by Columbia University in 2021, those with Schizophrenia have a 4.5-fold increased risk of dying by suicide, and those who are young and living with the condition have the highest risk.  

    "I’ve worked with many young dancers and have personally seen them struggle bravely with mental illness,” he says. “UNFINISHED is for all of them—those who are with us and those who aren’t—and every family ever touched by brain disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.”  

    Audiences can see UNFINISHED along with works by three more Department of Dance faculty members, professor Armando Duarte, associate professor Kristin Marrs, and assistant professor Stephanie Miracle. All of their performances explore through movement and technology the ways individuals can be bolstered by those around them during times of adversity, and how the community can celebrate its triumphs through the arts. 

    "Dance Gala is our marquee dance event of the year," says Rebekah Kowal professor and chair in the Department of Dance. "Not only does it feature innovative work from our faculty and guest choreographers, it provides a wonderful opportunity for students to perform on this big stage for our community, with the support of our incredible production team."

    Another highlight of Dance Gala 2022 is a work by German-American dance duo FLOCK (Florian Lockner and Alice Klock), whose choreography is known for its non-binary partnering and unique approach to physicality and storytelling. FLOCK tours and performs their own original works in addition to choreographing for other dance companies, universities, and other cultural institutions. 

    Tickets for Dance Gala are available online through the Hancher Box Office. Performances will take place at Hancher Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. It will also be available online on Sunday Nov. 13. To learn more, visit virtualdance.studio.uiowa.edu.  

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  • Psychology and Brain Sciences researchers confirm stress link in the brain

    October 31, 2022


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  • Kletzing Named APS Fellow

    October 31, 2022


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  • CLAS student, mentee becomes mentor for First Gen Hawks

    October 31, 2022


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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.