News Release Archive

September 17, 2015 - 9:04am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Dawn Porter, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, will visit the University of Northern Iowa Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 5 and 6, to screen two of her works as part of the William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series.

Porter will screen and discuss the following films in Lang Hall Auditorium:

7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 5, "Gideon's Army"

7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6, "Spies of the Mississippi"

Before her filmmaking career, Porter graduated from Swarthmore College and Georgetown Law Center. She practiced law for five years before holding positions at ABC News and A&E Television Networks.

"Gideon's Army" won the American Bar Association's 2014 Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts and also received the Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize. The film, which follows three young public defenders in the Deep South who are trying to make "justice for all" a reality, was an official selection in the prestigious U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. "Spies of the Mississippi" unveils a powerful secret, state-funded spy agency answering directly to the Governor that attempted to undermine the work of the Mississippi Freedom Summer coalition in 1964 to register black people to vote.

Porter is the fourth visiting filmmaker in the William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series. The goal of the series is to bring the world's most distinguished documentary filmmakers to UNI. The series is sponsored by the UNI Department of Communication Studies and supported by the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, the Office of the President, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and many friends of the series.

For more information, visit or contact David O'Shields, filmmaker in residence and adjunct instructor of communication studies, at 319-273-3791 or

September 16, 2015 - 9:51am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "BLOW-OUT II" and "Unorganized Territory" from Monday, Sept. 28, through Saturday, Oct. 24. A gallery talk will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28 in the gallery proper. An opening reception will follow.

"BLOW-OUT II" is an exhibition of sculptural forms and mixed-media paintings by Chicago-based artist Sarah Krepp, exhibition curator and founding director of DIALOGE CHICAGO, an interdisciplinary seminar. Krepp is a professor emerita and former chair of the painting program at the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Krepp also has works in the UNI Permanent Art Collection.

"Unorganized Territory" is accumulated, stacked, layered and collaged forms by Kansas City-based artist Garry Noland. Noland's presentation is supported in part by Arts KC, the Kansas City Regional Arts Council. Noland received his B.A. in art history from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2014 he was the recipient of the Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Fellowship.  

Art curator and writer Lynne Warren of Chicago has written a major essay about the artists that will be available in the gallery-produced exhibition brochure.

The UNI Permanent Art Collection exhibition "Roman-roamin'" will continue. Artworks by Joseph Pennell, Edward Steichen and Ronald King will be presented as well. This exhibition will be open Nov. 2 through 30, and Dec. 10 through 19. All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, as well as by appointment.

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


September 16, 2015 - 10:03am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Six University of Northern Iowa faculty members were honored at the fall Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 9, for outstanding research and professional service.

The Regents Excellence Award for Faculty is given annually by the Iowa Board of Regents to honor outstanding university faculty members. This year's recipients include:

- Angela Burda, professor of communication sciences and disorders. Burda has established herself as an internationally and nationally respected scholar. She has 23 peer-reviewed articles, 36 peer-reviewed presentations and is a sought-after speaker across the country. Her most recent accomplishment is the rollout of the Name That! computer application. This app has garnered valuable notoriety for the university and department.

- Jeffrey Copeland, professor of English education. Copeland has earned distinction as a teacher, writer, scholar and university leader. He is highly regarded among his students and he continues to mentor teachers in training to be emerging leaders in their schools. Copeland also has an impressive record of literary nonfiction, textbooks and other creative pieces.

- Elaine Eshbaugh, associate professor of gerontology and family studies. Eshbaugh has a long history of teaching. She has received numerous teaching excellence awards, and in 2010 was the recipient of the Davis Professorship of Gerontology. As the coordinator of the only undergraduate gerontology program in the state, Eshbaugh places great emphasis on conducting research that can be used to enhance the ability of students to succeed after graduation.

- Rex Karsten, professor of management. Karsten has a passion for teaching that is evident in the attitude, expertise and competence he brings to the classroom. He creates opportunities for students to develop lifelong habits of staying up to date with technological change. It can also be concluded that the research Karsten has conducted impacts thousands of College of Business Administration students in a very positive way.

- Jean McDonald, professor of music in vocal performance. McDonald has consistently made important contributions to research and service activities throughout her career. The specialized training and technique taught by McDonald provides students with the ability and passion to succeed. Her outstanding teaching is recognized worldwide due to the incredible professional careers launched by her former UNI voice students.

- Steve O'Kane, professor of biology. O'Kane puts teaching above all else in the role he plays in the Department of Biology. He was instrumental in the development of a new course required of all biology majors, and this course has quickly become a favorite among students. O'Kane has remained active in his pursuit of scholarship since his arrival at UNI in 1996. His research has been recognized by his colleagues through invited seminars at both the national and international level.


September 15, 2015 - 1:58pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Four University of Northern Iowa staff members were honored at the fall Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 9, for outstanding professional service. 

The Regents Excellence Award for Staff is given annually by the Iowa Board of Regents to honor outstanding university staff members. This year's recipients include:

- Dawnell Johnson, general manager of catering and events in the Department of Residence. Johnson has dedicated the past eight years of her career to various positions in the UNI catering program. In each position she has held she has left a mark, reflecting her dedication and commitment to positively touching people's lives.  Her dedication to the students, staff and university community is evidenced by the commitment to providing the best catering experience possible.

- Amy Schipper, associate director of admissions and communications in the Office of Admissions. As a proud UNI alumna, Schipper is extremely knowledgeable about the university and makes a great impression on families and students when they come for a visit. She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure prospective students receive the information they need.

- Libby Vanderwall, career services coordinator in the Office of Career Services. In every interaction Vanderwall has with students, she is positive, encouraging and does everything she can to see that students reach their goals. She plays a significant role in assisting with the Overseas Fair for Educators and has coordinated the Career Fair for more than 20 years. Vanderwall bleeds purple and gold, and her work and dedication to the university are the very definition of excellence.

- Coleen Wagner, former secretary in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. Wagner possessed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in all aspects of her former job. No recent associate provost in UNI's history could have possibly done the job without this knowledge, patience to train new administrators and service-oriented attitude. Because of her positive attitude and teamwork skills, Wagner was an asset to UNI and the provost's office for many years.

September 15, 2015 - 4:17pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Multicultural Education (CME) and First-Year Cornerstone will host Laverne Cox at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in the Great Hall of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.Laverne Cox

Cox is the first transgender actress to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine and to receive an Emmy nomination for her role in "Orange is the New Black." She is also one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People of 2015."

In addition to her acting, Cox is a renowned speaker and will be bringing her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically to UNI.

Admission to the event is free; tickets are required. Tickets will be available:

-       Monday March 28 and Tuesday, March 29 for First-Year Cornerstone students only

-       Wednesday, March 30 and Thursday March 31 for all UNI students

-       Friday, April 1 for all students, faculty and staff

-       After Monday, April 4 for general admission; first come, first served

UNI students will also have the chance to attend a meet and greet with Cox by attending CME events throughout the fall and spring semesters.

For more information about Cox's visit or the chance to attend the meet and greet with her, contact Jackelin Rangel, program assistant in the CME, at 319-273-2250 or

September 14, 2015 - 2:00pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Ian Worthington, professor of history at the University of Missouri, will present "Macedonia's Greatest King: Philip II or Alexander the Great, and Unwinnable Wars" at the University of Northern Iowa's 42nd Annual Carl L. Becker Memorial Lecture. The lecture will be presented at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Seerley Hall, Room 115.

Worthington focuses on Classical Greek history and oratory. He has written numerous books and articles, including "Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greek" and "By the Spear: The Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire." He was the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, and he received the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity in the Humanities from the University of Missouri in 2005.

The lecture is in honor of Carl L. Becker, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1907 and is originally from Reinbeck. From 1902 to 1941, Becker taught at various universities in the Midwest and East, with the last being Cornell University in New York.

The Carl L. Becker Memorial Lecture is the first in a series of lectures from UNI's history department. "Calamities of Whirlwinds, Uncertain Guests, and Secondhand Clothes: Images of the Early AIDS Epidemic from Swahili-language Newspapers" will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21, and "When is a Shoe Not Just a Shoe? Teaching History in a Local Way" will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Seerley Hall.

The events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Robert Martin, head of UNI's Department of History, at 319-273-2097 or


September 9, 2015 - 1:26pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa today released its official enrollment figures for fall 2015. Enrollment numbers are determined on students enrolled through the end of the 10th day of classes. UNI's total fall enrollment is 11,981, which is up 53 students from last year.

Officials report that new resident and non-resident students direct from high school is up more than 6 percent from last year. This is the third consecutive year that group has seen an increase, and is greater than last year's 4.4 percent increase in new freshman.

This is the first time in five years UNI has seen an increase in transfer students. Figures show that the group is up more than 8 percent from last year. New graduate students are also up from last year.

Highlights of the enrollment report include:

-       An increase of 7.9 percent in total new students

-       An increase of 6.6 percent in new students direct from high school

-       An increase of 8.3 percent in new transfer students

-       An increase of 21.4 percent in new graduate students

-       An increase of 5.5 percent in new minority student enrollment; an increase of 5.3 percent in total minority student enrollment

-       Total minority enrollment is at 9.4 percent, compared to 8.9 percent from last year

In addition, the university reported improvement in its 4- and 6-year graduation rates. The 4-year graduation rate is up from 39.2 percent to 39.8 percent. The 6-year graduation rate is 67.2 percent, which is the highest percent of any cohort since 2000.

"This year's enrollment numbers only validate that students find the right fit with right opportunities at the right university when they choose UNI," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "Our new students direct from high school figures show that we are heading in the right direction, and our efforts to recruit and graduate all students is making an impact.

"We're excited to enhance our high school visit schedule this fall, and our Panther Open Houses continue to be successful. We also implemented an inclusive new-student orientation this fall that was the first step in preparing students for college success. All of these programs and strategies to grow enrollment are a priority, but even more so is our commitment to our students and their educational experience. Our focus continues to be on providing the best undergraduate education in the state of Iowa."

September 9, 2015 - 2:59pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is ranked second in the "Best Regional Universities (Midwest)" category for public universities, according to the U.S. News & World Report's 2016 "America's Best Colleges" guidebook. UNI also ranked No. 18 in the overall Midwest list.

"It is such an honor that UNI has once again been recognized as one of the best public institutions of higher learning in the Midwest," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "We are dedicated to provide our students an accessible, affordable and excellent education. This prestigious ranking only validates our commitment to our students and their educational experience."

The magazine's ranking criteria include peer assessment, academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, graduation-rate performance and alumni giving rate.

For more information about the college rankings, visit UNI's other national rankings and awards can be found at 

September 8, 2015 - 1:38pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A lecture on George Orwell's final book, "1984," will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, at Seerley Hall, Room 115. The lecture is a part of the 2015 Conference on Ethics in Higher Education and will be presented by the conference keynote speaker James Lang, professor of English, at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

The lecture will focus on "1984" and how the book comes into context with Orwell's career. Orwell, born as Eric Arthur Blair, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work focused mostly on exploring the cause and nature of poverty, and he was a dedicated socialist until his death.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information on the lecture or the ethics conference, visit, or contact Craig VanSandt, David W. Wilson Chair in Business Ethics, 319-273-6194,

September 8, 2015 - 3:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership is hosting a variety of events in the coming months.   

The Grundy County Farm Crawl will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12. Farms on the tour include Fleshner Farms in Reinbeck, Cracked Up Farm in Reinbeck and ARNKA Acres in Dike. There will be activities for kids, along with the opportunity to see how local farms grow the food you eat.

The Cedar Valley Cyclists are sponsoring the Cedar Valley Farm Ride (CVFR) on Saturday, Sept. 26. The CVFR is a "farm crawl" on bikes beginning and ending at the Riverloop Public Market in downtown Waterloo. Riders can choose a 20-mile or 50-mile trail ride. Destinations include Three Pines Farm, Cedar Falls Farmers Market and Hansen's Dairy Farm.

The 2015 Farm to Fork Harvest Celebration will take place throughout Buchanan County Sunday, Sept. 27. Take self-guided tours of four different local food businesses including Winthrop Locker, Timeless Prairie Orchard, Short Brothers and TD 'n' Guy Oasis from 1 to 4 p.m., followed by a local-food dinner at Independence Junior High School.

Lastly, the Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership (NIFFP) will have its November meeting from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. There will be a catered local-food dinner, along with networking and a guest speaker.

These events are part of the educational efforts to strengthen the local food economy in the region and are supported in part of the University of Northern Iowa, ISU Extension Region 9 and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

For more information about these events, visit or contact Jodie Huegerich, Local Food Program coordinator, at or 319-273-7883.



September 3, 2015 - 9:57am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's preliminary enrollment figures show an increase in new freshmen, transfer and graduate students for fall 2015.  

Officials preliminarily report that new resident and non-resident students direct from high school are up nearly 6 percent from last year. This is the third consecutive year that group has seen an increase, and will be greater than last year's 4.4 percent increase in new freshmen.

This is the first time in five years UNI will see an increase in transfer students. Figures indicate that the group is up nearly 8 percent from last year. New graduate students are also up from last year.

"We have been working very hard to recruit and retain all students, but have specifically made a big push to recruit new resident and non-resident students direct from high school and transfer students," said Matt Kroeger, associate vice president for enrollment management. "Everything from our enhanced high school visit schedule, Panther Open Houses and inclusive new-student orientation has made an impact on our students and how they choose their educational experience. We will continue to strategically grow over the next several years."

Final enrollment figures are determined on students enrolled through the end of the 10th day of classes and will be released next week.

September 3, 2015 - 10:12am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Strayer-Wood Theatre will present "Independence" at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8, through Saturday, Oct. 10 and Thursday, Oct. 15, through Saturday, Oct. 17, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct. 18. Performances will take place in the Bertha Martin Theatre located in the Strayer-Wood Theatre complex on the University of Northern Iowa campus.  

Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Lee Blessing takes us to Independence, Iowa, to explore the emotional battlefield within the crisis of a chaotic home life. Presented is the study of a family divided against itself in this wise and humorous play.

UNI alumna Kristin Teig Torres returns to her theatre home to portray Evelyn, the emotionally troubled mother. Other UNI alumni include John Bagby and Katrina Sandvik who will serve as scenic and costume designers. Theatre staff member Ron Koinson is the lighting designer. The director of the play is Steve Taft, associate professor in the Department of Theatre.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by contacting the Strayer-Wood Theatre at 319-273-6833 or visit For more information, contact Eric Lange, artistic director at the Strayer-Wood Theatre, at 319-273-6833 or

September 3, 2015 - 3:51pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Job & Internship Fair+ will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21, in the McLeod Center. Companies, organizations, nonprofits and graduate schools will be there to network with UNI students and alumni, as well as discuss internships and full-time job opportunities. Attendees are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume to share with company, organization and graduate school representatives.

"During this event we anticipate nearly 1,500 students engaging with more than 165 hiring organizations and up to 30 graduate programs," said Matt Nuese, associate director of UNI Career Services. "This is our fifth consecutive year of having more organizations and graduate schools, growing from 140 in 2010 to over 185 today. During that same timeframe we have seen a 20 percent increase in student attendance."

The Job & Internship Fair+ is organized and sponsored by Career Services. For more information about the Job & Internship Fair+ or to search the online database of employers, visit

Registration is not required for participation. For more information, contact Sarah Goblirsch, assistant director of employer relations for Career Services, at 319-273-2084 or

September 2, 2015 - 9:27am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Ben Schafer, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Northern Iowa, was recognized at the annual summit for training 570 teachers in Iowa, which is equivalent to 5.5 percent of all U.S. teachers trained. Schafer ranked No. 2 in the "500 Club," which is a affiliate of trainers who trained more than 500 teachers in the first year of the program. Ben Schafer, named No. 2 trainer by

"I love my time conducting training workshops with teachers," said Schafer. "The excitement and energy around this curriculum and computer science in general has been fantastic. I have already started conducting workshops for this school year and hope to once again be in the '500 Club.'"

Launched in 2013, is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students. The organization's vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science, and that computer science should be part of core curriculum, alongside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra.

"In addition to my regular teaching duties, I am partnered with as an affiliate trainer for their new K through 5 Computer Science Curriculum," said Schafer. "As part of this I will be conducting free, one-day training workshops around the state of Iowa. When released the Code Studio Curriculum in 2014, I knew that this was a great curriculum that could do wonderful things when it comes to getting more kids involved with computer science."

As part of Schafer's outreach projects, this fall he is teaching a course for Lifelong University at UNI called "Overview of Computer Science Programming with Scratch" for adult learners to learn about computer programming. For more information on this Lifelong University course, visit www.uni.llu. Schafer also helped start the Cedar Valley CoderDojo program offered in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls public libraries to get kids ages 7 to 17 interested in computer programing. For more information on the CoderDojo program, visit

For more information about, visit To register for Ben Schafer's classes, visit

September 2, 2015 - 9:59am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Department of Social Work, via Continuing and Distance Education, will offer a master's degree in social work beginning spring 2016. The goal of this program is to develop the social work specialization workforce in the underserved areas of Iowa with a focus on individuals who lack the opportunity to attend regular on-campus courses.

"The Department of Social Work is excited to provide the opportunity to reach rural and remote Iowans who have the passion to strengthen their local efforts to better serve neighbors in need," said program coordinator Cindy Juby. "Our program currently has 172 agency field sites that cover 42 Iowa communities, and the distance education program will facilitate these partnerships with the potential to increase new connections. Our distance education program will have the same high quality as our on-campus program."

The program uses a cohort model in which a group of students moves through the course sequence together. Courses are offered via interactive video conferencing, including Adobe Connect, and online via eLearning, a Blackboard learning environment. Practice-related courses will include limited in-person instruction on the UNI campus, with potential regional meetings based on interest expressed.

For more information about the program and how to apply, visit For more information about additional offerings available through Continuing and Distance Education at UNI, visit or call 319-273-5970. 

September 1, 2015 - 2:08pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa School of Music will host its annual Scholarship Benefit concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25, at the Great Hall in the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the UNI campus. The theme of the concert is "That's Amore!"

The concert will feature guest artist Jim Linahon, a UNI School of Music alumnus, who will conduct the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra in a tribute to Frank Sinatra. Linahon is an award-winning music producer, composer and artist who worked directly with Sinatra from 1978 to 1989 as a lead trumpet player.

Faculty artists Bill Shepherd, Amanda McCandless, Heather Peyton, Cayla Bellamy, Mitra Sadeghpour, Bob Dunn, Christopher Merz, Alexander Pershounin, Korey Barrett, Sean Botkin, Serena Hou, Polina Khatsko, Dmitri Vorobiev and Jeff Brich will also perform. The Northern Iowa Wind Symphony, UNI Varsity Men's Glee Club, Concert Chorale, UNI Singers, UNI percussion studio, the Northern Iowa Flute Choir and Opera UNI will be featured. Intermission will feature a harp performance by Gretchen Brumwell.

Post-show performances by Randall Harlow, Mariko Morita, Cayla Bellamy, Ross Winter and Katherine Osbourne will take place in Jebe and Davis halls.

Hors d'oeuvres and champagne will be served during a reception in the lobby following the concert, with music provided by the Hands of Time Quartet. All seats for the benefit concert are reserved. Individual tickets can be purchased at the Gallagher Bluedorn box office, by calling 319-273-4TIX or 877-549-7469, or at

To become a special donor and receive complimentary tickets, call the School of Music office at 319-273-2028.

For more information, contact Caroline Boehmer, communication and operations coordinator for the School of Music, at 319-273-2028 or


September 1, 2015 - 4:28pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa has partnered with Cedar Valley Recycling & Transfer to accept mixed-recycling products from across campus. Mixed recycling means all recyclable materials – paper, cardboard, plastic and metal – can be placed in one container and will be sorted at Cedar Valley Recycling & Transfer's facility in Waterloo.   

"There is a significant savings recognized by recycling and avoiding expensive landfill fees," said Mike Zwanziger, director of UNI’s Physical Plant. "Trees and water are saved by recycling, less oil and other natural resources are used to recycle materials in lieu of using new materials, and less waste is being sent to a landfill, lessening the need to expand or open new landfills."

The blue mixed-recycling containers, which are in every UNI building, sit alongside black landfill bins that are used for food and liquids (their containers can be recycled once they’re emptied), paper towels and paper napkins. Glass can be taken to the glass recycling dumpster at the Panther Parkway Recycling station south of the McLeod Center.

"Blue is an industry-standard color to designate recycling, and black is the standard color for trash," said Zwanziger. "We are utilizing the term 'landfill' for the waste/trash containers to help people understand that there is an environmental impact." He also noted that campus recycling dumpsters will be black with a blue lid and landfill dumpsters will be all black. Labels will be placed on all dumpsters to identify their intended use.

The Princeton Review recognized UNI's sustainability-related practices, policies and offerings by naming the university to its 2016 Green Rating Honor Roll. Only 24 U.S. colleges and universities received this honor. UNI was first named to the list in 2012.

For more information about UNI's recycling program or new recycling partnership, contact Zwanziger at 319-273-7826 or

August 31, 2015 - 4:12pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Michael Blackwell, former director of UNI’s Center for Multicultural Education (CME) will speak on the socialization and institutionalization of hatred in the United States at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. He will discuss creative ways individuals and communities can address categorical prejudices and structural apparatuses.

The lecture is part of "Latino Americans: 500 Years of History," a public programming initiative for libraries and other cultural organizations that support exploration of the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos.

The Rod Library, along with a number of other campus and community organizations, will host a year-long series of events celebrating Latino American culture and contributions in the United States.  

For more information about Blackwell’s lecture or the “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” project, visit 

August 31, 2015 - 4:51pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Counseling Center has launched a new after-hours service to make counseling assistance available to students 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Counseling Center is contracting with ProtoCall, a company that specializes in providing services after-hours to university counseling centers and other mental health systems.

When students call the Counseling Center at 319-273-2676 after normal office hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., they will have an option to "press 2" to speak with a mental health counselor immediately. UNI students and anyone concerned about a UNI student are eligible to use the service.

The Counseling Center will continue to encourage students, staff, faculty and parents to call during the day to arrange counseling or consult about any mental health concerns.

For more information about the Counseling Center's new after-hours service, contact David Towle, Counseling Center director, at 319-273-2676 or, or visit  

August 26, 2015 - 3:37pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --Ten businesses have been selected as finalists in the 2015 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition.  In the first round, businesses submitted brief information about their business plans. Based on those entries, judges chose 25 entrepreneurs to submit full business plans. Those 25 business plans were narrowed down to the final 10.

The 10 businesses continuing in the competition are: ClinicNote LLC, Fanstreamm, HowFactory, Immortagen LLC, Inland Sea, Innovas Technologies LLC, Sisters Home Style Entrees, UpCraft Club, Viewpoint Molecular Targeting LLC and Western Wise. 

"Now that we have selected ten finalists, each business plan competitor will interview with a panel of judges on Sept. 11," 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. 24 at Drake University." 

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 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.

August 25, 2015 - 3:01pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa School of Music professor Alison Altstatt will present a lecture, part of the "Musically Speaking" series, titled "Re-membering the Wilton Processional: A Manuscript Lost and Found." Altstatt will speak at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9, in Russell Hall, Room 116. The event is free and open to the public.

"A single leaf of the manuscript is located in the special collections of the University of Iowa's library," said Altstatt. "It brought to mind another single leaf that I had seen at Indiana University's Lilly Library. Once I verified that these two leaves were from the same manuscript, I was able to use bibliographic information to locate more. I have assembled 34 single leaves of the original manuscript with the assistance of a host of scholars and librarians."

The manuscript is a late 13th- to early 14th-century processional from the women's Benedictine house of Wilton Abbey in England that disappeared around 1860. The processional contains the texts and music of the chants sung in processional rituals. Wilton Abbey was founded in the ninth century and was famous throughout the Middle Ages as a center for women's Latin learning.

"The manuscript is a primary source that tells us much about the ritual, music and poetic tradition of the women of Wilton Abbey," said Altstatt. "It significantly adds to our knowledge of religious women in medieval England, and the beginning of the Gregorian chant revival at Solesmes Abbey. This manuscript also serves as a case study in the emerging field of digital fragmentology."

During her lecture, Altstatt will explain the process of finding the pages of the manuscript and its role in medieval Wilton Abbey, the 19th-century Gregorian chant revival and the 20th-century American manuscript market.

For more information about UNI's School of Music, visit or contact Caroline Boehmer, communications and operations coordinator, at 319-273-2028 or

August 19, 2015 - 2:21pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Lifelong University will offer six noncredit classes this fall to be taught by retired and current UNI professors. Courses are formatted into four-week, three-week and one-time workshops. The Western Home Communities and New Aldaya Lifescapes are now partners of Lifelong University, providing space and funding for the services offered through the program.

"An Overview of Computer Programming with Scratch," instructed by Ben Schafter, associate professor of computer science, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Sept. 12, 19, 26, and Oct. 3 at Wright Hall, Room 112. Participants ages eight to 18 will learn about computer programming and computational thinking while using Scratch for interactive art, animated storytelling and game development.

"The Book of Genesis: A Literary Historical Analysis" will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27 at Windcove, Western Home Communities. Instructor John Burnight, assistant professor of religion, will explore various scholarly theories about the biblical book of Genesis, its relationship to Mesopotamian and Egyptian literature and religion, and the literary artistry of its authors and editors.

"Four Late Charlie Chaplin Masterpieces," instructed by Scott Cawelti, emeritus professor of English, will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Oct. 8, 15, 22 and 29 at New Aldaya's Performing Arts Center. Participants will watch four Charles Chaplin films, "Modern Times," "The Great Dictator," "Monsieur Verdoux" and "Limelight," and discuss Chaplin's approach, techniques, themes and what makes these films masterpieces.

"Joyful Movement and Health" will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m., Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, 10 and 17 at Windcove, Western Home Communities. Jennifer Waldron, professor of health, physical education and leisure studies, will instruct the course. Participants will learn how to engage their senses, listen to their bodies and utilize different components of movement such as agility, flexibility, stability and strength.

"Religion and Violence: Views from Several Faiths" will be from noon to 2 p.m., Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, 12 and 19 at Windcove, Western Home Communities. Panel members from Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths will discuss how their religions respond to theological and moral questions related to violence. For a list of panel members, visit

"Write a Christmas/Holiday Letter People will Love to Read," instructed by Kimberly Groninga, adjunct instructor in the Department of Languages and Literatures, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Nov. 2, 9, 16 and 23 at Windcove, Western Home Communities. Participants will look at examples of typical Christmas letters and try some techniques for writing.

Course fees are $40, which covers parking passes and course handouts. For more information or to register, visit or call University Events Coordination at 319-273-5141.

August 19, 2015 - 2:51pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa has been named one of the best universities in the Midwest by The Princeton Review. The well-known education services company lists UNI among its "Best in the Midwest" recommended schools in its "2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region" website feature. Only 159 colleges in 12 Midwestern states made the list.

"Being recognized as one of the 'Best in the Midwest' by The Princeton Review is a direct result of the work our students, faculty and staff undertake together," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "This prestigious recognition validates our efforts to provide students an accessible, affordable and excellent education. When students come to UNI, they find the right fit with right opportunities at the right university."

"We chose UNI and the other outstanding institutions on this list primarily for their excellent academics," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher. "We also gave careful consideration to what students enrolled at the schools reported to us about their campus experiences on our student survey."

For this project, The Princeton Review asked students to rate their own schools on several issues – from the accessibility of their professors to their quality of life on campus – and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and campus life.

Students at UNI said:

-       UNI is an ideal size. "It's a large university that can provide all the resources students need to be successful, but the campus is small enough that I feel as though I'm part of a community, not just a number."

-       UNI faculty members are "enthusiastic and definitely dedicated." Students cited that they were "accessible" and "willing to help you throughout the semester."

-       Students described themselves as "friendly, fun" types who "accept people for who they are" and "are fairly involved with campus activities." Students also mentioned there are a lot of "amazing opportunities" at any given time.

-       Many students also talked about the delicious and often locally grown campus food.

The Princeton Review doesn’t rank the 649 colleges in its "2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region" list hierarchically or in various categories. The 159 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its "Best in the Midwest" 2016 list are located in 12 states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Princeton Review also designated 225 colleges in the Northeast, 125 in the West and 140 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company's "2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region" lists. Collectively, the 649 colleges on The Princeton Review's "regional best" list constitute about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

For more information about UNI's ranking, visit The Princeton Review is a New York-based company known for its test preparation courses, books, college admission and other education services. For more information, visit



August 13, 2015 - 1:37pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is accepting applications for a Bachelor of Arts in Technology Management, beginning this fall. The technology management B.A. program is designed for graduates of career and technical programs from Iowa's community colleges and focuses on industry while incorporating an applied approach to critical-thinking, communication and problem-solving skills.

"UNI is committed to making select, affordable educational opportunities accessible to Iowans, regardless of where they reside," said Kent Johnson, dean of UNI's Continuing Education and Special Programs. "We are pleased to provide a pathway for professionals who wish to advance their careers, while addressing the needs of Iowa's manufacturers."

Program coordinator Ali Kashef commented, "With an exceptionally strong placement record, this program offers flexibility for busy individuals who expect practical knowledge to enter a competitive job market and who want to expand their technical, managerial, critical-thinking, communication and problem-solving skills. As a student, you will work with dedicated faculty who will guide and support you every step of the way."

Courses are offered entirely online using eLearning, a Blackboard learning management system requiring Internet access and a Web browser. The program also uses a cohort model in which students move together through the coursework, with the degree to be awarded in the spring of 2019. To learn more about this program and how to apply, visit

For information about additional offerings available from Continuing and Distance Education through the University of Northern Iowa, visit or call 319-273-5970 or 800-648-3864.

August 11, 2015 - 1:44pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at the University of Northern Iowa is pleased to announce that it has received a project grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Grant funds will support the center’s It Gets Better performance at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19.

It Gets Better, born from a simple YouTube video, has changed and saved the lives of countless bullied youth. The It Gets Better project is devoted to the mission of sharing a message of encouragement as seen in their projects headline, "It Gets Better." The renowned Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) commits to that message with the "It Gets Better" musical, written and sung in collaboration with UNI's Concert Chorale and West High School. The GMCLA will do a community residency early in the week to engage in conversation with high school students, university students and the community, culminating in their powerful performance Saturday evening. 

Funding for It Gets Better is made possible by UNI’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Arts Division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (Iowa Arts Council) and by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Ticket prices for It Gets Better begin at $14 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, online at or by phone at 319-273-4849.

For more information, contact Blake Argotsinger, associate marketing manager for the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, at 319-273-3660 or

August 10, 2015 - 2:58pm


As part of the upcoming It Gets Better performance at Gallagher Bluedorn, community events have been organized to spark discussion around bullying and equality. The first event will take place Thursday, Aug. 13, at the Octopus on College Hill for a roundtable discussion about the question "It's getting better – now what?"

Susan Hill, director of UNI's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, will moderate the discussion. Performances by Amelia & Melina, AMZ, Stormy O’Brink and Xavia will follow the discussion. The event is hosted by Josh Hamzee, University of Northern Iowa Speech and Debate, and Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Saturday, Aug. 22 will mark the second event of the It Gets Better series. Taking place at Cedar Valley Pridefest, a booth will be set up by Gallagher Bluedorn to take video testimonials with the message "It Gets Better." These testimonials will be used at the event and be shared with the touring company, including the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA). More information about Pridefest can be found at

The GMCLA will be in residency in support of the It Gets Better performance on Saturday, Sept. 19. A full list of outreach events can be found at This project is sponsored in part by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ticket prices for It Gets Better begin at $14 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, online at or by phone at 319-273-4849.

For more information, contact Blake Argotsinger, associate marketing manager for the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, at 319-273-3660 or

August 6, 2015 - 10:30am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Science Education program has expanded its three-year grant from the Iowa Department of Education Title IIB Mathematics and Science Partnerships program. This extended grant will provide a continuation of the Integrated Crosscutting Concepts in Iowa Science Classrooms (ICCISC) program.

The professional development program started in the summer of 2014. The purpose is to help teachers integrate crosscutting concepts in the development and implementation of standards-based science curricula using research-based instruction, which will prepare students in science and other STEM-related fields. Teachers will meet virtually once a month and twice in person over the course of the academic year to continue to build their network and further support one another in the implementation of their curriculum.

This year, an additional 21 science teacher colleagues joined the original 24 secondary science teachers from across the state of Iowa. Together, the teachers will develop, revise and implement instructional units in their science classrooms in collaboration with UNI science education faculty, Area Education Agency (AEA) science consultants and master high school teachers.

For more information about the program, contact Lawrence Escalada, chair of UNI science education and professor of physics and science education, at 319-273-2431 or, or Dawn Del Carlo, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and science education, at 319-273-3296 or

August 6, 2015 - 1:27pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present the exhibitions "Gather the Folds of This Veil and Scatter Them" and "Roman-roamin’" in the Kamerick Art Building (KAB).

"Gather the Folds" artists John Siblik and Elissa Cox Wenthe will present a lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, in KAB Room 111, which will be followed by an opening reception in the KAB South lobby. The lecture is funded by a donation from Upper Iowa University in Fayette. The exhibition will be open from Monday, Aug. 24 through Saturday, Sept. 19.

"Roman-roamin’" is a UNI permanent art collection exhibition that can be viewed Monday, Sept. 28, through Saturday, Oct. 24; Monday, Nov. 2, through Monday, Nov. 30; and Thursday, Dec. 10, through Saturday, Dec. 19. UNI professor of art history Charles Adelman and gallery director Darrel Taylor will curate the exhibition. The concept of the exhibition is Roman themes through time and will include works by Ronald King, Edward Steichen, Amy Worthen and Joseph Pennell.

Ancient Roman artifacts from the UNI Museum will also be presented, most notably Roman glass and coins, which help illustrate the vast influence of this culture over time both geographically and aesthetically.

All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and by appointment. The gallery will be closed Monday, Sept. 7, for Labor Day.

For additional information, visit or contact Darrell Taylor at 319-273-6134 or

August 6, 2015 - 4:30pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services will hold the Kindergym program again this fall. The program will be offered on six Saturdays starting Sept. 12 and ending Oct. 24 in the main gym at the Wellness Recreation Center (WRC) on UNI's campus. The WRC will be closed on Saturday Oct. 17 for Homecoming weekend.

Kindergym is an informal learning program focusing on the development and refinement of motor skills for 2- to 5-year-olds. The 2- and 3-year-olds will meet from 10 to 10:50 a.m., and the 4- and 5-year-olds will meet from 9 to 9:50 a.m. The registration fee is $32 for the first child and $27 for a second child, which includes an official Kindergym T-shirt.

Kindergym is a parent/child program, so parents are requested to attend the sessions with their child. The physical activity stations will focus on age-appropriate movement skills that encourage success in a fun atmosphere.

For more information, contact Rip Marston at 319-273-6882 or the program director, Karyn Finn, at 319-610-0501. For the registration form, visit

August 5, 2015 - 10:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host an interactive exhibit at the Iowa State Fair 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 13, through Sunday, Aug. 23, in the Varied Industries Building. Fairgoers can visit with alumni, faculty, staff and students, as well as pick up Panther tattoos, athletic posters and other giveaways.

There will be a multimedia interactive station which will include three 55-inch touch screen monitors that will allow visitors, alumni and prospective students to explore different majors and opportunities offered at UNI. UNI President Bill Ruud will visit with guests from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 15. At 4 p.m., Ruud will show a steer at the Governor's Charity Steer Show.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, special appearances will include UNI women’s head basketball coach Tonya Warren from 9 to 11 a.m. and UNI men's head basketball coach Ben Jacobson from 1 to 3 p.m. UNI mascots TC and TK will be at the fair from 10 to 11 a.m., noon to 1 p.m. and 2 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 13. They will also be there from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 15. Other special appearances on Aug. 15 include wrestling coach Doug Schwab from 1 to 3 p.m. Panther fans are encouraged to wear their UNI colors Saturday, Aug. 15, and stop by the booth.

University Book & Supply will sell UNI clothing, Panther gear and memorabilia at this year's booth.

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


August 5, 2015 - 10:38am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI Suzuki School is taking applications for instruction in beginning to advanced violin, viola, cello and guitar with experienced faculty. An open house will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 22, for interested students and their families in the lobby of Russell Hall at the University of Northern Iowa.

Registration for currently enrolled students will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 22, in Russell Hall classrooms. Beginning classes for 3- to 7-year-olds will start in late August with parent orientation sessions and group lessons. Lessons and other educational opportunities are available for older children and adults. The 2015-16 session begins Monday, Aug. 31. Pre-registration is due by Monday, Aug.10, for currently enrolled students and by Aug. 22 for new students.

In addition to individual instruction, the school offers three ensemble opportunities by audition. Auditions for the Northern Iowa Youth Orchestra (NIYO) for grades nine through 12 will be held on Friday, Aug. 28, and Friday, Sept. 4. NIYO meets from 5 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and is directed by John Chiles. Auditions for the Northern Iowa Junior Orchestra (NIJO) for grades five through eight will be held on Friday, Sept. 18. NIJO also meets from 5 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and is directed by Tom Schilke. Verismo Chamber Ensembles will be divided by level and coached by John Chiles. Participants will determine the meeting dates and times. Auditions for Viva Verismo for ages 8 through 14 and advanced ensembles, Verismo Sr. and Verismo Maestro, will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 1.  

The UNI Suzuki School is offering an adult string orchestra for adults who have had orchestra experience. The group will meet twice a month and is directed by John Chiles.

For more details, audition times or for a registration application, contact Cathy Craig, Suzuki School coordinator, at 319-273-2508 or


July 31, 2015 - 10:11am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Two graduate counseling programs in the University of Northern Iowa's School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHS) were recently reaccredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The two programs – school counseling and clinical mental health counseling – were reaccredited for eight years.

Both programs have been accredited by CACREP since 1990, and the clinical mental health counseling program was the first accredited program in the nation.

"With the assistance of the faculty and graduate assistants, and the leadership and support of Dean Brenda Bass, former director of the SAHS Howard Barnes and the current interim director of SAHS Annette Lynch, we were granted eight years of accreditation, which is the maximum amount of time awarded to nationally accredited programs," said Roberto Swazo, associate professor, division chair and CACREP liaison of counseling programs at UNI. "Being a CACREP program signifies national quality and credibility in the eyes of national, regional and state licensure and certification boards."

The school's self-study process took two years. The council looked at more than 300 standards that needed to be addressed. These standards, which included a newly adopted focus on assessing and documenting student learning outcomes, will help UNI counseling students understand not only what they are learning, but also why.

For more information about UNI's counseling programs, visit For more information about the reaccreditation of the counseling programs, contact Swazo at 319-273-2675 or

July 31, 2015 - 11:43am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's undergraduate and graduate social work programs have been reaccredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The two programs – Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Master of Social Work – were reaccredited for eight years, the maximum granted by the Commission on Accreditation.

Reaccreditation comes after the completion of a lengthy self-study by program faculty and a site visit by members of the commission's accrediting team. The undergraduate program was accredited in 1975, and the graduate program was accredited in 2002.

"Aside from completing the self-studies, this accreditation required fundamental changes to our programs as we moved from content-driven to outcome-based curricula," said Cindy Juby, department head and associate professor of social work. "In addition, reaccreditation coincided with the restructuring of our MSW program to establish a trauma-informed specialty. CSWE's decision reflects the hard work, commitment and team effort of the Department of Social Work faculty and staff in making our programs successful."

UNI's Department of Social Work offers a student-centered learning community where students should expect to be challenged and stimulated as they develop the knowledge needed to become an effective agent for social change. Curriculum is centered around a trauma-informed perspective. Recognizing and understanding the significant roles that psychological trauma and human rights violations play in a range of issues provides students with a unique advantage as they assist individuals and work to improve service delivery systems.

For more information about UNI's social work programs, visit For more information about the reaccreditation of the social work programs, contact Juby at 319-273-5845 or

July 23, 2015 - 3:42pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- "The Bridges of Madison County" original manuscript has been donated by author Robert James Waller to the Rod Library's special collections and university archives at the University of Northern Iowa. The manuscript includes Waller's personal notes and annotations. Originally published in 1992, this love story between a woman living in Madison County, Iowa, and a photographer was a New York Times bestseller that has sold 50 million copies worldwide.

"Interest in Professor Waller's first novel and his later works has remained at a high level over the years," said Gerald Peterson, Rod Library's special collections librarian and university archivist. "A late typescript of his novel, with his handwritten emendations, is an impressive addition to UNI's archives. Professor Waller's generous gift will benefit generations of scholars."

"This manuscript will be of interest to students and faculty in the Department of Languages and Literatures as well as other disciplines at UNI," said Chris Cox, dean of library services. "The special collections and university archives will be a destination for Waller scholars around the world."

"The Bridges of Madison County" was made into a feature film in 1995 starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Waller's book was also made into a Broadway musical in February 2014, which won a Tony Award.

"Professor Waller's first novel had an enormous impact on American popular culture. People across the United States and around the world were talking about his book," said Peterson. "Discussion, criticism, and speculation about the author, the story and its characters permeated popular media for months."

Robert James Waller lives in Texas and received his B.A. in 1962 from the University of Northern Iowa, as well as his M.A. in 1968. Waller is a former faculty member and former dean of what is now known as the College of Business Administration at UNI. His other New York Times bestseller is "Puerto Vallarta Squeeze."

For more information about the new manuscript, visit 

July 23, 2015 - 4:22pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's Rod Library has been selected to participate in the "Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" grant. The library will receive $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and American Library Association to support programming.

"Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" is a public exploration of the rich and varied experiences of Latinos who have helped shape the U.S. over the last five centuries and who have become, with more than 50 million people, the country's largest minority group.

The cornerstone of the project is the six-part, NEH-supported documentary film, "Latino Americans," created for PBS in 2013 by the WETA public television station. The Peabody Award-winning series chronicles Latinos in the United States from the 16th century to present day.

"We are extremely excited to have been awarded this grant," said Jessica Cruz, UNI Museum exhibit preparator. "Not only does it give us the opportunity to work with multiple entities on campus to highlight Latinos in the United States, it also enables us to reach beyond the UNI community to engage the whole of the Cedar Valley. We have a lineup of wonderful events, and we look forward to working with our various partners throughout the year to celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture in Iowa."

"We are proud to have provided funding to support the creation of this film, and we are pleased that it will be seen by diverse audiences in communities around the country through these new grants," said NEH Chairman William D. Adams.

"Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which is designed to demonstrate the critical role humanities scholarship can play in our public life.

For more information about this project, visit

July 21, 2015 - 10:56am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) will host a webinar on Community Solar Energy in Iowa from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 29. Experts from both municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives will describe current and proposed community solar projects in Iowa. A representative from Cedar Falls Utilities will answer questions related to the Simple Solar Project. Learn how you and/or your business can benefit from lower electrical bills, even if you have a shady roof.

The webinar is free and open to the public. Attendees can join by going to and entering meeting ID 319 273 6012. To join by phone, dial +1-646-558-8656 or +1-408-638-0968 and enter meeting ID. 

In addition, four videos of presentations from the CEEE's Solar Energy Fair in June are now on YouTube and available for viewing. Topics include the potential for solar in Iowa, Simple Solar/CFU's community solar program, federal and state solar tax credits, and Farmers Electric Cooperative community solar project. Go to and search for CEEE Solar Energy Fair. 

The webinar and videos are funded by the Iowa Energy Center. For more information, contact Pat Higby, energy educator, at 319-273-6012 or


July 13, 2015 - 1:49pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNIBusiness real estate program ranks No. 12 among the top 30 best universities for real estate studies, according to, a website known for comprehensive knowledge in the real estate industry, and posts national rankings and a wide range of information regarding real estate in the U.S.

"It is an honor to be acknowledged on this top 30 list," said Arthur Cox, director of UNI's Center for Real Estate Education. "This is another external validation for the quality of our program. Our strong ties to the real estate industry clearly are a tremendous advantage to our students and employers."

UNIBusiness offers the only Bachelor of Arts Real Estate degree in the state of Iowa. The extensive program prepares students for careers in the many disciplines within real estate, both commercial and residential, including brokerage, property management, valuation, mortgage underwriting, mortgage servicing and asset management.

"The quality that is recognized by this high ranking pertains to our program connecting academic learning with the actual applications of those principles to real-world problems. Students are not being trained in real estate, rather they are gaining an education where they develop the skills required in today's complex real estate industry," said Cox.

The value of this program and the strength of its graduates do not go unnoticed; UNIBusiness real estate majors experience 100 percent job placement before graduation. For more information about UNI's Center for Real Estate Education, visit


July 9, 2015 - 9:47am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Child Development Center (CDC) is participating as a contractor in an Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grant with Tri-County Child and Family. The contract will support 16 children whose parents attend UNI. This grant is for evening childcare at the CDC while parents attend classes, study or work.

This grant will give qualifying UNI parents the advantage of having free childcare right on campus while they concentrate on their classes or work. Recruitment is underway for parents to sign their children up to attend this program at the CDC. In order to qualify for this new evening childcare program, one must meet the Head Start program's income eligibility and be a current UNI student. For easy access to more information regarding eligibility, visit under the "How to Enroll" tab.

The CDC is a childcare and instruction resource for all students, faculty and staff at UNI. Part of the College of Education, their mission is to provide a nurturing and safe environment to support learning for the families and students of the university.

For more information or to enroll, contact Rachelle or Kayla at 319-235-5557, or the enrollment office at 319-235-0383. For more information regarding the CDC visit 

July 9, 2015 - 2:51pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Department of Political Science, via Continuing and Distance Education, will offer a master's degree in public policy beginning fall 2015. The program is designed for those interested in furthering their education about public policy and the tools needed to assume effective and meaningful positions with public or nonprofit organizations that serve the community.

"This program is ideally constructed for the working professional, with online course offerings and a curriculum designed to enhance skills relating to budgeting, management and program evaluation," said Program Coordinator Christopher Larimer.

The two-year program uses a cohort model in which a group of students moves through the course sequence together. Courses are offered via interactive video conferencing, including Adobe Connect, and online via eLearning, a Blackboard learning environment. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit

For information about additional offerings available through Continuing and Distance Education at the University of Northern Iowa, visit or call 319-273-5970 or 800-648-3864.

July 9, 2015 - 3:00pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Sturgis Youth Theatre (SYT) will present "Wiley and the Hairy Man" at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16 through Sunday, July 19 at the Strayer-Wood Theatre on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Matinee performances will be held at 10:30 a.m., July 17, and 2 p.m., July 18 and 19.

"Wiley and the Hairy Man," by Jack Stokes, is based on a Southern folktale in which a young boy must face his fears to overcome the obstacles in his path. UNI professor of theatre and artistic director of the SYT Gretta Berghammer is the director for the performance. Working alongside Berghammer is scenic designer Mark Parrott, UNI associate professor of theatre; costume designer Mic Evans, a UNI theatre major; and lighting designer Shaun Knapp, a 2014 graduate of UNI.

The performance features a cast of 36 young people from the Cedar Valley, ranging in age from 9 to 16 years old. In addition to their role on stage, each cast member participates in the creation of scenery, props or costumes. Cast members from Waterloo include: Kayla Craun, Joe Mills, Milo Simpson and Emily Yates. Cast members from Cedar Falls include Claire Biles, Koro and Xanti Castillo, Maddy Doeden, Kaleb Dufel, Nancy Espinoza, Owen Flack, John and Elise Glascock, Jonathan Green, Lily Hansbrough, Grace King, Genavieve Koinzan, Joshua Kreger, Gabe Kroeger, Hope Krohn, Riley Marten, Madisen Reeves, Olivia Rodgers, Henry and Noah Rouw, Caroline and Margaret Schafer, Alanah and Camden Smith, Luke Sulentic, Leah Takes, and Sophia Woods. Cast member Davis Roth is from Jesup; Sophia Kohl is from Readlyn; Sydney Eggena is from Denver; and Jadi Jacobsen is from Washburn. Another 19 university and high school students serve as staff, interns and volunteers on the production.

"Wiley and the Hairy Man" has received additional support from local businesses, organizations and community members in the form of costume sponsorships and scholarships.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling 319-239-1540. For more information visit


July 9, 2015 - 3:26pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa commissioned an artist to design and build a public art sculpture for the Bartlett Hall renovation project. Mike Baur's sculpture, "Redtail," will be placed in Bartlett's west interior courtyard beginning at 7 a.m., Friday, July 10. 

"Redtail" is an 18-foot tall and 24-foot long sculpture designed with steel and concrete, which will last hundreds of years with no maintenance. The artist's goal was to make it large enough to command the space, yet not too large to overwhelm the viewer. Baur wanted to use details and patterns to enhance the view up close, and a unique form to grab attention from afar.

Baur, who lives in West Chicago, Illinois, is well known for his concrete and steel public sculptures. His first big accomplishment was a 200-ton concrete sculpture in Spain, which won an international competition. His other pieces are found in locations across the United States and Spain. Baur has exhibited in many museums, large-scale sculpture venues and group shows.

The Bartlett site will become a green space providing a central walkway through campus. The project is funded through the State of Iowa, Art in State Buildings Program.

July 8, 2015 - 8:36am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A gift of $3.655 million from the Gerdin family will support the renovation of Schindler Education Center, the focal point of teacher education, at the University of Northern Iowa.

"Our family is pleased to be able to support the Schindler Education Center renovation project," said Julie Durr, a UNI alumna and spokesperson for the family. "UNI is nationally known for its outstanding teacher education program. We wanted to make sure this facility reflects the high quality learning that takes place inside the building."

"The University of Northern Iowa has the proud distinction of leading Iowa's number one teacher education program," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "Our College of Education is doing more than teaching tomorrow's educators, administrators and health specialists. Nearly 32 percent of teachers and 37 percent of school administrators in Iowa are UNI graduates. This gift from the Gerdin family means that we can continue to prepare hundreds of tomorrow's leaders to affect change in schools, communities and businesses around the world."

Renovations will feature spaces and furnishings that are flexible, such as the central learning commons area where students will be able to engage in diverse learning activities like group presentations. Lecture halls will be transitioned into collaborative, interactive learning spaces. Obsolete computer labs will be replaced by classrooms that use integrated technology. The new design will also create classroom simulation spaces in which teacher candidates can model instructional methods in learning environments similar to those that are currently used in kindergarten through high school settings. 

Renovations will also include replacement of exterior windows and the installation of new interior windows, which will provide credit toward LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) gold certification. In addition, an outdoor plaza will feature a green roof that will serve as a learning center for future teachers.

"School facilities must move from traditional classrooms where students are information receivers to facilities that encourage active learning," said Victoria Robinson, interim dean of the College of Education. "This shift from teacher-centered instruction to student-centered learning brings about the need for flexible education facilities. This generous gift will strengthen the program and help us prepare highly effective teachers, principals and superintendents."

The Gerdin gift was made to the University of Northern Iowa through the UNI Foundation. For more information about the UNI Foundation, visit


July 2, 2015 - 4:22pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Music and theatre students and programs at the University of Northern Iowa will benefit from a gift from alumni Howard C. and Mary Easter.

Howard, who died in September 2011 at the age of 94, and Mary who died in September 2014 at the age of 95, named UNI as the beneficiary of the remainder of their trust. The bequest will total nearly $1 million to be distributed equally between the UNI School of Music and the UNI Department of Theatre.

John Vallentine, director of the UNI School of Music said the Easter's gift will allow the school to continue to strengthen its reputation by supporting UNI students in their performances at the university, throughout the United States and abroad. "The Easters have made a transformational gift to the university," said Vallentine. "The funds will be placed into an endowment that will support scholarships, purchase equipment (such as pianos) and meet programmatic needs for future generations of students.  We are grateful for the generosity of Howard and Mary Easter."

Eric Lange, head of the Department of Theatre, stated that this funding will have a significant impact on departmental programming and will benefit new groups of students into the future. "This funding will support the hiring of professional guest artists who will share current practice with our students, will help support enhancements to our production resources, and will also help support student travel to see professional theatre or attend discipline-specific conferences. The Easters' generosity is very much appreciated."

The funds perpetuate the Easters' passion for the performing arts. Mary taught English in Illinois and Iowa. Howard taught band and played jazz piano in the Howy Curtis Trio Band. They are both graduates of Iowa State Teachers College, now University of Northern Iowa.

The Easter gift will be managed by the UNI Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to support the University of Northern Iowa by leveraging private and public resources through strategic engagement of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. For more information about the UNI Foundation, visit


July 1, 2015 - 9:36am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – On Wednesday, July 15, the Friends of Gallagher Bluedorn will host the first performance in their new Friends Presents series featuring the popular country/classical trio, The Texas Tenors.

Since their whirlwind debut on 2009's America’s Got Talent, The Texas Tenors have accumulated a long list of awards and excited fans. With their Emmy Award-winning PBS special now airing across the nation, and chart-topping albums, The Texas Tenors have become one of America's favorite trios. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Kaleidoscope Series for Youth.

Friends of the Gallagher Bluedorn will also be hosting a silent auction before the performance, as well as a live auction during intermission. Live auction prizes include an autographed acoustic guitar from the performance; a two-night stay in Branson, Missouri, including tickets to The Texas Tenors at the Starlite Theatre; a dinner for four with John Hagen and his wife at Montage; and a personalized voicemail message by The Texas Tenors. Silent auction items include an autographed cowboy hat, a basket of The Texas Tenors merchandise, a pair of cowboy boots and a recorded voicemail phone message by The Texas Tenors. Money raised from the auction will be put toward funding the Kaleidoscope Series, which offers performances to school age children for only $1 each.

Ticket prices for The Texas Tenors begin at $32.50 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, online at or by phone at 319-273-4849.

For more information, contact Blake Argotsinger, associate marketing manager for the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, at 319-273-3660 or



June 30, 2015 - 4:31pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The first round of the John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition is complete. Of the 45 executive summaries submitted, 24 have been selected to submit a full business model canvas and pitch decks to be reviewed by judges.

"This year the quality of the businesses was exceptionally high," said Randy Pilkington, director of UNI’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. "We were pleased to have a wide range of business types with broad geographic representation competing this year."

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 Thursday, Sept. 24, in Des Moines.

The John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is designed to stimulate business development and provide support for business growth. This year, a total of $50,000 will be awarded to the top three businesses as determined by the panel of judges ($25,000 for first prize, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third).

For more information, visit the competition website at

June 19, 2015 - 3:10pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub (IAMNH), at the TechWorks Campus in Waterloo, is one of the first projects in the state to be awarded funds through Iowa's new Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF). The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved the funding at their June meeting. The project, Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub – Phase I, Additive Manufacturing Center, will receive $2.7 million to fund additional 3-D printers for the UNI Metal Casting Center, building improvements, and a design center to be operated by Hawkeye Community College and UNI.

"With this financial support from the IEDA and Iowa Innovation Council, UNI is excited and anxious to move forward with creating a full-service additive manufacturing center to meet the innovation and technology needs of Iowa companies," said Randy Pilkington, executive director of UNI's Business and Community Services. "Thanks to support from IEDA, UNI is building on the momentum of the past 18 months of 3-D printing success to create a full-service additive manufacturing center for Iowa manufacturers. Expansion into plastics, metals and ceramics will create one of the best equipped 3-D printing facilities in North America."

The IAMNH application for SIF was completed by TechWorks staff and a team including UNI's Randy Pilkington and Metal Casting Center Director Jerry Thiel; Hawkeye Community College President Linda Allen, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jane Bradley; and TechWorks board chair Tim Hurley. The team worked with the State of Iowa and the Iowa Innovation Council’s Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup to finalize the application.

The IEDA funding will help to move Iowa to the forefront of technology in additive manufacturing and establish a premier center for support of its manufacturing base.  This funding is a critical step in advancing the state's technology base and providing a central location for technology advancement.

"We are proud of the collaborative and diligent work of the TechWorks board and staff, with our Cedar Valley partners.  Their commitment to cultivate innovation in advanced and additive manufacturing in Iowa is producing immediate results," said Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and president of TechWorks Campus. "This same kind of spirit established a legacy of manufacturing in the Cedar Valley years ago. The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub on the TechWorks Campus ensures the legacy continues."

Jerry Thiel, director of the UNI Metal Casting Center/Additive Manufacturing is already working with a large number of manufacturers from Iowa and across the country with the ExOne 3-D printer purchased with IEDA funds in 2013. The Metal Casting Center provides opportunities for students to train on the most advanced machines available while gaining real world experience helping manufacturers with cost saving rapid prototyping to better compete globally.

"This funding will provide research opportunities for all three universities as well as interaction at the community college level," said Thiel. "We look forward to the funding and its positive impact on the state of Iowa."

TechWorks and the University of Northern Iowa have developed a partnership to execute a key initiative to grow prosperity through expansion of additive manufacturing technologies and launching the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub.

Cedar Valley TechWorks is a subsidiary of by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.


June 18, 2015 - 4:03pm


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 Tuesday, June 23, through Friday, June 26, at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo.

The institute will offer details for designing a rigorous and challenging curriculum that includes research-based literacy practices, and will provide educators with a wealth of practical resources aligned with the Iowa Core State Standards.

Developed under the leadership of Linda Dorn, director of the Center for Literacy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy (PCL) is a model of school transformation that focuses on improved literacy learning for all children. Dorn will be the featured speaker.

Nearly 300 educators from across Iowa will participate in the institute, including 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.

The Jacobson Center at the University of Northern Iowa is one of seven universities that partner with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to provide professional development opportunities for educators and preparation in the PCL model. Salli Forbes, director of the Jacobson Center, and assistant director Debra Rich coordinate the summer institute and oversee the year-long preparation of PCL coaches for school districts and Area Education Agencies across Iowa.

For more information about the summer institute, visit


June 16, 2015 - 9:13am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Two free online webinars on sales and use tax for Iowa businesses are scheduled in June and July. Part one will be from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 17, and part two will be from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 22.

These one-hour events are specialized for small business owners, and will provide an overview of Iowa sales and use tax. Part one will include information about common taxable services. Part two will cover local option sales tax. The presenter is Terry O'Neill, taxpayer service specialist with the Iowa Department of Revenue.

The webinars are presented by IASourceLink at the University of Northern Iowa and the UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation, partnered with the Iowa Department of Revenue.

Attendees can register for either or both webinars. For more information or to register, visit

June 15, 2015 - 2:18pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Educational Talent Search   Program (ETS) is conducting recruitment for students in the Waterloo Community School District. ETS is a college preparatory program that is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and serves 1,265 students in Waterloo.

All sixth-grade through 12th-grade students in the Waterloo Community School District who may be lacking resources to prepare for postsecondary education, and plan on attending college after high school graduation are eligible for the program. Two-thirds of the participants in ETS must be both low-income students and first-generation college-bound students.

ETS staff provides homework and study skill assistance; ACT test preparatory workshops; career planning and job shadowing; information on postsecondary education; assistance finding and applying for scholarships; college tours; and assistance with college admissions and financial aid applications.

For more information or to apply for ETS, visit or contact the program office at 319-433-1220. 

June 8, 2015 - 3:51pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Tallgrass Prairie Center will host the Iowa Prairie Conference July 16 through18.

The theme of the conference is "Working Prairies," which is a reflection of the evolving role of prairie in the landscape. Featured speakers include Doug Ladd, land stewardship director of the Nature Conservancy's Missouri Chapter, and Lisa Schulte-Moore, associate professor of natural resource ecology and management at Iowa State University.

Three symposia are also scheduled for the conference: "Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management," chaired by Kristine Nemec; "Writing the Tallgrass Prairie," chaired by John Price; and "40+ Years of Prairie Preservation and Restoration," chaired by Pauline Drobney and Laura Jackson, and organized to commemorate the decades of prairie work by Daryl Smith, advocate and founder of UNI's Tallgrass Prairie Center. Field trips to area prairies will be held on July 18.

Registration fees prior to July 6 are $80 for regular attendees, $60 for students and $40 daily. The commercial exhibitor registration fee is $200; the registration fee for educational and nonprofit groups is $140. Lodging options are available at Panther Village, the many hotels in Cedar Falls, and the camping and RV parks in the area.

Located at 2412 W. 27th St., the Tallgrass Prairie Center was established at UNI in 1999 and uses 65 acres of campus land. The center has many programs and projects that exemplify the theme of "Working Prairie." For a list of all programs and projects, visit

For further information, a full schedule of events or to register for the conference, visit