News Release Archive

October 15, 2015 - 3:05pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy will host a reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20, in the Commons Georgian Lounge and Slife Ballroom on UNI's campus to celebrate 25 years of Reading Recovery in Iowa.

The program has impacted nearly 80,000 first-grade students in Iowa who struggle with reading and writing in school. It prepares teacher leaders in a post-masters certificated program. The teacher leaders, in turn, prepare Reading Recovery teachers who identify and work with the lowest-performing students. There are 19 Reading Recovery teacher leaders in 12 sites across Iowa, as well as one site in Minnesota and one in Nebraska that are affiliated with the University of Northern Iowa.

"The impact of the Reading Recovery Program in Iowa is significant and undeniable," said Salli Forbes, director of the Jacobson Center. "We are excited to celebrate this important milestone for the program, the state and the children who have accelerated their literacy progress with Reading Recovery instruction. Thanks to this early intervention, many of these young people have grown into successful students and adults."

Reading Recovery began in Iowa in the fall of 1990 when Lavonne Mann, Des Moines Public School district, began preparation to become a Reading Recovery teacher leader. The Reading Recovery Program of Iowa was established at UNI in 2008 under the leadership of William Callahan and Penny Beed. Salli Farbes was hired as the director and trainer of the Reading Recovery Program of Iowa at UNI in January 2009. Paul Bennet joined the program as a Reading Recovery trainer in August 2014. Since that time, many people have played important roles in developing and scaling up the implementation of Reading Recovery across the state.

To learn more about the Richard O. Jacobson Center or the Reading Recovery program, visit 

October 14, 2015 - 10:08am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI Speech and Debate and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education have organized a debate titled, "Resolved: The United States Should Officially Recognize the Armenian Genocide." It will take place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28, in McCollum Science Hall, Room 137.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which was carried out by the Turkish government against the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1916. It is often called the "first genocide of the 20th century." Countries such as France, Argentina, Greece and Russia have recognized the genocide, while Turkey and the United States have not.

"The Armenian Genocide itself and the response of our and other governments to it established a pattern that has continued for the next century," said Stephen Gaies, director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education. "For many countries-and certainly for our own-the issue of recognizing the Armenian Genocide dramatizes the frequent conflict in foreign policy between moral and pragmatic priorities."

At the event, two members of UNI Speech and Debate will debate each other on the topic. The audience will have the chance to participate and give feedback throughout the debate. The debaters can use this commentary in their closing statements.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Gaies at 319-273-3870 or

October 13, 2015 - 8:42am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Museum on the first floor of the Rod Library will host a grand reopening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday Oct. 31. The event is free, open to the public and will include Dia de los Muertos-themed crafts, snacks and games. In addition to highlighting museum collections, the event will feature student work.

"Lighting Up: Perceptions of American Drug Culture," created by a UNI intern, focuses on the changing perceptions toward drug culture from the Victorian era to the 1960s. "Dia de los Muertos: Latin American Holiday Traditions" will feature displays created in conjunction with UNI's Hispanic Latino Student Union. The final exhibit, "Elements of Design: Symbolism in Material Culture," will highlight the variety of cultures represented in the UNI Museum's collection.

The UNI Museum will also feature an exhibit created by the Hispanic Latino Student Union that will highlight the culture, diversity and student involvement activities on campus.

For additional information, contact the UNI Museum at 319-273-2188. Gallery hours are from 7 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; and noon to midnight Sunday. 

October 9, 2015 - 9:47am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is an outstanding business school for the 10th consecutive year, according to The Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review, known for its widely followed college rankings in dozens of categories based on student ratings, features UNI's College of Business Administration in the just-published 2016 edition of "The Best 295 Business Schools" (Penguin Random House/ Princeton Review, published Oct. 6, 2015).

Leslie Wilson, interim dean of UNI's College of Business Administration, said, "It is gratifying to again receive this honor from The Princeton Review, particularly their recognition of our emphasis on applying theory to practice through live-client projects. Providing opportunities for students to solve real-world business problems is confirmation of our commitment to student success and our ability to deliver a world-class education."

"The Best 295 Business Schools: 2016 Edition" has two-page profiles of the schools with write-ups on their academics, student life and admissions, plus ratings for their academics, selectivity and career placement services. In the profile on UNI, the Princeton Review editors say, "UNI is a well-respected business school that puts an emphasis on teamwork. Students especially rave about business consulting projects that take everything the students have learned and challenges them to apply that knowledge to local businesses or nonprofits with the guidance of mentors."

One student told The Princeton Review that the University of Northern Iowa professors are "responsive to students' needs and know how to present material well." The Princeton Review also describes how the career services office at UNI assists students in understanding how to market their knowledge, training, professionalism and work ethics.

In addition to this recognition from The Princeton Review, the UNI College of Business Administration is accredited by AACSB International, is among The Military Times' Best for Vets: Business Schools rankings and has earned a U.S. News & World Report best part-time MBA ranking. Learn more about UNI's undergraduate business and MBA programs at

October 9, 2015 - 9:57am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa has ranked No. 42 out of 1,182 schools in the annual outcomes-based, ETC College Rankings Index for 2016. This index is produced by the nonprofit, Educate to Career (ETC).

According to Michael R. Havis, president and founder of ETC, "Our rankings stand out as unique, as our ETC College Rankings Index places major emphasis on the workforce preparedness and the improvement in earnings and employability that grads derive from attending a particular college."

The ETC College Rankings Index can be found at, along with ETC's other innovative college and career planning tools.

UNI's other national rankings and awards can be found at 

October 9, 2015 - 2:30pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The sixth Bipartisan Women in Politics Scholarship benefit will be held Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Park Place Event Centre in Cedar Falls. This event will feature guest speaker Christie Vilsack, senior adviser for International Education, U.S. Agency for International Development.

Vilsack works with education leaders worldwide to build understanding of and support for international education solutions, while focusing on children's reading skills, workforce development, and equitable access to education in crisis and conflict settings.

The event will begin with a social time at 6 p.m., and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Net proceeds from the event benefit UNI's Women in Politics Scholarship.

Those interested in purchasing tickets for the banquet should contact Donna Hoffman, department head and associate professor of political science, at 319-273-5916 or

October 7, 2015 - 3:08pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- UNI alumnus Mitch Matthews will return to campus later this month to share stories behind the start of the BIG Dream Gathering. The goal of the gathering is to encourage people to get clear on their dreams and turn them into a reality. The presentation will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27, in the Commons Slife Ballroom on UNI's campus.

Matthews (B.A. '93) co-founded the BIG Dream Gathering with his wife, Melissa Johnson-Matthews, in 2006 while going through set backs with one of their own dreams. It started when the couple invited some friends and family members to their house and encouraged everyone to write down their dreams and put them on the wall to share with everyone else. This led to multiple dreams coming true in just a matter of weeks.

What started as a "happy accident" is now an inspiring movement all over the world. Matthews now holds countless BIG Dream Gatherings to support other people to "Dream. Think. Do."

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact Christina Danielsen, assistant director of alumni marketing and communications at the UNI Alumni Association, at 319-273-2355 or

October 7, 2015 - 3:31pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- TheatreUNI will present the musical "RENT" at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29; Friday, Oct. 30; Thursday, Nov. 5 through Saturday, Nov. 7; and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 8. Performances will take place in the Strayer-Wood Theatre complex on the University of Northern Iowa campus. "RENT" deals with issues of diversity and the scourge of the AIDS epidemic as well as gender identity issues, drug addiction, racial conflicts, class conflicts and feminism. 

In conjunction with the production, an exhibition will be held from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, starting Oct. 15, in the Strayer-Wood Theatre lobby. The exhibit will have displays of informational graphics, photographs and other items related to the show, and will include the use of videos and music. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The creation of the lobby exhibition is sponsored by UNI's Reaching for Higher Ground initiative.

For more information, contact Eric Lange, artistic director at the Strayer-Wood Theatre, at 319-273-8633 or

October 7, 2015 - 4:37pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host an electronic media workshop titled "Take Your Career to the Next Level" from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, in Lang Hall. The workshop, in its 11th year, brings together academics and media professionals and will include workshops, lunch, discussions and speakers to follow.

The Fast Forward Workshop brings working professionals to students. Interactive sessions will be offered in a variety of settings to help media students prepare for their first job. Industry experts will lead discussions on the best practices in broadcast journalism, and will help attendees polish their broadcast and production skills.

Bruce Aune, anchor and reporter at KCRG-TV, will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 Fast Forward Workshop. In May he received the Iowa Broadcast News Association's highest honor, the IBNA Jack Shelley Award.

Cost of the Fast Forward Workshop is $50 for students and $65 for professionals. Lunch is included in the cost. Payment can be mailed to Fast Forward: E-Media Workshop, Department of Communication Studies, Lang Hall 326, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614. Checks must be payable to UNI/Communication Studies. Or register online at Payments of online registration must be made the day of the event. A number of full or partial scholarships are provided for students through funding by the Iowa Broadcasters Association.

For additional information, contact Ronnie Bankston, associate professor of communication studies, at 319-273-6244 or

October 6, 2015 - 4:19pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's American Chemical Society student chapter (ACS), in collaboration with students from the biology, physics and earth science departments, will host their annual "Halloween House" from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23, on the second floor of McCollum Science Hall. The event is free and open to the public. The activities are intended for children, and costumes are encouraged.

"This is a very fun evening for families," said Melisa Cherney, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry. "Both parents and children are enthralled by the demonstrations from all areas of science, and the kids really get into the hands-on activities."

Students will be performing Halloween-themed science demonstrations and supervising hands-on activities in rooms such as "Devil's Den," "Frankenstein's Lab," "Skeleton Graveyard" and "Underground Mysteries."

"Hosting 'Halloween House' is a great opportunity for our students to share with the public how interesting and exciting they find science," said Colin Weeks, assistant professor of chemistry. "They also learn a huge amount about how to run an event for hundreds of people that is entertaining, informative and safe."

"Halloween House" is organized by the UNI student chapter of the ACS, Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, the UNI Physics Club and the Gamma Sigma Chapter of The Society of Sigma Gamma Epsilon. The event is held in conjunction with National Chemistry Week and encompasses STEM activities.

For additional information, contact Weeks at 319-273-2805 or, or Cherney at 319-273-2557 or


October 6, 2015 - 4:26pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- This year's annual Leland Wilson Lectureship event will be presented by Kimryn Rathmell, director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology and professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22, in Lantz Auditorium in McCollum Science Hall on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Her lecture is titled "The Exciting State of Affairs for Drug Development in Cancer: 2015."

Rathmell is a 1991 UNI graduate with a double major in chemistry and biology. She received her Ph.D. in 1996 and M.D. in 1998 from Stanford University. She was named as the Cornelius Abernathy Craig Professor of Medicine, and is currently a medical oncologist with her work focused on kidney cancers. Her research programs include the development of animal models, innovative imaging strategies and novel therapeutics. In her lecture, she will talk about how cancer works and how recent research has shown new ways to treat cancer.

The Leland Wilson Endowed Chemistry Leadership was established in 2007 by a gift from Wilson's daughter, Mary Sue Coleman, who has served as president at the University of Michigan and University of Iowa, and her husband, Kenneth Coleman. Leland Wilson was the first department head in the Department of Chemistry in 1968. He retired as professor of chemistry in 1979 and died in 1993 at the age of 79. He left behind a legacy of professionalism and integrity in faculty and staff.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Laura Strauss, UNI department head and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, at 319-273-2052 or

October 5, 2015 - 9:49am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A new national food waste reduction goal has been set by government agencies just in time for the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) at the University of Northern Iowa to begin a new grant-funded project to continue its progressive action of reducing food waste in Iowa and diverting it from landfills.

"The national goal announced last week is to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030. Achieving that is going to require a collaborative effort throughout many industries," says Dan Nickey, IWRC's associate director. Through past projects, the IWRC has learned that food waste producers in Iowa have the desire to reduce food waste, but need assistance on how to actually reduce the waste, or divert it to other sources rather than the landfill.

 "That is the primary goal for the new project, to provide direct on-site technical assistance to educate businesses on how to reduce food waste and divert it from the landfill," explains Nickey. "It's projects like this that are going to build the foundation to reach that 50 percent reduction goal for America."

Jenny Trent, environmental specialist at the IWRC, will be leading the project. "Opportunities to reduce food waste are everywhere, but to reduce it, we need to start by calculating food waste generation rates. Once generation rates are calculated, the IWRC will focus on helping entities track reductions through donation to food banks, feeding farm animals and composting or biodigesting."

The year-long project began Oct. 1, 2015 with $83,000 funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Services. It is the third USDA grant for the IWRC. The first was completed in 2013-2014 focusing on waste reduction within the construction and demolition industry, followed by a current project focused on food waste compost education that was completed on Sept. 30.

For more information about IWRC’s food waste reduction efforts, visit


October 5, 2015 - 9:55am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- During this year's Homecoming celebration, Alpha Chi Epsilon (AXE) and Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternities will celebrate a combined 100 years of tradition and service.

The legacy of brotherhood began at UNI when local fraternity AXE was established in 1915. Fifty years later, AXE sought affiliation with a national fraternity and chose SAE. UNI's Iowa Chi Chapter of SAE was chartered in 1965.

The dual-fraternity celebration will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, with a reception and banquet in the Old Central Ballroom in Maucker Union.

There will be a fraternity and sorority life update at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 17, followed by a tour of the SAE house at 10:30 a.m. The Homecoming parade, which can be viewed on the chapter house lawn, will begin at 11 a.m. Following the parade, there will be a tree dedication by Maucker Union; unveiling the plaque commemorating 100 years of AXE/SAE service.

The alumni tailgate will take place from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. west of the UNI-Dome, and the football game will begin at 4 p.m., against Western Illinois. An informal social will take place at the Comfort Suites in Cedar Falls following the game.

All brothers are welcome and encouraged to attend. For additional celebration information or to RSVP, visit or call 888-UNI ALUM. 

October 5, 2015 - 11:13am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa hosts two major AmeriCorps programs: Green Iowa AmeriCorps and Improving Food Security VISTA.

Green Iowa AmeriCorps has been operating since 2009, focusing on comprehensive residential energy services to low-income households. They serve seven regions in Iowa and have 35 service members.

Improving Food Security VISTA is an AmeriCorps program involving four members serving the Waterloo area. The program is in its first year, building capacity to improve access to good food in neighborhoods where access to fruits and vegetables is either limited or nonexistent. UNI hosts one VISTA member who is working with faculty members to build capacity for more community engagement initiatives.

Black Hawk County Extension and Outreach hosts two FoodCorps members who work with Waterloo schools to build capacity for more gardens and for fresh vegetable consumption in schools.

There are more than 1,400 AmeriCorps members serving the state of Iowa in areas of youth development, health, human services, energy and environmental programming, and disaster services. There are also an additional 75 AmeriCorps VISTA members serving 60 sites across Iowa addressing chronic poverty issues and working in areas of access to education, food security, housing, financial literacy and aging services.

Nearly $5 million annually is leveraged by AmeriCorps members at the end of their service for higher education funding. The AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage more than 50,000 Americans each year in intensive service, meeting needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.

For more information about UNI's AmeriCorps programs, contact Kamyar Enshayan, director of the Center for Energy & Environmental Education, at or 319-273-7575.



October 5, 2015 - 4:06pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Rich Redmond, a top recording artist and touring musician, will visit UNI on Oct. 16 and 17 as a guest artist with the UNI Panther Marching Band.

Redmond is one of the most in-demand drummers in the music industry. He has toured and performed with countless artists, including Jason Aldean, Ludacris, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, Jewel, Joe Perry and more. Redmond has been featured on 19 No. 1 hits, sold more than 13 million downloads, recorded multiple platinum records and performed live for more than 1 million people each year.

At 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, in Graham Recital Hall in the Russell Music Building, Redmond will give his presentation titled, "CRASH Course for Success." This motivational and educational presentation is more than just a drumming lesson. Redmond discusses the skill sets needed to be successful in life with his "CRASH" concept, which stands for: commitment, relationships, attitude, skill and hunger. This presentation is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, Redmond will play with the UNI Panther Marching Band during the halftime show of the Homecoming football game. The performance is titled, "Give the Drummer Some." To order a ticket for the game, call 319-273- 4849 or visit

"This is [the Panther Marching Band's] first time performing with a national recording artist, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have Rich on campus to play with us," said Danny Galyen, associate professor of music and director of the Panther Marching Band. "[He] is a performer of the highest caliber and an incredible drummer.

For more information, contact Galyen at 319-273-2173 or

October 1, 2015 - 10:02am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Homecoming celebration will kick off Monday, Oct. 12, and continue through Sunday, Oct. 18. This year’s theme is "Once Upon a Time." Numerous events will take place throughout the week, including:

Monday, Oct. 12

- Homecoming Kick off, Lawther field, 5:30 p.m.

- Outdoor movie "Inside Out," Lawther field, 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 13

- Royalty Competition, Maucker Union Ballroom, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct 14

- Homecoming Picnic, Campanile Plaza, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

- Amazing Race Traditions Challenge, Alumni House, 5 p.m.

- Casino Night (student participation only), Maucker Union, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct 15

- Javier Colone performance, Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, 8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 16

- McLeod Madness, McLeod Center, 7 p.m.

- Pep Rally, McLeod Center, 8:30 p.m.

- Coffee and Kisses, Rod Library Bistro, 11:30 p.m. - 1 a.m.

- Campaniling, Campanile Plaza, midnight

Saturday, Oct. 17

- Panther Pacers Homecoming 5K, Intramural Fields, 8 a.m.

- Homecoming parade, UNI campus, 11 a.m.

- All-Alumni Tailgate in partnership with HyVee Fan Zone, West of the UNI-Dome, 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.

- Student Tailgate, Bender field, 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

- UNI Football vs. Western Illinois, UNI-Dome, 4 p.m.

- UNI Volleyball vs. Drake, McLeod Center, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 18

- UNI Soccer vs. Indiana State, Cedar Valley Youth Soccer Complex, 1 p.m.

For a complete list of Homecoming week events, visit


October 1, 2015 - 10:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- TheatreUNI will present "RENT" at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29, Friday, Oct. 30 and Nov. 5, 6 and 7, and at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1, through Sunday, Nov. 8, in the Strayer-Wood Theatre on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Jonathan Larson's musical "RENT" won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical and the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Larson transposes "La Bohème's" world of 19th-century Paris to 100 years later in New York's East Village. The group of would-be artists struggle with romance, identity, poverty, gentrification, prejudice and the lure of fame. "RENT" reinvented the modern musical and has had a profound influence on such 21st-century shows as "Spring Awakening" and "Hamilton."

"RENT" is the second offering of the Strayer-Wood Theatre's 2015-16 season. The production is directed by professor of theatre Jay Edelnant and associate professor of music Mira Sadeghpour. The choreographer is instructor of health Mandy Masmar. Scenery design is by associate professor of design and production Mark Parrott. Costume design is by associate professor of design and production Amy Rohrberg. Lighting design is by guest designer Chris Wood. The production's stage manager is Dylan Nicole Martin.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by contacting the Strayer-Wood Theatre at 319-273-6381 or by visiting The theatre is open from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Eric Lange, artistic director at the Strayer-Wood Theatre, at 319-273-6833 or

September 30, 2015 - 9:04am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Sean Foy, a renowned expert on fitness, weight management and healthy living, will be at the University of Northern Iowa on Tuesday, Oct. 6, to give a presentation called "What is Your Why-The Power of Purpose." The presentation will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for the campus community and the public. The presentation will take place in the Slife Ballroom in the Commons on UNI's campus.

Foy is an exercise physiologist, behavioral coach and author. He is the creator of "The Burst Workout" and co-author of the New York Times best-seller "The Daniel Plan." During his presentation, Foy will share five clues to help uncover motivation and passion. "The Daniel Plan" works toward creating healthy lifestyles in all areas of life.

Registration is not required, but space is limited. For more information, contact Therese Callaghan, employee health and well-being coordinator for Human Resource Services, at 319-273-6164 or

September 30, 2015 - 4:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A formal reception will be held at Rod Library on the University of Northern Iowa campus to unveil four paintings that were donated earlier this year. The paintings are by the late Iowa artist Robert Tabor and are collectively called "The Four Seasons." The reception will be from 4 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, on the first floor of Rod Library.

The paintings were donated by Edna Shain of Vinton. Shain is a retired insurance company executive and former owner of Lane Insurance Company in Independence, where the paintings were previously displayed. She chose to move the paintings to UNI where they can be cared for while still remaining available to the public.

"The Four Seasons" paintings are from the Depression era and are an important reminder of Iowa's rich history. The reception is free and open to the public and will include the unveiling of the paintings in their new location, information about the paintings and a thank you to Edna Shain for her donation. Light refreshments will be provided.

The same evening there will be a play on campus titled "Independence," which is set in Independence, Iowa. The play is at 7:30 p.m. in Bertha Martin Theatre in the Strayer-Wood Theatre complex. Ticket information can be found on the Rod Library website or at

For more information, visit and look under the events tab, or contact Angela Pratesi, fine and performing arts librarian at UNI's Rod Library, at 319-273-6257 or

September 24, 2015 - 4:33pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) will host stand-up comedian Brian Regan at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 2, 2016.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, Regan will make history with the live Comedy Central broadcast of "Brian Regan: Live from Radio City Musical Hall," the first-ever live broadcast of a stand-up special in Comedy Central's history. In May, Regan made his final stand-up performance on the Late Show with David Letterman, his 28th appearance and the most of any comic since the show moved to CBS in 1993.

"He is one of my favorite, favorite stand-up comedians," said Jerry Seinfeld.

Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m., Monday, Sept. 28, and can be purchased by visiting the GBPAC ticket office or calling 319-273-4849.

For more information, contact Blake Argotsinger, associate marketing manager for the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, at 319-273-3676 or

September 23, 2015 - 9:12am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- For the fifth time in the program's history, a group of University of Northern Iowa School of Music students have been invited to Costa Rica as part of the Promising Young Artists of the 21st Century program. Rodrigo Duran, director of the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center, extended the invitation. The group will travel to Costa Rica Sept. 26 through Oct. 6 and will perform throughout the region in two concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, as well as three concerts in San Jose and Guanacaste.

UNI students Aaron DeSantiago of Council Bluffs, Aaron Brown of Urbandale, Kayla Kjeldseth of Sioux City, Megan Grey of Cedar Falls and Michael Gookin of Fairfield will travel with associate professor of opera and tour director Mitra Sadeghpour. The group spent one week in August rehearsing with the assistance of student assistant director Alexandra Saulsbury.

"In preparation for our tour, in addition to learning the music, staging and dancing, the students have presented on the history, culture and ecology of Costa Rica and met with Costa Ricans living in Cedar Falls," said Sadeghpour. "We also learned the Costa Rican national anthem and are looking forward to sharing American Musical Theatre with our audiences in Costa Rica."

"I am excited about the rehearsals and performance with the National Symphony Orchestra," said student musician Megan Grey. "Rehearsals of that magnitude are so exciting, and I can't wait to see how our group can feed off of the energy that Costa Rican musicians will bring to the music and the collaborative experience."

John Vallentine, director of the UNI School of Music, said, "This is an extremely prestigious invitation for the UNI School of Music to send talented singers and a pianist to Costa Rica as promising young artists of the 21st century."

For more information on the tour to Costa Rica or the UNI School of Music, contact Caroline Boehmer, UNI School of Music communications and operations coordinator, at 319-273-2028 or


September 23, 2015 - 2:55pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa College of Education, Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy and the Reading Recovery Program of Iowa will host the fourth annual Jacobson Center and Reading Recovery Literacy Academy Oct. 20 through 21 in Maucker Union.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the last session will end at 4:45 p.m. Doug Fisher, professor of education leadership at San Diego State University, will be a guest keynote speaker. There will be a special celebration to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Reading Recovery from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Commons Ballroom and Georgian Lounge.

Registration will also begin at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21, and the last session will end at 3 p.m.

Linda Dorn, professor of reading education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Salli Forbes, director of the Reading Recovery program of Iowa and Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy, will be the guest keynote speakers on Wednesday.

There will be four specific themes available each day, including Reading Recovery teachers and teacher leaders, Comprehensive Literacy Model coaches and classroom teachers, Comprehensive Intervention Model coaches, teachers and interventionists, and Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy administrators.

Participants should register at least two weeks prior to the event. For additional information or to register, visit 

September 23, 2015 - 3:11pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI College of Business Administration will host the 2015 Global Trade Issues Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the Commons Ballroom on UNI's campus. The conference will offer information about international business, provide opportunities to network with other international business professionals, and offer UNI students and faculty the chance to gain insights into global trade.

Check-in for the conference will be at 8:30 a.m., and the agenda will include three guest speakers, a student competition team presentation during lunch and time to network. Guest speakers will include Tony Clayton, founder of Clayton Agri-Marketing; Hugo Morales, Business Segment Manager for International Medical markets for Essex Industries; and Raymond Ayayee, HR Manager for Asadu Royal Waste Management.

The conference is free; registration is required. Attendants can register at by Wednesday, Oct. 14. Pre-registered, off-campus participants will receive a parking pass and map prior to the conference.

For more information on the conference or to learn more about the guest speakers, visit the website listed above or contact Chris Schrage, UNIBusiness global opportunities coordinator, at 319-273-2126 or

September 21, 2015 - 10:25am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The MBA program at the University of Northern Iowa's College of Business Administration is seeking potential clients for its annual Capstone Experience, which is a comprehensive application of the MBA curriculum.

Teams of three to five students analyze a business problem from a strategic perspective. Each team includes members with expertise across a range of business functions, business cultures and analytical methods. Teams are assigned a mentor from the graduate faculty who has expertise in the project topic, a Capstone coordinator and a faculty adviser.

The teams are asked to frame and analyze an issue posed by an area organization and develop an enterprise-level understanding of the organization's industry and business model. They apply an analytical framework to address the client's concerns, present recommendations to the client and report to the MBA faculty with a summary of the situation and its strategic analysis.

Clients are primarily from businesses and nonprofit organizations in northeast Iowa. Former clients have included Wright Flow Technologies, Schofield Chiropractic, The Pella Historical Society, Honary Enterprises, Inc. and the UNI Academic Master Plan Committee.

The projects are completed in the spring of each year and are developed to meet the specific needs of each client. They typically address strategic planning, marketing analysis, process analysis and feasibility questions. A general sequence of events includes:

-       An agreement on the goals, scope and expected outcomes of the project by April.

-       A detailed project plan approved by the client and the MBA faculty by May.

-       A draft report on a substantially completed project to the adviser in June.

-       A former presentation of project results by the end of June.

For organizations wanting to propose a Capstone Experience project for the upcoming year, contact Capstone coordinator Dale Cyphert at 319-273-6150 or

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