News Release Archive

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

June 5, 2015 - 3:34pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa was included in the TIME Money list of the top "20 Best Colleges You Can Still Get Into for the Fall." UNI is the only university or college in Iowa on the list.

The list is released following the May 1 national response deadline, when many institutions require deposits from students who have been offered admission. Many of the colleges willing to accept late applications are some of the best schools in the country.

"Many students are still making decisions on their fall plans, and some students may find themselves in circumstances where they are wanting to change their existing plans," said Matt Kroeger, UNI's associate vice president for enrollment management. "UNI is proud and happy to be an accessible higher education option for students in Iowa and beyond."

UNI is one of the most accessible and affordable universities in the state of Iowa. In fact, it is the most affordable four-year institution for in-state students. Approximately 97 percent of UNI's 2013-14 graduates are employed or are continuing their education within six months of graduation, and when UNI students graduate, they owe less money than students who graduate from most all other four-year institutions in Iowa.

Prospective undergraduate students interested in applying to UNI have until August 1 to submit their application. Admission details, campus visit information and the admission application can be found at

For the full list of the "20 Best Colleges You Can Still Get Into for the Fall," visit

June 4, 2015 - 3:52pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Tickets for the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) 15th season will go on sale online and in the box office at 8:30 a.m., Friday, June 5.

The new season features bigger names, more discounts and promises of great experiences at every show. Names like Jay Leno, Garrison Keillor, Cesar Millan and Broadway tours like "Once" and "Annie" will serve as headline grabbing events for the season.

The refreshed website,, offers the entire season in detail. Tickets may be purchased at, by calling 1-877-549-SHOW (7469) or at any box office location.

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

June 3, 2015 - 8:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – As part of their continuing mission to expand teachers' knowledge and instructional expertise in literacy education, the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy and the Reading Recovery Program of Iowa, both housed in the Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy within the University of Northern Iowa's College of Education, celebrated their most recent graduates.

Nine educators completed the comprehensive literacy coach certification as part of the Jacobson Center's second graduating class in the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy coach preparation program. Three graduates finished the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader certificate program on May 8 through the Reading Recovery Program of Iowa, which has been at UNI since 2009. Both programs are post-master's programs culminating in an advanced studies certificate. This year's graduates bring the number of comprehensive literacy coaches in Iowa to 66. There are now 21 Reading Recovery teacher leaders in the state.

"The graduates of both the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy coach and Reading Recovery Teacher Leader certificate programs have done extraordinary work this year, both in their courses and implementing the models in their schools, districts and Area Education Agencies," said Salli Forbes, director of the Jacobson Center. "They have become and will continue to lead educational transformation in order to assure maximum achievement for all the students in the schools they serve."

Each of the PCL graduates continued to work full time as literacy coaches in their schools, districts or Area Education Agencies while completing the yearlong program. Their efforts will increase districts' abilities to meet the needs of students needing additional assistance in literacy education.

Graduates of the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy coach program included:

Kelsey Bower of Davenport – John Glenn Elementary, North Scott Community Schools

Katie Burbridge of Rock Island, Illinois – Alan Shepard Elementary, North Scott Community Schools

Angela Butler of West Burlington – North Hill Elementary, Burlington Community Schools

Amy Drew of Burlington – Grimes Elementary, Burlington Community Schools

Lori Graves of Bloomfield – Davis County Elementary, Davis County Community Schools

Jessica Hellberg of Burlington – Black Hawk Elementary, Burlington Community Schools

Bailea Jackson of Burlington – Sunnyside Elementary, Burlington Community Schools

Linda McCartney of Burlington – Corse Elementary, Burlington Community Schools

Kelly Westley of Waterloo – Waterloo Community Schools


Graduates of the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader program included:

Tami Huck of Marshalltown – Marshalltown Community Schools

Gail Hunter of Batavia – Ottumwa Community Schools

Janelle Williams of Garner – Area Education Agency 267


June 3, 2015 - 1:59pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The North American Review (NAR) is the longest running literary magazine in the United States, founded in May 1815. To commemorate the 200-year anniversary, the University of Northern Iowa will host a creative writing and literature conference Thursday, June 11, through Saturday, June 13.

There will be multiple keynote speakers presenting at Strayer-Wood Theater on UNI's campus during the conference:

- Steven Schwartz, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 11. Schwartz is the author of award-winning     

  story collections and currently fiction editor of Colorado Review.

- Patricia Hampl, 7:30 p.m., Friday June 12. Hampl is a Regents Professor at the University of

  Minnesota and is known for her many award-winning essays, reviews, poems and works of


- Martín Espada, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 13. Espada is an English professor at the University  

              of Massachusetts-Amherst and a well-established poet, editor and essayist.

Along with keynote speakers, there is a full list of other events. At 1 p.m., Thursday, June 11, there will be an art exhibit at the Hearst Center for the Arts, 304 W. Seerley Blvd. in Cedar Falls. On Friday, June 12 NAR press is launching the book "The Great Sympathetic: Walt Whitman and the North American Review" edited by Jeremy Schraffenberger at the Hearst Center for the Arts. At 1 p.m., Saturday, June 13, Judith Harris will present a lecture, "The Healing Effects of Writing About Pain: Literature and Psychoanalysis," at the Hearst Center for the Arts. A full list of events can be found on the NAR conference website at

From the NAR's starting roots in Boston to its current location in Cedar Falls, it has been an important American institution with a storied history and a reputation for promoting emerging writers. Starting off as the country's foremost magazine, many famous literary figures such as John Adams, Mark Twain, Woodrow Wilson and Abraham Lincoln have written for the magazine. The NAR moved to New York City in 1878, eventually being purchased by UNI in 1968.

Registration for the conference is $125 per person. The student rate is $75, and guest passes are available for $10 per person each day.

For more information about NAR, or to register for the conference, visit

June 3, 2015 - 3:28pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Executive summaries for the first round of the Entrepreneurial Venture Competition are due on June 15. Businesses are invited to submit business information via a secure online program called Gust. A link to Gust is available at

In June, selected companies will be contacted and invited to submit full business proposals through Gust. The competition will then be narrowed to seven to 10 companies that will present to judges in September. The winners will be recognized at a special awards luncheon on Sept. 24 in Des Moines.

Assistance with the competition is available at the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa; the Small Business Development Centers throughout the state; and the business accelerators in Des Moines, Spencer, Cedar Rapids and Mason City.

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers provide entrepreneurial education and business support, partnering with agencies like the Small Business Development Center, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Entrepreneurial Development Centers and local entrepreneurs to assist with funding and other business needs.

Rules, eligibility, timelines and assistance information are available at the competition website,  

June 3, 2015 - 3:56pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Educational Leadership Legacy Award is given annually to a UNI alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated educational leadership core values. This year's award goes to Erik Anderson, principal of Cedar Rapids Prairie High School (CRPHS). The award is being presented at a CRPHS staff meeting at 10 a.m., Friday, June 5.Erik Anderson

Anderson was nominated by CRPHS staff and students for his exemplary leadership in learning, promotion of positive change and having a focused vision for a better future for the high school. According to students, Anderson has helped transform the school into a place that "shines with energy and pride. Mr. Anderson did this the moment he stood up in front of 1,000 students and inspired us all with only three sentences, 'Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care of Prairie.'"

At the start of his principalship, Anderson began an initiative called "Our Kids," which is a celebration of the staff and their strengths. "Our Kids" was a "cultural shift of believing that all of our kids could learn at high levels, and that we could do amazing things to support this learning," said CRPHS teachers.

Anderson is a two-time graduate of UNI and has worked at CRPHS since 2000. He started as a math teacher and department head, served as the assistant football coach for several years, and become the associate principal and is currently the principal.

Nominations for the Educational Leadership Legacy Award are submitted by school board members, community members, teachers, students and other staff who know of a UNI alum of the principalship, superintendency or doctoral programs.


May 29, 2015 - 8:18am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The five 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), in conjunction with EntreFEST, presented John Pappajohn with the Lifetime Impact Award on May 21.

"Mr. Pappajohn's passion has always been inspiring and motivating to young entrepreneurs," said Randy Pilkington, executive director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at UNI. "His commitment to helping entrepreneurs began almost 20 years ago when he established the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, providing more than $30 million. In turn, these centers have helped to create and launch more than 5,200 companies across the state of Iowa, creating thousands of jobs."

In the past year, the financial support of the academic programs has allowed nearly 6,500 undergraduate students to enroll in entrepreneurial coursework and approximately 14,000 students have participated in entrepreneurial programs.

2015 celebrates the 10th year of the John Pappajohn Iowa Venture Competition with more than $500,000 awarded to 31 winners and honorable mention recipients since the competition began. "John’s support has changed the startup culture," said David Hensley, executive director of the UI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. "His entrepreneurial leadership has expanded access to entrepreneurial education and training. Additionally, his efforts have increased recognition and support of capital resources for entrepreneurs, unlike anyone else across the country."

Pappajohn emigrated from Greece at the age of 9 months and grew up in Mason City. At an early age, he worked while attending the University of Iowa, and upon graduation he started his first entrepreneurial venture, Guardsman Insurance Investors. In 1969, he organized Equity Dynamics, Inc., a financial consulting entity and Pappajohn Capital Resources, a venture capital firm in Des Moines. Since that time, Pappajohn has been involved in more than 100 startups, more than 50 IPOs and has served as a director in more than 40 public companies.


May 29, 2015 - 8:25am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation announces the publication of the 2015 Iowa Small Business Report. This report is based on data collected from Iowa small business owners in February 2015 associated with their business activity during calendar year 2014.

Each year the Small Business Survey measures sales trends, job growth or loss, capital acquired and business use of technology among Iowa business owners with fewer than 50 employees. In addition, the survey measures specific issues, opportunities and experiences unique to doing business in Iowa.

The 2015 findings captured thousands of opinions from small companies across 92 of Iowa’s 99 counties, providing insight into Iowan’s use of Facebook to market their small business, the salaries they are paying incoming managers and what small Iowa companies think of the Iowa legislature. A summary of the survey has been published in a full color report providing business owners, community leaders and legislators a good look, both visually and in articles, about the current Iowa small business experience.

The report is available for download at

About the Center for Business Growth and Innovation

The UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation is an award-winning and nationally recognized entity specializing in entrepreneurship and small business support programs. From business incubation on campus, to innovative online services and entrepreneurship research, the Center for Business Growth and Innovation is on the cutting-edge of improving Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The center has conducted the Iowa Small Business Survey annually since 2012.

May 26, 2015 - 4:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation Dream Big Grow Here program is proud to announce the awarding of grant funds to six Iowa companies to help them expand their firms, including the grand prize recipient HowFactory based in Waterloo for $15,000.
"I'm just so proud of the team that Kenny Stevenson and I have built. They work so hard and this win is such a boost! We just keep building!” said Trace Steffen, partner at HowFactory.

Several other firms received $5,000 awards, including AgriSync based in West Des Moines, Fresh Mediterranean Express LLC from Waukee, K2 Medical Alerts in Muscatine, UpCraft Club located in Des Moines and FarmTable Delivery in Harlan.

A group of 119 entrepreneurs competed earlier this year for a shot to be one of 30 finalists in the Dream Big Grow Here program, collecting online votes and comments of support. During the two-week voting period, the Dream Big Grow Here website attracted almost a million page views and thousands of online votes and comments of support for Iowa innovators. From this pool, five finalists were selected from each of the six online industry categories to compete in one final pitch off held in conjunction with EntreFEST in Iowa City on May 21. 

"Dream Big Grow Here is a program that we are tremendously proud of here at UNI for pioneering," said Dream Big Grow Here team lead Rob Williams. "The entire point is to encourage Iowa owners and startups to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. With thousands of champions here at EntreFEST to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit, it made perfect sense to house the finals at EntreFEST and celebrate the idea that no matter where you are from in Iowa, you can start and grow an international enterprise in our great state."

Dream Big Grow Here is a program of the Center for Business Growth and Innovation at the University of Northern Iowa, housed under UNI Business and Community Services. A diverse set of public and private sponsors make the program possible, including: Renew Rural Iowa, VentreNet Iowa, Iowa Bankers Association, Veridian Credit Union, IASourceLink and Advance Iowa. 

May 22, 2015 - 2:55pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host a Northeast Iowa Solar Energy Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 6, at the Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE).

The fair is intended to make solar energy accessible and easy to find, to connect businesses and home owners with local and regional solar installers and contractors, and to show that solar energy systems are available, practical and cost effective.

CEEE program manager Carole Yates says, "We are intensifying our work in raising awareness about the need for communities to move away from fossil energy and invest in renewable sources of energy in our region."  

Several speakers are scheduled:

-10 a.m. Solar Energy for Homes/Businesses – Mike Barnes, Hawkeye Community College, Alternative Energy Systems adviser
-10:30 a.m. Farmers Electric Solar Gardens – Warren McKenna, manager, Farmers Electric Co-op, Kalona
-11 a.m. Cedar Falls Utilities Solar Garden -- Pete Olson, Cedar Falls Utilities, manager, Energy Services
-11:30 a.m.  State and Federal Solar Tax Credits – UNI CEEE representative
-1 p.m. Helping Businesses Develop Energy Efficiencies, Iowa Waste Reduction Center

Attendees can meet local solar installers, learn about tax credits, explore energy savings and see solar systems at work. Individuals can also sign up at the fair for Cedar Falls Utilities' solar garden.

The event is funded by the Iowa Energy Center. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Yates at 319-273-7599 or

May 21, 2015 - 10:14am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – In April 2015, University of Northern Iowa alumna Sandy Stevens (B.A. '62, English teaching) created the Bear and Sandy Stevens Head Wrestling Coach Endowment. Funds from this endowment will be used to support the salary of the UNI wrestling coach position. Sandy Stevens, wrestling endowment donor

"I would not have done this had I not believed in Doug Schwab and the kind of coach he is and the kind of coaches UNI has had and will continue to have," said Stevens. "He has the same high expectations and standards for his wrestlers off the mat as he does on the mat. He is an outstanding example of teaching life lessons but also of caring about the individual, whether that individual is an All-American or someone in the wrestling room working his tail off."

"Sandy's gift is the ultimate legacy," said UNI Director of Athletics Troy Dannen. "Her passion for UNI wrestling is unmatched. There is no doubt that her personal investments in our program will enable UNI wrestling to achieve and sustain long-term success."

Stevens' late husband, Bear (Bob), a UNI alumnus (B.A. ’64, biology and physical education; M.A. ’65, science; Ed.D. '76, Indiana University) wrestled from 1959-63 under head coach Bill Koll. After graduation, Bear taught science and was an assistant wrestling coach. He later became a science teacher and was the first wrestling coach at the newly opened Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids. During his career Bear also served as a junior high and high school administrator.

Stevens went on to lead a nearly 45-year career as a wrestling announcer at NCAA tournaments, the Olympics and other major tournaments. She has received numerous accolades during that time, including the Order of Merit from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Meritorious Service Award from the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the International "Exceptionelle" ranking from United World Wrestling.

May 20, 2015 - 9:25am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Lisa Birley Baronio has been named vice president for University Advancement and president of the UNI Foundation at the University of Northern Iowa. She will assume her new duties at UNI on July 15. VP for Advancement

"Lisa is an accomplished fundraiser with experience in executive leadership," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "She has a strong track record of strengthening fundraising programs, as well as comprehensive fundraising, volunteer management, campaign and major gift experience. I am excited that she will be bringing those skills and expertise to the University of Northern Iowa."

Baronio is a Waterloo native. She earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Iowa in management science, a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from the University of Iowa and an executive MBA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Prior to coming to UNI, Baronio served as vice president for Alumni Relations and Development at Trinity University in San Antonio, vice president for development at the University of Connecticut Foundation, associate vice president for development at the Wichita State University Foundation and director of corporate relations at the University of Nebraska Foundation.

"I'm delighted to be coming home to the Cedar Valley community and to the premier university in the region," said Baronio. "I can't think of a better institution to work with to achieve university goals while fulfilling it's donors' passions."

Baronio replaces Bill Calhoun, who is retiring from the vice president for University Advancement and president of UNI foundation position on June 30 after 34 successful years at UNI.

May 20, 2015 - 11:09am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa professor of art JoAnn Schnabel has been selected as a Fulbright recipient to teach abroad.Fulbright winner JoAnn Schnabel

The Fulbright Program, one of the most prestigious award programs in the world, is sponsored by the United States Department of State and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and provides merit-based grants for international educational exchange. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually to roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars and 900 visiting scholars. Since its inception in 1946, approximately 310,000 "Fulbrighters" have participated in the program.

Schnabel will spend the spring 2016 semester at Anadolu University in Eskisehir, Turkey, where she will teach ceramics and also be a senior lecturer. "Schnabel's art work has been exhibited internationally and published in several works. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME," said Jeffrey Byrd, Art Department Head and professor.

For more information, contact Philip Plourde, interim head, International Programs, at 319-273-6022 or visit 

May 20, 2015 - 3:32pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management program (IRVM) reminds Iowans to protect roadside habitat for nesting game birds and song birds this spring and early summer.

According to Iowa Code 314.17, mowing roadside ditches is restricted until July 15, to protect young pheasants and other ground-nesting birds until they are ready to fledge. The law, which applies to county secondary roads as well as state primary and interstate highways, also protects habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects, including crop-pest predators.

Exceptions for visibility and weed control are built into the law, but non-essential mowing – including cutting for hay – is prohibited.

Iowa Code 314.17 states: Mowing roadside vegetation on the rights-of-way or medians on any primary highway, interstate highway, or secondary road prior to July 15 is prohibited, except as follows:

-Within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling

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

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

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

-For visibility and safety reasons

-Within rest areas, weigh stations and wayside parks

-Within 50 feet of a drainage tile or tile intake

-For access to mailbox or for other accessibility purposes

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

Iowa's roadsides provide a valuable refuge for wildlife. The mowing law serves as a reminder to only mow shoulders during the critical nesting season and leave the rest of the roadside for the birds.

May 15, 2015 - 3:31pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa Regional Business Center is now the Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI). The CBGI is one of 15 programs represented by UNI Business and Community Services.

The CBGI assists Iowa entrepreneurs with economic growth and business advice. Their process includes a five-point approach of listening, imagining, creating, evaluating and sharing ideas with small businesses. This new name accommodates their expanding clients and opportunities.

The same services will be offered by CBGI, including Advance Iowa, Iowa Small Business Development centers, MyEntre.Net programs and the UNI incubation services. UNI Business and Community Services programs are designed to enhance and serve their growing community.

If you have any questions about the Center for Business Growth and Innovation, contact Sarah Bey at 319-273-4324 or, or visit

About the Center for Business Growth and Innovation

The Center for Business Growth and Innovation is a program of the Business and Community Services, a division of the College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa. The CBGI serves entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout Iowa.

May 14, 2015 - 3:06pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- RAGBRAI® is coming to Cedar Falls and the University of Northern Iowa on Wednesday, July 22. As an overnight stop, UNI and the community will host thousands of participants, a perfect opportunity to share civic pride and invite visitors to come again. All Cedar Falls RAGBRAI details and updates will be located at as they become available.


It will take nearly 1,000 volunteers to provide an excellent experience for riders and their support teams. Areas of need include hospitality, vending, beverage garden (must be 21), campground hosts, entertainment, etc. Volunteers can choose times and roles by registering on the volunteer form at

Housing hosts

In 2007, the most recent RAGBRAI stop in Cedar Falls, nearly 2,100 requests for lawn space or residential accommodations were met. Those interested in hosting riders at your home should register on the housing form at

Food vendors

Commercial and nonprofit organizations are invited to apply to serve as food vendors during the overnight stop. Approximately 18,000 riders and support team members are expected. Apply at

May 14, 2015 - 4:18pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Purple and Old Gold awards, recognizing meritorious scholarship or conspicuous achievement, were presented to 56 seniors during the University of Northern Iowa's Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 9, in the UNI-Dome.

Named after the university colors, the traditional awards were first presented at Commencement ceremonies on May 29, 1939. The awards for meritorious scholarship are the highest university honor awarded by academic departments to undergraduate students. Those for conspicuous achievement are granted to students with outstanding accomplishments. Each student receives a certificate and a bronze medallion.

Since 1939, more than 2,050 students have been Purple and Old Gold recipients. Currently, awards may be in 54 academic areas, as well as for achievement in particular areas. 

Hometown                                                 Name, College

Alta                                                      Katie Jo Garrison, COE

Ankeny                                                Jonathan Dean Bethards, CHAS (fall 2014 graduate)

                                                            Suzanne Cronbaugh Sontag, CSBS 

Bristow                                                Julia Jeanne Lewis, Continuing Education and Special Programs

Burlington                                                Conner James Brakeville, CSBS

Cascade                                                Amy Michelle Peiffer, CBA

Cedar Falls                                            Anne Bridget Bryson, COE

                                                            Hannah Elizabeth Eilderts, CHAS

                                                            Victoria Marie Hurst, CSBS

                                                            Joseph A. Schumacher, CHAS

                                                            Emilie Shelby Wunder, CSBS (fall 2014 graduate) 

Cedar Rapids                                       Benjamin Tod Castle, CHAS

                                                            Karinne Nicole Graves, CHAS

                                                            Zachary Croix Kelchen, CHAS

Clinton                                                Ariana Marie Aquilani, CBA

Columbus Junction                                    Vanessa Espinoza, CHAS

Coralville                                                Ryan Francis Courtney, CHAS

Davenport                                                Kara Christine Poppe, CSBS

Denver                                                            Martha Clare Thurman, CHAS

Fairfield                                                Allissa Shance Buelow, CHAS

Fostoria                                                Morgan Scott Kramer, CHAS

Garner                                                            Blake Kyoo Risius, COE

Gilbertville                                                Joshua Eugene Frost, CHAS

                                                                Nicole Elizabeth Stone, COE (fall 2014 graduate)

Gladbrook                                                Angela M. Wrage, CHAS

Guttenberg                                                Abby Kathryn Kilstofte, CSBS

Grand Junction                                    Nathaniel John Beyerink, CHAS

Harlan                                                            Jordan Lindsay Brelje, CBA

Hawkeye                                                Randi Sue Bumgardner, CSBS (fall 2014 graduate)

Hiawatha                                                Jenna Victoria Lyons, CHAS

Iowa City                                                Aaron James Ottmar, CHAS (summer 2015 degree candidate)

Jefferson                                                Heather Elizabeth Vander Wilt, CHAS (fall 2014 graduate)

Lawler                                                            Madeline Grace Achen, CHAS

Le Grand                                                Trevor Michael Parrish, COE

Lisbon                                                            Alexina Ellen Wilson, COE

Mason City                                                Matthew Alan Patchen, CBA

Mount Vernon                                                Holly Maria Salz, CHAS

Muscatine                                                Shannon Irene Carlson, CHAS (fall 204 graduate)

Onslow                                                Bethany Carin Chatterton, CHAS

Pella                                                            Christopher James Madigan, CSBS (fall 2014 graduate)

                                                            Grace Elizabeth Vande Haar, CBA

                                                            Tricia Marie Wisniewski, CHAS

Polk City                                                Stephanie Lynn Kibby, CSBS

Reinbeck                                                Hayley Marie Downey, CSBS

Sheffield                                                Seth James Tuttle, COE

Stacyville                                                Abby Esther Goodale, CBA

Van Meter                                                Audrey Rose Grove, CBA

Vinton                                                            Corey C. Cooling, CHAS

Waterloo                                                Jonathan Thomas Heinzman, CBA

                                                            Olivia Grace Mossman, CHAS
Waverly                                                 Emily Ann Bruns, CSBS

West Des Moines                                     Linh Mai Ta, CHAS


Out-of-State Graduates

Denver, Colorado                                    Laysa Marie Shreves, COE (fall 2014 graduate)

Winnebago, Illinois                                     Larissa Ann Morrissey, COE

Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam                        Huy Ngoc Nguyen, CHAS



May 11, 2015 - 9:58am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Academic Learning Center (ALC) at the University of Northern Iowa will offer Graduate Record Examination (GRE) revised general test preparation courses through Continuing Education and Special Programs. The GRE is the most widely accepted graduate admissions test in the United States as well as internationally for prospective graduate and business school applicants who want to pursue a master's degree, MBA or doctoral degree.

Three different courses will be offered during the summer and fall semesters of each academic year. Students can register for all three classes together or separately. The classes offered are GRE analytical writing, GRE quantitative reasoning and GRE verbal reasoning.

To register for any of the classes, visit For additional information, contact Carolina Wilson, secretary for continuing education and special programs, at 319-273-2121 or

May 6, 2015 - 2:47pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's American Advertising Federation (AAF) student chapter won first place at the AFF District 9 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) on April 17, in Kansas City.

NASC is an annual AAF event in which they partner with a major corporate client to create an integrated marketing campaign. This year's corporate client was Pizza Hut.

The UNI students worked on the campaign through two marketing elective classes: Experimental Marketing in the fall and Advertising Campaign Development in the spring. Marketing instructor and adviser of AFF-UNI Matthew Wilson teaches both classes.

"Our team this year was unflappable," said Wilson. "They diligently worked toward overcoming the challenges, unfazed by obstacles."

For more information on AAF-UNI, contact Wilson at 319-273-6046 or, or visit 

May 6, 2015 - 2:51pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will be keeping students active this summer by offering numerous athletic camps. Camps are available for elementary through high school students in the following sports: basketball, football, soccer, softball, swimming and volleyball.

These camps provide individuals with a positive, fun-filled learning experience while receiving individual attention and coaching to improve their skills.  

UNI coaches, past and present players and top-notch high school coaches will lead the camps. For additional information and to register, visit and click on the Camps tab.

May 6, 2015 - 3:06pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa recently recognized graduating seniors at the Student Leadership Awards Ceremony on April 21, where students are awarded for their outstanding leadership in organizations across campus. The awards given are the Outstanding Student Award and the Servant Leadership Award.

The Outstanding Student Leader Award recognizes students who have demonstrated dedication and leadership through their involvement in one or more campus activities. This year's recipients of the Outstanding Student Leadership Award are Joslyn Aldape (Huntley, Ill.); Kevin Gartman (Waukee); Carl Reitz (Denison); Brooke Brown (Chanhassen, Minn.); Corey Cooling (Vinton); and Vanessa Espinoza (Conesville).

The Servant Leadership Award recognizes those who have worked for the common good while putting the needs of others first. This year's recipients of the Servant Leadership Award are Fariha Afzal (Cedar Falls); Haley Hasenstein (Bartlett, Ill.); Madison Gavin (Adel); Austin Hansen (Cedar Falls); Paul Andersen (Ankeny); Walter Abrego (Denison); Brianna Fisher (Davenport); and Alyssa Turcsak (Davenport).

For more information on Student Leadership Awards, visit or contact Lisa Kratz, director of Maucker Union, at 319-273-2554 or

May 5, 2015 - 2:14pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa presented three graduating students with the Lux Service Award for their exemplary service to the university:

Blake Findley is a psychology and Spanish major from New Virginia. He has served as vice president of the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) and was a writer for the Northern Iowan. Findley was an advocate for students on a number of university committees and served as chair of the First Generation and/or Low Income Student Task Force, commissioner of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and chairman of the NISG Campus Relations Committee, among many others. He was also a peer mentor for the First Year Cornerstone Program and a Classic Upward Bound tutor and mentor for UNI's Center for Urban Education. Findley created the Above and Beyond Awards, which recognize faculty and staff for their contributions to teaching and advising students. He has also been actively involved in suicide prevention efforts on campus. Findley will be attending graduate school this fall.

Kara Poppe is a geography and environmental systems major from Davenport. She made study abroad a large part of her UNI experience, going abroad four times with UNI and two times on her own. Poppe served as president of Green Project UNI and director of environmental affairs for NISG. She was also a peer mentor, STEM ambassador, and a member of the Honors Program, Circle K and the Student Nature Society. Poppe is one of the founders of the UNI Panther Plot, a campus-wide vegetable garden that produces food for UNI Dining and the surrounding community. In two summers, the garden has engaged more than 100 volunteers and produced 4,000 pounds of produce. After graduation, Poppe has plans to take a position that incorporates program management, experiential education and diverse populations.

Monzurul Russel Karim is a computer science major from Laxmipur, Bangladesh, who will graduate in December. He served as the president and vice president of International Student Promoters, president of the Muslim Student Association and international director for NISG. He was also an orientation leader and worked with UNI Dining to offer meals for students who could not go home over major academic holidays. Karim has started two businesses in mobile applications, software and Web development, and created a mobile app for the UNI Traditions Challenge, which is a must-do list of things students should participate in before they graduate. The app allows students to track their Traditions Challenge memories on their phone.

A selection committee chose the Lux Service Award recipients based on nominations from UNI faculty, students and staff. Requirements include being scheduled to graduate in 2015, a minimum 2.5 GPA and demonstration of service to UNI during the recipient's academic career that will leave a lasting impact on the university community.

For more information about the Lux Service Award, visit


May 5, 2015 - 3:55pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) will host a first-of-its-kind event - Food Waste Compost Training: On the Farm and in Your Community. The one-day workshop, hosted by the IWRC and presented by the Office of the President at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) will take place Thursday, Aug. 20, at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education on the UNI campus.

"We are excited to be working with the United States Composting Council as well to provide this as an official USCC Composter Training Program event," says Dan Nickey, associate director at the IWRC. Utilizing the knowledge and capabilities of the USCC, the event will focus on the fundamentals and key variables of the composting process, as well as how to incorporate utilizing food waste.

The training will be led by Robert Rynk, an expert in compost research with the United States Composting Council. Sessions will include preventing odors, managing stormwater, using food waste as feedstock and more. "The training will be very beneficial for farmers, landfill operators and even those interested in composting at home," explains Nickey.

Early bird registration is $20 through June 30. Registration continues into early August but fees will increase and seats are limited. More information and registration is available at

About Iowa Waste Reduction Center. The IWRC has been providing environmental services, including technical assistance and industry training, as well as research and development, for more than 25 years. The IWRC is a part of the University of Northern Iowa's Business and Community Services which builds a better Iowa through hands‐on technical assistance for economic and business development, entrepreneurship, environmental improvement and enhanced sustainability. For more information, visit


April 30, 2015 - 9:16am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- RAGBRAIÒis coming to Cedar Falls and the University of Northern Iowa on Wednesday, July 22. The Des Moines Register's 43rd annual ride is making its fourth stop in Cedar Falls. As an overnight town, UNI and the community will host thousands of participants, which is a perfect opportunity to share civic pride and invite visitors to come again. The stop is expected to provide an economic boost of approximately $3 million. Plans to date were shared at a news conference today. All Cedar Falls RAGBRAI details and updates will be located at as they become available.


The main campground, entertainment and food vending will take place at the parking lots and fields west of the UNI-Dome on the UNI campus. Some charter group camping will also take place south of University Avenue, also on the UNI campus. A shuttle route will provide access to The Hill, downtown Main Street, the College Square area and other parts of town for volunteers, riders and support teams.

Route in and out of town

The riders will enter Black Hawk County from New Hartford using T-55, then travel east on Beaver Valley Road or C-67, then travel south on Union Road or T-75. The riders will continue south on Union Road, crossing Highway 57 (West 1st Street) to West 27th Street. The riders will then turn east onto West 27th Street arriving at UNI. A request will be made to the City of Cedar Falls that West 27th Street be closed to vehicle traffic during the arrival of the bicyclists. Vehicle traffic should expect delays on the bike route and should find alternate routes to avoid these delays. Police officials expect bike riders will begin arriving in Cedar Falls before 10 a.m. until around 6 p.m. 

Riders will be leaving Cedar Falls on July 23 using West 27th Street to Hudson Road, heading south on Hudson Road until they reach the city limits. At that time, responsibility will be turned over to the Iowa State Patrol, Black Hawk County Sheriff officials and the Hudson Police Department. A request will be made to the City of Cedar Falls that one southbound lane of Hudson Road from West 27th Street to the southern city limits be coned off and designated for bicyclists only. Again, vehicle traffic that usually travels Hudson Road should find an alternate route. RAGBRAI officials will be sending letters to industrial park businesses requesting that employees who work west of Hudson Road use Union Road to get to work. Employees of businesses east of Hudson Road are going to be asked to use Highway 58 to get to work. Police officials expect the bike traffic to begin around 3 a.m. and last until around 10 a.m.   


It will require nearly 1,000 volunteers to provide an excellent experience for riders and their support teams. Areas of need include hospitality, vending, beverage garden (must be 21), campgrounds hosts, entertainment, etc. Volunteers can choose times and roles by registering on the volunteer form at

Housing hosts

In 2007, the most recent RAGBRAI stop in Cedar Falls, nearly 2,100 requests for lawn space or residential accommodations were met. The UNI Department of Residence is also providing housing in residence halls. Those interested in hosting riders at their home should register on the housing form at 


Two stages will provide a variety of music styles throughout the day. The afternoon venue will be in the natural amphitheater space on the south lawn of the McLeod Center. The schedule is:

            12:30 – 1:15 p.m.             Karla Ruth

            1:30 – 2:30 p.m.            Joe Price

2:45 – 4 p.m.                        Dylan Sires and Neighbors

4:15 – 5:30 p.m.            Bob Dorr and the Blue Band


Beginning at 5:30 p.m., entertainment will move to the beverage garden in the parking lot west of the UNI-Dome, and that schedule is:

5:30 – 7 p.m.               The Devon Worley Band

7:30 – 9 p.m.                        The New Black Seven

9:30 – 11:30 p.m.              Hairball


The need to provide food and beverages to 18,000 visitors creates an opportunity for businesses and nonprofits alike; in 2007, 35 vendors met this demand. Potential vendors are invited to complete the application form at 

Steering committee

Cedar Falls RAGBRAI provides a unique opportunity for a collaborative approach between university and community members. Expertise is being provided by 33 volunteer chairs.

April 29, 2015 - 2:53pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will hold its seventh annual Panther Pick Up, a project to help the environment while benefiting the community, on Thursday, May 7, and Friday, May 8.

At a time when many UNI students are moving out of residence halls and apartments, Panther Pick Up gives old stuff new life. Instead of throwing unwanted household items in the dumpster to end up in the landfill, usable items can be donated to charitable organizations, which will have pick-up sites at convenient locations on campus. Donated materials will go directly back to the local community.

During Panther Pick Up, St. Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army trucks will accept clothing, dishes, furniture, carpet and other usable household items. Agency staff determines whether or not they can accept certain items. Metal items not accepted can be recycled on UNI's campus on the north side of the UNI Physical Plant in the red metal recycling container.

Panther Pick Up locations and times are listed below and on the UNI Office of Sustainability website at, along with additional details about the event.

The times for donation are noon to 4 p.m., May 7, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 8. Locations include:

-East side of Redeker Center

-23rd Street near Commons Circle

-East Towers

-Northwest corner of Campbell Hall

Students living off campus may donate items by calling St. Vincent de Paul at 319-232-3366 to schedule pick up of usable furniture, computers, keyboards, printers, computer accessories and other large items.

Last year's Panther Pick Up collected 10 full truckloads of furniture, clothing and household necessities. The program also received 13 full bed sets, which were all delivered to families in need. For more information on UNI's Panther Pick Up, contact Eric O'Brien, university sustainability coordinator, at 319-273-7207 or

April 28, 2015 - 8:39am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Department of Physics hosted the State of Iowa Physics Competition Thursday, April 16, in the McLeod Center on the UNI campus.

Approximately 120 students from 19 different schools participated. Grinnell-Newburg High School placed first, led by instructor Chris Molitor; Washington High School in Washington placed second, led by instructor Jeff Richard; and Wahlert Catholic High School in Dubuque placed third, led by Tom Stierman.

Individual event winners were Grinnell-Newburg High School in the self-propelled catapult event, led by Molitor; Washington High School in the mousetrap car event, led by Richard; Manson Northwest Webster High School in the bridge-building event, led by instructor Mark Lynch; Perry High School in the soda straw arm event, led by instructor Trevor Kittleson; and Wahlert Catholic High School in the challenge problem event, led by Stierman.

For additional information, contact Larry Escalada, UNI professor of physics and science education, at 319-273-2431 or