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News Release Archive

July 15, 2014 - 1:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Michael Licari has been named interim executive vice president and provost at the University of Northern Iowa. He assumed his new responsibilities on July 1.

Licari came to UNI in 2001 after starting his career at the State University of New York in Binghamton, N.Y. He has served in a variety of leadership roles on campus, including a year as chair of the Faculty Senate, department head of political science, and most recently as associate provost and dean of the Graduate College.

April Chatham-Carpenter will serve as interim associate provost for academic affairs and interim dean of the Graduate College until a new provost is named. She also assumed her new responsibilities July 1.

Chatham-Carpenter received her bachelor's degree in speech communication from the University of Central Arkansas, and her master's and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to teaching communication studies at UNI for the past 22 years, she has been serving as an administrative fellow in the provost's office for the past 2.5 years.

A comprehensive search for the new executive vice president and provost will be conducted during the 2014-15 school year.

July 9, 2014 - 4:01pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The city of Cedar Falls, home of the University of Northern Iowa, was ranked No. 22 on the list of "50 Great Affordable College Towns" according to Great Value Colleges. It's also the only city in the state of Iowa to be on the list. The Cedar Falls Tourism Bureau says, "residents of Cedar Falls have a strong sense of pride in their community. Cedar Falls boasts a competitive school system, a collaborating relationship with the University of Northern Iowa and experienced community leaders."

In addition to this honor for the city, US News & World Report consistently ranks UNI second among Midwest colleges, doing so for 12 consecutive years. Likewise, according to the Princeton Review, UNI is consistently labeled as "Best in the Midwest."

To see the full list of Great Affordable College Towns, visit

July 3, 2014 - 8:56am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Sturgis Youth Theatre will present "The Glass Slipper: The Story of Cinderella," July 17 through 20 at the Strayer-Wood Theatre on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Evening performances are at 7 p.m., July 17, 18 and 19. Matinee performances are at 10:30 a.m., July 18 and at 2 p.m., July 19 and 20.

Directed by Gretta Berghammer, UNI professor of theatre and artistic director of the Sturgis Youth Theatre, "The Glass Slipper," by Vera Morris, is the company's 15th annual all-youth summer show. The production is the classic story of a young girl, her hopes and dreams, and the Fairy Godmother who helps her believe in herself to make them all come true.

"The Glass Slipper" features a cast of 42 young people from the Cedar Valley, ranging in age from 8 to 15 years old. Another 18 university and high school students serve as staff, interns and volunteers on the production. Working alongside Berghammer are scenic designer Mark Parrott, UNI associate professor of theatre; Jascenna Haislet, costume designer; and lighting designer Shaun Knapp, a recent UNI graduate.

The Sturgis Youth Theatre offers a variety of workshops, classes and productions throughout the year, open to all young people who wish to participate.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling 319-239-1540.  More information can be found at

June 26, 2014 - 3:13pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Purple and Old Gold awards, recognizing meritorious scholarship or conspicuous achievement, were presented to 58 seniors during the University of Northern Iowa's Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7, 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 2,000 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 / AREA / COLLEGE


ALBIA                                                Jessica Sue Clark, CBA


ALGONA                                          Allie Maria Simpson, CHAS


AMES                                                Carolyn Ruth Metz, CHAS


                                                       Zoe Corinne Russell, CHAS


ANKENY                                         Lauren Rose Stratton, CSBS



BAXTER                                            Ashley Marie Fricke, CBA


BETTENDORF                                  Kyle Clellan Woollums, CHAS


BOONE                                            Maggie Anne Miller, CESP


BUFFALO CENTER                             Rebecca Ann Schwartz, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


CEDAR FALLS                                  Alexandra Leigh Christensen, CSBS, (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                       Aynur Tekin Damirgi, COE, (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                       Steven Delmar Danielsen, CHAS, (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                       Andrew Paul Gregorsock, CHAS           


CEDAR RAPIDS                                 Brian Andrew Covington, CSBS (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                       Kevan William Hudson, CSBS (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                       Stefanie Hannah McGraw, CHAS


                                                             Jessica Ann Moore, CHAS


                                                      Erica Emily Rutz, CHAS, (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                      Erin Marie Schon, CBA, (fall 2013 graduate)                       


CLUTIER                                               Amanda Christine Arp, CHAS


DES MOINES                                         John Robert Leister, CSBS


                                                             Shaun Paul Knapp, CHAS


DUNDEE                                             Larry Edward Savago, CHAS


DYERSVILLE                                     Dextar Gerard Klostermann, CBA


                                                   Allison L. Ostwinkle, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


ELKADER                                     Molly Elizabeth Franta, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                  Tyler Anthony Yanda, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


FAIRFAX                                      Jonathan Nicholas Snell, CHAS


FOREST CITY                                    Katie Lea Wencl, CHAS,


FORT ATKINSON                          Madison Elizabeth McKone, CHAS


FORT DODGE                                    Sara Elinor Rockow, COE


GRANVILLE                                      Amy Michelle Stoll, CHAS


IOWA CITY                                      Emily Marie Stumpff, CHAS


JESUP                                             Christian Robert Junker, COE


JOHNSTON                                      Blaine Mahlon Schlawin, COE


                                                     Brittany Brooke Deal, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


KALONA                                            Shawna Rebecca Schrock, CSBS


LAPORTE CITY                               Alyssa M. Holt, CSBS (fall 2013 graduate)


LEGRAND                                       Andrew Mark Rubenbauer, CHAS


LIDDERDALE                                    Abby Barbara Wenck, CBA (fall 2013 graduate)


MONTICELLO                                     Mitchell Robert Holmes, CBA


MOUNT VERON                                   Shelby Ann Kintzel, COE


NEWHALL                                         Maranda Jo Lund, CHAS


OSAGE                                          Timothy William Biederman, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


OTTUMWA                                        KaLeigh Karr White, CSBS


ROCK RAPIDS                                 Abbie Ann Ackerman, CHAS


ST. LUCAS                                         Jude Marie Buchheit, CSBS


TODDVILLE                                       Benjamin Richard Lahue, CBA


URBANDALE                                         Allison Nicole Brees, COE


WASHBURN                                        Dwain Nicholas Caldwell, CSBS


WASHINGTON                                     Ariel Marie Williams, CHAS


WATERLOO                                               Eric J. Benson, CHAS


WEST DES MOINES                               Stephanie Kay Opsal, CHAS


OUT-OF-STATE Graduates


OKEMOS, Mich.                         Caitlyn Elizabeth Reighley, COE (fall 2013 graduate)


MEDFORD, Ore.                        Heather Marie Greel, CSBS (fall 2013 graduate)


CEDARBURG, Wis.                        Charles Andrew Rank, COE


ONALASKA, Wis.                         Kaitlin E. Burden, CHAS


PEWAUKEE, Wis.                        Caryn Anne Knight, CBA 

June 26, 2014 - 3:19pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Francesca Soans, associate professor, communication studies, and Robert Neymeyer, historian, Grout Museum, received the 2014 Loren Horton Community History Award from the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI) for the documentary "Sons of Jacob Synagogue." The award was presented at the annual Awards for Excellence in History ceremony on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at the State Capitol. Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds presented this prestigious award.

The pioneering documentary explores the histories and experiences of the Jewish community in Waterloo, from the early immigrants seeking new opportunities and freedom from persecution to the present day. This is the first episode of a five-part documentary project, "Waterloo: A History of Place," focusing on different spaces and buildings in Waterloo. The project has received funding from Humanities Iowa, the Guernsey Foundation and the University of Northern Iowa.

The Loren Horton Community History Award is named in honor of Loren Horton, who represented the State Historical Society of Iowa in many capacities from 1973 until his retirement in 1996. As the society's field services coordinator and senior historian, Horton's work brought him in close contact with many local historical organizations. In keeping with that legacy, this award recognizes the best project that increases awareness and participation in Iowa history on a local level. The award recognizes an individual, group or organization whose outstanding local history project was completed during the previous calendar year.

"These awards and certificates recognize the top of the crop of Iowa history and we are very proud to present them today," SHSI board of trustees chairman Bill Bartine said at the awards ceremony. "You are commended for your notable achievements and we are truly grateful for your contribution to our state's history."

For additional information, contact Soans at 319-273-6309 or, or Sarah Pauls, marketing manager, College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, at 319-273-2817 or

Learn more about the film at

June 19, 2014 - 2:11pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project will host an animal camp from Monday, June 16,through Friday, June 20. The animal camp serves multiple purposes for both the University of Northern Iowa and the organization. School counselors select the campers, many of whom are labeled "at risk." The camp uses animal therapy and education to help relate to the children.

Linda Nebbe, UNI associate professor and UNI graduate student Amy Davison oversee the camp and are conducting research on animal therapy. Counselors are UNI students who gain both experience and class credit.

Directions to the camp: go west on University Avenue 1 ½ miles after crossing Hudson Road, turn left or south onto Union Road (gravel) and go 1 mile to 2027 (on the mail box which is on your right). The camp driveway is to the left across from the mailbox. The site has 22 acres with a very high fence.

June 19, 2014 - 2:13pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Nationally recognized and area experts on school and community inclusion and alternative communication supports will be at the University of Northern Iowa for the 2014 Midwest Summer Institute on Inclusion & Communication for All Monday and Tuesday, June 23 and 24. The event will take place in Russell Hall and will focus on inclusive schools; employment; and daily living and communication and support for people with autism spectrum disabilities and other complex communication needs.

Speakers include author Kathie Snow of Disability is Natural; Darlene Hanson, director of communication support at Whittier Area (Calif.) Association for the Developmentally Handicapped; Tracy Thresher, a self-advocate featured in the award-winning documentary "Wretches & Jabberers"; and Sue Rubin, author, self-advocate, writer, and featured in the 2004 Academy Award nominated film, "Autism is a World."

June 13, 2014 - 8:38am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The deadline for entering the John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition has been extended to June 20. New and start-up businesses (in business for less than four years) are eligible to enter the competition for the chance to win up to $25,000 and can submit business information via a secure online program called Gust. A link to Gust is available at

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. Assistance with business plan entries is available at the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at the University of Northern Iowa, Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College and the University of Iowa; the Small Business Development Centers throughout the state; and the business accelerators in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Red Oak and Mason City.

Rules, eligibility, timelines and more information is available at the competition website,

For additional information about the competition, visit or contact one of the JPEC centers via the contact information below.

June 6, 2014 - 8:35am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Finalists have been selected for the Midwest International Piano Competition, which is being hosted at the University of Northern Iowa. A concert to showcase the finalists is scheduled for 5 p.m., Saturday, June 7, at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Pianists from around the globe have been competing this week at the inaugural event. According to John Vallentine, executive director of the competition, "The final round concert is an exciting event that will surely launch the international career of one or all of these outstanding musicians."

With the competitors facing an esteemed panel of judges: Alexander Toradze, a world famous concert pianist; Miroslav Brejcha, director of the Pilsen (Czech Republic) Conservatory; and Arthur Green, a leading American pianist, the pianists will perform 50-minute programs of technically demanding and expressive, lyrical music. "The finalists must not only win the hearts of the audience, but survive the critical evaluation of the esteemed panel of judges," said Vallentine.  

The winner of the competition will receive $10,000, a recording contract with Blue Griffin Records, an artist management contract with Heartland Concert Artists and a return concerto appearance with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra. "The stakes are high as this type of competition is separating the best-of-the-best who are striving for a major career break," said Vallentine. "We are fortunate to be hosting the event here at the University of Northern Iowa."

The finalists are: Tomar Gewirtzman from Israel, and Margaryta Golovko and Elina Akselrud, both from Ukraine. "All three pianists have survived two rounds of intense competition facing 13 other pianists who were selected from musicians traveling across the United States, including Iowa, and those from countries as far away as China, Russia, South Africa and Taiwan," said Vallentine.

The artistic directors of the competition are Sean Botkin and Dmitri Vorobiev, piano professors at UNI. For more information, visit


June 2, 2014 - 4:12pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Public Art Incubator was asked to create the 2014 Special Olympics Torch. Production is underway, and the torch will be finished during the first week of June, just in time for the Special Olympics National Games.

The 2014 Special Olympics National Games will be held in Newark, N.J. from Saturday, June 14, through Saturday, June 21. Almost 3,500 athletes will complete in 16 team and individual sports. Around 70,000 fans, family members and friends, along with 10,000 volunteers and 1,000 coaches are also expected to attend. A logo is designed by a special athlete, which is then provided to the incubator team.

This will be the second torch the Public Art Incubator has made for the Special Olympics. The design includes different pieces to be carried by athletes and attached to the torch at the opening ceremonies. Each of the pieces is inscribed with a word that represents different aspects of the Special Olympics.

"The Public Art Incubator is a way for professional artists to come and use our fabulous facilities to construct public art projects and commissions for public spaces," said Tom Stancliffe, professor of arts. "We also use it as a springboard for recent graduates who are trying to get their first commission and have a place to build it."

For more information contact Dan Perry, shop technician in the Kammerick Art Building, 319-273-2003 or

June 2, 2014 - 4:14pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --The University of Northern Iowa is offering a course sequence beginning fall 2014 leading to the Driver Education Endorsement. The program allows teachers to earn the endorsement by completing nine units of credit over two semesters. Course topics include accident prevention, drug and alcohol abuse, vehicle safety and behind-the-wheel driving.

The endorsement program is offered via Adobe Connect, an interactive desktop video conferencing system, with additional in-car and in-person experiences as arranged. Some coursework is offered online using eLearning.

Completion of the courses qualifies licensed secondary teachers to teach both the classroom and behind-the-wheel components of driver education. Elementary teachers who have at least two years of teaching experience may meet the secondary student teaching requirement by completing the Experience in Safety Education course and providing a letter that documents the number of years of classroom experience. To learn more about the program and how to enroll, visit

For information about additional offerings available through UNI Continuing and Distance Education, visit or call 319-273-5970 or 800-648-3864.

June 2, 2014 - 4:17pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is accepting applications for its state-approved online Education of the Gifted Endorsement program that begins fall 2014. Designed for classroom teachers and graduate students holding a current Iowa teaching certificate or approved equivalent, this program addresses all national standards for preparing teachers of the gifted.

Courses in this program can be completed in two semesters and are offered entirely online via eLearning, a Blackboard learning management system. Teaching requirements for the final practicum course can usually be completed in the classroom teacher's school or district. Courses begin this fall using a cohort model in which a group of students move together through the course sequence, with the endorsement coursework to be completed in May 2015. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit

For information about additional offerings available through UNI Continuing and Distance Education, visit or call 319-273-5970 or 800-648-3864.

May 28, 2014 - 4:15pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is accepting applications for its Master of Arts in School Library Studies program that begins in fall 2014. This program prepares students to become teacher librarians who use their acquired knowledge of children and young people, books and information technologies, curriculum and the power of collaboration to enhance the learning experiences of students in their schools.

"Leading inquiry learning through the best sources, searches and technologies is what makes the teacher librarian role one of the best in the school," said Karla Krueger, program coordinator.

Courses in this program are offered online using eLearning. Many courses meet once per week via interactive video conferencing. Some courses include one or two in-person, hands-on experiences on Saturdays at the UNI campus.

The program begins this fall using a cohort model in which a group of students moves together through the course sequence, with the degree or certificate to be awarded in fall 2016. To learn more about this program and how to apply, visit

For information about additional offerings available through UNI Continuing and Distance Education, visit or call 319-273-5970 or 800-648-3864.

May 27, 2014 - 1:29pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Hundreds of people gathered at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City earlier this month to attend the Dream Big Grow Here statewide pitch-off event and to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship in Iowa.

The winner of this year's grand prize of $10,000 was Deborah VanderGaast with Tipton Adaptive Daycare in Tipton. Second place went to Hoovers Hatchery in Rudd; third place went to The Outside Scoop in Indianola; and the people's choice award winner was Crown Clinics in Royal. The celebrity emcee for the Dream Big Grow Here pitch-off was Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Dream Big Grow Here is a statewide business grant contest for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to win cash to start or grow an Iowa business. To participate, small-business owners simply upload their 'dreams' to, then encourage friends, customers and other business owners to vote for them. One hundred and eighty companies competed in one of 10 regional contests. More than 100,000 online votes were cast, thousands of comments of support were made and more than a half million unique page views were logged.

Dream Big Grow Here is a program of the University of Northern Iowa Business and Community Services. For more information on Dream Big Grow Here, contact Rob Williams, business analyst for the Regional Business Center, at (319)-273-4333

May 27, 2014 - 3:29pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI School of Music and the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center will host the Midwest International Piano Competition on Sunday, June 1, through Saturday, June 7. The event is open to the public, youth and professional performing pianists and piano enthusiasts.

The competition will feature 26 exceptional pianists from around the world, including Japan, China, Ukraine, Israel, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, the U.S. and more. The first place pianist in the senior category will claim a $10,000 cash prize as well as a recording contract with the Blue Griffin record label, an artist management deal with Heartland Concert Artists and a performance opportunity with the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony in an upcoming season. Awards will be given to the top three finalists in both junior (up to 17 years) and senior (up to 32 years) categories. Six semi-finalists in the senior category will also receive honorable mention awards.

All preliminary rounds from Sunday, June 1, through Thursday, June 5, are free and open to the public. The final concert for the junior category will begin at 2 p.m., Friday, June 6, with tickets priced at $10. The final concert and receptions for the senior category will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 7, with tickets priced at $25. The senior category finals concert will be an evening filled with music and a reception that will include appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, champagne and more.

Tickets for both final concerts are available by calling 319-273-4TIX or visiting and selecting "Buy Tickets" under the School of Music heading. For more information, visit

May 27, 2014 - 3:43pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences (CHAS) at the University of Northern Iowa is offering youth summer camps through the Iowa EPSCoR program for summer 2014. The Iowa EPSCoR camps include a variety of STEM-related camps that are available to elementary, middle school and high school students. Visit the camps website to see what's offered this year. A limited number of scholarships can be provided for those students who meet certain requirements.

Camps include a variety of interest areas, from robots to prairies to digital storytelling, through the months of June and July. For example, students can combine their analytic and creative abilities at the Why Not? Vertex-Edge Graph Theory and Improvisational Comedy camp. No expertise is required for the math or theatre aspects. Join camp director Doug Shaw in this fun and comedic combination of math and improvisational comedy. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday, June 16, through Friday, June 20, and is offered to high school students. For more information, visit

Students can also build and battle robots at the Mini-Sumo Robotics Camp. Participants will use technology similar to what is found in vehicles, such as the John Deere Gator. There will be field trips and a competition at the end for family and friends to watch the mini-sumo robots battle. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, June 23, to Friday, June 27, and is offered to students ages 14-17. For more information visit

For more information, contact Kavita Dhanwada, associate dean and associate professor in the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, at 319-273-5976, or visit

May 22, 2014 - 10:19am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is accepting applications for courses leading to the Iowa Secondary School Health Education Teaching Endorsement. Individuals holding a current Iowa teaching certificate or approved equivalent can take the state-approved courses to earn this endorsement.

With the exception of one hands-on course offered on the UNI campus Monday, June 16, through Thursday, June 19, endorsement courses are offered online, many via UNI Guided Independent Study (GIS). With GIS, student can enroll at any time, work at their own pace and take up to nine months to complete a course. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit

For information about additional offerings available through UNI Continuing and Distance Education, visit or call 319-273-5970 or 800-648-3864.

May 12, 2014 - 4:44pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- An National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to the University of Northern Iowa is being used to support the eighth International Congress of Arctic Social Science (ICASS) on Thursday, May 22, through Monday, May 26, at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BC. 

The ICASS is the official meeting of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA), which brings together scholars and other researchers interested in the Arctic. The focus of this congress will be "Northern Sustainabilities." The funding will be used to support the participation of early-career scholars, native scholars and northern native community members.

The organizers are Andrey Petrov, assistant professor of geography at UNI and councilor of the IASSA, and Gail Fondahl, president of the IASSA. They will use the award to build interdisciplinary capacity and scholarship by supporting increased participation in the event, which will have more than 450 registered participants from around the world. It will feature keynote speakers, several panels, and arts and cultural events.

For additional information, contact Petrov at 319-273-3507 or

May 8, 2014 - 11:41am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is offering a new certificate in sustainability after final approval by the Iowa Board of Regents on April 24. Attaining the certificate will likely improve students' job opportunities, as a recent report suggests that two-thirds of companies now cite sustainability as a competitive necessity in the marketplace; employers also value job candidates with background knowledge in environment and sustainability.

The certificate requires 15 credit hours, which includes an introductory course and four electives. Electives may be chosen from six content streams: natural and biological environments; mathematical and economic dimensions; urban environments and technology; sustainable tourism and outdoor recreation; social, philosophical and political dimensions; and teacher education in sustainability and environmental literacy.

Students may select up to two courses from one content stream, but at least two courses must be selected from other content streams. The certificate is open to all undergraduate students with a GPA of 2.50 or higher.

For more information, contact Bill Stigliani, professor in UNI's Center for Energy and Environmental Education, at 319-273-7150 or

May 8, 2014 - 11:47am


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

Daye Pope is a political communication major from Clear Lake. Pope has been actively involved in UNI Proud, the Feminist Action League, Panther Magazine, the Northern Iowan and Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG). Pope served as president of UNI Proud for two years and was part of the group of students who called for the new LGBT* Center on campus. Pope has volunteered with various political campaigns, including serving as an intern for Sen. Tom Harkin in Washington, D.C.

Kayla McCormick is an exercise science and sports psychology major from Caledonia, Minn. McCormick has served as the captain, co-president and secretary of the swim team, representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for the Missouri Valley Conference, team leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a team captain for Relay For Life. She also created the Hygiene Hijack program, which collects travel-sized toiletries to donate to local shelters and the Salvation Army.

Ramya Varadaraju is a computer science major from India. Varadaraju has served as president, vice president of special programs and secretary of the International Student Association, communications specialist for the International Student Promoters, secretary of Panthers Allied with Local Schools, and mentor to a student in the Waterloo School District. She also served as the NISG director of International Student Affairs.

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 2014, 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 7, 2014 - 10:29am


CEDAR FALLS—Mark and Jill Oman of Des Moines have committed $1.1 million to the University of Northern Iowa Foundation. The endowed fund will be used to support the UNI Annual Fund and two scholarships.

The Omans have established the Don and Jo Fuerhoff Scholarship for students from Iowa or Nebraska who are majoring in teacher education or a program that leads to teacher certification. The Mark and Jill Oman Scholarship will benefit students who are majoring in or intend to major in the College of Business Administration.

Mark Oman graduated from UNI in 1976 and recently retired as the senior executive vice president of Wells Fargo & Company. Jill Oman is a 1985 UNI graduate.  Mark noted, "UNI will always be a very special place for my wife and me. It gave us an outstanding education in business and in the liberal arts, preparing us for successful and satisfying careers and lives. We hope our gift will enable future students to enjoy the same educational advantages that we found at UNI."

"We are honored that Mark and Jill have made this generous commitment to UNI," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "Thanks to their support, students will have greater access to an affordable education. This gift will also help us to recruit students, recognize academic achievement, promote diversity among the student body and expand opportunities for students."

The Oman gift is part of the Focus on Students: UNI Scholarship Initiative, a $40 million campaign dedicated to building funds to support current students and attract future students.

For more information, visit the UNI Foundation website at

May 6, 2014 - 4:09pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will hold its 6th annual Panther Pick Up, a project to help the environment while benefiting the community, on Wednesday, May 7, through Friday, May 9.

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.

During Panther Pick Up, St. Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army trucks will accept clothing, dishes, furniture, carpet and other useable household items. Agency staff determines whether or not they can accept certain items. Metal items not accepted can be recycled on UNI's campus at the East side of Redeker, the East Towers and the Commons Circle.

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 1 to 4 p.m., May 7 and 8, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 9. 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.

May 5, 2014 - 4:18pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Department of Theatre recently gained accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

NAST is the national accrediting agency for theatre and theatre-related disciplines and is made up of approximately 177 schools of theatre. The granting of accredited membership is a sign that an institution has met an external set of basic criteria for its programs. It also indicates an ability to provide a base of academic strength and operational integrity.

The UNI Department of Theatre is made up of 15 faculty and staff and offers study in performance, design and production, and drama and theatre for youth. Through its production wings, Theatre UNI and Sturgis Youth Theatre, the department produces plays and musicals in the Strayer-Wood Theatre. Programming includes frequent guest artists, significant outreach to local schools, opportunities for students to connect to the profession through auditions and specialized conferences, and collaboration with other academic programs and disciplines on campus. UNI also hosts the largest gathering of high school drama students in the state each November through the Iowa Thespians Festival.

"The accreditation process has been very thorough and educational," said Eric Lange, department head and associate professor of theatre. "I'm proud of the stamp of approval from NAST and the faculty and staff who continue to bring excellence to our program."

For more information, contact Lange at 319-273-6833 or

May 1, 2014 - 9:25am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- K through 12 students can stay active and engaged throughout the summer thanks to UNI summer camps. A number of camps will be offered in a variety of areas, including music, literacy and outdoor recreation.

Each camp features a unique interactive learning environment through which students can gain hands-on experience while working among students with similar interests. From exploring outdoor activities at the Outdoor Adventure Youth Camp to studying jazz improvisation at UNI Jazz Combo camp, UNI summer camps offer something for everyone.

The camps are led by UNI faculty, staff and current students. For additional information and to register, visit

May 1, 2014 - 10:05am



AMES            Jessica Walker/ G. Erlene Hubley Memorial Writing Award

BOONE            Hallie Cook/ Award of Excellence for Creative Nonfiction

CEDAR FALLS            Monica Clark/ Award of Excellence for Poetry


                                                Claire Conrad/ Award of Excellence for Critical Essay Writing


                                                Breen Greer/ Award of Excellence for Poetry


                                                Rebecca Rewoldt/ Award of Excellence for Poetry


CEDAR RAPIDS                        Alexandra Bissell/ Myrtle Telleen Collins "Spirit of Life" Creative

Writing Scholarship


CHEROKEE            Molly White/ Award of Excellence for Creative Nonfiction

COLUMBUS JUNCTION            Vanessa Espinoza/ Award of Excellence for Personal Essay and Translation

COUNCIL BLUFFS            Lauren Petri/ Award of Excellence for Professional or Pedagogical Writing

DAVENPORT            Katie Beale/ Award of Excellence for Creative Nonfiction

DUBUQUE            Kristin Pfeiffer/ Awards of Excellence for Analytical Essay and Translation


Hannah Shaffer/ Award of Excellence for Poetry

DURANT            Chelsea Helmle/ G. Erlene Hubley Memorial Writing Award

FORT DODGE            Tara Jackson/ G. Erlene Hubley Memorial Writing Award

GRUNDY CENTER            Tyler Nutting/ James HiDuke Dr. Grammar Writing Award

NEW VIRGINIA            Blake Findley/ Award of Excellence for Personal Essay

OTTUMWA            Carter Brown/ Wendell Phillips Memorial Scholarship for Creative Writing

PELLA            Elizabeth Van Gorp/ Award of Excellence for Poetry

SERGEANT BLUFF            Jordan Beardsley/ G. Erlene Hubley Memorial Writing Award

WATERLOO            Lexi Burns/ Award of Excellence for Poetry


                                                Hannah Carr-Murphy/ Awards of Excellence for Poetry and Critical Essay Writing

WEBSTER CITY            Makenzie Nokes/ Award of Excellence for Creative Nonfiction

April 29, 2014 - 2:21pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Due to the rising popularity of location-based technology such as smartphone apps and in-car GPS systems, opportunities in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are on the rise. Students can join this rapidly growing industry more easily, thanks to a new bridge program between the University of Northern Iowa and Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. The program gives Kirkwood students the opportunity to network with UNI students and faculty before joining UNI's Graphic Information Science program.

"The range of careers in GIS is very diverse because we've reached a point where almost everyone is using some form of geospatial data," said Patrick Pease, head of UNI's Department of Geography. "People often don't make the connection between things like location-based apps on their phone, in-car GPS systems, interactive Web maps and Google Earth as all being connected to a geospatial industry, but those only scratch the surface of how and where this technology is being used."

The new bridge program gives students access to these opportunities while strengthening UNI's program. "Our program is stronger because of the quality of students that transfer from Kirkwood," said Pease. "They are among our best. They are very well prepared, enthusiastic and able to enter midway through our program seamlessly."

Graduates of UNI's GIS program have found careers at businesses and public agencies including Garmin International in Kansas City, the City of Dubuque, Alliant Energy, John Deere and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more information, contact Pease at 319-273-7117 or

April 29, 2014 - 3:08pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host three spring Commencement ceremonies this year. The ceremony for students receiving graduate degrees will be at 7 p.m., Friday, May 9. The ceremony for undergraduate students receiving degrees from the Colleges of Education and Business Administration, and the Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 10. The ceremony for undergraduate students in the Colleges of Humanities, Arts and Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 10. All ceremonies are in the McLeod Center on the UNI campus and will also be streamed live at

The speaker for the graduate student ceremony is Michelle Czarnecki, a post-secondary education graduate student from Bettendorf. The Commencement marshal is Jay Edelnant, professor of theatre. Gretta Berghammer, professor of theatre, will read the names of the graduates. Thirteen students will be visiting from Hong Kong to receive their Masters in Business Administration.

The speaker for the ceremony for undergraduate students in the Colleges of Education and Business Administration, and the Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs is Diane Ihimbazwe, a health promotion major from Rwanda. The Commencement marshal is John Vallentine, professor of music and director of the School of Music. The names will be read by Deirdre Heistad, associate professor of languages and director of the Liberal Arts Core, and Nichole Zumbach Harken, instructor in communication studies.

The speaker for the ceremony for undergraduate students in the Colleges of Humanities, Arts and Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences is KaLeigh White, a senior from Ottumwa majoring in public administration and sociology. The Commencement marshal will also be John Vallentine. Names of graduates will be read by Berghammer and Penelope O'Connor, instructor in communication studies.

Immediately following the ceremonies on Saturday, there will be a reception at the Eldon Miller Plaza with light snacks and beverages. Friday's reception will take place at the McLeod concourse. There will also be areas set up for families and graduates to take pictures.

The UNI Department of Military Science will host its annual spring Commissioning Ceremony at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 10, in the Great Reading Room in Seerley Hall. Two students will receive their commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. The speaker at the ceremony will be UNI President Bill Ruud.

For additional information, visit or contact Philip Patton, university registrar, at 319-273-2244 or

April 28, 2014 - 9:51am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Iowa Department of Public Health and the Healthiest State Initiative recognized the University of Northern Iowa's achievements in leading Iowa's charge in advancing well-being during the Healthy Iowa awards ceremony on April 16 in Des Moines.

Top applicants demonstrated collaboration, high levels of engagement and implementation of policy change to support wellness across multiple platforms. During the past several years UNI has made numerous changes to improve the well-being of those on campus as part of its involvement in the Blue Zones Project, a global initiative to promote healthy living through permanent changes to the environment, policy and social networks.

Actions that have been implemented include the installation of 45 water bottle refilling stations, the addition of bike parking spaces as well as two bike maintenance stations and the creation of the UNI Panther Plot, a student-run, faculty- and staff-supported vegetable garden on campus. Produce from the garden is purchased by on-campus dining facilities, offered to faculty and staff for purchase, and also donated to the local area food bank. Some of the benefits UNI employees receive include free annual biometric screenings and flu shots, health and wellness educational sessions, health contests and resources, and an annual employee benefits and wellness fair.

"UNI being chosen for the Healthy Iowa Award is an honor and speaks to the collaborative work on campus among students, faculty and staff," said Therese Callaghan, employee disability and leave coordinator for UNI Human Resource Services. "Work in the areas of sustainability, wellness and recreation, employee wellness and in the Department of Residence is making a positive impact, and it is getting noticed!"

For more information, contact Callaghan at 319-273-6164 or

April 28, 2014 - 9:58am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host the 2014 Midwest Summer Institute: Inclusion and Communication for All on Monday, June 23, and Tuesday, June 24, in Russell Hall.

The conference will consist of presentations, discussions, panels, hands-on learning and networking. Attendees will include educators, individuals with and without disabilities, families, support personnel and researchers.

The Midwest Summer Institute will focus on inclusive schools, employment and daily living, as well as communication and supported typing for people with autism spectrum disabilities and other complex communication needs.

The event will feature nationally recognized and area experts on school and community inclusion and alternative and augmentative communication supports. Presenters include Kathie Snow of Disability is Natural; Darlene Hanson, director of communication supports at Whittier Area Parents' Association for the Developmentally Handicapped; and Tracy Thresher, self-advocate featured in the award-winning documentary "Wretches & Jabberers."

For more information or to register for the event, visit

April 28, 2014 - 10:09am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's New Horizons Band will perform a spring concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 5, in the Great Hall of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) on the UNI campus.

The band will perform a variety of traditional concert band repertoire that will include marches, overtures, a "Music Man" medley and Duke Ellington selections. The band will also perform the "Iowa New Horizons March," an original composition by Robert Logan, retired Iowa band director and composer from Clear Lake. He will guest conduct his own composition.

"Haskell's Rascals" by Paul Yoder will feature New Horizons Band percussion section members Larry Klinger, Rita Losh and David Pounds, as well as UNI New Horizons Band student instructors Geoff Bryant, senior music education major; Anna Fewins, junior music education major; and Teresa Smith, senior music education major. A reception will be held in the lobby of the GBPAC immediately following the concert. Admission is free.

The New Horizons Band is sponsored by the UNI School of Music and the UNI Community Music School. The group includes members ages 50 and older with various musical backgrounds who travel from all over Iowa to rehearse and perform. Diana Blake, retired music educator and director of the New Horizons Band, says new members are welcome to join the group.

For more information, contact Blake at 319-352-3007 or Cindi Mason, New Horizons Band administrative assistant, at 319-273-2142.

April 28, 2014 - 10:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences is offering summer camps through the Iowa Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) for summer 2014.

The camps include a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related opportunities that are available to the community, including elementary, middle and high school students. Topics include robotics, digital storytelling, video and game design, cyber security, exploring the prairie, neuroscience and more.

Iowa EPSCoR is aimed at building research capacity and increasing competitiveness for Iowa through investments in infrastructure and human capital. The camps are designed to encourage and provide increased access for student participation in STEM disciplines. Scholarships are available for students who meet certain requirements.

For additional information or to register, visit

April 24, 2014 - 2:33pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management program (IRVM) reminds Iowans of restrictions prohibiting the mowing of state-maintained highway right-of-way and roadside ditches prior to July 15.

Iowa Code 314.7, which includes county secondary roads as well as state primary and interstate highways, extended the no-mow period, now from July 1 through July 15, to provide an additional two weeks for the hatching and development of young ground-nesting birds and pollinators.

Exceptions to the law are 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

"In an agricultural state such as Iowa, the law serves as a reminder to those who do not need to mow their ditches to leave what's there as habitat," said Rebecca Katuen, IRVM program manager. "Aggressive mowing weakens vegetation along slopes, allowing for erosion and soil loss, thereby also creating openings for weeds. We need to think of roadsides as a productive part of the landscape for wildlife, as well as a safe zone for travelers."

For more information, visit and

April 24, 2014 - 3:07pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- – Yesterday, the Iowa House and Senate approved a 4 percent funding increase for each of Iowa's public universities along with an additional $2.6 million in special funding to UNI's base in recognition of its reliance on state funding. This coupled with the $4 million previously appropriated in 2013, will allow UNI to freeze tuition for the 2014-15 academic year.

The university is grateful to the Iowa Legislature for recognizing the unique funding challenges at UNI resulting from its historic focus on educating Iowa residents.  With this additional funding, UNI will continue to be an affordable and accessible option for students.

UNI will now turn its attention to the work of the Board of Regents' Performance-Based Revenue Model Task Force and are optimistic at least a portion of Iowa appropriations will follow in-state students in order to provide the long-term financial structure needed to maintain and strengthen the University of Northern Iowa.

April 21, 2014 - 2:34pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- According to the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), more than 200,000 children are injured on America's playgrounds each year. In an effort to focus on the safety of all children on the playground, the NPPS, housed at the University of Northern Iowa, will celebrate National Playground Safety Week from Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25. In addition to promoting their regular initiatives and training programs, the week will also celebrate the addition of three new certification courses that have been made possible through a $500,000, two-year contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

The new certifications include Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector, Playground Inspection Course for Elementary Schools and Youth/Community Programs, and Certified Supervisor for Outdoor Environments. They are designed for personnel in the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps and will safeguard the children of military families by training and certifying playground safety personnel.

The winners of the Ahrens Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award and the John Preston Award will also be announced during the week. These awards honor an individual and a group that have made outstanding efforts to make playgrounds safe for children.

For more information, visit or contact Donna Thompson, director of NPPS, at 319-273-7134 or

April 21, 2014 - 2:40pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host the 50th annual Iowa High School Model United Nations (IHSMUN) Spring Conference Thursday and Friday, April 24 and 25, in the Maucker Union Ballrooms and other rooms on campus. The event is organized and facilitated by UNI's IHSMUN chapter.

At the event, nearly 25 high schools from across the state will represent 39 countries of the United Nations. High school students will model the procedure of the U.N. in New York City, working with peers to draft resolutions on topics of international importance using viewpoints of member nations.

At this year's conference, Ron McMullen, former U.S. ambassador, will be the keynote speaker at 2:30 p.m., Friday, April 25, in Maucker Union Old Central Ballroom. McMullen is an Iowa native who served as the ambassador to Eritrea, a country in Africa.

For questions regarding the spring conference, contact Christina Johnson, secretary-general of IHSMUN, at 319-273-2668 or

April 21, 2014 - 2:49pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Lynda Yates, an associate professor of linguistics at Macquarie University in Australia, will present her lecture "Communication, Language and Preparing for the Work Place" from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Monday, April 28, in Seerley Hall, Room 115, on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Refreshments will be served from 4 to 4:30 p.m.

Yates' research revolves around the adult language learning and communication in the workplace. She also focuses on speaking skills, pronunciation and interpersonal pragmatics. Yates has studied adult Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the United Kingdom, France, Armenia and Egypt. She has taught at Macquarie University since 2009. She previously worked at La Trobe University in Australia for 18 years. Her lecture is sponsored by the Northern Iowa Student Government, TESOL Club, Anthropology Club, and the Department of Languages and Literatures.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Ardith J. Meier, professor in UNI's Department of Languages and Literatures, at 319-273-2785 or

April 21, 2014 - 4:12pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is one of the 322 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review.

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the "Guide to 322 Green Colleges" recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an above-average commitment to sustainability. UNI's rating of 95 out of 99 was the highest score of any school in Iowa, with the next highest score being 89.

"Much of UNI's excellent rating in the Princeton Review can be attributed to the numerous student driven initiatives that have resulted in institutional changes," said Eric O'Brien, UNI's sustainability coordinator. "From their excitement to improve campus to their genuine interest in getting involved, students are powerful forces in UNI's sustainability efforts."

There is a diverse range of initiatives contributing to UNI's rating. One project saw more than 40 water bottle refill stations installed on campus, resulting in more than 400,000 refills in the last nine months. A similarly successful program was the launch of UNI's student-run garden, the Panther Plot. In its first year, students harvested fruits and vegetables that were served in UNI Dining Centers and sold on campus through a student-run produce stand.

The free guide can be downloaded at or

For more information about UNI's sustainability efforts, including what's planned for Earth Week, Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25, visit or contact O'Brien at 319-273-7207 or

April 17, 2014 - 3:11pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host Take Back the Night at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 29, in Seerley Hall, Room 115, to increase awareness of sexual assault.

The event will begin with a panel discussion featuring Harry Brod, professor of sociology, anthropology and criminology, and Joan Thompson, sexual assault advocate and health educator. The panel will discuss sexual violence and ways to end it. Two sexual assault survivors will also be present to talk about their experiences.

Following the discussion, there will be a short sign-making session and a march from Seerley Hall to the Campanile.

"Take Back the Night is an important program to host because it helps raise awareness of the ways that sexual assault affects women on our own campus," said Susan Johnson, a student intern in the Women's and Gender Studies Program. "Hearing stories from sexual assault survivors and seeing UNI students march across campus really helps others realize that sexual assault is a problem that affects our own community, but we can do something to change it."

This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Feminist Action League, Wellness and Recreation Services and the Women's and Gender Studies Program. For more information, contact Catherine MacGillivray, director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program, at 319-273-7195 or

April 17, 2014 - 3:17pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Textiles and Apparel program (TAPP) will hold its 22nd annual design show, "Catwalk 22: Stripped," at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 26, in Lang Hall Auditorium on the UNI campus.

All students enrolled in TAPP classes this academic year were encouraged to design and construct original garments for the show. All entered pieces were juried by Stephanie Barness and Holly Humke-Williams, TAPP alumnae currently working for Eco Lips in Cedar Rapids and Powers Manufacturing in Waterloo. Garments were chosen for the runway based on details such as construction and creativity. Students were also responsible for promotion, stylization, set design, choreography and music for the show.

This year's design show was inspired by traditional runway shows and features a minimalist, back-to-basics theme.

The event is free and open to the public; doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Annette Lynch, professor in the School of Applied Human Sciences, at 319-273-3054 or

April 15, 2014 - 2:07pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- How can we educate men about sex and gender issues without blaming them for centuries of sexism and gender oppression? Nationally known anti-sexist activist Jackson Katz will address these issues head-on during "More Than a Few Good Men: A Lecture on American Manhood and Violence Against Women" at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24, in Sabin Hall, Room 002, on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Katz is the creator of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) anti-violence program, which is offered at UNI's Center for Violence Prevention.

"A vast majority of men, like their female peers, are uncomfortable and disturbed with the very high rates of sexual violence occurring on college campuses and in our communities," said Annette Lynch, director of UNI's Center for Violence Prevention. "Jackson Katz calls on these men to stand as allies with women to inspire others to work to prevent and end gender-based violence. This lecture is a wonderful opportunity for students, faculty and staff to meet the founder of the MVP program, providing background and inspiration for the MVP training that happens every semester here at UNI."

The MVP program has been used by thousands of students, high school student-athletes, college athletes and professional sports teams, such as the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Socks. The program diffuses the old understanding of male behaviors and attitudes toward gender violence and creates a new point of view on gender equality.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lynch at 319-273-3054 or

April 14, 2014 - 9:25am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "B.F.A. Group Exhibition" from Monday, April 28, through Saturday, May 10, on the main floor of the Kamerick Art Building. A reception for the exhibition will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, April 28, in the south lobby.

The artwork of eight UNI Bachelor of Fine Arts seniors will be displayed:

-Melissa Airy, Hiawatha, will present "Five Virgin Saints." These performance works of art depict what the female saints might have experienced while they were alive.

-Sarah Hedeen, Waverly, will present an exhibition of photographs that explore the role of flowers, specifically floral patterning, in the historical production of images.

-Sydney Honsbruch, Grinnell, will present "Connections to the Mundane," an exhibition of ceramic works that are observations about evolving social norms.

-Brock Jensen, Cedar Falls, will present "Objektophilie," an exhibition of abstract sculptures representing views of sexuality.

-Dusty Ann Kriegel, Coggon, will present "Tooth and Nail," an exhibition of paintings that considers nature, the American West and family. It centers on the containment of objects within a suspended, nondescript space conjuring feelings of isolation, order and balance.

-Mandey Lund, Newhall, will present "Meealaha: A Sacred Experience," performance works of art that seek to bring the artist's spiritual connections into powerful and poetic existence, which are meant to be gifts and blessings to the audience.

-Tommy Riefe, Davenport, will present "SPACETIME," an exhibition of sculpture and video inspired by astrological events. The sculptures are based on wormholes that create shortcuts through vast distances of space, and are an attempt to bridge the gap between Earth and the cosmos.

-Justine Wagner, Emmetsburg, will present "The Great Divide," an exhibition of paintings that examine metaphysical concepts of substance, time and space, which provoke viewers to consider their own existence by proposing questions about life, death and continuation.

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

April 14, 2014 - 9:32am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's International Dance Theatre (IDT) will present its annual spring show at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 26, and 2 p.m., Sunday, April 27, at Strayer-Wood Theatre on the UNI campus. This year's production is titled "Salute to the Silverscreen."

The dance troupe will perform a variety of dance styles from around the world, including traditional folk dance, modern styles of ballroom dance and one of the oldest Scottish dances on record. The show will also include dances to musical compositions from a variety of films, including "Moulin Rouge," "The Mask" and "The Hunger Games."

Tickets are $5 for students and $6 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the door or from members of IDT. To reserve tickets, email Tressa Glass, IDT officer, at For more information, contact Jason Schadt, instructor of health, physical education and leisure services, at

April 14, 2014 - 2:54pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education (CHGE) will host several events in honor of the Days of Remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust Wednesday, April 23, through Tuesday, April 29.

Beatrice Muchman, Holocaust survivor and author of "Never to Be Forgotten: A Young Girl's Holocaust Memoir," will present the sixth annual Norman Cohn Family Holocaust Remembrance and Education Lecture at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 23, in Sabin Hall, Room 002. Muchman's illustrated talk "Individual Responsibility … Then and Now" will recount her family's fate during the Holocaust - in particular, her years as a "hidden child" - and her path to reclaiming her religious identity. A question and answer session, book signing and reception will follow the lecture.

The acclaimed documentary "Nicky's Family" will be screened at no charge to school groups at 10 a.m., Monday, April 28, in the Great Hall of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. The documentary tells the story of Nicholas Winton, a young British stockbroker who rescued 669 children from Czechoslovakia just before the outbreak of World War II. Schools that would like to send a group of students to this event should contact the CHGE at 319-273-3870 or

The eighth annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in the Cedar Valley will take place at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 29, in the Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial St., Waterloo. The ceremony will feature a poster display, lighting of memorial candles and a musical performance. A screening of "Nicky's Family" will follow at approximately 7 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Stephen Gaies, director of UNI's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, at 319-273-3870 or, or visit

April 11, 2014 - 2:46pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Student Association has announced the Cedar Valley Nonprofit Award winners. Recipients will be honored at the 10th annual Cedar Valley Nonprofit Awards Luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, in the Commons Ballroom.

Award winners are as follows: Nonprofit Business Partner of the Year, Ferguson Enterprises; Robert Koob Award for Collaboration, Leader Valley, Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber; Nonprofit Board Member of the Year, Paul Kammerdiner, Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens; Gordon Mack Award for Student Leadership, Jenna Manders, Teen Trust, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa; New Nonprofit Employee of the Year, Megan Thompson, Boys and Girls Club; Legacy Award, Gloria Wilder, Boys and Girls Club; Nonprofit Staff Leader of the Year, Kathy McDonnell, Presbyterian Village; Exceptional Nonprofit of the Year, Volunteer Center of the Cedar Valley. Volunteer Center of the Cedar Valley will receive a cash gift of $1,000, sponsored by the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, in recognition for its outstanding efforts.

The Veridian Community Engagement Fellowship Awards will also be presented. These awards are given to honor UNI faculty members who have enriched the quality of life in the Cedar Valley by engaging the community in their research and teaching. Award winners are Ai Wen, instructor of biology, and Wendy Miller, assistant professor of art. UNI also selected and is awarding Kamyar Enshayan, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Education; Jennifer Cooley, associate professor of language and literatures; and Tim Kidd, associate professor of physics, for their community engagement efforts.

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance is a national certification program that prepares students to become the next generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector.

For more information, contact Julianne Gassman, director of the UNI Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, at or 319-273-2204.

April 10, 2014 - 9:51am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will celebrate environmental efforts during Earth Week, Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25. Earth Week is a campus-wide event that aims to involve the campus community in environmental action through a number of interactive and educational events.

On Monday, April 21, UNI students can participate in a Plastic Bag Exchange. Bring plastic grocery bags for recycling to Maucker Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and receive a sustainabile alternative. Students are also invited to participate in an evening of yoga, featuring certified UNI yoga instructors. Classes will be held at 5 and 5:30 p.m. in the Wellness and Recreation Center (WRC), Room 085. All participants who pre-register will receive a free water bottle. To register, visit 

An Earth Day celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, outside of Maucker Union. The event will feature educational booths, activities and free bike tune-ups. 

UNI Volunteer Tuesdays, Green Iowa AmeriCorps and the Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center (RRTTC) will partner for an Earth Day Highway Cleanup at 3:30 p.m., April 22, and a Campus Cleanup at 5:30 p.m. Volunteers should meet in Maucker Union. To register, visit 

A screening of the film "Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story" will take place at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, in the WRC, Room 252. The documentary tells the story of the unintended yet severe consequences of farming along the Mississippi River and the efforts to reverse this damage. 

The week will also include a bike ride on the trails around Cedar Falls at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 23. The ride will start and end at Mulligan's on 18th Street in Cedar Falls and will be lead by Cedar Valley Cyclists. Helmets are required and free T-shirts will be provided to participants who pre-register at 

Earth Week will conclude with a screening of "In Organics We Trust" at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 24, in the Center for Energy and Environmental Education, Room 115. A light lunch will be provided. A pop can/tab drive will also be set up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside Maucker Union.

The events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit UNI's RRTTC website at or the UNI sustainability website at


April 10, 2014 - 9:56am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Department of Physics will host the State of Iowa Physics Competition from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, April 17, in the McLeod Center.

Participating high school students qualified at regional competitions and represent the top teams from Area Education Agencies across the state. The competition is a series of five events that stress creativity, ingenuity and an understanding of physics-related ideas and is intended to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Events include the catapult, mousetrap car, toothpick bridge-building, soda straw arm and challenge problem.

For more information, contact Larry Escalada, professor of physics, at 319-273-2431 or

April 10, 2014 - 10:04am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Corey Dolgon, sociology professor at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, will use words and music to explore the role that folk songs play in the U.S. labor movement at his "singing lecture" at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 21, in the Interpreter's Theatre, Lang Hall, Room 40. The lecture will cover labor history from a multicultural perspective and examine the function of folk songs in workers' lives.

"Corey Dolgon's singing lecture tells us where we have been as a nation of workers, and why our labor history and this music is so relevant to our economic situation today," said Chris Martin, interim department head of the Department of Communication Studies. "Corey is incredibly entertaining. It turns out 'The 99 Percent' have the best music, too."

Dolgon, who has a Ph.D. in American Culture, is an expert in sociology and service learning. He has authored three books, including the forthcoming "Living Sociology: Social Problems, Service Learning, and Civic Engagement." His lecture is sponsored by UNI's Interpreters Theatre, Department of Communication Studies and College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Martin at 319-273-6118 or

April 10, 2014 - 1:24pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Every day, minority students can experience a number of microaggressions based on their gender, race, religion and other identities. Students will have the opportunity to share these experiences at the I2AmUNI event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, in the Maucker Union on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Participants will be able to write a story or phrase on a whiteboard and pose for a photo with it. Photos will be shared on I2AmUNI's social media profiles.

"The students are really behind the motto of this project, which is 'Validating personal experiences that are culturally invalidated," said Tabatha Cruz, program coordinator for UNI's Center for Multicultural Education and adviser for the I2AmUNI planning committee. "The push is to raise awareness and start a discussion on what it means to be inclusive. It is coming from a place of love and support in that we all want to make sure that all students are having a positive and healthy experience at UNI."

Inspired by the "I, Too, Am Harvard" campaign, the event was planned by a committee of student representatives from various multicultural student groups, including the Hispanic Latino Student Union, Art for El Salvador, the Department of Residence Inclusive Communities Team and the International Student Association. The event aims to represent microaggressions across all underrepresented groups at UNI. All members of the UNI community are invited to participate.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cruz at 319-273-2250 or


April 10, 2014 - 1:32pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The "best of the best" student performances from beginning and advanced performance classes in the University of Northern Iowa's Department of Communication Studies will be presented at the "Performance Power Hour" at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 17, in the Interpreters Theatre in Lang Hall, Room 040.

"The Performance Power Hour is a way for students to share with the public the work we do in the Performance Studies classroom. It is a celebration of a semester's worth of hard work," said Danielle McGeough, assistant professor in UNI's Department of Communication Studies. "The students have a blast and the energy is contagious."

Performers come from four courses: Oral Interpretation, Performance and Social Change, the graduate Seminar in Performance Studies, and Technology and Human Communication (Digital Culture). The show will feature a variety of pieces, including personal narratives, manifestos, interpretations of literature, digital remixes and experimental performances.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Danielle McGeough, assistant professor of communication studies, at 319-273-6985 or

April 10, 2014 - 1:37pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will hold a U.S. Citizenship Ceremony at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, in the Maucker Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

At the event, 100 people from 36 different countries, including Australia, Bosnia, Vietnam and India will become American citizens. "It is an honor for UNI to be chosen to host this unique ceremony," said Mark Grey, professor and director of the UNI New Iowans Center. "We hope many people from the Cedar Valley will join us for this moving ceremony."

For additional information, contact Grey at 319-273-6496 or