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News Release Archive

February 23, 2016 - 4:12pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's College of Education will host the second annual Education Summit on Thursday and Friday, March 10 and 11, in Maucker Union. International, national, and regional scholars and leaders in education will discuss current research, practices and policies.

This year's summit theme, "Necessary Connectedness: The New Edge of Education," will focus on four primary strands: literacy education, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, teacher leadership and diversity.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, March 10, participants will hear from keynote speakers and engage in breakout sessions. A reception and lecture by Sonia Nieto, professor emerita of language, literacy and culture in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, will follow from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday. Additional keynote speakers and breakout sessions are scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m., Friday, March 11, including Sen. Herman Quirmbach.

Featured speakers for the summit include:

- Gene Hall, professor of educational leadership at the University of Florida, University of Northern Colorado and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Hall is an internationally renowned scholar in the areas of teacher education and developing teacher leaders. He will discuss developing teacher leaders.

- Gale Sinatra, associate dean for research and professor of educations and psychology in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Sinatra is former vice president of the Learning and Instruction division of the American Education Research Association. She will discuss hot topics in STEM education, particularly conceptual change.

- Peter Afflerbach, professor of reading in the College of Education at the University of Maryland. Afflerbach is a member of the International Reading Association's Hall of Fame and editor of the "Handbook of Individual Differences in Reading."

- Nedra Crow, professor and co-chair of the teacher education department at National University in San Diego. Crow has an academic background in curriculum and instruction design as well as teacher education. She will discuss new teacher work environments.

- Sen. Herman Quirmbach, chair for the Senate Education Committee and vice chair of the Education Appropriations Subcommittee in the Iowa Legislature. In addition, Quirmbach represents the Senate on the College Student Aid Commission and the School Finance Formula Review committee, among other duties.

This event is designed for educators, administrators, policy makers, community leaders, teacher preparation leaders, pre-service teachers and others with a direct link to education in Iowa and the nation. Registration is $50 and is required; UNI students, faculty and staff can attend the summit for free. Nieto's lecture on Thursday evening is free and open to the public as part of the Education Lecture Series.

For complete details, including the registration form, schedule, details on the featured speakers and a campus map, visit

February 18, 2016 - 12:40pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Sean Botkin, School of Music faculty artist and associate professor of piano at the University of Northern Iowa, will make his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Wednesday, Feb. 24. The concert will held at 8 p.m. in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Botkin has appeared at Carnegie Hall twice previously as a featured artist, but this will be his first solo engagement at the historic venue.

“I’m excited to perform because this is my official solo debut at Carnegie Hall,” Botkin said. “I attended Juilliard in New York and have looked forward to this – so it’s very exciting to me.”

The performance at Carnegie Hall is a highlight in Botkin’s already impressive career, which, in addition to his appearances in New York, has included an engagement at the esteemed Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

“Botkin’s performance is a strong testament to the outstanding faculty members teaching at UNI who continue to inspire students for their future professional performing and teaching careers,” John Vallentine, director of the UNI School of Music, said. “Botkin is an exceptional artist who not only performs frequently at UNI, but at important venues around the globe.”

The concert repertoire that Botkin has selected will feature music rarely performed, including Prokofiev’s “Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 1” and Rachmaninoff’s “Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28.” The program will also feature the infrequently performed “Sonata No. 16 in G major, Op. 31 No. 1” by Beethoven, and the slightly more common “Scherzo No. 4” by Chopin. Botkin has noted that, for this performance, he chose pieces that audiences may not hear as often.

Prior to Botkin’s Carnegie Hall performance, UNI alumni currently living in the New York City area will gather for a reunion dinner. “It means a lot to me to connect with UNI alumni in New York and to present this concert knowing that they’ll be a part of the audience,” Botkin said.

Botkin has already planned a return visit to Carnegie Hall for 2017. He will perform another solo recital on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, and is considering including a chamber music aspect to this future performance.

For more information on Botkin, this performance or other School of Music events and activities, contact Caroline Francis at 319-273-2028 or

February 15, 2016 - 4:44pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- James W. Loewen will deliver a lecture titled "How Iowa was a Leader in Race Relations and How it Can Be One Again" at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Seerley Hall, Room 115, on the University of Northern Iowa campus. This lecture is in honor of Black History Month as well as the late UNI professor of history, John D. Baskerville.

Loewen is an American sociologist, historian and author of several books, including "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" and "Sundown Towns." He attended Carleton College and received his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. He has taught at Tougaloo College, and for 20 years taught about racism at the University of Vermont. Currently, he is a visiting professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The lecture is sponsored by UNI's Senate Speaker Series Fund, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Multicultural Education and Department of History.

For more information, contact Judy Dohlman, secretary in the history department, at 319-271-2097 or

February 15, 2016 - 4:47pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter will host an event featuring Karmen Johnson, a public relations expert from Seattle, Washington.

Johnson has more than 20 years of experience working in public relations, corporate communications and creative services. Her diverse career includes in-house communications positions with Starbucks and Expedia, Inc. She also worked in the Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago offices of Edelman, the world's largest public relations agency.

Johnson will cover a variety of topics during her presentation, including: professional tips for obtaining a job after graduation, insights on how the public relations world is changing and samples of her previous work.

Johnson will speak at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22, in Lang Hall Auditorium. Attendees will have the opportunity to answer trivia questions and win door prizes throughout the event. Johnson's presentation is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Mallory Feeney, chapter president, UNI PRSSA, at 563-542-8299 or  

February 12, 2016 - 9:09am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The UNI Gallery of Art will present the documentary, “Jackson Pollock’s Mural: The Story of a Modern Masterpiece,” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Kamerick Art Building (KAB), Room 111.

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Kevin Kelley, the film’s producer and director, proposed the project because of his love of art and passion for the new University of Iowa Museum of Art. Kelley described the film as a “film about a journey – the journey of how one painting changed the course of modern American art over seventy years ago, and the painting’s journey around the world after a disastrous flood destroyed its home.” Ben Hill, executive producer; Kirk Murray, director of photography; and Dana Telsrow, assistant editor and graphics animator, along with Kelley and others from the University of Iowa Office of Strategic Communication, worked on the film for over a year.

A question and answer session will begin immediately following the screening, where guests may interact with Kelley and UI Museum of Art Director Sean O’Harrow.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Darrell Taylor, director of the UNI Gallery of Art, at 319-273-6134 or

February 12, 2016 - 4:15pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center will host the Imago Theatre's "ZooZoo" performance at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26.

Imago Theatre is best known for FROGZ and internationally acclaimed for its special brand of vaudeville, comedy, acrobatics and illusions. Their performance "ZooZoo" has everything from sleeping hippos, cuddly polar bears, overly competitive penguins, fancy-restaurant-patronizing anteaters, slithering snakes, lethargic frogs and frisky rabbits. It is imaginatively choreographed, with synchronization and acrobatics to provide a wonderfully wacky show, perfect for the whole family.

This is a Buck A Show, offering kids' tickets for just $1. Ticket prices for adults begin at $19. Tickets can be purchased at any UNItix location, at or by calling 319-273-4849. UNI students must bring their school ID to the Gallagher Bluedorn box office to receive their free ticket.

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

February 12, 2016 - 4:24pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center will host the Tony Award-winning musical "Once" at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 21.

Featuring an ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments on stage, "Once" tells the enchanting tale off a Dublin street musician who is about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights, but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance.

Ticket prices for "Once" begin at $26 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, at or by calling 319-273-4849. UNI students must bring their school ID to the Gallagher Bluedorn box office to receive their free ticket.

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

February 11, 2016 - 10:00am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Christopher Edginton, a professor of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services at the University of Northern Iowa, is being interviewed by NBC Nightly News for a segment that will air at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12 on NBC. (Editor's Note: The segment has been pushed back to next week. The new night and time has not been announced yet.)

Earlier this week, Edginton was featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal. The article details how Edginton, 69 years old, suffered from high cholesterol, in spite of an improved diet and cholesterol-lowering medication. Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a preventive cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic who has been treating Edginton, determined that reducing work-related stress was the key to lowering his cholesterol.

NBC Nightly News will be interviewing both Edginton and Dr. Kopecky to discuss Edginton’s issues with stress and cholesterol and how other people can apply the lessons from his experience to improve their own personal health.

“I am hopeful that, by sharing my story and what has transpired here in my life, it will provide opportunities for other people to deal with stressors and other concerns that they may have,” Edginton said. “By sharing it, I want to make sure that people have the opportunity to learn from my life experience.”

Edginton has experienced noticeable physical and mental improvements after scaling back his administrative responsibilities, resigning leadership posts in various professional organizations and reducing his workload to one teaching position.

February 9, 2016 - 11:39am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host UNI Day at the Statehouse from 1 to 3 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22, at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. The event will highlight UNI programs and inform legislators about the impact UNI has on the state.

"UNI Day at the Capitol is a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase why UNI is so valuable to the state of Iowa," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "The number of students, faculty and alumni that volunteer to engage with legislators and advocate on our behalf at the Statehouse is a testament to the passion that people have for this great university. We had a terrific turnout last year, and I'm looking forward to another successful UNI Day this year."

At UNI Day at the Capitol, students, faculty and staff will showcase interactive displays highlighting various UNI programs, departments and organizations. Alumni are encouraged to attend to reconnect with their university and speak with their elected officials about the value of UNI.

For more information, contact Mary Braun, UNI state relations officer, at 319-273-6144 or

February 8, 2016 - 10:54am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – University of Northern Iowa students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends are joining forces to impact current and future UNI students by participating in We Are One UNI.We Are One logo

Weeklong philanthropy events will be held Feb. 22 through 26.

- Feb. 22 through 23. The campus community will be informed about the impact philanthropy has had at UNI through student participation, visuals posted around campus and social media posts.

- Feb. 24 is the second annual day of giving. The initiative will last 24 hours, from 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24, through 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 25. The first day of giving was held in December 2014. More than 480 donors raised $134,389. Participation-based challenges will be announced throughout the day on Feb. 24.

- Feb. 25 through 26. Students, faculty and staff will thank alumni and friends of the university for their generosity with handwritten thank you cards.

For more information, visit Follow We Are One UNI on Facebook at or Twitter at

February 8, 2016 - 2:14pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa Community Music School (CMS) has announced its spring schedule of classes. The CMS is an outreach program of the UNI School of Music and offers year-round music and fine arts curriculum for pre-kindergarten through senior citizens.

All classes, lessons, rehearsals and performances are given on campus in UNI School of Music facilities. Professional music educators, performers and School of Music students comprise the staff at the CMS.

Registration for the following classes is accepted throughout the year:

CMS Private Lessons in Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion and Keyboard for Kindergarten through Adults. Beginning through advanced level students broaden their musical horizons with weekly individual lessons that may begin anytime during the year. For more information, contact Nicole Green at 319-273-3160 or

Improv One for Grades 4 through 12. Improv One is a new program starting this spring. Using folk songs as models, participants will learn to creatively embellish a simple melody, understand elementary harmony, and play in traditional and swing styles during the eight-week group classes. All instruments are welcome (pianos will be furnished). Students will be placed into grade appropriate groups. Session dates are from Monday, March 7, through Wednesday, May 4. For more information, contact Green at 319-273-3160 or

CMS Organ Studio for Youth and Adults. The Organ Studio is a new collaboration between the CMS and the UNI School of Music organ faculty. All weekly private lessons -- youth and adult -- take place on the Wolff Concert Organ in Jebe Hall on the UNI campus. No prior organ experience is required for either youth or adult students, but youth should have completed at least two years of piano study and adult students should have at least a moderate level of piano proficiency. For more information, contact Mariko Morita at

UNI Children’s Choir for Youth Grades 2 through 9. UNI Children’s Choir (UNICC) is a performing vocal ensemble that provides opportunities for children to have fun while learning basic vocal development skills in preparation for high quality concerts. Loving to sing is a prerequisite! Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings. The UNICC Spring Concert is scheduled for Friday, May 6. For more information, contact Crystal Waltz at

UNI New Horizons Band for Adults 50 Years and Older. UNI New Horizons Band is for adults who love music and want to play in a concert band. Members range from beginners through advanced players. New Horizons Band rehearses twice a week and presents winter, spring and summer concerts. For more information, contact Diana Blake at 319-352-3007 or

For more information about all UNI Community Music School programs, please visit the CMS website,

For more information regarding the spring schedule of classes for the CMS, contact Cindi Mason, Director of the Community Music School, at 319-273-2142 or

February 5, 2016 - 12:33pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Student Association will be hosting the 12th annual Cedar Valley Nonprofit Awards Luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 6, in the UNI Commons Ballroom. The event will recognize the contributions of local nonprofits and nonprofit leaders.

Awards are available for individuals and organizations. Award categories include Business Partner of the Year, Nonprofit Staff Leader of the Year, Nonprofit Board Member of the Year, Koob Award for Collaboration, Gordon Mack Award for Student Leadership, Legacy Award, New Nonprofit Employee of the Year and Exceptional Nonprofit of the Year. The New Nonprofit Employee of the Year will receive a one-year membership to the Cedar Valley Nonprofit Association, and the organization recognized as the Exceptional Nonprofit of the Year will receive a cash gift of $1,000 sponsored by the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa in recognition for their outstanding efforts.

Any person may submit a nomination and there is no limit to the number of nominations that can be submitted. Nominations are due by Tuesday, March 1st. Nomination forms are available at the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance website,

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

February 4, 2016 - 1:56pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The eighth annual Darwin Week will be held on the University of Northern Iowa campus Monday, Feb. 8 through Thursday, Feb. 11. The event is hosted by University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers and Inquirers (UNI), a student organization for skeptics, atheists, agnostics and freethinkers. The group is dedicated to community, intellectual engagement, activism and service.

Darwin Week is entirely organized by students and focuses on different aspects of life, science, nature and culture. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature different speakers throughout the week, centering around the themes of Science, Skepticism, and Religion. In addition to daily lectures from UNI faculty members, keynote lectures will be held each night at 7 p.m. in the Center for Multicultural Education in Maucker Union.

This year’s keynote speakers are as follows:

- Dr. Rebecca Goldstein, an American philosopher, novelist and public intellectual, will serve as the keynote lecturer on Monday, Feb. 8.

- Steve O’Kane, professor of biology, and Jerome Soneson, professor of philosophy and head of the philosophy department, will deliver a combined presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

- Robert Wallace from the University of Iowa will deliver a lecture on the topic of epidemiology on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

- Michael Shermer, an American science writer, science historian, founder of The Skeptics Society and editor-in-chief of Skeptic magazine, will speak about skepticism on Thursday, Feb. 11. 

“Darwin Week is a great way to learn about a variety of specialized topics from experts in the field,” said Jesse Moeller, Director of Public Relations and co-organizer of Darwin Week.  “This event is a wonderful contribution to the intellectual dialogue on campus. It’s a way to help people think critically and appreciate knowledge. The open door speaking format of Darwin Week invites people to learn about the world around us, a very valuable contribution that isn’t always executed in classes on a college campus.”

Darwin Week was first created to commemorate the work of Charles Darwin and his notable contributions to the field of science, but has since expanded to include different aspects, such as diversity and sexuality.

For more information, visit, or contact Jesse Moeller, director of public relations for UNIFI, at 563-579-5666 or

February 4, 2016 - 2:55pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The Spring Job and Internship Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the McLeod Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus. More than 120 employers, organizations and nonprofits will be there to network with UNI students and alumni, as well as discuss internships and full-time jobs. Attendees are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume to share with company and organization representatives.

"The UNI Job and Internship Fair has launched numerous careers over the years. The event is highly regarded, as employers love to work with the UNI community," said Matt Nuese, associate director of Career Services. "As a team connecting students to a career, we like the event because it's a kickoff to the recruiting season!"

The Spring Job and Internship Fair is organized and sponsored by Career Services. For more information about the Career Fair, to search the online database of employers or to submit your resume for critique, visit

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

February 2, 2016 - 7:55am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Rod Library and Student Disability Services will host "The New Asylums: Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System," as part of the Reaching for Higher Ground "And Justice for All" series. The event will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Center for Multicultural Education (CME), on UNI's campus.

According to Frontline producers, there are nearly 500,000 mentally ill men and women serving time in U.S. jails and prisons, while fewer than 55,000 Americans currently receive treatment in psychiatric hospitals. Challenges faced within the criminal justice and mental health systems will be addressed in the discussion.

Steven Onken, associate professor of social work, will facilitate an audience discussion with panelists from local mental and criminal justice systems. Panelists include Al Hays, UNI emeritus professor in public policy; Thomas Eachus, UnityPoint/Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center; Marvin Spencer, First Judicial District Dept. of Correctional Services; and Lacey Combs, a UNI social work masters student interning at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women.

Excerpts from a video titled "The Released" will be shown that contain some graphic language and imagery.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend. People with a disability who require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program are encouraged to contact Susan Basye, assistant director of administration and planning, Rod Library, at 319-273-2737 or at least one week prior to the event.

For more information about the film and discussion, contact Barb Weeg, collection strategist librarian and associate professor, Rod Library, at 319-273-3705 or

February 1, 2016 - 8:17am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa’s Black Student Union will hold numerous events throughout the month of February to celebrate Black History Month.

Some highlights include:

- Tejumola “Teju” Ologboni, a storyteller, folklorist and oral historian, will be sharing stories and poems drawn from African traditions and African American history and folklore at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, in the Central for Multicultural Education.

- An open panel discussion on “African Americans in the Workplace” with African American professionals from UNI and the Cedar Valley community will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, in Room 115 in Seerley Hall.

- The Tunnel of Oppression will be held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Lang Hall basement classrooms. Each room will show a reenactment of modern-day oppression of minorities, such as racial profiling and displays in the media.

- A trivia night that focuses on the contributions African Americans have made throughout history will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Room 133 in Sabin Hall.

- Rasheed Cromwell will be holding a nationally recognized workshop that will challenge traditional thinking and leave participants with an action plan for improving themselves and the diversity experience on campus. This workshop will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Center for Multicultural Education.

- The Toast for Change, a formal campus celebration acknowledging the positive changes in our culture and on the UNI campus, will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, in the Commons Ballroom

All events are open to the public and free for UNI students, faculty and staff. For more information on any of the events, contact Jada Jackson, president of UNI’s Black Student Union, at

February 1, 2016 - 8:21am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center will host "An Evening With Garrison Keillor" at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15, on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Garrison Keillor is an American author, storyteller, humorist and radio personality. He is known for hosting the Minnesota Public Radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion." Keillor will share hilarious anecdotes about growing up in the American Midwest, the people of Lake Wobegon and "late-life fatherhood." Keillor blends a dry sense of humor with music to captivate audiences using his unique brand of comedy, class, charisma and wisdom. Keillor's long-time musical director and pianist, Rich Dworsky, will join him on stage.

Ticket prices for "An Evening With Garrison Keillor" begin at $26 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, at or by calling 319-273-4849. UNI students must bring their school ID to the Gallagher Bluedorn box office to receive their free ticket.

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

January 29, 2016 - 10:01am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- "Annie," one of the world's best-loved family musicals, will be performed at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14, on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

"Annie" is directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro. The musical tells the story of a remarkable redhead and her relentlessly optimistic pursuit of her dreams. This performance of the musical will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic original, and includes well-known songs "It's A Hard-Knock Life," "Easy Street," "I Don't Need Anything But You" and "Tomorrow."

Ticket prices for the "Annie" performance start at $26 and can be purchased at any UNItix locations, at or by calling 319-273-4849. UNI students must bring their school ID to the Gallagher Bluedorn box office to receive their free ticket.

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

January 29, 2016 - 10:05am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is offering admitted students and their guests a sneak peek at campus during one-day visits on Friday, Feb. 12 and 26, called “UNI Up Close.” UNI Up Close functions as an open house that provides prospective students with the opportunity to speak with faculty and staff, visit residence halls, learn more about financial aid, and get an in-depth look at UNI.

Students and guests will attend academic workshops, departmental and campus tours, the UNI majors and Student Activities Fair and various open houses, including the Residence Halls and Rod Library.

For more information, visit Admissions at or contact Jenny Connolly, assistant director of admissions, at 319-273-2281 or

January 28, 2016 - 9:08am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The 10th annual African-American Read-In will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, in Maucker Union on the University of Northern Iowa campus. There will be two featured guests at the event: Angela Johnson and Nothando Zulu.

Johnson is an award-winning American children's poetry book author. She began her writing career in 1989 with the publication of a picture book called "Tell Me a Story, Mama," which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award in 1991. She currently has 40 books to her credit, many of which have also won awards.

Zulu has been a master storyteller for more than 30 years. She is the founder of the Black Storytellers Alliance of Minnesota and has also won numerous awards. Through her storytelling, she educates her audiences about African and African-American culture.

More than 500 first-grade students will participate in the read-in. TC and TK will be available to have their photo taken with students.

For more information, visit www.vpaf.uni.eduaac/readin.shtml or contact Gloria Holmes, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, at 319-273-2007 or

January 27, 2016 - 2:55pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation’s Dream Big Grow Here (DBGH) grant contest is extending the application deadline to Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Each year, tens of thousands of dollars are awarded to Iowa business owners and entrepreneurs.

The competition includes an online application and voting followed by an in-person industry specific pitch-off. DBGH offers six industry contests, including AG Innovation, Hospitality/Restaurants, Manufacturing/Bioscience, Information Technology, Pre-Revenue and Retail/Professional Services. All well-established and starting Iowa small businesses are encouraged to apply. 

Industry winners will win $5,000 and be announced at EntreFest 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa, in mid-May. If you need assistance completing your application or are interested in applying, visit and begin your journey.

UNI’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation Dream Big Grow Here program was created to engage and educate small business owners through a network of connections. They offer expertise in technology, network building, and positive publicity to assist small businesses in reaching their full potential.

For more information, please contact Patrick Luensmann, program manager for the Center for Business Growth and Innovation, at 319-273-4335 or

January 26, 2016 - 1:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Accounting students at the University of Northern Iowa are providing free income tax assistance again this year through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Assistance in the preparation of tax returns will be available on Monday and Wednesday nights from Feb. 8 through April 6, excluding March 14 and 16 of Spring Break week. Returns for foreign students and scholars will be prepared beginning Monday, March 7. Returns are being prepared from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with registration taking place in Room 223 of the Curris Business Building on the UNI campus. No appointment is necessary. Room 223 will open at 6:30 p.m. You are encouraged to arrive early to allow students sufficient time to complete your return. Only a limited number of returns will be completed each night.

VITA was established by the Internal Revenue Service to help low income taxpayers who may find it difficult to pay for tax preparation services. The program also provides accounting students an experiential learning opportunity as they work with taxpayers.

Students will be available to electronically prepare and e-file federal and Iowa tax returns for eligible taxpayers. Accounting students have completed a one-semester comprehensive tax course, plus additional training for IRS certification, and have access to a variety of federal and state reference materials.

Taxpayers seeking assistance should bring: Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents; valid photo identification; a copy of last year’s tax returns; Form W-2, "Wage and Tax Statement," from each employer; Forms 1099, for such things as interest, dividends or retirement payments; a list of other income and expenses; Form 1098-E, student loan interest statement; Form 1098-T, tuition payment statement (also bring institution billing statement); banking information (account and routing numbers) for automatic deposit of refund; and all other information pertinent to your 2015 tax return. As part of a new requirement, clients will be asked about health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents. If your insurance is from the Health Insurance Marketplace, please bring a Form 1095-A statement.

For more information, contact the UNI Department of Accounting at 319-273-2394.

January 26, 2016 - 4:16pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – UNIBusiness will be holding four informational sessions in Mason City for those interested in enrolling in a remote UNI MBA program on the North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) campus.

Remote MBA programs are designed to offer a classroom experience for prospective MBA students unable to commute to the University of Northern Iowa campus.

The first two informational sessions will be held at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Stockman House located at 530 First St. NE in Mason City. The final two sessions will be held at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in Activity Center Room #101 on the NIACC campus.

Remote MBA programs require predetermined interest before classes can be held off campus. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, at least two years of work experience and a satisfactory GMAT score are required for admission. Please apply at before the deadline on June 24.

Classes would begin in August, and would be held on Friday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit, or contact Sara Kies, marketing and communications manager for the College of Business Administration, at 319-273-3309 or

January 25, 2016 - 8:28am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Cloud Cult, an experimental chamber rock band from the Midwest, will perform at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center as part of the HANDPICKED music series at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Cloud Cult is an independent band that has sold more than 100,000 albums via their own label, Earthology Records, which was created by lead singer and songwriter Craig Minowa. Cloud Cult has been involved in the eco-friendly movement, helping co-develop the now-popular recycled paperboard CD cases while also creating models for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for touring bands.

Along with their eco-friendly practices, Cloud Cult is known for having philosophical and spiritual lyrics. Their live show features two painters whose art is auctioned off at the end of the night. Along with painters, Cloud Cult's shows feature a full band complete with violin, cello, trumpet, trombone and French horn.

Ticket prices for the Cloud Cult performance are $25 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, at or by calling 319-273-4849. UNI students must bring their school ID to the Gallagher Bluedorn box office to receive their free ticket.

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

January 25, 2016 - 8:30am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Minguet Quartett will be accompanied by guest pianist Andreas Klein in their performance at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5, on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

The Minguet Quartett is widely recognized as one of Europe's finest quartets and incorporates classic music to inspire audiences. Their mission is to make the fine arts accessible to the masses, and they accomplish this with a thoughtful blend of old and new music. Guest pianist Andreas Klein contributes a wide range of tonal colors and imaginative interpretations to the performance. Audiences will sit onstage with the performers for a unique chamber music experience.

Ticket prices for the Minguet Quartett performance are $49 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, at or by calling 319-273-4849. UNI students must bring their school ID to the Gallagher Bluedorn box office to receive their free ticket.

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

January 25, 2016 - 8:32am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- "The Price is Right Live!" will be held at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8, on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

"The Price is Right Live!" is a staged production show based on the long-running game show "The Price is Right," and allows contestants the chance to win a share of extravagant prizes. There will be classic games, including the Big Wheel and the Showcase.

You must be 18 years or older to participate. Ticket holders must register to be a contestant on the show. Visit the registration area at the Gallagher Bluedorn up to three hours prior to show time. Ticket prices start at $26 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, at or by calling 319-273-4849. UNI students must bring their school ID to the Gallagher Bluedorn box office to receive their free ticket. 

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

January 25, 2016 - 1:23pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Andrew Hartman will conduct a lecture on “The Culture Wars: The New Left and the Rise of the Neoconservatives in America” on Friday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. in Seerley Hall, Room 115, on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

In his talk, Hartman will cover the radical political mobilizations of the 1960s and the destabilization of normative America by the emergence of the New Left, which in turn led to the rise of a group of reactionaries who came to be called ‘neoconservatives.’ That struggle between New Leftists and neoconservatives is what Hartman refers to as the dialectic of sixties cultural revolution.

Hartman is currently an associate professor of history at Illinois State University. He is also the author of two books: “Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School,” and “A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars.” Hartman was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark for the 2013-14 academic year and is currently a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians (OAH). He is one of the original bloggers for the award-winning US Intellectual History Blog, and he is also the founding president of the Society for US Intellectual History.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Jerome Soneson, department head and associate professor for the UNI Department of Philosophy and World Religions, at 319-273-6221 or

January 25, 2016 - 5:01pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – TheatreUNI will present “The Glass Menagerie” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25; Friday, Feb. 26; Saturday, Feb. 27; Friday, March 4; Saturday, March 5; and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 28 and Sunday, March 6, in the Strayer-Wood Theatre on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Tennessee William’s “The Glass Menagerie” is an enduring classic of American theatre. It premiered in a legendary production, starring Laurette Taylor as Amanda, in Chicago in 1944. The production then moved to Broadway, where it won the New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award in 1945. Since that time, the play has been regularly revived around the world and in New York. The latest New York City revival was in 2013, starring Cherry Jones as Amanda and Zachary Quinto as Tom.

“The Glass Menagerie” is the third offering of the Strayer-Wood Theatre’s 2015-16 season. Richard Glockner, associate professor of theatre, is director of the production. Scenic design is by Mark A. Parrott, associate professor of theatre. Costume design is by Jennifer Shesko Wood, assistant professor of theatre. Lighting design is by Eric Lange, head of the theatre department. The production stage manager is Jake Barnwell.

Tickets are $18-22 and can be purchased at the Strayer-Wood Theatre box office, at or by calling by 319-273-6381. The theatre box office is open from noon to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

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

January 22, 2016 - 10:37am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Gaëtane Jean-Marie has been named dean of the College of Education and the Richard O. Jacobson Endowed Chair of Leadership in Education at the University of Northern Iowa. Jean-Marie will assume her new duties on June 30. The appointment is contingent upon approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, at its June meeting.


"Jean-Marie will bring a strong background in educational leadership to UNI," said Jim Wohlpart, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. "She has more than $2 million in funded grants, has co-authored two books and co-edited four others, and has many article and conference presentations. Her leadership philosophy is inclusive, innovative and data-informed, and she cares first and foremost about students and student learning, which is very important at UNI."

Jean-Marie is currently a professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. She earned her Ph.D. in leadership and cultural studies from the University of North Carolina and an M.A. in criminal justice and B.A. in political science from Rutgers University.

Prior to her current position, she was the program coordinator for Educational Leadership at the University of Oklahoma. She has also held leadership roles at Florida International University and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Jean-Marie replaces Dwight Watson, who left UNI in May 2015 to be the provost at Southwest Minnesota State University. Victoria Robinson, head of the Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education, has been serving as interim dean of the College of Education.

January 19, 2016 - 10:54am


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance recently presented the University of Northern Iowa with the prestigious Campus Program Excellence Award. The awards presentation took place at the 43rd annual Alliance Management Institute from Jan. 3-5, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston. The Institute is an educational conference geared toward students planning a career in the nonprofit sector.

The Campus Program Excellence Award is presented each year to an affiliated college or university that has demonstrated a commitment to running an exceptional Alliance program on its campus.

“We really examine all aspects of the program. We want to recognize those campuses that excel in developing current and relevant coursework, meaningful nonprofit internship and employment opportunities, and strong connections between the campus and the local nonprofit community,” says Susan T. Schmidt, CNP, president of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. “University of Northern Iowa was selected based on the quality of its program, its community outreach, and the exceptional experience it provides students.”

One way that UNI demonstrates excellence is through the service it provides to the local community. During the spring semester of 2015, UNI students facilitated trainings to assist local nonprofits, taught children how to give back to their community, engaged families in the community in activities to promote health and well-being, raised money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the United Way, and recognized the work of local nonprofits through the annual awards banquet.

Students from UNI were also recognized during the conference for their poster session presentations. The poster session program at the Alliance Management Institute is designed to allow students to showcase either a best practice from their campus student association or research conducted in one or more of the Alliance competency areas. Students present their poster in front of a panel of judges.

  • Second Place, Undergraduate Research: Heaven Connelly, Sarah Hanson, Andrew Juarez, Brittany Suchanek
  • Second Place, Graduate Research: Carley Johnston, Rachel Patterson, Fallan Stark, Kelsey Umthun

The 2016 honorees were chosen by an awards selection committee comprised of key Alliance stakeholders, including affiliated faculty members, alumni, nonprofit partners, board members and sponsors. The selection of the award recipients was based on specific criteria for each respective award.

Since 1948, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance has worked to strengthen the social sector with a talented, prepared workforce. Its Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential is the only national nonprofit management certification in the U.S. The Alliance system, which includes 37 colleges and universities, 14 national nonprofit partners and more than 9,000 CNPs, is the largest network in the country working to build a talent pipeline for the social sector.

January 15, 2016 - 8:29am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Dr. Richard Deming will visit the University of Northern Iowa and give a presentation on "Finding Meaning and Purpose in the Face of Adversity." He will speak at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, in Lang Hall Auditorium.

Dr. Deming is the medical director of Mercy Cancer Center in Des Moines and was awarded the Lane Adams Award by the American Cancer Society for excellence and compassion in patient care. He was also the recipient of "the one hundred" Award by Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Iowa Cancer Champion Award for his efforts in the field of advocacy.

Dr. Deming is the founder of Above + Beyond Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the lives of those touched by cancer, and has led cancer survivors on mind, body and spirit pilgrimages to Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu.

The event is free and open to the public, and is being sponsored by UNI's Colleges Against Cancer. For more information, contact Katie Knudsen, UNI Relay For Life survivor and caregiver engagement chair, at 712-210-4306 or

January 15, 2016 - 1:51pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The "Diversity Means…" art exhibit will be set up at the Rod Library on the University of Northern Iowa's campus during the month of February. The exhibit will be installed on the main floor of Rod Library, and artwork will be published on the library's website,  

UNI students, faculty and staff, as well as Cedar Valley artists, are invited to submit artwork for the exhibit. Artwork comes in a wide range of mediums. Submissions can be digital, paint, ink, pencil, charcoal, crayons, photography, collage, poetry or small 3-D objects. Artists are encouraged to write a personal narrative about their artwork.

Deadline for submissions is Jan. 28, 2016. For more information, contact Julie Ann Beddow, Rod Library assistant, at 319-273-6252 or

January 15, 2016 - 1:53pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Culture and Intensive English Program (CIEP) is currently hosting 16 students from Korea National University of Education (KNUE) and Kyungpook National University (KNU) for a CIEP immersion program with a focus on multiculturalism.

Two administrators from KNUE and KNU are visiting UNI's CIEP as part of the Global Teacher's College (GTU) in Korea. The administrators and students have come to UNI with the primary goal of learning how to teach in diverse classrooms. Korea is just starting to experience more diversity in their classrooms, and this program focuses mainly on preparing these pre-service teachers to be successful in a global world.

The program will include observing multicultural classrooms in local schools, participating in conversation partner activities, and attending customized seminars and lectures from UNI faculty members. Participants will also connect with other professionals in the area that have experience teaching and working with multicultural groups, such as the Multicultural Teaching Alliance.

For more information about CIEP's Immersion Program, contact the UNI Culture and Intensive English Program at 319-273-2182 or

January 15, 2016 - 4:48pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host “Elect Her – Panther Women Win” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23, in the Old Central Ballroom in Maucker Union. Campus Women Win is a national program that encourages and prepares college women to run for student government and political office. This marks the second consecutive year UNI has served as a host for this workshop.

The goal of the workshop is to encourage more women to run for elected office in the future by helping them develop the skills and confidence necessary to succeed in student government and other leadership positions. 

Campaign strategy, diversity in leadership, and communication and public speaking strategies are among the topics that will be covered. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from speakers, participate in breakout discussions regarding the role of women in government and also network with female leaders from around the community.

The list of guest speakers and workshop leaders include: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, State Rep. Timi Brown-Powers, State Rep. Abby Finkenauer, Claire Celsi of The Public Relations Project, Angie Widner, NISG President Katie Evans, UNI Provost Jim Wohlpart and a representative from UNI’s National Coalition Building Institute. Chonya Johnson, a Washington, D.C. consultant and UNI alumna, will serve as the workshop’s facilitator.

The program is sponsored by the UNI Department of Political Science, with additional funding from AAUW – Cedar Falls and the NISG’s Diversity Matters Fund. Training is free for students; breakfast and lunch will be provided. For more information or to register, visit or contact Rachel Gregory, student liaison for Campus Women Win, at

January 14, 2016 - 4:24pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- John Len Wiles, associate professor in the UNI School of Music, and Susan Hill, professor in the UNI Department of Philosophy and World Religions, will present "Vox Peregrini: Transforming the Musical Ensemble Through Pilgrimage." The presentation will be held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, in Russell Hall, Room 116, on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

"All of the major world religions value the pilgrimage or spiritual journey for its transformative effects on individuals and cultures," said Hill. "In June 2015, John Wiles led a group of musicians on a pilgrimage following The Wicklow Way in Ireland. Walking for hours every day, rehearsing along the route and performing at the end of the journey was exhilarating, exhausting and life changing."

During the presentation, attendees will experience music, pictures and words as they explore the multifaceted connections between music and pilgrimage.

For more information on this presentation or the UNI School of Music, contact Caroline Francis, UNI School of Music communications and operations coordinator, at 319-273-2028 or

January 12, 2016 - 3:49pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Teams of UNIBusiness MBA students at the University of Northern Iowa will work with area organizations during the spring 2016 semester as part of the Capstone Experience, a final consulting project required to complete UNI's MBA program.

The teams will undertake strategic management projects with three area organizations:

- Kryton Engineered Metals, a Cedar Falls precision metal fabricator

- Precision Metal Works (PMW), a Maquoketa manufacturer of heavy-duty parts washers.

- Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, with locations in Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Oelwein.

The MBA Capstone Experience is a consulting project that requires students in the program to integrate and apply the principles and skills from the entire MBA curriculum. Each small team of students works with a faculty mentor and is expected to develop practical responses to real business situations. Projects typically involve a strategic analysis supported by research to address a question posed by the company.

Each year, the MBA program identifies potential clients for its Capstone Experience from businesses and nonprofit organizations in northeast Iowa. Projects are conducted during the first half of each year and developed to meet the specific needs of the client.

Last November, a total of 11 businesses, community groups and agencies were introduced to faculty and professional staff from the Business and Community Services division of the college. Some of the organizations will work with students enrolled in senior-level or MBA courses or with programs in the college's outreach division of Business and Community Services.

Organizations that would benefit from a consulting team to address strategic planning, marketing, operations or feasibility questions are encouraged to contact Dale Cyphert at 319-273-6150 or for information about becoming a Capstone client.

January 5, 2016 - 1:57pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa students, faculty and staff will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day of service on Monday, Jan 18. The event is free and open to the public.

The MLK Day of Service will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Maucker Union Ballroom. Participants will be packaging 25,000 rice and bean meals for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank that will be distributed to 16 counties in Iowa. Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and can register at

"Although MLK Day is a day off of school, the UNI Service & Leadership Council is pushing to make it a day on for service," said Shelby Yates, executive director of UNI's Service & Leadership Council Days of Service. "Hunger is a real issue right here in our communities and this national day of service is a great opportunity to educate students on this issue."

There will be a hunger simulation meal that will help volunteers better understand what hunger means. The Center for Vocational Reflection will sponsor the rice and bean lunch for volunteers and lead a discussion during the event.

Michael Blackwell, former UNI professor and former director of the Center for Multicultural Education, will speak about the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. during the service event from 11:30 a.m. to noon. In addition, a Northeast Iowa Food Bank representative will speak about local hunger statistics and how meals will benefit the community. An outreach representative will talk about the food bank.

For additional information on the MLK Day of Service, contact Steffoni Schmidt, adviser for UNI's Service & Leadership Council, at 319-273-7422 or, or Yates at

January 5, 2016 - 2:01pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "Women's Work: An Insight into Nature, Beauty and the Domestic Object" from Monday, Jan. 11 through Tuesday, March 1. Artist Virginia Scotchie will present a lecture at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, in Kamerick Art Building, Room 111. An opening reception will follow.

"Women's Work" is an invitational group exhibition of ceramic artists curated by UNI professor of art JoAnn Schnabel and features artists from across the country. Participants include Lesley Baker, Susan Beiner, Kim Dickey, Erin Furimsky, Kristen Kieffer, Jae Won Lee, Liz Quackenbush, Amy Santoferraro, Virginia Scotchie, Bonnie Seeman and professor Schnabel herself.

Finally, the gallery will present "Race and Social Justice," a UNI Permanent Art Collection exhibition curated by students from associate professor of art Elizabeth Sutton’s Early 20th Century Art course. It is associated with the campuswide Reaching for Higher Ground "And Justice for All" programming. This exhibition will also be open on the following dates: March 21 through April 16 and April 25 through May 7.

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

January 4, 2016 - 2:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa has contracted with Collegiate Sports Associates out of North Carolina to assist with the athletic director search. Founder and president Todd Turner will provide leadership as UNI moves through the search process.

“I am pleased to have Todd’s depth and breadth of experience in helping UNI search for the next director of athletics,” said Michael Hager, senior vice president for finance and operations and chair of the search committee. “Todd understands the important role of academics in the lives of our student athletes.”

Turner has held the position of athletic director at the University of Connecticut, North Carolina State University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Washington. Prior to founding Collegiate Sports Associates he was a member of numerous NCAA committees and advisory boards.

Jean Berger is serving as UNI’s interim director of athletics. She replaces Troy Dannen, who left UNI to be the athletic director at Tulane University in New Orleans.

December 21, 2015 - 11:34am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- For the fourth year in a row, the University of Northern Iowa is ranked in the top 100 "Best Values in Public Colleges" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance for 2016.

The ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value. UNI jumped from No. 86 last year to No. 58 on the 2016 list thanks to its high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid, low sticker price and overall great value.

"We start with a universe of 1,200 schools, so each school on our rankings, from number one to number 300, is a best value," said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. "Families can use this list as a starting point and then tailor it to each student's preference for such things as size, location, campus culture and major."

A full list of schools can be found at

December 17, 2015 - 8:48am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa has appointed a committee to conduct a national search for a new athletic director. Michael Hager, senior vice president of finance and operations, will serve as chair of the committee. The university plans to utilize the services of a search firm to support the search process.

Members of the search committee, in addition to Hager, include: Jerry Harris, former UNI student athlete and current COO of Western Home Communities; Jan Bittner, retired UNI volleyball coach and member of the UNI Foundation Board; Tatiana Rice, current UNI student athlete; Tanya Warren, UNI women’s basketball head coach; John Fritch, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences; Elaine Eshbaugh, NCAA faculty athletics representative; and Lisa Baronio, vice president for university advancement.

“This is a strong search committee with representation from key constituents around campus and the Cedar Valley community,” said UNI President Bill Ruud. “I am confident they will find a successful candidate to continue the positive momentum of the athletic department.”

Jean Berger is serving as UNI’s interim director of athletics. She replaces Troy Dannen, who is leaving UNI to be the athletic director at Tulane University in New Orleans.

December 17, 2015 - 9:55am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa College of Education will host the fifth annual Conference on African-American Children and Families from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning in Maucker Union. A pre-conference will also take place in Maucker Union from 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4. The theme of this year's conference is "Educate, Collaborate and Participate in Supportive Experiences of African-American Children and Families."

"This conference is held jointly with the African-American Read-In and allows for a diverse team of people who are concerned about and have the desire to learn more about the racial, cultural, ethnic and socio-economic status of African-American children and families," said Gloria Kirkland Holmes, associate professor of curriculum and instruction. "This conference offers genuine, first-hand opportunities to network, gain current and new resources as well as meeting some of the top local, state, national and international leaders who provide data and research focusing on African-American children and families."

The events are open to the public; registration is free for UNI students and faculty and middle and high school students. For more information or to register, visit or contact Kirkland-Holmes at 319-273-2007 or


December 16, 2015 - 2:22pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa conducted an annual emergency exercise on Monday, Dec. 7. The exercise consisted of a tabletop relating to the university's response to an unexpected weather-related emergency.

Participants included representatives from public safety and other departments involved in managing an emergency. The purpose of the exercise was to review, assess and evaluate the university's emergency plans and capabilities.

An additional part of the exercise consisted of a drill to test the university's procedure for setting up an emergency call center in response to the emergency.

For more information about UNI's safety and evacuation plans, visit or contact Helen Haire, chief of police and director of public safety, at 319-273-2712 or

December 14, 2015 - 2:34pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services will hold the Kindergym program again this spring. The program will be offered on six Saturdays starting Jan. 23 and ending March 5 in the main gym at the Wellness Recreation Center (WRC) on UNI's campus.

Kindergym is an informal learning program focusing on the development and refinement of motor skills for 2- to 5- year-olds. The 4- and 5-year-olds will meet from 9 to 9:50 a.m., and the 2- and 3-year-olds will meet from 10 to 10:50 a.m. The registration fee is $35, 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 To register for the spring 2016 program, visit

December 9, 2015 - 4:04pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host its annual fall Commencement ceremony at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 19, in the McLeod Center. This year's Commencement speaker delivering the student address is Jordan Brown, a senior elementary education and middle level education dual major, from Cedar Rapids. Approximately 650 graduates will participate in Commencement. The names of candidates will be read by Gretta Berghammer, professor of theatre, and Deirdre Heistad, director of undergraduate students. The ceremony will be streamed live at

Recipients of the Merchant Scholarship are Jordan Brelje and Hayley Graam. This scholarship is awarded to alumni who are attending or plan to attend an accredited graduate or professional school at an educational institution as a full-time student.

Internationally acclaimed bass-baritone Simon Estes will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, there will be a reception in the McLeod Center with light snacks and beverages. Graduates and guests are encouraged to attend. There will also be areas set up for families and graduates to take pictures. Seating for the event is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The UNI Department of Military Service will host its annual Commissioning Ceremony at 8 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 19, in the Great Reading Room in Seerley Hall. Catherine A. Maher, Fort Dodge, and Kenneth Voorhees, Asbury, will receive their commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. The guest speaker at the ceremony will be Lt. Col. Chad Stone.

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

December 9, 2015 - 4:58pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa sent a message to all students, faculty and staff on Thursday, Dec. 9 regarding the eye-opening and powerful conversations about discrimination, diversity and inclusion the UNI community has been having.

The message includes updates on the progress the university has made in addressing concerns that have been raised. It also shares the guiding principles and goals of a draft Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

Read the entire message at

December 7, 2015 - 8:44am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's New Horizons Band will present a holiday concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14, in the Great Hall of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC). The program will include a variety of marches, traditional concert band repertoire and holiday selections. The event is free and open to the public.

Among the pieces to be performed are "Red's White and Blue March," composed by comedian Red Skelton, "Big Band Bash" and "Pageant" by the American composer Vincent Persichetti. Gordon Bloxham, Steve Reints and Dick Moeller will be featured as trumpet soloists in the performance of "Bugler's Holiday" by Leroy Anderson and "Adeste Fidelis" and "A fireside Christmas" by James Swearingen.

Prior to the concert, the Windy Hills Singers, under the direction of Martha Hansen, will perform holiday selections in the lobby of the Gallagher Bluedorn. Following the UNI New Horizons Band concert, there will be a reception in the GBPAC lobby.

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

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

December 4, 2015 - 3:09pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa has named Deputy Athletic Director Jean Berger as UNI’s interim director of athletics. Berger’s appointment is effective Friday, Jan. 1. She replaces Troy Dannen, who is leaving UNI to be the athletics director at Tulane University in New Orleans.

“Jean’s intimate knowledge of the UNI athletic program, her vast experience with college athletics in general and her positive relationships with the staff, coaches and student athletes are exactly what we’re looking for during this transition,” said UNI President Bill Ruud.

“I want to thank President Ruud for his faith in me and his continued support of our department as we move forward,” said Berger. “The athletic department has made great strides under Troy Dannen’s leadership, and I am confident our coaches, staff and student athletes will continue that momentum.”

Berger joined UNI in 2008 as senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator in October 2008. She was promoted to deputy athletic director in July 2015. At UNI, Berger is the direct supervisor of five UNI women's sports - basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. She also oversees academic services and athletic training. She is responsible for implementing and monitoring gender equity plans and assisting with marketing and budgeting of assigned programs.

Before coming to UNI, Berger worked for more than 17 years at Drake University. She began working with the Bulldogs in 1991 as an assistant sports information director. In 1994, she took over as the senior woman administrator and assistant athletic director for internal affairs, and in 2005, she was promoted to associate athletic director.

Berger attended the University of Iowa where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and master's degree in physical education and sports studies. She is a native of Winterset.

December 2, 2015 - 4:26pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa Athletic Director Troy Dannen is leaving the university to accept a job as the new director of athletics at Tulane University in New Orleans. Dannen's final day at UNI is Dec. 31. An interim athletic director will be named while UNI performs a national search.

"Troy has really taken UNI’s athletic program to a new level," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "He has done a great deal to enhance athletics at UNI, from improving our facilities to increasing the number of scholarships for student athletes. We are grateful for Troy’s leadership and support, and we wish him and his family the best at Tulane."

"The opportunity to serve my alma mater in this position for the last eight years has been a dream," said Dannen. "President Allen, and now President Ruud have given me the opportunity to lead an outstanding group of coaches and student athletes and work alongside a fantastic staff. It is an opportunity I will always cherish. As accomplished as Northern Iowa has been competitively, academically, socially and fiscally, I’m confident the best is yet to come for Panther Nation."

In the eight years Dannen has been at UNI, the Panthers enjoyed an incredible run of success at both the conference and national levels. The success comes not only in the form of wins on each athletic platform, but success in academics, fundraising, business operations and marketing. Dannen was honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as Under Armour AD of the Year (ADOY) in 2014.

Dannen was named UNI director of athletics in 2008. Before that, he was executive director of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. Dannen graduated from UNI in 1989 with a degree in communications.

December 1, 2015 - 3:04pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) will extend its bullying and gender violence prevention education and training to five additional school districts in Iowa thanks to HopeLine® from Verizon. This partnership has allowed the CVP to conduct trainings that teach the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) model to secondary school students, faculty and community partners. MVP training teaches techniques on how to be an active bystander and how to be a leader in preventing all forms of violence and abuse.

"This generous grant allows the Center for Violence Prevention to continue its mission to work closely with school and community leaders to create safe and respectful school environments and neighborhoods - free from bullying and gender violence," said Alan Heisterkamp, director of the Center for Violence Prevention.

Verizon partnered with UNI to launch the center in 2011 and has contributed more than $135,000 in funding to support bullying and gender violence prevention programming in more than 20 school districts across the state – reaching over 5,000 students annually.

"We have supported the UNI center because of the statewide impact their work is having in Iowa," said Seamus Hyland, president, Great Plains Region for Verizon. "We know starting at a young age and involving entire communities leads to meaningful change in violence prevention." 

Training dates for the Mentors in Violence Prevention model are scheduled to take place at Waukee High School on Dec. 10 and 11, 2015, and at Fort Dodge High School on Jan. 11,12 and 15, 2016.

For more information on MVP and bystander education, contact Heisterkamp at 319-273-3545 or For more information on the HopeLine program visit,