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News Briefs

November 2, 2003
Contact: 

Tyler O'Brien, assistant professor in biological anthropology, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, (319) 273-2789, tyler.obrien@uni.edu
Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, professor, School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services, (319) 273-3013, 266-7162, iradge.ahrabi-fard@uni.edu
Mona Milius, associate director of residence and dining, (319) 273-2333, mona.milius@uni.edu
Michael Hall, assistant professor of political science, (319) 273-3144 (office); (319) 273-2039 (department office); Michael.Hall@uni.edu (e-mail)

Forensic science -- sexy or serious?



'Shows such as 'CSI' and 'Crossing Jordan' generate interest in forensic science that put students in my class,' says Tyler O'Brien, assistant professor of biological anthropology at the University of Northern Iowa. 'But what they portray is not always what occurs in the real world.' There are some similarities, according to O'Brien, but for the most part forensic scientists do not interrogate subjects, nor do they solve cases in 60 minutes.

Forensic anthropology is a very integrated field of study that may require assistance from specialists in DNA, bullets or documents. 'I often depend on the knowledge of others to help determine cause and manner of death,' explains O'Brien. Shows like 'CSI' do portray the specialist aspect, sometimes with a sexy feel. 'However, casework is not always that exciting.'

Contact:

Tyler O'Brien, assistant professor in biological anthropology, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, (319) 273-2789, tyler.obrien@uni.edu

Melissa Barber, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761





Weight loss attempts by children and adolescents may result in weight gain



Children and adolescents who resort to food restriction as the only means to lose weight may unknowingly put themselves at risk for weight gain. Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, professor in the UNI School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services, says diets that consist solely of changes in food intake often fail. 'It's a mistake not to include exercise with diet -- a specific type of exercise. You do aerobics to increase the efficiency of heart and lungs and lose fat, and weight-bearing activities to improve bone mass, increase strength and build muscle mass. You have to know what you're doing when you restrict your food or you may damage your metabolism, changing the ratio of muscle tissue and fat tissue to the point that you'll gain more weight.'

Ahrabi-Fard works with other professors in UNI's Youth Fitness Institute. The institute is planning a two-week interactive camp for elementary-school children, to study fitness, nutrition and food selection and food intake.

Contacts:

Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, professor, School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services, (319) 273-3013, 266-7162, iradge.ahrabi-fard@uni.edu

Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761





November is National Vegan Month

November is National Vegan Month, recognizing those who choose not to eat meat or use any animal products such as milk, eggs, gelatin, leather or fur.

According to Mona Milius, UNI associate director of residence/dining services, meeting students' special needs relating to food allergies, dietary plans or lifestyle choices such as vegetarianism or veganism is not easy. 'Dining centers have significantly changed to meet student needs, and we've done it in a way that doesn't compromise food quality or taste. We take care to make sure that people with special needs have those needs met,' says Milius.

Contact:

Mona Milius, associate director of residence and dining, (319) 273-2333, mona.milius@uni.edu

James O'Connor, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761





UNI professor evaluates first decade of European Union



In 1993, the members of the European Economic Community, also known as the Common Market, implemented the Treaty of Maastricht, which changed the name of the organization to the European Union (EU), and committed it to the development of a common currency-- the euro-- and the development of a common foreign policy. How well has the EU been working for the past 10 years?

Michael Hall, assistant professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa, says the euro has been a mixed success. 'The grandest expectation for the euro, that it would displace the dollar in many international transactions, has not occurred to the degree some predicted,' he says. 'But the euro is now the most commonly used currency in international transactions in Europe.' He added the euro has not been a threat to the United States, or a total failure, but has simply taken its place as one of the world's major currencies.

Hall says the development of a common foreign policy has been far more difficult, and will be far more of an uphill battle, as it goes to the heart of national sovereignty more than money does, and also involves far more complications. 'But for now, the EU is more of a union than it was before, and in 2004, it will be a much wider union, with 10 new members.'

Contacts:

Michael Hall, assistant professor of political science, (319) 273-3144 (office); (319) 273-2039 (department office); Michael.Hall@uni.edu (e-mail)

Vicki Grimes, Office of University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761