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News Release Archive

September 12, 2013 - 9:32am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Climate change is the defining historical challenge of this century, according to Sen. Rob Hogg. During his lecture at the University of Northern Iowa, Hogg will explore the significance of climate change and what Iowans can do to take action. Hogg's lecture will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, Sept. 23, in the Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) auditorium on the UNI campus.

"Smart, science-literate citizens take the reality and challenges of climate change, and what it means for Iowa, seriously," said Kamyar Enshayan, director of UNI's CEEE. "This event is intended to inspire discussion and action."

In addition to serving in the Iowa Senate, Hogg has published a book on climate change, "America's Climate Century."

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Enshayan at 319-273-7575 or

September 12, 2013 - 9:36am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Creative Life Research Center has opened its doors for the 2013-14 academic year at the University of Northern Iowa. The center aims to offer the UNI community a transformative learning experience, as well as opportunities for engagement and inquiry, through a variety of events and programs.

"Our mission is to build lives of meaning through the processes, places and products of creativity," said center director Gary Gute. "In our culture, creativity is often perceived with a bias toward the arts, or as an attribute of only select people. Our center views creativity much more broadly — as solving problems in ways that are novel, useful and appropriate."

The center will offer students the latest research tools, opportunities for interdisciplinary and faculty-student collaboration, and exposure to renowned scholars, educators, inventors, artists and entrepreneurs via campus conferences, guest lectures and TEDx events. The center will host its first event, the First Annual Creative UNIversity Conference, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at UNI's Maucker Union. The all-day event will introduce the center and showcase the creative work of UNI students and faculty.

For more information, contact Gute at 319-273-6449 or

September 12, 2013 - 2:07pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) will be holding a food waste reduction workshop on Oct. 2 at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum in Mason City. The workshop, focusing on methods to reduce food waste and divert it from the landfill includes presentations and discussions from regional experts such as Paul Schultz, resources management coordinator from the Public Works Department in Dubuque and Shelly Codner, Area 2 representative from the Iowa Waste Exchange.

Attendees will also hear from IWRC specialists as well as a panel of representatives from area organizations and businesses who will identify the challenges to food waste reduction and diversion.

The workshop is being held as part of the Iowa Food Waste Reduction Project which is funded through a Solid Waste Alternative Program grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Registration for the one-day workshop is $10, which includes lunch. For more information and to register, visit

The IWRC has been providing environmental services including business assistance, industry training, as well as research and development for over 25 years. IWRC is a non-profit organization, part of Business and Community Services at the University of Northern Iowa. For more information, visit

September 12, 2013 - 2:19pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa’s Business & Community Services (BCS) division will introduce a statewide Regional Entrepreneurship Project later this year. The program, funded through a $150,000 grant from the United States Economic Development Administration's University Center program, will work with communities and regions across Iowa to establish a framework that fosters entrepreneurial development and small-business growth.

"The goal of this project is to refocus regional efforts to encourage the entrepreneurial development and provide them with the tools to make that happen," said LaDene Bowen, associate director of UNI's Institute for Decision Making and director of the Regional Entrepreneurship Project.

The project will explore factors including economic distress, recent layoffs and plant closures to initially select two regions within Iowa to establish a framework. One more region will be added annually for the duration of the five-year project. Within each region, BCS will implement a four-phase effort that includes an assessment of the region, educating regional stakeholders on best practices to cultivate an entrepreneurial support system, the development of a strategic plan, implementing the plan and continued support.

For more information on the Regional Entrepreneurship Project, please visit, or contact Bowen at 319-273-2969 or

September 11, 2013 - 8:36am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Suzuki School has announced plans for the upcoming Northern Iowa Junior Orchestra season. Advanced string students in grades five through eight are encouraged to audition. The fee for the year is $140.

The orchestra is conducted by Tom Schilke. Students will present a concert at UNI and at northeast Iowa schools in April. The orchestra rehearses on Friday evenings from 5 to 7 at Russell Hall, once per month in October, November and December, and every Friday from January through April.

Auditions will be held on Friday, Sept. 20. Audition forms and additional information are available at or by request. Contact Cathy Craig, Suzuki School coordinator, at or 319-273-2508 to schedule an audition time.

September 11, 2013 - 1:28pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa today released its official enrollment figures for fall 2013. Enrollment numbers are determined on students enrolled through the end of the 10th day of classes. UNI's total fall enrollment is 12,159. This exceeds UNI's budgeted enrollment projection by 359. Officials also report that new student enrollment is up more than 3 percent from last year.

Highlights of the enrollment report include:

- An increase of 3.3 percent in new student enrollment.

- An increase of 1.1 percent in new students direct from high school.

- An increase of 20.8 percent in new graduate student enrollment.

- An increase of 11.4 percent in new international student enrollment.

- Total minority enrollment held steady at 8.1 percent.

In addition, the university reported improvement in its student retention rate. The rate of students returning for a second year is 82.9 percent, which is an increase of 1.3 percent from the previous year. This compares to a national average of 71.7 percent for similar institutions. This year's retention rate is the highest it's been since 2007.

"It's very encouraging that our fall 2013 enrollment numbers are well above our original budget projections," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "As always, enrollment at UNI is a priority, but even more so is our commitment to our students and their educational experience. Our focus continues to be on providing the best undergraduate education in the state of Iowa.

"We're also pleased to see that our efforts to improve retention are paying off. UNI students continue to graduate sooner and with less debt; we had nearly an eight percent drop in student indebtedness during the 2012-13 academic year. We're looking forward to growing strategically over the next several years and meeting prospective students and their families at our Panther Open Houses this fall."

September 10, 2013 - 10:02am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is ranked second in the "Best Regional Universities (Midwest)" category for public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2014 "America's Best Colleges" guidebook.

UNI also was 13th on a combined list of all public and private Midwest regional universities. The university was ranked 22nd on the list last year.

"It is truly an honor to be considered one of the best universities in the Midwest," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "We are committed to providing our students a high-quality educational experience. Our focus continues to be on providing the best undergraduate education in the state of Iowa and in the entire Midwest region."

The magazine's ranking criteria include peer assessment, academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, graduation-rate performance and alumni giving rate.

For more information about the college rankings, visit Highlights of UNI's other national rankings and awards can be found at

September 10, 2013 - 8:48am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- "An Enchanted Evening!" is the theme of the 32nd Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert, hosted by the University of Northern Iowa School of Music. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27,in the Great Hall of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC).

This year's concert will feature music by UNI alumnus James Miller of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on trombone as well as music by faculty artists Korey Barrett, Amanda McCandless, Heather Peyton, Dmitri Vorobiev and Robert Washut. Also featured will be Kaji Daiko on Taiko drums, the Northern Iowa Wind Symphony, Jazz Band One, Concert Chorale, a student and alumni vocal trio, the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra and more.

Following the concert there will be hors d'oeuvres, champagne and music in the lobby and a performance by School of Music student musicians. An additional post-show performance featuring the UNI Marimba Ensemble will be held in Davis Hall. Bob Dunn and the UNI Wire Choir will provide pre-show music.

The Scholarship Benefit Concerts have been raising scholarship funds for exceptionally talented music students and students in need for more than 30 years. All seats for the benefit concert are reserved. Individual tickets may be purchased in person at the GBPAC box office, by calling 319-273-4TIX or 877-549-SHOW (7469), or at To become a special donor and receive complimentary tickets, contact the School of Music office at 319-273-2028.

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

September 10, 2013 - 8:56am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa has been selected by G.I. Jobs Magazine as a Military Friendly School for 2014, an honor placing the university in the top 20 percent of schools doing the most to embrace America's veterans as students and ensure their success on campus.

According to G.I. Jobs, the list honors the top colleges, universities and trade schools that share a priority for recruiting students with military experience. Criteria for making the Military Friendly Schools list include recruitment and retention of military and veteran students and academic accreditations.Military Friendly logo

"It's an honor to be recognized for the initiatives supporting military members, veterans and their families," said Julia Heuer, coordinator of UNI's Military and Veteran Student Services. "We will continue to build on our accomplishments to ensure that UNI is always lauded as a military-friendly campus."

Now in its fifth year, the list was compiled through research in which G.I. Jobs polled more than 10,000 schools nationwide. The methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators and administrators from across the country.

"The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools," said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media.

The full list of Military Friendly Schools can be found at For more information about UNI's Military and Veteran Student Services, visit

September 10, 2013 - 1:53pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa Financial Literacy Club will host a financial literacy event at 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 16, in the Maucker Union Ballroom. Mike Finley, president and founder of the club, will discuss ways to make informed decisions about how to spend, save and invest money. Participants also have the opportunity to win cash prizes at the event totaling $1,000.

Finley started the Financial Literacy Club in 2010 to encourage and enhance financial literacy for all individuals. "Financial literacy followed by action can change the course of your life!" said Finley. "Believe it."

The club meets at 6 p.m., every Monday, in the University Room, Maucker Union. Topics of discussion include spending, credit management, borrowing, investing and more.

This event is free and open to the public. Pizza and drinks will be provided at no cost. For more information, visit the UNI Financial Literacy Club Facebook page at, or contact Finley at 580-483-5811 or

September 10, 2013 - 1:59pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Scott Ketelsen has been named director of University Relations at the University of Northern Iowa. Ketelsen is currently director of Marketing and Media Production at the University of Iowa. He will assume his new duties on Sept. 16. Scott Ketelsen

"I am very pleased to have Scott join UNI as the director of University Relations," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "He is a proud UNI alumnus and strong Panther supporter. His background in marketing and communications will strongly support our overall strategic communications efforts, our enrollment goals and the university's strategic plan."

"I look forward to leading the University Relations team and working with the remarkable students, faculty and staff at UNI to provide an affordable, quality education to its students," said Ketelsen. "UNI has an excellent reputation and outstanding leadership. As a proud alumnus, my heart has always been with the Panthers."

Ketelsen holds a master's degree in higher education administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and communication from UNI. He has worked in higher education since 1999. He held several positions at the University of Iowa from 2005 to 2013, where he was responsible for the institutional marketing plan and budget.

Before his time at the University of Iowa, Ketelsen was director of Marketing Services and director of Operations, Continuing Education at Kirkwood Community College.

The director, along with the University Relations team, provides a consistent university message through high-quality publications, electronic communications, campus communications, community relations, media relations and print services.

Ketelsen lives in Cedar Rapids with his wife Suzy, who is also a UNI alumna, and three children: Drew, 24, Amy, 21, and Adam, 16.

September 10, 2013 - 2:23pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The 2013 Leland Wilson Endowed Chemistry Lecture will be presented by Paul Kelter from 7 to 8:15 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, in Lantz Auditorium in McCollum Science Hall on the University of Northern Iowa campus. His interactive discussion will be "Why and How Should We Teach Science and Science Methods Classes in the 2010s?"

Kelter is an award-winning teacher and researcher in chemistry and science education, with work centering on issues of teacher preparation, teaching and learning at both secondary and college levels. "Anyone with an interest in, or opinions about, how science is taught in our schools should consider joining the conversation," suggested Bill Harwood, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UNI.

Kelter currently teaches at Northern Illinois University in the Department of Literacy Education. Overall, Kelter has written two major chemistry and chemistry-education books and authored more than 602 journal articles. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and founded the International Center for First-Year Chemistry Education.

For additional information, contact Bill Harwood, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, at 319-273-2056 or

September 10, 2013 - 4:10pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition committee announced today that three finalists will be recognized at a special awards luncheon in Des Moines on September 26th.

After a review of the submitted business plans, seven businesses were selected to present to the judging panel comprised of the five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) representatives and the Iowa Small Business Development Center.  The committee is proud to announce the three finalists in the competition, listed in alphabetical order:

Memcine Pharmaceuticals Inc. - Memcine Pharmaceuticals Inc. developed the platform technology for the improvement of vaccine efficacy against infectious diseases and cancer therapeutics.  The company was founded in 2010 and is located in Coralville.

r-pipe - R-pipe is a civil engineering company that makes pipe from waste material that is lighter, more durable, as strong, and is slightly less expensive than concrete pipe.  The company was founded in 2013 and is located in Ames.

ScoutPro Inc. - ScoutPro Inc. uses a crop scouting system developed by crop scouts to insure accurate, efficient identification and management. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in Ames.

The three finalists and their ranking will be announced at a special awards luncheon on September 26th at Drake University.  Governor Branstad will provide a keynote message.  Awards are $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second place and $10,000 for third place.

"This year's completion included some outstanding business plans, probably the strongest and most promising plans during our eight years of conducting the competition" said Randy Pilkington, director of the UNI JPEC.  "Iowa's economy will be positively impacted as all the competitors succeed and grow."

John Pappajohn stated "I hope this competition will stimulate additional entrepreneurial activity throughout the state and that those businesses who participated will continue to access the resources of the JPECs, business accelerators and SBDCs to help them accelerate their growth."

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers are located at Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. The centers provide entrepreneurial education and business support, partnering with agencies like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Iowa Economic Development Authority  (IEDA), Entrepreneurial Development Centers (EDCs) and local entrepreneurs to assist with funding and other business needs.

For additional information about the competition, please contact one of the JPEC centers via the information below. Contact information for the three finalists is also attached.

Drake University John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

Debra Bishop



Iowa State University John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

Judi Eyles



North Iowa Area Community College John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

Jamie Zanios



University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

David Hensley



University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

Randy Pilkington



Finalist Contact Information (In Alphabetical Order)


Memcine Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Contact: Tony Vanden Bush



Contact: Tom Cackler


ScoutPro Inc.

Contact: Holden Nyhus

September 5, 2013 - 11:10am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Fall Career Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Sept. 16, in the McLeod Center. More than 140 organizations and graduate/professional schools will talk with UNI students and alumni about internships, full-time jobs and continuing education. Attendees are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume to give to company and organization representatives.

"The UNI Career Fair is a great opportunity for students of all majors and grade levels to come and network," said Kristin Cahill, UNI employer relations coordinator. "During this type of job market, networking opportunities are critical to a successful job search. We encourage candidates to have an open mind and meet with as many employers as possible." For tips about how to prepare for a job fair, visit

Complementing the Career Fair is a UNI Interview Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Maucker Union Old Central Ballroom. Those wishing to arrange interviews must attend the Career Fair.

The Career Fair is organized and sponsored by UNI Career Services. Students can search the online database of employers by clicking on the link at

Registration isn't required for participation in the Career Fair. For additional information, contact Cahill at 319-273-6857 or

September 5, 2013 - 2:02pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa held its annual fall faculty workshop in August. More than 300 faculty attended, one of the highest numbers to attend in recent years.

Hosted by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and UNI's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the workshop gave faculty the opportunity to discuss student assessments and how to use them in their classroom environments. UNI President Bill Ruud and Provost Gloria Gibson gave welcoming remarks.

Peter Seldin, an expert on evaluating teaching, was the keynote speaker. He delivered his lecture "College Teaching: Myths, Evaluation and the Characteristics of Great Teachers," which aims to determine what separates "good" teachers from "great" teachers. The lecture addressed changing practices in teaching evaluation and the results of a nationwide longitudinal study of evaluation practices.

"It is important to reflect on best practices regarding evaluation of teaching as an institution," said Eric Hiris, department head and professor of psychology. "It was wonderful as a new person at an institution to see so many faculty members and administrators from across colleges and departments engaging in such reflections together. I enjoyed reflecting on my own teaching, hearing what others do in their teaching and considering how to balance the many factors one must consider in evaluating the teaching of others."

In addition to the lecture and discussion, the new Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) was launched. The CETL seeks to engage, explore and enhance the practice of teaching and the culture of learning at UNI. Susan Hill, a professor of philosophy and world religions, was named director of the new center.

"I'm very excited about the new center," said Hill. "I am hopeful that this will become a place where faculty and staff can explore new ideas about teaching and learning, get to know people from around campus, and develop collaborations between different departments and programs on campus."

For more information about the CETL, visit or check out their Facebook site at

September 5, 2013 - 3:32pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- "Ideas and Identities in Mughal Religious Culture" will be the lecture delivered by Muzaffar Alam, professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, at the University of Northern Iowa's 40th Annual Carl L. Becker Memorial Lecture in History. The lecture will be presented at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Seerley Hall, Room 115.

Alam is a historian specializing in medieval and early South Asian Muslim religious and literary cultures, Mughal political and institutional history, and Indo-Persian historiography and travel accounts. He has held visiting research and teaching positions at several institutions, including the University of London and Columbia University in New York. Alam's best-known work is his classic book, "The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North India."

The lecture is in honor of Carl L. Becker, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1907 and is originally from Reinbeck. From 1902 to 1941, Becker taught at various universities in the Midwest and East, with the last being Cornell University in New York.

The Carl L. Becker Memorial Lecture is the first in a series of lectures from UNI's history department. The next lecture will be by Jack Hovelson, retired journalist for the Des Moines Register, and will take place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Robert Martin, head of UNI's Department of History, at 319-273-2097 or

September 5, 2013 - 4:55pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host a number of documentaries as part of its annual Reaching for Higher Ground project. The theme for this year's film series is "Food Matters: Individual Choices … Community Concerns." Fall semester films will be held in the UNI Center for Multicultural Education in Maucker Union.

The first film, "Food Matters," will be shown at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9. The documentary examines how food affects every person and aims to create a dialogue about how individual food choices affect and impact the larger community.

The second film, "Hungry for Change," will be shown at noon, Monday, Oct. 14. The documentary demonstrates the marketing deception found in many weight-loss programs.

The third film, "Price of Sugar," will be shown at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 11. It highlights the struggle for the human rights of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic throughout the production of sugar.

The final film of the semester is "The Harvest," which will be shown at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 9. "The Harvest" documents the many children in America who are exposed to the harsh elements of weather and farm fields to pick produce on farm fields in order to survive.

All events are free and open to the public. For additional information, visit or contact either Michael Blackwell, director of UNI's Center for Multicultural Education, at 319-273-2250 or, or Thomas Kessler, social sciences bibliographer at Rod Library, at 319-273-2810 or

September 3, 2013 - 2:31pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host events and activities for students, parents and family members of all ages during Family Weekend, Friday to Sunday, Sept. 6 to 8.

The weekend will kick off with the UNI vs. Nebraska-Omaha soccer game at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6, at the Cedar Valley Youth Soccer Complex.

On Saturday, the Family Feast Tailgate will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Rialto Dining Center. Afterward, families can head to the Maucker Union to watch the Dean of Juggling perform at 1:30 p.m. The show features Dean Franzen, a mathematics professor at UNI.

Also on Saturday, the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences will present a chemistry magic show in Lantz Auditorium, McCollum Science Hall. This popular show will be held at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. There will also be mini-sumo robotics and "super cold physics" demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Begeman Hall, Room 114. Later, families can venture to the UNI-Dome where the Panthers will take on the Drake Bulldogs at 4 p.m.

Throughout the weekend, various programs, academic colleges and departments will also host activities, open houses and special tours for students and their families. For more information, contact Kristin Woods, coordinator of new student programs, at 319-273-2332 or A full calendar of events is available at

September 3, 2013 - 2:59pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer, historian and political commentator, will speak at the University of Northern Iowa's Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2, as part of the Joy Cole Corning Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series.

A special Q-and-A session for students is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the GBPAC. The 7:30 p.m. event, titled "Team of Rivals: The Leadership Lessons from Abraham Lincoln," is Goodwin's formal lecture.

Goodwin, former assistant to Lyndon B. Johnson during his term in the White House, offers a behind-the-scenes perspective on national politics at the highest levels. She later assisted Johnson in the preparation of his memoirs. Since then, Goodwin has authored biographies of several U.S. presidents. Her most recent book, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," inspired Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln."

As a noted authority, Goodwin appears regularly on network television programs and was an on-air consultant for PBS documentaries on Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy family, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ken Burns' "The History of Baseball." As the first female reporter to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room, Goodwin was a trailblazer for women covering sports.

The Joy Cole Corning Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series was established in 2001 by UNI alumna and former Iowa Lt. Gov. Joy Cole Corning. The series' purpose is to bring to campus nationally and internationally renowned leaders in such areas as the arts, business, education, government and the judiciary. It provides students with an understanding of what constitutes leadership across disciplines and helps them discover how people become leaders in their fields.

Joy Corning graduated from UNI with a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education in 1954. She taught school in Greenfield and Waterloo before leaving the profession to raise her family in Cedar Falls. She now lives in Des Moines.

She was elected to the Cedar Falls school board in 1973, serving 11 years, nine of them as president. After six years in the Iowa Senate, she was elected lieutenant governor, serving for eight years.

Admission to the formal lecture is free; tickets are required. Tickets will be available: Thursday, Sept. 5 for UNI students only; Friday, Sept. 6 for students, faculty and staff; and Monday, Sept. 9 for the general public. Tickets will be available at all UNItix locations or call 319-273-7469.

September 3, 2013 - 3:08pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa, in conjunction with the Iowa Association of College Admissions Counselors, is inviting students from Iowa high schools to participate in the 2013 College Fair from 9 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the McLeod Center.

High school juniors and seniors will visit with representatives from more than 85 postsecondary institutions from Iowa and surrounding states during the fair.

Students will also have the opportunity to browse displays from the visiting institutions, which include two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities, technical and cosmetology schools, as well as the military.

As in previous years, the fair will use the College Fair Automation barcode and scanner system to speed up the exchange of information between students and colleges. To be a part of this, students need to register online prior to the event to generate a barcode with their student information.

Participants can pre-register their information for the fair by accessing the registration form at The student's information will not be shared with any third party vendors; it will only be shared with the colleges and universities selected by the students.

For more information, contact Jenny Connolly, assistant director of admissions/outreach for the Office of Admissions, at 319-273-2281 or

August 30, 2013 - 3:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's Lifelong University will offer four noncredit courses this fall.

"Where Does my Food Come From?" will be led by Jenny Bruss, program and community outreach coordinator for UNI's Recycling & Reuse Technology Transfer Center, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Sept. 4, 11, 18 and 25, at UNI's Center for Energy & Environmental Education, Room 12. Participants will learn how to grow their own food with hands-on activities, discuss nutrition ideas for healthy living, prepare and sample dishes from the garden and more. Class size is limited to 12 participants; email Bruss at to register or call 319-273-5141.

"On Our Inalienable Rights" will be taught be Hal Wohl, emeritus professor of history, from 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, at Western Home Communities, 5300 S. Main Street, Cedar Falls. Wohl will address the American tradition of rights from both a historical and contemporary perspective, with an emphasis on current controversies.

John Johnson, professor of history, will lead "The Music of Bob Dylan: The Early Years" from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 15 and "Bruce Springsteen's America" from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Western Home Communities. Each course will offer an analysis of the music and lyrics of both musicians and how their songs related to significant events and themes in America's past.

Course fees range from $20 to $40, which cover parking passes and course handouts. To register for a class or view a course description, visit or call University Events Coordination at 319-273-5141.

August 30, 2013 - 3:25pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- How do you really know if you're hungry? This is the question award-winning dietician Evelyn Tribole hopes to answer with her lecture, "Make Peace with Food and Your Body -- Rediscover the Pleasures of Eating," from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Lang Hall Auditorium on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Tribole aims to help people form healthy relationships with food by teaching them to become "intuitive eaters," which involves tuning into the body's natural signals of hunger, fullness and food preferences. The lecture will feature information on intuitive eating habits and finding your natural weight.

"Hosting Evelyn Tribole is a reflection of the investment UNI has in the health of its community," said Joan Thompson, health educator in UNI's Wellness & Recreation Services. "Tribole's message is one that helps to create a healthy relationship with food, which contributes to a healthy and happy life."

Tribole has co-authored the book "Intuitive Eating" and currently runs a nutrition counseling practice in California. Her lecture is a part of UNI's Reaching for Higher Ground (RHG) series. The RHG theme this year is "Food Matters," with events that will focus on examining the local, national and global impacts of food.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Thompson at 319-273-2137 or

August 30, 2013 - 4:56pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Reaching for Higher Ground project is presenting new events for its 2013-14 series, "Food Matters."

The annual Farm Crawl will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 8. Participants will learn how 10 local farmers grow their food and manage their farms on this self-guided tour. There will also be activities for children, and local food will be available for purchase. The event is free and for all ages. For a map and details about each farm, visit the Center for Energy & Environmental Education website at

UNI dining centers are also participating in the series. On Sept. 11, Piazza and Rialto will serve meals featuring foods from local farmers. Items may include beef stir-fry with local beef and vegetables, local eggplant parmesan and local apples and watermelon.

The Panther Plot, a new sustainable vegetable garden on the UNI campus, is hosting the Panther Plot Harvest Festival from 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12, at the corner of University Avenue and College Street, south of the Biology Research Center. The event will include a hog roast, sampling of local foods, tours of the garden and music. This event is free and open to the UNI community.

The Panther Plot is also hosting a produce stand this fall. Fruits and vegetables grown in the Panther Plot garden will be sold from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Tuesdays and Fridays through the fall.

For more information, contact Rachel Wobeter, local food program manager for UNI's Center for Energy and Environmental Education, at 319-273-7883 or or Eric O'Brien, UNI sustainability coordinator, at 319-273-7207 or

August 29, 2013 - 9:35am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Children's Choir (UNICC) will hold auditions for the youth choral ensemble. Auditions are by appointment.

Under the direction of UNI School of Music instructor Michelle Swanson and assisted by Lindsay Marks, the choir is composed of 80 to 90 second- through eighth-grade Cedar Valley students.

Rehearsals are from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., beginning Thursday, Sept. 5, in Jebe Hall in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the UNI campus.

"The purpose of the choir is two-fold," said Swanson. "The participants gain from their experience by singing quality music and learning new music and musical concepts."

Eli Smith, a fifth-grade student from Hansen Elementary in Cedar Falls said, "UNICC is really fun. I love to sing and we have a great time at rehearsals. We learn a lot of music and our concerts are really great."

UNI students assist teaching the choir. "Many of our UNI music education majors apply these real-life learning situations to their future music careers," said Swanson. "I truly believe the college students get as much out of the experience as the young singers." Participation is not limited only to music majors. "Although our primary goal is to provide pre-service music teachers with hands-on experiences, we also have regular education majors and music performance majors working with the group."

"I can't believe all that I have learned from UNICC," said Erin Keiser, sophomore elementary education student. "I used to sing in the choir as a kid and I never realized everything the adults were doing and learning. It's been a great experience for me as a future elementary teacher."

Tuition is $50 per semester. The group performs every December and May in Bengtson Auditorium in UNI's Russell Hall, as well as at other events across the state.

The UNICC is a part of UNI's Community Music School, which offers musical performance education to Cedar Valley residents anywhere from 3-months-old to those 50 and older.

For more information about UNICC or to arrange an audition, visit or, call 319-273-2600. For more information about the UNI Community Music School, visit 

August 29, 2013 - 9:43am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association and UNI Foundation will host the Distinguished Awards Celebration during a luncheon and program at 11:45 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 7, in the Maucker Union Ballroom. The awards program includes the annual Heritage Honours Awards and the President's Philanthropy Awards. Alumni and friends will be recognized for their professional accomplishments and service to the university.

Recipients of the Heritage Honours Awards include:

Mark Oman (B.A. '76) will receive the Alumni Achievement Award for his outstanding overall professional accomplishments in the field of business. He was inducted into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in 2007. He serves as a member of the UNI Foundation board of trustees and was co-chair of the Imagine the Impact Campaign.

Beverly Wynn Riess (B.A. '78) will receive the Alumni Service Award for her continuous service to UNI. Prior to her retirement in 2011, she assisted UNI with community outreach and marketing in Des Moines. She also served on the UNI Alumni Association board of directors and UNI Foundation board of trustees.

Matt Harris (B.A. '04) will receive the Young Alumnus Award, which recognizes graduates 40 years old or younger who have excelled in their professions. Harris is the director of Des Moines Performing Arts. He also serves on the board of directors for Arts Midwest and Character Counts in Iowa.

Keith and Joyce Borglum will receive the Honorary Alumni Award for their exceptional support of UNI. They have been major supporters of the McLeod Center and have established a Panther Champions Scholarship Fund and the Borglum Men's Basketball Enhancement Fund.

Recipients of the President's Philanthropy Awards include:

Jackson Baty (M.A. '68) will receive the Faculty and Staff Award for dedicated long-term service to UNI. Baty is professor emeritus in Educational Psychology & Foundations. He established the Emma Jackson Baty Endowed Journalism Scholarship in memory of his mother. His long-time support includes 40 consecutive years of giving through the UNI Foundation.

David Martinson (B.A. '89) will receive the Emerging Philanthropist Award for support and creative leadership. Martinson is chair of the 2013 Panther Scholarship Club fund drive and is president of the Panther Scholarship Club. He supports the Head Football Coach Fund and the Head Men's Basketball Coach Fund.

University Book & Supply will receive the Corporate and Foundation Award for their significant leadership to students and faculty. The company has contributed to all of UNI's major fundraising campaigns, created the Faculty Excellence Awards program, provided support to UNI athletics and music programs, and served on numerous committees and boards.

To learn more about the award recipients or the UNI Alumni Association, visit To learn more about the UNI Foundation, visit

August 21, 2013 - 1:48pm


CEDAR FALLS -- Seven businesses have been selected as finalists in the 2013 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition. The businesses continuing in the competition are: Higher Learning Technologies, HMR Supplies, Memcine Pharmaceuticals Inc., Osteoceramics, r-pipe, ScoutPro Inc. and TelePharm.

"Now that we have selected seven finalists, each business plan competitor will interview with a panel of judges on Sept. 5," said Randy Pilkington, director of UNI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and competition judge. "Based on those presentations, we will choose the top three finalists to recognize at a special awards ceremony on Sept. 26 at Drake University."

This is the third round of competition. In the first round, businesses submitted brief information about their business plans. Based on those entries, judges chose 16 entrepreneurs to submit full business plans. Those 16 business plans were narrowed down to the final seven.

The John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition is designed to stimulate business development and provide support for outstanding business plans. This year a total of $50,000 will be awarded to the top three submitted business plans: $25,000 for first prize, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third.

For more information, visit the competition website,, or contact one of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers provide entrepreneurial education and business support, partnering with agencies like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), Entrepreneurial Development Centers (EDCs) and local entrepreneurs to assist with funding and other business needs.

August 21, 2013 - 3:27pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Green Iowa AmeriCorps (GIA) is hosting a 5k Fun Run at 9 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 24. The run will begin at the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) and will take runners on a course through UNI's South Campus Preserve's trails.

Runners are encouraged to wear green attire to support GIA efforts to make Iowa more energy efficient. A prize will be given to the runner with the most creative green outfit. The first 40 registered participants will receive a UNI reusable water bottle along with a variety of other prizes awarded upon completion of the race.

GIA is a non-profit organization based out of the CEEE. GIA's mission is to make Iowans more energy efficient through low impact home weatherization, energy education and community outreach.

A $15 donation to GIA is required as a registration fee. Proceeds will benefit GIA's work in the Cedar Valley.

To register for the 5k Fun Run, visit or call 319-273-7233. For more information about GIA, visit 

August 21, 2013 - 3:40pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa and Kyungpook National University (KNU) Korea are pleased to announce an innovative double-degree program for students training to be teachers of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and physical education, supported by a $3 million grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea. 

KNU is ranked among the top universities in the world by both Academic Ranking of World Universities and Times Higher Education and was recently selected (along with only two other Korean universities) for the National Research Foundation of Korea's new Global Teachers University (GTU) project. The goal of the 12-year project is to train a new generation of internationally qualified teachers. UNI, consistently ranked one of the best comprehensive universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, is a nationally recognized leader in STEM education. 

The double-degree program will permit participating students to graduate with a teaching qualification from both KNU and UNI. A minimum of 60 KNU students will study for two years at UNI with their tuition covered by the National Research Foundation grant. UNI students will study for one year at KNU as exchange students in pursuit of KNU degrees, creating the opportunity for additional KNU students to study at UNI. The first KNU GTU students will join UNI in spring 2015, and UNI students will be welcomed beginning in spring 2014. 

Professor Craig Evan Klafter, associate provost for International Programs at UNI, said, "The University of Northern Iowa is delighted to partner with Kyungpook National University to shape the future of STEM education in Korea and in the United States, and is grateful to the National Research Foundation of Korea for its generous support." According to professor Ui Wook Hwang, coordinator of the KNU GTU project, "This is very significant. The new dual-degree program will be a major factor for increasing the employment among graduates and upgrading the all-round international profile of the Teachers' College at KNU." 

For more information about this grant and UNI's Office of International Programs, visit

August 19, 2013 - 9:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa conducted its annual emergency exercise on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The exercise consisted of a tabletop scenario of a natural disaster on campus. Participants in the exercise included university administrators, public safety personnel and local first responders. The exercise also included setting up the university's emergency call center.

The purpose of the exercise was to review, assess and evaluate the university's emergency plans and capabilities. As part of the exercise, the university's evacuation procedures, including the option of shelter in place in some incidents, were reviewed. UNI also conducts a test of its emergency text messaging system (UNI Alert) semiannually.

For more information about UNI's evacuation plans, visit

August 16, 2013 - 11:03am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Whether it's a new campus or just a new year, all students are invited to participate in the University of Northern Iowa's Welcome Week activities. 

The five-day stretch of events will start at 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 22, with the Panther Picnic on the corner of 23rd and College Street. Celebrate a new academic year with music, food and fun activities.

On Friday, Aug. 23, UNI's Campus Activities Board will present Maxim Magazine's Comedian of the Year Rob Little at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. There will be two showings: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Multiple events will be held Saturday, Aug. 24. The Cedar Falls community and businesses on Main Street invite students to Panthers on Main from 1 to 4 p.m. Join TC and explore the Cedar Falls downtown during a scavenger hunt with opportunities to win prizes. Buses will shuttle students free of charge to and from Main Street for the duration of the event. Campus pick up will be at the corner of 23rd and College Street and the Curris Business Building.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, UNI's Outdoor Recreation invites students to Paddling on the Pond. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards will be available for students to enjoy on the retention pond north of the Wellness/Recreation Center (WRC) from 1 to 4 p.m. Life vests will be provided.

A sand volleyball tournament will be held from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, at the court on the west side of the WRC. No experience is required.

From 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25, Hallapalooza will be held on the Quad Field. Join the Residence Hall Association and bring in the new semester with inflatables, music, games and more.

Welcome Week wraps up on Monday, Aug. 26. Students will end their first day of class with the annual Welcome Back BBQ in the Memorial Garden outside of the Center for Multicultural Education. Food will begin being served at 5 p.m.

Campus direction booths will also be available to students from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 26.

For more information about Welcome Week activities, visit

August 14, 2013 - 2:02pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "The Lawrence Auld Collection: Ceramics from the UNI Permanent Art Collection," from Monday, Aug. 26, through Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Kamerick Art Building (KAB) South on the UNI campus. Auld (B.A. English '55) is a North Carolina-based collector.

An opening reception is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3, in KAB, Room 111. This event is sponsored in part by the UNI Foundation.

Co-curated by professor of art JoAnn Schnabel and gallery director Darrell Taylor, this exhibition features work by Richard Aerni, Sandra Blain, Tara Dawly, Adam Egenolf, Doug Hanson, Mark Hewitt, Shawn Ireland, Ben Jensen, Jamie Kirkpatrick, Sequoia Miller, Hank Murrow and Ben Owen III among others. 

Recently, Auld stated, "In collecting pottery, I apply the following criteria: is the piece attractive to me, i.e., is it a piece that I would enjoy seeing often and handling? If yes, I move to the second criterion, is the price one that I'm willing to pay in order to see it frequently and to handle it? If yes, I add it to my collection. If no, it will remain on the shelf awaiting some other buyer. Note that investment is not a criterion, nor is the question of authenticity." In other words, collecting functional pottery is a personal and hands-on endeavor, ceramics collected are works of art to be touched and used.

The UNI Gallery of Art will also present a new UNI Permanent Art Collection exhibition, titled "Myth & Narrative: It's All in the Telling," which will run through Saturday, Dec. 21. Co-curated by Charles M. Adelman and Taylor, this exhibition represents an ongoing collaboration between the gallery and upper-level art history students. Featured works are by Romare Bearden, Salvador Dali, Honoré Daumier, Reuben Nakian and Gladys Nilsson. Students from Adelman's Myth & Narrative class will present didactic materials for each object.

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 through Saturday; and by appointment. The gallery will be closed Sept. 2 to recognize Labor Day.

For more information, visit or call 319-273-3095.

August 14, 2013 - 2:40pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Craig Klafter, associate provost for International Programs at the University of Northern Iowa, announced recently that a full scholarship will be offered to a Taiwan student of indigenous heritage to study at UNI for a semester during the 2013-14 academic year. The scholarship is the most recent move in an effort to develop closer ties between UNI and the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki).

UNI, in partnership with the National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taiwan, has been working to connect the Meskwaki with indigenous peoples of Taiwan to work on issues of common interest including indigenous language revitalization. In a recent visit to NCCU, Klafter and Meskwaki tribe member and UNI alumna Yolanda Pushetonequa, visited with Deputy Minister Lin Chiang-Yi of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, Executive Yuan, Republic of China. They discussed a wide range of issues and interests common to the Meskwaki and Taiwan's indigenous tribes.

While in Taiwan, Pushetonequa gave a lecture at NCCU, titled "Best Practices in North American Indigenous Language Revitalization," in which she described a range of community-based approaches to language revitalization used in the U.S. and Canada. She was also able to meet members of Taiwan's Saisiyat and Atayal tribes. "It's a beautiful thing to travel to the other side of the world and meet people who are just like us in many ways," said Pushetonequa. "It felt good to see there are others who see the world in a similar way that tribal people in the U.S. do."

Pushetonequa's visit stemmed from her efforts to preserve the Meskwaki language as the founding director of the Meskwaki Language Department and now as a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Minnesota. UNI has supported the efforts of the Meskwaki to preserve their language by providing faculty and staff expertise in teaching second languages to the Meskwaki Settlement School's culture teachers, who are charged with teaching the Meskwaki language.

The Government of Taiwan and NCCU have been in the forefront of indigenous language preservation, helping to revitalize the 40 indigenous languages of Taiwan's 14 indigenous tribes.  "It is our hope," said Klafter, "that by means of this scholarship, the University of Northern Iowa will continue its efforts to build a bridge between the Meskwaki and the indigenous tribes of Taiwan so that they can learn from each other about methods of indigenous language revitalization and work together to address issues of mutual concern."

For more information about UNI's Office of International Programs, visit

August 13, 2013 - 12:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The world isn't just moving into digital dominance, it's sprinting there, and it's the responsibility of educators to keep up. Today, Facebook reports 1.15 billion users; more than 6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube monthly; and Twitter claims 500 million registered users. The University of Northern Iowa recognized this growing digital world and created a new program, Interactive Digital Studies (IDS).

Within six months of the program's launch last year, the number of majors offered doubled. IDS now has 29 majors and 19 minors. Bettina Fabos, associate professor of communication studies, said this will likely double again.

Although housed in the Department of Communication Studies, the program is designed to be versatile, with a focus on interdisciplinary study. The majors allow students to mix and match different "bundles" -- made up of five classes in a certain area of digital interest -- to create a personalized major. Bundles currently include digital advertising, music, computation, media and social change, imaging, writing, learning, and visualization. For the IDS major, a student takes three foundation classes in digital communication, picks two bundles and caps their study with a practicum that brings IDS majors together across disciplines to build a final digital project as a class.

The IDS minor, which requires one bundle, pairs a digital skill dimension to any major currently offered. For example, a history major adding an IDS minor will become adept at digital archiving. "Any UNI student involved in IDS is instantly better positioned for a future career in the digital world," Fabos said. "We are offering this perfect fusion of liberal arts and marketability."

Recognizing UNI's and the Cedar Falls business community's push into the digital frontier, Brand Driven Digital, a social media and digital marketing company based in Iowa City, announced that UNI will be added to its Social Strategy Boot Camp tour. The workshop will help marketers in the Cedar Valley develop comprehensive and actionable social media strategies. The Cedar Falls Social Strategy Boot Camp will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Innovative Teaching and Technology Center (ITTC) on the UNI campus. Registration will be open until the day of the workshop, with a registration fee of $115.

For more information or to register for the Social Strategy Boot Camp, visit For more information about IDS, visit

August 13, 2013 - 12:27pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- For the past two decades, the University of Northern Iowa's Jazz Band One has been producing first-rate records. Their most recent release, "The Hard Way," is creating waves in the jazz community. Reviewer Jack Bowers from All About Jazz, a website produced by jazz evangelists, jazz professionals and web technicians, said in a recent review, "The band is stout as a rampart, the soloists sharp and engaging."

"The Hard Way" marks the band's 20th release and Chris Merz's 10th as director. "We are thrilled by the wonderful review of the CD," said Merz. The CD features both live recordings as well as studio efforts. Jon Snell, a sophomore majoring in music: jazz studies, composed one of the tracks.

The album costs $10 and can be purchased from Merz. The profits will help fund the band's next record.

Looking to the future, Merz said he is "particularly excited" about their next release, titled "This is the Band," going on to say that it will be an exclusively in-house effort, with all nine tracks being written by band members. 

August 13, 2013 - 12:45pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Sabin Hall renovation was awarded LEED® Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The Sabin Hall renovation LEED-certified project is the first LEED Gold level project on campus.

"The Sabin Hall renovation project has been a tremendous success story of cooperation among academic and operational units at UNI," Said Eric O'Brien, university sustainability coordinator. "This common vision preserved historic qualities of Sabin Hall, while enhancing the academic environment and creating a more efficient building."

The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before. The Sabin Hall renovation LEED-certified project, with support from UNI, Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering LLP and Larson Construction Co. Inc., serves as a prime example of what can be accomplished in regards to preserving existing facilities and reviving them into sustainable places of learning.

The Sabin Hall renovation LEED-certified project is just a single piece of UNI's progression towards a sustainable campus. In 2012, UNI's Multimodal Transportation Center received an award from the Central States Region (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma) American Institute of Architects (AIA). The AIA Central States Region Awards are held annually to encourage and recognize excellence in architecture.

The UNI Multimodal Transportation Center added more than 490 vehicle parking spaces at a central location adjacent to campus for off-campus residents and visitors, and provided access to bicycle lockers and the university transit system, Panther Shuttle and the Metropolitan Transit Authority routes, which serve the cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo.

The parking ramp is also supported by an array of solar panels that result in a net-zero electricity use for the facility. Making it one of the first net-zero buildings in the state of Iowa. 

Looking even further back, in 1992, UNI finished construction on Iowa's first modern sustainable building, the Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE).

According to USGBC's project directory, there are 139 LEED-certified projects in the state of Iowa. Of those, 46 are certified at the gold level.

In the process of becoming LEED certified are UNI's new student-housing facilities, Panther Village. The first phase opened to students in the fall of 2012, and the second phase will be finished by the end of this August.

For more information about LEED projects and certification, visit

For more information about UNI's ongoing sustainability efforts, visit

August 5, 2013 - 11:22am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is changing things up this year at the Iowa State Fair with a completely redesigned exhibit. The exhibit will be open to fairgoers from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 8, through Sunday, Aug. 18, in the Varied Industries Building.

The exhibit will offer a new interactive multimedia station, complete with two 55-inch touch screen monitors. The monitors will allow visitors and prospective students to explore the many different majors and opportunities UNI offers. Alumni will also be able to use this station to connect with UNI alumni services.

iPads will be available for fairgoers to take pictures with a life-size cutout of UNI's mascot, TC. The pictures will then be emailed to the fairgoer.

UNI President Bill Ruud will visit with guests, alumni and prospective students and their families from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10.

In addition to the new attractions, many old Panther favorites will be available at the exhibit. Visitors are invited to grab a Panther football poster, a Panther paper fan, a photo frame magnet and a temporary Panther tattoo.

The exhibit will provide prospective students and families the opportunity to visit with alumni, faculty, staff and students to learn more about UNI and campus life. University Book & Supply will sell UNI clothing, Panther gear and memorabilia in conjunction with the exhibit.

For more information, contact Jess Betts, marketing specialist in the office of University Relations, at 319-273-2761 or

August 5, 2013 - 11:26am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Suzuki School is now accepting registrations for the 2013-14 academic year. Violin and viola registration is open to students 7 years and older. Cello and guitar registration is open to students 4 years and older. Adult students are also welcome. Registration forms for returning students are due by Saturday, Aug. 10.

New students will be able to register at an open house from 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, in the lobby of Russell Hall. Interested students and their families are invited to attend. Visitors can meet teachers and staff, watch student demonstrations and get information about the upcoming year.

The UNI Suzuki School offers music instruction for students of all ages in violin, viola, cello and guitar. Students of any experience level are welcome. In addition, the school sponsors several orchestras, music ensembles, has unique music-related classes and numerous performance opportunities, including solo and group performances.

For more information, including registration forms, visit or contact Suzuki coordinator Cathy Craig at 319-273-2508 or

August 5, 2013 - 3:54pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Small Business Development Center will offer a three-day QuickBooks Level 1 class from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Sept. 17, Thursday, Sept. 19, and Tuesday, Sept. 24. The class, intended for small-business owners, will focus on money management, including sales, invoicing, bills and tracking expenses. Students will also learn how to use reports to better understand their business, including profitability and sales trends.

Instructing the class will be Judy Schindel of Grant & Schindel CPA, Inc. in Waterloo. She spent more than 25 years as a controller and CPA and is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

The class will be held in the Business and Community Services building. Room 030. A registration fee of $25 will cover all needed materials.

To register, call the UNI Small Business Development Center at 319-273-4344. Registration is limited to the first 30 applicants.

For more information about the UNI Small Business Development Center, visit


July 26, 2013 - 10:16am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host this year's annual Military and Veteran State Conference from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 23, at Maucker Union on the UNI campus. A military employment fair will run concurrently from 1 to 4 p.m.

This year's conference, titled "Uncamouflaging Campus Diversity: Creating Transparency Through Cultural Competence," aims to educate colleges, universities and Iowans about military culture and the diversity military members bring to campuses and communities.

The keynote presentation will be given by University of Maryland professor of sociology Meredith Kleykamp. Her studies focus on military culture and the soldier's transition back into civilian life.

Additional breakout sessions will be held throughout the day to discuss the aspect of military and family culture, how colleges and universities can be prepared to help military members succeed, and give tools to help overcome the challenges of transitioning back into civilian life.

For more information about the conference, visit

July 18, 2013 - 1:24pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- With the implementation of some aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act just around the corner, many business owners are anxiously waiting to learn what this legislation will mean for their business, and more importantly, their bottom line. The conflicting information that is available has made it very difficult for small business owners to understand what steps they need to take.

This free webinar, "Healthcare Changes for Small Business Owners," will aim to answer these questions and provide small business owners--specifically, entrepreneurs and firms with fewer than 50 employees--the information they need to know.

Guest presenters will be Bob Mreen, director of compliance solutions at TrueNorth, Jim Heckmann, state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Centers, and Rob Williams, business analyst at the University of Northern Iowa's MyEntre.Net.  This presentation is sponsored by the Iowa Small Business Development Centers.

For more information about this webinar or to register, visit 

July 18, 2013 - 3:22pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's New Horizons Band (NHB) will perform a concert Tuesday, July 23, in Overman Park, downtown Cedar Falls preceding the Cedar Falls Municipal Band Concert. The pre-show concert will be at 6:30 p.m.

The final NHB summer performance will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 25, at Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls. This concert will be indoors and will also include a reception following the concert.

The New Horizons Band is sponsored by the UNI School of Music and the UNI Community Music School. The group includes members ages 55 and older with various musical backgrounds who travel from all over Iowa to rehearse and perform. The band started in 1999 with 17 members and now has over 80. 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.

July 18, 2013 - 3:35pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host the 2013 Iowa EPSCoR (Experimental Program on Stimulate Competitive Research) Annual All-Hands Meeting Monday, July 22, through Tuesday, July 23. The meeting will be held in UNI's Maucker Union. All Iowa EPSCoR faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

Meeting participants will share progress, highlight scientific and broader-impact accomplishments, and feature student research posters. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will provide a keynote address showcasing Iowa's accomplishments in STEM and workforce development at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, July 23.

A panel discussion will follow the keynote address. The panel includes Rob Denson, president of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC); Lisa Lorenzen, executive director of the Iowa State University Research Foundation (ISURF); Craig Just, University of Iowa; and Brent Shanks, Iowa State University.

In addition to speakers, a student poster competition is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., Tuesday, July 23. The competition is open to students currently enrolled in or affiliated with any Iowa high school, community college, four-year college, or university, and it provides an opportunity to showcase their current completed research.

For more information about the Iowa EPSCoR Annual All-Hands Meeting, visit

July 17, 2013 - 2:20pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa and the Iowa High School Athletic Association have agreed to a five-year extension of the contract for the state football playoff semifinals and finals in the UNI-Dome. The new agreement runs through the 2017 season.

"The University of Northern Iowa is proud to continue our long-standing relationship with the IHSAA and its member Iowa high schools," UNI President Bill Ruud said. "The UNI-Dome is the ultimate destination for thousands of high school football players, their coaches, families and friends. We are pleased to host the playoffs at a venue that provides a positive athletic experience. While high school students and families are on campus this fall for the playoffs, we invite them to our Open Houses, which will provide an opportunity to tour campus, meet faculty and visit the Cedar Valley community."

IHSAA Executive Director Rick Wulkow and UNI Director of Athletics Troy Dannen agreed to the extension which ensures the semifinal and championship rounds of the grid playoffs to remain in the UNI-Dome. The Dome has hosted the championship games since the inception of the building in 1976 and the semifinal rounds since 1998.

"Each year the UNI-Dome staff and UNI Athletics look forward to putting our best foot forward and providing a venue that exceeds championship standards," Dannen said. "We look forward to continuing the partnership between the Iowa High School Athletic Association and UNI Athletics." 

"For the past 37 years our high schools, their players, coaches and fans have come to equate the UNI-Dome as the destination for the season," stated Wulkow. "The facilities are excellent and UNI's administration and the UNI-Dome staff have been great hosts and partners in accommodating our teams, players and fans while removing weather as a game factor."

Dates for this year's semifinals are Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14, 15 and 16 with the title games on Thursday, Nov. 21 and Friday, Nov. 22.

July 12, 2013 - 10:21am


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

Iowa Code 314.17, which includes county secondary roads as well as state primary and interstate highways, extends the existing no-mow period, now from July 1 through July 15 to provide an additional two weeks for hatching and development of young ground-nesting birds and pollinators.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has established two periods for harvesting grass within the state-maintained highway right-of-way: July 15 through Sept. 1, for cool-season grasses and forage legumes and July 15 through Aug. 15, for warm-season native grasses. A permit must be issued by the DOT before harvesting.

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

"Intensive roadside mowing during this critical time for wildlife may weaken soil and root structure and may compromise habitat established across Iowa's roadsides along secondary roads," said Rebecca Kauten, IRVM program manager. "Prairies once dominated the Iowa landscape, covering approximately 85 percent of the state. Today, less than one-tenth of one percent of this original landscape remains. The amendment to the mowing law adds an additional 500,000 acres of vegetated right-of-way for habitat and allows a portion of this disappearing ecosystem to exist for birds, insects and other wildlife."

For more information, visit and

July 10, 2013 - 9:33am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Suzuki School will be welcoming parents and new students this August to learn more about the program.

A violin and viola young beginners class for students ages 4 through 6 will begin with a parent orientation at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 12, in Russell Hall on the UNI campus. Pre-instrument sessions will be held for both parents and students at 6 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays, Aug. 15 through Aug. 29, in Russell Hall. Instruments are not required for these sessions.

These sessions are required for students joining the UNI Suzuki School for the 2013-14 academic year. Pre-registration is required. Students younger than 4 may apply, but continued enrollment will depend upon the maturity of the student. Registration deadline is Aug. 10.

For more information, to ask questions or to register, visit or call 319-273-2508. Questions may also be asked via email at

July 8, 2013 - 9:08am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host this year's Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R). This international association of scholars was founded in 1990 and is dedicated to the exploration, criticism and development of René Girad's mimetic model of the relationship between violence and religion in the genesis and maintenance of culture. Scholars from diverse fields and theoretical orientations are invited to participate. Last year's conference was held at the International Christian University in Tokyo.

This year's conference, titled "A Land Between Two Rivers," will focus on ecological issues, using the impact large-scale industrial agriculture has had on the ecosystem in the state of Iowa as a case study. 

The mimetic theory is a model of human relationships that, among other things, focuses on the phenomena of the scapegoat mechanism, a method in which humankind has created, throughout the centuries, common enemies to foster unity and set the foundations of advanced cultural development. By temporally displacing the fear or threat acting on the person or society, social order can be restored, as the "threat" has been identified and eliminated. The mimetic theory says this mechanism can be linked to everything from bullying to war.

The conference begins on Wednesday, July 10, at 4 p.m., in Bengston Auditorium in Russell Hall with a welcome from University President Bill Ruud. The opening keynote lecture, given by Laura Jackson of the Department of Biology at UNI, will follow at 7:30 p.m. Jackson's studies focus on sustainable agriculture. She has worked alongside farmers in northeast Iowa, helping reintroduce native plant life to add diversity and sustainability.  

Another noted speaker, Whitney Bauman, professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Florida International University, will speak on Thursday, July 11, at 7 p.m. in Bengston Auditorium. Bauman's research focuses on how religious beliefs, insights, doctrines and practices have shaped the cultures in which people live, and how this impacts their relationship with the natural world.

Mark Wallace, professor in the Department of Religion at Swathmore College, will speak on Friday, July 12, at 10:15 a.m. in Bengston Auditorium. Wallace's research has focused on how world religions have defined humankind's placement in the natural order. He addresses some of the questions many religions have grappled with throughout history, questions regarding human beings' responsibility to the natural world and other life forms, and the idea of the cosmos having an inherent purpose or function. All questions, Wallace believes influence peoples' treatment of the natural world around them.

For more information about the COV&R and a full conference event list, visit

July 8, 2013 - 2:16pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Sturgis Youth Theatre (SYT) will perform "Jack and the Magic Beans" at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 18, through Saturday, July 20, at Strayer-Wood Theatre on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Matinee performances will be held Friday, July 19, at 10:30 a.m., and Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased by calling the Strayer-Wood Theatre ticket office at 319-273-6387.

Adapted by Vera Morris, this version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" draws inspiration of the story's original British source, "The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean." SYT artistic director and UNI professor of theater Gretta Berghammer is the director. UNI assistant professor of theatre Mark Parrott is in charge of scenery and lighting, Alex Westrum (B.A. '13) is heading costumes, and Ben Merz of Cedar Falls, long-time SYT performer and crew member, is the production stage manager.

The cast is made up of 37 children between the ages of 9 and 16 from the Cedar Valley. Cast members from Waterloo include Kayla Craun, Martisha Greer, Jadi Jacobsen, Laurel Malecek, Camille Malecek and Milo Simpson. Cedar Falls cast members include Jaden Amjadi, Malina Amjadi, Claire Biles, Kellen Chenoweth, Maddy Doeden, Willa Eacret, Gavin Elliot, Aidan Flack, Owen Flack, John Glascock, Nathaniel Harwood, Arlo Hettle, Grace King, Alexis Klug, Sabrina Leistikow, Riley Marten, Sabine Fabos Martin, Cam McReynolds, Grace Mudd, Olivia Rodgers, Caroline Schafer, Margaret Schafer, Sophia Schillinger, Jack Stitcher, Alex Sulentic, Kyra Takes, Madelyn Wood and Sami Zimmerman. Additional cast members include Davis Roth of Jesup, Dylan Roth of Jesup and Alyssa Blackburn of Steamboat Rock.

Another 10 teens from Cedar Falls and Waterloo are interns and staff, working in crew positions.

For a full list of shows or more information about Strayer-Wood Theatre, visit

July 2, 2013 - 8:38am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A $1 million gift for scholarships will benefit students at the University of Northern Iowa. The Gerdin Family Foundation created the Ben and Pat Allen Endowed Scholarship fund in honor of UNI's former president.

Julie Gerdin Durr ('94) said, "Our family members are close personal friends of Ben and Pat. Ben has served on our board of directors at Heartland Express Trucking since 1995. When my dad passed away, the family felt he would have wanted to support Ben and Pat and their contributions to UNI and the state of Iowa by giving a scholarship in their honor."

The endowed scholarship will be awarded annually to one or more undergraduate students to support tuition. The family's intention is to assist hardworking, motivated students.

UNI President Bill Ruud, said, "We are grateful to the Gerdin family for their generous support of our students. This gift adds to the legacy that Ben and Pat left this great university and will impact future generations of students studying at UNI."

The scholarship was given through the UNI Foundation as part of the UNI Scholarship Initiative. To learn more, visit

July 1, 2013 - 2:06pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa President Bill Ruud has been appointed to the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council as both an executive committee, and advisory council member. The council is co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Vermeer President and CEO Mary Andringa.

"I am honored to be appointed to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and I am excited to partner with statewide leaders to continue building a strong STEM education foundation for all Iowans," said Ruud. "As the state’s largest preparer of Iowa's innovative pre-K-through-12 STEM teachers, it's important that UNI be at the forefront of providing leadership to efforts that are crucial to the education and economic progress of Iowa." 

Established in July 2011 to promote STEM education, innovation, student interest and achievements in STEM subjects, and STEM-related careers statewide, the council advises the Governor's office in matters or recruitment and preparation of STEM teachers; mapping of STEM education plans; and economic development with an emphasis on fostering innovation in research and entrepreneurship. The council is headquartered at UNI.

June 27, 2013 - 3:11pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host a junior lifeguarding class for youth ages 11 through 14, from Monday, July 22, through Wednesday, July 24.

The class will provide a foundation in aquatics and leadership knowledge, along with skills for future successful completion of American Red Cross lifeguarding courses. The class will focus on prevention of accidents, fitness, rescue responses, leadership and professionalism.

Participants are required to pass a swim test, which consists of a 25-yard front crawl that displays proper breathing technique; a 25-yard elementary backstroke; a 30-secound back float; treading water for one minute; and swimming 10 feet underwater without surfacing. The test will be given at the start of class Monday.

The cost of the class is $80, which will also cover all course materials. The class will be held at the UNI Wellness and Recreation Center's (WRC) lap pool from 8 a.m. to noon.

To enroll, email To learn more about services provided by the UNI WRC, visit