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News Release Archive

September 4, 2014 - 10:28am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Twenty new University of Northern Iowa students have been awarded Presidential Scholarships for their outstanding academic performance in high school. The recipients of the award are chosen based on their strong academic credentials and involvement in leadership and service activities.

Presidential Scholarships are worth $32,000 over four years at UNI. To meet the criteria for one of these scholarships, students must have an ACT composite of 29 or above and rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class, or have a Regent Admission Index (RAI) of 335 or above. The RAI is a formula used to calculate student admission eligibility based on their high school rank, high school grade point average, ACT composite score and courses completed in core subject areas. These students must maintain the academic excellence for which the awards have been granted.

"Presidential Scholarships recognize students with records of academic excellence who also show potential for leadership and service to our campus and community," said Jessica Moon, director of the UNI Honors Program. "Presidential Scholars contribute so much to the life of our university! I'm eager to begin working with this talented group of new students."

The select group of students will take part in scholars-only seminars, be eligible for special travel and study opportunities and receive extensive individual advising. All of the scholars are required to complete a senior thesis or project.

September 4, 2014 - 4:33pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Jehane Noujaim, cinematographer and director, will speak at the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Multicultural Education (CME) at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 8. Noujaim will discuss "The Role of Media & Social Media in Social Movements." She is just one of many speakers scheduled to participate in this year's Reaching for Higher Ground series.

Noujaim, an Egyptian native, is most known for her films "Control Room," "" and "The Square." Noujaim has been featured in many Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talks and has won the Ted Prize, which is awarded to an extraordinary individual with a creative and bold vision to spark global change. During her visit, "The Square" will be shown following a discussion about "The Role of Media & Social Media in Social Movements." The event will include a Q&A session and a reception in the CME.

The mission of the Reaching for Higher Ground project is to better understand a variety of complex topics through the lenses of social justice, education and economics. The theme for this year's series is Media and Social Media: A Networked Society.

For more information, contact Michael Blackwell, director of the CME, at 319-273-2250 or or visit

September 3, 2014 - 9:06am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Documentary filmmaker and two-time Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker will visit the University of Northern Iowa Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 22 and 23, to screen four of her works as part of the William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series. filmmaker Lucy Walker

Walker will screen and discuss the following films, all in Lang Hall Auditorium:

7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 22, "The Lion's Mouth Opens"

8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 22, "The Crash Reel"

7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom"

8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, "Waste Land"

Walker grew up in London, England, and graduated from Oxford University before winning a Fulbright Scholarship to attend the Graduate Film Program at New York University. She began her career by directing theater and musical theater, winning awards at Oxford for her productions. She also had a career as a DJ.

Walker is the third visiting filmmaker in the William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series. The goal of the series is to bring the world's most distinguished documentary filmmakers to UNI. The series is sponsored by the UNI Department of Communication Studies, and supported by the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, the Office of the President, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and many friends of the series.  For more information, contact David O'Shields, filmmaker in residence and adjunct instructor of communication studies, at 319-273-3791 or

September 3, 2014 - 9:43am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- "County Fair!" will be the theme of the 33rd Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert, hosted by the UNI School of Music. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 26, in the Great Hall at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

This year's concert will feature music by guest artist Nicolle Foland, soprano (San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, etc.) as well as music by faculty artists Ann Bradfield, Dmitri Vorobiev, Tina Su, Heather Peyton, Polina Khatsko, Anthony Williams, Sean Botkin and Jean McDonald. Also featured: the Northern Iowa Wind Symphony, Jazz Band One, the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra with combined UNI choirs and more.

Following the concert there will be hors d'oeuvres, champagne and music in the lobby, and a performance by the Hands of Time Quartet and UNI faculty artists performing organ music in Jebe Hall. Pre-show music will be provided by Amanda McCandless and the UNI Clarinet Studio, and intermission entertainment will be provided by the UNI Suzuki School.

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 Gallagher Bluedorn 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, UNI School of Music communication and operations coordinator, at 319-273-2028 or


September 2, 2014 - 10:06am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Multicultural Education (CME) will host speaker Sheryll Cashin at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11, at the CME.

Cashin will lecture on her book "Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America." She advocates that affirmative action, as it is currently practiced, does little to help disadvantaged people, and she will discuss possible ways to fix this. There will be a book signing immediately following the discussion. The presentation is in conjunction with the CME Book Club, which will be discussing Cashin's book prior to the lecture from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the CME.

Cashin is a professor of law at Georgetown University and writes about race relations and inequality in America. Before arriving at Georgetown, Cashin worked for the Clinton administration as an adviser on urban and economic policy.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michael Blackwell, director of the Center for Multicultural Education, at 319-273-2250 or

September 2, 2014 - 3:52pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Renowned pianist Beatrice Rana will perform at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 10.

Rana, a 20-year-old musician from Italy, recently won the silver medal and the Audience Award at the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She has performed around the world, including at Zurich's Tonhalle, London's Wigmore Hall and Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center.

Tickets cost $49 and can be purchased at any UNItix location, at or by phone at 319-273-4849. In a unique stage setup, the audience will experience chamber music as it's meant to be experienced. On-stage seating will be limited.

This event is part of the GBPAC’s 2014-15 Artist Series "Spark, Ignite, Inspire." The Artist Series brings internationally acclaimed artists and programs to UNI for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community.

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

August 27, 2014 - 1:39pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Regional Business Center announces the publication of the 2014 Iowa Small Business Report (ISBR). This report is based on data collected from Iowa small business owners in February 2014 associated with their business activity during calendar year 2013.

Each year the ISBR measures sales trends, job growth or loss, capital acquired, and business use of technology among Iowa business owners with fewer than 50 employees. In addition, the 2014 survey measured business needs for technical assistance, networks and capital and asks how small business owners are accessing those services and the value they place in them. The 2014 findings have been published in a full color magazine providing business owners, community leaders and legislators a good look, both visually and in articles, about the current Iowa small business experience.

The 2014 ISBR also includes a second new publication, "The Iowa Woman-Owned Business Experience." It offers the first in-depth look at small businesses in the state owned by women. Nationally, Iowa ranks at or near the bottom of all states in growth of woman-owned businesses. The 2014 report confirms that Iowa woman-owned businesses are generally smaller, younger and employ fewer people than male-owned businesses in the state. Woman-owned businesses do not seem to persist past the 10-year mark, and they consistently miss hitting the $1 million threshold in sales. 

Across the board, Iowa small business owners are calling for less regulation, more capital, better access to their peers online and in person and more supportive communities. According to UNI researcher-In- residence Maureen Collins-Williams, these publications offer relevant suggestions for program and policy changes in the state, noting that, “How well we respond to these needs going forward will be rewarded by more business starts, new jobs and business expansions in Iowa. These are critical findings- especially as it relates to woman-owned businesses in the state.”

Both reports are available for download at

The Regional Business Center is an award winning and nationally recognized Center of entrepreneurship and small business support programs housed at the University of Northern Iowa. From business incubation on campus, to innovative online services and entrepreneurship research, the Regional Business Center is on the cutting-edge of improving Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Regional Business Center has conducted the Iowa Small Business Survey annually since 2012.

August 27, 2014 - 1:40pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host Kindergym, an informal learning program focusing on the development and refinement of motor skills for 2- to 5-year-olds.

The program will be offered Saturdays from 9 to 9:50 a.m. for 4- and 5-year-olds and from 10 to 10:50 a.m. for 2- and 3-year-olds. Sessions will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, through Saturday, Nov. 1, in UNI's Wellness and Recreation Center main gym.

Physical activity stations will focus on age-appropriate movement skills that encourage success in a fun atmosphere. Kindergym is a parent/child program, and parents are requested to attend the sessions with their child.

The registration fee is $32; deadline for registration is Monday, Sept. 15. For more information about Kindergym or to register, contact Rip Marston, professor in UNI's Department of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services, at 319-273-6882 or

August 27, 2014 - 2:41pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Tallgrass Prairie Center will host activities during Iowa Prairie Heritage week, Monday Sept. 8, through Sunday, Sept. 14.

A reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 6 at the Tallgrass Prairie Center, located at 2412 W. 27th Street, Cedar Falls. There will be a brief center overview, a meet and greet with the new center director, Laura Jackson, and an announcement of the launch of Friends of the Tallgrass Prairie Center. Refreshments and optional tours of UNI's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve will be provided. 

UNI's Tallgrass Prairie Center was established in 1999 as the Native Roadside Vegetation Center. It uses 65 acres of campus and leased land for native seed production plots. The name was changed on Jan. 1, 2006, to more accurately reflect its mission, programs and activities. Many of the programs are accomplished through partnerships with organizations, associations, and federal, state and local agencies.

For additional information, visit or contact Jackson at 319-273-2705 or

August 26, 2014 - 8:58am


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 Sept. 18.

After a review of the submitted business plans, 10 businesses were selected to present to the judging panel comprised of the five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) representatives, the Iowa Small Business Development Center and the Economic Development Center. The committee announced the three finalists in the competition, listed in alphabetical order:


Green Start LLC

Green Start has created a paradigm shift for the treatment of water and waste water, the patented technology can deliver over 600 mg/l of dissolved oxygen, several times that of natural saturation of oxygen in water, in a nano/micro-bubble form. Green Start was launched in 2014 and is located in Le Claire, Iowa.

Contact: Leonard Hoogerwerf


Iowa Adaptive Technologies

IAT addresses the needs of those who experience communication barriers caused by physical impairments. Iowa Adaptive Technologies was started in 2013 and is located in Iowa City, Iowa.

Contact: Richard Hurtig


Pear Deck

Pear Deck is an EdTech startup powering active classrooms in Google Apps for Education schools by blending personalized and collaborative learning in one simple app. Pear Deck was started in 2014 and is located in Iowa City, Iowa.

Contact: Michal Eynon-Lynch

The three finalists and their ranking will be announced at a special awards luncheon on Sept. 18 at Drake University where Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will provide a keynote message. Awards are $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second place and $10,000 for third place.

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.


August 25, 2014 - 2:52pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Amy Thielen, the hostess of "Heartland Table" on Food Network, will visit the University of Northern Iowa Thursday and Friday, Sept. 4 and 5. Thielen will conduct food demonstrations at UNI's Harvest Festival and talk about her journey from the Midwest to New York and back during an evening presentation. Food Network star Amy Thielen

The Harvest Festival is from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, at UNI's Panther Plot, which is on the corner of University Avenue and College Street. Thielen's keynote presentation is at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, in Maucker Union.

Thielen grew up a few miles from the headwaters of the Mississipi River in Minnesota and graduated from Macalester College. She spent seven years cooking professionally in New York before returning to Minnesota in 2008. Her cookbook, "The New Midwestern Table," a collection of 200 Midwestern recipes, was published in September 2013. University Book and Supply will be selling copies of Amy's book before and after her evening presentation on Sept. 4.

While Thielen is at UNI, she'll get to see how local food programs have impacted the university's dining services. UNI's food service spends approximately 29 percent of its total food purchasing dollars on products within 250 miles of the university. She'll also get to see how the addition of the Panther Plot, UNI's student-run garden, has given students valuable skills pertaining to gardening, leadership and food systems while simultaneously providing the university community with fresh, locally grown produce.

"UNI's sustainability efforts happen on a daily basis across campus with goals of creating a more efficient campus," said Eric O'Brien, UNI sustainability coordinator. "While many of our efforts are nearly invisible, the work in the Panther Plot is a very visible project that results in very tangible and measurable, positive outcomes that should be celebrated."

For more information, contact O'Brien at 319-273-7207, or visit

August 20, 2014 - 1:04pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Pentatonix, a trendy a capella group and winners of season three of NBC's "The Sing-Off," will perform at the University of Northern Iowa's Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2.

UNI student pre-sale tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 3; general public tickets go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 10.

Pentatonix is comprised of lead vocalists Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado and Mitch Grassi, vocal bass Avi Kaplan and beatboxer Kevin "K.O." Olusola. This a capella quintet is internationally known and loved for their instrument-free music. From original tracks to their intricate reimaging of pop hits, the group quickly developed an entirely unique sound and style. Their third and most recent release – PTX Volume 2 – debuted at No. 10 on the overall Billboard Chart and No. 1 on its Independent Album Chart.

This show is being presented in partnership with UNI's Campus Activities Board, a student-run event programming organization.

Students interested in pre-sale tickets must buy them in person with their student ID at Maucker Union or the ticket offices in the GBPAC or McLeod Center. Tickets on sale beginning Sept. 10 will be available at, 319-273-SHOW (7469) or stop by the ticket offices.

August 19, 2014 - 4:21pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A free online webinar about Iowa sales tax on transactions involving nonprofit and governmental entities will be held from noon to 1 p.m., Aug. 27.  This online presentation will provide an overview of when tax applies on sales made to and by these entities. For more information or to register, please visit

The Iowa Department of Revenue has partnered with MyEntre.Net to provide free tax webinars to small business owners on IASourceLink. The presenter for this webinar is Terry O’Neill of the Iowa Department of Revenue. Rob Williams of the University of Northern Iowa serves as moderator.

Recorded versions of prior webinars are also available at

The mission of the Iowa Department of Revenue is to serve Iowans and support state government by collecting all taxes required by law, but no more.

August 19, 2014 - 4:26pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "String Theory and the Superconducting Super Collider Series" in the gallery proper Monday, Aug. 25, through Saturday, Oct. 18, and "Scientists Collect" in the gallery showcases Monday, Aug. 25, through Tuesday, Sept. 23. These exhibitions are associated with the traveling exhibition "Nature's Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art and Invention" and represent a semester-long tribute to convergences of art and science.

"String Theory and the Superconducting Super Collider Series" features large-scale abstract paintings by Vermont-based artist and writer Lucinda Mason. The exhibition is dedicated to the late C. Clifton Chancey, head of the UNI Department of Physics. This suite of paintings is inspired by the Superconducting Super Collider Project, which refers to the particle accelerator at the Fermilab in central Texas, whose scientists participated in the search for the Higgs boson particle. According to Mason, this series is based on the essential properties of matter and the infinite possibilities of immeasurable space. "It touches on the very nature of our human quest to understand energy and its properties."

The gallery will present "Scientists Collect" in its showcases, a mini-exhibition composed of artwork made by, or collected by, scientists and mathematicians at UNI. Darrell Taylor, director of the UNI Gallery of Art, and professor Laura Jackson, plant ecologist and director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center, curate the exhibition. In addition, Jackson and assistant professor of art Wendy Miller will present the lecture "Science and Art: Dual Perspectives on the Tallgrass Prairie" at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, in Kamerick Art Building, Room 111. Other lectures associated with this programming may be viewed on the gallery website calendar,

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 Taylor, at 319-273-6134 or

August 18, 2014 - 12:46pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "Nature's Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art and Invention" from Monday, Aug. 25, through Saturday, Oct. 18. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Kamerick Art Building (KAB), Room 111.

This exhibition was organized by Art Works For Change, Inc., with support from The Nathan Cummings Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Adobe Foundation; and the Sprint Foundation. At UNI, this presentation is made possible by the UNI College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences.image by Swiss artist Katja Loher

"Nature's Toolbox" is a traveling contemporary art exhibition curated by Randy Jayne Rosenberg, executive director of Art Works For Change. The exhibition contains an international cast of artists including Antonio Briceño of Venezuela, Katja Loher of Switzerland, Xu Zhen of China and Mari Andrews of the U.S. A series of short films by Italian actress Isabella Rossellini titled "Green Porno" is an examination of animal sexual behaviors, offering fascinating scientific insights along with a big dose of humor. Hong Kong-based artist Joyce Hsu's robotic insect "Odonata" is inspiration for a variety of applications such as search and rescue in the aftermath of disaster, spying, crop pollination and traffic monitoring.

Curator Rosenberg said, "Science provides facts while art tells stories. The need for environmental stories has never been greater – people are hungry for positive images of the future. The stories at the heart of 'Nature's Toolbox' offer fresh solutions, making it clear that humanity is itself an essential piece of this system. By understanding the relationships, not only can we save nature, we can save ourselves, too."

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


August 18, 2014 - 1:30pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa biology professor Jeff Tamplin has been named the principal investigator of a $60,000 grant sponsored by the United States Fisheries and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and disbursed through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

Tamplin and a field team of UNI students record ecological data on the North American wood turtle, an endangered species in Iowa. The field team uses radio telemetry to track turtle locations and to assess habitat usage, home-range size and movement patterns. The data will be used to develop species management policy for local and state conservation agencies. Radio transmitters are glued onto the shell of the turtles, which allows the researchers to locate individual turtles. The transmitters yield up to nine years of data collection and are removable.

The $60,000 grant is part of the USFWS's State Wildlife Grants-Competitive Program, which awarded approximately $494,000 for a collaborative project that includes turtle habitat restoration and monitoring work in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. UNI's portion of the grant will support Tamplin's research on the ecology and population structure of this species. Since 2003, Tamplin and his research team have recorded more than 3,000 locations of wood turtles in Black Hawk and Butler counties and have marked 117 turtles for future identification.

For more information about this grant, contact Tamplin at 319-273-2327 or

Turtle reseachers at work



August 18, 2014 - 3:45pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa and the UNI Foundation received a total of $40.8 million in sponsored grants, awards and funding for FY14.

"We take great pride in providing our undergraduate students learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom," said Christy Twait, assistant provost for research and sponsored programs. "Rather than working to learn, more students can work, earn and learn simultaneously while remaining on campus."

Some highlights from this funding include five National Science Foundation (NSF) awards. This is the most UNI has had at one time:

  • Ariel Aloe, assistant professor, educational psychology and foundations: Effects of SizeMeta - $136,225.
  • Rui He, assistant professor, physics: Acquire Closed Cycle Cryostat - $105,401
  • Andrey Petrov, associate professor, geography: RCN-SEES Arctic-FROST - $749,875         
  • Andrey Petrov, associate professor, geography: Congress/Arctic Social Science - $155,090
  • Andrew Stollenwerk, assistant professor, physics: RUI: Molecular Dichalcogenides - $74,014

"We are pleased that the caliber of our faculty member's research has been validated by the NSF," said Twait. "These awards will further our research, and in keeping with our strong undergraduate mission, will also provide hands-on, educational research opportunities for even more students to work alongside our faculty outside of the classroom."

Sponsored funding has contributed $1.8 million for student wages and student assistantships. Thirty-nine percent of UNI's sponsored funding focused on Iowa outreach (public service projects); 52 percent benefited academics and student aid. A total of  $13.9 million in sponsored funding benefited pre-K through 12 education.

For more information, contact Twait at 319-273-3217 or

August 15, 2014 - 2:22pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Molly Rome, a University of Northern Iowa senior majoring in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)/Spanish, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to Argentina for an English Teaching Assistantship.

Rome says that her professors at UNI have been exemplary role models who promote the true essence of TESOL."Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is all about building cross-cultural bridges, cultivating mutual respect, and promoting empathy and collaboration."

Rome says her professor Tammy Gregersen, associate professor of languages and literatures, first told her about the U.S. Student Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Argentina. Rome knew it would be an incredible opportunity to pursue her passion for TESOL as well as global and lifelong learning.

"The invaluable guidance offered by Dr. Tammy Gregersen, Dr. Ardith Meier and Dr. Gabriela Olivares-Cuhat throughout my application process, along with the collaboration and support I felt from my TESOL peers are two reasons why I am so grateful to have been a part of the languages and literatures department at UNI," said Rome. "This award and opportunity in Argentina is not only a great honor for me, but I believe it is also a direct result of the exceptional training, mentorship and support that I have received from my Spanish and TESOL professors during my undergraduate experience."

Rome is one of more than 1,800 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2014-15 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

For more information about the Fulbright Program visit,

August 15, 2014 - 2:38pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI Suzuki School has announced auditions for both youth and junior orchestras for 2014-15.

Auditions for the Northern Iowa Youth Orchestra will be held on Friday, Aug. 29. This orchestra is for area string students in grades 9 through 12. This year's Youth Orchestra conductor is John Chiles. Rehearsals will be on Friday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m., and four concerts will be held during the school year.

Auditions for the Northern Iowa Junior Orchestra will be held on Friday, Sept. 19. This orchestra is for area string students in grades 6 through 8. Students who are at least 10 years old may also audition. The conductor for the group is Tom Schilke. Rehearsals will be on Friday evenings (once a month in the fall and every Friday starting in January) from 5 to 7 p.m., with a concert on Sunday, April 19 and a tour beginning Wednesday, April 15.

School orchestra membership is required for membership in either of the orchestras. To schedule an audition time, contact Cathy Craig, coordinator for the UNI Suzuki School, at or call 319-273-2508. For more information, audition forms and requirements, visit

August 13, 2014 - 10:32am


CEDAR FALLS -- Ten businesses have been selected as finalists in the 2014 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition. The businesses continuing in the competition are: Advanced Renewable Technology International, eVizzit, Green Start, Innovas Technologies, iTracking Research, Iowa Adaptive Technologies,, Pear Deck, Rocket Referrals and Translacare.

"Now that we have selected 10 finalists, each business plan competitor will interview with a panel of judges on Aug. 20," 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. 18 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 25 entrepreneurs to submit full business plans. Those 25 business plans were narrowed down to the final 10.

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 11, 2014 - 2:38pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy at the University of Northern Iowa is the recipient of the 2014 Richard O. Jacobson Philanthropy Award. The award was presented to UNI President Bill Ruud and Jacobson Center Director Salli Forbes at an event held at Summit Farms in Hubbard on Aug. 2.

Each year the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation trustees select one project to receive this recognition. The center will receive a $50,000 gift provided by the Jacobson Foundation and Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter.

UNI's Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy (JCCL) works with Iowa schools to improve literacy for all Iowa students. The center provides preparation for literacy coaches in the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy model and preparation for Reading Recovery teacher leaders. Both the literacy coaches and Reading Recovery teacher leaders work to improve the teaching expertise and performance of teachers in the schools, which in turn improves literacy achievement for students.

In addition to these services, the JCCL provides a Literacy Education Professional Development School for the preparation of select undergraduate students who are studying to become teachers.

The goals of the center are to:

- Close the achievement gap between diverse groups while increasing literacy proficiency for all students

- Increase teachers' knowledge and instructional expertise through university-supported professional development

- Support teachers' collaborative monitoring of student progress and instructional decision-making

To learn more about UNI's Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy, contact the center at, call 319-273-2053 or visit

August 11, 2014 - 2:41pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Lifelong University will offer a variety of courses this fall.

"Developing Digital Savvy and Creating Digital Projects" will be taught by Bettina Fabos, associate professor of communication studies, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, 11, 18 and 25, in Rod Library. This workshop will focus on helping people get the most out of the Internet and their personal gadgets. Participants will also learn how to digitize images and edit images in Photoshop as well as create digital media projects, from books to websites.

"Warriors, Leaders and Fighting Men: Iowa's Heroes" will be taught by Steve Carignan, associate dean of special programs and executive director of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC), from 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, at Windcove in the Western Home Communities. Windcove is located at 5300 S Main Street Cedar Falls. This class will profile Iowa heroes, their service and character. It will include a field trip to the GBPAC and a complimentary ticket to Beyond Glory, a one-man play profiling some of America's Medal of Honor winners. The performance will be held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, in the GBPAC.

"Four Hitchcock Masterpieces" will be taught by Scott Cawelti, emeritus professor of languages and literatures, from 9:30 to 11:30, on Thursdays, Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30, at New Aldaya's Performing Arts Center. New Aldaya is located at 7511 University Ave., Cedar Falls. In the four two-hour sessions, the group will view and discuss four masterpieces by Alfred Hitchcock: "The Thirty-Nine Steps," "Vertigo," "North by Northwest" and "Psycho."

"Gratitude: Pathways to Joyful Living" will be taught by Len Froyen, professor of educational psychology, and Luann Alemao, family and consumer sciences educator, national speaker and trainer, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 21 and 28 and Nov. 4 and 11, at Windcove in the Western Home Communities. Stories of presenters and participants will supply topics that will be used to explore, understand and appreciate the power of gratitude to make and remake our lives.

The cost for each class is $40. Full refunds will be granted prior to the first day of each class. No refunds are allowed once the class has begun. To register or view a course description, call University Events Coordination at 319-273-5141 or visit

August 7, 2014 - 3:35pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Matthew Kroeger has been named the associate vice president of enrollment management at the University of Northern Iowa. His official state date was Thursday, July 31. Matthew Kroeger, AVP for enrollment management

Kroeger earned a M.Ed. with Distinction in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor's degree in business from UNI. In his most recent position, he served as director of recruitment and admissions at Idaho State University. Prior to that, Kroeger worked at the University of Iowa as the senior associate director of admissions. He also served in leadership roles in admissions at Northern Arizona University and Morningside College.

During his time at UNI, Kroeger will create and lead a team in charge of working across the university to envision and deliver an optimal enrollment program, among other enrollment responsibilities.

"This is an exciting time to be returning to my alma mater," said Kroeger. "I'm looking forward to collaborating with colleagues from across campus and other areas to positively impact UNI's enrollment and the student experience in the years to come. My wife and I are also excited to be returning to the Cedar Valley where we can raise our two children and be closer to our families."


August 6, 2014 - 8:32am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will again host an interactive exhibit at the Iowa State Fair. The exhibit will be open to fairgoers from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7, through Sunday, Aug. 17, in the Varied Industries Building.

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

Saturday, Aug. 9, is UNI Day at the Iowa State Fair, and attendees are encouraged to wear their Panther gear. UNI President Bill Ruud will visit with guests, alumni, and prospective students and their families from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. He will also show a steer at the Governor's Charity Steer Show at 4 p.m.

Special appearances will be made by UNI women's head basketball coach Tonya Warren and staff from 9 to 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 17. UNI men's head basketball coach Ben Jacobson and staff will be at the exhibit that same day from 2:30 to 5 p.m. UNI mascots TC and TK will be at the fair from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 9; 1 to 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 14; and noon to 1 p.m., 2 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug.16.

Visitors are invited to grab a Panther football poster, a temporary Panther tattoo and other UNI giveaways. 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 6, 2014 - 2:39pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Iowa's 28th annual Roadside Vegetation Management Conference will take place Thursday and Friday, Sept. 11 and 12, at Upper Iowa University in Fayette. The conference is organized by the Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program at the University of Northern Iowa and the Association for Integrated Roadside Management (AFIRM). It attracts county roadside managers, engineers, weed management experts and prairie enthusiasts from throughout the Midwest for training and networking with other professionals in the industry. A grant from the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund supports this annual event.

Nationwide, Iowa is a recognized leader in the use of native vegetation for roadside management along county rights of way. The UNI Roadside Program helps promote this effort through training, outreach and information geared toward the county roadside manager.

Keynote speakers for this event include hydrologist Jerald Fifield and Wayne Petersen, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Fifield will present information on erosion and sediment control practices related to roadway design. Additional conference topics include roadside geology, soil health and the perception of Iowa's roadside management program from others out of state.

More than 100 people annually attend the conference, including a dozen commercial vendors in erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, vegetation management and native vegetation production industries.

AFRIM will elect new officers during the business meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 10. Officers for 2013 include: president, Denise Straw (Chickasaw County); vice president, Wes Gibbs (Jones County); secretary, Tyler Kelley (Story County); treasurer, Ben Hoskinson (Mahaska County); at large, Matt Purdy (Benton County); and Rose Danaher (Iowa County).

For more information on Iowa Roadside Vegetation Management in Iowa or on the 2014 Roadside Conference, contact Rebecca Kauten, IRVM program manager at UNI's Tallgrass Prairie Center, at 319-273-3856 or, or visit

August 6, 2014 - 2:48pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- John Iceland, professor of sociology and demography at Penn State University, will present a lecture on his book "Poverty in America: A Handbook" at the University of Northern Iowa. A book discussion is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 26, followed by the lecture at 7 p.m. Both events are in the Center for Multicultural Education (CME).

"The event is also in collaboration with the Cedar Valley Citizens for Undoing Racism. The hope is to continue our ongoing effort and redress poverty in the local area and beyond," said Michael Blackwell, director, Center for Multicultural Education, (CME).

Iceland is the author of two books on these issues "Where We Live Now: Immigration and Race in the United States" and "Poverty in America." He has written several articles on poverty measurement issues and has testified before a congressional subcommittee examining problems with the current U.S. official poverty measure. Iceland will offer his suggestions for how we can reduce or eliminate poverty here in the United States.

For more information, contact Michael Blackwell, director of the CME, at 319-273-2250 or

July 29, 2014 - 3:01pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A team of University of Northern Iowa faculty members has received a $250,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to pursue experimental research on thin-film materials. The principal investigator for the project is Andrew Stollenwerk, with Rui He, both assistant professors in physics and Tim Kidd, associate professor in physics, as co-investigators. The materials to be investigated have a structure consisting of well-defined layers of atoms. Such layered systems are currently the subject of intense research for possible applications in computer electronics, solar cells, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and a wide variety of sensors.

The UNI team will use a variety of experimental techniques to study the basic electronic and optical properties of very thin sheets of these materials, consisting of only a few layers of atoms. Because the fabrication of the materials and all the experiments will be performed on the UNI campus, undergraduate students in physics and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields will be involved in all aspects of the research. High school students and teachers will also be given opportunities to participate in research activities in order to stimulate interest in STEM research and careers.

Stollenwerk arrived at UNI in 2009 after completing postdoctoral work at Harvard University. His lab houses a scanning tunneling microscope, which he uses to study the electronic properties of surfaces at the scale of single atoms. Stollenwerk said, "This project serves to better understand the electronic and optical properties of thin sheets of layered materials. Our multidisciplinary approach will obtain a more complete picture of how these materials might be used for applications. The project will involve undergraduate students trained on a wide variety of techniques that involve electronics, optics and chemistry."

The duration of the award is three years. This is the latest of several competitive NSF grants garnered by UNI physics department faculty members over the past five years to support research activities and the acquisition of cutting-edge laboratory equipment.

July 21, 2014 - 3:47pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service has approved funding for the University of Northern Iowa's sixth year of running the Green Iowa AmeriCorps program. Green Iowa AmeriCorps, based at the Center for Energy & Environmental Education, offers comprehensive energy services to underserved populations in communities across Iowa.

This September the program will train and place 30 service members in six Iowa communities: Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque and Fairfield.

Green Iowa AmeriCorps, a program of the corporation for National and Community Service, serves Iowa communities through energy education, home weatherization and outreach. 

For more information about Green Iowa AmeriCorps, visit

July 17, 2014 - 8:10am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- UNI is accepting entries for one of its oldest traditions, the Homecoming Parade, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20. This year's Homecoming theme is "Students By Day, Panthers By Night." The parade is a great way to bring together the Cedar Valley community as well as UNI alumni to celebrate the past, present and future of UNI.

Alumni Relations will provide golf carts and various decorating supplies to student organizations. Online registration forms are available at and must be submitted by Friday, Sept. 5. Local businesses in the Cedar Valley area are encouraged to apply. Businesses will need to supply their own golf cart.

For more information, contact Connie Hansen in Alumni Relations at 319-273-3036 or, or visit

July 17, 2014 - 8:12am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The UNI Suzuki School invites parents and beginning music students to learn more about the Suzuki School program this August. Orientation for parents and pre-instrument sessions for students ages 3 through 7 for viola or violin will be held on Mondays and Thursdays, Aug. 11 though 28, in Russell Hall on the UNI campus. Pre-registration is required. These sessions are required for young students who are considering joining the UNI Suzuki School for the 2014 academic year. Instruments are not necessary for the August sessions.

Parents only will attend the first three sessions (from 6 to 8 p.m.) students will join the sessions beginning Aug. 21. The cost for these classes is $102 and registration is due by Aug. 1.

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

Registration forms and more details are available at www.uni/edu/music/suzuki or by contacting Cathy Craig, Suzuki School coordinator, at 319-273-2508 or

July 15, 2014 - 1:20pm


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

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

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

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

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

July 9, 2014 - 4:01pm


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

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

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

July 3, 2014 - 8:56am


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

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

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

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

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

June 26, 2014 - 3:13pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Purple and Old Gold awards, recognizing meritorious scholarship or conspicuous achievement, were presented to 58 seniors during the University of Northern Iowa's Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7, in the UNI-Dome.

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

Since 1939, more than 2,000 students have been Purple and Old Gold recipients. Currently, awards may be in 54 academic areas, as well as for achievement in particular areas.

HOMETOWN                                    NAME / AREA / COLLEGE


ALBIA                                                Jessica Sue Clark, CBA


ALGONA                                          Allie Maria Simpson, CHAS


AMES                                                Carolyn Ruth Metz, CHAS


                                                       Zoe Corinne Russell, CHAS


ANKENY                                         Lauren Rose Stratton, CSBS



BAXTER                                            Ashley Marie Fricke, CBA


BETTENDORF                                  Kyle Clellan Woollums, CHAS


BOONE                                            Maggie Anne Miller, CESP


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


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


                                                       Aynur Tekin Damirgi, COE, (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                       Steven Delmar Danielsen, CHAS, (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                       Andrew Paul Gregorsock, CHAS           


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


                                                       Kevan William Hudson, CSBS (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                       Stefanie Hannah McGraw, CHAS


                                                             Jessica Ann Moore, CHAS


                                                      Erica Emily Rutz, CHAS, (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                      Erin Marie Schon, CBA, (fall 2013 graduate)                       


CLUTIER                                               Amanda Christine Arp, CHAS


DES MOINES                                         John Robert Leister, CSBS


                                                             Shaun Paul Knapp, CHAS


DUNDEE                                             Larry Edward Savago, CHAS


DYERSVILLE                                     Dextar Gerard Klostermann, CBA


                                                   Allison L. Ostwinkle, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


ELKADER                                     Molly Elizabeth Franta, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


                                                  Tyler Anthony Yanda, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


FAIRFAX                                      Jonathan Nicholas Snell, CHAS


FOREST CITY                                    Katie Lea Wencl, CHAS,


FORT ATKINSON                          Madison Elizabeth McKone, CHAS


FORT DODGE                                    Sara Elinor Rockow, COE


GRANVILLE                                      Amy Michelle Stoll, CHAS


IOWA CITY                                      Emily Marie Stumpff, CHAS


JESUP                                             Christian Robert Junker, COE


JOHNSTON                                      Blaine Mahlon Schlawin, COE


                                                     Brittany Brooke Deal, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


KALONA                                            Shawna Rebecca Schrock, CSBS


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


LEGRAND                                       Andrew Mark Rubenbauer, CHAS


LIDDERDALE                                    Abby Barbara Wenck, CBA (fall 2013 graduate)


MONTICELLO                                     Mitchell Robert Holmes, CBA


MOUNT VERON                                   Shelby Ann Kintzel, COE


NEWHALL                                         Maranda Jo Lund, CHAS


OSAGE                                          Timothy William Biederman, CHAS (fall 2013 graduate)


OTTUMWA                                        KaLeigh Karr White, CSBS


ROCK RAPIDS                                 Abbie Ann Ackerman, CHAS


ST. LUCAS                                         Jude Marie Buchheit, CSBS


TODDVILLE                                       Benjamin Richard Lahue, CBA


URBANDALE                                         Allison Nicole Brees, COE


WASHBURN                                        Dwain Nicholas Caldwell, CSBS


WASHINGTON                                     Ariel Marie Williams, CHAS


WATERLOO                                               Eric J. Benson, CHAS


WEST DES MOINES                               Stephanie Kay Opsal, CHAS


OUT-OF-STATE Graduates


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


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


CEDARBURG, Wis.                        Charles Andrew Rank, COE


ONALASKA, Wis.                         Kaitlin E. Burden, CHAS


PEWAUKEE, Wis.                        Caryn Anne Knight, CBA 

June 26, 2014 - 3:19pm


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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about the film at

June 19, 2014 - 2:11pm


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

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

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

June 19, 2014 - 2:13pm


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

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

June 13, 2014 - 8:38am


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

This year, a total of $50,000 will be awarded to the top three submitted business plans: $25,000 for first prize, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third. Assistance with business plan entries is available at the Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at the University of Northern Iowa, Drake University, Iowa State University, North Iowa Area Community College and the University of Iowa; the Small Business Development Centers throughout the state; and the business accelerators in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Red Oak and Mason City.

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

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

June 6, 2014 - 8:35am


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

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

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

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

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

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


June 2, 2014 - 4:14pm


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

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

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

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

June 2, 2014 - 4:17pm


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

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

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

June 2, 2014 - 4:12pm


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

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

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

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

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

May 28, 2014 - 4:15pm


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

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

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

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

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

May 27, 2014 - 1:29pm


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

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

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

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

May 27, 2014 - 3:29pm


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

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

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

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

May 27, 2014 - 3:43pm


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

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

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

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

May 22, 2014 - 10:19am


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

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

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

May 12, 2014 - 4:44pm


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

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

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

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

May 8, 2014 - 11:41am


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

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

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

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

May 8, 2014 - 11:47am


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

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

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

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

A selection committee chose the Lux Service Award recipients based on nominations from UNI faculty, students and staff. Requirements include being scheduled to graduate in 2014, a minimum 2.5 GPA and demonstration of service to UNI during the recipient's academic career that will leave a lasting impact on the university community.

For more information about the Lux Service Award, visit