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UNI professor receives Loren Horton Community History Award

June 26, 2014
Contact: 

Francesca Soans, associate professor, communication studies, 319-273-6309, francesca.soans@uni.edu

Sarah Pauls, marketing manager, College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, 319-273-2817, sarah.pauls@uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu

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 francesca.soans@uni.edu, or Sarah Pauls, marketing manager, College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, at 319-273-2817 or sarah.pauls@uni.edu.

Learn more about the film at www.uni.edu/commstudies/soans-neymeyer-film-awarded-state-historical-society-iowa