Wednesday, December 30, 2009

University of Iowa's Good News

December 30, 2009, 2:30 p.m.

"Bring Me Only Bad News"
(brought to you by*)

Sarge Shriver, one-time Director of the Peace Corps (among a great many other illustrious accomplishments), kept a sign on his office wall that read, "Bring me only bad news; good news weakens me." (It had earlier been the motto of GM's creative Charles Keating.)

It's a philosophy I normally share when writing about my beloved University of Iowa. I wouldn't want to weaken the institution with praise. "Those from whom you have most to learn are your critics," my father advised, "they are likely to be far more perceptive and usefully candid than sycophants." I figure so long as what I write is intended to be constructive and in no way mean spirited, expressions of concern and criticism and suggestions for improvement may be useful.

And I'm not about to change into a Dr. Feelgood, "Morning in America" Ronald Reagan, or a Power of Positive Thinking Norman Vincent Peale. [Photo credit: Google Images.]

But I don't think it would hurt to balance up the perspective, say, once a year.

There's one story I'd like to highlight, and then move on to a list of 58 more.

A "muckraker" (investigative reporter) from the turn of the (last) century, Lincoln Steffens, writes in his autobiography of a conflict with a local police chief. [Photo credit: Wikipedia.] Steffens' solution was to gradually write up and publish in the paper more and more of virtually every crime that occurred. Public outrage at the worsening "crime wave" produced the chief's capitulation. Steffens then proceeded to gradually reduce the thorough crime coverage to the point that the chief was honored by the community for his accomplishment in "stopping crime."

I tell this story because it occurred to me the other day that, following the seemingly constant flood of stories a year or so ago about Hawkeye football players in trouble with the law, I couldn't recall seeing any for the past few months. There were a number of possibilities as to why.

In some college towns there is an unwritten understanding between the football coach and police chief that the team's chances of winning games will not be impeded with arrests of players. Police officers simply turn their backs on player offenses; or hold the players, call the coach, and let him handle such situations -- keeping the players' names out of the papers. Or the players are arrested and booked, but the newspaper has an unwritten understanding that, for the same reasons, they will not report football players' crimes and arrests.

Of course, there's always the possibility that the football players, for whatever reason, are simply not committing as many crimes.

So it was with great relief that I read the Press-Citizen's report yesterday that the answer in the case of the Iowa Hawkeyes was the latter -- and that a good deal of the credit goes to the new "Director of Player Development," Chigozie Ejiasi. Ryan Suchomel, "Ejiasi, Hawks work on 'negative stuff;' Director of player development has key role for UI," Iowa City Press-Citizen, December 30, 2009, p. B1. This is a very significant accomplishment for any football team, a story well worth reading, and something that should be a matter of satisfaction and pride for the UI community generally. [Photo credit: Iowa City Press-Citizen.]

In that continuing spirit, what follows is nothing more than a reproduction of a sampling of some of the accomplishments and contributions by other members of the University of Iowa community. It's from a University of Iowa News Service Web site called "UI in the News, December 2009."

Note that this is (a) only one of a number of sources for such examples, (b) that none of those sources is a complete report (only what those gathering the items have heard about), (c) that this is not a representation for the year 2009, (d) it is only for about the first three weeks in December, (e) that it is what mainstream media thought was newsworthy -- not what UI administrators and professors necessarily thought were the UI's most significant research and academic contributions (e.g., see the display of the covers on the 40 books published by the College of Arts & Sciences faculty alone during the first 11 months of 2009). For example, the list includes news of a staged student snowball fight, donations and grants for medical research, student volunteers at a fire station, and a story about a Hawkeye football fan who has attended every bowl game the team has ever played -- none of which represent academic or research accomplishments.

But you will also find among these 58 items a wide representation of media, and far more serious news.

Naturally, many of the stories appear in Iowa media, such as Radio Iowa, the Des Moines Register, and Iowa City's local Gazette, Iowa City Press-Citizen, and campus paper, The Daily Iowan.

But papers from England, India and Trinidad are also represented, and national special focus publications, such as Science News and Science Daily, Forbes and Financial Express, Medical News Today and Vaccine News Daily, and Water Tech.

The more familiar national media that found items involving the University of Iowa newsworthy during this three week period included ABC News, National Public Radio, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star, Omaha World Herald, and others from California, Kansas, Montana, Oregon, and Virginia.

The subject matter of the stories, annotated and linked, below, ran the gamut.

There were reports of medical research or comments on Army hospital expenditures, blood pressure control, cystic fibrosis, heart injuries, heart pounding, the Patient Voice Project (in which Writers' Workshop grads work with patients with mental illness), incidence of subsequent depression in premature babies, relationship of staring at screens and nearsightedness, rural medical care vacancies, vaccines. Public health issues included water contamination from consumer products' chemicals and the resurgence of PCBs.

Other science stories involved faculty and students at the Copenhagan climate talks, wind energy and a UI solar station for electric vehicles.

Economic news included a retrospective evaluation of whether the purchase of Alaska really was a good buy, UI's recognition as a "Center of Actuarial Excellence," some spinoff companies from UI research, the statewide impact of the UI budget, a UI professor's role in uncovering the scandal involving corporate executives' backdating of stock options, a study of risk perception and assessment regarding financial matters, UI's Iowa Electronic Market (a political "stock market"), the marketing success of Southwest Airlines' free bag check, an antitrust law professor's assessment of a paper mill acquisition and the proposed Comcast and NBC Universal merger, the factors affecting recovery from recession in college towns, and the variations in funeral expenses.

Stories involving the UI's international programs included the new "World Canvas" program, a three-fold increase in the number of study abroad countries and programs available to UI students, and the 25th anniversary of a couple UI-related international organizations (ICFRC and CIVIC).

A UI librarian discovered a rare book, and its Preservation Department succeeded in restoring some flood-damaged phonograph records for the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library.

Other subject included texting, the UI Vets Medwestern Writing Workshop, jail reality TV shows, how laid off, stay-at-home fathers are creating better marriages, an op ed column about paper making, and what influences prevalence of conspiracy theories.

As noted at the outset, this collection is a very small sample of what was going on at the University of Iowa even during this three week period, let alone for an entire year, or decade. Moreover, it only includes what mainstream media considered "news."

Nonetheless, these 58 stories at least illustrate that, while the University has its challenges, as all institutions do, (a) there is an enormous amount happening, and being contributed, by the University of Iowa, both to Iowans and to the world, and (b) that it covers a very wide swath indeed of the range of human endeavor.

Here are the stories, in reverse chronological order from a University of Iowa News Service Web site called "UI in the News, December 2009."

Students help replace violin lost in flood (Press-Citizen, Dec. 23)
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA music student Kate Truscello lost her violin during the 2008 flood but was able to get a new one with the help of her fellow students through an Artist Recovery Fund. "It was a big deal because a year ago I wasn't even sure I'd have an instrument to play it on," Truscello said. "What seemed like the worst possible thing that could happen turned out to be OK." The paper is based in Iowa City.

Dangers of texting while driving studied (Science News, Dec. 23)
Text messaging while driving leads to slowed reaction time, unplanned lane changes and more collisions, according to a new study published online Dec. 21 in Human Factors. In a related study done at the University of Iowa, LINDA BOYLE and her colleagues surveyed teens and found that eating, putting on makeup, talking to passengers and texting were high on the list of distractions. In a 2008 study, the Iowa team reviewed traffic crash data involving drivers age 16 to 19 and found that injuries - especially for passengers - were more severe when the driver's cell phone use was listed on the police report. Boyle is now at the University of Washington in Seattle.,_just_as_suspected_

Boy raises money for UI Children's Hospital (Radio Iowa, Dec. 22)
A six-year-old Iowa City boy played Santa Claus this month by raising more than $2,000 for the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL. Keian Secrist created flyers and walked door to door in his neighborhood to raise all the money. He used that money to buy 12 Nintendo DS video game systems and games for the hospital.

Bloom's book tells the adventure behind pearls (The Gazette, Dec. 22)
In his latest non-fiction outing "Tears of Mermaids: The Secret Story of Pearls," University of Iowa Professor STEPHEN BLOOM traveled the world to trace the story of a pearl. Bloom set out to interview every person who touches the gem from the time the oyster is scooped from the ocean floor to the moment it's fastened around a woman's neck. The paper is based in Cedar Rapids.

Other Recent News Highlights

Harty comments on vaccine research (Vaccine News Daily, Dec. 22)
A five-year, $18.8 million federally funded set of projects is seeking to make new inroads toward vaccines against several of the world's deadliest diseases. The study focuses on identifying epitopes -- pieces of a virus or microbe that cause the body's immune system to launch an attack. "A recent NIH workshop identified the lack of epitope information as a key 'missing link' in the search for effective malaria vaccines," said JOHN T. HARTY, a professor in microbial immunology at the University of Iowa, who studies basic immunology that can inform vaccine design.

Chen makes cystic fibrosis discovery (Medical News Today, Dec. 22)
UI researchers have made an important discovery about the secret life of the defective protein that causes cystic fibrosis. The study, which is published as "paper of the week" in the Dec. 18 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is the work of lead author Dr. JENG-HAUR CHEN, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Schnoor attended Copenhagen climate talks (Des Moines Register, Dec. 22)
JERALD SCHNOOR, an engineering professor at the University of Iowa who closely follows the climate debate, attended the Copenhagen sessions with a dozen students from Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, Wartburg College and Drake University. Schnoor said the policy gridlock there calls into question whether 193 nations will ever forge an agreement under U.N. machinery. He said it might be time to focus on the 30 countries that combined account for 90 percent of the emissions.

UI research being commercialized (Press-Citizen, Dec. 21)
There are a number of inventions and breakthroughs coming out of University of Iowa research efforts. Some UI research is becoming commercialized through spinoff companies. KARIM ABDEL-MALEK's Virtual Soldier research led to a start-up called Santos Human Inc., which is based in the Engineering Research Facility. "Even as we start to talk about it, we become more impressed with what is happening. There is just so much happening," said Jordan Cohen, UI interim vice president for research. "Iowans would be proud to know what is going on." The newspaper is based in Iowa City.

Whiteman study looked at UI's economic impact (Lawrence Journal World, Dec. 21)
As Kansas University begins to parcel out another round of state budget reductions, the effect will continue to be felt in the Lawrence community. CHARLES H. WHITEMAN, an economist at the University of Iowa, prepared reports in 1994 and 2000 that examined the economic impact of state spending on the UI, which could be compared to KU. Whiteman found that generally, the economic impact of his university was twice its budget. So if a university like Iowa or KU had a budget of $1 billion, the total economic activity generated by the school would be $2 billion. The newspaper is located in Kansas.

Flood-damaged records are returned to museum (The Gazette, Dec. 18)
To save flood-damaged phonograph records from the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, University of Iowa preservationists had to keep them wet during months of repair. The technique worked, and UI preservationists on Friday presented about 1,500 restored records to David Muhlena, library director of the Czech Museum in Cedar Rapids. Those are the 33 rpm and 45 rpm records UI specialists have repaired in the months since the June 2008 flood. About 3,500 records from the Czech Museum collection remain to be restored. "I was astounded at how many we saved," said NANCY KRAFT, head of the UI Libraries Preservation Department. "I think the majority of this collection will be returned." The paper is based in Cedar Rapids. An ASSOCIATED PRESS version of the article also appeared in several media outlets.

UI pursues solar station for electric vehicles (The Gazette, Dec. 18)
University of Iowa staff could soon be driving electric trucks charged on solar power, and some of them might even jump-start the power grid in a blackout. It all hinges on a solar charging station. The Iowa Office of Energy Independence announced a round of grants funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The office awarded the charging station project a $250,000 technology demonstration grant earlier this month. "We saw this as exactly the kind of project that the act was designed for," said ERIC FORESMAN, an energy engineer in the UI's Facilities Department. The Gazette is based in Cedar Rapids.

UI is recognized for actuarial excellence (Des Moines Register, Dec. 18)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is one of the inaugural 12 universities in North America to be recognized as Centers of Actuarial Excellence.

UI Health Care has 'turned the corner' (Chicago Tribune/AP, Dec. 18)
University of Iowa Health Care has "turned the corner" after months of financial woes. Vice President for Medical Affairs JEAN ROBILLARD says shrinking the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics work force by 676 people over the past year and cutting expenses has placed the hospital in position to handle the current financial climate.,0,5700649.story

Alumnus offers artist survival strategies (Laguna Beach Independent, Dec. 17)
Art writer Peter Clothier, who has a doctorate from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, has written a new book, "Persist: In Praise of the Creative Spirit in a World Gone Mad with Commerce," a collection of essays that tackle the predicament of artists who encounter cultural climate in which "celebrity and established commercial success are more often rewarded than is real talent."

UI research helped expose backdating scandal (L.A. Times, Dec. 17)
The stunning dismissals of criminal cases against three former Broadcom Corp. executives in the last week illustrate the struggles the U.S. attorney's office has encountered in prosecuting corporate executives for backdating stock options, a practice that makes it appear that their companies had fewer expenses and greater income than they really had. ERIK LIE, a University of Iowa business professor whose research helped expose the backdating scandal, has calculated that 13.6 percent of all option grants to top executives from 1996 through 2005 were backdated or otherwise manipulated.,0,4674840.story

Study links prematurity to depression, attention disorders (ABC News, Dec. 16)
Children who were born prematurely and at a very low weight may have an increased risk of certain behavior problems and symptoms of depression and anxiety, research suggests. In the new study, published in the Journal Pediatrics, researchers found that among 104 7- to 16-year-olds they assessed, the 49 who were born very prematurely had higher rates of hyperactivity and attention problems, as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety. The lead researcher on the study was AMY L. CONRAD of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

UI writing workshop helps veterans express feelings (Radio Iowa, Dec. 15)
People in the military are trained to follow orders, not to express their feelings, but a free writing workshop next month will give veterans the chance to drop their armor and open up about what's on their minds. The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Vets Midwestern Writing Workshop will be held Jan. 15-17 at the UI's Distance Learning Site in downtown Iowa City.

New UI program 'WorldCanvass' looks at the world (Press-Citizen, Dec. 15)
JOAN KJAER, a longtime staple of Iowa Public Radio, left IPR, signaling the end of her program, "Know the Score." But now, Kjaer hosts a new University of Iowa broadcast called "WorldCanvass," which scans the globe for international themes, including human rights, arts and culture.

Goins comments on nearsightedness (National Public Radio, Dec. 15)
Video games, PDAs and television shows that get some of the blame for the obesity epidemic may be hurting your eyes, too. Myopia -- or nearsightedness -- has skyrocketed since the 1970s says a study in the latest Archives of Ophthalmology, and part of the reason could be our modern behavior. Dr. KENNETH GOINS, a professor of ophthalmology at the University says environmental factors, like what we spend our days looking at, can change our eyes. "I'm sitting at my desk right now in front of my computer and maybe this sedentary near-work is not good for us," Goins says. "But you know, I'm a professor and I have to sit down, I have to write papers, I have to do these things. They're part of my day and it's the same for my children." The article appeared on NPR's health blog.

Students volunteer as first responders (Daily Iowan, Dec. 14)
Approximately 15 Kirkwood and University of Iowa students dedicate anywhere from 24 to roughly 100 hours a month to their jobs as volunteer firefighters at the Coralville Fire Department. They do it for job experience, and they do it to save lives. "The thing about the volunteer aspect is that people do it for a reason," said CHRIS COUCH, a fifth-year volunteer firefighter. "It's not a paycheck." The UI student newspaper is located in Iowa City.

UI works to fill rural doctor vacancies (Omaha World-Herald, Dec. 14)
The University of Iowa College of Medicine has worked with rural communities for years to fill vacancies in medical care positions, said ROGER TRACY, director of the university's Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs. Tracy, an assistant dean in the UI College of Medicine, said this year he found there were 119 family practice physician vacancies across the state, most in towns of 10,000 or fewer residents. The paper is located in Nebraska.

Perlmutter comments on jail reality shows (Chicago Current, Dec. 14)
A new MSNBC documentary series called "The Squeeze" follows members of the Cook County Sheriff's Department's Criminal Intelligence Unit, which culls sources inside the jail to help fight crime. A Discovery Channel show, "Cook County Jail," also debuted earlier this month. "You're not going to see one hour of police filling out forms," says DAVID PERLMUTTER, director of the University of Iowa's journalism school and author of "Policing the Media: Street Cops and Public Perceptions of Law Enforcement."

More UI students are studying abroad (Press Citizen, Dec. 14)
Study abroad has been an option typically used in the college student's junior year, but sensing increased demand, UI officials have been expanding the opportunities for students. Last year, 899 students participated in 80 study abroad programs in 60 countries, which is triple what was offered 10 years ago, said JANIS PERKINS, director of the UI Office of Study Abroad, which is part of the International Programs office. The paper is located in Iowa City.

UI study about risk noted (Financial Express, Dec. 14)
In this article about the economic impact of disasters, a study by THOMAS RIETZ of the University of Iowa is noted. Rietz pointed out that equity owners, even while acting averse to risk, demand high rates of return in anticipation of an unlikely, but severe, crash. The publication is based in India.

College of Education emphasizes teaching experience (Press Citizen, Dec. 13)
The University of Iowa College of Education trains future teachers with an eye toward practical, hands-on experience. "We are not a high theory, low practice department," education professor PETER HLEBOWITSH said. "We have ample clinical experiences for our students."

Hawk fan follows teams to every bowl (Des Moines Register, Dec. 13)
Ike Ackerman of Waverly has attended every bowl game ever played by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. It began with the 1957 Rose Bowl and, unless there's a drastic change in Ackerman's plans, the string will continue on Jan. 5, when Iowa plays Georgia Tech at the 2010 Orange Bowl. That will be 24 Iowa Hawkeye bowl games for Ackerman, who graduated from the UI in 1961, and received his law degree there in 1963.

Rego says airline marketing ploy is smart (USA Today, Dec. 13)
Southwest is the only U.S. airline that lets passengers check two pieces of luggage for free. And as it heads into the Christmas travel season, Southwest is continuing its "bags fly free" ad campaign, which it says has shown results. Marketing analysts say it's smart for Southwest to stand apart from the pack and refrain from wringing yet another fee out of recession-weary fliers. "I think it's a smart marketing ploy, particularly given the economic circumstances most Americans are experiencing these days," says LOPO REGO, a University of Iowa marketing professor.

Hovenkamp comments on paper mill acquisition (Gazette-Times, Dec. 12)
After International Paper Co. announced that it will close an Oregon mill that made containerboard for cardboard boxes, some raised antitrust issues, claiming that the buy-out of a competitor and then the closing of plants was an attempt to try to force up containerboard prices. International had bought the mill from Weyerhaeuser in 2008. HERBERT HOVENKAMP, a professor at the University of Iowa Law School and an expert on antitrust issues, said it's unlikely International Paper controls enough of the containerboard market to manipulate it all by itself. "It could be a competitive problem if the acquisition of Weyerhaeuser and the shutdown was an attempt to reduce marketwide output," Hovenkamp said. "(But) a unilateral shutdown by a firm with less than 30 percent of the market would not ordinarily send out anticompetitive signals." The paper is based in Corvallis, Ore.

Patchett attended Writers' Workshop (Washington Post, Dec. 12)
In this article about best-selling author Ann Patchett, it's noted that she attended the IOWA WRITERS' WORKSHOP at the University of Iowa.

UI writing program helps those with illness (Chicago Tribune, Dec. 12)
The PATIENT VOICE PROJECT, a University of Iowa Arts Share program, pairs people who have chronic or mental illness with Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate students for at least six weeks of free writing classes. Launched in 2004 by a workshop student, it has helped more than 100 people. "This writing class helped me come to terms with the fact that my disease is progressing. I don't know that I would have just admitted that otherwise," said Molly Baker, who has cystic fibrosis. "It helped me get that out, and that was important." The article originally appeared in the Gazette, based in Cedar Rapids.,0,1131592.story

Bern-Klug comments on funeral expenses (Kansas City Star, Dec. 12)
Funeral home prices vary by thousands of dollars for the same or similar services, according to the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City, but because of stress, emotion, urgency or shame, many consumers simply don't ask about prices. "Because most people never look at general price lists, they have no idea how much variation there is in costs," said University of Iowa professor MERCEDES BERN-KLUG. "There is a lot of variation between funeral homes and a lot of variation within funeral homes."

UI student attends climate change summit (Quad City Times, Dec. 11)
World leaders who have been meeting in Copenhagen during the international climate change conference will be joined by an Iowa delegation that includes AMY OBERBROECKLING, a University of Iowa junior from Davenport. She will travel with a 30-member group from the Iowa United Nations Association that includes teachers and students from five Iowa colleges and universities, plus Rice University, which is in Houston. While in Copenhagen through Dec. 19, she will gather information on sustainable agriculture, an area of personal interest, and blog about her experiences for the Quad-City Times. The paper is based in Davenport.

UI's WorldCanvass program focuses on Africa (Daily Iowan, Dec. 11)
Iowa City will get a taste of the African arts and culture in the second installment of WorldCanvass, a new program created by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS, focusing on a specific topic of cultural interest each month.

UI project helps ill tap into creative strength (Gazette, Dec. 10)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Patient Voice Project helps patients like Molly Baker tap into their creative strength. The project is part of the UI Arts Share program and pairs people with chronic or mental illness with Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate students for at least six weeks of free writing classes. The Gazette is published in Cedar Rapids.'s-patient-voice-project-helps-ill-tap-into-creative-strength

Students stage snowball fight (Daily Iowan, Dec. 10)
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA students staged a snowball fight on the UI Pentacrest Wednesday night. UI Snowball Fest '09, an event launched on Facebook, fell on the first snow day at the UI since Feb. 6, 2008. The friendly fight began with groupings of people but evolved into two thick lines consisting of around 1,000 individuals.

Barrett discovers rare book (Press-Citizen, Dec. 9)
While searching for samples of 15th Century European paper in the UI Main Library, TIMOTHY BARRETT, a research scientist and adjunct professor of papermaking at the UI Center for the Book, found a rare book, "Travels in North America," containing translated letters from the French Jesuit priest Father Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix. The newspaper is based in Iowa City.

UI student gets first winter weather experience (Associated Press, Dec. 9)
The recent winter weather brought a film-like feeling for Sharmishtha Jindal, an 18-year-old UNIVERSITY OF IOWA freshman from Bhopal, India. "I saw this in the movies and on television, but this is the first experience," Jindal said. "It's very different in the real world."

North Hall's past revealed (Daily Iowan, Dec. 9)
During renovation of Wild Bill's Coffee Shop in UI's North Hall, workers are uncovering things that reveal the building's past as a school, such as children's drawings, signs and other education aids. For 60 years that elementary, junior-high, and high school students used the building, the UI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION used the facility to train teachers and administrators. The university closed the school in 1972 because of reduced funding. The paper is based in Iowa City.

Team advances heart-related research (United Press International, Dec. 8)
Scientists are using a new model of heart cells to show how activation of an enzyme disrupts the electrical activity of heart cells. Researchers from the University of Iowa and Columbia University say they've demonstrated the enzyme, calmodulin kinase II, is a critical regulator of the heart's response to injury. "By targeting this enzyme's activity, it may be possible to prevent or treat heart disease and associated electrical rhythm disturbances," said University of Iowa researcher THOMAS HUND, the study's senior author.

Whiteman discusses Iowa's economic recovery (ABC News, Dec. 8)
Iowa has begun a slow recovery from the recession, but economists, including the University of Iowa's CHARLES WHITEMAN, told Gov. Chet Culver on Monday that the state's economy remains shaky. Similar stories also appeared on the Web sites of the SIOUX CITY JOURNAL, RADIO IOWA and WCCO TV (Minneapolis).

Barker questions value of Alaska (Marketplace, Dec. 7)
University of Iowa finance professor DAVID BARKER questions whether U.S. taxpayers got their money's worth from buying Alaska. Marketplace is heard on NPR stations.

Whelan comments on families, recession (Staunton NewsLeader, Dec. 7)
University of Iowa sociology professor CHRISTINE WHELAN suggests that increased unemployment among men might actually benefit marriage because it might lead more men to take a greater role in child care and housework. The NewsLeader is published in Virginia.

Barrett writes about papermaking and books (Des Moines Register, Dec. 6)
An op-ed from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA's MacArthur Grant recipient Timothy Barrett explains what papermaking says about us.

UI team fears PCBs are still cause for concern (Des Moines Register, Dec. 6)
PCBs, the toxic chemicals banned in the 1970s, are back. Actually, PCBs never went away, and researchers at the University of Iowa, led by professor of engineering KERI HORNBUCKLE, are trying to figure out how big of a problem that is and what can be done about it.

Osterberg discusses start of Iowa wind energy policy (Billings Gazette, Dec. 6)
University of Iowa professor DAVID OSTERBERG was a state legislator in 1983, when he introduced the first bill to adopt renewable energy standards. Osterberg also discusses the potential of Wyoming's wind energy industry.

Leicht comments on conspiracy theories (The Guardian, Dec. 6)
A story about former vice presidential candidate, and potential future presidential candidate, Sarah Palin quotes University of Iowa sociology professor KEVIN LEICHT on why conspiracy theories take hold in difficult economic times. The Guardian is published in the UK.

Whiteman notes impact of university budget cuts on cities (Radio Iowa, Dec. 5)
CHUCK WHITEMAN, director of the University of Iowa Institute for Economic Research, expects university and college towns will bounce back quickly from the recession.

Couple gives gift to UI for clubfoot treatment (Chicago Tribune, Dec. 5)
A Minnesota couple has given $1 million to an association that trains doctors and nurses to treat clubfoot with a method developed by the late University of Iowa surgeon IGNACIO PONSETI.,0,4141635.story

Hovenkamp comments on anti-trust investigation (Forbes, Dec. 4)
The proposed union of Comcast and NBC Universal could go through as much as 18 months of regulatory scrutiny, and Congress has already vowed to hold antitrust hearings on the issue soon. "The concern is that Comcast would somehow favor NBC programming," says HERBERT HOVENKAMP, an antitrust expert at the University of Iowa College of Law.

UI study influenced texting ban (Trinidad Times Independent, Dec. 4)
A statewide ban on texting while driving has gone into effect in Colorado. The legislation was influenced by research at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PUBLIC POLICY CENTER.

Leslie comments on $2.25 million grant (Press-Citizen, Dec. 4)
The University of Iowa's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology received a $2.25 million, five-year grant from National Institutes of Health to support junior faculty researchers in the field of women's reproductive health. The grant establishes the Iowa Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Center, which is one of 16 in the country. "It's a significant amount of money that will support faculty salaries and research endeavors that will support some the best young faculty in the country," said KIMBERLY LESLIE, a UI professor, head of obstetrics and gynecology and principal investigator on the grant. The paper is based in Iowa City.

Balakrishnan studies hospital spending (News Blaze, Dec. 3)
An award-winning study of spending patterns at U.S. Army hospitals by a University of Iowa accounting professor confirms suspicions that managers spend down their budgets at the end of the fiscal year to avoid a surplus, but also finds that the spending is not wasteful. The study, co-authored by RAMJI BALAKRISHNAN, accounting professor in the Tippie College of Business, looked at spending patterns at 31 Army hospitals from 1998 to 2002, including Walter Reed Army Hospital.

IEM opens 2010 congressional market (News Blaze, Dec. 3)
The Iowa Electronic Markets has opened a Congressional control prediction market, giving traders the opportunity to predict the party alignment of Congress after next year's mid-term elections. The Iowa Electronic Markets is a real-money political futures prediction market operated by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA'S TIPPIE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS.

Carter's hypertension study gets national attention (Radio Iowa, Dec. 3)
A University of Iowa medical researcher's study of hypertension is getting national attention. BARRY CARTER studied patients with high blood pressure at clinics in six Iowa communities. Doctors and pharmacists worked closely together to modify medication for half of the patients. Carter found that the collaborative effort was twice as likely to achieve control of high blood pressure.

UI studies drinking water contamination (WaterTech, Dec. 2)
Wastewater contamination from organic chemicals in consumer products such as soaps, antimicrobial compounds and insect repellents is polluting drinking water sources in the state. A recent study by UNIVERSITY OF IOWA scientists found low concentrations of two synthetic fragrance compounds known as AHTN and HHCB in both the Iowa River and in the University of Iowa's drinking water.

UI study finds second pathway to feeling heartbeat (Science Daily, Dec. 2)
A new study suggests that the inner sense of our cardiovascular state, our "interoceptive awareness" of the heart pounding, relies on two independent pathways, contrary to what had been asserted by prominent researchers. The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study was published online this week in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Faculty, students to attend climate change convention (Press-Citizen, Dec. 1)
Ten UNIVERSITY OF IOWA faculty and students will join an Iowa United Nations Association delegation of 30 people from six U.S. universities and colleges. They will attend the 15th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from Dec. 13-19 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Press-Citizen is in Iowa City.

Councils embrace foreign issues (Press Citizen, Nov. 30)
The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities celebrated their 25th anniversaries this year, marking a quarter century of bringing global issues to Iowa City and giving local citizens a voice in international affairs. ICFRC is a community organization affiliated with International Programs at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. The Press-Citizen is in Iowa City.
A guest opinion on the ICRFC is at

* Why do I put this blog ID at the top of the entry, when you know full well what blog you're reading? Because there are a number of Internet sites that, for whatever reason, simply take the blog entries of others and reproduce them as their own without crediting the source. I don't mind the flattering attention, but would appreciate acknowledgment as the source, even if I have to embed it myself. -- Nicholas Johnson

1 comment:

Nick said...

Notice Regarding Advertising: This blog runs an open comments section. All comments related to blog entries have (so far) remained posted, regardless of how critical. Although I would prefer that those posting comments identify themselves, anonymous comments are also accepted.

The only limitation is that advertising posing as comments will be removed. That is why one or more of the comments posted on this blog entry, containing links to businesses, have been deleted. -- Nick