The Provost's Global Forum "Refugees in the Heartland" will feature panels and discussions about refugee resettlement, rights of refugees, the long history of refugee resettlement in Iowa, international refugee crises and related management challenges, and will bring together refugee experts and refugee leaders from the Midwest and the nation.
Film producer Devon Terrill didn’t pursue filmmaking until after her graduation from the UI, but the experiences she had during her undergraduate education – including studying abroad – had a big impact on her career path.
International immigrants are attracted to the Midwest, and Iowa specifically, for its low unemployment rate and cost of living, diverse economic sectors, and educational opportunities, said Amy Weismann, associate director for the University of Iowa’s Center for Human Rights.
“Especially for refugees, people come from places with violence and economic strife where they fear authorities,” she said. “Iowa is much less anxious and a more accommodating place to live and not only survive but thrive.”
As part of Iowa City’s first carnaval celebration this summer, the University of Iowa Museum of Art will present two spring-time talks by carnaval designers. The first is by architect and interior designer Jaime Cezário. His free, public lecture will be held in the Old Capitol Museum Senate Chamber from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, March 25.
Iowa’s universities boast graduation rates above the national average, but have produced mixed results in pursuit of goals set by the Iowa Board of Regents, which governs the universities.
The University of Iowa, where more than 48 percent of students finish school in four years, performed the best. Its graduation rate is just shy of a 48.3 percent goal. The regents want each university to achieve its graduation goals by 2016.
Students, however, sometimes prefer to pay more to stay in school longer. Internships, semesters abroad and demanding majors like engineering are all common reasons for not graduating in four years, students and university officials said.
With more Chinese students showing up on University of Iowa class rolls than ever before, the Henry B. Tippie College of Business last month invited its faculty and staff to a workshop on how to pronounce the students' names. Meanwhile, Chinese students are flocking to the tutoring center to become fluent in English.
The introductory lessons in Chinese, hosted in early February, drew about 50 participants to the Judith R. Frank Business Communications Center, the business school’s tutoring center. Some participants likened the experience to a fifth-grade classroom -- administrators and faculty members huddled in groups of four or five, trying and failing to pronounce sounds never used in English.
In October 1833, a book purporting to be the autobiography of the famous Sauk and Fox leader, Black Hawk, appeared in Cincinnati. In the 1830s, Euro-Americans were clamoring for “Indian stories,” and this volume of recollections by the principal warrior in what became known as the Black Hawk War — whose final battle was pitched on the Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois — was an instant sensation.
Although some contemporary reviewers dismissed the book as the fabrication of Antoine Le Claire, the biracial (French-Canadian/Potawatomi) founder of Davenport, others continued to believe in its authenticity, their views bolstered by the undeniable fact that in the 1830s there were many books written and published by Native Americans — books recounting Native writers’ objections to the Jackson administration’s policy of removal, the erosion of their treaty rights, or often simply their life stories.
Iowa Literaria, the electronic journal of the Master of Fine Arts in Spanish Creative Writing program at the University of Iowa, is online as of Tuesday, Feb. 26. Created with the support of the UI’s Digital Studio for Public Humanities, it has been designed as a space to reflect on the art of creativity, to approach the complexities and challenges of creative writing, and to publish a variety of literary pieces.
The inaugural issue contains a dossier on the great Chilean poet Óscar Hahn, who just received the National Prize on Literature of Chile, the most prestigious literary award in that country. Hahn was professor of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese here at the university for more than 30 years. He is now retired.
Faculty members in the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages at the University of Iowa have received a $90,000 grant from STARTALK, a unit of the federal National Security Language Initiative, for their program “Bridging the Gap through Standards and Technology: STARTALK for Teachers.” The program provides unique professional training for teachers of Russian as a foreign language in the United States.
This is the second grant received by this team—Irina Kostina, UI lecturer; Anna Kolesnikova, UI visiting professor; and Marina Kostina, CEO of Wired @ Heart—from STARTALK for the development of their teacher-preparation program.
In interviews with 40 international students at four research universities, Chris R. Glass was struck by the relative absence of Americans from his subjects' stories. The interviewees, half undergraduate and half graduate students, described close relationships with their international peers, including those coming from countries other than their own. But while they frequently characterized their American classmates as friendly or helpful, only rarely did they seem to play a significant role in their lives.
"Only one student has described a significant relationship with a U.S. peer and that student was from Western Europe and that peer was her boyfriend," said Glass, an assistant professor of educational foundations and leadership at Old Dominion University. "That to me is a striking omission from the stories that they're telling."
Despite controversy at a Canadian university that led to the closing of its Confucius Institute, officials at the University of Iowa say they have taken measures to prevent the same occurrence.
Confucius Institutes, which can be found in several countries around the world, are organizations designed to help create stronger ties between China and the community the institute is located in. These institutes are meant to educate communities about Chinese culture and language.
UI undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who have secured summer internships with human rights organizations in the United States or internationally should consider applying for the Kenneth J. Cmiel Funded Human Rights Internship Program.
Honoring the late Kenneth J. Cmiel, an internationally-renowned scholar of the history of human rights, these awards provide funding to selected students who will be working with a local, national, or international non-governmental organization or governmental agency engaged in human rights related advocacy, research, or education. Program funds cover travel and living expenses associated with the internship.
Chinese students at the University of Iowa may be used to hearing their names rendered into unrecognizable sounds by linguistically challenged faculty but it probably doesn't help them adjust to life in Iowa.
That's why the Tippie College of Business has begun offering a variety of programs focused on bridging the cultures, including a recent workshop to teach faculty and staff how to properly pronounce Chinese names. And not a moment too soon. This year, Tippie has 497 international students, 15 times more than the 34 international students enrolled in 2005; 412 of them are from China.
The workshops were attended by about 50 faculty, staff, and administrators and were conducted by Xi Ma, a program associate in the UI Confucius Institute in International Programs.
This year, the University of Iowa Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival will be Sunday, Sept. 29 as a kick-off to the week’s homecoming events, creating a new fall tradition for a popular event that has traditionally been held during the spring semester for the past 22 years.
The University of Iowa College of Law will be the new administrative home for the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR), with Adrien Wing, Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law, becoming its new director.
The center, which faced an uncertain future in recent years because of funding constraints, will move from International Programs in the Office of the Provost to the law school effective July 1. The center will retain its central campus office as a hub for interdisciplinary programs.