alumni

University of Iowa alumna Laura Semprini, 27, of Iowa City, IA and her husband Jason Semprini, 28, of Cedar Rapids, IA have been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Fiji Aug. 31 to begin training as a youth development volunteers. The Semprinis will live and work at the community level to promote and develop healthy lifestyles and environmental awareness in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth and Sport.

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Naomi Jackson knows better than anyone that Iowa City and Barbados don’t have a lot in common. Born to West Indian parents and graduating from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jackson has spent a great deal of time in both locations. Despite a disparity in similarity, the confluence of the two led to Jackson’s Barbados-based debut novel, “The Star Side of Bird Hill.” You can hear Naomi read from her novel at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City on July 20.

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Known by some as the "Dumpling Darling," Lesley Triplett began her own Korean-style dumpling stand at the Iowa City Farmer's Market in July 2014 and has been expanding the business ever since. The UI communications graduate says her unique business venture was inspired by her love of travel, which began with a study abroad experience during her time at the University of Iowa.

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Phil’s Day 2015 is a day to celebrate philanthropy and the impact it has on the University of Iowa. These are just a few of the many UI students who were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives, thanks to the generosity of private donors. Read on to learn about their unique adventures and projects.

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Over the past 60 years the Fulbright Program has facilitated the travel of nearly 350,000 students and young professionals for cultural and academic exchange. On April 3, 2015, the University of Iowa will host its first annual Fulbright Day to celebrate past UI Fulbright faculty and student awardees and to provide prospective students the opportunity to learn more about the Fulbright process.

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45 years ago, Ali Soliman arrived at the Iowa City Bus Depot with one suitcase that contained everything he owned. Dr. Soliman, currently Chairman of the United Nations' Association of International Civil Servants, sent us these reflections of his life as a graduate student in economics in Iowa City in the early 1970s.

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Alec Bramel, 22, of Holy Cross, Iowa, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Jamaica March 9 to begin training as an agriculture extension volunteer. Bramel will make a difference working with his community to identify resources and agriculture projects that can be developed and implemented to generate income. He will also facilitate training in farm management and work with schools to enhance and expand environmental education.

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Nicky Fish, 23, of Oak Park, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Indonesia March 14 to begin training as a secondary English education volunteer. Fish will make a difference teaching basic to intermediate English and providing enrichment learning opportunities through extracurricular and non-formal community activities.

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Hunter Sharpless, originally from Dallas, TX, graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012 with a degree in English-Literature. While at the UI, Hunter studied abroad on the USAC program in Turin, Italy, in 2011. Currently, he is a MFA candidate in nonfiction writing as well as a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota. Read on to learn how Hunter's time abroad enhanced his calling as a writer, as well as how to make the most of your experiences in a new country.

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Mark Norris, originally from Ames, IA, graduated from the University of Iowa in 2007 with a degree in linguistics. While at the UI, Mark studied abroad in Reykjavik, Iceland, on the University of Iceland exchange program. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Oklahoma, and resides in the city of Norman. Read on to learn how Mark's study abroad experience benefited his college career and current endeavors.

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