alumni

With Labor Day just past, and classes well underway, I want to welcome everyone to the 2014-15 academic year! I always enjoy the expansive feeling at the beginning of the school year, with so many new faces, undergraduates eager to visit the office to explore options abroad; graduate and professional students working with Karen Wachsmuth to apply for grants and fellowships; and faculty across the disciplines contacting me with ideas about how they can enhance their global teaching, research, and engagement activities.

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Whether it’s the quest to build a better mousetrap or develop a promising new vaccine, it takes courage, inspiration, and out-of-the-box thinking to propel the creative spirit past stumbling blocks, early failures, and the sometimes tepid encouragement of others. It takes passion. At 5 p.m. on September 2, host Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests will discuss how personal passion can turn a shapeless idea into a tangible reality.

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After returning to the U.S. from volunteering in the Republic of Georgia with the Peace Corps, two UI grads decided that they would like to share the culture of hospitality that they had learned from the Georgians and opened a food cart in Portland, Oregon, called Kargi GoGo, serving the Georgian fare they love.

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Five years after he studied abroad, UI graduate Mark Norris re-visits Reykjavík, Iceland and offers these reflections.

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As I now prepare for the launch of my debut novel, A Thread of Sky, it’s a bit unnerving to remember that if I hadn’t received a Fulbright grant, my novel might not exist today. Seven years ago, I was facing my last months as an MFA student and struggling to write a story set in China from my sunlit desk in Iowa. When a friend suggested that I apply for a Fulbright, it seemed a far-fetched notion...

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Alumni and friends of the University of Iowa are invited to join Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs, and Alec Scranton, dean of UI College of Engineering, at an alumni reception in Hong Kong on Monday, August 4.

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An overly excited husband tries to cheer up his wife as they prepare to celebrate Fourth of July in their brand new home – complete with matching American flag T-shirts; but as the Indian-American couple adjust to life in the ‘burbs they are soon exposed to local ignorance and prejudice that threatens to dampen their spirits.

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On June 7th, the University’s Alumni Association presented Sandra Barkan, formerly associate dean of the Graduate College, and her late husband, Professor Joel Barkan, with its Distinguished Alumni Award for their contribution to international studies at Iowa. In accepting the award, Sandra explained why she and her husband regarded international studies of such great importance and described the establishment of the University’s Center for International and Comparative Studies, forerunner to today’s International Programs. Following is a summary of her observations.

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Blake Rupe considers herself an accidental entrepreneur. The 26-year-old UI student had no plans to start a business, but a trip to some garbage-infested beaches in Mexico convinced her a mobile application to encourage recycling could help.

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Walking on the beach in Mexico, collecting garbage, Blake Rupe never thought she’d be an Internet entrepreneur. But almost exactly one year later, that’s what happened.

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