alumni

Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture, Kendall Heitzman, tells the story of Hiroyuki "Larry" Kasuga (M.S. industrial engineering, '53), a 93-year-old Iowa alum who is bringing alumni together in Tokyo, Japan.

This past summer, after a week of touring the University of Iowa’s study-abroad partner programs in Japan, our delegation joined Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas for an impromptu alumni gathering at a hotel in central Tokyo. We were not sure who would show up on such short notice, but about twenty alums did. The hotel had failed to provide us with any chairs, and I worried about one man in particular, who leaned lightly on a cane and in his self-introduction had mentioned that he was 92. I needn’t have worried; for over three hours, Hiroyuki “Larry” Kasuga (M.S. industrial engineering, ’53) made his way around the room, introducing himself and eager to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and to hear the latest word from his beloved Iowa.

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From Bangladesh to Tanzania, Rebecca Arnold has witnessed firsthand the power of education in improving public health around the world. She remembers the young Bangladeshi girl who delayed marriage to finish high school and pursue a degree in nursing. Then, there was the Tanzanian woman raising her children in poverty, who summoned the courage to leave an abusive relationship and become a public advocate for HIV patients in her community. Inspired by their transformations, Arnold has devoted her career to teaching life-saving health messages—from the importance of hydration to the dangers of smoking—to people in developing countries.

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Would you like to teach English, study, or do research abroad for an academic year at no cost? Join International Programs for the fourth-annual intensive Fulbright U.S. Student Program workshop on Friday, January 29, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in 2520 University Capitol Centre. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is open to juniors, seniors, graduate students, Ph.D. students, and recent graduates who are looking for international opportunities. Only U.S. citizens may apply.

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Darren Grafius graduated from the University of Iowa in 2011 with a PhD in geography. Since graduating, he has moved to the United Kingdom, where he is proud to have gotten married and bought a house with his husband. Darren is currently employed as a post-doctoral research fellow at Cranfield University, where he works on a government-funded consortium project studying ecosystem services and biodiversity in urban environments.

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Zubaidah Dahlui hails from Bangi, Malaysia, which is a small town approximately twenty-five miles south of Kuala Lumpur. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1987 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics.

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John Mark Velasco, from Manila, Philippines, earned his Bachelor of Science in biology, Masters of Public Health, and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of the Philippines, and completed a certificate in emerging infectious disease epidemiology from the University Of Iowa College Of Public Health in 2010. He went on to earn his post-graduate diploma and Masters of Science in clinical trials from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

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Mingqian Liu, originally from Beijing, China, graduated from the University of Iowa in 2011 with a degree in international studies and art history. Mingqian went on to earn a PhD in history from Texas A&M University with a concentration in historic preservation and museum studies before returning to Beijing. She now works at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University as a public education fellow, developing art education programs for people of all ages.

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Zi Wang, originally from Chengdu, China, graduated from the University of Iowa in 2013 with a degree in leisure studies. After graduation, she returned to Chengdu, where she founded Cher Maternal Care, an agency that provides in-home nanny service to families.

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Xiangyu Wang came to the University of Iowa from Bengbu, China, and graduated in 2014 with a degree in mathematics. She currently works as an actuarial research analyst for Country Financial in Bloomington, Illinois, building home and auto pricing models.

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Patrick Reed graduated with a Master in Fine Arts in papermaking and bookbinding from the UI Center for the Book in 2013. He received a Fulbright grant in 2014 to the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, for his project “Apocalyptic Themes of Natural Disaster in 16th and 21st Century Woodcut Prints.” He is currently back in Germany continuing his research through a DAAD Study Scholarship and Research Grant. International Programs interviewed Patrick to get his insights on living abroad, and how the experience affected his research.

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