College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

My name is Xin Xu and I study biochemistry with a pharmacy interest at the University of Iowa. Even though study abroad is among the 47 things that students should do in college, it initially didn’t appeal to me since I am already studying abroad in America. However, one course in India Winterim called Pain, Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care caught my attention. With a strong interest in palliative medicine, I decided to go on an adventure to Trivandrum, India during the winter break, 2013-2014.

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Here’s how it works: you buy a ticket online and then you wait. You wait for November to arrive, you wait in line to get your wrist band, you wait in line to get into venues, you wait in line to see a particular band and then you wait for the crowds to subside so you can wait in line for the next show. If you are an impatient soul who despises large numbers of people, Iceland Airwaves is not for you. If you’re a music enthusiast, avid reader, “orch-dork,” party-animal or all of the above, Iceland Airwaves will be one of the best weeks of your life.

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Journalist, author, and activist Roger Thurow and tropical medicine specialist Dr. Selma Jeronimo have been named the winners of the 2014 International Impact Awards. UI President Sally Mason and Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas will present the awards to Thurow and Jeronimo at 5 p.m., November 18, at FilmScene in downtown Iowa City as part of the television/radio/internet program WorldCanvass. The ensuing discussion will focus on the tenacious cycle of poverty, hunger, and disease which afflicts so many parts of our globe—and some of the creative efforts worldwide to break the cycle.

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The African Studies Program, a constituent program of University of Iowa International Programs, has awarded Professor Christopher D. Roy, the Elizabeth M. Stanley Faculty Fellow of African Art History, the 2014 African Studies Faculty of the Year Award. This award is presented to Professor Roy in recognition of his outstanding contribution to teaching and research in African studies at the University of Iowa for more than 35 years.

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“Góðan daginn! Do you need any help sorting your sheep?” I asked in butchered Icelandic, tapping an older woman in waders on the shoulder. She stopped directing sheep traffic and shook her head. Although she probably spoke English fluently, she apparently didn’t have the time to spare when tourists such as myself were eager to help. Instead of answering my question, she pulled an older man over for me to talk to and walked away.

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Sandra Spieler, the McKnight Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award winner for 2014, will visit Iowa City Oct. 16-17 for a community arts forum and puppet workshops, all free and open to the public.

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Right now, I’m sitting on an 8x8m slab of hardwood flooring. I just did some yoga, I’m listening to music and browsing Facebook-- essentially nothing different than I would be doing back home. Yet there are little things that remind me that I’m actually nowhere near home: I have to bring my own roll of toilet paper to the bathroom, and the water in the shower is scalding and reeking of sulfur so I know it’s authentic Icelandic geothermal water. The combination of my regular routine and the elemental stank confirmed the surreal: I’m officially moved into Reykjavik, Iceland.

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At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, WorldCanvass will explore contemporary Brazil. Our immense neighbor to the south—comprising roughly the same land mass as the U.S.—is the world’s fifth largest country and seventh largest economy. Bursting with biodiversity and undergoing rapid development, Brazil faces a host of tough choices for both its people and the natural environment. Our discussion will reach beyond the brilliant beaches and soccer arenas to reflect on the multi-cultural legacy of Brazil’s complex past as seen in everything from its language to uniquely Brazilian artistic expressions to the political and social dynamics that are actively shaping the Brazil of the 21st century.

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How is language represented in the mind, and how can it be modeled? When people put sounds together to form words, how do these words combine to form sentences, and furthermore, what does this process tell us about cognition? These are the questions Douglas Cole, a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University of Iowa, asks in his research to advance data in the lesser-studied Lao language.

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Although he was a fictional character dreamt up by Scottish author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 1800s, many of Holmes’ techniques are effectively used today – over 130 years later. Indeed, the magnifying glass is an effective tool popularized by the detective, as are his methods of logical reasoning, disguise, and forensic science, which were simply unheard of at the time.

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