giving

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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Thanks to the support of generous private donors, these UI students were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives.

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UI alumni Carl and Claire Stuart recently established a scholarship fund to support international travel experiences for students in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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UI Student Government wants you to step out of your comfort zone. Try a food dish you've never had before, talk to someone you've never met, or go to a cultural event on campus. These are just a few of the things you can do to expand your Iowa experience.

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Imagine that you live near a smog-filled city of six million people where, despite the best pollution prevention and forecasting efforts by city officials, residents often are mistakenly told to remain indoors on clear days and advised to go outdoors when the air is polluted. Some of us likely would stay put and endure the conditions, while others would move away to a different city. But UI alumnus Marcelo Mena-Carrasco chose a different path—he joined forces with UI colleagues as well as officials of the city of Santiago, Chile, to implement a dramatically improved pollution-forecasting model for the city of Santiago.

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Citizen diplomacy may well be our state’s most valuable export. For more than 50 years, Iowa has been front and center in volunteer, people-to-people diplomacy through our long tradition of Sister State relationships. Sister State exchanges bring the world to our doorstep and have helped Iowa build deep and lasting friendships throughout the world, resulting in greater cooperation and trade.

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Amy Bowes, a Study Abroad adviser at the University of Iowa, was lost. It was 2005, and she had just graduated from the UI with a degree in political science. She remembered the Peace Corps building she had seen while interning in Washington, D.C., and decided to volunteer. Six months later, she was teaching high-school English in Lesotho — a country in Africa. Bowes said she now uses her experiences of feeling unsure about travel and her future to relate with students on campus today.

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Two Japanese Kizuna Fellows shared their touching first-hand accounts of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 in a presentation Monday, August 5, at the Johnson County Crisis Center where the two are interning for the summer. In addition to their personal experiences, they discussed the food-bank system of Japan and the struggles of their home communities to return to normal life.

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One local church continues to open its doors to international students arriving at the University of Iowa by offering free necessities.

Faith Baptist Church, 1251 Village Road, will host its 11th-annual International Furniture Giveaway on Aug. 17, an event Assistant Pastor Jake Mangold said is the biggest way the congregation meets students.

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Four University of Iowa undergraduate students and 20 UI graduate students have received Stanley Awards for International Research to conduct research abroad or pursue learning activities in international studies that are not available on the UI campus.

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