International Accents

E.g., Tuesday, October 21, 2014
E.g., Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fighting wanderlust after your study abroad experience? Just need more international travel in your life? We hear you!

That’s why we’re hosting Life after Study Abroad Wednesday, February 20 from 7:30- 8:30 p.m. in 1100 UCC for study abroad returnees and interested students to learn more about their international options outside of study abroad and after graduation.

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While many of us took time to relax and unwind over the holiday break, Professor Joann (Jo) Eland, PhD, RN, FAAN, was scrambling to finalize international travel plans while prepping to instruct a class that provides vital hospice and palliative care overseas.

On December 29, Dr. Eland and a group of 18 students (11 from the College of Nursing) embarked on multi-day journey that took them from Iowa City, to Chicago, to Abu Dhabi and ultimately to their final destination—a hospice in Trivandrum, India, a city located in the Southern tip of the country—where Eland taught a three-week course titled “Hospice, Pain and Palliative Care.”

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University of Iowa senior women's golfer Gigi DiGrazia was intrigued by an email she received last August for a class offered over winter break called “Diagnosing Diseases.”

DiGrazia, a health and human physiology major, wants to attend medical school, so this was right up her alley. The class would be worth three credits, offered over three weeks during winter break, and students would be working hands-on with doctors and physicians in diagnosing illnesses and other medical situations.

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Do international collaborations make for better science, or better scientists? This was one of the key questions raised at an event I attended this week, the first “Global Research Funding Forum,” hosted jointly by International Affairs and the Office of Research and Economic Development at the University of North Texas.

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One of my referees (based at Yale) told me candidly that I should not be disappointed by a rejection, for no one he had recommended had ever been accepted. When the letter came from the College, it was in a thin envelope. My heart sank, for thin envelopes rarely contain good news. To my surprise, this one did. From the dean of visiting fellows, the letter began with the words "I am pleased to invite you...." And to my delight, the invitation was for not one, not two, but three Oxford terms -- a full academic year.

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Like all new technologies, genetic medicine brings a new set of societal questions. If DNA sequencing uncovers an untreatable genetic defect, do you want to know? It is not a hypothetical question; we are already facing this ethical dilemma for selected diseases. Because you are genetically similar to your siblings, what are the implications for them if you fit a particular disease profile? What is the appropriate ethical and economic balance between personalized health care treatment and cost, particularly if you choose a lifestyle that worsens your health, given a genetic predisposition to a disease? How do we protect individual privacy in a world of “big data” and inexpensive health monitoring devices?

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The following lecture was delivered by Alexander Somek at the Princeton Transatlantic Youth Conference on December 6, 2012, in Princeton at Rockefeller College. The event was attended by students from both the US and Europe. Professor Somek is the Charles E. Floete Chair in Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, and currently a LAPA fellow at Princeton University.

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How did competitive, witty conversations at elite salons shape Spanish histories of the Iberian kingdom of al-Andalus? In the first lecture of the European Studies Group spring lecture series, UI associate professor Denise K. Filios will analyze the traces of such oral performances in two stories about Musa b. Nusayr, the conqueror of al-Andalus.

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The UI Opera Studies Forum will present a pre-opera talk on Verdi’s Rigoletto on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the University Capitol Centre, Room 2520D. This event is free and open to the public.

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I’ve often thought that the best destinations are those that weren’t on your list. My experience as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in the faculty of law at Sofia University certainly falls into that category. Unlike many of my Fulbright colleagues, I didn’t begin my experience with a particular country, or even region, in mind. Instead, I focused on trying to identify an award that was seeking someone with my background and skills, with a large degree of flexibility as to where that might be. Happily, this approach led to my selection as a Fulbright scholar and an incredible experience in a place I have grown quite fond of.

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Come try your hand at the ancient and beautiful art of Chinese calligraphy at a free workshop Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, from 7-8:30 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre on the UI campus. The workshop is open to the public and no prior experience of Chinese or calligraphy is necessary to attend.

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Jesse Skinner Wilkerson was a 33-year-old farmer from Hamburg, Iowa, when he was drafted to serve in the 13th Iowa Infantry, Company C. His wife, Sarahett, was pregnant with their third child and left to run the farm in his absence.

The year was 1864, and the U.S. was embroiled in a civil war that ultimately cost three-quarters of a million lives among the Union and Confederacy ranks. Wilkerson, by his reckoning, traveled over 5,000 miles to seven states during his service. Though he survived the war, he was murdered in a barroom in 1869, only four years after the war’s end.

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When Lisa Thai started her freshman year at the University of Iowa last fall, she had no intentions of joining any of the sororities on campus. It was not until a friend, UI junior Vanessa Au, approached her about starting a chapter of the Asian interest sorority Delta Phi Lambda that Thai reconsidered.

Thai, Au and five other women founded the UI colony chapter of Delta Phi Lambda on Nov. 18, 2012. Au currently serves as the chapter’s president, and Thai is the vice president of records.

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As an only child, getting my mother to be okay with my going to school at the University of Iowa which is only three and a half hours away was a task itself. So when I first told my mom I was thinking about studying abroad in Europe, a completely different continent, she wasn’t so happy with the idea. It took a lot of convincing but eventually she came around to the idea that this would be an amazing experience that I would be able to talk about for a lifetime.

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Ron McMullen held a phone to his ear in May 2000. The unfolding situation seemed like a plot from a Hollywood film starring the latest actions stars, but it wasn’t.

On the other line was the voice of the spokesman for George Speight, who listened to McMullen’s demands. Speight and his followers had stormed the Fijian Parliament in May and held Prime Minster Mahendra Chaudhry and most of his Cabinet hostage for 56 days, according to Radio New Zealand.In the midst of the conflict, an American journalist who had attempted to interview Speight was taken hostage.

McMullen, now a University of Iowa visiting associate professor of political science, was set on having the journalist freed.

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The study of genetics has come a long way since Gregor Mendel’s groundbreaking work with pea plants in the mid-19th century. To see just how far we’ve come and where research into genetics is taking us, join WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer and her panel of expert guests on Friday, February 15, at 5 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber, when the topic is "Genetics and New Technologies." The program is free and open to the public.

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Have fun learning Chinese with the Confucius Institute community language classes! The Confucius Institute is holding several community and family classes during the spring semester.

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Exploring the rich culture and natural beauty of Cusco, Peru, was just the beginning for Macz Norton when she participated in the Spanish Language and Service Learning study abroad program last summer.

This eight-week program combines coursework in Spanish language and Peruvian culture with valuable service learning. The service projects are organized by an onsite company, ProWorld-Peru, which meets with community leaders to develop projects that are both meaningful for students and fulfill a much-needed service for the local community.

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Advocates from Iowa immigrant, labor, faith, and racial justice groups will come together with members of the university community for an upcoming one-day conference, “Forging Hope: Local Alliances for Good Jobs and Racial Justice.”

The conference will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the University Capitol Centre (Old Capitol Mall), Room 2520D, on the University of Iowa campus.

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Much of what we know about Western African history comes from the colonial era, when European powers controlled the politics and commerce of the region.

With its exhibition “Western Africa Before the Boats,” the African American Museum of Iowa, located in Cedar Rapids, is setting out to give visitors a glimpse of life in Western Africa in an earlier era. And the University of Iowa—known for its extensive African art collection and expertise—is helping to tell the story.

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The UI Opera Studies Forum will present a pre-opera talk on Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda on Monday, Jan. 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the University Capitol Centre Conference Seminar Room 2520D. This event is free and open to the public.

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The Mississippi River, which holds such an important place in North America’s geography, ecology, and culture, is also helping build bridges between the United States and China. Last summer, the Lucille A. Carver Mississippi Riverside Environmental Research Station (LACMRERS) welcomed some of China’s finest high school students, who came to learn about the Mississippi River. The students spent 18 days visiting three states as part of “Rivers as Bridges,” an international exchange program sponsored by Environment and Public Health Network for Chinese Students and Scholar

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One lesson I have learned in my life is that when you grow up in a society where gunshots become music that people dance to, life becomes death, children become soldiers and murderers, peace becomes instability, and love becomes hatred; you begin to develop a passion for human rights advocacy because you want to make a difference in that society. What intrigues me about nursing and international studies is that they allow me to care and advocate for other people, especially those who are vulnerable.

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The UI Opera Studies Forum will present a pre-opera talk on Berlioz's Les Troyens on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 5:30 p.m. in the University Capitol Centre (UCC) Executive Boardroom, Room 2390. This event is free and open to the public.

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I was born in the United States, and my parents are from Vietnam. During my first year of college, some people mistook me as Chinese, but most people can guess Vietnamese from my last name. I guess I should have mentally prepared to mistaken as Chinese more because from the moment I stepped into the boarding room, a Chinese lady asked me (in Chinese, of course) to help her read her boarding ticket.

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