The University of Iowa

Dean's Message: Celebrations

February 26th, 2021
ice on tree limbs in front of Iowa banner

Dear all,

Winter maintains its grip on Iowa, but the cold has not chilled activity in International Programs (IP)! On the contrary, IP and the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS) gave a warm welcome to the Year of the Ox on February 11 with our first-ever virtual Lunar New Year celebration that emphasized traditions in China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Warmth was spread not only by the large number of attendees—many from various reaches of the globe—but by the sharing of recipes from these parts of the world. Culinary delights always bring people together, and our commemoration of the coming of spring was no exception.

Keeping with celebrating life’s finer features, February saw the celebration of the literary world, with our special WorldCanvass event, “The Ghanaian-American Experience in Literature and Art,” featuring the work of two graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the renowned novelist Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing, and Transcendent Kingdom, and D.K. Nnuro, author of the forthcoming novel, What Napoleon Could Not Do. International Programs could not be more pleased to sponsor an event that recounted and translated the experience of the African—and in particular Ghanaian—Diaspora to a global audience of more than 500 viewers.

IP’s support for events such as Lunar New Year and WorldCanvass are equaled only by support for students. Our Study Abroad team held a successful Virtual Study Abroad Fair in February, and at the end of the month, the UI was named a Top Producer of student Fulbright recipients for the sixth straight year. Not only did we rise from 18th to 12th on the national list, the UI ranked #1 in the ratio of applications to awards. This remarkable achievement is due to the brilliant work of Karen Wachsmuth, associate director of international fellowships, and her assistant, Marie Hoppe, as well as our faculty mentors, and our Communications and Constituent Relations unit. Such a group effort requires tremendous coordination with respect to organizing information sessions, recruiting and advising students, constant draft revision and, finally, continuous publicity around the past and current success of Fulbright awardees. It is only fitting that Iowa attains this lofty status during Fulbright’s 75th anniversary. As friends of IP, you contribute greatly to this success and we extend our gratitude for your sustained commitment to international education.

With congratulations and best wishes,

Russ Ganim signature