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Update—Dec. 15:
Electric Guitar
Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

Faculty, staff making sweet music

You might notice a coworker tapping out a 4/4 rock beat on his computer keyboard. Perhaps one of your colleagues is constantly humming a catchy tune while going about her daily routine. Or maybe your officemate, when he thinks no one is looking, displays his air-guitar skills that brim with surprising tenacity. (The last circumstance might be unique to the fyi office.)

It seems a certain subset of University of Iowa employee is running rampant throughout campus: musician.

Oh sure, they might be masquerading as faculty members in such prestigious departments as internal medicine, or perhaps they provide valuable services at places such as the Women's Resource and Action Center, but underneath these day-job personae lie souls that long to sing, strum, and slam the skins.



Low and behold: It's "Holiday Tubas"

player at "Holiday Tubas"
Photo by Tim Schoon.

The University of Iowa Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble once again braved the elements to present its annual "Holiday Tubas" performance on the steps of Old Capitol. When they weren't running inside Old Cap to unfreeze their instrument valves, the players breezed through holiday tunes ranging from "Jingle Bells" to "Frosty the Snowman."

Watch the audio slide show...



News in brief



  • Current, former UI faculty make New York Times holiday 'Notable Books' list
  • Football team earns bid to Outback Bowl
  • UI community encouraged to volunteer on Day of Service
  • Formatting error drops letter from addresses in Herd Book
  • University sponsors Jan. 15 program on collaboration during the flood crisis
  • College of Pharmacy faculty honored
  • It pays to apply for professional development awards
  • Benefits Office to notify employees of recent regulation changes
  • W-2 forms will be available on HR Self Service web site
  • See which Learning and Development courses are right for you

(Full details)


  • Attention needed to prevent Hispanic worker deaths
  • Cellular stress causes fatty liver disease in mice

(Full details)


  • Recent deaths

(Full details)




Libraries preservation specialists reach out to area museums

Basket restoration
Caitlin Moore, a conservator in the UI Libraries preservation department, cleans a basket from the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa collection. Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

It takes a certain type of person to clean floodwater muck off of delicate baskets, historical books, and vinyl records.

“You have to be patient. You have to have steady hands. And you have to pay attention—you have to keep observing and testing,” says Nancy Kraft, head of the preservation department at University of Iowa Libraries. One wrong move, she explains, and you could destroy the item you’re trying to preserve.

When Kraft saw the devastation this summer’s floods wrought on two Cedar Rapids museums—the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa, and the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library—she wanted to provide that skill and attention to detail to help them recover as much of their collections as possible.



Photo feature: President's Residence turns 100

The University of Iowa President’s Residence, a neo-Georgian home perched on a bluff overlooking the Iowa River, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The home was completed in 1909 for a total cost of $25,067. President MacLean was the first to move into the house in 1909, which at that time also housed the President’s Office. Today, the President’s Residence still serves as the private home of the UI president and hosts hundreds of University events throughout the year.

See the photos...


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Vershawn Young
  Vershawn Young
His mother showed him the value of education, and his teachers recognized his desire to learn and pushed him to do well. But Vershawn Young's path to three advanced degrees and a faculty position at The University of Iowa wasn't always peachy. Young often felt obligated to downplay his African American characteristics in order to be taken seriously. Because of that challenge, he studies black “performances” and is making an argument for integrating black English into academic settings. Young took a moment to discuss his work with fyi. He also opened up about his love for cooking soul food, a surprising professional aspiration, and why he selected an in-your-face title for his first book.




“Saying you spend half an hour a day playing sudoku and you won’t get Alzheimer’s, or playing any of these brain games and you’ll lose less gray matter than somebody who doesn’t—well, nobody has ever done that study."

Nancy Andreasen
(Sunday Times, Nov. 16)

More quotes...


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