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StoryCorps project preserves stories from University's historic floods

Chuck Swanson and Ken Schumacher stand near Hancher Auditorium

After living through last summer’s floods, many people never want to think about them again. But in offices, colleges, and departments around campus, people have been meticulously saving data from the floods, knowing that by revisiting those grim days it will be possible to learn ways to protect the University and community in the future.

Nancy L. Baker, University Librarian, had a similar impulse. She, along with the Libraries’ public relations coordinator Kristi Bontrager, thought first-person storytelling would be an ideal way to preserve flood memories. They invited StoryCorps to campus to record flood stories.



"Remember, Reimagine, Rebuild": University to mark flood anniversary

The University of Iowa will commemorate the anniversary of the historic flood of 2008 on Monday, June 15, at Old Capitol Museum with displays of flood-related photographs and research, audio excerpts from the StoryCorps project, remarks by University officials and guests, musical performances, and refreshments.



Photo feature: Images from the flood, and the here and now

fyi photographer Tom Jorgensen revisited some of the scenes captured by Office of University Relations photographers during last year's flood—see the subtle and staggering differences.

See the photos...


Researchers, staff rise to grant proposal challenge

The University and surrounding communities this week are marking the flood of ’08. But fewer folks know about the flood of ’09, a moniker jokingly applied by the staff of the Office of the Vice President for Research to a veritable inundation by grants.



Hancher Auditorium's 2009–10 performing arts menu is the first season organized in the absence of a headquarters facility—as a result, an "uncontained season" will be presented in 11 locations, including venues in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Chicago, and Riverside, as well as the University of Iowa campus and Iowa City.



News in brief

Emerald ash borer larva discovered in northeast Iowa; UI officials keep vigilant eye

State officials have announced the discovery of an emerald ash borer larva in a tree in Osborne Welcome and Nature Center in Clayton County, heightening the concern that infestation on the University of Iowa campus could cause significant tree damage.




  • New episode of Iowa Insights podcast available
  • Big Ten Network to present 24 hours of UI programming beginning June 10
  • Two receive Brody Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Graduate College announces 2009 SROP/McNair Scholars
  • Elevenses Hour opens the Iowa Summer Writing Festival to the public
  • Holden Cancer Center to host cancer survivors event June 13
  • Obermann Center brings in experts to discuss medical debt June 9
  • College of Pharmacy faculty members earn teaching awards
  • Hausler receives Hygienic Laboratory's career achievement award
  • State Fair booth needs volunteers
  • See which Learning and Development courses are right for you

(Full details)


  • UI-led team develops DNA compounds that could help treat lupus
  • NIH study shows drug aids hemodialysis treatment
  • Hospitalized patients need better understanding of CPR and outcomes, UI study shows
  • Veterinarians at high risk for viral, bacterial infections from animals
  • Porter study shows how high homeownership costs harm bankrupt families

(Full details)


  • Recent deaths

(Full details)



Martha Driessnack
  Martha Driessnack
How do kids think about health and illness? How do health care providers use their answers to improve care for children? These are things Martha Driessnack, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing, seeks to understand. Driessnack studies genetic literacy in children: what kids know about genetics, biology, and other health-related topics. She also examines the kaleidoscope of TV programs and advertisements, Internet sources and networks, and books that expose them to these subjects before formal education. Ultimately, her research may help change health care in the genomics age. Driessnack spoke with fyi about her progressive view of health care, research, and fascination with the Harry Potter series.




"Leisure is terra incognita [for many modern workers], so we’re highly reluctant to embrace the possibility of free time. We want to save our jobs, and I predict we will. We’ll get back to work, and we’ll forget the possibility of leisure."

Ben Hunnicutt, professor of leisure studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
(The Christian Science Monitor, May 30)

More quotes...



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