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Update—September 14:
Jean Florman
Jean Forman leads a TA training workshop. Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

University groups team up
to offer more systematic training
to teaching assistants

Interested in using Facebook and Twitter as teaching tools? How about strategies for keeping drowsy students involved in the classroom experience?

These topics and many more will be addressed in a series of workshops for teaching assistants at The University of Iowa this fall. The Center for Teaching, Graduate College, College of Education, and COGS (Campaign to Organize Graduate Students) are working together to provide more systematic training for teaching assistants.

“Some departments say to their TAs, ‘Here is the course you’re teaching and here’s the syllabus from last year.’ We wanted to do something beyond that,” says Dan Berkowitz, associate dean of student and administrative affairs at the Graduate College. “These workshops are an effort to enhance an important aspect of the graduate student experience.”



UI researcher: Health insurance isn't really insurance

Lost in the debate over a public option health insurance plan, says a University of Iowa insurance expert, is the fact that health insurance differs in many ways from other types of insurance.

"Insurance manages risks that are unknown, such as a house fire or an automobile accident, by transferring them to an insurance company in exchange for a premium," says Ty Leverty, assistant professor of finance in the Tippie College of Business and Tristar risk management fellow. "The insurer, in turn, manages the risk by pooling together a large number of risks. Health insurance, however, frequently covers things that are known."




News in brief

  • UI law professor watches democracy work in two Muslim countries
  • UI team reveals molecular mechanism underlying a form of diabetes
  • Enrollment remains strong at UI for 2009 fall semester
  • International Writing Program presents free events Sept. 18 and 20
  • UI faculty, staff, students invited to forums on internationalization, diversity Sept. 21 and 28
  • Online comic art auction to benefit Holden Cancer Center
  • UI heart and stroke prevention study seeks participants
  • UI Children’s Hospital competing to win a game room makeover
  • Holden Cancer Center monthly cancer tip: Be aware of female cancers
  • See which Learning and Development courses are right for you

(Full details)



Professor relives childhood humiliations for new book, DO-OVER!

Robin Hemley eats lunch with his kindergarten classmates
Robin Hemley has lunch with his kindergarten classmates. Photo by Kate Hrdina.

Robin Hemley decided to do over the experiences he botched as a kid.

So at age 48, the director of the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program went back to kindergarten and summer camp, joined a fraternity, attempted to take the ACT, and finally asked the girl of his 16-year-old dreams to prom.

Hemley describes his adventures in his new book, DO-OVER!, published this summer by Little, Brown & Co.

“I’ve always believed in Socrates’ adage, that the unexamined life is not worth living,” Hemley says. “As a memoirist, that’s part of what I do—and by going back into the past and stirring things up, I was able to get beyond some of the embarrassments and failures of my childhood.”



Annual report shares stories of flood recovery, documents achievements from fiscal year 2009

Since June 2008, The University of Iowa has conferred more than 5,000 degrees, given the world new treatments for disease and new prize-winning literature, logged record grant and gift totals, and developed innovative solutions for leaner, greener times.

These and other achievements offer a striking record for any year. But they’re even more remarkable given that the past year saw The University of Iowa confront one of the greatest challenges in its history—the flood of 2008.

The Office of the President has published its fiscal year 2009 annual report, which recounts unforeseen opportunities that emerged in the flood’s wake. UI students, faculty, staff, and friends tell their own stories, accounts that illuminate, inspire, and illustrate the University community’s resolve.


Photo feature: Snapshots from "One Year After"

The president's annual report offers a series of audio slide shows titled “One Year After” as its centerpiece. Twelve individuals from a cross-section of the UI community spoke about myriad recovery efforts and new opportunities that came in the flood’s wake.

See the images, hear their stories...


UI dance faculty members help pave road to Broadway for young performer

Iowa City youngster Alex Ko obviously has what it takes to be noticed, even at 4-foot-9 and 85 pounds. That’s why on Oct. 6 he will join the cast of Billy Elliot the Musical, performing the title role at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.

But how does a kid—even a prodigy like Ko—find his way from the Heartland to the Great White Way? Before Broadway noticed Ko, his talent caught the eyes of faculty in the University of Iowa Department of Dance, who not only furthered his training but also helped make connections for him in New York.




Jacob Yarrow
  jacob yarrow
Yes, he was quite aware that we had a flood here last summer that devastated the arts campus. But Jacob Yarrow, who began his duties as the new director of programming for Hancher Auditorium on Aug. 17, wasn’t about to let the lack of a building keep him from joining an organization that he has long admired. He’s eager to build on the legacy of former Hancher leaders Jim Wockenfuss, Wally Chappell, and Judy Hurtig, as well as current executive director Chuck Swanson, all of whom are “celebrities” in the world of arts presentation. During his second day on the job, he took time to talk with fyi about Hancher, teaching junior high students, and the biggest risk he ever took.




"If you see Shaq stumble while throwing a football, that appeals to people. The athlete then seems more like us."

Mark Andrejevic, associate professor of communication studies (Modesto Bee, Aug. 22)

More quotes...


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