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Hawkeye Poll makes splash in caucus crunch time

On Jan. 3, 2008, the eyes of the nation will turn to Iowa as farmers, businesswomen, homemakers, waiters, postal workers and other citizens gather in homes and halls across the state to take part in that peculiar Iowa institution, the Iowa Caucuses. After more than a year of stump speeches, pork dinners, baby kissing, political ads, mailings and “robo-calls” from candidates, Iowans will decide which Democrat and which Republican they believe would make the best president of the United States. Capitalizing on the national interest in Iowa, the University of Iowa has been touting its political experts, who in late October conducted a new poll to find out which candidates and issues matter most to Iowa’s likely caucus-goers. The results of the UI Hawkeye Poll (see links below) were announced at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and were cited by hundreds of news media outlets ranging from "The Today Show" to TIME magazine.

UI Hawkeye Poll: Huckabee gaining; Clinton and Obama battling for top spot More >>

Iowa caucus-goers say Iraq War, terrorism top issues in new UI Hawkeye Poll More >>

Related: UI 2008 Election Web site:


General News

NADS nets $2.5 million contract to study alcohol-related driver impairment

The National Advanced Driving Simulator have been awarded a $2.5 million contract from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct an exploratory study of the application of vehicle-based sensors for detecting driver impairment due to alcohol and their possible use in developing effective countermeasures. More >>

National Advanced Driving Simulator at The UI:

Engineering student spearheads Residential Dining food composting project

Holly Moriarty spent the spring semester of her sophomore year wiping counters and sorting silverware at the Hillcrest Market Place. As closing time approached during each shift, she'd watch as massive pans of uneaten food went down the disposal or into the dumpster. The sight was, in a word, depressing. So during the spring 2006 semester, Moriarty and three classmates penned "The University of Iowa Compost Project," a 27-page document detailing the benefits of composting pre-consumer food waste at the Hillcrest dining facility. What started as a class assignment led to the diversion of 17.36 tons of food waste – everything from browning lettuce and stale pizza to hardened casserole -- from the Hillcrest kitchen to composting. For her work, the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations recently honored Moriarty, a University of Iowa senior majoring in environmental engineering, with its Innovative Waste Management Project Award. More >>

University Housing:

UI program debuts to assist students with learning, cognitive disabilities

University of Iowa President Sally Mason and former Iowa Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson unveiled a new campus program for students with multiple learning and cognitive disabilities. The program, Realizing Education and Career Hopes (or REACH), is initially supported by private gift commitments totaling $1.4 million and will enroll an estimated 16 to 20 students in fall 2008. Based in the College of Education, REACH is a two-year certificate program with core classes in academic enrichment, career development, and life and social skills for independent living. It’s one of the first programs of its kind to be offered on a major public university campus with students fully integrated into the university's life experiences.
More >>

UI REACH Program:

UI professor: more technology means less privacy

Innovations like Google, TiVo, iTunes and GPS-equipped phones can be handy, but they also force users to forfeit some privacy, University of Iowa Associate Professor of Communication Studies Mark Andrejevic warns in his new book, "iSpy: Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era." Andrejevic says that the data trail left by technology users allows public and private monitoring agencies to track users' locations, preferences and life events for purposes including consumer marketing, targeting groups of voters for campaigns, background checks and government surveillance. More >>

Department of Communication Studies:


Health News

UI study finds 'runner's high' may also strengthen hearts

Endorphins and other morphine-like substances known as opioids, which are released during exercise, don't just make you feel good -- they may also protect you from heart attacks, according to University of Iowa researchers. More >>

UIHC Department of Emergency Medicine:

UI finding may eventually help tailor treatment for depression

When a treatment works for one person's depression, it does not always work for another person's. Findings from the University of Iowa may one day help doctors have a better idea of who will benefit from specific antidepressants, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment. More >>

UIHC Department of Psychiatry:

UI researchers seek to ease children's pain during medical procedures

A new system under development by a team of researchers at the University of Iowa will help children better cope with pain during difficult medical procedures. The system works by using a Web-based software to advise nurses on the best way to distract children from the procedures that cause the pain. The distractions could be anything from having a book read to them, watching a video, talking, or playing a game. More >>

College of Nursing:

Tippie College of Business:

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Arts News

Seriously funny: UI professor finds lessons in Sedaris humor

David Sedaris might be too funny for his own good. New York Times best-selling author and frequent contributor to Esquire, The New Yorker and NPR's "This American Life," Sedaris is known for his hilarious essays on his eccentric family, his days as a holiday elf at Macy's, and his quirky experiences as an American in Paris. But as University of Iowa English Professor Kevin Kopelson points out in his new book, "Sedaris," readers may overlook the fact that Sedaris is trying to teach some life lessons. More >>

Department of English:

UI Museum of Art 'Museum pARTy' raises record funds

The University of Iowa Museum of Art's annual celebration for contributors capped a record 2007 fundraising season, quadrupling the amount of gifts and pledges raised at the this time last year. More >>

Museum of Art:

<empty>Nagarkar: heir to responsibility, rebellion and reform

University of Iowa International Writing Program participant Kiran Nagarkar is not sure what motivated his grandfather, a high-class Brahmin in provincial India, to become a rebellious, progressive, iconoclastic reformer. But as a prominent post-colonial novelist, playwright and screenwriter, Nagarkar is an heir to his grandfather in ways that transcend genetics. More >>

International Writing Program:

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UI In The National News

Porter: some lenders abuse bankruptcy process
(Marketplace, Nov. 6)

University of Iowa associate professor Katherine Porter has found that many homeowners in foreclosure who file for bankruptcy protection still face fees from mortgage companies that often have no documented merit. "What I found is that bankruptcy, which we conceive of as a refuge for homeowners in trouble, is actually the locus of significant misbehavior by mortgage companies," Porter said. "Instead of helping people save their homes in bankruptcy, some lenders are actually abusing the bankruptcy process to harm consumers and threaten their chance to save their houses." Marketplace is a radio program produced by American Public Media. More >>

College of Law:

UI alumnus coaches for U.S. gymnastics team
(China Daily, Oct. 31)

After a successful career as a gymnast in China, Qiao Liang, better known as Chow in the West, immigrated to the United States, where he studied English and Sports Science at the University of Iowa in the early 1990s. He quickly got into coaching gymnastics for the university, leading many men and women college gymnasts to stardom. But after seven and a half years of coaching, Chow decided he could make more of a difference by getting to the gymnasts at a younger age and set to work on a dream of his: opening his own gymnastics studio. He built Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Studio, literally by hand sometimes. One decade and many talented gymnasts later, Chow is a coach for the U.S. National Gymnastics Team, all but assured of taking his star pupil, Shawn Johnson, to Beijing in 2008 to compete in the Olympics. More >>

Women’s Gymnastics:

Military seeks better understanding of Van Allen belts
(Spectrum, Oct. 24)

Ever since the Van Allen radiation belts were discovered, the U.S. armed forces have been interested in understanding -- and maybe even controlling -- how the belts influence wireless communication. For example, the U.S. Air Force, wanting to keep in touch with airborne fighter pilots at all times, would like to understand exactly how geomagnetic storms in the atmosphere will cause disruptions. Today, the armed forces are sponsoring two big experiments to gain more knowledge about the Earth's ionosphere. The compact inner belt (discovered by a Geiger counter that was added to a U.S. satellite by University of Iowa physicist James Van Allen in 1958) lies 700 to 10,000 kilometers above the equator and is believed to be the by-product of cosmic radiation. SPECTRUM is a monthly magazine that covers technology trends and their impact. More >>

Department of Physics and Astronomy:

Sharpe notes universities' tech transfer role
(Business Week Online, Oct. 17)

A new study on technology transfer at universities says that a good combination of partnerships, incentives and federal and local funding can help move research into the commercial arena, even when a school's research budget is modest. Universities have always played a role in economic development. After all, it's their responsibility to educate the workforce and keep U.S. employees ahead of the pack, says Thomas Sharpe, associate vice president for economic development at the University of Iowa. Today the commitment to technology transfer allows universities yet another way to disseminate knowledge, through their inventions and discoveries, he says. At Iowa, six centers for enterprise work with one another on the greater goal of economic development and have an active technology transfer program. More >>

UI Research:

Gray led research in new virus test
(Reuters, Oct. 12)

A strain of virus best known for causing colds and "stomach flu," adenovirus 21, is becoming more common and more dangerous. Gregory Gray of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa and his colleagues were able to quickly identify the virus using a new test developed by the Centers for Disease Control. Gray's team used the test on 2,200 samples from 22 U.S. medical facilities, including eight military sites. More >>

Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases:

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Be remarkable profile: alumnus Heineman swims English Channel to aid clinic

The first time John Heineman glimpsed the English Channel, it was a gray, rainy day in June 2007. Waves crashed against the Folkestone, England, shore. "I thought, 'This is a horrible idea,'" says Heineman of his plan to attempt one of the world's most challenging swims. But conviction propelled him forward. The May 2007 University of Iowa graduate had already accomplished a lofty goal: a campaign to raise money for the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic and awareness about health care access. More >>

Grape Expectations: an unlikely crop has become the toast of Iowa

An expanse of Iowa cornfields envelops the grounds of Wallace Winery near West Branch, where Ed and Melody Wallace have painstakingly cultivated their 2.5-acre vineyard into award-winning wines for the past two years. Grapes may seem an unlikely crop in a state revered for its tall green stalks and soybeans, but, in recent years, Iowans have shown a growing fondness for the ancient art of winemaking. More >>

Lisa Minder Wu: a taste of the Orient

If some folks might wonder how a gal from Wheeling, West Virginia, got to Iowa, that's nothing compared to how people marvel at the life Lisa Minder Wu leads in China. Behind the career of this reporter-turned-restaurateur in Beijing are journalism, a lifelong fascination with crafts, a knack for the hospitality trades, and, of course, love. Her graduate studies in journalism at the UI led Minder Wu, 05MA, to jobs at an English-language women's magazine and then a press agency in Beijing. Now she and her husband Wu Yuntao, a former rock musician, run The Orchard, a Western restaurant that also houses a furniture and crafts shop, in the northeast outskirts of Beijing. More >>

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