Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sixteen graduate students will participate in the Graduate Institute for Public Engagement, sponsored by the University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Graduate College. They will focus on how teaching, research and creative work can advance their careers while addressing community needs.

In its fourth year, the Obermann Graduate Institute provides theoretical and practical training for graduate students committed to combining their academic interests with civic engagement. The institute explores new ways to connect scholarship, the arts and higher education to local communities.

The fellows are: Ana Campos-Holland, sociology; James Carviou, journalism and mass communication; Stephen Courtright, management and organizations; Elisabeth Erickson, health and sport studies; Molly Fleming, urban and regional planning; Marie Gernes, teaching and learning; Kathy Hargrave, art and art history; Daniel Kinney, art education; James Lambert, English; Kristi Law, social work; Georgianna Martin, counseling, rehabilitation and student development; Alejandro Muzzio, anthropology; Amie Ohlmann, teaching and learning; James Rydberg, political science; Sarah Viren, English; and Ling-Yan Yang, psychological and quantitative foundations.

Each fellow receives a $500 award. 

"Our goal is to develop leaders with the commitment and tools to deepen relationships between universities and communities," said Teresa Mangum, associate professor of English in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who is co-directing the institute with Ken Brown, associate professor of Management and Organizations in the Tippie College of Business. "We believe this training will initiate long-term changes in the way future scholars and researchers view the work of colleges and universities."

During the institute, scheduled for Jan. 12-18, students discuss readings, meet with scholars who have integrated public engagement with their teaching and research, and visit community sites. They will participate in a public program, "Neighborhood-University Partnerships: Miller Orchard and Beyond," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, in Iowa City Public Library. Speakers include Professor and Director of the UI Department of Urban and Regional Planning Chuck Connerly, and Marcia Bollinger, Neighborhood Resources Coordinator for the City of Iowa City.

Students will also develop public engagement projects of their own. The public is invited to learn about the projects from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, at the Iowa City Public Library.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies provides an environment and resources for reflection and writing and for the exchange of ideas. Scholars from a broad range of disciplines and institutions interact with one another and with the public to create and communicate new knowledge and to establish a vibrant intellectual community. For more information on the Graduate Institute for Public Engagement, call 319-335-4034 or visit https://obermann.uiowa.edu/.