Monday, November 28, 2022
Group photo from the IWP's Spring 2022 Residency Program

In our 2021-2022 annual report, the Graduate College is highlighting the accomplishments of the International Writing Program, Center for the Book, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Planning and Public Affairs, and University of Iowa Press over the last year.

International Writing Program

The International Writing Program’s (IWP) biggest achievement in 2021 was being the first in-person site for cultural exchanges in the United States. The trust placed in the IWP by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs is a huge honor. The funder asked the International Writing Program to split its residency group into two small cohorts, so it completed two residencies in one year.

The program’s first and last ever spring residency (March-May 2022) included Shehan Karunatilaka, who won the Booker Prize, and Khadija Abdalla Bajabar, who won the first ever Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction.

IWP’s Spring 2022 writers Luiza Fazio, Brazil; Walid Hajar Rachedi, France; and Shehan Karunatilaka, Sri Lanka) spoke at an emergency United Nations meeting in New York City last May, and were quoted in this NYT article.

In their summer youth programs, the 2022 (June-July) in-person camp was the only youth writing program on the University of Iowa campus that was able to complete its session with Covid-19 still prevalent, due to the above-and-beyond care and adherence to safety measures by all participants, instructors, and staff members.

Center for the Book

Center for the Book faculty, staff, and students offer a sincere thanks to those who helped them complete an ambitious fund-raising challenge in January 2022. The program raised five million dollars in endowment and spendable income by raising $2.85 million in donations and triggering a matching $2.5 million grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation (WCF).

Along with ongoing support from the Graduate College, the Center of the Book now can hire faculty, support student education, and provide professional development opportunities to faculty, staff, and students. 

Professors Julia Leonard and Sara Langworthy have been appointed to the positions of program director and associate director, respectively.

School of Library and Information Science

In the spring and summer of 2022, the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) graduated 26 master's students. These students, most of whom started during the pandemic, have taken professional positions in Iowa public schools and libraries around the country.

In faculty news, Assistant Professor Iulian Vamanu and Lecturer Kara Logsden have been part of an interdisciplinary team of Graduate College faculty researching how public libraries support community resilience. The project, supported by a University of Iowa grant, has employed SLIS graduate students as research assistants, honing their skills and increasing their knowledge of library practice in the State of Iowa.

Jennifer Burek Pierce, recently promoted to full professor, is serving as interim director of SLIS during the 2022-23 academic year. Jackie Biger joined SLIS in August 2022 as Associate Professor of Instruction & Teacher Librarian Program Coordinator. Micah Bateman joined the SLIS faculty as assistant professor this fall.  He earned his Ph.D. from University of Texas, with his dissertation focusing on the politics of American poetry in social media environments.

School of Planning and Public Affairs

The School of Planning and Public Affair’s (SPPA) student organization launched its first peer-to-peer mentoring program, a critical part in building a strong campus community.

Last spring, SPPA selected its annual student award recipients. Winners included Tanner Osing (AICP Outstanding Student Award), Jody Jostens and Wael El Safi (Jim Harris Memorial Scholarship Award), and Michaela Dohleman (MPA Outstanding Student Award). Last May, students worked with the Iowa Initiative of Sustainable Community to complete outreach projects in Maquoketa, Jackson County, Muscatine, Bellevue, Iowa City, and for the Iowa AARP

SPPA also debuted its new Online Graduate Certificate in Transportation Planning. Associate Professor Jerry Anthony received a Fulbright grant for research in India in 2023.

University of Iowa Press

The University of Iowa Press (UI Press) is proud to have published 32 books between its spring and fall 2022 semesters. Eight of these publications received separate distinctions as finalists or award winners, including the Midwest Book Awards, the Science Fiction Research Association Book Award, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Outstanding Book Award.

UI Press also has received national coverage in various publications including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Its 2022 books have also received five-starred reviews from national media including Publishers Weekly and Foreword Reviews.