Information technology first-year students in Wellness Strategies toured the IBM facility in Rochester, Minn., where they met IBM Vice President Mike Prochaska ’89, and saw the hardware behind the famous Watson, IBM server rooms and labs, saw a live demo of IBM’s support system, and talked to executives and technicians, including Steve Fullerton ’88. Teaching the UIU classes were Cheryl Northrop, instructor of mathematics; Dr. Roman Yasinovskyy, assistant professor of information technology; and Storm Schmitt ’09, MBA ’ 12, executive director of admissions.
During its 70th annual conference recently, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) presented the “Government Relations Award” to Julie Fopma, director of the UIU-Quad Cities Center. The Government Relations Award is presented to a NACAC member who has made outstanding efforts in support of policy initiatives that promote equal access to higher education, encourage student achievement, promote counselor excellence and further the government relations priorities of NACAC members. Fopma has been an active and successful leader in NACAC’s government relations initiatives on the affiliate and national level. She served as Government Relations Chair from 2011 to 2014 and is currently on the NACAC Government Relations Committee. Under her leadership, the Iowa ACAC’s “Day on the Hill” has grown from 40 participants to more than 100.
Teacher Education Coordinator at the UIU Des Moines Center Jodi Grover recently drove a vehicle in Vice President Joe Biden’s motorcade when he visited Des Moines with the “Nuns on the Bus” tour. Grover greeted the vice president on the tarmac, drove a vehicle to the Iowa State Capitol Building and conversed with Biden. She said she has been involved in politics since the age of 12. Grover has worked for Sen. Brian Schoenjahn in the Iowa Senate for eight years.
Dr. Betty (BJ) Whitesell, dean of the School of Business, presented a guest lecture, “The U.S. Business Water Cooler to Corporate Ethics,” at HELP University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Whitesell’s topic centered around the idea of information and knowledge being exchanged in informal settings in the U.S. working environment.
She has a doctorate in organization and management, and specializes in communication technology, leadership and management. Whitesell’s postgraduate teaching and executive education courses include wellness strategies, diagnosing organizations, quantitative decision-making and strategies in global environments.
Dr. Melinda Heinz, assistant professor of psychology, recently published The Delivery of Distance Education — Is It Time for Doctoral Programs in Gerontology? in Gerontology & Geriatrics Education. She also gave two conference presentations, “Exploring Life Events and Experiences Among Georgia and Iowa Centenarians,” and “Understanding Older Adult Preferences for Technology Adoption,” a poster abstract, both for the Living Long, Feeling Well and Achieving Meaning: Clarifying the Differential Impact of Distal, Proximal and Traumatic Life Events in Old-Old Age symposium for the 67th annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in Washington, D.C., in November.
Dr. Kevin Mackin, assistant professor of education and master of education chair, published an article, “The Impact of Student Teaching on Teacher Self-Efficacy,” in the spring 2014 issue of the Journal of Scholastic Inquiry (pages 77-108). Mackin presented the paper at the Center for Scholastic Inquiry International Research Conference in April 2013.
Dr. Janet Kehe, associate professor of education, and Dr. Gina Kuker, assistant professor of education, presented “Working with Words” at the Iowa Cultures and Language Conference held in Coralville, Iowa, in November. Upper Iowa students hosted national speakers at the event, while students in the Intensive English Program held a panel discussion at the conference, where they talked about their experiences learning English. They shared the differences in their cultures and advice for teachers on how to deal with international students.