Most Iowans take for granted their abilities to hear and speak clearly. But for those with hearing and speech disorders, negotiating our busy world can be challenging.

The Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders?part of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts & Sciences?offers them a place to turn.

The department is one of the nation's premier centers offering treatment, conducting research, and teaching professionals in speech and hearing sciences. Its graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology and in Audiology are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, by U.S. News & World Report.

The department's Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic has served Iowans?adults and children?for more than 60 years. In 2011, almost 800 Iowans received care in the Department's clinics.


In addition to its clinics on the UI campus, the Department serves Iowans through innovative outreach programs, including summer camps for kids who stutter and a summer preschool program to promote spoken language skills in children with hearing loss.


The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is the UI's largest college, with almost 50 departments and programs in the performing and fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and mathematical and natural sciences. Almost all UI undergraduates are first admitted to the College to develop the fundamental skills and knowledge that will prepare them for courses in their major, and more than 70 percent of all UI undergraduates go on to earn a degree in one of the college's nearly 60 majors.  This academic year, the college is teaching almost 15,000 undergraduate students (about 75 percent of the UI's total), including more than 8,600 from across Iowa, and will award more than 3,000 undergraduate degrees.

What's the good word?

Today's aspiring journalists must be more than just good news writers?they must be innovative strategic communicators, able to work across many technological platforms for diverse employers.

In Iowa, the demand for such skills is higher than ever, as news outlets, companies, and nonprofit organizations seek well-educated communicators to help them navigate the media landscape and be heard.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication - a unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - is preparing Iowans of all ages to meet those demands and develop skills as communicators. For example:

* Elementary: The school offers free summer Iowa Journalism Academies to students from Des Moines and Davenport. More than 1,000 students have participated during the program's 13 years.

* High school: The school hosts the Iowa chapter of Quill and Scroll, the national high-school honor society for journalism; helping teachers in more than 300 Iowa high schools incorporate journalism instruction into the curriculum.

* College: Half of the school's undergraduate students are from Iowa.  During the 2010-2011 academic year, the school gave more than $87,000 in scholarships to students from Iowa. Its students regularly meet with, intern at, and work for hundreds of Iowa-based companies and organizations in cities and towns throughout Iowa.

* Continuing Education: The school offers graduate-level courses at Des Moines's John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center and online.  It hopes to offer an online master's program in strategic communications for working professionals.


For the 2010-2011 school year, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences had a 92 percent placement rate in jobs or graduate schools for graduating seniors.  Fifty-six percent of those who accepted job offers did so in Iowa.  There are more than 48,000 alumni of the college living in Iowa, bringing their education, knowledge, and leadership into communities and professions across the state.

UPLAND, IN (03/01/2012)(readMedia)-- Brett Vacek of East Moline, IL was named to the Fall 2011 Dean's List at Taylor University.

Full-time students are named to the Dean's List when they have earned a GPA of 3.60 or higher for the term and at least 12 hours carry credit point values.

About Taylor University: Founded in 1846, Taylor University is an interdenominational liberal arts university of evangelical faith located in Upland, Ind. The 2012 U.S. News and World Report survey America's Best Colleges ranked Taylor the number one Baccalaureate College in the Midwest. It marked Taylor's fifth straight number one ranking.

Taylor University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

DES MOINES, IOWA - U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) today announced that his office is accepting applications for nominations to the United States' military academies for the class entering in the summer of 2013.  Senator Harkin will nominate up to ten Iowans for every opening at each academy, with final selection for admission made by the individual academy.  

"Each year, I look forward to recommending outstanding young Iowans to the service academies.  It is a genuine honor," Harkin said.

Our nation's military academies offer Iowans outstanding educational opportunities for young people interested in military service.  Students can specialize in a variety of fields at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs and the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

Senator Harkin also enjoyed a successful military career, having joined the Navy and served as a jet pilot after graduating from Iowa State University in 1962.

High school guidance counselors across the state have information about the application procedures prospective candidates must follow.  Senator Harkin uses a competitive method to screen applicants, including the evaluation of ACT or SAT scores, high school grade point average, leadership abilities, and physical aptitude.  Harkin has also appointed an academy selection committee that conducts personal interviews with academy finalists.

Interested individuals should complete Senator Harkin's Service Academy Nomination application which can be found on his website,   Any additional questions should be directed to his Academy Nomination Coordinator, Tom Larkin, at 319-365-4504.


AZUSA, CA (03/01/2012)(readMedia)-- Bettendorf, IA resident and Azusa Pacific University student Matthew S.. Atha made the academic Dean's List at APU. Atha is honored for a fall semester 2011 academic standing of a 3.5 or better grade-point average. Atha is A Political Science Major, who is joined by more than 1,750 other students receiving the same honor.

Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical, Christian university committed to God First and excellence in higher education located 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles. With 51 undergraduate majors, 30 master's degree programs, 13 credentials, 8 doctoral programs, and 14 certificates, the university offers its nearly 10,000 students a quality education on campus, online, and at seven regional centers throughout Southern California.

Apprenticeship: The Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons Local #18 Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee will be taking applications for Apprenticeship Training in Plastering.  The basic requirements for an applicant are: applicant must be at least 18 years of age; must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent; must be physically able to perform the work of the trade; and all applicants accepted into the apprenticeship program will be subject to a drug test to be paid by the JATC. 

Applications will be available to be completed at the Operative Plasterers' & Cement Masons' Local #18 office, 7909 - 42nd Ave West, Rock Island, IL, the first Monday of every month from 7:00am until 9:00am.

The OP & CMA Local Union #18 Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies and other administered programs.


Families can register to win one of five $529 College Savings Iowa Accounts.

DES MOINES, IA (03/01/2012)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is encouraging Iowans with young children to start thinking about saving for their children's future higher educational expenses. "As a way to raise awareness about the importance of saving for higher education we have teamed up with daycares across the state to get information into the hand of parents," Fitzgerald said. "Throughout the month of March, parents are able to register their children to win one of five $529 College Savings Iowa accounts. I would like to thank all of the daycares who volunteered to take time out of their busy days to pass this information on."

After their daycare is registered to participate, families can visit to enter their children in the contest. Once there, they should select the Daycare Giveaway and enter their information, including selecting their daycare from the dropdown menu. At the end of the giveaway, five children will be randomly selected from across the state to win.

College Savings Iowa is an affordable, tax-advantaged option for families who are saving for their children's higher education. It takes just $25 to open a College Savings Iowa account, and anyone - parents, grandparents, friends and relatives - can invest on behalf of a child. Participants who are Iowa taxpayers can deduct contributions up to $2,865 per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2011 and there no income or residency restrictions.*

Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment federally tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and certain room and board costs at any eligible college, university, community college or technical training school in the United States or abroad. To learn more about College Savings Iowa, go to or call 1-888-332-7545.

*Adjusted annually for inflation if withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. The earnings portion of nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.


EAST PEORIA, IL (02/29/2012)(readMedia)-- Illinois Central College, East Peoria, released the names of students who earned academic honors during the Fall 2011 semester. The following local students received the honor:

Anthony Douglas Brodt, Jr., of Silvis, IL -- President's List

The honor is based on a 4.0 grading scale. Students who earned a perfect 4.0 were named to the President's List, and students who earned a 3.5 to 3.99 were named to the Dean's List.

The National Financial Capability Challenge runs from March 12 to April 13, 2012

DES MOINES, IA (02/29/2012)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is getting the word out about a new program that will boost the financial literacy of Iowa's high school students. The State Treasurer's Office is partnering with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Education to introduce the National Financial Capability Challenge, a program that focuses on helping students increase their financial knowledge. The Challenge, which runs from March 12 through April 13, is a free, voluntary online series of financial questions for high school students to check their knowledge of earning, spending, saving, borrowing, risk protection and more.

"Financial literacy has always been one of my office's most important initiatives, so I'm glad we were given the opportunity to help implement this program," said Fitzgerald. "The Challenge is a great opportunity for participating Iowa high schools. The test and the toolkit used to prepare for it are found online, making it easy to use, and the Challenge itself is quick - it only takes 30 minutes to take. Even though it doesn't take much time to participate in the program, the lessons students learn from it will last them a lifetime. I encourage all high schools to take advantage of this opportunity."

Educators don't need to be math or personal finance teachers to register their students to participate. To register, educators should visit After signing up, they are encouraged to help spread the word about the Challenge by using the tools provided through the website. After the program concludes, educators and top-scoring students in each school will earn personalized award certificates, and states with the highest participation will also be recognized.


LAWRENCE, KS (02/29/2012)(readMedia)-- More than 4,500 undergraduate students at the University of Kansas earned honor roll distinction for the fall 2011 semester.

The honor roll comprises undergraduates who meet requirements in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in the schools of allied health; architecture, design and planning; business; education; engineering; journalism; music; nursing; pharmacy; and social welfare.

Area honorees are as follows:

Lindsay Irene Formanek of Victor, Iowa. She is a Prof 1 in Pharmacy. She was named to the honor roll for the School of Pharmacy.

Paula Beth Samuelson of Davenport, Iowa. She is a junior in Occupational Studies. She was named to the honor roll for the School of Allied Health.

Honor roll criteria vary among the university's academic units. Some schools honor the top 10 percent of students enrolled, some establish a minimum grade-point average and others raise the minimum GPA for each year students are in school. Students must complete a minimum number of credit hours to be considered for the honor roll.

If Congress fails to act, $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit will expire at end of year

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today urged House leaders of both parties to begin working together now to pass legislation to stop the looming expiration of a popular $2,500 college tax cut.  Unless Congress Acts, the American Opportunity Tax Credit - which provides a partially refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 to offset the cost of tuition for college - will expire at the end of 2012.

Last month, Braley introduced the College Tax Cut Extension Act to extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit for four more years.

"Iowa college graduates have the 3rd highest student debt load in the nation," Braley said.  "Piling more costs on Iowa students by letting this tax cut expire puts them even further behind at graduation.  Worse, for the average Iowa community college student, letting this tax cut expire would be equivalent to a nearly 15 percent increase in tuition.


"Our colleges, universities, and community colleges are avenues of economic opportunity, and we need to keep higher education affordable for every person who wants to attend. That's why I'm urging House leaders of both parties to begin working now to extend this college tax cut instead of letting partisan politics get in the way of doing the right thing."


Braley made the request in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, which can be read below and downloaded at the following link:



February 29, 2012


The Honorable John Boehner                       


U.S. House of Representatives               

H-232, U.S. Capitol                       

Washington, DC 20515                         


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Minority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives

H-204, U.S. Capitol

Washington, DC 20515



Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi:

As you may know, the American Opportunity Tax Credit is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.  I've introduced the College Tax Cut Extension Act which would extend this tax credit for four more years.  Please work together to pass my legislation to extend this important tax credit.

This tax credit provides up to $2,500 to undergraduate college students for tuition as well as coursework materials including books.  It is no secret that college tuition continues to drastically increase.  In Iowa, tuition costs have increased by 82.9 percent since 2000 while median household income has decreased by 6.3 percent.  Iowa students are also graduating with some of the highest debt in the country.  Iowa students graduate with the 3rd highest student debt loan of any state in the United States.  These alarming statistics shows us how important it is to extend this tax credit.

As college tuition continues to drastically rise, students cannot afford thousands of more dollars in bills because Congress failed to act.  After witnessing the debacle that occurred over the payroll tax extension, I would hate to see a similar scenario occur with this issue.  Please pass my College Tax Cut Extension Act extending the American Opportunity Tax Credit for four more years.  I stand ready to work in any way possible to make sure we keep student loan interest rates at their current level.


Bruce L. Braley


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