“Bhopal (1984 – ?): The 30th Anniversary and the Ongoing Disaster”
Thirty years after Methyl IsoCyanate (MIC) leaked from the Union Carbide (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company) pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, the disaster has claimed over 25,000 lives and over 150,000 people are chronically ill. Water and soil contamination from the abandoned factory have multiplied the impact of the disaster and have left women and children particularly vulnerable. The Bhopali survivors have waged a 30-year struggle for justice on a transnational scale, seeking adequate compensation, medical care, clean water and a comprehensive cleanup of the abandoned factory and its surroundings. Renu Pariyadath will discuss the disaster’s continuing health impacts in Bhopal today and the status of the transnational campaign produced in its wake.
Renu Pariyadath is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Iowa with a minor in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. Renu researches migrant activism within the Indian diaspora and has been a volunteer with the international movement for justice surrounding the Bhopal gas disaster for over three years. She is interested in the barriers to and the possibilities for forging a transnational environmental and reproductive justice movement in the context of the Bhopal disaster. Renu is the Chapter and Volunteer Coordinator of the Association for India’s Development (AID-US) and former Community Outreach Coordinator for the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB). She got involved with the ICJB in 2012 when she visited Bhopal for her Ph.D. field research supported by the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research.
“Understanding the Role of Restoration in Human Trafficking”
Despite movements advocating its abolition, the practice of slavery persists as a global injustice. In contrast to systems of free labor and chattel bondage in past centuries, human trafficking involves the abduction, coercion, sexual exploitation, and illegal trade of, primarily women and children. Despite its apparent domestic invisibility, trafficking in persons is both an international issue and domestic issue. Ric Lumbard will discuss his experience with a national movement which seeks to secure and restore the freedom, safety, and health of victims of trafficking worldwide.
Ric Lumbard is the Director of the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) which provides communication infrastructure for the governmental agencies of Iowa, as well as the three state universities. Ric has also served in senior management with Raytheon, and US West. In addition, Ric has served leadership for several organizations including House of Hope Women’s Shelter, and founded the Center to Restore Trafficked and Exploited Children. Nationally, he is a speaker and trainer in the Human Trafficking industry, focusing on building and equipping organizational responses to restore the victims of Human Trafficking. Ric has advanced training in restorative modeling and emotional restoration of those in crisis, working with Terre des Hommes International Federation, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Homeland Security.
“Environmental, Economic & Social Impacts of the Transoceanic Canal in Nicaragua”
The Nicaraguan government awarded a concession to build an inter-oceanic canal to a Hong Kong based company owned by a little-known Chinese billionaire. This concession was given without bidding, or completion of impact assessments. The project may damage regional biodiversity and rare ecosystems like Lake Cocibolca, (a.k.a. Lake Nicaragua), a unique freshwater tropical lake which serves as Central America’s main freshwater reservoir. Jerry Schnoor will discuss these issues as well as the socio-economic impacts on local people and regional interests.
Jerry Schnoor is a Professor in the Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Occupational & Environmental Health. He joined the University’s College of Engineering in 1977, and holds the esteemed Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering. His research interests include carbon sequestration, water quality modeling, phytoremediation, and the causes of global warming. Schnoor earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1975 and an M.S. in Environmental Health Engineering in 1974 from The University of Texas. In 1972, he received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University. Jerry is Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Science and Technology (American Chemical Society).
“Indigenous Struggles: A Sámi Perspective”
The Finno-Ugric Sámi people of northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland are the only indigenous population to be recognized and protected in Scandinavia. Sámi people have inhabited Fenno-Scandinavia for over ten thousand years. But the combined forces of climate change, technology, increased industrial activity, and land-loss have led to a large shift in the traditional Sámi diet, lifestyle, and mental health status. Kelsey will discuss the impacts of these changes on the somatic and psychosocial health of reindeer-herding Sámi and ways in which these changes may shape their future.
Kelsey Frisk is a fourth-year undergraduate Honors student with the Interdepartmental Studies major. She studies global health with a strong interest in the health and human rights of indigenous populations. She recently received a Stanley Award for International Research to study perceptions of health among the Sámi people in northern Sweden from January—July 2014.
“Does Hong Kong Have a Future? Postcolonial Developments Since 1997”
Will Hong Kong remain a distinctive, quasi-autonomous outpost on the southern tip of China, or will it become just another Chinese city? This talk explores the history and cultural traditions of Hong Kong in an attempt to understand the recent pro-democracy demonstrations: Why now? Who are the leaders? What do ordinary people in Hong Kong think about their future as citizens of China? The speaker, an anthropologist, seeks answers in Hong Kong’s ethnic and linguistic distinctiveness (Cantonese combined with English) and its legacy of British colonialism (1842-1997).
James Watson was one of the first students to study Chinese at the University of Iowa (BA 1965) and received his PhD (1972) at the Univ. of California at Berkeley. He was, until his retirement in 2011, Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. Watson also taught at the University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) and the Universities of Pittsburgh, Hawaii, and Houston. Together with Dr. Rubie Watson, he has conducted anthropological research in Hong Kong’s New Territories since the late 1960s. His publications include Emigration and the Chinese Lineage, Kinship Organization in China, Death Ritual in Chinese Society, The Cultural Economy of Food and Eating, and Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia. The Watsons’ current project is a jointly authored book entitled The Last Colony: Everyday Life in British Hong Kong, 1898-1997.
“How Do You Solve a Problem Like Vladimir: Russia’s Future Between East and West”
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebel forces in eastern Ukraine challenge European security and raise questions about what might come next. The answers lie with President Vladimir Putin, who holds an uncommon degree of personal control over Russian politics. Professor Reisinger will discuss Putin’s political regime, how he and his team view world affairs, and what we should expect in the years ahead.
William M. Reisinger is Professor of Political Science at The University of Iowa. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1985. His research concerns politics in the former communist states, especially Russia. He has written several books, as well as over 50 articles or book chapters. He travels frequently to Russia and has conducted research on Ukraine and Uzbekistan. He teaches courses on democratization, authoritarian politics and the politics of the post communist countries. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, in 1986. He is a former chair of the Political Science Department and, from 2003-2008, served as The University of Iowa’s Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs.
“From Soviet Supremacy to Major Restructuring: Health Care Issues in Russia Today”
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Russia is going through a health care crisis. Population decline, re-emerging infectious diseases, a growing HIV/AIDs epidemic, tobacco and alcohol-related deaths, low life expectancy and declining birth rates are plaguing the nation. Individual attitudes toward “health” and social responses to reduced access to basic health care in Russia recently are contributing the urgent problems. Professor Mills will provide an overview of the history and on-going challenges to create a better health care system.
Margaret H. Mills is a Professor of Russian language and linguistics and the former Chair of the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages at the University of Iowa. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan and her MPH from the University of Iowa . She has devoted over 30 years to studying, consulting, and conducting linguistic and public health field work research in the Soviet Union and Russia. This work has resulted in over 40 trips to the Soviet Union and Russia since 1977, including escorting delegations of UI Family Medicine and Family Dentistry faculty to medical sites and conferences in Moscow. Among her health-related work, she is the co-editor and chapter author of a monograph (with Vicki Hesli) entitled Medical Issues and Health Care Reform in Russia (1999).
“Elephants, Ivory & Yao Ming”
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Africa’s remaining elephants are being machine-gunned so China’s burgeoning middle class can buy ivory knick-knacks for their living rooms. Can 7’6” former center of the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming, save the day? Ambassador McMullen will explore the fate of Africa’s elephants in the hands of a former NBA star.
McMullen, currently a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Eritrea. Ron has over 30 years of diplomatic experience and has lived, worked, or traveled in 91 countries. In Burma he worked closely with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy groups. While posted in Fiji he helped prevent civil conflict after an armed takeover of parliament. He was shot at during a riot in Sri Lanka and helped train mongooses to detect heroin. He survived a voodoo curse in the Dominican Republic and took Hillary Clinton on a tour of South Africa’s Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. Between foreign assignments, Ron served for three years as Visiting Professor at the Military Academy at West Point, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Politics. He was Diplomat-In-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin 2010-2012. He has authored many scholarly works and is a three-time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. A native of Northwood, Iowa, he earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa.
An International Comparison of Health Care Systems: Coverage, Cost & Quality
The US health care system in the most expensive in the world. But does the quality of the care outweigh the cost? Thousands of Americans go bankrupt each year due to medical bills, and childbirth in the US costs twice as much as any other country. Ron Reed will look at the cost and quality of international health care systems in comparison to the US.
Ronald R. Reed has been the President and CEO of Mercy Iowa City since 1995. Mr. Reed received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania and was named a University Scholar for his academic achievements at the University of Pittsburgh. He currently serves on the Boards of the Iowa Hospital Association, the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, and Health Enterprises. Moreover, he serves as Past Chair of the Health Enterprises Cooperative Board and Past Chair of the Chamber’s CEO Roundtable.
“Gendering International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law”
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According to international humanitarian law, sexual violence is a grave crime in times of war. Yet many states have inadequate laws to protect women from intimate partner violence. Other domestic issues covered under the human rights framework, ranging from girls’ right to an education to marriage by consent, suffer similarly. Professor Heineman will argue that citizenship is embedded in war and discuss how international feminists have gotten further when women’s equal citizenship is linked to war – and less far on issues that seem distant from war.
Elizabeth Heineman is a Professor in the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and in the Department of History, where she also serves as Chair. Her specialties include modern German and European History, gender and sexuality, and the history of human rights. Her most recent books include Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights (2011), Before Porn was Legal: The Erotica Empire of Beate Uhse (2011), and the memoir Ghostbelly (2014).
“Ebola: Lessons From the Hot Zone”
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Ebola has captured attention as a major health crisis. From West Africa to the United Kingdom and United States, the spread of Ebola has become increasingly pervasive. Hans House will examine the current Ebola outbreak in and around Guinea and review the history of Ebola as a disease. Understanding how Ebola emerged as a new disease gives us insight into how new diseases have developed and will continue to appear over time.
Dr. House is a professor and head of the educational programs in the department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa. Dr. House attended medical school at University of Southern California and completed a dual residency in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medical at University of California, Los Angeles. He also studied at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He studies new and emerging infections and regularly lectures on travel related and emerging infectious diseases.
“Climate & Sustainability: The Defining Challenge of Our Century”
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According to NASA and the National Climate Data Center, August 2014 has gone in the record books on a world-wide scale as the hottest August to ever be recorded. Climate change is a pressing issue that requires national action by the United States and international American leadership. This is the world we live in, and every American has the right to become more informed, more involved, and more expressive to fight against climate change and for sustainability.
Rob Hogg is a state senator from Cedar Rapid serving his second term consecutive in the Iowa House. He is a native of Iowa City, graduated from the University of Iowa in 1988 with a degree in history, obtained his M.A. in Public Policy in 1991 and J.D. in 1995, both from the University of Minnesota. In the Iowa Legislature, Senator Hogg is recognized as a leader in energy and disaster preparedness. In 2013, Senator Hogg published a book, “America’s Climate Century”, which he says is the most succinct, accessible, patriotic and practical book available for busy citizens about the climate problem and climate action.
“Iowa and the United Nations”
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As we mark the 69th anniversary of the United Nations Charter on October 24, Jim Olson will describe the many connections of Iowan, past and present, with the United Nations system. At a time when the United Nations – and the world – face unprecedented challenges and opportunities, it is important to recall Iowa’s rich tradition of bipartisan support for and engagement with the United Nations and its family of agencies.
Jim Olson is the President of the Iowa United Nations Association. He served as the Vice President for National Programs of the United Nations Association – USA and as the Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office. A native of Minnesota, Jim has an undergraduate degree in history from Hamline University in St. Paul and an M.A. and Ph.D. in European history from New York University.
“Right Friends, Wrong Enemies”
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The draw-down of U.S. forces in Afghanistan has been accompanied by a pervasive mood of cynicism in relation to America’s Middle East foreign policy. Beyond the mire of the perilous Afghani political situation is a hopeful picture of positive social change. As Mujib Mehrdad argues, U.S. involvement in Afghanistan has produced a predominately positive impact on society, including changes in public education and women’s rights. Despite these developments, however, difficult work lays ahead as foreign intervention winds down.
Mujib Mehrdad is the author of poetry collections including Gladiators Are Still Dying (a 2007 Afghan Civil Society literature award winner), and The Fishes Have Fled Our Veins (2008). He has translated Irwin Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Langston Hughes, and others, into Dari. He is a board member of the literary organization Kashane Nawesendagan [House of Authors] and teaches Persian literature at Albironi University in Kapisa. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
“Children on the US-Mexico Border”
Immigration along the US-Mexico border has been a major American issue for decades. In recent years, the plight of immigrants’ children have made national headlines. State and National politicians debate whether these children are economic migrants or political refugees. Professor Valerio-Jiménez will discuss these questions, addressing the historical roots of the current migrant flow and the immigration policies that have contributed to the problem, and draw connections to Iowa and its involvement with this contemporary crisis.
Omar Valerio-Jiménez was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and grew up in Texas. After graduating from MIT, he worked as an engineer for five years before returning to graduate school at UCLA, where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees. He has taught at universities in California, New York, Texas, and Iowa. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of Iowa.
“Reflections on Scottish Literature, Nationalism, Referendum, & Recent Elections”
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The distinction of Scotland in literary identity was claimed in the 1920s by Hugh MacDiarmid as the rebuilding of political sovereignty in the country. Now, almost a hundred years later, the independence referendum focuses our attention on the relations of artistic exploration and political unrest. The relation between artistic exploration and political unrest has been apparent throughout the history of a democratic United Kingdom, in which the voting citizens of Scotland have been regularly disenfranchised. Professor Riach will discuss the relations between cultural production civic government and social discourse, and their ramifications in a dialogue of Scottish national identity
Alan Riach is Professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, working in the fields of 20th century Scottish, Irish, American and post-colonial literatures, modern poetry, and creative writing. His critical writings have appeared in numerous books and journals internationally. Alan was Associate Professor of English and Pro-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. He studied English at the University of Cambridge as an undergraduate, and then received his Ph.D. in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow.
“The More Things Change: The Old Politics of South Sudan’s New War”
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Sudan has been in civil war since the mid-1950’s. Although punctuated by brief bouts of peace, that war persisted through South Sudan’s independence and continues today. It is as much, if not more, about political participation and control over economic resources as about religion or ethnicity.
Nathan Miller is an Assistant Director of the Center for Human Rights and the Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Social Justice at the University of Iowa College of Law. He is the director of the International Legal Clinic at the College of Law, where students provide legal assistance to governments and nongovernmental organizations on projects related to human rights, development, and the rule of law. Miller joined the College of Law in 2011 after ten years of international advocacy in more than twenty countries, including what is now South Sudan, where he lived for three years as a legal advisor to the government. He graduated from the University of Dayton in 1998, where he studied Spanish and philosophy, and from the New York University School of Law in 2002.
“The Changing Character and Theories of War”
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In the past few decades war has changed drastically so as to little resemble classic examples of Just War theory and international humanitarian law. The character of war has changed with constant technological advancements. What is less obvious, however, is the change in the nature of war and its participating actors. In addition to war itself, theories of war have evolved as well. Professor Davidovic will explore the changing nature of war, and the extent to which theories of Just War should reflect those changes.
Jovana Davidovic is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa, working in the fields of political philosophy, and philosophy of law and military ethics. Before coming to the University of Iowa Jovana was a Visiting Research Associate at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics in Canberra, Australia, where she worked on the Australian Research Council Discovery project “Jus Post Bellum and Transitional Justice”. She received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. Her publications include works on humanitarian military interventions, transitional justice and the moral and legal status of combatants.
“Climate Change in the Arctic Region specific Challenges”
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The issue of climate change is something we all hear about, but nowhere is it more of a reality than in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, with devastating consequences for the people and animals that depend on their environment to survive. Elizabeth will discuss the impact climate change has had on the plants, animals and people of the Arctic, with a special emphasis on the health implications of global warming in that region.
Elizabeth Bowen is a fourth year medical student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Before coming to medical school at the University of Iowa, she graduated the University of Maryland, with a B.A. in Russian language and literature. She spent four years working in Russia, primarily in counter-human trafficking. More recently, she worked with the University of Tromsø, in Tromsø, Norway, toward expanding their Arctic health projects to new sites within Russia.
Photo Credit: Daniel Mordzinski
“Graphic Novels and Comics in Spain & Latin America”
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A nation’s culture is often characterized by the history, politics and literature it creates. Within literature, many overlook comic books and graphic novels as a key ingredient to cultural development. When their presence is noted, comics are still often seen as a uniquely American phenomenon. However, comics are have become an integral part of cultures around the globe. In this presentation, Ana Merino reflects on the importance of comics in the Hispanic World and the ways comics represent culture and ideology.
Ana Merino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Iowa, specializing in Creative Writing. She also works on Comics and Graphic Novels Criticism, Testimonial Representations and theories of Childhood Poverty and Marginality. She has published seven books of poetry, a youth novel, a scholarly book on comics and numerous articles and essays. Her poetry has been translated to several languages and it’s included in more than twenty collections.
“Coming to America: The Chinese Student Experience in the United States”
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Since 2007, the University of Iowa has actively recruited international students and the results are reflected most dramatically in the growth of the undergraduate population from the People’s Republic of China. Of more than 4,000 international students at Iowa in the fall of 2013, mainland Chinese accounting for 2,266, including 1,430 undergraduates; and the university expects more than 500 Chinese students will arrive as freshmen this fall. This growing international presence on campus is heralded as promoting values of diversity, tolerance and global understanding, but as with all change, its opportunities are welcomed and built upon in some quarters and missed or misunderstood in others. Judy Polumbaum will attempt to place these developments in historical context and examine Iowa’s experience in terms of current national and international trends.
Judy Polumbaum did her undergraduate work in East Asian studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and has a Master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Doctorate in Communication from Stanford University. She joined the Iowa faculty in 1989. She is an affiliated faculty member in a number of international and interdisciplinary programs, including the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies and International Studies. Her most recent publications include the book China Ink: The Changing Face of Chinese Journalism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), based on interviews with twenty young Chinese journalists.
“Exporting American Universities, MOOC’s and Yale in Singapore”
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Exporting American universities—including the University of Iowa and others through MOOC’s—holds considerable fascination today. Robin Hemley will talk about his newest employer, Yale—NUS, Singapore’s first liberal arts college. He will share his thoughts and experiences with this new and exciting venture.
Robin Hemley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in 1980, and subsequently earned a MFA in fiction in 1982. Hemley is the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship and others from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Ohioana Library Association, and the Washington State Arts Council. Beginning in 2004, Hemley served as the director of the Non-fiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Many of Hemley’s works have been published domestically and overseas, and has been included in publications including The New York Times, Orion, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and New York Magazine. Most recently, Hemley lives in Singapore and serves as the Director of the Writer’s Centre at Yale University Singapore.
“Wind Energy: A Global View as Seen from Iowa”
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Wind is an increasing source of renewable energy, both domestically and internationally. In recent years, 30-40% of all new electric generating capacity constructed in the U.S. has involved wind energy. Texas, Iowa and California lead the U.S. in wind energy production, but China leads on the global stage. While the U.S. currently produces only 4% of its electric power from wind, a study by the Department of Energy concludes that a goal of 20% could be achieved by 2030. Barry Butler’s goal is to provide the audience with an understanding of wind energy as a global renewable energy source. Butler will give a brief history of the industry as well as illustrate its societal impacts and possible growth in the coming years.
Barry Butler is the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Iowa. Prior to those appointments, Butler was dean of the UI College of Engineering, where he holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979 and 1981, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1984, also from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1984. He currently serves as co-chair of the American Wind Energy Association’s research and Development Committee.
“International is the Benchmark of a College Education”
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The mark of a major college of education is the vibrancy of its international aspect. This includes international students, international faculty, international partnerships, and international program offerings. Nicholas Colangelo will discuss what the UI College of Education is doing in terms of international education and share future directions. As Colangelo will assert, the idea of being a “global society” is not simply a catch phrase, but a foundation of college education.
Nicholas Colangelo is the Dean of the College of Education at the University of Iowa. He is also the Myron & Jacqueline Blank Professor of Gifted Education and Director Emeritus of The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. He has authored or edited numerous articles on counseling gifted students and the affective development of gifted and acceleration including Handbook of Gifted Education and co-authored “A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students.” Among numerous awards, he has been awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award by the National Association for Gifted Children, and the Hancher-Finkbine Medallion for Faculty from The University of Iowa In 2013.