Thursday, April 28, 2016

"Life With Phil" talk by P. Sue Beckwith, M.D.

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10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Senate Chamber, Old Capitol Museum

Our fifth annual “Life With Phil” #philsday talk will be delivered by P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., a former University of Iowa Hawkeye women’s basketball letterwinner, Des Moines surgeon, and generous UI philanthropist.

As a former student-athlete, Beckwith knows something about being part of a disciplined squad focused on a common goal. But when she started rowing recreationally years later, she really came to understand teamwork.

“Rowing is a wonderful, difficult sport, the ultimate team sport,” Beckwith says. “In basketball, you can take over and take the ball and do something. With rowing, you have to mirror everybody else and do the exact same thing that everybody else does. It’s just a tremendous sport.”

That appreciation for rowing led her to a Hawkeye rowing practice early one morning. The strength and determination of the student-athletes she saw that day—and the conditions in which they worked so hard to represent their university—left a powerful impression on her.

Now, Beckwith has forever altered the future of UI athletics and generations of student-athletes. With the help of her extremely generous leadership gift to The University of Iowa Foundation, the UI has built the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse. It’s the first building on the UI campus named after a female donor due to her philanthropic support.

Beckwith, who has earned three degrees from the UI (1980 B.A., 1984 M.D., 2015 M.B.A.), was motivated to make her gift by her loyalty for her alma mater, her respect for the rowers and their coaches, and—most of all—by the dire need for the rowing team to have a permanent home.

“The team had been housed in the Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories. When I visited their practice, the rowers had thrown tarps and pads on the floor in between the boats to do their warm-ups,” Beckwith recalls. “There were no restroom facilities, no locker room facilities. We’re not talking about the kids not having some oak-paneled lounge with big-screen TV’s. They had nothing.”

Thanks to leadership from Beckwith—who has also endowed athletic scholarships for Hawkeye rowers and women’s basketball players—all of that changed with the opening of the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D. Boathouse.

Join us at the Senate Chamber in the Old Capitol Museum to hear directly from Sue about her professional and philanthropic journeys—and why she is committed to supporting the UI’s future.


Student Lunch with Faculty

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11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Room S401, Pappajohn Business Building

Professors from the Tippie College of Business invite business and  pre-business students from diverse backgrounds to dine and network with faculty in a more informal setting.  Get connected to Tippie and learn about resources available to you!  RSVP by emailing by Wednesday, April 27.


English Language Discussion Circles (ELDC)

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12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Room S126, Pappajohn Business Building

Each week we discuss a new topic, and this week’s topic is “Books and Literature.” No preparation is required—just show up ready to talk and/or meet some new students and staff. Because we meet around lunch time, you are welcome to bring your lunch with you. For more information, e-mail Ryan Sheets, assistant director of the Frank Communication Center, at


Tippie Build Tailgate

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2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Pappajohn Business Building

Tippie Senate will be hosting a BBQ event to raise money for Tippie Build, which constructs homes for local families in need of safe and affordable housing. The goal is to raise money in order to strengthen the Iowa City community.


Simran Sethi: Telling Stories of Science - Discussion and Chocolate Tasting

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4:00 PM
Dey House

Environmental journalist and author Simran Sethi will share insights into the art of communicating science and the role psychology can play in fostering science journalism and education. She will share the insights garnered through researching and writing her new book, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love (HarperCollins, 2015), which illuminates the global challenges surrounding the loss of agricultural biodiversity. Simran will explain how she approached the subject and how the work evolved through her pursuit of making science more accessible to a broad audience. The talk will be followed by a presentation of chocolate (the embodiment of the science).

Simran Sethi is an author and journalist who has appeared on segments for the Oprah Winfrey Show and has been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Martha Stewart Show. Named an environmental messenger by Vanity Fair, a top-ten eco-hero of the planet by the U.K.’s Independent, and designated one of the top-eight women saving the planet by Marie Claire, Simran is the author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, a story of changes in food and agriculture told through bread, wine, chocolate, coffee, and beer. She was an environmental correspondent for NBC News, which included contributions to CNBC, MSNBC, TODAY and Nightly News. She is the recent host of the PBS QUEST series on science and sustainability. She has written for FoodTank, AlterNet, The Huffington Post, Orion, Metropolis Magazine, Mother Earth News, and the Guggenheim Museum.

More information about Simran and her current projects can be found on her website at

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Sara Maples in advance at or 319-335-3726.