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Fethke Announces President's 2007 Awards for Outreach, Public Engagement

Several University of Iowa faculty members, staff members, students and organizations are this year's recipients of the UI President's Award for State Outreach and Public Engagement, UI Interim President Gary Fethke announced today.

The annual award honors those who demonstrate exemplary outreach to the State of Iowa and the public in general. The $1,000 awards are given in four categories: faculty, staff, student and group/organization.

The 2007 recipients include David Hensley, clinical professor and executive director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, and Chet Rzonca, associate provost and dean of the Division of Continuing Education.

"Giving back and providing valuable service to our community, state, nation and world are central to our mission and important responsibilities to Iowa's citizens who have invested their resources and their trust in the University of Iowa for 160 years," Fethke said. "These awardees represent the remarkable outreach that the UI community performs, and I commend them on the talent and generosity with which they have engaged themselves with the public."

Hensley and Rzonca (faculty award recipients) have been instrumental in bringing entrepreneurial education and economic development opportunities to western Iowa. In 2006, new agreements between the UI and Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC), and the UI and Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) allowed students from those institutions to more easily continue their students at UI, in some cases without leaving Sioux City or Council Bluffs. The agreements also help western Iowa more easily access business and economic development resources offered by the university. This year, similar agreements were formalized in Spencer with Iowa Lakes Community College. Hensley also coordinates the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute, which provides opportunities for students from five Iowa colleges and universities to learn about entrepreneurship and economic development opportunities in northwest Iowa at the Lakeside Laboratory.

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