Iowa City Stories

May 14, 2010

Google to provide internet for select test market cities

Google will be adding yet another task to their resume later this year and is expected to experiment with ultra high speed internet in selected test market cities which will be approved via submitted applications.

Google embarking on a new project is hardly something new, rather it’s something that seems to go hand-in-hand nowadays.

Fiber Optic Internet

Back in February, Google Inc. announced their plans to launch ultra-high speed internet via fiber optic cables in selected test market cities. Since then the response has been extraordinary. Thousands of communities have submitted applications to Google, in hope that the mega-tech corporation would choose their city as a test market.

“Google is launching an experiment to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations in the United States,” said Minnie Ingersoll, Product Manager on Google’s alternative access team.

That’s sounds great, but what exactly is a fiber optic cable, and what does this technology involve?

What is Fiber Optic Technology?

To simplify, fiber optic technology is a revolutionary way of transferring data via cables. Instead of using a copper wire to transmit data like traditional wires today, fiber optic uses mirrored light — that’s right light — to transmit data much faster and much more efficiently.

Fiber Optic technology uses light to transmit data. (Photo by Lawrence Lawry)

However, Google is not looking to build a nationwide network and become a major player in the internet service provider (ISP) game. Even though Google will not be topping any major ISP’s, this is still great news though for everyone — ranging from the tech-junkie, all the way to the college student who simply wants to be able to download movies off iTunes faster.

“Our goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone,” Ingersoll continued. “We want to see what developers and consumers can do with ultra high-speeds, like creating new bandwidth-intensive “killer apps” and services, or other uses we can’t yet imagine. We also want to test new ways to build fiber networks, and intend to operate an “open access” network.”

Jay Ford, Senior Network Engineer for the University of Iowa ITS-Telecommunication & Network Services, says that fiber optic provides the University with better data transformation than copper.

“It is much more efficient, yes,” said Ford.  “While we still a bit of copper, we have plenty of fiber optic wiring within our network, and it allows us to have a higher optimal flow and less network problems.”

Potential for Iowa City and Surrounding Communities

Iowa City and the surrounding communities saw this as an incredible opportunity, and UI student Karl Taylor started a Facebook group called “Nominate Iowa City for Google Fiber” which currently has over 1,000 members.

The Facebook group also links to the official Google Application site, and also created — which stands for Iowa City Area Broadband Coalition. Both of these sites are aimed towards representing the Iowa City area and convincing Google to chose Iowa City as a test market.

According to Google, there are many factors that come into play in determining accepted test market cities.

“We’ll use our RFI to identify interested communities and to assess local factors that will impact the efficiency and speed of our deployment,” said Ingersoll. “Such as the level of community support, local resources, weather conditions, approved construction methods and local regulatory issues. We will also take into account broadband availability and speeds that are already offered to users within a community.”

“Above all,” continued Ingersoll, “We’re interested in deploying our network efficiently and quickly, and are hoping to identify interested community partners that will work with us to achieve this goal. We plan to consult with local government organizations, as well as conduct site visits and meet with local officials, before announcing our final decision.”

One thing that stands out to me, is when Ingersoll says, “We will also take into account broadband availability and speeds that are already offered to users within a community.”

It is no secret that Iowa City’s internet speeds are quite low, and as a state, Iowa has one of the lowest internet speeds across the nation. This may help boost the application of Iowa City, along with community support.

Since March 26, applications are no longer being accepted by Google, but during the six-week period in which applications were accepted, the turnout was great for Iowa City.

A map shows the turnout of applications submitted, and although Iowa City doesn’t have the largest area, the turnout was great given the population ratio compared to a city or region such as San Diego.

But out of all the cities that accepted applications, why would Google choose Iowa City?

“The Iowa City area is an advertiser’s wet dream,” said Taylor. “You’ve got a dynamic community of 18-25 year olds — the age bracket everyone wants a piece of. The area is home to a number of entities (corporate and otherwise) that work very closely with “big-name” spenders, like the Federal Government. Our approaches to education are of global notoriety. There’s a nice balance of traditional and modern American paradigms amongst citizens–there’s even a mixture of rural and urbanized environments.“

While Google has not made an announcement on the city(ies) that they have chosen as a test market, those from Iowa City and the surrounding communities must feel that they have a decent chance to be picked. While it will be doubtful to be the only city picked, Google may very well pick multiple cities as test markets, and Iowa City could indeed be one of the cities picked.

“I would love it if Iowa City was picked,” said Kelly Wadell a Computer Science major at the University of Iowa.  “Fiber Optic internet would allow us to tap into immense potential as far as the digital world is concerned.  The speed and efficiency of data transformation would be incredible to experience at your home PC.”

While we are left to play the waiting game on the official word from Google, residents of Iowa City and the surrounding communities should feel like they have as decent of a shot as any to be selected by Google.


May 13, 2010

An ordinance for healthy drinking

When times are tough people often turn to the tired expression, “Well, at least I have my health.”

Americans spend trillions of dollars on health care and medical expenses every year, doing almost anything they can to protect their well-being. And on June 1 an ordinance will take effect that city councilors hope will do its part to help protect the health and welfare of Iowa City residents.

On April 6 the Iowa City City Council passed an ordinance that will raise the bar entry age to the legal drinking age of 21. Effective June 1, the ordinance passed by a vote of 6-1 with councilor Regenia Bailey casting the only dissenting vote.

Mayor Matt Hayek said the ordinance is intended to alter the city’s “culture of consumption” and curb both underage and binge drinking.

The dangers of starting early

During lengthy discussions in the City Council meetings that lead up to the ordinance’s passing, many proponents cited alcohol-related health concerns and the dangers of underage drinking.

Kelly Vander Werff, prevention manager for the Mid-Eastern Council on Chemical Abuse (MECCA), said underage drinking can have both short and long-term effects on a person’s health.

Vander Werff said underage drinking can damage the brain’s frontal lobe, the brain’s decision making center, which is still developing until around the age of 25. She also said underage drinkers are more likely to drink in a high-risk way, and research has shown that people who start drinking early are more likely to become addicted.

“If everyone would wait until they are 21 we would see a lot fewer problems in the adult population,” Vander Werff said.

Environmental change

The 21-ordinance is an example of what health professionals call “environmental change” and can be one of the most effective ways to reduce widespread alcohol-related problems.

Doug Beardsley, director of the Johnson County Public Health Department, said in order to combat underage drinking and overconsumption it’s important for city law to be in alliance with community expectations.

“As it is, you do have that kind of tacit acceptance,” Beardsley said. “This [ordinance] aligns public policy and our stated desire to cut down on underage drinking.”

Beardsley said similar ordinances implemented in other areas have been successful in reducing underage drinking and thought the same was possible for Iowa City.

UI Student Health offers several programs to help students with substance abuse

Angela Reams, substance abuse prevention coordinator at UI Student Health, noted that not only is it important for these laws to be enacted, but also enforced.

“Research has shown that enforcement of the legal drinking age and enforcing legal bar entry age reduces high risk drinking and underage drinking,” Reams said in an email.

Vander Werff said Iowa City’s high alcohol outlet density – the majority of the city’s 52 bars are in the downtown area – is a major cause of the city’s alcohol-related problems.

“Having easy access to alcohol increases consumption for all ages,” Vander Werff said. “Decreasing access is the primary way people see population-level change.”

A different kind of education

But as effective as environmental change can be, Vander Werff and others agree that alcohol education is also critical to effecting lasting change in the community.

The UI already has several alcohol education programs in place which are continuing to expand.

The AlcoholEdu program is “designed to prevent alcohol-related problems and educate students on the impact of alcohol on the mind and body,” according to the UI website. For the past four years the program has been mandatory for all first year students, but will be expanded next year to include all incoming students including transfer students who are not 21 by the start of school, Reams said.

The UI also recently added the e-CHUG program which allows students to receive instant feedback on their drinking habits and provides information about how they can live a healthier lifestyle.

Reams said programs such as e-CHUG can be very helpful in curbing high-risk behavior.

“Research has shown that programs that provide assessment with instant feedback about behaviors can assist students in thinking more about their behaviors while drinking, encourage the incorporation of more protective factors, challenge social drinking norms, and decrease high risk use,” Reams said in an email.

And apart from the university, MECCA, for which Vander Werff is a prevention manager, has prevention staff working in all Johnson County high schools to educate those younger students about the dangers of alcohol.

A piece of the puzzle

But environmental change and education are still not enough.

Beardsley said the city needs more alcohol-alternative outlets for students and other underage people to participate in.

“Let’s make this a place where they can engage in social activities where they don’t drink,” Beardsley said.

UI President Sally Mason has made alcohol-alternative events for students a priority and while the Campus Activities Board and Residence Life put on several programs every weekend, the events are poorly attended. Many students still feel it’s not enough, with popular events like Night Games only being held once a month.

And while UI officials look for new ways to educate students and attract them to sober events, everyone agrees that the 21-ordinance is not going to solve the city’s alcohol problems on its own.

“There is no one solution to curbing high risk drinking, so [the ordinance] is definitely part of a larger plan including environmental change, policy change, and education along with other initiatives,” Reams said in an email.

Vander Werff echoed Reams, saying the ordinance is not the final solution, but a necessary step towards healthier drinking in Iowa City.

“It’s a piece that needs to be there for the rest of the plan to come together,” Vander Werff said.

For a look at some of the public safety concerns surrounding the 21-ordinance, click here.

April 1, 2010

Residence Halls Consider the 21 Ordinance

The ARH is looking for help from students for improvement, and positions for next semester.

They could be new lyrics to an old tune: “How you gonna keep ‘em down at the dorm after they’ve seen the bars?”

With one more reading, The Iowa City City Council is poised to pass the so-called 21-ordinance for Iowa City bars.  It would restrict people under 21 from being in downtown bars after 10 p.m.  The city council is under pressure to curb student binge drinking, and proponents of the ordinance say it’s a step in the right direction.

But it’s an unpopular idea with students under the age of 21 who frequently go out to the bars on Thursday nights or weekends to socialize.  Students have argued to the UI student council that preventing underage students from entering a bar after 10 p.m.  will simply make them go to house parties or other places in Iowa City to find alcohol and drink.

Enter the Associated Residence Halls

With thousands of under-aged drinkers under their roofs, campus dorms are ground zero for the movement opposing the 21 ordinance.  It’s not that the UI doesn’t try to keep dorm residents sober and out of trouble.  Activities sponsored by the University have always been in place around campus to offer alcohol free alternatives to hanging out at the bars.  The Associated Residence Halls group has sponsored events in the dorms to promote these alternatives.  While some students attend these events, many, like 19 year old sophomore Yani Anastis, are skeptical.

“Kids are definitely not going to do that,” said Anastis, who lives in the Currier residence hall.  He doesn’t believe there are many activities at the dorm that could compete with going downtown to hang out on the Ped-Mall with friends on a bar crawl.

“No one wants to stay in the dorms during a Friday night, and there’s not much to do around.  It’s just kinda hard,” said Anastis.  He said he goes out to bars at least once a week , usually on the weekend.  What non-alcoholic fun could the dorms offer to keep him entertained?  “I’m not too sure,” said Anastis.  “I can’t really think of much.”

The Associated Residence Hall organization admits that it struggles to keep students interested in their events, and they’ve recently begun talking about plans to beef up their programs to keep students coming back for more.  ARH member Mark Schwenker works with all the other members of ARH and the student governments in each residence hall.  He says ARH members have started to talk about the 21 ordinance, and they are trying to create a contingency plan if it passes next week.

“ARH is working with all of the individual hall governments on preparing for the 21 ordinance. Discussion with any others outside of residence hall government has not occurred,” said Schwenker.

The Next Course of Action

While the Associated Residence Halls hasn’t actually sought the advice of students outside their group, there are flyers being distributed at the residence halls’ dining facilities encouraging students to get involved in ARH, and to become members.  Students I talked to had ideas, but they were not positive these would make any sort of difference in terms of curbing the appeal of a house party with alcohol.  “Maybe more movies, cause back home we’d do that.  I don’t know – it’s Iowa –  so people are going to go around the rules,” says Samantha Nasca, an under-age student who lives in Rienow Hall.

The residence halls coordinators are well aware that students will still leave the dorms if the 21 ordinance is passed and find a way to party the night away with an alcoholic beverage in hand.  But with a “zero tolerance” of alcohol in dorm rooms, the ARH’s Schwenker says they will continue issuing fines to students who break the rules.  The dorms are committed to being “dry.”

The Plan So Far

While ARH is just beginning to consider what to do in order to offer alternative activities for students, it may be too early to say what will actually happen.  “One idea is to provide more late-night events for residents going from about 11pm-2am,” said Schwenker.  ARH believes that if students are able to have an enjoyable time at an event that goes later into the night, there won’t be as much interest in leaving the dorms to go looking for other activities in Iowa City.

However, students are doubtful about any plans the dorms come up with.  “Nothing’s going to top going out,” said freshman Hannah Thompson, who lives in Rienow.  When asked how to appeal to students like Hannah, who opt for Iowa City’s night life over the residence hall events, Schwenker said, “I ask how can we make it interesting.  ARH is asking itself, ‘what makes residents want to go downtown?’”

Looking Ahead

The ARH is also aware that it needs more money to sponsor events that are more frequent and consistently fun for students.  How to raise those funds is another problem.  Ideas include reallocating housing contract money, or even applying alcohol fines to sponsor “dry” social events.   However, students seem ambivalent towards the efforts made by ARH.

The Iowa City City council’s final reading of the 21 ordinance is scheduled for Thursday, April 6.  If it passes, it goes into effect June 1.  However, it could be repealed later next fall.   Dorm resident Samantha Nasca was clear.  “I hope it gets repealed in November,” she said.

Iowa City Draws new Lines for High School

Iowa City has been going through some changes within the last couple of years.

There has been an influx of people from Chicago moving into Iowa City, specifically the Southeast Side.

This has caused lots of turbulence within the community and has even started some racially fueled debates.

A product of these events was the segregation of local high school, West High and City High. One high school being known to house almost all the minorities and the other being for the majority or whites.

The School District has now been trying to redistrict the schools in order to desegregate the community.
This movement has been met with much protest within the community.

Many parents fear for the well being of their children along with an increase in violence.

At a recent protest parents said, “The quality of education would drop if the schools were to be rezoned.”

University Professor Rene Rocha lives in one of the neighborhoods that is most likely to be rezoned. “My neighbors are pretty upset with this whole situation,” said Renae “they ask me what I think but I don’t think they realize that I am a minority myself.”

Mr. Rocha is of Latino decent and thinks that the ordinance would be a great way for cultures to meet and build racial tolerance at an earlier age.

Other neighborhoods do not think this is such a good idea.

The current school board made up of seven members has the ability to vote on several different scenarios.

The School Board has involved teachers in their redistricting committee but has had a hard time meeting to discuss any further action.

After trying to meet for several weeks the committee finally had March 24 to discuss the the redistricting of the High Schools.

The committee came up with some criteria in which the redistricting should follow:

  • Demographic Considerations- this is the ability to have children from different socioeconomic backgrounds at different schools.
  • Fiscal Considerations-this is the ability for the redistricting to be within the school districts budget.
  • Neighborhood Schools and Neighborhoods Intact-students should attend schools that are closest to them but the lines should not split neighborhoods.
  • Building Utilization-the lines should maximize student attendance without the danger of exceeding capacity in the future.

These four ideas are the building blocks of not only the committee’s concerns but also the Iowa City community.

Something that Dr. Bruggs, member of the committee, emphasized was the ability for this plan to eventually encompass all grades.

The committee has already arranged 5 scenarios for the Elementary, Junior High and High Schools.

Each one of the plans illustrates a different way to intergrate the schools but one important topic for the Iowa City community is the building of a third high school in North Liberty.

Parents of the North Liberty area have been pleading for a third high school for years and this may be their time to get it.

Due to the fact that North Liberty has been overcrowded for some time some officials thought it was about time to finally start building another high school there, said Tuyet Dorau a member of the redistricting committee.

Another alarming fact that Sarah Swisher another board member brought up was that West High would soon be at capacity making huge problems for Iowa City.

With the population continuing to grow board members not only have to deal with demographic issues but also the feasibility and ability for application of each scenario.

Something that all board members are ready to cope with is that fact that not everyone will be satisfied with whatever option they take said Pattie Fields president of the board.

Until the whole Iowa City community comes to a compromise on a scenario nothing can be done and nothing will be.

So for now the community must cope with these problems, and find a resolution that is both fair to all of its constituents but also a move in the right direction for future of Iowa City.

Amidst Health Reform Signing, Obama Looking To Further Build Support

Filed under: Local Issues — Tags: , , — Kent Nessa @ 12:21 pm

President Obama speaks to a supportive crowd at the Field House in Iowa City.

Signing Day

March 23, 2010 marked an incredible milestone for the Obama Administration and the United States. It marked the end of a century-long battle, starting with Teddy Roosevelt, to reform the nation’s healthcare system.

President Obama did something that no other president before him: he passed healthcare reform.

Many other presidents have tried to reform healthcare with no results. Not even Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK, Nixon, nor Clinton accomplished what Obama did just slightly over one year into his term.

While part of the country rejoiced over the passage of health reform, there were some who weren’t supportive.

Obama made a planned visit to Iowa City, Iowa to continue to build support for health reform two days after signing it into law.

A day before his visit, however, there was a gathering for those who weren’t in favor of reform.


On a cool and rainy evening in Iowa City, citizens who opposed reform gathered on the east lawn in front of the Old Capitol to express their discontent with the new bill. A number of guest speakers, many of which were Republicans looking to run against incumbent Democrats, were some of the guest speakers.

Christopher Reed was one of the earlier speakers at the rally. Reed is the Republican nominee looking to unseat incumbent Democrat, Congressman Dave Loebsack, for Iowa’s 2nd District seat in the House of Representatives.

“Our elected officials strapped us with a bill we, the people, don’t want,” Reed stated to the crowd; which was met with roaring approval. “You, as the voting pubic, have a lot to think about,” he continued referring to this November’s midterm elections. “No more, Mr. President! Not without a fight!”

Brenna Findley, the Republican nominee for Iowa Attorney General, came two speakers after Reed. Findley discussed that 13 states’ Attorney Generals filed to take the new health reform legislation to court in hopes of repealing it.

“Where was our Attorney General?” Findley asked the crowd. She continued by claiming incumbent Attorney General, Tom Miller, wasn’t protecting Iowans’ rights.

Supporters of Reform

While there are a number of people who opposed the new healthcare reform legislation, there are those who support it.

Jake Shkolnick is a University of Iowa student who favors the legislation. “[It] keeps costs down while keeping a better quality of life,” he said. “I’ll get to stay on my parents’ health insurance. When I do get a job, I know I’ll have health insurance” due to the tax incentives the government gives businesses. “If I get sick, they can’t take it away from me,” he continued.

Shkolnick wasn’t shy, though, about discussing some of the shortfalls of the legislation. “I would certainly like to see a not-for-profit public option,” he said, “[and] even more tax breaks for low-income individuals if they can’t get it through their employer.”

Rick Spooner is a 47 year-old Iowa City citizen with cerebral palsy. Spooner hasn’t had health insurance for a number of years, but is on Medicaid and Medicare.”I think medical care is a right for every American citizen,” he said.

He supports the current legislation, but is still concerned that it may not be enough for those who currently don’t have any type of health insurance. “[It’s] gotta be better for people with lower income. As I get older, my medical condition could get worse. I can barely afford groceries now. Somebody’s gotta do something.”

Spooner discussed that he can’t do any sort of preventive health procedures unless it was an emergency, because Medicare and Medicaid won’t cover the costs of such procedures or he’s unsure of which procedures, if any, are covered by either one. “If I get a serious medical problem, I don’t know what what Medicare and Medicaid will cover.”

Any preventive procedures he wants to take would cost him out-of-pocket. “[The] last physical I took I had to absorb costs. There would have been several times I would have gone to a physician just to feel better.” But since he didn’t have any health insurance, he didn’t go.

“If I have to be in a wheelchair, who’s going to pay for that? What if I can’t do regular household duties? What if I can’t afford a maid to help me if I can’t do that when I’m 70? The current system doesn’t remove the insecurities or absorb the costs for preventive medicine,” he added. “I don’t know what else to do.”

Far From Over

While the long battle of whether or not health reform was going to become law is over, the actions of repealing it are not.

Obama was met with overwhelming support when he gave his speech at the Field House on the University of Iowa Campus March 25. Obama quickly reminded people that there is still plenty of work to be done, but the bill, as is, is accomplishing more than the previous status quo.

President Obama recognized that it was far from over. His response to Republican threats of repealing the bill: “Go for it.” He was confident in his response, stating that Republicans would have to explain to their constituents why they are wanting to take away their right to healthcare.

There may be a sect of the population that aren’t in favor of health reform, but there are a number of others who are relieved that a major hurdle has been successfully conquered. The fight for improving the health reform legislation will continue for years to come.

February 18, 2010

Korea to California to Iowa: Professor Jae-On Kim’s Journey from the Far East to the Midwest

Jae-On Kim

Professor Jae-On Kim, along with a recent award for his scholarly achievements, and his picture on the cover of a national Korean magazine.

By Clae Goater

Jae On-Kim’s life story begins in a poor mountain village in prewar South Korea. Now, at 72 years of age, Kim finds himself as one of the most respected professors in the University of Iowa’s Sociology Department. In the interim, Kim has fled from the North Korean army, participated in the overthrow of South Korea’s first president, taken part in the American civil rights demonstrations of the 1960’s and helped author more than 40 scholarly publications. And that barely scratches the surface.

Humble Beginnings

Kim was born in South Korea in 1938, in a remote town an hour away from the nearest modern road system. His grandfather died before his birth, so Kim’s father was thrust into the patriarchal family role very early. Right before Kim entered elementary school, his family had to move cross-country following a prophecy from Kim’s grand-uncle.

Kim’s first year of elementary school took place under Japanese colonial occupation. “Americans don’t realize that when Koreans still show certain animosity to Japan, that Japan carried out one of the harshest colonial policies ever,” says Kim. “They forced us to give up the Korean language. It was forbidden. They forced us to change our names so they sounded more like Japanese names.” Kim went through half a year of Japanese elementary school before the country was liberated.

The Korean War

Three years later, the Korean War broke out. Kim’s village was soon occupied by the North Koreans. Kim’s father and grand-uncle were forced to flee, while Kim stayed behind. Kim parent’s were labeled as reactionaries, and was he ostracized from other children.

Soon, Kim also had to flee from his village along with his brother and a deserter from the North Korean army. While fleeing through the mountains, Kim and his party ran into members of the Red Army digging trenches. “Normally, if they caught us, they knew. But the North Koreans digging up the holes were too busy. They simply asked us, ‘Are you civilians?’ We said ‘Yes,’ and they let us go away. So we had a very narrow escape.”

Kim sought refuge with his companion’s sister, subsisting on whatever resources they could scavenge.  “The mushrooms we ate there were fantastic,” Kim said. “They tasted like chicken.”

Kim hid from the North Koreans for about 10 days. Then an airplane passed over, distributing pamphlets saying that their area had been liberated. So Kim and his brother returned to their home, soon followed by their father and uncle.

Korean Education and The April Revolution

At age 12, Kim left home to attend school in Daegu. He went on to attend Seoul National University from 1957-1961. There, he participated in the famous April Revolutions, a nationwide protest that resulted the resignation of South Korean President Syngman Rhee.

There were many reasons for political unrest in South Korea at the time. The economy was doing badly and Rhee was exercising nearly unrestrained political power. An incident in Kim’s youth illustrated how far Rhee’s underlings were willing to go to shield him from the social realities of the time.

Protests began following the fraudulent election of an unpopular vice president . Soon after, the body of protester Kim Ju-Yul washed up on the shore of Masan beach. An autopsy revealed the high school student’s cause of death when doctors found grenade fragments behind his eyes. Kim and thousands of other college students marched from their campus to the presidential palace. Protesters were soaked with high-pressure water from fire trucks. When that failed to stop them, troops opened fire, killing several. “I ran immediately when they really began to shoot,” Kim said. More protests followed, ultimately resulting in Rhee’s resignation.

Kim says that the student protests demonstrated to him the corrupting potential of power. Once the South Korean students realized how much influence they had, they began to throw their weight around for less altruistic causes. From that point on, Kim resisted taking high-status positions. Looking back, Kim was baffled by how often power was thrust upon his reluctant shoulders.

Berkeley in the 1960’s

After four years at Seoul National University, Kim did a mandatory tour of duty in the South Korean Army. After one year, Kim received an honorary discharge so that he could study abroad. After two years at Southern Illinois University, Kim went to UC Berkeley to get his Ph.D.

Kim’s stay at Berkeley during the late 60’s put him in the center of the countercultural movements of the time. Kim lived in a 2nd floor apartment directly across from the UC campus. His apartment was frequently filled with the teargas used to disperse nearby crowds.

Kim’s participation in anti- Vietnam War protests eventually roused the awareness of the Korean CIA. He was warned by the military government that if he returned to his home country, he’d be imprisoned. Kim’s father worried for his safety. Kim’s uncle was proud that his nephew had become noteworthy enough to earn the government’s ire.

Kim made a name for himself in academia when he attended a joint conference between Stanford and Berkeley. Kim was a lowly research assistant, surrounded by some of the biggest names in the field of sociology. There, he pointed out faulty research methods that had gone unnoticed by the auditorium full of worldly scholars. According to Kim, “That determined my academic career.” His willingness to dissent gained him the attention of Sidney Verba, who later provided a glowing recommendation of Kim to the University of Iowa.

Iowa City

Kim’s move from California to Iowa City came with some culture shock. “Iowa, in some ways, is very advanced, but it had very rural qualities. Since then, of course, it’s changed substantially.”  During Kim’s stay here, attitudes towards women and minorities have become far more liberal. Kim recalls boarding a bus in Iowa City and hearing a child using racial epithets towards an African-American. When Kim came to Iowa in the 70’s, women were criminally underrepresented in the faculty. The single, token woman professor was looked down upon by male faculty members.

Kim never felt that he was mistreated because of his race. He saw himself as being judged on the merits of his work. He’s also willing to admit that prejudice is universal, so he recognizes a certain amount of cultural uneasiness is natural.

The Future

Professor Kim is proud of his accomplishments here at the University. As Chair of the Sociology Department, he helped shape the University of Iowa’s program into one of the best in the nation. During his time as Director of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, Kim made large advances towards making Asian culture more prominent here in the Midwest.

Kim is reluctant to call himself a good teacher. Sociology major Ryan Maher applauds Kim for his international viewpoint. “He seems able to look at everything from a global perspective,” Maher says. ”That’s good for a professor. It expands your outlook on everything. It opens your eyes.”

At 72, Kim maintains his exhaustive pace, although he claims to be “not a very diligent scholar.” He expects that his academic output will increase in the next few years. “What gave me longevity was that I kept up with new technology,” says Kim. “I try to stay up to date with…computer software. “ Kim also says that he’s never lost the spirit of intellectual curiosity during his lifetime. He believes he has at least another 10 years worth of work in him, and he hopes to repay the University of Iowa for all it has done for him.

Kate Callahan – More than a student

Being a college student is stressful as it is. With papers and exams continuously coming our way, what more could we fit into with just 24 hours in a day? Sophomore Kate Callahan takes full advantage of what she can manage. Not only is she trying to keep up with her social life by taking 14 semester hours, she also maintains a part-time job, participates in many extra curricular activities on campus, and also has the time management skills to train for marathons.

When asked how she manages her time with training, Callahan responded, “School always comes first but I like to do my workouts in the mornings so I’m energetic throughout the day cause I usually crash at night anyways. I like to get it done and over with.”

Callahan recently ran the Chicago Marathon in October 2009 and placed a remarkable time of 4:02:41, with a broken foot, just about 20 minutes shy for qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
“Well right now, I’m training for the Madison Marathon, which is on May 30, 2010. It’s not as big as big as the Chicago Marathon but you can still qualify for Boston.”

Callahan, just like any college student, has made many sacrifices but more than a typical college student has to make.“There are times when I do my long runs, I don’t have the time or energy to go out so I kind of feel like my social life is on the rocks when I train for marathons, but these are definitely positive sacrifices.”

University of Iowa Dance Marathon the Marathon

Kate Callahan, 19

Another incentive Callahan gained for running the Chicago Marathon was being able to participate in Dance Marathon at the University of Iowa. She was able to run for “Dance Marathon the Marathon” where University of Iowa students participate in the Chicago Marathon to raise even more money for this successful organization on campus.

Gretchen Glynn, 21, also ran the Chicago Marathon under Dance Marathon the Marathon and was designated a morale captain for this past Dance Marathon. Glynn knows just as well how time-consuming this may be for a college student but “it was all worth it in the end.”

Glynn, like Callahan, plans on running marathons in the near future but doesn’t know if she’ll run another while attending school.

“It was so fun and rewarding but there was so much time I had to give with all the morale meetings, training, school, and work. Running buddies and the morale captains helped me stay motivated throughout all this, too. I’ve always wanted to run the New York City Marathon, so I’m sure I can find people to train with me around Iowa City when I have the time but for now, I think I’m done with marathons for the next couple years.”

Running around Iowa City

Callahan has always been physically active her whole life so she likes to keep her well-being her priority. She prefers running outside with those who are also into physical activity because “Iowa City is not only filled with hills and stairs on the Pentacrest, but the city is beautiful and [she] can also site see while training at the same time.”

Lydia Givens, 20, is currently enrolled in Jogging II here at the University of Iowa. She, as well, likes to maintain her physical activity whether it’s running in class or around Iowa City.

“I like working out but with work and school, I feel like I have no time to get the work out time I want. I figured since I had enough room to add a semester hour into my schedule, might as well get a physical activity course in there to make up for lost time.”

Winter training for Mad-Town

Since the Madison Marathon is only a couple months away, Callahan has been training during Iowa City’s brutal winters. When Callahan was asked what she does when snow takes over the streets, she replied, “I hate relying on the treadmill because I feel like it doesn’t have the same effect but if I have to, I usually go [to the gym] between classes, like during my breaks or before or after class. It’s just easier to go to the gym when I’m on campus rather than wasting time going back home and coming right back.”

More marathons, please.

Unlike Glynn, Callahan plans on running more marathons in the near future. Regardless of the positive and negative sacrifices she has to make, she knows it’s for her own benefit, which encourages her to keep on running.

“When I broke my foot in the Chicago Marathon, I couldn’t work out for weeks and I could feel my attitude was changing in a negative way. I didn’t know what to do with my time off because I always do workouts or something in my free time. Now that I’m in college, I feel like I need to do something to keep myself healthy – so this is the route I’ve been taking for years and I plan on keeping it this way.”

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