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News & Announcements

The CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank (formerly the Crisis Center) is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that provides immediate and nonjudgmental support for individuals facing emotional, food, or financial crisis.  What began as the state’s first crisis hotline in 1970, quickly evolved to meet the various needs of our neighbors, a
Miriam Gilbert retired in 2013 as a professor, Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  She is a renowned Shakespeare scholar and a dedicated and gifted teacher who has found many ways to continue to engage others in her work.  She has taught over 15 Senior College courses beginning in 2003 through the present.
Alice Atkinson retired in 2007 as an associate professor in the Early Childhood Program in the College of Education.  Much of her service began long before her retirement and she has continued to stay involved.  One of the most striking characteristics of Alice’s volunteer work is the longevity of her commitments to the causes she supports.  Her
UIRA members were invited to participate in the annual One Day for Iowa fundraising event hosted by the Center for Advancement.  This year, 13 UIRA members contributed $1,040 to our UIRA scholarship fund to supplement the already existing principal.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to this important aspect of UIRA's contribution to the studen
North Liberty Community Pantry (NLCP) exists to engage our community in feeding and clothing our neighbors.  During 2020, this mission served as a guiding light to keep our doors open and serve the community's needs during the toughest year we have ever been faced with.  For over 2,500 Johnson County residents, food insecurity hit home during th
UIRA elects 3-4 new board members each year.  The candidates this year are Deborah Cobb and Vicki Siefers for directors and Ed Dove for President-elect.
One of the highlights of the annual business meeting and luncheon is seeing some of the photos taken by UIRA members.  Because we will not have that annual meeting in person again this year, you can see the winners in this and the May issues of the Gray Hawk.  There were not as many submissions this year as in the past, so the judges picked only
Table to Table (T2T) builds connections between abundance and hunger through food rescue.  Volunteers recover excess food from grocery stores, restaurants, farms, and food processors, then deliver this food immediately to nonprofit hunger-relief partners. This past year, T2T delivered 2.5 million pounds at no cost to agency partners.  Financial 
At the February UIRA board meeting, UIRA President Sam Cochran announced that Lesanne Fliehler had agreed to become the new editor of the Gray Hawk.  The board had been seeking a new editor to follow our current editor, Diana Harris, whose 3-year term as editor ends in June.  We welcome Lesanne and are delighted to have her join the team.  Lesan
Mark your calendar!  One Day for Iowa, the University of Iowa’s 24-hour online giving day, is Wednesday, March 24, 2021!  You can contribute to the University of Iowa Retirees Association scholarship fund beginning March 2 right here. .
Carolyn Wanat came to the University of Iowa in 1990 as an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies in the College of Education.  She taught graduate students in the MA and PhD programs; most of her students were concurrently seeking their licenses to become school principals and superintendents.  Origin
The UIRA board of directors is seeking a creative, energetic, and technologically literate person to fill the position of editor of the UIRA Gray Hawk newsletter.  This position would begin July 1, with the first issue of the Gray Hawk under the new editor’s direction scheduled for publication September 1, 2021.  Specific duties for the editor o
Food Pantry at Iowa was started in the fall of 2016 when a group of University of Iowa students saw a need for a student-led initiative to lessen the impact of food insecurity on our campus.  The Food Pantry currently has two locations-- the east pantry in the IMU and the west pantry in the Pride Alliance Center on Grand Ave.  The Pantry serves
At the Coralville Community Food Pantry, we believe that food is a human right and that food has the power to bring people together.  Our primary work is our food assistance program which provides weekly groceries & personal care items for 3,300 Coralville & Tiffin residents.  In response to the pandemic, we adapted our food assistance s
Food insecurity has sky-rocketed during the pandemic.  While it was an issue even before the corona virus hit, it has now become a national health crisis.  It is estimated that one in four families in the US struggle to put and keep food on the table.  One in six Americans is hungry and doesn’t know where their next meal will come from.  Accordi
The UIRA Flu Vaccination Clinic will not be held this year, due to difficulties finding a suitable venue and ensuring safety of all who might choose to participate.  UIRA members are advised to pursue their own options for obtaining this year's vaccination.  Health care workers and administrators are recommending that it is time to obtain a vacc
Since UIRA was unable to host an annual luncheon meeting, we held a virtual election with most members voting electronically.  The slate of nominees of officers and board members was accepted unanimously.  Since we were unable to greet and congratulate our new officers and board members at the annual luncheon and meeting, let’s give a big virtua
Since we can't have an "in-person" election as we planned, we will be conducing an electronic election in late June.  All UIRA members will receivean email which will include a link to an electronic ballot which they can complete and  submit.  The process will be simple and straightforward.  We will be electing a president-elect, treasurer, secr
UIRA dues notices will be emailed to you in June if your dues expire in 2020.
The Senior College Committee has announced that all Senior College Courses for fall 2020 will be conducted on-line using the Zoom platform for many, if not all, courses.  Course offerings and descriptions will be available in late July at https://www.foriowa.org/senior-college/.
This year UIRA is participating in the One Day at Iowa campaign to raise funds for the UIRA endowed scholarship fund managed by the UI Center for Advancement.   Each year UIRA awards two $1000 scholarships to deserving UI students.  We'd love to grow the endowment, so we can increase the number and the amount of the awards.  The campaign runs th
The Iowa City Public Library wants to hear your opinion on the services it provides to you, how you use them, and how the library can serve you better.  Their online survey is voluntary and should only take 5 - 10 minutes of your time.
The UIRA Nominating Committee is charged with developing a slate of individuals to serve on the UIRA Board.  New Board members are elected each year at the annual membership meeting in April.  The Nominating Committee members request your assistance in identifying UIRA members to serve in three very important leadership positions:  President-ele
The Senior College Committee has again planned an interesting array of courses for the spring semester.  Course descriptions will be available online on Monday, December 16. . Online registration begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, January 6, 2020.
Over 100 UIRA members came to the UI Benefits update meeting on November 7, 2019.  Sonatina Fernandes (UI Benefits) and Lora Felger (Health Alliance Medicare)  presented enrollment information and updates to the 2020 UI Health Plans and Health Alliance Medicare Advantage plans.  You can watch a recording of it
UIRA is a member of the Big Ten Retirees Association.  Each August, delegates from the twelve participating Big Ten universities meet to compare notes, discuss issues relevant to retirees, and experience the hospitality of the host communities.  We have the pleasure of hosting the conference in August 2020.  Mike Barron and his committee have do
UIRA is well underway in its project of moving membership and event management to an online system.  After researching non-profit organizational management systems last year, the board authorized the purchase of the software product NeonCRM.
The UIRA Board of Directors approved a revised set of bylaws at the December meeting.
Nominations for the Community Service Award and the University Award are due January 31, 2020.  Please submit nominations to Awards Committee chair Rick Walton.  Information about these awards was published in the December 2019 Gray
The deadline for submission of photos for the UIRA Photo Contest is January 31, 2020.  Details about the contest were published in the December 2019 issue of the Gray Hawk.
Beginning with the UI Benefits Update on November 7 and continuing through the end-of-year picnic in June, we will be collecting cash donations, nonperishable food items, and toiletries at each of our programs and events for the Food Pantry at Iowa.  Cash donations are preferred since the pantry is able to buy needed items in bulk but food and t
We need volunteers to serve on the Nominating Committee and the Awards Committee.  The Nominating Committee proposes a slate of officers for the coming year.  The Awards Committee selects the Outstanding Volunteer Service awardees.  Both committees start meeting in December, so they can complete their work by the annual luncheon meeting in April
A request from Evalyn Van Allen-Shalash:  I am writing to the UI Retirees Association in my capacity as a participant in a PhD research project investigating how older adults search online for health information.  The purpose of the study is to analyze aging and older adults’… strategies for online health information searches, e
UIRA President Emil Rinderspacher reports that Illinois hosted this year's Big Ten Retirees Association meeting on August 2-4.  Twenty-four delegates representing 12 of the 14 institutions attended (missing Rutgers and Maryland).  Emil Rinderspacher and President-elect Sam Cochran represented UIRA.  The purpose of these annual meetings is to com
The TRAIL board president thinks this might be an ideal job for a retiree looking for some spare change and/or to stay involved in the working world.  If that description appeals to you, read on.  TRAIL(Tools and Resources for Active, Independent Living) of Johnson County has an immediate opening for a Member and Volunteer Services Director.  Re
Photos for the UIRA annual contest are due January 31, 2019. See the December 2018 Gray Hawk for all the contest rules. Briefly: freely open to UIRA members only, prizes awarded. Submit digital photos only,
Nominate a worthy UIRA member for the annual University Volunteer Award or Community Volunteer Award.  Any UIRA member may nominate a UIRA member, including him/herself.  What makes a good nominee?  Many hours of service and creative contributions to others and to a greater cause.  Past winners are good examples to compare: University Service Aw
Editor’s note:  This information is supplied by Kelly O’Berry, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) IRB Education & Outreach Manager, Human Subjects Office (HSO) asked if UIRA would include this information in our newsletter.  Questions about IRB membership should be directed to Kelly O’Berry, whose contact information is at the end of t
Penn State hosted this year’s Big 10 Retirees Association meeting, August 3–5.  Twenty-three delegates from 12 of the 14 institutions in the Big 10 were represented (missing only Rutgers and Maryland).  Sue Otto (UIRA president) and Diana Harris (UIRA Gray Hawk newsletter editor) represented the UI Retirees Association.  The primary purpose of t
Emil Rinderspacher retired in June 2015 as the University's Director of Admissions.  After receiving his BA and MA from the University of Iowa, he started his UI professional career in 1976 in the then College of Business as an academic adviser and assistant to Dean Ernie Zuber.  Emil served as the Director of Orientation for several years and t
Do you know lots of your fellow UI retirees?  Are you a talented photographer?  Then several standing committees could use your help.  We will need new chairs and committee members for the Nominations Committee, the Awards Committee, and the Photo Contest Committee.  These are all relatively short-term commitments and are a fun way to interact w
The UIRA Nominating Committee is pleased to present the nominees for open Board Officer and Director positions.  The election will be held at the Annual Luncheon and Business Meeting, April 5, 2018.President-Elect (2018-2019) & President (2019-2020)
UIRA is inviting entries to the Fourth Annual Travel Photography Contest.  The contest is open to all UIRA members with the content categories:  Iowa, USA Outside Iowa, and International.  Professional judging will evaluate the images on originality, creativity and photo-quality.  Cash prizes are awarded at the April Annual Meeting.  Each entran
When thinking about year-end charitable donations, please consider giving to the UIRA scholarship fund.  Donations are tax deductible and can be made by using this direct link.  Student aid is crucial to providing an affordable and accessible educational experience.  Donations of any amount make a huge di
The Grey Hawk Steppers SIG meets every Tuesday morning at 9:15 at the Coral Ridge Mall and walks around the mall at a medium pace until the Mall opens at 10 a.m.  Members interested in joining may contact Beverly Robalino.
Plans are underway to combine the University of Iowa Foundation and Alumni Association, as announced last month in a message from President Bruce Harreld. There are other links at the bottom of the page to the committee charge and report.
The UIRA special interest group (SIG) called "International Events" (formerly World Politics) meets monthly for an informal exchange of views regarding current events on the international scene (and their U.S. relevance).  All topics and points of view are grist for our mill, from which we emerge enlightened and refreshed.
Beverly Robalino, President's Award  Presenting The President's Award to Beverly Robalino, Nancy Hauserman commented:  This award should go to someone who keeps the organization going. Beverly Robalino not only kept the organization going but took it farther than it had been.
The 2016-2017 UIRA year is nearing its close and it is time for hundreds of UIRA members to renew their membership.  An email or U.S. mail reminder with an attached membership application form will be sent in early May to those persons with expiring memberships.  Renewals can be made for three years at $25 or for one year at $10.
President Nancy Hauserman shared the results of the membership satisfaction survey in her report to membership at the annual meeting.  Here are some notable facts: 237 of the 655 members returned the survey and their length of membership was from six months to 30 years.
Charlie Anderson, UIRA member and TRAIL of Johnson County Board member, informs us, by way of thanks and explanation, that in the spring of 2014, the UIRA Board established an ad hoc Committee on Aging in Place.  They appointed Charlie Anderson, Nancy Lynch and Nancy Williams as members.
Ms. Emily Hestbech, a sophomore global health studies major, has received the first $1,000 UIRA Scholarship.  Emily will attend the 3 April Annual Meeting to accept the award and express her thanks.
UIRA Annual Meeting and Luncheon Reservation Form: 
The Nominating Committee of the University of Iowa Retirees Association (Penny Hall, Chair; Kendall Atkinson, Dean Borg, Billie Townsend and Nancy Williams) presented the following slate of individuals for Board Officer and Director positions.  They were all unanimously elected at the Annual Luncheon and Business Meeting on 3 April 2017.
UIRA President Nancy Hauserman announced two great things about the UIRA scholarship.  First, our scholarship is fully endowed.  Thanks to a very generous gift of over $20,000 we now have $50,000+ in our scholarship fund, which will now generate enough interest to insure at least a $1,000 scholarship each year.
Please fill out and submit the UIRA membership survey that will come your way in the second week of January 2017.  The process is simple, painless and meaningful - it’s an opportunity to voice your thoughts about and ideas for UIRA going forward!  Watch for it; your ideas and comments are valued.
Nominations are open now for the Community Service and the University Service awards UIRA will present at the April 2017 Annual Meeting.  Nancy Williams and the late Eugene Spaziani were the deserving 2016 recipients and their names have been added to the plaques hanging in the public space at the IMU.
The Iowa Radio Reading Service for the Blind and Print Handicapped (IRIS) is looking for new volunteer readers in the Iowa City Area!  Are you someone with a friendly voice and who likes to read?  Please let IRIS know by calling 1-877-404-4747.
The UIRA invites entries to the Third Annual Travel Photography Contest, open to all UIRA members.  There are three content categories:  Iowa, USA Outside Iowa, and International.  Professional judging will evaluate the images on originality, creativity, and photo-quality.
With first place in two categories —Iowa and International— John Donelson was the big winner in the UIRA’s 3rd annual Travel Photo Contest, and a photo by Linda Muston won first in the other category: USA outside Iowa. The contest is supported by Hills Bank & Trust Co.
With leadership from President Beverly Robalino, the board created a President’s Award to recognize extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the UIRA.  This award will only be presented as distinguished service is identified and, consequently, should not be considered an annual recognition.  A certificate and $100 award were presented.
The 2nd annual awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service were presented at the Annual Meeting on April 21 to two longstanding UIRA volunteer leaders.  Board member Pam Willard, chair of the service awards committee, made the presentations.
Have you ever been on vacation and continued to think about your responsibilities at home or work?  Does the need for constant connectivity distract you from the task at hand?  Does sleep evade you because you are thinking about everything but sleep?
For the second year, Hills Bank and Trust Co. has awarded a grant to the UIRA to support the Travel Photo Contest.  “We’re immensely grateful to Hills Bank and Keith Jones (senior vice president) for the support,” said Ken Starck, UIRA past president.
Higher education is a door that opens multiple and diverse opportunities for students.  UIRA, with the assistance of the University of Iowa Foundation, has created a non-endowed UIRA Scholarship to help students further their education at the University of Iowa by assisting them with their financial needs.
UIRA President Robalino informs us that ITS has responded to the following questions from our UIRA members, and has offered to meet with UIRA members (time/date to be announced). 1.  Does ITS provide support for retirees another computers, phones, etc?  Is there a cut-off date for this service?  
In response to questions from several UIRA members regarding the upcoming migration of our UI email, ITS has provided the following clarifications:
Music has been used as a healing implement for centuries. Plato said that music affected the emotions and could influence the character of an individual. Aristotle taught that music affects the soul and described music as a force that purified the emotions. Hippocrates played music for mental patients.
Brain health refers to the ability to remember, learn, plan, concentrate and maintain a clear active mind.  The only constant about your brain is that it is always changing, even after it reaches maturity,  As we age our experiences and knowledge keep our brains working, developing and learning.
Prof. Joyce Berg will make a presentation on the Iowa Political Stock Market on Friday, 26 February 2-3:30 p.m, in Schwab
Professor Karim Abdel-Malek of the UI College of Engineering will introduce UIRA members to the Virtual Soldier Research Program (VSR) on Thursday, 28 January 2-3:30 p.m. in the Iowa Memorial Union Theatre Room.  Parking is available in the IMU Lot.
Retirees received health insurance updates as well as additional information on October 29 at a meeting with UI Human Resources and Health Alliance officials (see video 1'20").
The National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine which are parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed a website for older adults.The site was developed for age-related health information for older adults and was tested with adults age 60 to 88 to ensure
Are you an experienced Facebook user?  UIRA is seeking an experienced person to set up and maintain a UIRA presence on Facebook.  If you are interested and willing, please contact Phil Klein.
After nearly seven years as UIRA webmaster, Feather Lacy is retiring.  Again.  Earlier, in August 2008, she had retired after 28 years at UI, first with Weeg Computing Center and then Information Technology Services (ITS).  She started as a mainframe systems programmer and retired as a project leader.
Nominations for the second annual awards recognizing two UIRA members for outstanding volunteer service are now being accepted. One award is for contributions to the community.  The other is for contributions to the University.
Review your 2015 pictures and submit them to the UIRA Third Travel Photo Contest.  Several entries already have been received in the contest open to current UIRA members.
On Thursday, January 21, 2016, UIRA will host a reception for the new University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld, from 4-5 PM at the Coralville Public Library in the Schwab Auditorium.  President Harreld has been invited to make some brief comments, but the event is primarily an opportunity for UIRA memb
There is good news to report regarding retirees continued use of UI email.  Nancy Hauserman and I met with Steve Fleagle, VP and UI Chief Information Officer, this afternoon.
A student scholarship endowed by UIRA is being investigated. At the September UIRA Board meeting, a subcommittee was formed to review the requirements for a UIRA scholarship fund.
As shared in previous issues of The Gray Hawk, UIRA leadership has continued to be in touch with appropriate UI administrators to advocate for retirees continued access to their email accounts.
An open forum to discuss changes in UI’s email system left unclear the implications that the changes will have for University staff retirees.
The UIRA board welcomed Linda Muston as editor of The Gray Hawk last month. Linda and her husband Ray have been associated with UI since 1970. She has bachelors (political science and journalism) and MBA degrees from UI.
In an awards program initiated last year, the UIRA invites nominations of individuals to be recognized for their outstanding volunteer contributions to the university and the community.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its founding, the UIRA published a history of the association:
The Gray Hawk includes a new section dedicated to health awareness. UIRA has always been involved promoting health and this fall is no exception. Two events directly relate to health—the Flu Shot Clinic on October 8 and the Benefits Seminar on October 29.
A chance to visit the new bird blind—and yes, there was a goldfinch, Iowa’s state bird—walk new trails and learn about fall foliage highlighted the UIRA’s opening program of the year attended by about 35 UI retirees September 10 at F. W. Kent Park.
Members who have recently joined UIRA were welcomed and introduced to the association’s activities and programs September 17 at the Coralville Public Library.
Representatives from 12 universities attended the 2015 Big Ten Retirees Association Conference August 14-16 at Michigan State University (MSU). Retirees’ interests addressed included:
Step Up Walkers New Special Interest Group for UIRA Members Who Walk
Ever Think of Yourself as a Webmaster? UIRA Has Just Such an Opportunity
UIRA representatives Beverly Robalino and Nancy Hauserman met with Steve Fleagle, Associate VP and University Chief Information Officer, on September 10 to discuss the status of retirees’ use of UI email and aliases.
The UIRA Board is continuing to invite members to volunteer for two positions that will be vacant—The Gray Hawk editor and webmaster. Individuals carrying out these duties have served several years and have indicated their desire to step aside. In addition, at its annual meeting April 23 UIRA members will be asked to consider a slate of candidates for the positions of president-elect and several other officers. As president-elect, Beverly Robalino will assume the presidency. Nomination details will be announced in the March newsletter. Meanwhile, it isn’t too early to consider nominating yourself or someone else for these positions.
“My band, my boys, my music!” remarked Donna Parsons, lecturer in the UI College of Music, at a UIRA program January 9 at the Coralville Public Library. She was talking about her passion for studying the Beatles and how they and their music were influenced by their upbringing and their hometown of Liverpool. More than 40 retirees braved temperatures hovering around zero to attend the program Parsons has spent the last 11 summers in Liverpool, home of the Beatles, uncovering Beatle connections. She said she continually discovers people who remember the foursome growing up and cultivating their musical talents. A social and cultural historian, Parsons has been tracing the sites that influenced the Beatles’ songs as well as where the Beatles honed their craft and built a fan base. Her slide presentation was a Beatle exploration of Liverpool titled “Magic Mythical Tour: In Search of the Beatles.” “Every time I’m in Liverpool,” said Parsons, "I get more stories from people who were acquainted with one of the Beatles or had heard their music in person in local clubs.” Over the years Parsons has collected Beatle memorabilia, including published material, which was browsed by retirees. A map showed the proximity of a few important Beatle landmarks, including 251 Menlove Avenue (named Mendips and the childhood home of John Lennon), the Penny Lane Roundabout, Strawberry Field (a short walk from Lennon’s home) and St. Peter’s Church where John Lennon first met Paul McCartney. For a more complete report of Parsons’ presentation, go to the UIRA website: https://uira.shutterfly.com/pictures/499
Michigan State University Professor of Economics Charles Ballard will be keynote speaker at the annual Big Ten University Retirees Association Conference August 14-16, 2015, at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. The UIRA traditionally has sent one or two officers to the conference.
Several years ago the UIRA agreed to help sponsor a Village to Village group for Iowa City/Johnson County. Each village in this international organization (www.vtvnetwork.net) is a membership-driven, grass-roots virtual community run by volunteers and paid staff. The program is intended to support “aging in place” for seniors who want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Individual village programs are based on the needs of their own group, as decided by their membership. Benefits offered include coordinated access to affordable services including transportation, health and wellness programs, home repairs, social and educational activities and trips. An example of a successful village is “SAIL” in Madison, WI (website: http://www.sailtoday.org/). The local group is now organizing and hopes to begin accepting memberships and providing services in about a year. If you are interested and would like to stay informed about its activities and progress, send your name and email address to: nancylynch1941@gmail.com
Interested in Movies? World Events? Latin America? Here’s Your Chance to Share Your Interest with Others UIRA is forming three Special Interest Groups. Each group will meet monthly and discuss topics of shared interest. The groups are being formed with the prospect of adding more in the future. Additional details, including how to sign up, will be announced later. Here are the three topics being planned: Cinemafanatics: Do you enjoy movies? Are you entertained as well as appreciative of the other messages that may be included: history, human events, social issues, ethics, character development, etc? Would you enjoy interacting and sharing with other aficionados? The format is similar to that of a book group. Individual members rotate in selection of the movie for that month. Each person then watches the movie on his/her own time. At the meeting, the movie selector leads the discussion. International Events and World Politics: There’s a lot going on in the world. What recent foreign event(s) have caught your interest? Why is it significant for you? What background information helps make sense of it? How does it fit in to some larger picture? Let’s share our perspectives on the world we live in. Friends of Latin America: Are you fascinated by Latin America? This group will be drawn together to discuss subjects of interest south of the border anywhere from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. In addition to significant happenings, we will discuss popular retirement sites and share experiences visiting such centers of civilizations as the Aztecs, Maya, Inca and Canyaris. Recipes of authentic Latin American dishes will be shared, along with adventures to exotic destinations from the jungles to the Andes.
Lose your UI ID card? It can be replaced. A UIRA member recently complained he could not take advantage of UIRA discounts because he no longer had his card. An inquiry to Iowa One Card Office (319-335-2716) elicited this response: “If you need a new card, please come to our office... Please bring a photo ID with you such as a driver's license or passport to verify your identity. We are located in Room 3 of Jessup. Our office hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Or, you can come to C110 GH University of Iowa Hospitals 7:30am to 5pm.” There may be a replacement fee. More information can be found at: http://idcard.fo.uiowa.edu/
That question has been debated at length by UIRA Board members over several years. The latest response (3-6-14) received by Board member Pam Willard comes from Tracey Schmidt of UI Information Technology Services (ITS): “We simply have no licensing options for retirees. Microsoft does not offer any. Here is a link to some options: http://its.uiowa.edu/news/what-software-options-do-retirees-have
A new book titled Yesterdays: Memoirs from the Gray Hawk Writers is now available in Iowa City bookstores and through other booksellers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The 330-page book is a collection of articles by a local group that has been meeting every other Thursday for 15 years. Names of the 24 authors in the anthology will be familiar to many. The writing group began in 1999 when Sam Becker, who was UIRA president during 1998-99, suggested to colleagues that they preserve history by writing about their experiences. Gordon Strayer proposed memoir writing. The 330-page book is edited by Alan Brody, a retired UNICEF executive, and published by CreateSpace Publishing. The back cover of the book contains this description: "The Gray Hawk Memoir Writers have been sharing their stories with each other since 1999. They came of age during the Great Depression, World War II, and the volatile 1960s, and now look back. In Yesterdays they offer a selection of their work, providing a variety of perspectives and insights into 20th century life. Readers may find both entertainment and wisdom in these joyful, sometimes hilarious, poignant, and occasionally deeply moving memoirs from America's heartland."
See page 2 of the UIRA Dec 2014 Gray Hawk for a list of part-time and volunteering opportunities. Other Volunteer Opportunities—The UIRA has recently listed on its website (uira.org.uiowa.edu) several UI websites for academic units and organizations on and off campus that advertise for volunteers. On the UIRA home page (reached through our address, above), click Resources in the list on the left, then click Volunteerism opportunities for UI retirees in the upper right. These sites and many others (mostly for students) may also be found by going to the UI home web page, entering Volunteering in the search box in upper right, and then hitting the Return key.
Jean Hood, who served as UIRA president 2010-11, is replacing Ken Yerington as UIRA archivist. The Board appreciates Yerington’s years of service.
Currently offered to UI faculty and spouses is the UIChoice plan (through Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa). The premium for eligible faculty is $254/month, after subtracting the amount UI contributes. Spouses pay double that amount. The premium will increase to $264 in 2015. For the coming enrollment period, the UI is offering two additional plans through Health Alliance Co. of Champaign-Urbana, IL: A plan on a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) format: This is very close to UIChoice in terms of coverage, costs ($279/month, close to UIChoice for 2015), and doctors and hospitals choices (e.g., UIHC, Mercy of Cedar Rapids, but not yet Mercy of Iowa City). This also covers prescription drugs (generics are free). Thus, spouses could choose this plan at roughly half the price of UIChoice. A plan on the HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) format: (a) Premium is only $39/month, but with larger deductible and more for out-patient visits, (b) is restricted to UIHC doctors and hospitals and UI Health Alliance Providers, (c) has a built in “doughnut hole” for coverage costs and (d) free generic prescription drugs can only be obtained from Walmart or Sam’s Club (other pharmacies would charge $8). Also, new this year: Participants may switch back and forth between UIChoice and a Health Alliance plan at each enrollment period. That is, one may want to try out a different plan for a year and may do so without penalty if one wants to return to the original plan. Delta Dental: Currently at $40/person/month. Premiums will rise to $42 in 2015. –by Gene Spaziani
UIRA will be observing the twentieth anniversary of its founding during the coming year. The association came into being October 19, 1995, with the adoption of bylaws which stated as its purpose “to facilitate support of the University of Iowa by retired faculty and staff members and to promote the interests and welfare of those retirees.” UIRA’s first president was Arthur Canter, a retired clinical psychiatrist and professor emeritus of psychiatry. Canter, 93, and wife Miriam have lived in Iowa City for more than 50 years. Both were students at UI, where he completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and was invited to join the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine.
UIRA Board Approves Establishing an Awards Program For Outstanding Contributions to Community, University The UIRA Board voted unanimously at its monthly meeting October 14 to establish an awards program that annually will recognize two UIRA members for outstanding voluntary service—one for contributions to the community and another for contributions to the University. The program has three purposes: (1) to recognize UIRA members for their service; (2) to draw attention to contributions that retirees make; and (3) to encourage retirees to offer their talents and skills in ways that benefit the community and University. Details of the awards are still being worked out by the Board, though an outline of the program is emerging. To be eligible, nominees must be retired for at least two years. Any UIRA member may nominate a UIRA member, including him/herself. Award recipients will be announced at the annual spring business meeting. The Board will appoint a five-person selection committee comprised of two staff, two faculty members and the UIRA president. Deadline for submitting nominations to the UIRA president has been set for January 31, 2015. Watch The Gray Hawk and email for further details.
Second Annual Travel Photo Contest Invites Entries; Rules Similar to Last Year with December 31 Deadline The deadline for submitting entries in UIRA’s second annual Travel Photo Contest is December 31, 2014. Rules are much the same as the past year. Photos must be submitted in digital format and will be judged on originality, creativity and photo quality. There is no entry fee. Current UIRA members are eligible to participate. Entrants may submit no more than three photos in one or more of the three categories. The three categories are photos taken (1) in the state of Iowa; (2) in the USA outside Iowa; and (3) outside the USA. Send contest photos to: uira.photo.contest@gmail.com Photos taken over the past two years can be entered. When submitting photos, an entrant must include (1) his/her name, (2) email address, (3) number of photos submitted, (4) category in which each photo is to be judged and (5) brief captions for each photo (or group of photos). Complete contest details are posted at: Travel Photo Contest Winners of the contest will receive cash awards. This year’s contest is being sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company. Last year’s winning photos can be found at: uira.shutterfly.com/pictures/396#396.
The UIRA recently conducted a survey that asked what, if anything, members have done in the past, or are doing, for the UI as retirees. The results showed an astonishing variety of volunteer activities, which vitally assist the UI in its missions. Our findings have been transmitted to all administrators in the University, to remind them of our continuing value and to encourage administrators to seek us out. Please click here to view the letter sent to administrators, that includes an invitation to advertise volunteer openings with us, and click here to view a table of survey results listing our volunteer activities.
UIRA President Ken Starck attended the annual Big Ten Retirees Associations Conference August 8-10 followed by the biennial conference of the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education (AROHE) August 10-12 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. A photo report of the two conferences with quite a bit of detail in the captions can be found at the UIRA’s website at: uira.shutterfly.com/pictures/433. The University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA) served as host to the meetings. Purpose of both conferences is to share ideas and address retiree-related issues, from preparation for retirement to retirees as a community/university resource, from health to institutional support. Registered for the Big Ten Conference were a total of 54 persons: 49 representatives from all Big Ten universities (that includes 27 from host UMRA) except for new Big Ten members Rutgers and Maryland and 5 special guests. Registered for the AROHE Conference were about 110 persons from more than 30 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Also attending the AROHE meetings was Ken Kuntz, president of the UI’s Emeritus Faculty Council and past president of UIRA (2011-12). The next Big Ten meeting will take place August 14-16, 2015, at Michigan State University, East Lansing. The 2016 AROHE Conference will take place at the University of Washington, Seattle. A popular event at the Big Ten Conference is a session on “best practices.” Takeaway tips included: creating a website for interest groups; offering lifetime memberships (at Ohio State the cost is $250); establishing awards for service that can go to individuals or institutional units; sponsoring a reception for new retirees; organizing a group book reading and discussion; and instituting a travel photo contest (the latter suggestion from the UIRA).
UIRA’s Travel Photo Contest, inaugurated last year and attracting more than 50 entries, will continue for the second year. Most of the rules remain unchanged. There will be three categories: photos taken (1) in the state of Iowa; (2) in the USA outside Iowa and (3) outside the USA. Prizes will be awarded in each category. Entrants may submit no more than three photos in one or more of the three categories. There is no entry fee. Current UIRA members are eligible to participate. The deadline to submit entries is December 31. Photos must be submitted in digital format and will be judged on originality, creativity and photo quality. Photos taken over the past two years can be entered. To see winning photos in the 2013 contest, go to the UIRA website at this link: uira.shutterfly.com/pictures/396#396.
Beverly Robalino will step in as UIRA’s President-Elect with the resignation July 4 of Roy Justis who notified UIRA officials that he and his wife, Rita, are moving from Iowa City to Cedar Falls. The UIRA Board approved a recommendation from President Ken Starck to appoint Robalino to the position. This was in accord with UIRA Bylaws for filling unexpired terms (see Section 3, Vacancies). Robalino had been on the short list of candidates compiled by the Nominations Committee. See the Biographies web page for more about Beverly Robalino.
A Remarkable Tribe Called Retirees—and How to Join It’s late August, and I’ve just returned from five days of remarkable meetings attended by remarkable people from all over the country. They’re part of an emerging tribe I joined a few years ago. We’re called retirees. That means it’s time for life’s encore.
Opportunities abound to contribute to UIRA and the welfare of its members. Here are three expected openings: Gray Hawk Editor, Webmaster and Archivist. If you have the interest and the expertise—the former taking precedence over the latter—please inform Ken Starck (Kenneth-Starck@uiowa.edu) or one of the UIRA Board members. Compensation is comparable to other purely voluntary positions, which means that satisfaction and goodwill can be rewarding parts of one’s retirement package.)
Elder Services Inc. may be the organization you need to provide assistance or a volunteer opportunity – or that a friend needs. Founded in 1980, “Elder Services, Inc. (ESI) provides programs, services, and resources to assist persons age 60 and over in Johnson County and east central Iowa to stay active, independent, and safe in their homes.” Elder Services Inc. provides a wide range of services and assistance, including geriatric assessment, coordination of volunteer services, RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), Meals on Wheels, Nutrition services (including Meals on Wheels and the Elderberry Café), Elder Answers, Medicare Senior Health Insurance Initiatives, bill paying management, medical transportation, home assistance, and care coordination. Please phone Elder Services Inc. at 319-338-0515 or see their webpage www.elderservicesinc.com for a more complete description and contact information.
Here’s a no-cost way to keep up with UI events: Subscribe to Iowa Now at email.now.uiowa.edu Produced and distributed electronically each weekday by University Communication and Marketing, the website carries news and announcements under the headings of Arts, Athletics, Campus, Community, Health and Research. Each day’s announcements offer a summary of the Top News. There is no cost to subscribe or unsubscribe.
The following are those who have been selected by the Nominating Committee. The Committee was chaired by Charlie Anderson. The list will be presented at the Annual Business Meeting and Luncheon on April 24. A reminder that other nominees for each position may be introduced by any attendee at the meeting. They will then be added to the slate. Nominees: President-Elect Roy Justis Secretary Alice Atkinson Board Member-at-Large Pamela Willard Board Member-at-Large Richard Borchard
Beginning with the September 2014 edition, The Gray Hawk will be delivered to UIRA members only electronically. The UIRA Board at its meeting February 11 voted to discontinue publication and distribution of the paper version of the newsletter. The consensus of the Board was that the electronic-only version will not only be more economical but also result in speedier delivery. The annual cost of The Gray Hawk is about $1,800, including paper, addressing and postage. An additional major benefit to electronic production and distribution is flexibility in size (more pages) and content (photographs, color, special effects, etc.). Please send any comments to Dick Johns, using e-mail (rjohns@q.com), postal service (2731 Oakmont Ct., Coralville, IA 52241, or phone 319 354-1904)
UI’s Hospitals and Clinics Guest Services Department has temporary part-time greeter positions available. Greeters work with permanent and student valets at Main and Pomerantz Pavilion Entrances, welcoming patients and guests. They provide advice about the valet parking service and assist with transfers in/out of vehicles. The starting wage is $8.91 an hour. Available shifts are Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Candidates must have an Iowa driver’s license, excellent communication skills and customer service experience. For more information, contact Vesta Rodby at phone 319-384-9356.
The Preventive Intervention Center at the University of Iowa is conducting a study to find out if a new test can predict who may develop cognitive problems due to Alzheimer’s disease based on their genes. This research will also test an investigational medication to see if it can delay the symptoms of cognitive disorders. Adults aged 65-83 may qualify to participate in this study. Eligible participants receive at no cost: memory and thinking evaluations, laboratory evaluations, electrocardiograms, and study medication. You may receive compensation for time and travel. The study will last about 5 years and include 5 clinic visits the first year, then 2 visits a year until the end of the study. To learn more, e-mail us at cph- cognitivehealth@uiowa.edu or call 319/353-8233 or 1-800/887-6917.
With a recent $14 million renovation, the UI Main Library has been busier than ever. During a UIRA program at the Main Library Jan. 14th, head librarian John Culshaw discussed the future of libraries with a focus on changes at UI. About 60 persons attended the presentation, which included tours of the new Learning Commons and the Conservation Lab on the fifth floor. “Libraries are not going away,” Culshaw told the group. He noted that in December a total of 113,000 persons came into the Library. Demand for small group meetings far exceeded the available space, he said. Culshaw, who came to Iowa in August 2013 from the University of Colorado, explained features of the room in which a standing-room crowd of 60 gathered. It is one of several TILE rooms. The letters stand for Transform, Interact, Learn and Engage. The room has five round tables with nine seats at each, three computers, microphones for class discussion, flat glass screens and walls that can serve as blackboards. In the Conservation Lab, Library staff demonstrated methods of refurbishing books and efforts to restore Czech and Slovak Museum materials recovered from the Cedar Rapids flood. Attendees saw anumber of unusual books, such as a German children’s book (Das Sprechende Bilderbuch), printed in 1800. It has little string pulls on the side which, when pulled, emit barnyard animal sounds from squeaky toy mechanisms hidden in the “text block.” A photo report of the program can be found at the UIRA website at https://uira.shutterfly.com/pictures/339#339, which also contains reports of earlier UIRA programs.
An extensive report titled Iowa Health Fact Book has recently been published by the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health. The report shows deaths caused by falls rising in Iowa, an example of a problem which affects older Iowans. In a news release about the report, Jane Pendergast, Director of the Center for Public Health Statistics, is quoted as saying, “Fortunately falls are largely preventable with the right training and safeguards.” The biennial report provides data pertinent to the health of Iowans in each of the state’s 99 counties. The complete report, along with earlier reports, is available at www.public-health.uiowa.edu/factbook/
The University of Iowa is a member of an international organization of retirees in higher education. Its acronym is AROHE—Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education. The UI Provost’s office provides payment of dues. Check out AROHE at www.arohe.org
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