Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy

 

2012 Policy Matters: Scholarly and Practical Perspectives on Contemporary Problems

Shambaugh Auditorium, UI Main Library
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 6:30 PM

With the country just beginning to emerge from its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the need for carefully crafted public policy has never been more critical. The Public Policy Center joined with the UI History Department to offer its third annual series of public forums featuring nationally recognized experts sharing their perspectives on pressing domestic policy issues. Topics included the economy, productive democracy, political organizing in the digital age, and many others.

Each session, UI faculty and other experts provided a background introduction to the topic of the week, followed by a discussion involving policy practitioners, legislators, and advocates, and questions from the audience. Course resources such as PowerPoint presentations and audiocasts are available on this website.

Classes took place every Wednesday from 6:30-8:20 in Shambaugh Auditorium at the UI Main Library.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Introduction: What Does the State Do?
  1. Colin Gordon
  2. Peter Damiano
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Introduction II: An Overview of American Political History
  1. Colin Gordon
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM The Mess We're In: Public Policy and the Economic Crisis
  1. Colin Gordon
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Political Discourse and Political Dissent: Understanding the Tea Party and "Occupy" Movements
  1. Misty Rebik
  2. Mauro Heck
  3. Mark Lucas
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM The Battle of Wisconsin
  1. Colin Gordon
  2. Jen Sherer
  3. Laura Dresser
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Politics in a Digital Age
  1. Caroline J. Tolbert
  2. David Perlmutter
  3. John Deeth
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Sally Kenney Lecture
  1. Sally J. Kenney
  2. Angela Onwuachi-Willig
Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Common Cause President Bob Edgar on Campaign Finance
  1. Bob Edgar
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Natural Resources — Water Policy
  1. Mary Skopec
  2. Craig Just
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Policy Primer: Income Security
  1. Kevin Leicht
  2. Brian Loring
  3. Lily French
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM American Labor Policy and International Labor Standards: Is There a Gap?
  1. Lance Compa
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Mariannette Miller-Meeks: Policy Primer — Health Care
  1. Colin Gordon
  2. Peter Damiano
  3. Mariannette Miller-Meeks
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Policy Primer: Sustainability in the Built Environment
  1. Paul Hanley
  2. Aaron Strong
  3. Lucie Laurian
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Policy Primer: The Budget Riddle
  1. Peter Fisher
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Wrap-Up
  1. Colin Gordon
  • Lance Compa

    Senior Lecturer, International & Comparative Labor, Cornell University

    Lance Compa is a Senior Lecturer at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches U.S. labor law and international labor rights. Before joining the Cornell faculty in 1997, Compa directed labor law research at the NAFTA Commission for Labor Cooperation. Prior to his 1995 appointment to the commission, Compa taught labor law, employment law, and international labor rights as a Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management. He also practiced international labor law for unions and human rights organizations in Washington, D.C.

    Professor Compa has written three book-length reports for Human Rights Watch on workers’ rights in the United States under international labor law standards. He has also conducted workers’ rights investigations and reports on Cambodia, Chile, China, Haiti, Guatemala, Mexico, Sri Lanka and other developing countries.

    After law school and before turning to international labor law practice and teaching, Compa worked for many years as a trade union organizer and negotiator; first for the United Electrical Workers (UE), and then for the Newspaper Guild. Compa is a 1969 graduate of Fordham University, a 1973 graduate of Yale Law School, and a member of the Massachusetts Bar. He also undertook studies abroad at the Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris, France (1967-1968) and at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile (1972-1973).

  • Peter Damiano

    Director, Public Policy Center Preventive and Community Dentistry University of Iowa

    Peter Damiano is the Director of the Public Policy Center (PPC) and Professor, Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry at the University of Iowa. He started the health policy research program at the PPC in 1990 and has been Director of the Center since July 2007. He is a health services researcher who investigates issues relating to access to care, quality, cost and outcomes of care. Dr. Damiano has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and research monographs and has been the principal investigator on over 50 research studies funded by federal, state and Foundation sources. He is a former staff intern in the US Senate, a Robert Wood Johnson Dental Health Services Research Scholar and HRSA Primary Care Policy Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry (DDS) and UCLA School of Public Health (MPH).

  • Peter Damiano

    Director, Public Policy Center Preventive and Community Dentistry University of Iowa

    Peter Damiano is the Director of the Public Policy Center (PPC) and Professor, Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry at the University of Iowa. He started the health policy research program at the PPC in 1990 and has been Director of the Center since July 2007. He is a health services researcher who investigates issues relating to access to care, quality, cost and outcomes of care. Dr. Damiano has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and research monographs and has been the principal investigator on over 50 research studies funded by federal, state and Foundation sources. He is a former staff intern in the US Senate, a Robert Wood Johnson Dental Health Services Research Scholar and HRSA Primary Care Policy Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry (DDS) and UCLA School of Public Health (MPH).

  • John Deeth

    Local Iowa City blogger

    John Deeth is a Des Moines Register guest blogger who has been featured in publications ranging from the Drudge Report to the Huffington Post. His past affiliations include WSUI radio (NPR) and Iowa Independent. Mr. Deeth and his trademark raspberry beret were a frequent presence on the 2007 Iowa caucus scene. He is a political activist in Johnson County and the Democratic Party, and ran for the Iowa legislature in 1996. The John Deeth Blog, recently listed as one of the top state-level political blogs by the Washington Post, has been published since Dec. 31, 2002. Mr. Deeth’s writing interests include electoral politics in general and Iowa politics in particular, popular music and culture, and technology.

  • Laura Dresser

    Laura Dresser (BA, Rice University; MSW, PhD, University of Michigan) is Associate Director of COWS. A labor economist and expert on low-wage work and workforce development systems, she has both written about ways to build stronger labor market systems and worked extensively with labor, business, and community leaders in building them. Dresser has written widely on race and gender inequality and labor market reform. She is most recently co-editor of The Gloves-Off Economy: Workplace Standards at the Bottom of America's Labor Market.

  • Bob Edgar

    President, CEO, Common Cause

    In May 2007, Bob Edgar was named president and CEO of Common Cause, a national nonpartisan, non-profit "citizens" lobby working to make government at all levels more honest, open and accountable, and to connect citizens with their democracy. Mr Edgar is a former member of Congress, having represented the Seventh Congressional District outside Philadelphia, PA for six terms. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pa., and a master of divinity degree from the Theological School of Drew University, Madison, N.J. He has also been president of the Claremont School of Theology and general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ. He holds five honorary doctoral degrees.

    During six terms in the US House, Edgar led efforts to improve public transportation, fought wasteful water projects and authored the community Right to Know provision of Super Fund legislation. He also served on the House Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and President John F. Kennedy. Edgar also served on the Veterans Affairs Committee, working on issues around Agent Orange and readjustment counseling center to treat post traumatic stress disorder.

  • Peter Fisher

    Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa, Research Director, Iowa Policy Project

    Peter Fisher is professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa and a national expert on public finance. He has served as a consultant to the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the State of Ohio, and the Iowa Business Council. His reports are regularly published in State Tax Notes and refereed journals. His recent book Grading Places: What Do the Business Climate Rankings Really Tell Us? was published by theEconomic Policy Institute in 2005. Dr. Fisher is also research director at the Iowa Policy Project. He is directly involved in research, writing and outreach on state tax and budget issues. He has authored or co-authored many of Iowa Fiscal Partnership reports and guest opinions on state tax policy. Dr Fisher holds a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

  • Lily French

    Research Associate and Outreach Coordinator, Iowa Policy Project

    Lily French joined the Iowa Policy Project (IPP) in 2008. A former policy analyst for the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, she also directed a women's business center in Madison, Wis., before returning to Iowa. Over the past 10 years, she has served as an advisor to state and local government officials on issues of child care, workforce development and microenterprise development. She holds an MSW from the University of Michigan and a BA in Sociology from the University of Iowa. Ms. French’s research for IPP concentrates on policy analysis to advance the economic opportunity of all Iowans. She also coordinates IPP outreach efforts, predominantly around state fiscal and economic policy, with a variety of constituent groups, legislators and others to ensure IPP work is relevant and widely distributed. For more information about Ms. French, click here.

  • Colin Gordon

    Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa

    Professor Gordon’s research interests focus on public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. He has published three books in this area, including Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America, which reviews the history of health care policy in the United States during that period. He is also a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. He is the author of several IPP reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions, including the biennial State of Working Iowa series. Dr. Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Department of History. To visit Dr. Gordon's web page, click here.

  • Colin Gordon

    Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa

    Professor Gordon’s research interests focus on public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. He has published three books in this area, including Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America, which reviews the history of health care policy in the United States during that period. He is also a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. He is the author of several IPP reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions, including the biennial State of Working Iowa series. Dr. Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Department of History. To visit Dr. Gordon's web page, click here.

  • Colin Gordon

    Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa

    Professor Gordon’s research interests focus on public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. He has published three books in this area, including Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America, which reviews the history of health care policy in the United States during that period. He is also a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. He is the author of several IPP reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions, including the biennial State of Working Iowa series. Dr. Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Department of History. To visit Dr. Gordon's web page, click here.

  • Colin Gordon

    Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa

    Professor Gordon’s research interests focus on public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. He has published three books in this area, including Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America, which reviews the history of health care policy in the United States during that period. He is also a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. He is the author of several IPP reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions, including the biennial State of Working Iowa series. Dr. Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Department of History. To visit Dr. Gordon's web page, click here.

  • Colin Gordon

    Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa

    Professor Gordon’s research interests focus on public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. He has published three books in this area, including Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America, which reviews the history of health care policy in the United States during that period. He is also a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. He is the author of several IPP reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions, including the biennial State of Working Iowa series. Dr. Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Department of History. To visit Dr. Gordon's web page, click here.

  • Colin Gordon

    Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa

    Professor Gordon’s research interests focus on public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. He has published three books in this area, including Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America, which reviews the history of health care policy in the United States during that period. He is also a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. He is the author of several IPP reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions, including the biennial State of Working Iowa series. Dr. Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Department of History. To visit Dr. Gordon's web page, click here.

  • Paul Hanley

    Director, Transportation Research Program, PPC Urban and Regional Planning Department of Economics University of Iowa

    Paul Hanley is an associate professor holding joint appointments in the Public Policy Center, Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa. Paul is the Director of the Transportation Policy Research Group at the Public Policy Center, Director of the University of Iowa’s Transportation Graduate Studies Program, and Associate Director of the Mid-American Transportation Center. He has more than sixteen years of experience working with federal, state, regional and local transportation and planning agencies. For eight years, he was a transportation planner for a regional Metropolitan Planning Organization in East-central Illinois prior to joining the faculty. His expertise is in the study of the relationships between transportation investments, land use change, and transportation demand.

  • Mauro Heck

    Mauro Heck, Iowa City photography and Occupy activist

    Mauro Heck is an Iowa City photographer, small business owner, and Occupy activist. Originally from Brazil, he came to Iowa to study, and holds a BS from the University of Iowa. Mr. Heck has been a political activist for progressive causes since his youth. He has worked in Latin America, particularly in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and is fluent in three languages. Three years ago, to celebrate his 50th birthday, he biked from Iowa City to the Panama Canal, a journey of over 4,000 miles. He is active in the urban garden movement, and volunteers regularly at the Iowa City Bike Library.

  • Craig Just

    Assistant Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Research Engineer IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering University of Iowa

    Dr. Craig Just has served the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa since 1993.  He earned a masters degree in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa in 1994 and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and science from the University of Iowa in 2001.  He is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an assistant research engineer at IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering.  He is also the Coordinator of Sustainability Programs for the College of Engineering.


    Dr. Just teaches Introduction to Sustainability, an interdisciplinary course targeted toward underclass students pursuing the new University of Iowa, Certificate in Sustainability. Dr. Just also teaches Design for the Developing World, also an interdisciplinary course targeted toward upperclass students interested in advancing sustainable development in resource-poor countries.  Dr. Just was awarded the University of Iowa, President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008 for creative utilization of service-learning and for engaged scholarship through teaching.

    Dr. Just is Faculty Advisor for the UI Student Chapter of U.S. Green Building Council and he coordinates the UI International Engineering Service Program. Dr. Just was awarded the David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Public Service in 2010.  Dr. Just was also received the 2011 International Studies Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award.

  • Sally J. Kenney

    Professor, Executive Director, Newcomb College Institute, Tulane University

    Sally J. Kenney joined Tulane University in 2010. She served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs from 1995-2009 where she also directed the Center on Women and Public Policy. From 1989-1995, she held a joint appointment in Political Science, Women's Studies, and Law at the University of Iowa.

    Dr. Kenney is a founder of the Infinity Project, which works to support the appointment of more women to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has served on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Gender Fairness Implementation Committee. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Law & Society’s Collaborative Research Network on Women Judges. She directed a Feminist Leadership Fellows Program and Women Legislators Retreats. She has also served on the boards of Watch, the court monitoring organization, the Minnesota Women’s Campaign Fund, and the University of Minnesota Press.  She has served as a consultant to the US Congress's House Education and Labor Committee on discrimination resulting from fetal protection policies.

    Professor Kenney's research interests include gender and judging, judicial selection, feminist social movements, women and electoral politics, exclusionary employment policies, and pregnancy discrimination. Her latest book, Gender and Justice: Why Women Judges Really Matter, will be published by Routledge in March. She is the author of For Whose Protection? Reproductive Hazards and Exclusionary Policies in the United States and Britain, and is the co-editor of Politics and Feminist Standpoint Theories and Constitutional Dialogues in Comparative Perspective. Her work has been published in Comparative Political Studies, Law and Social Inquiry, Political Research Quarterly, Journal of Politics, Women and Politics, Politics & Gender, Mobilization, and Judicature as well as in law reviews. She is currently at work on Case Studies on Women and Public Policy.

  • Lucie Laurian

    Lucie Laurian studies the effects of toxic sites on local populations and the participation of citizens in environmental planning decision-making processes. Some of her previous research, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, focused on the effects of Superfund sites on the communities surrounding them. She now works on the evaluation of Community Advisory Boards as participatory mechanisms used for the cleanup of toxic sites.

    Since 1998, she has been involved in a New Zealand-based research project on environmental planning processes. The project, titled "Planning Under a Cooperative Mandate," focuses on the implementation of local environmental plans with regard to water quality, urban design, and citizen participation in the planning process. Dr. Laurian is involved in research about the interactions between the planning and public health disciplines. She teaches a "Healthy Cities" class focused on environmental planning and health.

     

  • Kevin Leicht

    Director, Institute for Inequality Studies, Director, Social Science Research Center, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Iowa

    Kevin Leicht is Director of the Institute for Inequality Studies (IIS), which promotes research on the causes and consequences of the myriad forms of social inequality. He also directs the Social Science Research Center (SSRC), an interdisciplinary institution dedicated to furthering social science research and practice across the University of Iowa and developing ways to connect that research to the broader community. As a Professor of Sociology, Dr. Leicht’s interests include the sociology of work, social stratification, and political sociology. His current research examines the development of economic development programs by the U.S. states and the causes and consequences of corporate restructuring. Professor Leicht holds a PhD from Indiana University. To visit Dr. Leicht's web page, click here.

     

  • Brian Loring

    Executive Director, Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County

    Brian Loring is the executive director of Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County in Iowa City.  He has been in that position for 20 years.  Prior to his work with Neighborhood Centers, Brian worked for the Public Interest Center on Long Term Care in Sacramento, the Center for Health Care Rights in Los Angeles, and Citizens for Community Improvement in Iowa.

    Brian has a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa (1987).  Locally, he has served on the boards for Iowa City Housing Fellowship, Environmental Advocates, Johnson County Empowerment, Bicyclists of Iowa City and the Johnson County Regional Trails Committee, and Think Bicycles of Johnson County.  He is also the founder of the Iowa City Bike Library.

  • Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas is the State Director of the Iowa chapter of Americans for Prosperity. He holds a Business Management degree from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business with a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management.

    During the 2008 presidential primary, Mr. Lucas was the State Director of the Americans for Fair Taxation. He was responsible for running Iowa’s FairTax primary campaign. The National Review said the FairTax campaign was the biggest success story of the 2008 primary season.

    Mr. Lucas has served for over 8 years in the Iowa Army National Guard and is a graduate of the US Army Ranger School. As a platoon leader, he led an infantry rifle platoon along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star Medal, distinguishing himself for meritorious service in combat.

     

  • Mariannette Miller-Meeks

    Director, Iowa Department of Public Health

    Governor Terry Branstand chose Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks to be the Iowa Department of Public Health Director in 2010 during the Branstand-Reynolds administration. The Iowa Department of Public Health works with local health organizations, lawmakers, health care providers, and businesses to educate the citizens of Iowa on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Miller-Meeks completed her undergraduate degree in nursing at Texas Christian University and earned her M.D. from The University of Texas Health Science Center. Specializing in ophthalmology, Miller-Meeks completed her medical residency at the University of Iowa Medical Center in 1991. With a masters of education under her belt also, Miller-Meeks returned to the U of I from 1994 to 1997 as an assistant professor in ophthalmology after serving on the faculty at the University of Michigan in a similar capacity.

    Miller-Meeks, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves and ophthalmologist, has served as the first woman President of the Iowa Medical Society and was the first women on the faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa and councilor for Iowa to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She has resigned her position as alternate delegate to the AMA upon being named director.

  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig

    Professor, College of Law, University of Iowa

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law at the University of Iowa. She joined the Iowa Law faculty in 2006 after three years on the tenure track at the University of California, Davis School of Law. She graduated from Grinnell College, where she majored in American Studies and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. She received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a Clarence Darrow Scholar, a Note Editor on the Michigan Law Review, and an Associate Editor of the founding issue of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Solomon Oliver, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, and the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also worked as a labor and employment associate at both Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio, and Foley Hoag in Boston, Massachusetts. Professor Onwuachi-Willig researches and writes in Employment Discrimination, Family Law, Feminist Legal Theory, and Race and the Law.

  • David Perlmutter

    Professor and Director, School of Journalism, University of Iowa

    Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Professor and Starch Faculty Fellow at The University of Iowa. He received his BA ('85) and MA ('91) from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota ('96). He served as a Board member of the American Association of Political Consultants and now sits on the National Law Enforcement Museum Advisory Committee for its Media Exhibit. He has been principal or co-principal investigator in multidisciplinary grants totaling about $400,000. He is a graduate of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication Leadership Workshop. A documentary photographer, he is the author or editor of nine books on political communication and persuasion including: Blogwars: The New Political Battleground, Political Communication, and New Media, Campaigning and the 2008 Facebook Election.

  • Misty Rebik

    Misty Rebik is the Executive Director for the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa (CWJ). The CWJ was formally founded in November of 2012, and Misty was elected to its first Board of Directors. In July 2013, Misty was delighted to become the Center’s first hired staff and executive director. With the Center she is dedicated to the empowerment of immigrant workers to know and defend their rights and to build common cause across linguistic, religious, racial, national/political barriers to work towards concrete change. To date, CWJ has recovered thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, mobilized more than 500 people in the local community to take action, and educated more than 500 low wage workers about their rights. Misty was formerly a community organizer with the grass-roots organizing group, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI), where she worked on the group’s Latino Organizing Project. While at Iowa CCI Misty worked with dozens of low-wage Latino workers to recover tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, worked to strengthen wage theft enforcement in the state of Iowa, and to hold corporations accountable to fair treatment of workers. She also has served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer for the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition, and Iowa Legal Aid. Misty is passionate about all things social justice, and an enthusiastic traveler. She speaks Spanish, is practicing Portuguese, and soon wishes to learn Arabic.

    Misty has won several awards including the Iowa City Human Rights Commission Kenneth Cmiel for outstanding contributions to human rights by actively participating in the field, and the Jim Harris Award for commitment to volunteer social justice work. Misty holds a B.A. in International Studies emphasizing on Latin American Studies with a Spanish Minor from the University of Iowa and an M.S in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Iowa.

  • Jen Sherer

    Director, University of Iowa Labor Center

    Jennifer Sherer is Director of the University of Iowa Labor Center, which conducts educational programming for Iowa’s organized workforce. She previously served as president of UE Local 896-COGS (the Campaign to Organize Graduate Students), a Project Staff Organizer for the UE (United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers), and taught as a graduate instructor in the UI Rhetoric and English Departments. She joined the Labor Center in 2002 to work on the Center's Child Labor Public Education Project, part of the UI Child Labor Research Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Sherer is currently a member and officer of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Local 716, and serves on the boards of the UI Center for Human Rights, the Iowa Policy Project, the UI Occupational Medicine Residency program, and the Labor Studies Journal. She holds PhD and MA degrees from the University of Iowa, and a BA from Oberlin College.

  • Mary Skopec

    Program Coordinator, Research Geologist, IOWATER

    Dr. Skopec serves as a senior scientist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources where she coordinates the beach monitoring, stream monitoring and citizen monitoring (or IOWATER) programs.  Mary is also a member of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council and the National Advisory Committee on Water.  Mary earned her B.S. and M.A. degrees in geography from The University of Iowa, and in 1999, she completed her interdisciplinary Ph.D. in environmental science at The University of Iowa.  

  • Aaron Strong

    Aaron Strong grew up in Marion, Iowa and graduated from Linn-Mar High School and later Luther College.  He completed two master’s degrees and a PhD in economics at the University of Colorado – Boulder.  He has held positions at the University of Calgary, Arizona State University and the University of Wyoming.  Currently he is an assistant professor with joint appointments in the School of Urban and Regional Planning and the Public Policy center and also a faculty affiliate of IIHR – Hydroscience and Engineering and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Iowa.


    Dr. Strong’s research covers a wide variety of topics including water demand estimation; cost effectiveness of demand side management programs; ecological-economic modeling of rangelands; valuation of natural resources; and the relationship between economic growth and the environment.  Most recently, he is considering the effects of changes in surface water quality on the source of municipal drinking water; how changes in precipitation and land use/land cover changes affect the distribution of stream discharge; and understanding the recovery process from large scale natural and human induced disasters.

     

    The title of Dr. Strong's presentation is:  "Interactions between Quality and Quantity."

     

     

  • Caroline J. Tolbert

    Department of Political Science, University of Iowa

    Caroline Tolbert is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa and the author of more than a half dozen books, as well as dozens of articles in scholarly journals. Her research explores political behavior, elections and representation widely defined.

    Tolbert is coauthor of Digital Citizenship: The Internet Society and Participation (Cambridge, MIT Press, 2008) and Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide (Georgetown University Press, 2003). Digital Citizenship was ranked one of 20 best-selling titles in the social sciences by the American Library Association for 2008. In 2011 she published Why Iowa? How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process (University of Chicago Press) with D. Redlawsk and T. Donovan). She is also coauthor of Educated by Initiative: The Effects of Direct Democracy on Citizens and Political Organizations in the American States (University of Michigan, 2004), co-editor of Democracy in the States: Experiments in Election Reform (Brookings Institution Press, 2008) and Citizens as Legislators: Direct Democracy in the United States (Ohio State University Press, 1998). Her latest book is Digital Cities: The Internet and Geography of Opportunity under contract with Oxford University Press (with K. Mossberger and W. Franko).

    Tolbert was the General Program Chair (with T. Lee, UC Berkeley) of the 2008 Midwest Political Science Association Meeting. Caroline Tolbert is the former Co-Director of The University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll (with D. Redlawsk, Rutgers University). In 2009 she was named a Collegiate Scholar by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Gannon at (319) 335-6817 or leslie-gannon@uiowa.edu.