Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dare to Discover Banners
Did you know that University of Iowa faculty member Jennifer Fiegel is working to help cystic fibrosis patients breathe easier, Rebekah Kowal is exploring the politics of dance throughout history, and Michael O’Hara has developed a program to help military veterans cope with postpartum depression?

Their stories, and the stories of more than 40 other researchers, scholars, and creators from across campus, are being told through a series of black and gold banners installed this month throughout downtown Iowa City, along Park Road, and in the University Capitol Centre (UCC).

Produced by the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED), the banners—and a companion website at—highlight the exciting discovery and innovation taking place at the UI.

OVPR&ED has launched a related Twitter campaign using @DaretoDiscover and #discoverUI to help spread the word.

“From cancer and diabetes research through law scholarship to writing and printmaking, this campaign shows the personal face of discovery and creativity,” UI Vice President for Research and Economic Development Daniel A. Reed said.

The banners are scheduled to remain in place through February, after which time many will be displayed inside of UCC.

OVPR&ED worked with the City of Iowa City, the Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD), and Iowa City graphic designer Robyn Hepker to develop the series.

“This campaign really expresses the depth and breadth of the research capacity that the University of Iowa has to offer,” ICDD Executive Director Nancy Bird said. “We’re pleased UI chose to promote it through the downtown banner system to engage the larger community and the million-plus people that visit Downtown annually. This is just another great example of how the University of Iowa supports the region and our downtown.”

Bird added, “The UI Dare to Dream campaign is a perfect example of how the downtown and UI work together to mutually support one another and encourage the best out of the community at large.”

Each banner includes a photo and teaser, using OVPR&ED’s “Dare to Discover” tagline as a common theme, including Dare to Safeguard Soldiers (Karim Abdel-Malek in the College of Engineering), Dare to Fight Diabetes (Dale Abel in the Carver College of Medicine), Dare to Uncover Species (Russell Ciochon in the Department of Anthropology), Dare to Examine Galaxies (Cornelia Lang in the Department of Physics and Astronomy), and Dare to Bridge Boundaries (Teresa Mangum in the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies).

“The banners demonstrate the great work you’re doing at the university, but they’re also intended to challenge others within and outside of the university to take up the cause of discovery and innovation,” Reed said.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development provides resources and support to researchers and scholars at the University of Iowa and to businesses across Iowa with the goal of forging new frontiers of discovery and innovation and promoting a culture of creativity that benefits the campus, the state, and the world. More at, and on Twitter: @DaretoDiscover