International Groups

Iowa Resource for International Serivice
Bob Anderson
600 Fifth St., Suite 30
Ames, IA 50010
(515) 292-7103
info@iris-center.org
http://www.iris-center.org/Home.html

Central Mission of the Organization:

IRIS is a non-profit, non-religious organization founded in 1993 and located in Ames, Iowa. Its mission is to promote international education, development, and peace through rural initiatives.

History of the Organization:

The organization was originally called the International Center for Community Journalism, a combination of Anderson’s two enthusiasms.  Journalists were brought to Iowa where they stayed at host homes and interned at newspapers across central Iowa and even in Muscatine and Dubuque.  Several stayed in Newton and interned at the Newton Daily News.  One of them, Alexander Zhabskiy frm Volgodonsk, Russia, returned home to create a sister-newspaper relationship between the Volgodonsk Weekly and the Daily News.  Articles continue to be traded between the two publications, one of the only efforts of its kind in the nation.

Anderson and IRIS were also a key stimulus in creating OPEN (Organization Promoting Everlasting Neighbors), Newton’s sister-city organization, that maintains close ties with sister-city, Smila, Ukraine.  It has also assisted in establishing similar sister-city relations for Oskaloosa and Adel, as well as funding support for these efforts in Marshalltown, Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, Waverly, Adel and Oskaloosa.  These initiatives ultimately led to a sister state relationship between Iowa and the Cherkassy region in Ukraine.

Anderson broadened the scope of IRIS to now include a number of professions and field, changing the name to Iowa Resources for International Service.  He also created a for-profit organization called Global Ventures, with emphasis on teaching English and American culture to business leaders from such Asian countries as Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

Almost 250 participants have since traveled to Iowa from Armenia, Bulgaria, China, Georgia, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, Russia, Thailand and Ukraine.  Two journalists from Bulgaria and Thailand wrote books related to their experiences from Iowa newspapers.  The Thai book, said Anderson, was the first of its kind in that country to discuss and develop a code of ethics for journalists in Thailand.

International Issues and Focus:

International exchanges involving students and professionals.

Events and Programs Sponsored:

Women in Northern Nigeris Project.

Youth Exchange and Study Program

South African Youth Ambassadors In Action

Community Connections

Study Iowa

Bulgarian Library Exchange

Government and Civil Society

Membership:

None.

University News
April 21, 2014
John Forbes, PH’80, owner and manager of Medicap Pharmacy in Urbandale, was selected to receive the 2014 Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal of Honor, the highest honor given by Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS). As part of this honor, he will deliver the 2014 Weaver Medal of Honor Lecture on Wednesday, April 23.
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