More Research and Interests

Tutors to Panthers

Led by College of Education Emeritius faculty member, Dr. James Kelly, twenty-eight current and former UNI faculty, staff and coaches worked together to write Tutors to Panthers: a brief history of UNI athletics, a new book containing 16 chapters chronicling 120 years of intercollegiate athletics at the University of Northern Iowa. Familar names such as NFL standouts Kurt Warner, Bryce Paup, Brad Meester and James Jones, professional baseball players Eddie Watt and Duane Josephson, basketball coaches Norm Stewart and Eldon Miller and many more student-athletes and coaches are highlighted in this text in addition to interesting anecdotes regarding such athletics facilities as Latham Field and the famed UNI Dome. 


I had the pleasure to write Chapter One and the history of baseball at UNI. To read an excerpt click HERE!

FDR Speaks

I often tell my students that education does not have to be a laborious task. One method to make research an enjoyable task and to stretch oneself is to embrace our personal sense of creativity and write a play or a musical. (That little show known as Hamilton seems to be a pretty good example.)


During my years at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette I had the opportunity to create such a work. The result was FDR Speaks, a two-act docudrama featuring speeches, letters and perhaps a bit of humor of our 32nd President. 


To learn a bit more about FDR Speaks, click HERE! 

Arts, Ethics & the Athlete

At the University of Louisiana-Lafayette I had the pleasue to create a new course, entitled Arts, Ethics and the Athlete. The purpose of the class was to build a bridge between the arts and athletics and to provide student-athletes a safe and creative environment in which to challenge themselves to examine their personal ethical and value systems and ultimately work on communication skills. It was also an opportunity to bring student-athletes from a variety of atheltic disciplines together and to interact with theatre and dance students and ultimately create an understanding and respect of their respective abilities and talents. 


To gain additional insight into the class, click HERE! 

A Sampling of Songs by Steve Taft

Many years ago my dream was to be a songwriter, a tunesmith if you will. In the early and mid-1980's I worked as a DJ for a country music station in Fayette, Alabama and spent a lot of time in the songwriting meccas of Nashville and Muscle Shoals,  plugging my music that was recorded on a 4-track reel-to-reel! Yes, it was a long time ago.


Ideally, my lyrics paint a picture to those that listen as I often I have a video in my head as I write. Although I would never classify myself as a musician, I do write the melodies to my songs and am thankful to those that have aided me in bringing my music to life.


Click HERE and you'll be taken to my SoundCloud page where several songs from the past and a few from the present are featured.

Music, Art, Theatre, and Literature

Austin Taft - Songwriter, Musician

Austin Taft is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently residing in Colorado Springs, CO.  His new full-length acoustic album, "The Human Condition", has been released by the independent label Triple Edge Records and joins his previous full-length electric release, "War of the Songs of Light Against the Songs of Darkness" and two additional releases to weave a consistent tapestry of eclectic and deeply challenging music. Click HERE to access my favorite Austin Taft tunes or check out You Tube to listen to many of Austin's songs.


To learn more about Austin, click HERE!

The Art of Aaron Listen

By day Aaron is an artist/illustrator for a video game company. By night he's a concept artist. Click HERE to to see a few small samples of his work. He has also designed all of the CD/Album/EP covers for his brother, Austin Taft.

The Plays of Cody Daigle.

Cody Daigle-Orians is a Louisiana-born playwright, educator and arts programmer living in Hartford, Connecticut.


He is the program and events specialist for the Westport Library in Westport, Connecticut. Cody’s work is focused on exploring the intersections of education, justice, storytelling and community building, with a particular interest in the expression of those intersections through arts-based library programming.


In his writing life, his playwriting work has been produced and/or developed at the Astoria Performing Arts Center, New Jersery Repertory Theatre, The Actors Company Theatre (NYC), Manhattan Theatre Works, Acadiana Repertory Theatre (Lafayette, LA), The Growing Stage (Netcong, NJ), Gadfly Theatre (Minneapolis, MN), StageRIGHT (Seattle, WA) and the Great Plains Theatre Conference (Omaha, NE). He’s also returned to his first writing love: horror stories. He’s working on a collection of short stories and a novel.


To learn more about Cody's plays click HERE!

Children's Stories by Cindy Taft

In the spring of 2007, Cindy was motivated by the Presidential campaign and the idea that words do matter. She was inspired to write her first children's story, Hope the Firefly. I loved it. Other stories followed such as Dancing with Daisy, The Angel and the Crayons, Once Upon a Time . . . with Cookies and more.


Believing strongly in her work and shamelessly promoting those I believe in, I'm taking the opportunity on this site to share her stories  in hope that one day they'll sail. They are intended as illustrated children's books. Being optimistic, perhaps they will be one day. Enjoy. Feel read to read them or better yet, read them to a child by clicking HERE! 

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