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University of Iowa News Release


March 1, 2007

UI, ISU, UNI To Tout Undergraduate Research In Des Moines March 5

The University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa will showcase some of the innovative research being conducted by their undergraduate students during the second annual "Research in the Capitol," a special event at the Iowa Statehouse in Des Moines on Monday, March 5.

From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 20 undergraduate students from the honors programs of each school will display posters in the First Floor Rotunda and speak with state lawmakers, members of the Iowa state Board of Regents and other visitors about their work and its potential impact on their education, careers and Iowa.

Michael Gartner, president of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, will make opening remarks at 11 a.m., followed by university representatives from each institution. Representing the UI at the event will be Richard Hichwa, an associate vice president from the UI Office of the Vice President for Research.  Other administrative attendees will be John Nelson, UI Honors Program director, Tom Rocklin, associate provost for Undergraduate Education, and Bob Kirby, director of the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates.

The event is open to the public.

"Research in the Capitol brings together undergraduates with legislators and members of the Board of Regents to discuss not only the outstanding creative projects students have been involved in but also the importance of these opportunities as they prepare for graduate and professional training," said Kirby, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates director. "The presentations are done using a poster format and while some discussion occurs of the research, the discussion frequently becomes a broader conversation on what the student hopes to do and how the experience in research has benefited them.

Kirby said well over 1,500 undergraduate students -- from engineering to business -- are involved in some aspect of research at the UI, many of them earning credit or getting paid for their work as research assistants.

He said students were selected for the March 5 event based on faculty nominations to the honors programs of each school.

The official sponsors are the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates and the University of Iowa Honors Program, Iowa State University Honors Program and University of Northern Iowa Honors Program.

UI students taking part in the event (listed by hometown, name, major, title of poster and name of mentor) are:

AMANA, Iowa: Alicia Persaud, anthropology and women's studies, "In the name of the nation: Contextualizing the Narmada Valley Development Project: Gandhi, Nehru and contradictory nationalisms," Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld and Meena Khandelwal.

AMES, Iowa: Latisha Myers, nursing, Evan Herrnstadt, political science, "Responses of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to a medical procedure," Ann Marie McCarthy.

BETTENDORF, Iowa: Kristine Serrano, biomedical engineering, "High cholesterol and oxidative stress are potential therapeutic targets to slow the progression of aortic valve stenosis," Jordan Miller and Donald Heistad.

CARROLL, Iowa: Brett Roberts, journalism and political science, "Iowa Civic Analysis Network (I-CAN)," Tom Rice.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa: Shana Drahn, international studies, "Microfinance for women-run enterprise," Rangaswamy Rajagopal.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa: Kevin Owens, Sociology, Economics, "Perceived discrimination among single-race and biracial adults," Mary Campbell.

CLIVE, Iowa; Scott Nichols, biochemistry, "Using galE Escherichia coli to understand increased virulence of 'smooth' bacteria," Theresa Gioannini.

DUBUQUE, Iowa: Laura Vonnahme, biology and Spanish, "Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate depletion alters mRNA levels of small GPTases in multiple myeloma cells," Raymond Hohl.

ELDORA, Iowa: James Ankrum, biomedical engineering, "A pilot study of the effect of a task loading simulator on the muscular response of operators in vibration environments," David Wilder.

IOWA CITY, Iowa: Rachel Allen-Holbrook, international studies and anthropology, "Health and microfinance: The relationship between the microfinance institution, Mahasemam, and Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre in Tamil Nadu, India," Rangaswamy Rajagopal and Edwin Brands.

IOWA CITY, Iowa: John Morrison, biomedical engineering, "Dynamic quantification of cell motility in the scratch wound healing assay," Michael Mackey.

NEVADA, Iowa: Tom Niblock, economics and religious studies, "The impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa on labor productivity and income levels," Beth Ingram.

OAKVILLE, Iowa: Adam Heiniger, physics and mathematics, "Modelling the slowing of light by quantum wells," John Prineas.

TABOR, Iowa: Lee Falkena, geoscience and religious studies, "Origin of Pb isotope variations on Fe-Mn crusts from the Izu-Bonin forearc," David Peate.

URBANDALE, Iowa: Allison Rockwell, English and Russian, "Research in Russia: Studying adolescent motivation," Laurie Croft.

WATERLOO, Iowa: Catherine Whiting, physics and astronomy,  "VLA imaging of Cygnus X-3 jets at 8.5 GHz," Steven Spangler.


BLOOMINGTON, Ill.: Haley Kemp, psychology, "Same-different learning in humans and pigeons," Edward Wasserman.

DIXON, Ill.: Michael Petrie, biomedical engineering, "Real-time degradation-based prognostic methodology for improving reliability and maintenance logistics," Geb Thomas.

New Jersey:

MEDFORD, N.J.: Laura Hirschey,  music, "Iowa Honors Wind Quintet," Benjamin Coelho.


PUSAN, South Korea: Mike Park, sociology and health and sport studies, "Best schools for athletes," Christopher Kelley.

For more information, contact Kirby at 319-335-1684, or via email at icru@

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois Gray, 319-384-0077,