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University of Iowa News Release


May 14, 2008

Five UI undergraduates awarded Stanley Scholarships for International Research

Five University of Iowa undergraduate students were granted the Stanley Undergraduate Awards for International Research. The awards, ranging from $2,000 to $3,000, are awarded to outstanding UI undergraduates who conduct small-scale research or fieldwork projects on international topics.

The awards are made possible by the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization and are the UI's premier awards for international study.

For more information on the Stanley awards, contact the International Programs Grants Office at 319-335-2823.

The Grants Office is part of International Programs, which enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

Scholarship winners are listed alphabetically by hometown, with Iowa hometowns first.


CORALVILLE: Kelly Johnson, a junior theatre arts and pre-medicine major in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), will travel to Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, this summer to conduct research on the breastfeeding and mother-child nutrition practices of Dominican and Haitian women. Johnson said she perceives the project as a stepping-stone for additional research and service that she plans to complete across the world. Her research proposal is titled "A Cultural Comparison of Infant-feeding Practices: An In-depth Look at Breastfeeding among Dominicans and Haitians."
IOWA CITY: Ilse Bendorf, an English major and women's studies minor in the UI CLAS, will travel to Dublin, Ireland, this summer. As a part of the Irish Writing Program, Bendorf's research will focus on the life of Kate O'Brien, a popular and controversial Irish author of the 20th century. Bendorf will study Ireland's large collection of archival materials on the author, including diaries, correspondence, media coverage, travelogues, drafts and photographs. She also intends to interview O'Brien scholars to gain an intimate understanding of her subject. Her research proposal is titled "Rediscovering Kate O'Brien in Literary Ireland."

SIOUX CITY: Annah Vollstedt, a junior communication studies and pre-medicine major in the UI CLAS, will travel to Kampala, Uganda, this summer for her research on HIV/AIDS prevention programs in the area. Vollstedt's project will evaluate the effectiveness of the programs in terms of their efficiency and management and the responsiveness of the participants to such programs. Her research proposal is titled "The Politics and Policies of HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs in Uganda."

URBANDALE: Alexandra Barrett Keenan, a junior international studies, biomedical engineering and biochemistry major in the UI Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, will travel to Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, this summer to work with the Department of Gynecology at Meenakshi Mission Hospital. Keenen will assemble and organize a cervical cancer screening and cost database from existing hospital records. Her research proposal is titled "Codification of Patient Dossiers to Improve Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Strategies."


MAPLE PLAIN: Ryan Merz, a junior sociology major in the UI CLAS, will travel to Argentina this summer to research the growth and decline of a contentious movement of the "piqueteros," who are unemployed workers in Argentina. His research proposal is titled "Professionalization as an End to Disruption: Structures of Change in Piquetero Movement Organizations."

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,; Writer, Lini Ge