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University of Iowa News Release


July 6, 2009

UI graduate students awarded Stanley Awards for Research Abroad

University of Iowa International Programs has awarded 28 UI graduate students with Stanley Graduate Awards for International Research. These $2,000 awards are offered to graduate students in various fields of study who undertake projects requiring research abroad.

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 Fellowships, 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.

Stanley Graduate Award winners are listed alphabetically by hometown with Iowa hometowns first.


CORALVILLE: Emily Lewis, a graduate student in international studies, will travel to Barmenda, North West Province, Cameroon, to work with Global Welfare Association (GLOWA). Lewis will work specifically on addressing the acute problem of child trafficking and the exploitation of children in the northwest Province of Cameroon. The objective of the project is to map out trafficking prone communities within the region, to establish a partnership with local authorities and communities to educate on the laws of trafficking in order to reduce the number of trafficked children. Lewis' research proposal is titled "Addressing the Acute Problem of Child Trafficking and Exploitation in Cameroon, Africa: Assessing the Need for Rehabilitation and Reception Centers in Cameroon."

CORALVILLE: Brian Miller, a doctoral student in modern Europe/migration studies, will travel to Germany and Turkey from summer 2009 to summer 2010 to examine the myriad of transnational influences of the Turkish migrant community in late 20th-century Germany. In particular, Miller plans to investigate the changing social and cultural position of Turkish women within Turkish communities in West, and later unified, Germany to explain how migrant women alter existing gender systems within migrant ethnic communities. Miller will also explore the significance of this group's subsequent influences upon their host nations and sending societies. Miller's research proposal is titled "'Gastarbeiter' and 'Amancilar': Social and Cultural Influences of Turkish Labor Migrants in Germany on 20th-Century Turkish and German Society."

DAVENPORT: Tiffany Judy, a doctoral student in Hispanic linguistics, will travel to Bolivia this summer to research an important area in the field of generative second language acquisition. She will try to determine if post-pubescent second language learners have access to universal grammar, or the innate mental faculty purported to provide all humans with their natural ability to acquire any language to which they are sufficiently exposed, at least as children. Judy's research proposal is titled "A Bidirectional Study of Null Subject Parameter Resetting in Spanish and English."

DES MOINES: Heather Wacha, a doctoral student in medieval history, is traveling to France this summer to examine church records in order to uncover the historical reality of women's roles in the 12-century Picardy region of France. This data will then be used to interpret the historical accuracy of women's roles in a narrative text, also set in the Picardy region. This research will expand a body of similar scholarship focused on the Chatrain and Champagne areas into the Picardy region. Finally, it will demonstrate the agency of lesser aristocratic women in Picardy alongside their better-documented noble counterparts. Wacha's research proposal is titled "The Ladies of Faiel: Twelfth Century Aristocratic Women's Roles in the Picardy Region of France."

IOWA CITY: Duane Abbott, a graduate student in molecular medicine and public health, will travel to Venezuela this summer to identify, record and attempt to understand the similarities and differences inherent in the patient-physician interaction from a cultural context very different from his own. This objective will be achieved through in-depth interviews and clinical observation. Abbott's research proposal is titled "Cross-Cultural Exploration of the Patient-Physician Encounter."

IOWA CITY: Benjamin Bryden, a graduate student in medicine and public health, is traveling to Mali this summer to evaluate knowledge, attitude and practices about malaria and malaria control after two years of malaria control programs in a small region of rural Mali. The international non-governmental organization Medicine for Mali has been conducting malaria education and targeted bed net distribution in 13 villages in the Kenieba-Kunko region. Bryden will analyze government and NGO policies and interventions and will evaluate work done by Medicine for Mali to determine the success of their program. Bryden's research proposal is titled "Malaria Prevention: Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Malaria and Malaria Control after Two Years of Health Education Programs in Rural Mali."

IOWA CITY: Heide Bursch, a doctoral student in aging studies/ethics, will travel to Sweden in fall 2009 to connect with a community of scholars in the nursing profession in Scandinavia who help patients and their family members manage a complicated disease regimen as well as negotiate healthcare decisions at the end of life, specifically in dealing with heart failure. Little is known about how family members experience the shift from managing symptoms of heart failure to recognizing these same symptoms as signs of dying. Bursch will illuminate the experience and meaning of decision-making by family members at their heart failure patient's end of life. Her research proposal is titled "The Application of Paul Ricoeur's Hermeneutic Phenomenology in Nursing Research."

IOWA CITY: Kristina Gordon, a doctoral student in communication studies, is traveling to the Philippines this summer to begin a cross-cultural study of female triathletes in the Philippines and the United States. Gordon will research how the sport of triathlon, an American invention and export, developed in the Philippines. Her research proposal is titled "Sport and Globalization: The Development of Triathlon in the Philippines."

IOWA CITY: Zachary Greene, a doctoral student in political science, will travel to France this fall to research the implications of electoral strategies on public policy and governmental outcomes. He will develop an in-depth analysis of intra-party debates, governmental policy creation and policy implementation in France. He will also perform archival research in governmental and party archives and complete interviews with both leading and ordinary members of the major political parties. Greene's research proposal is titled "Changing Party Policy: The Policy Consequences of Party Competition and Changing Preferences."

IOWA CITY: Jennifer Hartl, a graduate student in international studies, is traveling to Russia and Ukraine this summer to conduct research on human trafficking. She will focus on the ways in which the transition from communist economies to capitalist economies following the collapse of the Soviet Union has contributed to an increase in human trafficking in Russia and Ukraine. In addition, she will analyze the substance and effectiveness of anti-trafficking laws in both countries, ways in which the governments of Russia and Ukraine are using those laws to combat trafficking, prevent trafficking, protect trafficking victims, and prosecute traffickers. Hartl's research proposal is titled "Modern Slavery: Human Trafficking in the Russian Federation and Ukraine."

IOWA CITY: Megan Johnson, a graduate student in higher education, will travel to Tanzania this summer to research the commonalities among women who pursue tertiary education in Tanzania. Johnson is specifically interested in the paths taken by women who are either Christian or Muslim and who come from either rural or urban backgrounds. Her research proposal is titled "Education in Tanzania: Understanding Women's Access."

IOWA CITY: Eleanor King, a graduate student in cultural anthropology, will travel to Japan this summer to research one of the newest terms emerging in Japan's virtual landscape. "Moe," which refers to the feelings and subjectiveness created in encounters with excessively cute images and characters, usually prepubescent girls. King's research concerns popular perceptions of these images in Japan, the extent to which men's affection for girls falling under the rubric of moe constitutes a divergence from the overt pedophilia of "roricon" -- lolita complex -- imagery, and the impact of these images on actual gendered identities and relationships. King's research proposal is titled "Consuming Desires, Transforming Bodies; 'Moe' and the Production of Girls in Japan."

IOWA CITY: Jill Scott, a graduate student in anthropology, is traveling to the United Kingdom and Austria this summer to take osteological measurements from a wide geographic sample of modern human skulls at both the Duckworth Laboratory Human Osteological Collection at the University of Cambridge and Das Naturhistorische Museum Wien in Vienna. She will explore the evolutionary relationships between facial projection and placement of dentition with respect to the development of chin size in a global human sample. This will expand the understanding of variation in modern human chin development with relation to the fossil record. Scott's research proposal is titled "Differential Growth of the Maxilla and Mandible as an Explanation for Variation in Chin Size."

MOUNT VERNON: Lauren Sauter, a graduate student in global health, is traveling to Peru this summer to develop a culturally appropriate educational program on hygiene and water usage for the Chijnaya township of the Andean Highlands. Sauter's project will begin with an assessment of knowledge, beliefs and values related to hygiene practices in this particular culture and environment. Her research proposal is titled "Water Usage and Hygiene in Andean Highlands of Peru."

PERRY: Alissa Whitmore, a doctoral student in anthropology, is traveling to Italy this summer to determine whether there is any archaeological evidence of rooms used primarily by women, how people of different genders are using their household space and how gender relations appear in the archaeological and architectural record of houses in Roman Pompeii and Ostia. Whitmore will conduct a spatial analysis of household and neighborhood layouts, coupled with an examination of artifact distribution, household furnishings and decorations, to try to determine similarities between the lower and upper classes, and what, if any, major differences in architecture and gender relations exist between the two sites. Her research proposal is titled "Examining Roman Women and Household Space at Pompeii and Ostia."

STORY CITY: Jodie Klein, a graduate student in international studies/Chinese language, is traveling to China this summer to discover how both international and grassroots NGOs in China are growing in number and impact despite a very difficult enabling environment. Klein will investigate this trend and unravel what has made NGOs in China successful and what they need for the future to contribute to significant developments in China's social and economic future. Her research proposal is titled "China and the Development of a Strong Non-profit Sector."

URBANDALE: Rachel Sandler, a graduate student in medicine and public health, will travel to Peru from fall 2009 to summer 2010 to examine the role of mothers as food consumers and preparers. She will gather maternal opinions about social factors contributing to malnutrition and assessing their general understanding of basic nutrition and food safety through a series of medical-clinic-based and community-based interviews in Belen, Iquitos, Peru, a neighborhood of 70,000 inhabitants within the city of Iquitos that is located in the Peruvian Amazon. Sandler's research proposal is titled "Feeding the Future: Maternal Roles for Fighting Malnutrition in Peru."

WEST DES MOINES: Nina Feng, a graduate student in nonfiction writing, will travel to China this summer to research the traditional beliefs of the modern day Chinese in the Shandong Province, and how the government's oppression of these beliefs assign them new power. Feng will also examine how the Chinese use stories of myth and superstition to communicate and develop relationships, and how they have used them to cope with the recent natural disasters of 2008. Her research proposal is titled "Voices of Tradition: Myth and Superstition in China's Culture of Communication."


MALIBU: Ezra Plank, a doctoral student in religious studies, is traveling to France this summer to examine the process as French Reformed disciplinary committees in congregations sought to form the family identity and, in turn, how families advocated for their own standards of behavior in the Early Modern period of the 16th century. Plank will research in the Bibliothèque de la Société de l'Histiore du Protestantisme Français (BSHPF) in Paris to search the archives to secure the original records of churches of southern France, namely those of Nîmes, Montpellier, and Montauban. Plank's research proposal is titled "Creating Social and Religious Identity: The French Reformed Church and Formation of Families during the Reformation Era."


MERIDIAN: Leigh Sharma, a doctoral student in clinical psychology, will travel to India from fall 2009 to fall 2010 to investigate the variables influencing the help-seeking behavior and autonomy of women in response to domestic violence in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, a rural, north Indian community. Special attention will be paid to the role personality traits play in these behaviors. Ultimately, this study is intended to offer a preliminary look at the mechanisms of women's empowerment in rural, North India, and represents the first step in the process of developing intervention strategies aimed at these women. Sharma's research proposal is titled "Relations between Personality, Women's Autonomy and Help-Seeking Following Domestic Violence in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India."


SPRINGFIELD: Benjamin Henkle, a graduate student in epidemiology/public health, is traveling to Ghana this summer to conduct a cross-sectional study of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its associated risk factors in rural southeastern Ghana. The information obtained will be used to assess and identify local CVD risk factors, and evaluate the need for further intervention and programs targeting CVD. Henkle's research proposal is titled "Cardiovascular Disease in Rural Ghana: Prevalence and Risk Factor Analysis."

WEST CHICAGO: Clare Tolmie, a doctoral student in anthropology, is traveling to France this summer to examine similarities and differences in the organization of worked bone technology by Neanderthals and modern humans in the Early Upper Palaeolithic. She will also participate at excavations at Arcy-sur-Cure in Burgundy to better understand cave and rock shelter archaeology and the intricacies of interpretation of cave sediments and archaeological deposits located therein. Tolmie's research proposal is titled "Use of Animal Bone as a Raw Material by Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans in Western Europe."


SOMMERVILLE: Jennifer Percy, a graduate student in essay/creative nonfiction, is traveling to Serbia this summer to investigate how aphorisms are being used to restore a sense of national and individual identity among those traumatized by the Bosnian genocide. Percy will explore how Serbian aphorisms use humor to make sense of horrific events and how storytelling is used to re-imagine the world. In addition, she will conduct archival research at the International Center for Missing Persons in Belgrade and Sarajevo. Percy's research proposal is titled "The War at Home: Aftermath, Storytelling and the Imagination."


OXFORD: Christina Nicholas, a graduate student in anthropology, is traveling to England and Portugal this summer to investigate the growth and development of the mid-face -- the nose and the region surrounding it -- of Homo sapiens. Previous research has focused almost exclusively on adult material, there is little understanding of the way that growth and development influences the appearance of this trait. Nicholas's project will attempt to complete a modern human baseline for the growth sequence of various mid-facial traits; this requires the amassment of a larger same of data on juveniles. Her research proposal is titled "An Investigation of Internal Nasal Floor Morphology in Juvenile Homo sapiens."

TAYLOR: Anna Draper, a graduate student in music-violin performance, is traveling to Bulgaria this summer to gather information about Bulgarian composers, their compositions for violin and to learn and document the unique techniques required to perform them. The final project seeks to promote Bulgarian classical music abroad as well as to provide readily available resources and information for students, scholars and music enthusiasts at the University of Iowa and throughout the United States. Draper's research proposal is titled "Demystifying the Compositional Treasures of Bulgaria: A Study of Bulgarian Composers and their Compositions for Violin."

New York

BROOKLYN: Jennifer Zoble, a graduate student in nonfiction writing, is traveling to Croatia this summer to conduct ethnographic research into perceptions of social, political, economic and cultural change in Croatia. Zoble will investigate social and professional aspirations of younger generations in Croatia and individual and shared views on private opportunity and public obligation in light of ex-Yugoslav history, the current international economic crisis, and the upcoming EU accession. Her research proposal is titled "Perspectives on Promjena in a Transitioning Croatia."

North Carolina

FAYETTEVILLE: Mary White, a doctoral student in community and behavioral health, is traveling to Zambia this summer to provide a customized digital library to regional health worker training institutions in Zambia in order to understand how availability of information resources may impact training outcomes. Evaluation will be done on installation, training, and use of the digital library. White's research proposal is titled "Zambia Health Information Project."


Yan Wang, a graduate student in sociology, is traveling to China this summer to study the interaction between peasants' citizenship -- namely, their civil rights, social rights and political rights -- and social equality during the market transition in China. While in China, Wang will conduct face-to-face interviews with Chinese peasants and collect qualitative data in China. Wang's research proposal is titled "Peasant's Citizenship and Social Equality in China."

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kristi Fitzpatrick, UI International Programs, 319-335-2823,; Lois Gray, 319-384-0077,