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  • Jeff Lauber | Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
    The IWP s Distance Learning Program creates online courses and exchanges in creative writing and literature for aspiring writers around the world One key aspect of this programming is MOOC development Massive Open Online Courses MOOCs are available to anyone who wishes to enroll there is no cost to participants and there are no application requirements The challenge Shive explains is to design and implement teaching structures that support interactive learning in an asynchronous format at a large scale in such a way that both beginning and experienced writers will benefit from the course A key issue for the team is making the MOOCs as accessible as possible Lauber s role is to research and apply methods to both reach and adapt to the IWP s global audience This encompasses two major components course design and outreach For course design I am looking at the course platforms and content to see how we can make it more accessible in areas of the world that have generally low internet connection or usage When it comes to outreach I organize live programs for our MOOCs For example earlier this year I worked to set up a few live workshops around the world for our poetry writing MOOC most successfully we had an English Language Fellow in Kazakhstan run a workshop for around 20 students in the city of Pavlodar which ran for seven weeks While it might be exciting to work on such a global scale it is not always easy Naturally I realize that I can t fix the technology issues of the entire world Jeff admits But knowing if an accessibility issue is resolved can be difficult When I set up a low quality version of a video on a course for example I can look at the size of the video and then the internet capabilities of a city somewhere in the world but I can t know for sure if the video will actually stream well in that city until someone reports a problem with it Outreach offers different challenges When I was initially researching outreach methods for organizing live workshops in other countries Lauber recalls I contacted a lot of people without really knowing what would come out of it There were a lot of outreach attempts that came back with nothing Lauber appreciates the obstacles though When I did come across the opportunity to have the English Language Fellow in Kazakhstan lead a workshop for students there it was not only rewarding to have a successful outcome for my work but it also changed how I m structuring future outreach attempts Reaching out to English Language Fellows abroad wasn t something we had even considered but that one positive outcome gave us the idea to reach out to more of them For me that was enlightening in the sense that it made me more confident to try applications for my work even if they don t all come back in such a success they might at

    Original URL path: http://www.uiowa.edu/icru/article/jeff-lauber (2015-11-11)
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  • Nicholas McCarty | Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
    regulating the cardiovascular system Essentially he says we deleted or knocked out insulin receptors in the adult heart which resulted in a loss of insulin signaling We hypothesized that insulin receptor proteins preserve cardiac structure and function in the adult heart These ongoing studies could provide insight regarding the important connection between insulin and the function of the mammalian heart McCarty has recently begun a new project which focuses on the regulation of glucose metabolism in platelets for his Honors thesis in biochemistry I love the studies that I have been working on They offer very practical clinical insights that I can draw upon in a future biomedical research career in order to help patients McCarty says As of now he plans on pursuing either a PhD in biochemistry or an MD PhD stating that his experience in the Abel Lab has affirmed these aspirations McCarty thinks that once students get involved in research and start working with thinkers of the highest caliber they often decide to make a positive change in their own scholar development For me he says research has actually helped me achieve greater success in the classroom not only because it has provided me with experiential knowledge and has challenged me to think critically but also because it has given me a mindset about where I want to go and the requirements that are necessary to enter a career in basic science He is well into his professional development admitting I have gotten good at talking about my work This ultimately comes from spending time in the lab and working under excellent mentors though Oftentimes discussing my projects with others has led to new hypotheses connections and recognition It isn t that simple of course McCarty is intensely dedicated to research He spends about 20 hours per week in the lab during the academic year and more during the summer all while balancing coursework as a member of the University Honors Program an ICRU Research Ambassador an Iowa Biosciences Academy and Latham Scholar and extracurriculars like founding and leading The Global Education in Medicine Initiative GEMI GEMI is a student organization that focuses on both domestic and international public health issues and recently assisted in providing public health education and relief efforts in El Jazmin Costa Rica for which they were recognized with a Hawkeye Leadership and Service Award Not only does he like the research he s doing he really enjoys telling others about it McCarty routinely takes advantage of opportunities to present He is a familiar face at the Fall and Spring Undergraduate Research Festivals here on campus and seeks out funding in order to attend professional meetings of interest These efforts have taken him to San Antonio Boston and San Diego to present his work at several national conferences His dedication has been rewarded in the form of fellowships McCarty spent the 2014 2015 academic year working as an ICRU Research Fellow and this past summer was selected for two prestigious fellowships He

    Original URL path: http://www.uiowa.edu/icru/nicholas-mccarty (2015-11-11)
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  • Alyssa - Journalism and Music | Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
    create podcasts for the Society for Ethnomusicology Ethnomusicology is the study of music in its cultural context Ethnomusicologists approach music as a social process in order to understand what music means to the people who create it and the people who listent to it and how those meanings are conveyed Podcasts or podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet Usually podcasts are part of a series so there are new episodes on a regular basis Podcasts cover a huge range of topics and you can download podcasts to your iPod or computer and listen to them anywhere you can listen to music your home car working out etc Alyssa says I have a strong interest in multimedia storytelling audio production in particular In my classes I m learning about journalism and music In my job at the university radio station KRUI 89 7FM I am the Music Director In my research I get to learn about music all over the world and create a podcast to tell these stories Combining these things in such a hands on way developing skills in writing editing and digital audio production as well as research and leadership is best preparation I

    Original URL path: http://www.uiowa.edu/icru/article/alyssa-journalism-and-music (2015-11-11)
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  • Lee - Environmental Engineering | Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
    transferred to the University of Iowa after his sophomore year when he found that UI s program better fit his interests in water resources Once at UI he worked for both the Environmental Engineering department and the University of Iowa Water Plant He learned how to monitor pollutants in water sources mainly the amount of ammonium and nitrate in the Iowa River Soon he was responsible for figuring out possible ways to remove these pollutants However Lee s interest in water is global As an undergraduate he joined the UI student chapter of Engineers Without Boarders which had an ongoing water project in a small rural village in Ghana West Africa the UI group has now transitioned to form the International Engineering Service Program You can read about Lee s work in Ghana here and more about his work with mussels here Lee says I joined my professor s research group during my junior year of college As a research assistant I learned ways to monitor the different things that are polluting local water sources like the Iowa River But I also got to work on water engineering abroad Last summer I went to Ghana and helped to install a

    Original URL path: http://www.uiowa.edu/icru/article/lee-environmental-engineering (2015-11-11)
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  • Maya - Health Science and Medicine | Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
    in Biology and Spanish with a certificate in Clinical and Translational Sciences She has been a research assistant since her freshman year working for the UI Inflammation Program The Inflammation Program is an interdisciplinary program comprised of independent investigators who share a common interest in understanding the cell and molecular biology of inflammation and its causes and consequences Inflammation is a fundamental response of virtually all multicellular organisms to infection and injury Specifically Maya is studying staphylococcus a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases Maya says Doing research has been one of my best college experiences so far I have such a sense of self growth from working in this lab I see myself learning understanding and mastering more and more each day and feel empowered and independent because I have been given my own project that I feel passionate about Also the social aspect of the lab environment has been absolutely wonderful I have become friends with my coworkers who all work in different stages of health care nurses lab technicians other students doctors and professors She says of her future goals I want to become a medical scientist You go to medical school do

    Original URL path: http://www.uiowa.edu/icru/article/maya-health-science-and-medicine (2015-11-11)
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  • Nate - English and Anthropology | Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
    severe weather The People s Weather Map PWM draws upon this history and experience to help Iowans confront the realities of climate disruption PWM is a digital map of severe weather events in Iowa rendered through narratives photographs maps and other media Place searchable by county 99 counties in all PWM provides viewers intriguing histories of local severe weather events alongside stories of recent severe weather events It invites to viewers to add their own stories and images of severe weather Nate specifically focused on pre settler early Iowans stories of severe weather which is why much of his research takes place at the State Historical Society in Iowa City Nate says English is often overlooked as a useful degree because we aren t always seen as being problem solvers I totally disagree Working on the People s Weather Map I see students and professionals from all walks of life learning about environmental issues in new ways This project spans across work done in the English department with storytelling to the geography department with mapping to the work done in designing webpages that display information in both creative and easy to read ways I hope that this project will foster

    Original URL path: http://www.uiowa.edu/icru/article/nate-english-and-anthropology (2015-11-11)
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  • Erin - Physics and Astronomy | Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
    half installing a new observatory with a high quality telescope on the roof of the Physics and Astronomy building Van Allen Hall The observatory is open to the public on clear nights so anyone can check out Erin s handiwork See the Van Allen Observatory Facebook page or the Clear Skies page for more information You also can read more about Erin and how she went from an English major to Astronomy here Erin says Whether you are going into a research oriented field or not getting involved as a student is a chance to gain experience early on There s room for mistakes and growth and the risks of damaging a future career are low because people know that you re still learning It s a chance to do practical work learn necessary skills that can t be taught in a classroom and do things in your chosen field long before you go searching for your first job which helps to figure out if it s the right fit After working on the telescope and other projects I keep coming again and again to the conclusion that I really am in the right major for me She says my

    Original URL path: http://www.uiowa.edu/icru/article/erin-physics-and-astronomy (2015-11-11)
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