2014 Graduate Institute

Co-director , University of Iowa , English
Barbara Eckstein (English, CLAS) co-directed the Graduate Institute in 2014 and 2015. Her own engagement work includes co-leading the The People's Weather Map, a digital humanities project. She is also a member of the Oakdale Community [Prison] Choir. In 2014, she co-directed the Obermann Humanities Symposium, Energy Cultures in the Age of the Anthropocene
Co-director , University of Iowa , College of Education
Carolyn Colvin is a faculty member in the Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) program in the College of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning. She has served as Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Academic Affairs in the College of Education, as program coordinator of LLC and English Education, and as Chair of the University Diversity Committee. She currently chairs the University’s Research Council. In her scholarship, she works on literacy for immigrant adults, parent teacher communication, literacy and the U.S. Citizenship test, and the connections between local rural...
Senior Fellow , University of Iowa , Graduate College, Neuroscience
Jake Kurczek is a fourth year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience. He earned his B.A. in psychology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. His research interests are broadly in the area of human cognition, but more specifically focused on the interactions and interdependencies between memory and language. His current research investigates how brain damage and subsequent memory problems affect various language processes. At both the University of Iowa and Coe College (where he's worked as an Instructor), he has participated in science literacy projects,...
Participant , College of Business, UI , Management & Organizations
Bethany Cockburn is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Management and Organizations department in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business. She is in her first year at the University of Iowa and is a Presidential Graduate Research fellow.  Prior to the University of Iowa, Bethany earned her bachelor’s in Psychology and English at Indiana University-Bloomington, a master’s in community/clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte, and a master’s of nonprofit administration from the University of Notre Dame. Bethany’s current research interests include the factors that create and...
Participant , College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, UI , Philosophy
After graduating from St. Olaf College in 2006 (Philosophy & Psychology) Brian accepted an offer from Teach For America, a nonprofit whose mission it is to close the educational achievement gap between affluent and underprivileged students in the United States. He was placed in Los Angeles, CA, as a middle school math and science teacher. He taught for three years in L.A., during which time he came to realize how important critical thinking skills are for developing students. This was illuminated by the lack of critical thinking education that was being taught in the ‘No Child Left Behind...
Participant , College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, UI , Art & Art History
Corinne Teed is a 2nd year MA/MFA candidate in the Printmaking Department. She received her BA with Honors in Development Studies from Brown University with additional coursework at Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile and Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR. Corinne spent the decade prior to graduate school doing community-based work around fair labor practices, immigration rights, anti-gentrification campaigns and HIV/AIDS issues. Through her roles as a teacher, facilitator, translator, community organizer and social worker she learned invaluable skills for incorporating...
Participant , College of Public Health, UI , Community & Behavioral Health
Ellen Schafer is a PhD student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health within the College of Public Health. She is originally from Corfu, NY, and graduated from Ithaca College with a B.S. in health education (K-12) and B.A. in mathematics. She earned her Masters of Public Health degree (MPH) from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and worked in tobacco control and college health before returning to graduate school. Her research interests include the study of social network and social support systems in initiating and maintaining health behaviors, particularly with specific...
Participant , University of Iowa , Psychology
Emily Kroska is a second year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kansas, with a minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology. Her research interests include resilience, social support, and intervention and prevention work. Emily’s current research interests focus on stressful life experiences and cumulative risk factors. Her other passions include working with the Lupus Foundation of America as an advocate for awareness and patient’s rights. At the University of Iowa, Emily’s current project will work to engage the...
Participant , College of Liberal Arts, UI , History
Gabriel Baker is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Iowa. He studied history and classics at Truman State University. His research interests include war and violence in the ancient world and military interactions between different ancient Mediterranean cultures. His dissertation-in-progress explores the destruction of enemy communities in Roman warfare, particularly the methods by which Roman armies employed violence against urban spaces and populations, and the strategic pressures which shaped violent outcomes. Gabriel is also interested in the ways that...
Participant , College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, UI , Engish
Gemma Goodale-Sussen is a fourth-year PhD candidate in English at the University of Iowa. Her research interests include American and Soviet literatures of incarceration during the Cold War. She holds a BA in English from Grinnell College and an MA from the University of Iowa. She has taught creative writing and American studies courses at Newton Correctional Facility and the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Iowa and is currently working on a public memory/archive project in conjunction with Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.
Participant , Graduate College, UI , Urban & Regional Planning
Gloria Wenman is a Master's Candidate in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. Enrolling in graduate school after working for many years in psychiatric research she is learning how to address policy issues that may alleviate the problems faced by many. By understanding both sides of issues she hopes to help people resolve differences. Education can lead to many opportunities but it can also open the mind so that discussions can be had. She has also served for 25 years in the Army National Guard, deploying twice to Egypt in support of the Multinational Force and Observers peace keeping...
Participant , College of Education, UI , Art Education
Heather Seibel is a master's student in art education. She received her B.A. in Art Education and Studio Art from the University of Iowa in 2005. Since then she has been teaching elementary art in the Pleasant Valley School District. After taking an art education seminar focused on civic engagement and the arts Heather started thinking about how even young elementary students could become active citizens and use their art skills to give back to their community. To that end she has developed an art club that focuses on finding opportunities to connect the lives of her students to the community...
Participant , College of Education, UI , Counselor Education
Janice Byrd is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education & Supervision program within the College of Education at the University of Iowa. She has previous experience as a high school English teacher, school counselor, and volunteering for youth service organizations.  Her research interests include investigating the role of school counselors in promoting social justice, leadership, and multicultural competency.  Janice specifically focuses on promoting advocacy with respect to culturally competent and efficacious school counseling services for marginalized students.
Participant , Graduate College, University of Iowa , Library & Information Science
Kathrina Litchfield is finishing her last semester towards her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. She received her BA in English at the University of Iowa in 1997. Her current research focuses on the threats against the intellectual freedoms of the incarcerated, and the benefits of strategic library programming in improving the lives of prisoners and reducing recidivism rates. Since 2011, Litchfield has facilitated a monthly book group for adult incarcerated men at IMCC Oakdale. The experience has encouraged her to explore the relation of book reading and group discussion to...
Participant , College of Education, UI , Language, Literacy, and Culture
Mark Sulzer is a Ph.D. candidate in the Language, Literacy, and Cultural program in the College of Education. He is a former high school English teacher and drumline instructor. Currently, he teaches two courses in the College of Education, "Reading and Teaching Adolescent Literature" and "Language & Learning."  Mark’s research aligns with Critical Youth Studies (CYS), a field that critiques dominantly held views of youth, views that constrain youth as merely “future adults” needing the skills to enter the “real world.”  From a CYS perspective, Mark has critiqued the didactic messages in...
Participant , College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, UI , Classics and Religious Studies
Michael Overholt is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Classics.  He earned a B.A. in Religious Studies from Gardner-Webb University in 2002 and an M.A. in Classics from The University of Iowa in 2013. During the time between the two degrees, he studied in London at Roehampton University and taught English and Latin at a high school in South Carolina. Michael is very interested in the self-cultivation found in Platonic and Stoic philosophies. He is working on a program that provides elementary and middle school boys the skills needed to develop self-awareness, personal initiative...
Participant , College of Nursing, UI
Nicole Loew is a third-year PhD student in the College of Nursing.  She received her Bachelors in Nursing from Winona State University in 2009. Her research interests are how women’s personal values, beliefs, and goals intersect with societal culture and norms to impact sexual and reproductive health decisions and behavior. She considers how gender, wealth, access, and education impact efforts to control fertility.  Nicole believes in the importance of engaging communities of women to give them a voice regarding decisions that exert control over their sexuality. Nicole has completed work for...
Participant , College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, UI , History
Noaquia Callahan is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Iowa. She studied sociology and German at California State University of Long Beach and the University of Munich. Her research interests include African American and modern European history, women’s history, transnational feminist organizing, and race and empire. Her dissertation, “A Peculiar Exceptionalism: Mary Church Terrell and African American Feminist Transnational Activism, 1888 – 1935,” analyzes the ways African American women used international women’s organizations to challenge racism, sexism, and...
Participant , College of Public Health, UI , Epidemiology
As a kid, Tala grew up in a family thriving for education. She was granted a scholarship to study medicine at Cairo University for outstanding academic performance in Jordan. As a medical student, she traveled with “Doctors Without Borders” to places like Yemen participating in free clinics and combating chewing “Khat.”  During her travels, she found joy doing public health work such as raising awareness about female genital mutilation in Egypt and organizing charity events benefiting HIV/AIDS patients. She was also a member of youth organizations that target issues such as democracy teaching...
Participant , College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, UI , Art & Art History
Art History Master's student Vero Smith specializes in contemporary American architecture, and is particularly interested in how the built environment visually translates, manipulates, and reinforces public narratives. Her Master's thesis concerns the dissemination of big box architecture. A graduate of Augustana College (Rock Island), Vero holds Bachelor's degrees in environmental studies, studio art, and art history. With two years of museum experience and a decade of teaching experience, Vero is passionate about interdisciplinary research and collaboration, advocating for socially and...