2014 Graduate Institute
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Janice Byrd is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education & Supervision program within the College of Education at the University of Iowa.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vero Rose Smith is an artist, curator, and educator based in Iowa City. Her work centers on climate change and the economic and historical circumstances that built inequality into everyday environments. In the studio, Smith designs participatory performanes derived from large scale data sets. Smith's curated exhibitions similarly rely on thoughtful community collaborations to explore hidden inequities in artisitc production. In the classroom, Smmith employs active learning strategies to engage students in the making of art, culture, and community.