Blake Rupe considers herself an accidental entrepreneur. The 26-year-old UI student had no plans to start a business, but a trip to some garbage-infested beaches in Mexico convinced her a mobile application to encourage recycling could help.
Walking on the beach in Mexico, collecting garbage, Blake Rupe never thought she’d be an Internet entrepreneur. But almost exactly one year later, that’s what happened.
Thanks to the support of generous private donors, these UI students were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives.
For most students, summers are filled with bikinis and beach balls. However, for one Iowa student, her beach gear consisted of safety gloves and sanitary bags. Blake Rupe, a University of Iowa graduate student from Ottumwa, Iowa, conducted research on the garbage presence in Veracruz, Mexico, specifically concentrating on the beaches near the city.
University of Iowa alumnus Michael Lynch was knocking out Spanish lyrics as if they were second nature during his recent blind audition on NBC’s The Voice. Lynch, who joined Christina Aguilera’s team for the competition, credits his study abroad experiences with polishing his Spanish skills.
With the help of funds granted by the Stanley Award for International Research, Julie Reynolds (M.S. candidate in Dental Public Health) headed to Xicotepec, Mexico, for six weeks this summer to conduct original research on children’s tooth decay.
In an upcoming lecture, Antoni Castells-Talens, a researcher at Universidad Veracruzana, will explore how Veracruz's community media were forced to learn new ways to operate in this violent atmosphere. His presentation, “Community media and armed violence in Mexico: Challenges and dilemmas in the State of Veracruz,” will take place Tuesday, March 5, from 4-5 p.m. in 203 Becker Communication Studies Building.
Vicki Ruiz knows Latino culture.
“Latinos are the biggest minority group in the United States, but their contributions and legacies in the United States often remain invisible to the general public and contribute to the unfortunate notion that Latinos are peoples who arrived the day before yesterday,” said the professor of history and Chicano/Latino Studies. Around 16 percent of the United States is made up of Latinos, and that demographic is only going to grow, according to the 2010 Census. Being the fastest growing minority group in the United States, it is estimated that this 16 percent will jump up to 30 percent by 2050.
The results of the 2010 census show that Latinos now make up the largest ethnic minority group in Iowa.
In recent years, the University of Iowa has responded to that demographic shift by expanding its outreach to prospective students of Latino heritage, hiring faculty members with expertise in Latino issues and supporting research on Latinos.
The trip across the stage to collect her diploma will be the shortest leg on the journey so far for Stephanie Lukas.
Just two weeks ago she was in West Africa, completing an elective rotation for her pharmacy degree. During four weeks in Liberia studying the pharmacy system and ways to improve it, she met with the ministry of health’s medication supply chain manager, interviewed health care providers and patients, and participated in a training session for pharmacy workers who dispense medications. She set up the rotation herself, in collaboration with Lloyd Matowe, University of Iowa assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and founder of the nongovernmental organization Pharmaceutical Systems Africa.