The University of Iowa

Stanley Undergraduate Awards: 2014 winners

In the spring of 2014 four undergraduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $10,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.

Jeffrey Ding

Economics, Political Science & Chinese, China
Title: An Exploratory Investigation into Chinese Public Opinion in Response to Increased Pollution Levels

Purpose: As environmental issues ranging from the Beijing “airpocalypse” to the seven hundred fifty dead pigs located in the Huangpu River become increasingly prominent in the national conversation, there has been a significant response in China to local health and environmental issues through political action. For my proposed Stanley Grant, I plan to travel to Shanghai, China, to study Chinese public opinion on environmental problems. Shanghai has recently introduced emergency measures to deal with unprecedented levels of smog and other effects of air pollution. I will investigate the magnitude of the local reaction to environmental and health problems through conducting personal interviews and social media analysis. Through the process of interviewing professors, government officials, and company personnel, my project will explore the importance of the environment in the minds of Chinese citizens. Moreover, I will gather sample data from social media cites like Weibo and Wechat to reveal another perspective on environmental issues. In recent years, many scholars have predicted there will be increased strain on the Chinese central government due to environmental deterioration. Ultimately, my research will take an in-depth look at China’s commercial capital to analyze the potential merit of these predictions.

Kelsey Frisk

Kelsey Frisk sits on a reindeer
“I wonder if U.S. customs will let me bring one back?” thought Kelsey Frisk as she stared with awe at a reindeer during her research project in Northern Sweden. For more information click here.

Interdepartmental Studies with an emphasis in Global Health, Sweden
Title:  Perceived Quality of Life of Reindeer Herding Sámi in Sweden between the middle of the 20th Century (1950-1970) and Today

Purpose: For my research I hope to discover what changes elderly Sámi people perceive as being positive or negative or neutral for their health, and provide information to serve as a basis to help ensure their somatic and psychosocial health and traditional lifestyle can be properly maintained in the future.

Watch a video of Kelsey on an exciting bike tour of Uppsala, Sweden!

Kathryn Langenfeld

Environmental Engineering and Mathematics, Nicaragua
Title: Multipurpose Bridges: The Feasibility of a River Monitoring System

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to assess the feasibility of implementing a river monitoring system by modifying a Time Domain Reflectometer to measure the height of the river water. The meter would be modified to be solar powered and transmit data through SMS messages to a website. This research will be the first step in establishing a flood monitoring system for Nicaraguan communities that rely on the height of rivers for their livelihoods.

McKenzie Wallace

Nursing, International Studies, Germany
Title: Analyzing Patient Education in Germany and the United States to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to gather data for my senior thesis in Nursing and International Studies.