The University of Iowa

Eight undergraduates awarded Stanley Scholarships for International Research

July 30th, 2009

Eight University of Iowa undergraduate students were granted the Stanley Undergraduate Awards for International Research. The awards, ranging from $2,000 to $3,000, are awarded to outstanding UI undergraduates who conduct small-scale research or fieldwork projects on international topics.

The awards are made possible by the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization and are the UI’s premier awards for international study.

The office is part of International Programs, which enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

Scholarship winners are listed alphabetically by hometown, with Iowa hometowns first.


BELLEVUE: Lindsey Knake, a sophomore biomedical engineering major in the UI College of Engineering, is traveling to Spain this summer to compare and contrast Spain’s universal health care system to the health care system currently in affect in the United States. Knake will focus on the quality, availability and affordability of Spain’s health care compared to the U.S. Her research proposal is titled “Universal Health are in Spain.” Knake’s project adviser is Karim Abdel-Malek, a UI professor of biomedical engineering.

DENISON: Paul Worrell, a senior journalism and mass communication and international studies major, is traveling to South Africa this summer to research the changing role of traditional healers and ethno-medicine in an urbanizing, modernizing, globalizing South Africa. His research proposal is titled “The Best Muthi.” Worrell’s project adviser is Julie Andsager, a UI professor of journalism and mass communication.

IOWA CITY: Katherine Sorofman, a junior anthropology major in CLAS, will travel to Japan this summer to examine ritualism and etiquette within Japanese martial arts schools in the United States and Japan on a micro level through an ethnographic comparative study. Sorofman hopes to better understand the effects of globalization and transnational identity. Her research proposal is titled “The Dojo as an Indicator of Globalization.” Her project adviser is Sonia Ryang, a UI associate professor of anthropology.

MARION: Brian Buh, a junior political science, religious studies, and international studies major in CLAS, will travel to South Africa this summer to find out what effects Zulu nationalism has had on the Nazareth Baptist Church of Shembe in a post-Apartheid time. The project will look at the historical role Zulu identity has played and how that plays out for Shembe followers today. His research proposal is titled “Finding Ones’ Zuluness: Post-Apartheid Shembe.” Buh’s project adviser is Ralph Keen, a UI associate professor of religion.

MOUNT VERNON: Christopher King, a junior physics major in CLAS, is traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, this summer to work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerator at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory. While there, he will assist UI professor of physics and astronomy Usha Mallik’s research group with the calibration of the silicon pixel detector for the ATLAS experiment. This device will “see” the particle collisions and any new particles created by the collisions of accelerated particles within the LHC. King’s research proposal is titled “Calibration of the Silicon Pixel Detector for Atlas.” His project adviser is Mallik.


EDEN PRAIRIE: Michelle Gin, a junior international studies and science education major in CLAS and the College of Education, respectively, will travel to Costa Rica from August to December 2009. Gin will research amphibians to evaluate the trends of amphibian disappearance in Monteverde Cloud Forest. By understanding competition between species, one can possibly predict which species will die out and environmentalists could predict the outcomes and prepare for them. If accurate predictions could be made significantly ahead of time, groups could deter the loss of species and preserve the world’s biodiversity. Her project is titled “Amphibian Decline in Monteverde Cloud Forest.” Gin’s project adviser is Linda Gerhold, a UI lecturer in biological sciences.


VIROQUA: Megan Felt, a senior Spanish and anthropology major in CLAS, will travel to northwest Colombia this summer to map the cultural geography of life and death, emotions and memory of internally displaced Afro-Colombian campesinos (small-scale farmers). By exploring the successful grass roots resistance model of the “Humanitarian Zones” of Curvaradó in Chocó, Colombia, Felt hopes to edify how and why the campesinos of this region resist the constant presence of military and structural violence in their communities. Her research proposal is titled “Culture of Resistance in the Humanitarian Zones of Curvarado, Colombia.” Felt’s project adviser is Laura Graham, a UI associate professor of anthropology.


ALGEMESI: Javier Vendrell, a junior history major in CLAS, is traveling to Germany this summer to research primary source archives on gay and lesbian popular periodicals during the Weimar Republic. Vendrell’s research proposal is titled “A History of Private Life: Gay and Lesbian Popular Magazines during the Weimar Republic.” His faculty adviser is Elizabeth D. Heineman, a UI associate professor of history.