CONTACT: SCOTT HAUSER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Outstanding rural students study environmental health at UI July
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A group of 16 outstanding Iowa ninth-graders will
spend a week studying college-level environmental health sciences at the
University of Iowa beginning July 19 in a program designed to boost opportunities
for gifted and talented high school students in rural areas.
The Environmental Health Sciences Institute for Rural Youth runs through
July 24. Students who complete the program, including a requirement that
they make two presentations in their home communities about their studies,
will receive a $300 stipend. They also receive a summer scholarship which
covers all costs for the one-week institute.
The Institute is a joint venture between the UI Environmental Health
Sciences Research Center (EHSRC) and the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N.
Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development
at the UI College of Education.
The program is designed to expose students to issues, research and problem-solving
approaches dealing with the environment, agricultural occupations and human
health in rural areas of the state.
Students will study with UI faculty in areas such as environmentally
associated cancer, environmental assessment and control, occupational health
and pulmonary biology.
Funded through EHSRC -- one of 18 environmental health sciences centers
supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences --
the Institute is one of few in the United States designed specifically
for talented and gifted students in rural school districts.
James Merchant, director of EHSRC and a co-director of the Institute,
says faculty are looking forward to working with the high school students.
"The fact that these high school students are from rural communities
is particularly important because they have a special stake in agricultural
and rural environmental issues, the focus of the Environmental Health Sciences
Research Center," Merchant says.
Nicholas Colangelo, director of the Belin-Blank Center and co-director
of the Institute, says providing more opportunities to students in rural
areas is the goal of the program and of the Belin-Blank Center.
"Typically, small, rural districts have fewer resources to provide
additional programming for highly capable students," Colangelo says.
"The Environmental Health Sciences Institute is a way to provide those
students and schools with additional opportunities and, at the same time,
to excite students' interest in studying issues that have enormous impact
on the state."
For the program, students who live in or near Iowa communities with
fewer than 2,500 people were provided information and applications to the
Environmental Health Sciences Institute. Students who were interested nominated
themselves and submitted required application materials.
Participants were chosen by a committee made up of researchers at the
Environmental Health Sciences Research Center.
Students who complete the program develop two presentations about some
aspect of environmental health when they return to their hometown schools
in the fall. One presentation is made to a community group and one to a
EDITORS: Receipt of this release indicates that a student in
your readership area has been selected to participate in the first Environmental
Health Sciences Institute for Rural Youth at the University of Iowa July
19 through July 24. All students are ninth-graders. They are listed alphabetically
by their hometowns.
BELLEVUE: Brittni Sturm, Marquette High School;
CARROLL: Rachel Stork, Carroll Community School;
DECORAH: Katie Lange, North Winneshiek Public School;
EDDYVILLE: Andrew Swope, Eddyville Blakesburg Schools;
EMMETSBURG: Julie Parisi, Emmetsburg High School;
HAMBURG: Amanda Hall, Hamburg High School;
JESUP: David Gaffney, Jesup High School;
KELLOGG: Melissa Osborn, Newton High School;
KEOSAUQUA: Bret Alvis, Van Buren Community School;
MADRID: Jackelyn Burke, Madrid High School;
MANNING: Jacqueline Dammann, Manning Community Schools;
MENLO: Noah Riordan, Guthrie Center High School;
NEOLA: Joseph Pettit, Tri-Center Community Schools;
POLK CITY: Brad Carroll, North Polk Junior/Senior High School;
ROWLEY: Hilary Lehman, Independence High School;
STATE CENTER: Jennifer Buck, West Marshall High School;