Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


April 29, 2009

UI undergraduate students and faculty mentors recognized for excellence

Four University of Iowa undergraduate students were honored for their research promise and two faculty mentors were honored for outstanding mentoring at the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) Spring Undergraduate Research Festival Saturday, April 25.

UI Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the University College Beth Ingram provided opening remarks. UI Interim Vice President for Research Jordan Cohen presented the Vice President for Research's 2009 Excellence in Undergraduate Research Awards. ICRU Research Ambassadors Peter Pellegrino and Kayla Resnick presented the ICRU Distinguished Mentor Awards.

The student awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in scholarly investigation, artistic creation or performance by an undergraduate student in four fields: arts and humanities, mathematics and engineering, natural sciences and social sciences. The selected students are sophomores and juniors who have excelled in their work with faculty mentors. Award winners receive a $1,000 travel allowance to attend a conference in their area of study and a year of research funding for the next academic year.

These students represent the outstanding quality of undergraduate researchers at the UI, said Cohen.

The ICRU Distinguished Mentor award was bestowed upon two faculty mentors during the event. The awards were created to recognize the outstanding mentoring of undergraduate students in research and creative projects at the UI. Winners received automatic ICRU funding to support an undergraduate assistant during the next academic year.

Two professors from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) -- biology professor Chun-Fang Wu and John C. Gerber Professor of English Dee Morris -- are this year's recipients.

"Outstanding mentors attract the very best students to pursue scholarship and advanced degrees," ICRU Director Bob Kirby said. "It is our pleasure at ICRU to recognize these outstanding faculty and their commitment to integrating research and undergraduate education at the UI."

One hundred and four undergraduates working in CLAS, the Carver College of Medicine, the College of Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Education, the Tippie College of Business, the College of Nursing and the College of Public Health presented their research at the festival. In addition to the presentations, outstanding poster awards and participation prizes were awarded. For more information on ICRU, or to view a list of student presenters and poster winners at the festival visit

EDITORS: This release includes information about a research award for a student in your readership area. The students are listed alphabetically according to hometown, with Iowa towns listed first followed by other states.


NORTH LIBERTY: Ross Johnson earned the Math and Engineering Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award. A sophomore majoring in computer engineering, Johnson worked with Karim Abdel-Malek & Timothy Marler in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering. His research project focused on the virtual human posture prediction with applied loads.


VERNON HILLS: Kristen Meylor earned the Arts and Humanities Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award. A junior majoring in Spanish and French, Meylor worked with Peter Eubanks in the Department of French and Italian in CLAS. Her research project was titled "Hemingway the Cosmopolite: Written Codeswitching as Expression of Cultural Disorientation."


SALINA: Caitlin Moore earned the Social Sciences Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award. A junior majoring in psychology, Moore worked with David Moser in the Department of Psychiatry in the Carver College of Medicine. Her research project focused on the relationship between neuropsychological performance and difficulty in daily activities in individuals with atherosclerotic vascular disease.


Eau Claire: Maria Drout earned the Natural Sciences Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award. A junior majoring in physics and astronomy, Drout worked with assistant professor Cornelia Lang in the department of Physics and Astronomy in CLAS. Her research project focused on The Magnetized Interstellar Medium and Massive Star Formation in the Galactic Center.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Katherine Wildman, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates, 319-335-8336,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,