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University of Iowa News Release


March 22, 2010

Graduate students showcase research, connect campus at March 27 conference

University of Iowa graduate students from a variety of academic disciplines will showcase their research during the 12th annual James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference Saturday, March 27 at the Iowa Memorial Union, with the theme "Connecting the Campus."

The public is encouraged to view graduate students' work during oral presentations and poster sessions Saturday afternoon. A total of 165 graduate students in arts and research, biological and health sciences, the humanities, mathematical physical and engineering sciences, and social sciences and education will have oral presentations from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., 3 to 4 p.m., and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and poster presentations from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Projects include everything from research on how certain brain damage increases religious beliefs and a study about the moral implications of the school shooting perpetrated by UI graduate student Gang Lu in 1991 to a discussion of factors causing a rearticulation of contemporary queerness as a threat to post-9/11 homogeneous U.S. nationalism.

"The goal of the Jakobsen Conference is to make connections across all departments and disciplines at the university through the presentation of work in a manner that is intelligible to all, regardless of background," said Kate Stopa, co-chair of the Jakobsen Conference and an MFA in theater arts. "Our theme of 'Connecting the Campus' is infused in every part of the conference. The connections are not only across departments and disciplines in the Graduate College, but also between graduates and undergraduates at the university and from the campus to the Iowa City community."

For the second straight year, the Jakobsen Conference, in collaboration with the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, will offer a free, public Service Learning and Civic Engagement Forum from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in the Main Lounge at the IMU. About 35 UI graduate students and faculty will present their service learning research and ideas. They'll have a chance to network with representatives from a variety of governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations, and UI organizations that could benefit from the students' work and help move the projects forward.

This year, the Spring Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF), sponsored by the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates, will be held in conjunction with the Jakobsen Conference. The SURF event will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the IMU, also on Saturday, March 27. Poster presenters will be recognized for outstanding achievement in the following areas: arts and humanities, mathematics and engineering, natural sciences, and social sciences.

"We're so excited to collaborate with SURF this year because it will create a daylong, university-wide celebration of academic achievement at the University of Iowa, accomplishing our mission of building bridges beyond the Graduate College," Stopa said.

Co-sponsored by the Graduate College and the Graduate Student Senate, the conference also includes new lunch workshops for undergraduate and high school registrants and an awards ceremony.

Although university faculty, staff and students and community members are encouraged to register in advance for the conference at, walk-ins are welcome the day of the conference. All registrants will receive a free lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m., and there is no cost to register.

For a complete schedule, visit

For more information or special accommodations to attend the conference, contact Jakobsen Conference co-chair stef shuster at 319-335-2502.

To read a related release, visit

EDITOR'S NOTE: stef shuster is the legal name of the organizer; the first and last name should not be capitalized.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Graduate College Office of External Relations, 205 Gilmore Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: John Riehl, 319-384-1309,