Annual Report 2010

James F. Jakobsen Conference

The James F. Jakobsen Conference is held annually to highlight the work of students from across the Graduate College. The event is presented by the Graduate Student Senate and Graduate College with the goal of giving UI graduate students an opportunity to gain additional experience presenting their research in a conference-like atmosphere without having to incur travel expenses.

The conference was named for Associate Dean James F. Jakobsen in 2001 in honor of his long-standing commitment to graduate
student education and his work with the Graduate Student Senate. This event is the capstone of Graduate Student Recognition Week, showcasing presentations from scientists, mathematicians, writers, musicians, artists, and many other members of The University of Iowa graduate community.

This year, as in the past, the 12th annual event was well attended by graduate scholars, faculty, and members of the eastern Iowa
community, who learned about the remarkably diverse research endeavors of graduate students at our university. The conference offered a variety of forums for graduate students’ presentations, including poster sessions, lectures, and discussion sessions.

More than 160 students shared their work. Projects included 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.

This year, the Spring Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF), sponsored by the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates, was held in conjunction with the Jakobsen Conference. For the second straight year, the Jakobsen Conference, in collaboration with the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, offered a Service Learning and Civic Engagement Forum. Students were able 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.

“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 2010 Jakobsen Conference and an MFA in theatre arts.

The 2010 Jakobsen Conference Committee:

  • Keith Avin (Physical Rehabilitation Science) Co-Chair—Publicity
  • stef shuster (Sociology) Co-Chair—Judging and Submissions
  • Kate Stopa (Theatre Arts) Co-Chair—Event Planning
  • James Lambert (English) Service Learning & Civic Engagement Forum Coordinator
  • James Skretta (Music) Arts and Research Division Head
  • Jen Streeter (Anatomy and Cell Biology) Biological and Health Sciences Division Head
  • Kyle Moody (Journalism) Humanities Division Head
  • Vaibhav Yadav (Mechanical Engineering) Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences Division Head
  • Cindee Calton (Anthropology) – Social Sciences and Education Division Head