Student Poster Session
Students with the top three posters in two categories, Research and Experiential, were awarded cash prizes. The top prize in each category received $300.00, second place received $200.00, and third place $100.00. Students attending the event also voted for their favorite poster. The winner of the students’ favorite poster received a cash prize of $250.00. The winners of each category are as follows:
Research Poster Category
Queenster Nartey, Grinnell College
Length of Crop Rotation Influences Dynamics of Microbial Biomass and Inorganic Nitrogen in Soil
Norma Granados, Marshalltown Community College
Electrical to Mechanical-Actuation of a Cantilever by Electric Field
Crystal Jones, Iowa State University
Targeted Deletion of Zebrafish IncRNAis18 with TALENs
Experiential Poster Category
Edgardo Diaz, Iowa State University
Hayley Vaughn, Upper Iowa University
A Journey of Exploration: Seeking a future in the intriguing and interesting field of Genetics
Mary Nyaema, University of Iowa
Impact of University of Iowa STEM Seminars 2013 on Enriching Upward Bound’s Science Curriculum
Student Favorite Poster Category
Esdras Murillo, Des Moines Area Community College
Annual Energy Consumption in a Community Lab and Analysis of the Electricity Flow
Stokes Award for Outstanding Service
The Stokes Award for Outstanding Service to the IINSPIRE Alliance was presented to Jim Swartz, Grinnell College, for service at an exemplary level, in pursuit, of the alliance’s primary goal to increase the participation of URM students in STEM fields.
Jim Swartz is a Dack Professor of Chemistry at Grinnell College. He served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Grinnell College from January 1998 through June 2008. He has been instrumental in the development and progress of the IINSPIRE LSAMP Alliance. He has been a key supporter of the Grinnell Science Project, created in 1992 in response to internal studies indicating that students from traditionally underrepresented groups often entered the college with interest in science but abandoned their goals when they were unsuccessful in introductory courses. The project addresses barriers to success with a pre-orientation program and strong mentoring throughout students’ undergraduate careers by science faculty and student peers.
Excellence in Mentoring Awards
Outstanding Mentor Award for a faculty or staff member
Katrina Williams was awarded the Outstanding Mentor Award for a faculty or staff member. Katrina Williams serves as an academic advisor in aerospace engineering at Iowa State University. She brings extraordinary energy and commitment to the pursuit of the IINSPIRE LSAMP Alliance’s essential goal to increase the participation and retention of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields. She actively assists students in setting and achieving their academic, personal, and professional goals, which significantly contributes to LSAMP’s program goals. At Iowa State University, she is single-handedly responsible and is the driving force behind filling almost half of the summer internship positions with her student advisees.
Outstanding Student Mentor Awards
The first of two Outstanding Student Mentor Awards were presented to Esdras Murillo from Des Moines Area Community College. Esdras immigrated to the United States three years ago; when he arrived he spoke no English. He began his education at the Des Moines Area Community College where he took ESL classes and later began his engineering studies. Esdras’ personal story is an amazing testimony to his ability to persist and his strength of character. Esdras mentors students of all ethnic backgrounds on the Boone Campus as well as on the Urban Campus of DMACC. He clearly communicates the importance of shared knowledge and he instills a sense of confidence within the students he mentors. He is a caring and sharing individual who is well-known to lend a hand of assistance to students as he encourages them to persist and excel within STEM fields.
The second Outstanding Student Mentor Award was presented to Jermaine Johnson, Iowa State University. Jermaine is completing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at Iowa State University. He currently serves as the program coordinator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at Iowa State University Program, a bridge program for Latino community college students interested in STEM fields. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Clemson University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina. As an attorney and Ph.D. Student, Jermaine has worked extensively in conducting qualitative and quantitative research, teaching in both K-12 and higher education, and counsels clients on a broad range of business and commercial legal issues. Jermaine’s work as an investigator for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, combined with the background as a high school science teacher and training as a chemist all come together in supporting and mentoring students in the IINSPIRE Alliance.