2021 Summer Institute on Cross-Disciplinary Graduate Education Panelists

Centering Students: UI Graduate Students and Alumni

Rebekah Estes is a second year MS student in the Agricultural Safety and Health program in the Occupational and Environmental Health department at the College of Public Health. She has an interest in veterinary medicine and specifically One Health—the unique intersection and interdependence of human medicine, animal medicine and environmental sciences—and plans to pursue a career in rural veterinary practice. Learn more

Sylvea Hollis is an Assistant Professor at Montgomery College and earned a PhD in US History, with a concentration in African American History, from the University of Iowa and a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. Before coming to Montgomery College, she was a National Park Service-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow. She also earned a MA in History Museum Studies from SUNY-Oneonta and worked with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, National Museum of American History, and American Alliance of Museums. Learn more.  

Danielle Land is earning a PhD in Engineering and Sustainable Water Development from the University of Iowa. She is a Graduate Research Assistant for IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering and a Graduate Student in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Learn more. 

Anna Seeger is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa with a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is the first master’s student to complete the Sustainable Water Development program with a project-based thesis, where she helped design the City of Iowa City’s Stormwater Management Plan as outlined in the Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.  Learn more

Amanda Haertling Thein (Moderator) is the incoming Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Education and Dean of the Graduate College, as well as a professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture in the College of Education. Her research focuses on socio-cultural and socio-emotional aspects of literary response; critical approaches to multicultural literature instruction; and the intersection of critical youth studies and young adult literature. Learn more

Guest Panelists–Environmental Issues

Peter DeCarlo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on atmospheric air pollution with applications to ambient air quality, including atmospheric aerosols and emissions from anthropogenic activities including natural gas development. He has visited many Congressional offices to discuss climate change and air quality issues. Learn more

Bethany Wiggin is an Associate Professor of German and affiliated faculty in the Program in Comparative Literature and the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities. Her books and essays explore histories of migration, language, multilingualism, and cultural translation since the Columbian exchange across the Atlantic world, and her work has appeared in journals ranging from PMLA to  Nature. She writes and speaks regularly to both academic and broader public audiences, and currently directs multiple research projects in the environmental humanities. Learn more

Guest Panelists–Health and Equity Issues

Mara Buchbinder is Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at UNC–Chapel Hill, as well as core faculty in the UNC Center for Bioethics. She is a medical anthropologist with broad interests in cultures of health, illness, and medicine in the United States. Her recent work focuses on how patients, families, and healthcare providers navigate social and ethical challenges resulting from changes in medical technology, law, and health policy. Learn more

Catharyn A. Turner is an M.D., a pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist in Towson, Maryland and is affiliated with Sheppard Pratt Hospital. She received her medical degree from University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and has been in practice between 6-10 years. Learn more

Cate Dicharry (Panelist and Co-Moderator) is the director of the Writing and Humanities Program in the University of Iowa College of Medicine. The Carver College of Medicine, Writing and Humanities Program focuses on the humanistic and artistic dimensions of medical education and practice by taking a critical, transdisciplinary approach to the humanities and arts in the context of medical school. Learn more.

University of Iowa Panelists

Loyce Arthur is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Theatre Arts at University of Iowa. She has designed costumes for numerous productions, both national and local. She has studied mask making in Italy, ritual and performance in Ghana, Balinese mask traditions, East Indian Kutiyattam and Kathakali theatre forms, and more. Learn more

Nick Benson is the Executive Director of the Office of Community Engagement and provides leadership on campus for community engaged teaching and learning and community engaged research. Nick has worked for eight years in various community engagement roles at the University of Iowa, including as Director of the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities and Director of Community Development and Outreach. Learn more

Charles (Chuck) Connerly is a Professor Emeritus at University of Iowa. He formerly served as both the Director of the School of Planning and Public Affairs and the Founder and Former Faculty Director of the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. Learn more.  

Paul Dilley is Associate Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, with a joint appointment in the Departments of Classics and Religious Studies, where he is Director of Graduate Studies.  He specializes in the religions of Late Antiquity, particularly early Christianity, with an approach that integrates cultural history, philology, and the digital humanities. Learn more

Andrew Forbes is Associate Professor of Biology, Director of the Environmental Science Program, and director of the Forbes Lab on the Evolutionary Ecology of Parasitic Insects. His research interests revolve around the central question: why are insects so astoundingly diverse? He studies the evolution, ecology, behavior, and taxonomy of many different insect species, with an eye to understanding the patterns and processes underlying their diversity. Learn more

Christine Getz is Professor of Musicology in the School of Music and Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Outreach and Engagement, CLAS. In addition to her research agenda, she provides the College with leadership and assessment of graduate programs, acts as the College liaison to the Graduate College, assists departments with the development of their graduate curricula, promotes graduate recruitment and diversity, and more. Learn more

Alaine Hippee is earning an M.S. in Biology with a focus on Evolution and Ecology. A part of the Forbes Lab on the Evolutionary Ecology of Parasitic Insects, her projects focus broadly on how ecological interactions between species can drive the evolution of reproductive isolation and speciation. Learn more

Joe Kearney is a Professor of Computer Science and a Collegiate Fellow of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa. He co-directs the Hank Virtual Environments Lab with Professor Jodie Plumert. Learn more

Travis Kraus is an Associate Professor in the University of Iowa School of Planning and Public Affairs and is the Director for the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. Learn more

Lucie Laurian is Professor and Director of the School of Planning and Public Affairs. She studies the effects of toxic sites on local populations and the participation of citizens in environmental planning decision-making processes. Learn more

Cornelia Lang is an Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Physics and Astronomy. She also currently serves as chair of the CLAS General Education Curriculum Committee, and has played a key role in developing and coordinating the UI’s “Big Ideas” general education courses. Learn more

Jodie Plumert is a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and a Collegiate Fellow of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She co-directs the Hank Virtual Environments Lab with Professor Joe Kearney. Learn more

H.S. Udaykumar is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research in the College of Engineering. Uday’s work with tribal villages in Northwest India has been focused on helping villagers find solutions to their energy needs. A TedXIowa talk highlights some of the ups-and downs of his efforts and a recent flash of an interesting idea while watching a roaring cooking fire. Learn more