News & Events

Tippie Undergraduate Showcases Research in Des Moines

Economics student Bethany Patten joined 19 other University of Iowa students to display research during the fourth annual "Research in the Capitol," a special event at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines on Monday, March 9.

Sixty undergraduate students from the UI, UNI, and Iowa State displayed posters in the first-floor rotunda and spoke with state lawmakers, members of the Iowa state Board of Regents, and other visitors about the undergraduate research they have conducted and its potential impact on their education, careers, and Iowa. Selection of presenters for this year included a special focus on projects that addressed the flood of 2008.

Patten, an international studies and economics major, presented "Risk Attitudes in Two Big Ten Student Populations." She is working with faculty mentor Gabriele Camera from the economics department in the UI Tippie College of Business.

Robert Kirby, director of the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), represented The University of Iowa at the event.

"Research in the Capitol brings together undergraduates with legislators and members of the Board of Regents to discuss not only the outstanding creative projects students have been involved in but also the importance of these opportunities as they prepare for graduate and professional training," Kirby said. "While some discussion occurs of the research, the discussion frequently becomes a broader conversation on what the student hopes to do and how the experience has benefited them."

Kirby said more than 1,500 undergraduate students—from art to engineering majors—are involved in some aspect of research at the UI, many of them earning credit or getting paid for their work as research assistants. He said students were selected for the March 9 event based on applications at each school and the undergraduate research project. Event sponsors include ICRU, the UI Honors Program, Iowa State University Honors Program, and University of Northern Iowa Honors Program.

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