title   October title photo
graf-fi-to: A drawing or inscription made on a wall or other surface, usually so as to be seen by the public. October, 2012 Vol. 8.1
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International Student Highlights: Min Zhang, Master of Arts in Instructional Technology


Originally from Fuzhou City, China, graduate student Min Zhang is currently working toward a Master of Arts degree in Instructional Technology. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Technology in China, Min worked in a private school that taught English and computer training to students from elementary level to adults as an assistant to the principal. Part of her responsibility was to provide technical support and tools to teachers for effective teaching and learning in the classroom.  

To further her career and become a professional instructional designer, Min decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. Min chose UNI because of Instructional Technology professor Dr. Zeitz’s recommendation of the program on his blog and from other major-related materials she found. “I was excited about the new skills and knowledge I would learn, so I chose UNI as my destination for graduate study.”


Min Zhang
Min Zhang's first winter in at UNI




Adjusting to graduate school was not always easy. Although her educational background is in technology, Min remarks that her lack of knowledge of America’s educational system made it difficult to follow everything in class during her first semester. In addition, some of her graduate courses were delivered online. As she didn’t have any previous experience of online courses in undergraduate study, Min spent a lot of time on extra reading and researching.

To give herself a break from school, Min likes to watch movies, hang out with friends and her host family, and make videos for fun. “One of my favorite things [to do] is to try different recipes at home and invite my friends to come and taste. In addition, the International Service Office and Chinese Student Association also organizes activities regularly for international students, so I feel my life here is pretty colorful.”

After passing her U.S. driving test, Min’s short term goal is to successfully complete all the courses for this semester, and get an internship related to her major in her last semester here or after graduation.


NISG Representative: Vincent Chukwuemeka


Vincent Chukwuemeka
Vincent Chukwuemeka


The Graduate College would like to introduce Vincent Chukwuemeka as our 2012-2013 Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) Graduate Senator. Vincent will graduate in May 2013 with a Master in Public Policy. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Public Administration with minors in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Buea in Cameroon.

Vincent became involved with NISG because, "representing the plight of graduate students and making sure that their privileges and rights, as well as obligations, are conferred on them was my main motive. I was eager to serve, and equally bring in my own conversation to the table."

To contact Vincent with suggestions or questions, email him at chukwuev@uni.edu. Vincent's goals as a Senator include:
• Increasing the hours for the Panther Shuttle hours to meet graduate night class hours
• Improving inter program conversations and cooperation
• Help in making graduate students more involved with the Graduate Student Social Network (GSSN)
• Help the NISG/UNI in achieving it stated goals

  Jeff Wallace participates in UNI's Annual Mini-Sumo Robotics Camp

Jeff Wallace
Dr. Dale Olson,left, and Jeff Wallace, right, testing mini-sumo robots


Jeff Wallace, graduate student in the PSM Applied Physics program at UNI, participated in the Annual
Mini-Sumo Robotics Camp for middle and high school aged students held by the Physics Department June 18-22, 2012. Jeff prepared the parts and sensors used in the projects and assisted Dr. Dale Olson in the classroom throughout the weeklong camp.  Campers experienced the construction, programming, and competition phases of mini sumo robotics. 


As each step in building and implementing a mini-sumo robot posed its own unique challenges, being in the classroom allowed him to troubleshoot many of the issues that arose.  The camp ended with a mini-sumo robotics competition for the students and their parents where Jeff scored and judged the robots. 

Jeff describes Robotics as a “very diverse field that covers Physics, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science.  Mini-sumo robotics is a great way to inspire up and coming students interested in Physics, Engineering, and Computer Science.”  Jeff hopes that the camp left students excited about robotics and hopefully inspired a future group of scientists.


Renee Sedlacek Serves as Lead Facilitator for Jack Kent Cooke Scholars Civic Education Project


Renee Sedlacek, graduate student in the Post Secondary Ed: Student Affairs program, was one of three graduate students selected to serve as a Lead Facilitator for this past summer’s Jack Kent Cooke Scholars Civic Education Project (CEP) in San Francisco.

CEP is a program of Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development in Chicago, IL. Sedlacek spent June 28-July 8 leading 14 high school students through a service-learning experience focused on politics and urban development.


Renee Sedlacek Renee on the left, with her group of high school students


The group did service at a variety of organizations within the San Francisco bay area that serve the homeless, handed out food with the China Town Community Development Center, met with government officials and city council representatives and spent time digging into the concept of social change. "It was a wonderful opportunity to not only lead others but to grow and learn more about yourself. I would highly recommend other UNI grad students look in to the program. Lead as well as assistant facilitators are needed every year!" Visit http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/cep/ for more information on the project.

  Jacqui Kalin Selected to NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

Jacqui Kalin
Jacqui Kalin


Jacqui Kalin, pursuing a Master's degree in Physical Education: Kinesiology (sport and exercise psychology focus) from the School of HPELS, was selected as one of 31 student members to the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, whose mission is to enhance the total student-athlete experience.

Additionally, she was appointed to the Women's Basketball Issues Committee where she will provide leadership to create and advance an intercollegiate environment that assures quality academic and competitive experiences for student-athletes. On both committees, she will represent and speak on behalf of student-athletes and provide feedback on several different issues and legislation.


Philip Cavin Travels to the Canadian Arctic for Research Project


Philip Cavin, graduate student in the Department of Geography and a research assistant in UNI’s Arctic Social and Environmental Systems Research Lab, had the opportunity to travel this past summer to the Canadian Arctic with Dr. Andrey Petrov.

This experience was part of a research project that aims to help develop baseline socio-economic well-being indicators for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) sponsored through Resource and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) project and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada.

Philip Cavin
Philip Cavin (left) with Dr. Andrey Petrov standing outside of Tuktoyaktuk in the Arctic Tundra

Like many other Arctic regions, northern Canada has experienced an increased interest in its natural resources, especially oil and natural gas, from oil companies who conduct on- and offshore exploration in this potentially oil-rich area. The development of the baseline indicators will help the Inuit people to better understand and measure past, present and future impacts of natural resource development on their communities and lives. This will then help them to be better prepared for dealing with negotiations and cooperation with resource companies and the government.

During Philip and Dr. Petrov's travels they had the chance to visit and talk with a wide variety of interested stakeholders: Indigenous people, public officials, and researchers. The journey began in Whitehorse, Yukon to meet with a ReSDA coordinator and visit Yukon Research Centre and then to Inuvik, Northwest Territories (N.W.T.), the capital of the Inuvialuit Region, past the Arctic Circle. Here they enjoyed the midnight sun over the McKenzie River, had a chance to try muskox hamburgers, and visit local places of interest. In Inuvik they met with IRC top officials to present them with ideas about the project as well as to get their feedback in respect to well-being indicators in development.


Artic Sun
The midnight sun over the McKenzie Delta, in Inuvik.


One of the highlights of the trip was a day trip to the community of Tuktoyaktuk, or Tuk, as it is called by the locals. Tuk is located on the Arctic Ocean at the edge of the McKenzie Delta. In Tuk they went on a full tour of the community, stepped in the Arctic Ocean and met some of the local residents along the way, which provided much entertainment. The real treasure of this day trip was the informal interviews with two local Inuit elders who shared their perspectives on the effects of the resource development and the oil boom and bust cycle on Tuk.

The last days of the trip were spent in the capital of N.W.T. Yellowknife. Here Philip and Dr. Petrov met with a leading statistician from the N.W.T. Bureau of Statistics, where they discussed their ideas and data needs.


Philip noted that, "Overall, this trip will be with me for the rest of my days, from the beautiful scenery of snowcapped mountains to the wide open tundra and Arctic Ocean to the people I met and learned from. I have truly understood that Arctic research is really a vast open field of much to learn and discover from a variety of aspects."


UNIBusiness Celebrates MBA Graduation In Hong Kong
Contributed From UNIBusiness News


The University of Northern Iowa conferred degrees on 35 MBA candidates from the College of Business Administration during a graduation ceremony in Hong Kong on June 24, 2012. UNI Vice President for Student Affairs Terry Hogan presided.

UNIBusiness began offering its MBA program in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong in 2001 to respond to a pair of emerging developments: globalization of business and declining state support for higher education.


Hong Kong Graduation
Graduating MBA students in Hong Kong with their professors


"The former demanded increased international experience for our faculty. The latter required alternative sources of revenue. Exporting our MBA program seemed a step toward both objectives," said UNIBusiness Dean Farzad Moussavi. "The Hong Kong MBA program is self-sufficient; not a single penny of tax payers’ money has gone to the program, which has more than paid for its expenses from inception."

Additionally, more than 40 faculty members have taught in Hong Kong, giving them international experience that they can bring back to Iowa classrooms. Nearly 200 students have graduated from this internationally accredited program offered in Hong Kong.


UNI MBA Candidates Participate In Capstone Conference
Contributed From UNIBusiness News


Four teams of University of Northern Iowa MBA candidates worked as consultants for the university and Cedar Valley companies from January until June, 2012. They presented their professional analyses and recommendations to faculty and business professionals in June as the final requirement of UNI’s MBA program.

The teams were introduced to their clients in January, presented a project proposal to the MBA faculty in March, and then worked with a faculty mentor to complete the planned work before the MBA Capstone Conference on June 19, 2012. Click here to read their story.


MBA Candidates
Some of the MBA conference candidates: Rachel Calhoun, Michael Calhoun, Azadeh Babaghareri and Sam Kolahgar




School Counselor, Karin Schwartz, is Interviewed By Teaching Tolerance


A recent School Counseling graduate, Karin Schwartz (December 2011) was interviewed by Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center and is featured in the article "You’re Not from Around Here." Karin is currently a School Counselor in the Cedar Rapids area. Click here to read interview.


Amy Miehe Receives the First Verizon Making Safe Schools and Communities Scholarship Award

  Principalship program graduate student, Amy Miehe, received the first Verizon Scholarship Award for recognition of her contributions to Mentoring Violence Prevention (MVP) and safe schools. The ceremony was held in the UNI Center for Multicultural Education on August 21, 2012. Amy is currently a Waterloo High School social science teacher and department chair. Click here to see for more information.  

Social Work Graduate Program Holds Summer Picnic For New Students

  The Social Work Student Association held a summer picnic for all current and incoming graduate students and faculty. Attendees had a great time participating in activities and conversation with each other. Click here for photos of the event.  
  The Graffito is a quarterly newsletter for graduate students and alumni at the University of Northern Iowa.
Please send your news to: gradlife@uni.edu.
The Graduate College| 110 Lang Hall| Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614| (319) 273-2748 | www.grad.uni.edu
Newsletter Editor: Meghan O'Neal | Contributing Editor: Brittany Funke | Supervising Editor: Susie Schwieger