Research assistants sought for obesity study – apply by April 30

Seeking Research Assistants for an exciting new project anticipated to begin Fall 2018

The University of Iowa College of Public Health is partnering with Grinnell College on a project to tackle obesity in Iowa. This project is initiated by Tom Vilsack, the former Governor of Iowa and US Secretary of Agriculture. Rockefeller Foundation has expressed interest in funding this project. The project will be a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of an obesity intervention in Iowa school-aged children. It will involve not only the child participants but also stakeholders including families, schools, and communities. Details of the intervention are under development and will be forthcoming.  The study is anticipated to begin in Fall 2018 and is led by a dynamic multidisciplinary team within the Department of Epidemiology at the College of Public Health.

In anticipation of this project beginning in the Fall 2018, applications of interested hourly research assistants are sought.  Graduate students from Dietetic Internship Program, Epidemiology, Community and Behavioral Health, Health and Human Physiology, and Urban and Regional Planning are highly encouraged to apply.

A total of 5 positions are sought for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Students interested in applying for these hourly positions should send a letter of interest to Vickie Miene at  by April 30, 2018.  The letter of interest should be limited to 2 pages total and should include the following items:

  • Student name and contact phone and email
  • Student primary area of study
  • Student anticipated graduation date
  • Student personal interest in the proposed project
  • Explanation of student interest, knowledge and prior experience related to obesity research
  • Explanation of student interest/experience working in team settings
  • Explanation of student interest/experience conducting interviews or focus groups

Students must have excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to travel within a 90 mile radius of Iowa City for study activities.  Students will need to meet the University of Iowa Driving Policy requirements.

Students will be notified of selection for faculty interviews which are tentatively scheduled to occur May 1-4, 2018

If you have questions about this opportunity please contact Wei Bao at


Uluocha honored with 2018 Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award

Winnie Uluocha receives the 2018 Hubbard Award Winnie Uluocha, a JD/MHA student at the University of Iowa, was named the recipient of the 2018 Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award.

The Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award was established in 1981 in honor of Philip G. Hubbard, University of Iowa Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Academic Affairs from 1966-1989. Vice President Hubbard was selected as a faculty representative to serve on the first UI Human Rights Committee established in 1963, and dedicated himself to human rights and equal opportunity throughout his distinguished career.

Each year a University of Iowa student is selected who has made the most outstanding contribution in the area of human rights and who most exemplifies the principles held by Dr. Hubbard.

Global Rural Health Case Competition winners announced

Armed with well-researched plans, information-packed slides, and seamless teamwork, six student teams competed for top honors and cash prizes in the inaugural Global Rural Health Case Competition held April 4 at the College of Public Health.

The teams were given a case centered on the ongoing power crisis in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Their mission: to present feasible, sustainable solutions to restore health, hope, and resiliency to Puerto Rico. The teams were tasked with addressing multiple systems such as power, water, health, and communications as well as ideas around infrastructure, policy, and sustainability to prevent this type of breakdown in the future. The students had about two weeks to research and develop their proposals with limited guidance from a faculty mentor.

On competition day, each team had 15 minutes to present their recommendations, followed by 10 minutes of questions from a panel of five judges. The teams were made up of graduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds.

“We had students from 14 different disciplines representing five colleges across the university,” says Vickie Miene, interim director of the Institute of Public Health Research and Policy. “It was really exciting to see the collaboration with public health. All of the teams did an outstanding job.”

Bringing the experience full circle, the winning team has announced that they will donate their winnings totaling $2,500 to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

The top three teams were:

1st place – Aequitas 

  • Monisa Saravanan, Community and Behavioral Health
  • Elijah Olivas, Community and Behavioral Health
  • Matthew Poch, Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Anthony Emigh, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Kevin Rivera, Medicine

2rd place – The Iowinners 

  • Kayla Faust, Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Yanni Liang, Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Ben Ertl, Industrial Engineering; Finance
  • Kylor Sorenson, Health Management and Policy; Business Administration
  • Kirsten Carew, Medicine; Business Administration

 3nd place – GlobalVill 

  • Whitney Bash-Brooks, Community and Behavioral Health
  • Redwan Bin Abdul Baten, Health Management and Policy
  • Catherine Chioreso, Epidemiology
  • Arwin Shrestha, Ophthalmology; Cellular Engineering

The case competition was organized by the Institute of Public Health Research and Policy and the College of Public Health’s Global Public Health Initiative. Funding for the case competition was generously provided by John Deere and Dale and Linda Baker.

If you would like to view the case intervention presentations, they can be accessed at UICapture. The case study is available for download.