Faculty & Staff

Programs, events and resources for UNI Faculty and Staff.

Seeking answers in a molecular maze — II

One ongoing project in Dr. Sliwinski’s lab is to continue tracking soil archaea using DNA fingerprinting.

“In addition to my work, other labs around the world have found DNA evidence of archaea in the soil. They are on every continent and in every soil tested,” he says. “Part of what now needs to get done is an accounting of which species of archaea are where, over space and over time.”

Seeking answers in a molecular maze — I

Dr. Marek K. Sliwinski, an associate professor of biology at the University of Northern Iowa, believes “it is an exciting time to be a molecular biologist.”

 

“The progress made by the scientific community in only the past few decades has revolutionized biology,” he says.

 

“Molecular biology provides the most interesting answers to biological questions,” he adds. “So, research students in my lab design experiments at the level of DNA and proteins.”

 

Hoping to make the world a better place

Jake Parks enjoys learning how the physical world works; he has perpetually been in awe about the infinitude of the universe and its intricacy. So, the decision to major in physics was not difficult for him to make.

The decision to enroll in the University of Northern Iowa was not difficult, either; he found the sense of community here overwhelming.

“People here, from students to faculty, truly care about you,” Jake says. “It makes the intimidating experiences of college much more manageable.”

In fact, the experience has been awesome for him.

MVMs: Magic in math classroom

Dr. Adam Feldhaus, an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa, has always felt that manipulative technology for mathematics education is currently way too expensive for most elementary schools.

 

“Classroom sets of physical manipulatives are expensive while most computer-based virtual manipulatives are either non-intuitive or based on dated technology or locked behind publishing deals or some combination thereof,” he says.

 

For the love of physics

When he was a little boy, Byron Fritch would have a lot of questions in his mind about everyday occurrences: How does a bird fly? How does a suspension bridge bear the weight of so many cars? Then, as he grew older, he found out that physics and mathematics had answers to most of these questions and more. He has known since that physics is what he wants to study. So, once he completed high school, the question was not what but where to study.

 

Looking back, looking forward

 
Fall 2016 was a lot of fun, with a lot of STEM events across the UNI campus and beyond. The Semester End Special puts together a few happy memories in frames. For those of you, who may not have been there at these events, good news. A number of events are lined up for Spring 2017. Happy holidays!!!
 
 
 

Thinking outside the box

Haley Osborn has always known that she wants to be a teacher. Until recently, though, she was in a dilemma over what she wanted to teach.
 
“I was pushed towards mathematics when I was in high school,” Haley recalls. “When I came to UNI, I was originally a Math Education major.”
 
However, after taking a few courses in Math Education, she started to reconsider her plans. “I realized it wasn’t for me,” she says.
 

Feeling ever so strongly about science

Jessica Wayson used to hate science. However, it all changed during her junior year in high school; her chemistry teacher helped her see science “in a completely new light.”
 
As Jessica began to realize how science formed an integral part of her everyday life, she went from hating science to loving science. Soon, she was so passionate about science that she wanted to become a science teacher.
 

The best change of plan ever

 
Kaleb Luse originally wanted to major in aeronautical engineering because he was an avionics technician in the military. Moreover, he thought it would be cool to tell his friends, “It’s not rocket science... O wait, it is!”
 
 
He had to change his plans, though. There was a change in his base’s mission and, subsequently, his assignment in the military.
 
 
“I ended up working with computers,” Kaleb recalls. “So, I decided to change my major to computer science, which, I thought, would better reflect my new job.”
 
 

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US Education Laws and Regulations - Resources and Information

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) takes effect in the 2017-2018 Academic year.  This law makes changes to the national, state, and local roles of accountability, funding, and programs in K-12 education and thus also has implementations for teacher prep and coninuing education.  The resources listed below provide background on ESSA and recommendations from national science, mathematics, technology, engineering and education organizations about ESSA implementation.

Comparing ESSA to NCLB

ESSA & STEM Overview

Resources and Recommendations from National Organizations with Regard to STEM Education

Iowa's ESSA Plan

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The University of Northern Iowa is a Core Institution of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium.  ISGC supports NASA's mission by stimulating research, education, and outreach throughout Iowa.  UNI students, faculty and staff - learn about ISGC funding opportunities.