IU Bloomington honors students and their mentors for research and creative activity

  • April 14, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Five Indiana University Bloomington students have received the Provost's Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, recognizing exceptional and original academic work.

Recipients of the 2013-14 award are: Madeline Dinges, in the category of Professional Inquiry; Christian Hayes, Natural and Mathematical Sciences; Tom Ladendorf, Humanities; Will Rowe, Performing and Creative Arts; and Allison Yates, Social and Applied Sciences.

Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel presented the awards and recognized the students and their faculty mentors April 6 during the 2014 Student Honors Convocation at the IU Auditorium.

"These five students have achieved remarkable success, thanks to their own hard work and the guidance of dedicated faculty," Robel said. "It was a great honor to recognize the students and their mentors on Sunday. Their accomplishments demonstrate the value of our efforts to provide all IU Bloomington undergraduates with opportunities to take part in research or other meaningful educational experiences."

The Provost's Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity was created in 2010 to recognize excellence and celebrate the importance of engaging undergraduates in research and creative activity.

Madeline Dinges

A senior from Skokie, Ill., Dinges majors in policy analysis in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She also is enrolled in SPEA's Accelerated Master's Program, from which she will graduate in May 2015 with an MPA in public finance and policy analysis.

The honors thesis for which she was recognized, “Fiscal Analysis for Lake County, Indiana," was instrumental in the behind-the-scenes policy debate that led to the adoption of a local-option income tax in Lake County, Ind., a controversial topic in one of Indiana's most financially troubled counties.

Her research was a component of a larger report of policy recommendations to improve fiscal sustainability in the county. She and her faculty mentor, SPEA associate professor Justin Ross, produced a complementary set of results for a paper titled “Indiana’s Property Tax Caps: Old Idea, New Approach, and Surprising Incentives,” now under review at the journal Public Budgeting and Finance.

Christian Hayes

Hayes is a junior from Kokomo, Ind., majoring in astronomy and physics. He is one of three 2014 Barry Goldwater Scholars at IU Bloomington.

In the lab of his faculty mentor, professor of astronomy Eileen Friel, he worked on a project related to a large, spectroscopic survey of star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy and produced a major investigation into the kinematic properties of open-cluster star systems.

His result showing that dynamical heating slows the rotation of the cluster system while increasing its random motions is "a highly significant result and adds much to our understanding of the evolution of the open cluster system, eliminating several alternatives that had been considered in the past," Friel said. Hayes presented the results at the June 2013 meeting of the American Astronomical Society, where he won a Chambliss Student Achievement Award. His paper, with Friel as co-author, has been accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal.

Thomas Ladendorf

Ladendorf, a December 2013 graduate from Crown Point, Ind., majored in history in the College of Arts and Sciences and computer science in the School of Informatics and Computing. He started his IU career as a guitar student in the Jacobs School of Music and has been finance director of the Student Sustainability Council.

His honors thesis, “Champions of Ignorance’: The Persistence of Conservative Hostility to Education, 1700-1870,” focused on opposition by conservatives to education in 18th- and 19th-century Britain. Citing Edmund Burke and others, Ladendorf examined hostility to secular and higher education against the backdrop of the French Revolution and in the year leading to the 1870 Forster Education Act.

His mentor for the project was Lara Kriegel, associate professor of history and English and director of the Victorian Studies Program.

Will Rowe

Rowe, from Oxford, Mich., is a senior composition major in the Jacobs School of Music. He was honored in particular for two compositions, "Secessionist Subjects" and "The House on the Street." His mentor is Aaron Travers, assistant professor of music at the Jacobs School.

"The House on the Street" is a selected work for the International Society for Contemporary Music World New Music Days 2013 festival. It was performed by Camerata Silesia Katowice and Anna Szostak in November 2013 in Vienna, Austria. "Secessionist Subjects," composed as a collaboration with pianist Clare Longendyke of Invisible Cities Opera, won the Jacobs School's 2014 Dean's Prize for undergraduate composition.

Rowe is also an active cellist, studying with Emilio Colon at the Jacobs School. He is head arranger of the Panache Group and, with three fellow composers, founded the publishing circle These Hands.

Allison Yates

Yates, from Fishers, Ind., will graduate this spring with majors in international studies, Spanish, and Near Eastern languages and cultures and a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean studies. She was recognized for her Spanish honors thesis, "Pragmatic Variation in Service Encounters in Argentine Spanish," based on research conducted while studying in Argentina in 2012-13.

The paper analyzed the structure of the language of buying and selling used in two corner stores, including the forms of address and speech used in sales transactions. Yates will present her work to scholars at the 19th Conference on Pragmatics and Language Learning, an international meeting this month at IU. It has been accepted and is currently being revised to be published in the Journal Sociocultural Pragmatics.

Her mentor is Cesar Félix-Brasdefer, associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and adjunct associate professor of linguistics and second language studies.

Sponsors of the Provost's Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity include the offices of the provost, vice provost for undergraduate education, and vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. Professors nominate students, and recipients are selected by a panel of administrators and faculty.

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Provost's Award winners and their mentors

Seated, from left: students Allison Yates, Will Rowe and Madeline Dinges; standing, from left, mentors Cesar Felix-Brasdefer, Aaron Travers and Justin Ross, and Provost Lauren Robel. Not pictured: students Christian Hayes and Tom Ladendorf and mentors Eileen Friel and Lara Kriegel.

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Steve Hinnefeld