January 29th 2015: Professor Timothy Urness Ph.D.: Visualizing Scientific Data with Computer Graphics

Timothy Urness is a professor of computer science at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. His research and teaching areas are mainly focused in computer graphics and visualizing scientific data. Professor Urness earned his Ph. D. in computer science from the University of Minnesota in 2006. 

Professor Urness also teaches a summer App Camp targeted at middle and high school students to foster interest in computer science. 


February 26th 2015: Dr. Simon Wright M.D., Ph.D.: DNA Microbial Analysis in the Sinus and Ear

Simon Wright currently works as a physician and surgeon at the ENT center of Iowa. His interests include

Sinus and nasal disorders
Allergy diagnosis and treatment
Minimally invasive thyroid and parathyroid surgery
Pediatric otolaryngology
Professional voice
Cancer of the head and neck
Scientific research of sinus disorders 

Dr. Wright earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, his M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and his Ph.D. in Translational Cancer Research from the University of Minnesota Minneapolis.


March 25th 2015: Professor Daniel Alexander: A Professor’s Personal Journey Through the History of Mathematics

Daniel Alexander is a professor of mathematics at Drake University and is the current associate department chair. His research involves the history of analysis of late 20th century mathematics. He also studies particular complex dynamics which is one of the early manifestations of chaos theory. Alexander has published two books on the subject: Early Days in Complex Analysis, and A History of Complex Dynamics from Schröder to Fatou and Julia. 

Professor Alexander actually majored in English in college and worked many jobs before becoming a professor of mathematics. 


April 27th 2015: Ben Silbermann: Life, Career, and Success in Technology

Ben Silbermann is the CEO and co-founder of the popular website and mobile application Pinterest. He was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended Des Moines Central Academy and Theodore Roosevelt High School. In 1998 he attended the Research Science Institute at MIT and continued on to Yale University at which he majored in political science. 

Prior to founding Pinterest, he briefly worked at Google and later designed mobile applications on his own. 

He accredits the creation of Pinterest to his passion for collecting trinkets as a kid. He says, "Collecting tells a lot about who you are."


September 24th 2015 : Arkady Glukhovsky, D.Sc.: Biomedical Engineering and Developing the PillCam

Arkady Glukhovsky is a biomedical engineer. He specializes medical devices, medical imaging, and quality systems. Dr. Glukhovsky earned his B.Sc., M.Sc., and his D.Sc. from the Israel Institute of Technology. 

He is the chief developer and currently holds the patent for the revolutionary "Pillcam": a small camera device that patients can ingest so doctors can observe his/her gastrointestinal tract in high definition. Arkady has published nunerous research papers on the subject of the Pillcam. 

In his free time, Arkady enjoys spending time outdoors.


October 29th 2015: Jenny Johannsen M.S.: Tipping The Scales Towards Success in an Engineering Major: A discussion about psycho-acoustics and a woman's experience in STEM. 

Jennifer Johannsen currently works as a lecturer at the Iowa State University department of Aerospace engineering. She has previously worked as engineer at John Deere, a NVH test engineer at Eaton Automotive and as a new development engineer and an industrial engineer at Delphi. 

Ms. Johannsen earned her Bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in 1996 and earned her masters degree from Michigan State University in 1999. She is also a girl scout troop leader and frequently volunteers in her community. 


January 28th 2016: Kevin Devnich: Perfusion and Forging a Path in STEM

Kevin Devnich is the current chief perfusionist at Mercy Medical Center in West Des Moines, Iowa. He is one of only a handful of fully certified perfusionists in the country. Mr. Devnich specializes in heart failure and plays an active role in operating assistive technology. 

Mr. Devnich conducts interviews for various perfusion programs and is an active member of his community; he often speaks and middle and elementary school students and teaches them about his work and career.


February 25th 2016: Ivan Neulander: Rendering Fur in "Life of Pi" and Working at Google

Ivan Neulander is currently a Senior Software Engineer at Google, where he builds new tools for Virtual Reality experiences. His projects have spanned a number of disciplines, including Image Processing, Computer Vision, and Deep Learning.

Before joining Google, he was a Principal Software Engineer at Rhythm & Hues, where he led a team of Software Engineers responsible for Rhythm & Hues's proprietary production rendering software and ancillary tools. This work spanned numerous techniques, such as global illumination, hair rendering, subsurface scattering, and displacement mapping. As such, he also worked on the development of techniques for the efficient rendering of photorealistic fur in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning feature film Life of Pi.

March 31, 2016: Jennifer Goerbig: Medical Sciences and Navigating STEM as a Female

Jennifer Goerbig is an advanced heart failure cardiologist at Mercy and former clinical professor at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. She received her medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School and is board certified for Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology and Cardiovascular Disease.

Dr. Goerbig has performed several clinical studies, including Interagency Registry of Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS), SynCardia Freedom Driver System StudyJennifer Goerbig-Campbell, and Study to Demonstrate Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Vagus Nerve StimulationJennifer Goerbig-Campbell. She recently joined Iowa Heart Center in the spring of 2016.


September 29, 2016: Dr. Jason Rhodes: From Selecting a Major to Dark Matter and the Expansion of the Universe: An Evening with Jason Rhodes

Dr. Jason Rhodes works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  He received his B.S. in Physics at Harvey Mudd College in 1994, his M.A. in Physics at Princeton University in 1996, and his Ph.D in Physics at Princeton University in 1999.  He researches the structure and evolution of the universe as well as weak gravitational lensing as a probe of dark matter and dark energy.  He has worked on numerous projects, including WFIRST (Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope) and Euclid.  He has had diverse experiences in astrophysics and is has received several awards from JPL.

October 27, 2016: Guy Potter, Ph.D.

Guy Potter, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, core faculty in the Duke-Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Senior Fellow in the Duke Center for Aging and Human Development, and Affiliated Faculty in the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center. He is a clinical neuropsychologist at Duke Hospital, with consultation to the inpatient units and supervision of psychology residents and post-doctoral fellows. Dr. Potter’s research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of late-life depression and dementia. His research includes both traditional neuropsychological measures as well as experiment-driven studies of depression symptoms and cognition. Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are frequently used to probe the neural circuitry associated with depression, cognition, and cognitive decline. The goal of Dr. Potter’s research is to identify risk factors for cognitive dysfunction among older adults, and to track cognitive outcomes over time to identify targets for intervention. Current studies include:

  • The relationship between anhedonia and attentional control in Major Depressive Disorder, and how aging influences this relationship
  • Clinical and neural correlates of anhedonia in mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer’s disease
  • Neuropsychological, MRI, and behavioral predictors of early Alzheimer’s disease in the context of late-life depression
  • Cognitive and behavioral predictors of depression and burnout in high stress jobs

December 8, 2016: Robbyn K. Anand

Robbyn K. Anand joined the chemistry faculty at Iowa State University in August 2015 as an Assistant Professor. She earned her Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin under the guidance of Prof. Richard M. Crooks with the support of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She developed microfluidic devices employing bipolar electrodes for electrokinetic focusing of charged species and membrane-free seawater desalination. Then, as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, she worked with Prof. Daniel T. Chiu at the University of Washington on the capture and analysis of circulating tumor cells. She pioneered a technique for dielectrophoretic manipulation of biological cells using extended electric field gradients. During this time, she also founded the Puget Sound Women Chemists Retreat.

January 26, 2017: Brian Sanders

Dr. Sanders earned his B.A. from Cornell College and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. His primary focus is on Biological Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Dr. Sanders teaches courses in the biological basis of behavior, health psychology, drugs and behavior, and behavioral endocrinology. His research interests include the neurobiology of stress, early environmental influences on the stress response, and animal models of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.