The GradAttack podcast highlights innovative research and the people who make it possible at the University of Utah. From biological engineering to economics, sociology, and literature, we help keep the U. community and the broader public tuned into the important debates and new ideas reshaping the world we live in.
GradAttack’s host, Patrick Hadley, may not have been handsome enough for television, but the interesting research he encounters daily as an Assistant Thesis Editor at the University of Utah seemed too good not to disseminate more widely via podcast. Patrick Hadley finished his own dissertation in Classical Philology in 2014 at the University of Toronto, and loves reading about new ideas as they come across his desk.
Podcast #11 – 09/29/2016
Of Birds, Wolves, Fish, Award-Winning Utah Scientists, and Men
Anna Vickrey, doctoral student in biology and recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, came by to discuss how research into the genetics of the humble pigeon can have a major impact on other areas of science – from understanding how dogs evolved from wolves to creating more effective medicines and therapies for human beings. She also gives us the inside scoop on some of Utah’s best hidden ornithological attractions, from the sage grouses of the High Plains to the second-oldest pigeon show west of the Mississippi.
Transcript: coming soon
Podcast #10 – 08/04/2016
Fat, Proteins, and the Pursuit of Knowledge
Judith Simcox is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah, and also the vice president of the U.’s chapter of SACNAS, the Society for Chicanos and Native Americans in the Sciences. She stopped by to tell us about the exciting research she is doing into type-2 diabetes treatments, and about the factors that motivate people going into difficult fields in the hard sciences.
Thracians, Macedonians, and the Joys and Challenges of Winning a Fulbright Fellowship
Kate Mower is about to graduate with an MA in ancient history from the U, and will shortly be on her way to Bulgaria and Romania, where she has won a prestigious Fulbright research fellowship to study the Greeks and their northern neighbors in the generations before Alexander the Great changed the face of the ancient world. She came by to talk to us about her journey from screenwriter to ancient historian, and about the complicated but rewarding process of winning a Fulbright scholarship to pursue her passion.
Entrepreneurship and the Hard Sciences in Utah’s PMST Program.
Adam Meese is finishing his Professional Master’s in Science and Technology, or PMST, at the University of Utah. Like many pursuing professional degrees, Adam is also balancing career and family. Despite these many demands, he was able to take some time out to talk to us about the difficulties and opportunities of this new program, and how to succeed professionally as an entrepreneur with a background in the hard sciences.
Public Lands in Utah and the American West: A History of Conflict and Cooperation.
Mike Shamo is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Utah’s American West Center. He stopped by to share some of his research on the history of conflicts over the usage of public lands in the American West, and to give some insight into the origins of land-use policy in a region where few can agree on who should have claim to what.
The Evolving Place of Digital Scholarship at the University of Utah
Kinza Masood is Assistant Head of Digital Operations at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, and is also a student at the U.’s Master’s of Science in Information Systems program. She came by to talk to us about the possibilities of digital scholarship, and the challenges faced by a major university library in trying to update digital holdings in the 21st century.
The Trials and Triumphs of Scientific Research at a Public University
Stewart Yeoh is a PhD candidate in bioengineering at the University of Utah whose research focuses in part on designing high-quality, state-of-the-art prosthetics for wounded veterans. He came by to discuss some of the less-celebrated but extremely important details about how research like this gets done at a major university, including the obstacles that often get in the way of researchers dependent on public funding, and the best ways to work past the difficulties to make real scientific progress.
Poetry, Jazz Music, and (Potentially) Murderous Robot Bears: Nina McCurdy on Teaching a Balance between Art and Technology in University Education
Nina McCurdy, creative artist and PhD student in the University of Utah’s School of Computing, stops by with some gadgets she has engineered as part of a new university course entitled “Making Noise: Sound Art and Digital Media,” which she hopes will be the model for integrating artistic creativity into technological education in the modern university. Nina also shows us some fascinating ways in which integrative approaches like hers are changing the way researchers work, revealing new possibilities for creative and technological expression.
The Struggles and Successes of Chicanos and Native Americans in the Sciences at the University of Utah
Daniela Chavez is a PhD student in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah. While researching sperm cell development, Daniela also serves as the president of the University of Utah’s chapter of SACNAS, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. Daniela came to speak with us about the work that SACNAS does, the successes they’ve had, the challenges they face, and current issues concerning minority rights in higher education in Utah and the country as a whole.
Conflict, Terrorism, and Reprisals in the Middle East at the Turn of the Century
Brad Ronald Dennis
Brad Dennis, who will graduate with his Ph.D. in History from the University of Utah this December, discusses the origins of interethnic and interreligious conflict at the birth of the modern Middle East from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. The conflicts he describes, instigated by foreign interventions and realizing a horrific peak of violence in terrorism and the mistrust, discrimination, and eventual ethnic cleansing that it engenders, provide a fascinating and almost eerily analogous comparison to — and cautionary lesson about — contemporary events.
Trevor Warburton’s research is concerned with the ways in which subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) racial assumptions and stereotypes disadvantage minority and recent immigrant students of mathematics in public schools in the western United States. More than a simple denunciation of racism, Trevor’s dissertation looks at mistaken and harmful assumptions about the discipline of mathematics itself, and suggests new – and difficult – ways to empower those who are left behind.