Students Find SUSI Options

by Hanna Russmann

Students will be able to find volunteer opportunities in the Des Moines area and see what others have accomplished through the Simpson Urban Studies Institute’s newsletter.

The first issue was published earlier this month to make students aware of the various activities and resources SUSI provides.

“We provide Simpson students with the ability to conduct urban research, whether it is through an actual research project or a scholarly activity,” SUSI Research Director Amy Campos said. “So there are a lot of different options for individuals to take. It is not a cookie cutter approach to research. It encompasses all aspects of urban life, however you may see it.”

SUSI also facilitates partnerships between Simpson faculty and Des Moines organizations as well.

“It was organized to allow professors to partner with different organizations in urban Des Moines to give students research experience,” Dr. Terry Kile, VISTA volunteer and Simpson employee, said. “What SUSI mainly interfaces with is the faculty, because that is where the students should go to first. Students should approach a faculty member and ask if SUSI can be of any help with their research.”

Campos said now is a good time for students to get involved with SUSI.

“Students should get involved with SUSI, because at this point in time, we can fund research in any independent initiative that they want to take on that is not course involved,” Campos said. “We can pay for any instruments they will be purchasing and gas money and mileage in between Des Moines and where their research will be happening. We can also pay for overhead, paper things of that nature and pay for participants to give them incentive to participate in a study.”

Junior Ethan Eller has recently participated in a SUSI project that was featured with other students in the newsletter. Eller said that doing research with SUSI helps students stand out in the future.

“Doing research projects are very good for students who want to go to graduate school, because that is what graduate programs are for the most part; you do research and extend your learning,” Eller said.

Eller thinks having the newsletter is a good idea and hopes it creates enough awareness so more students get involved.

“It’s good that they are getting word out to the campus because not a lot of students know about SUSI,” Eller said. “I wish more students were involved with SUSI. The more we get the newsletter out and the more publicity we have of SUSI, the more people we can get involved with urban research.”

SUSI will host a meet and greet Oct. 12 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Wallace 401 as another opportunity to allow students to find out what it has to offer. Students are also encouraged to visit the SUSI website at for more information.