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About Me

Hello! I am Isabel Kruse, a rising Junior from Juniata College in Central Pennsylvania. I am working towards a degree in International Politics with a Secondary Emphasis in Data Science. During the summer of 2022, I am participating in an REU at Marquette University, working on research concerned with Optimizing Food Distribution to Rural Communities in Wisconsin Facing Food Insecurity with Dr. Walt Bialkowski.

Project Description

(From Marquette REU Project Description)

"Thirteen million U.S. households face food insecurity (>10% of all households nationwide)1 representing uncertainty in having, or inability to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of household members due to insufficient money or other resources. Whereas the prevalence of food insecurity has decreased in metropolitan areas, food insecurity is increasing in non-metropolitan and rural areas2. In part due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, it is estimated that food insecurity will affect 1-in-7 Wisconsinites in rural counties during 20213. Unique dietary needs of rural populations, as well as underlying disparities by Race, Ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic status, exacerbate challenges associated with providing quality food to those in need in these rural communities. Foremost among the barriers to feeding food-insecure members of rural communities is a paucity of information about the unique needs and infrastructures of these communities."

Work Log

Week 1: May 31th, 2022

Tuesday 5/31

  • Attended REU Orientation
  • Began reading papers provided by Dr. Bialkowski
  • Planned Meeting with Mentor

Wednesday 6/1

  • Attended talk about Good Research Practices
  • Met with Mentor
    • Discussed Personal and Project Goals
    • Introduced to other members of the research team
    • Explored previous and current research being done
    • Discussed future direction of research and planned next meeting

Thursday 6/2

  • Brainstormed three possible projects
  • Researched existing information about the current project
  • Met with advisor to brainstorm potential projects and overall vision
  • Planned meeting for Friday
  • Finish CITI Module

Friday 6/3

  • Meeting with Advisor
    • Began planning poster
  • Meeting with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin Team
    • Pitched Project to them
  • Planned future measures to know for the next meeting

Week 2: June 6th, 2022

Monday 6/6

  • RCR Training
  • Read textbook material to prepare for project

Tuesday 6/7

  • Finished reading the textbook chapter for project
  • Met with mentor to discuss project
    • Planned next steps and deliverables
  • Continued conducting literature reviews of previous work

Wednesday 6/8

  • Wrote justification for gathering data from Feeding America
    • Continued literature review of previous and relevant work
  • Attended Talk on Good Writing Practices
  • Read textbook about forecasting methods

Thursday 6/9

  • Revised justification paragraph and sent to mentor for review
  • Continued reading textbooks
  • Practiced forecasting techniques

Friday 6/10

  • Read the textbook and practiced in-text exercises
  • Practiced forecasting techniques

Week 3: June 13th, 2022

Monday 6/13

  • Revised Justification paragraph
    • Set up a time to meet with Mentor to review writing
  • Continued reading textbook

Tuesday 6/14

  • Prepared presentation for Feeding America meeting
  • Created list of main points of the presentation

Wednesday 6/15

  • Met with mentor to discuss presentation
  • Attended research talk
  • Revised and edited presentation

Thursday 6/16

  • Practiced presentation with mentor
    • Added necessary details and graphs

Friday 6/17

  • Presented proposal to Feeding America
  • Gained access to data

Week 4: June 20th, 2022

Monday 6/20

  • Gathered public use datasets about inflation and SNAP
    • Created document about all datasets
  • Learned about tidycensus in R

Tuesday 6/21

  • Expanded document describing datasets
  • Began data cleaning

Wednesday 6/22

  • Attended research talk
  • Gained access to Feeding America Data
  • Met with mentor to discuss deliverables and next steps

Thursday 6/23

  • Read two chapters of textbook to refresh on R skills
  • Created bulleted list for mentor with next steps for data cleaning

Friday 6/24

  • Created methods for cleaning data
  • Met with mentor to discuss execution

Week 5: June 27th, 2022

Monday 6/27

  • Attended talk on good presentation skills
  • Began data cleaning
    • Met with mentor to discuss challenges