RESEARCH HERKY

About the Herky

The initial design of Research Herky was inspired by ongoing human health research at the University of Iowa. Herky is seen wearing a lab coat and blue nitrile gloves – apparel that you commonly see on a research scientist at the university. Because there is a variety of research topics and specialties at the university, Herky is displaying most of the major organs found in the human body. Upon working with Research Herky’s sponsor, CIVCO Medical Solutions, he was transformed into an ultrasound specialist. He is seen holding an ultrasound probe which is transmitting an image to the phone in the pocket of his lab coat. CIVCO is known for developing products that improve the lives and work of both patients and clinicians including ultrasound probe covers and accessories. You may have noticed that Research Herky has a hearing aid. One of Research Herky’s artists, Kyleakin Helm-Kwasny, has worn a hearing aid for the majority of her life. The reason for adding this piece to Herky was to show that “disabilities” don’t have to hold you back from your career goals. Research Herky is a successful scientist despite having a condition that people generally consider to be life-changing or limiting.

Making the Herky

Meet the Artist

Brynn Kyleakin Helm-Kwasny and Kyle Kwasny

Kyleakin Helm-Kwasny moved to Iowa City in 2016 to pursue an undergraduate degree in biology. She became very involved in University of Iowa sponsored organizations and activities and built a support system in the Iowa City community. Upon finishing her bachelor’s degree, she decided to stay at the university to pursue a PhD in molecular medicine. As of 2024, Kyleakin is still enrolled as a graduate student and her research is focused on the effects of the environmental toxicant, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), on human health (specifically, how PCBs contribute to liver disease and damage). Despite pursuing a career in science, Kyleakin has always dabbled in art. She believes that art and science do not have to be exclusive of each other. She is grateful to have the opportunity to show the intersection of art and science through the 2023 Herky on Parade program.

Kyle Kwasny moved to Iowa City in 2020 after graduating college. He is an Occupational Safety Coordinator for the Environmental Health & Safety office at the University of Iowa. Art has always been a passion for Kyle, mostly through music and drawing, but he has started to learn more about painting. Since being given the opportunity to work on this project, he was able to grow his skills and is grateful to leave a piece of history in his new home town.

Meet the Artist

Brynn Kyleakin Helm-Kwasny and Kyle Kwasny

Kyleakin Helm-Kwasny moved to Iowa City in 2016 to pursue an undergraduate degree in biology. She became very involved in University of Iowa sponsored organizations and activities and built a support system in the Iowa City community. Upon finishing her bachelor’s degree, she decided to stay at the university to pursue a PhD in molecular medicine. As of 2024, Kyleakin is still enrolled as a graduate student and her research is focused on the effects of the environmental toxicant, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), on human health (specifically, how PCBs contribute to liver disease and damage). Despite pursuing a career in science, Kyleakin has always dabbled in art. She believes that art and science do not have to be exclusive of each other. She is grateful to have the opportunity to show the intersection of art and science through the 2023 Herky on Parade program.

Kyle Kwasny moved to Iowa City in 2020 after graduating college. He is an Occupational Safety Coordinator for the Environmental Health & Safety office at the University of Iowa. Art has always been a passion for Kyle, mostly through music and drawing, but he has started to learn more about painting. Since being given the opportunity to work on this project, he was able to grow his skills and is grateful to leave a piece of history in his new home town.

Sponsored by

CIVCO

CIVCO Medical Solutions started in Kalona, Iowa in 1981. For more than four decades, CIVCO has distributed life-impacting medical devices to more than 100 countries worldwide while expanding its workforce in Iowa to over 200 employees. CIVCO’s vision is to make ultrasound-guided procedures safer through the development and manufacture of products for diagnostic, treatment, and infection prevention in urology, radiology, anesthesiology, cardiology, and other clinical areas.

I have several fond memories of being a Hawkeye, which is the true JOY of being one. I would say most of my greatest memories stem from supporting the women’s basketball team. The 2019 B1G 10 Championship game was for certain, one of the best for me, when Megan Gustafson unleashed for 45 points in a dominant win over Maryland. It was a pivoting moment for the program and our runs since then have been so fun to have experienced! The win over Ohio State in Iowa City will also always stand out to me as I have a brother-in-law who graduated from OSU Optometry school and he and my nephew attended the game with us. We will never let them forget that one! Go Hawks! #fightforiowa

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