Hannah Dufie Sakyiama is weaving a web of positivity and metamorphosis.
Dufie, who grew up in Kokomlemle in Accra, the capital of Ghana, is working toward her master’s degree in Jewelry and Metal Art in the School of Art and Art History at Iowa. She has worked in jewelry and metalsmithing for nine years and counting.
Known for exploring the ‘flexibility’ of metals, her principal theme is channeling her life experiences, particularly focusing on life’s “beautiful fragrances.” Her optimistic and open-minded perspective allows her to discuss life’s surprises and realities, using metals as a medium.
Dufie integrates contemporary visuals in her pieces, employing various metal techniques that complement her works. Her recent work connects the imagery of the weave of the spider web, the metamorphosis of the butterfly, and the traditional ‘kente’ cloth from Ghana (itself inspired by the spider web). She uses these concepts to tell her audience that there’s beauty in life after hard work, trials, and setbacks.
Dufie will leave Iowa with more than a degree—Iowa will forever be a strand of her artistic web!
Lynne Sebille-White’s mission is to help College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students develop fulfilling, meaningful, and prosperous careers.
Lynne, the Senior Director for Career Advancement at the Pomerantz Career Center, leads a team that works with students to plan their next steps, whether that means the job market or grad school. Organized by "Career Communities," or broad families of careers that cut across majors, the Career Center helps students learn where their strengths lie and what kinds of career paths they are interested in. They teach the students how to find the right major, build real-world skills, get hands-on experience through internships and volunteering, prepare resumes, interview for jobs, network with like-minded professionals, and decide whether a graduate or professional education program makes sense for their next step..
The center regularly hosts job fairs attended by upwards of 1,000 students and 150 employers, and, through its Handshake online recruiting system, connects employers—including many UI alumni—with great employees who are equipped with a world-class UI education.
"I love working with liberal arts students," Lynne says. "They have interests and knowledge across the disciplines, and I like helping them understand how what they learn in any major translates to life after Iowa."
Our students' success is the Pomerantz Career Center's top priority—and Lynne is proud to play a role in our graduates' impact.
When Riley DeWolf was growing up in Cedar Rapids, she loved the stage, performing when she could and relishing the theatrical environment. Now she’s taken that passion a step further, playing an important role in bringing the world’s biggest stars to Iowa City and the University of Iowa.
Riley’s a public relations/social media intern and a stage hand at Hancher Auditorium. If it’s been a while since you’ve been back on campus, you might not have seen the gorgeous new facility along the river, not far from the one that was catastrophically flooded in 2008. But when you do see it, you’ll know why Riley loves working there.
"Hancher is a magical place," says Riley, who has a double major in Journalism/Mass Communication and French. "Not only is it stunningly beautiful, but it offers so many amazing events and artists that no other place does. And my jobs let me learn professional writing and how to work with social media analytics. I get to produce creative content and artist write-ups and plan campaigns. It’s always a little different."
While her PR experience is right in line with her professional goals, the stage hand part of her job has its perks, too.
"Because I grew up dancing, I was a little star-struck when I got to meet people from companies like the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, and see all the costumes and set designs," she says. "And then here they are just casually asking me where they should go eat!"
Fiction writer Ada Zhang couldn’t believe she got accepted into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. And she’s happy to report that it’s lived up to the hype.
"It's even better than expected," says Ada, "and I had high expectations!"
Ada, from Austin, Texas, did her undergrad work at Baylor University, and worked in publishing in New York City for three years before coming here. Her Maytag Fellowship—created by a donation made through the UI Center for Advancement—means she can take time off from having a job.
"I've found mentors here like Ethan Canin and Sam Chang and Jess Walter," she says. "The experience in the classroom is so enriching, and I get to explore my writing." Ada also performed in a play on campus through the Department of Theatre Arts in summer 2019. "Monument (Four Sisters)," written by Sam Chanse and directed by Jade King Carroll, was part of the Summertime Partnership in the Arts, which brings established playwrights to campus to develop new works with Iowa students and faculty. "Writing and acting exercise the same muscles," Ada points out. "It's all storytelling."
When Ada graduates with her MFA, she’ll have a great new story to tell: She got into the Writers' Workshop, focused on her creative life, and contributed to Iowa’s history as an incubator of great literature.
You may have spent some time lounging on the grass at Gibson Square, just outside the Main Library. You may be tempted to again starting in 2022, as it will be the front lawn of the brand-new University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art.
Finally, the museum’s world-class collection—including Jackson Pollock’s masterpiece "Mural," which has been touring around the world to enthralled audiences—will be back home in Iowa City.
While the museum has not had a physical home since the 2008 flood that rendered the old museum building incapable of housing art, it has not stopped serving as a catalyst for the study and celebration of the visual arts. It has maintained long-running, always-evolving, temporary exhibitions in the Stanley Visual Classroom in the Iowa Memorial Union and in the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.
The new museum—with free admission to all—will feature 16,500 square feet of gallery space, an art lounge, a striking three-story lightwell, two outdoor terraces, a visual classroom, and underground parking. It is named for Richard and Mary Jo Stanley of Muscatine, Iowa, who committed $10 million to the project through the UI Center for Advancement. The remaining $40 million will be funded through a combination of a fundraising campaign and UI bonds.
Imagine strolling through a beautiful art museum before heading a couple blocks over for a concert at the Voxman Music Building, a play at the Theatre Building, or a dance concert. This will soon be possible on the UI campus—and your day may just start at Gibson Square.
There may be nothing new under the sun. But there sure is a lot we don’t understand—and Professor Craig Kletzing is going to help us learn as much as we can.
In June 2019, Craig’s team of researchers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy landed a $115 million contract from NASA to study how the sun’s magnetic fields interact with those of Earth. The award was by far the biggest the UI has ever gotten.
Also in June, Craig became the first professor appointed to the first-ever Donald A. and Marie B. Gurnett Chair, named for space-exploration pioneer and Professor Don Gurnett, who retired in 2019 after more than 60 years at Iowa.
Craig is known as an outstanding teacher and mentor. Much of his research since he joined the faculty in 1996 has focused on using rockets and satellites to learn about Earth’s auroras and radiation belts. One key project has been serving as principal investigator for an instrument suite on NASA’s current Van Allen Probes mission. That mission is exploring the Van Allen Radiation Belts, one of the first major discoveries of the Space Age, made right here at Iowa by the late Professor James Van Allen using instruments he designed for NASA's first satellite, the Explorer 1, which launched in 1958.
James Van Allen was Don Gurnett’s longtime mentor, and now Craig holds the Gurnett Chair. His PhD advisor at UCLA was Carl McIlwain, another legend in the field who worked with Van Allen on the original Explorer 1 instrument. It’s all a direct lineage to the very beginnings of space exploration—not just at Iowa, but anywhere. And with his colleagues in Physics and Astronomy, Craig is leading us into the next era.
Basketball and brain research. For Paula Valiño Ramos, these are the core of her University of Iowa experience.
When Paula, who hails from Ourense, Spain, was playing in a Spanish national championship series in high school, Hawkeye Women’s Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder watched her play online and knew she’d be a good fit for Iowa. She and Bluder had some Skype conversations, and it turned out to be great for both. She’s a strong inside player with the quintessential Hawkeye spirit.
Paula knew she wanted to go into medicine or medical research, and chose the Biochemistry major. Then she learned about something new to her: brain science. She became fascinated and added the Neuroscience major. Now, with the help of Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates fellowships, she gets to conduct world-class scientific research alongside Professor of Biology Joshua Weiner, who cofounded and codirects the Neuroscience major. Joshua also serves as Associate Director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute in the UI Carver College of Medicine.
Together, they’re investigating protocadherins, proteins that are essential to brain development. Paula says the research experience is thrilling. “Dr. Weiner is really great to work with,” she says. “He’s really patient, and took the time to catch me up to speed on the science, including discoveries that had been made right there in his lab.”
Paula is all about becoming the best Hawkeye she can be—whether it’s on the court or in the lab.
Luke Statler has been around baseball since birth. Growing up in O’Fallon, Missouri, he witnessed the hometown St. Louis Cardinals win a slew of division titles and a couple of World Series. So when the Sport and Recreation Management major had a chance to work for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, it was a natural—and exciting—fit.
Luke operates the TrackMan system for the Kernels, a Minnesota Twins Class A team. TrackMan tracks players’ performance in areas from the velocity and spin rate of pitches to the launch angles of batted balls. He also gets to assist the team’s video coordinator, the pitching and hitting coaches, and others on the team.
Best of all? Those colleagues are giving him great career advice, which he’ll use as he pursues a job in baseball operations for a Major League Baseball team. “It’s great to be able to gain this experience while I’m still in school,” Luke says. “I really appreciate and thank Professor Matheson for recommending that I apply for this position.” (Associate Professor of Instruction Dan Matheson is the Director of the Sport and Rec Management program.)
No matter where Luke lands, he’ll have the skills he needs to excel—thanks to his hands-on University of Iowa education.
Elizabeth Catlett wasn’t allowed to live in a dormitory when she was a UI graduate art student in the 1930s. Now more than 1,000 UI students call her namesake Catlett Hall, the UI’s newest residence hall, their home.
After graduating from Howard University, Elizabeth came to study at Iowa, having been drawn by the work of Professor Grant Wood. While here, she rented a house with fellow student Margaret Walker, an influential African American poet.
She went on to become one of the first three students to earn the Masters in Fine Arts—from the UI or anywhere else, as the degree was created at Iowa—and the first African-American woman to receive the degree.
She lived a long life in Mexico City, working mostly in sculpture, in a mix of abstract and figurative styles. She became the head of the sculpture department at Mexico's Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (National School of the Plastic Arts), and her honors include the International Sculpture Center's Lifetime Achievement Award. She died in 2012, at the age of 96.
A number of Elizabeth's works are in the UI Stanley Museum of Art's collection and on public display on campus, including a sculpture in the Hubbard Commons in the Iowa Memorial Union, just down the street from Catlett Hall. Check it out next time you’re in town!
WATCH OUT! There’s a car coming!
Walking or biking in a busy urban environment can be dangerous if you’re not paying attention. And the Hank Virtual Environments Lab, tucked away in MacLean Hall on the Pentacrest, wants to help make sure you and your kids are as safe as possible.
The Hank Virtual Environments Lab uses virtual-environment technology to safely study pedestrian and bicycling problems with real-world consequences. Researchers—including undergraduate and graduate students—focus on understanding how walkers and bikers cross traffic-filled virtual roadways, and how people perceive and adapt to virtual environments. The overarching goal is to advance the fields of behavioral science and computer science through the study of human behavior in real and virtual environments.
The lab is led by Professor of Computer Science Joe Kearney—who served as Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during 2018-2019, as well as an Associate Dean for 12 years—and Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences Jodie Plumert. Their research has been featured on the website of the National Science Foundation, and has attracted significant grant funding.
The discoveries that Joe, Jodie, and their student assistants make are a giant step forward for virtual-reality research, and for pedestrian and cyclist safety—and may make your child’s next small step into the street safer.
Alexia Sanchez is a first-generation college student. But Iowa has made her feel like an old college pro.
Her parents didn't attend college, so everything was new for the Des Moines native. That makes a huge difference: Studies show that first-gen students face more challenges in college than other students, and are less likely to apply to college in the first place. But with her mother’s enthusiastic support, Alexia took advantage of the resources Iowa has offered her—such as the Iowa Edge orientation program, which helps students like her navigate the sometimes overwhelming college experience—and she’s thriving.
"I wouldn’t be the person, student, and leader I am without Iowa Edge," says the Political Science/Social Justice double major, "and the Center for Diversity and Enrichment has connected me with people and opportunities. I've had some road bumps, but these opportunities have helped me find my path, and I love it here."
Alexia was a senator in UI Student Government for three years, and chair of the Student Life Committee. She co-directed the 2019 First Generation Summit to advocate for resources for facing first-gen challenges, directed the 2018 Homecoming Parade, and is the student leader in creating the Latinx Living-Learning Community in the dorms. She also is active in the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
With experiences like these, Alexia will be ready for anything her life and career bring!
The world-famous Iowa Writers' Workshop isn't the only excellent writing program on campus.
From the Department of English’s top-ranked graduate Nonfiction Writing Program and English/Creative Writing undergraduate major to the new Screenwriting major in the Department of Cinematic Arts to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, writing is infused throughout the curricula of every College of Liberal Arts and Sciences program.
Here’s an alphabetical list of UI writing programs:
Belin-Blank Summer Writing Residency (high school), English and Creative Writing major (undergraduate), International Writing Program (non-degree), Iowa Playwrights Workshop (graduate), Iowa Summer Writing Festival (non-degree), Iowa Writers’ Workshop (graduate), Iowa Young Writers’ Studio (high school), Iowa Youth Writing Project (outreach to elementary/junior high), Undergraduate Certificate in Writing (certificate), Online Certificate in Writing (post-baccalaureate certificate), Nonfiction Writing Program (graduate), School of Journalism and Mass Communication (undergraduate/graduate), Spanish Creative Writing MFA (graduate), Translation Workshop (graduate)
Excellence in writing is central to our history—and essential to our future!
When a baby is born prematurely, how is her brain development impacted? Is her behavior later in childhood affected? Allison Momany is on a mission to find out—and to help others understand.
Allison, from Iowa’s Amana Colonies, is in her sixth year as a PhD candidate in Clinical Science in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She’s already having an impact on her field—she’s earned a funded research fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to study neurodevelopment in infants born pre-term, an interest that began as an undergraduate at Iowa working in a lab in the Department of Psychiatry.
She also works with families in the Seashore Psychology Clinic, housed in Stuit Hall, the iconic structure at the corner of Gilbert and Jefferson Streets. There, she uses her training to help kids with behavioral problems and their parents. This interest, too, began as a UI undergrad (she earned her BS in Psychology in 2011), when she conducted research with a faculty mentor on child-parent interactions.
Now her doctoral training gives her the opportunity to combine these interests in neurodevelopment and child behavior—and to help families from throughout Iowa who come to the clinic. “I love the program,” Allison says. “It’s a collaborative, supportive environment. When I meet students from other programs at professional conferences, I’m reminded of how excellent our training is, our writing and scientific thinking and clinical skills.”
Allison plans to continue developing her career in an academic medical center after graduation, where she in turn can train and mentor students in brain science. Her students and patients—and the field she will advance—will be lucky to have her and her University of Iowa education.
Professor Morten Schlütter wants you to know one thing right off the bat about his field of Religious Studies: He’s not there to tell you what to believe, and he isn’t concerned with what you believe or don’t believe. He just wants to help you understand how religion shapes the world’s societies and cultures.
“Religion is a universal phenomenon,” Morten says. “There has never been a society without religion—even mostly secular societies—so the study of religion is essential to understanding the world.”
Morten’s authorship, research, and teaching interests lie primarily in Buddhism and Chinese religions. Among other notable publications, he is the author of the book "How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China" (University of Hawai’i Press, 2008) and co-editor of "Readings of the Platform Sūtra" (Columbia University Press, 2011).
He finds that UI undergraduates are genuinely interested in learning about religion. “Our students are open-minded and interested in different ways of looking at the world,” Morten says. “They want to see the world through the eyes of someone else. They’re very engaged and enjoyable to work with.”
Morten is one of many College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty members in the humanities helping our students understand humankind’s past and present, so they can better shape our future. This is the hallmark of a modern liberal arts education—and at the heart of the University of Iowa experience.
Downtown’s Englert Theatre is a mainstay in the cultural life of Iowa City—and Vocal Performance/Business Administration major Eriq Wolfe helps to keep it running smoothly.
A Development Intern for the community cultural center, Eriq is learning about grant writing, donor prospecting and stewardship, data management, and other critical nonprofit management tasks. As he puts it, he helps "make sure that the administrative processes of the organization work well."
Eriq knows the performance side of the arts well. He has performed in several operas while studying with Professor of Music John Muriello, including "Little Women" in spring 2019. But he was curious about the administrative and management side, the behind-the-scenes work that keeps artistic organizations thriving. His internship has been a perfect opportunity to explore the ins and outs of arts administration, which is a career goal for the Sidney, Iowa, native.
"It's a low-risk way to explore different aspects of a career," Eriq explained. "I can find out now whether I like this type of work, while I’m still in school."
Spoiler alert: He likes it. Next time you're in the Englert Theatre or another performance venue, think about the folks in the community who bring it all to life offstage on a day-to-day basis. Think about Eriq!
It’s simple: Caitlin Sapp wants you and your baby to hear well.
A doctoral student in the perennially top-ranked Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Caitlin works with Iowans from of all ages who come to the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic for hearing-related concerns. As a clinical supervisor in the AuD program training clinic, sometimes that includes infants whose state-mandated Early Hearing Detection and Intervention test for newborns indicates possible hearing difficulties. Because they’re so tiny, the babies can’t raise their hands when they hear a beep like an adult or older child would, so Caitlin and her colleagues test their brain waves. The results help them determine treatment options.
Caitlin is earning her PhD in Speech and Hearing Science, studying with Professor Beth Walker. It seems she just can’t get enough of Iowa—she already has one doctorate from our Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, having earned her Doctor of Audiology degree in 2014. She came to the UI to study (both times) because, well, it’s the best program in the world.
Between her Iowa City stints, Caitlin practiced pediatric audiology in Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. She loves the hospital environment and conducting research, and also loves working with public health groups, advising on policy that improves lives. Her current research looks at the services provided for babies in NICU vs. non-NICU environments. Her discoveries will help us better look after our little ones.
From clinics to classrooms to public health policy books, Caitlin is poised to have even more impact on the lives of the hearing impaired—thanks to her commitment to her discipline and her Iowa education.
The University of Iowa landscape is always evolving—and the latest addition is the Psychological and Brain Sciences Building now under construction on the corner of Iowa Avenue and Gilbert Street.
Psychology is the UI’s largest undergraduate major, and the building will feature much-needed study spaces and commons areas for students. Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty and graduate students—as well as undergraduates working alongside faculty mentors—will have new state-of-the-art research spaces. Conference rooms will facilitate collaboration among faculty members and students.
Because psychology is a “hub discipline”—existing at the intersection of neurology, biology, computer science, and other natural health sciences—the 66,000-square-foot, six-story building will impact research across campus. And the attractive new facility will serve as a gateway to the campus from the east.
The building is slated to open for business in January 2020. Take a stroll through when you get a chance!
"Find the big gold I."
That was the task given Meaghan Lemmenes as she was training to work in Special Collections in the UI Main Library. It referred to the Library’s medieval copy of the Missale Romanum, a liturgical book, with gold woven into its pages.
Meaghan was successful, and has worked in Special Collections and the University Archives since (the UI Libraries system comprises eight libraries around campus, is one of the nation’s largest research libraries, and employs more than 150 students). The English/Creative Writing and Journalism/Mass Communication double major loves working with the books, photographs, and other items in the collection. "There’s so much history, and so much to learn," she says. "How to handle and process the materials, getting them to the right researchers, working with classes. I love it."
Now Meaghan, who graduated with her BA in August 2019, is starting the UI School of Library and Information Sciences MA program. She says her undergraduate background has prepared her well. "I’ve learned to write stories, now I’ll learn to care for them," she points out, "and I hope to use my marketing and social media skills working for public libraries." Those libraries, and the communities they serve, will be lucky to have her!
Rachel Valentine has Hawkeye athletics in her blood—she grew up following Iowa sports, and her older sister Sam (BS 2013) was a catcher on the softball squad.
So when Rachel came to the UI from Centerville, Iowa, she knew she wanted to wear a Hawkeye uniform. But she also wanted to try something new. Here’s where the Iowa River comes in to her story. She joined the Women’s Rowing team and learned to “dance with the boat” all the way to the 2019 NCAA Championship regatta. "A lot of students pass by the river every day, but they don’t know it like we do," she points out. "When you’re out there at 5:45 in the morning in the dark when it’s snowing, you have a different relationship with the river."
Now Rachel, who graduated in 2019 with a double major in English/Creative Writing and Communication Studies, has found new ways of staying involved with the Hawkeyes. She’s starting the Master’s program in Sport and Recreation Management—she hopes to be a student-athlete academic coordinator when she finishes—and will be the manager for the 2019-20 softball team.
Athletics was far from the only extracurricular involvement for Rachel as an undergrad. Among other activities, she was a reporter for the Daily Iowan, on the Executive Board of the Communication Studies Student Association, on the leadership team for Dance Marathon, and a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House. She made the President’s List her final two years, reflecting her 4.0 gpa.
Next time you cross the river—especially as the sun is rising and you see the long Hawkeye shells gliding with grace and speed past the herons and geese—think of Rachel and her fellow rowers!
Steve Goddard joined the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as our new dean during the summer of 2018.
A first-generation college student from a rural Minnesota farm community, Steve attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth, on a wrestling scholarship.
He came to the UI after 21 years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was the John E. Olsson Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, as well as Vice Chancellor for Research and Chair of the Department of Computer Science. He also worked in the computer industry for 13 years, including nine years as president of his own company, before earning his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998.
Steve is thrilled to be at the University of Iowa.
"This is an amazing place," Steve says. "I’m so grateful to get to work with such outstanding faculty and staff, and our students are really impressive. I’m excited to get started on my first year!"
Isabel Reed (BA ’18) had an idea.
What if there were an app that helped students on a campus find other students to collaborate on projects? Sort of like a Match.com for team-building meets a Kickstarter for crowdsourcing peer support?
It turns out the idea is golden, and now—with crucial support from the UI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and its Founders Club for startup-minded students—she’s about to launch her brainchild, Comigo, using Iowa as the first venue.
Isabel, already a CEO just months after graduating with a degree in Psychology in December 2018, has won pitch competitions for Comigo (you can find it at comigo.co) around the country and secured seed funding. She’s recruited team members and web developers. She’s using cutting-edge startup methodologies. And all the while, she’s gaining invaluable professional experience as the Marketing and Sales Coordinator for Volunteer Local, a successful startup based in Des Moines.
Isabel doesn’t just have a promising future—she’s living that promise now, only a short time after graduation. And she credits the UI startup community and her liberal arts education for helping build her creativity and drive. Keep your eye on Comigo!
This happy guy is giving his first reading at Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City.
Prairie Lights is one of the nation’s premier independent bookstores and a great partner to the University of Iowa and its writing programs.
The Iowa Youth Writing Project, a community outreach unit of the Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, introduces kids to the magic of literature and writing, and of sharing one’s work with others. That’s how this young writer ended up giving a public reading.
Stop by sometime, browse the stacks, maybe have a cup of coffee in the café: You might just catch a UI student, professor, or alum (or maybe a future one!) reading their original work.
When 70,000 fans in Kinnick Stadium wave to the kiddos in the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, one College of Liberal Arts and Sciences student takes special pride.
Charlie Ellis, a fourth-year student majoring in Enterprise Leadership and Economics, was the 2018-19 Executive Director of UI Dance Marathon, the student-run organization that raises millions of dollars to help children with cancer and their families.
Last year alone, with Charlie’s leadership, Dance Marathon raised almost $3 million. He steered the organization in important directions, including instituting its first year-round fundraising campaign, "Shape Your Impact." And under his direction, on top of $7 million in earlier donations, Dance Marathon donated $2.2 million to create the UI Dance Marathon Child Life Specialist endowment at the Stead Family Children's Hospital.
Charlie, from Le Mars, Iowa, has worked on campus with the offices of Orientation Services, Academic Support and Retention, University Housing and Dining, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and has served on the CLAS Dean’s Student Advisory Council. In summer 2019, he worked an internship at Columbia University, helping to prepare students from underrepresented groups for life at an Ivy League institution.
Charlie hopes to build a career in higher education student affairs after graduation. Until then, you can find him at Iowa helping kids and being involved all around campus—wave if you see him!
Emily Manders took an AP class in environmental science her senior year in high school, and she knew she had found her calling. The University of Iowa has empowered her to put her passion into action.
When she started at Iowa, Emily quickly declared our Environmental Science major, then switched to the Environmental Policy and Planning major, with Environmental Science and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) minors. To top it off, she’s earning the Certificate in Sustainability.
Emily, a fourth-year student from Cedar Rapids, is the Director of Sustainability for UI Student Government. She also is co-President of the UI Environmental Coalition, a student organization closely aligned with the UI’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment (a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). She joined UIEC her first year, and says it quickly became her whole life. One of UIEC’s activities is the Earth Month Bike Challenge and the related Winter Months Bike Challenge. The challenges incentivize and reward bicycling as a primary means of transportation to and from work and classes on campus.
"It’s so important to advocate for sustainability," she says. "I have the means to make a difference, so I want to use my voice to stand up for the environment."
For Writers' Workshop poetry student Jorrell Watkins, words don’t just live on the page. They sing and prowl the stage, evoke empathy and bring human experience to life.
Jorrell is an interdisciplinary thinker, artist, and educator—a historian of poetry, theater, music, and the martial arts—and a scholarly researcher.
He taught for RISE AmeriCorps. He worked in case management with incarcerated individuals. He is a Diversity and Disability Fellow for the UI's Center for Disabilities and Development, for which he will present research at a national conference. He is overseeing production in Iowa City of a play he wrote for the local Combined Efforts Theatre Company, which brings people with and without disabilities together in the arts.
And during the summer of 2019, he was a Graduate Student Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, conducting research at the National Museum of American History and National Museum of African American History and Culture. He's exploring the Black American Music Tradition, from blues to hip-hop/trap, and how it creates pathways for Black migration and social/political movements. His research will culminate in a historically researched poetry manuscript.
A Virginia native, Jorrell came to Iowa with the help of a Pflughaupt Fellowship, and finds that the Workshop gives him the time, space, and resources to bring all his passions together. "The Workshop allows us to explore our writing, as well as what intrigues us," he says. "Everybody's doing interesting work. It’s a supportive environment."
Pre-Law student Alexandra Skores knew she loved to write and wanted to explore social issues, so she came to the UI to study English, with a double major in Criminology, Law, and Justice. But college is a time for finding the right path, and she ended up switching to Journalism and Mass Communication, with a Political Science double.
The revelation came during the Illinois native’s first year on campus, in 2017-18.
"I participated in UI Student Government and saw the Daily Iowan election coverage," Alexandra explained. "I had considered journalism, but it was from that coverage that I got a grasp of the campus around me and how I wanted to write those stories. I switched my major that summer and have loved it."
Now Alexandra's not just studying journalism, she's doing it. She was a staff writer and digital team member for the Daily Iowan—the UI’s award-winning, student-run newspaper—during her second year. And as a News Editor in 2019-2020, she’ll help shape the paper’s content and drive the community conversation.
She's a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority; has volunteered with On Iowa!, the UI's welcome event for new students; went on Alternative Spring Break to Indianapolis to work for food justice; and will serve as Finance Director for the 2019 Homecoming celebration. Alexandra has found her niche—and we can't wait to see the career she’ll develop as an Iowa graduate!
It's a wonder that Guowei Qi has any time to hang out with his friends downtown on the Ped Mall.
But Guowei seems to find the time for all kinds of things, on campus and off. He’s a Senator for UI Student Government. He’s Treasurer of the UI Environmental Coalition. He’s a member of the Research Council, one of the Presidential Charter Committees. He served on the search committee that resulted in hiring Steve Goddard as the new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He plays violin in a piano trio.
Guowei, a third-year student with a triple major in Biochemistry, Mathematics, and Computer Science, is no slouch academically, either. At Valley High School in West Des Moines, he scored a perfect 36 on his ACT. He earned a Presidential Scholarship to Iowa, the university's most prestigious award. He received a 2019-20 Goldwater Scholarship, which was created by Congress to recognize excellence in the natural sciences, math, and engineering. He landed an internship at Relay Therapeutics in Boston for summer 2019, researching the development of cancer drugs. He is a Research Fellow in the lab of Biochem Professor Michael Schnieders, and is interested in computational chemistry as a career.
You may be exhausted just from reading this—but to Guowei, it’s just part of being a Hawkeye. "It's great to be involved in different things," he says. "It gives you a broad overview."
Ann Howard Jones (BM '64, MM '66, DMA '84) has risen to become one of the nation's top choral directors—but she has never forgotten the University of Iowa and its School of Music.
Ann is a retired Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Boston University, where she was responsible for the highly regarded graduate program in choral conducting. Widely recognized for her conducting, leadership, and teaching, she received the Robert Shaw Choral Award from the American Choral Directors Association in 2011 for distinguished professional accomplishment and service. She was Assistant Conductor to Choruses, including the Atlanta Symphony choruses, under the iconic Maestro Robert Shaw—one of America’s foremost classical musicians. Ann has regularly returned to campus to work with our students and faculty, and has also been a generous financial donor in support of the UI’s choral programs.
She was Assistant Conductor to Choruses, including the Atlanta Symphony choruses, under the iconic Maestro Robert Shaw - one of America's foremost classical musicians. Ann has regularly returned to campus to work with our students and faculty, and has also been a generous financial donor in support of the UI's choral programs.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was honored to recognize Ann’s legacy and impact as a 2018 Alumni Fellow, our highest honor. She worked with students in the new Voxman Music Building and guest-conducted the Kantorei and University Choirs.
"It was my great honor to return to Iowa City to accept the Alumni Fellow award and to share the concert stage with Dr. Tim Stalter and Iowa's wonderful singers," says Ann, a native of Cresco, Iowa. "To see and hear the young musicians in the remarkable new spaces was especially thrilling! The excellence of the School of Music continues to exert powerful influence for good and has inspired me to assist and support in every way possible."
The Iowa Memorial Union has been at the center of campus life for almost 100 years—and counting.
It’s a place to study, gather, buy books and gear, eat, and rock out to concerts. And as the home of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, the IMU today buzzes with students working to make a difference at the University of Iowa and in society.
Students can choose from more than 600 officially recognized student organizations at Iowa—or they can create one of their own!
Opportunities abound at the undergrad and graduate level, and include community service groups, professional development organizations, arts and sports clubs, and Fraternity/Sorority Life chapters, to name just a few categories.
UI college life is more involved than ever—and the IMU remains at the center of it all.