News Release Archive

April 15, 2019 - 3:41pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) group exhibition along with a Master of Arts (M.A.) group exhibition from Monday, April 29, through Saturday, May 11. An opening reception will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, April 29, in the south lobby of the Kamerick Art Building (KAB).

Anastasia Chloe of Charles City will present an exhibition titled "Interior." Chloe is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on themes of home and domesticity. In her work, she explores notions of interior and exterior personal spaces "dancing between the tangible physical world and that of memory and emotion."

Deo Rai of Des Moines will present an exhibition of paintings titled "It’s Not About Me." Rai states, "Hey! Some people think that I am an immigrant. But I love to say I am a Human, and I am from the Earth. I am working with emojis, a new and very popular trend associated with social media."

Emily Michelle Schroeder of Cedar Falls will present an exhibition of paintings titled "(Re)Formed." Upon graduation, she will also be receiving a Museum Studies Certificate. In her work, Schroeder explores the intersection of art, faith and identity. She draws parallels between the transfigurative Christian faith and the transformative nature of painting.

Hanna Seggerman will graduate with both a B.F.A. in sculpture and B.A. in art education. Seggerman’s exhibition titled "Fragment" explores an assortment of forms that represent the fraction of former times, beings and memories.

Concurrently, the gallery will present "M.A. Art Education Candidates’ Visual Timelines" in the Showcases and ZigZag Cases in the KAB South lobby. These visual timelines document classwork and applied research completed by the Art Education cohort of 2019. The M.A. program provides a comprehensive and contemporary orientation to art education study and practice, and the curriculum aligns with student activities in classroom experiences. It includes courses addressing models of inquiry and practice that help students establish strong links between theory and practice in art education. 

All events are free and open to the public. The gallery is located on the main floor of KAB and its hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and by appointment.

For additional information, visit or contact Darrell Taylor, director of the UNI Gallery of Art, at 319-273-6134 or

April 12, 2019 - 2:54pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa presented three graduating students with the Lux Service Award for their exemplary service to the university during the Student Leadership Awards ceremony on April 9.

Lux Service Award
Lux Service Award winners Clare Flattery and Yakira Sanders. Not pictured is Dominique Jefferson.

The winners include:

Yakira Sanders is a senior majoring in social work. She has been involved in several organizations during her time on campus and has held various leadership positions and executive roles through Dancer Hall Senate, Black Student Union, Ethnic Student Promoters, Peer Multicultural Mentoring Program and Jump Start Pathfinder. She led collaborations between the Department of Residence and Student Success and Retention to create the first Jump Start Living Learning Community, a community that will create a network of support for minoritized students.

Clare Flattery is a senior communication major with a minor in marketing. As a transfer student, she wanted to make the best of her experience at UNI and became involved in a number of organizations, including Cat Crew, Student Admissions Ambassador, Connecting Alumni to Students, UNI Dance Marathon, UNI Theatre, UNI Colleges Against Cancer, Transfer Advocacy and Involvement Group, and Live Purple Give Gold. She has encouraged countless first-year and transfer students to find their place at UNI. "It’s about showing hard work outside of meeting, the little things one does every day in an organization builds on the foundation of their leadership skills."

Dominique Jefferson is a senior marketing major with an economics minor. He quickly got involved on campus by joining UNI's Black Student Union, Maucker Union Advisory Board and American Marketing Association. When the opportunity arose to be a founding member of an organization on campus, he saw through the hours of commitment to bring the first National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) chapter to UNI. When one of life's biggest challenges was put in front of him, he could have given up on his education, but strong will, determination and perseverance pushed him through. After taking some time away from UNI, he returned wanting to keep Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. at UNI thriving as he worked diligently to cross a new line of chapter members.

April 11, 2019 - 8:55am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa will host a U.S. Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, in Maucker Union Ballroom on the UNI campus.

This is the eighth ceremony hosted by UNI, and more than 100 people from over 30 countries of origin will participate in this year's ceremony. This event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Marshals Services, UNI Maucker Union and the UNI Police. The ceremony is free and open to the public; refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Mark Grey, professor of anthropology, at 319-269-7905 or

April 9, 2019 - 3:20pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The North American Review (NAR), the oldest and one of the most well-regarded literary magazines in the United States, will host a writing conference April 19-21 to celebrate the magazine's 50 years on the University of Northern Iowa campus and a redesign of the magazine’s format.

Terry Tempest Williams
American author Terry Tempest Williams will give a keynote reading during the North American Review writing conference.

Writers, teachers and scholars from around the country will share their work and participate in generative writing workshops led by prominent featured writers. The conference will be launched with a keynote reading by NAR contributing editor Terry Tempest Williams at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 19, in Lang Hall Auditorium. A reception and book signing will follow.

Williams is an American author, conservationist and activist. Her writing is influenced by Mormon culture and the beautiful landscape of her home state, Utah. Her work explores ecology, wilderness preservation, women's health, and human relationships between culture and nature. Williams has received the highest honor given to an American citizen, the Robert Marshall Award. She has also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association, the Wallace Stegner Award and the Community of Christ International Peace Award.

The North American Review's summer issue will also be launched at the writing conference. A new, recently discovered poem by Allen Ginsberg, one of the most important 20th-century American poets, will be published and featured in the magazine along with an original portrait by artist Gary Kelley.

Featured writers, including award-winning essayist and poet Taylor Brorby, American writer of fantasy Kij Johnson and poet Martín Espada, will host workshops, readings and lectures throughout the day on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21.

This conference is free and open to the public. For more information about the North American Review's writing conference, including a full schedule and how to register, visit

April 8, 2019 - 1:26pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – As the snows of winter thaw and grass begins to emerge, the Good Neighbor Iowa program is renewing its efforts to reduce the amount of harmful pesticides applied to urban landscapes.

Wakema Park
Wakema Park in Center Point, Iowa

The Center Point Parks and Recreation is the latest landowner to join the University of Northern Iowa project. Wakema Park, a five-acre park in Center Point, Iowa, will now be managed without the use of weed killers, adding to a growing list of more than 188 parks across Iowa where mowed turf is managed without pesticides in order to protect child health, water quality and pollinators.

“We are looking forward to this adventure, and are always interested in ways to increase safety,” said Center Point Parks and Recreation Coordinator, Molly Stuelke.

Common lawn pesticides, which includes herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, are linked to a number of adverse health outcomes, particularly in children, such as prenatal and childhood cancers, chronic illnesses, neurodevelopmental delays and behavioral disorders.

The chemicals have also been shown to pollute local water supplies, pose a danger to pets and undermine bees and other pollinators by reducing biodiversity.

Moreover, many pesticides are unnecessary, said Audrey Tran Lam, environmental health program manager for UNI’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education.

“This paradigm that lawns must be treated with chemicals to grow or look beautiful is not true,” Tran Lam said. “Committing to managing lawns without the use of chemicals is something individuals and institutions can do to improve the environmental health of our neighborhoods.”

Almost 350 institutions across the state have joined Good Neighbor Iowa, including 56 child care centers, 188 parks and 35 schools. The program has protected an estimated 20,000 children from pesticide exposure and prevented the application of about 62,000 pounds of the active ingredients in pesticides to Iowa watersheds.

For more information, visit

March 21, 2019 - 9:49am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa will host its annual day of giving, #LivePurpleGiveGold, on Wednesday, April 3. The day of giving will begin at midnight and conclude at 11:59 p.m. UNI has set a goal of reaching 1,200 donors supporting the university during the 24-hour event.

The day aims to bring UNI students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends together to support and impact UNI. Similar to past years, donations made during #LivePurpleGiveGold will help unlock challenge grants that impact areas across campus. If the 1,200-donor goal is reached, the university will receive a challenge grant of $12,000. Other challenges can be unlocked to benefit individual colleges, alumni clubs, athletics, students, faculty and staff. 

#LivePurpleGiveGold hopes to build on last year’s effort. During the 2018 day of giving:

  •  1,050 donors participated, setting a new single-day record for gifts to UNI for the second year in a row
  • Gifts were made from 45 different states
  • 100+ funds were supported
  • 667 alumni made a gift
  • 319 faculty and staff members made a gift

For more information, visit, and follow the UNI Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.

March 19, 2019 - 9:52am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – UNI Museum will be exhibiting a conserved archaeological tusk from its collection. A mastodon tusk, unearthed near Hampton, Iowa, in 1933, is an important piece of Iowa's natural history and has been an opportunity for scientific study, conservation and interpretation. Presentation of the exhibit will be from 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, on the first floor of Rod Library.

Unveiling the Tusk exhibit

The tusk exhibit serves as a benchmark for UNI Museum to engage with campus and the community. By incorporating material culture research within local schools, UNI classrooms and Iowa exhibits, the UNI Museum seeks to educate students in modern museum methods. In the future, its aim is to continue building campus partnerships and serve as a reference for small museums across the state.

Participating partners for the exhibit include the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, BioTech X-ray, Inc., the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, South Dakota School of Mines, Rod Library, UNI's Industrial Technology Center and UNI Media Services.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information about this exhibit or the UNI Museum, visit or contact Nathan Arndt, UNI Museum assistant director and chief curator, at 319-273-2188 or



March 18, 2019 - 1:50pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – About 170 middle schoolers will gather at the University of Northern Iowa campus this month to participate in the college’s first-ever GeoChallenge, a competition sponsored by National Geographic that asks students to create real-world solutions to tackle real-world environmental challenges.

2017 Nat Geo Bee

UNI is one of 16 sites in the country that will host the challenge. It will take place on March 29 and will join the GeoBee, which UNI has hosted for several years, to create a full day of educational activities called GeoFest.

“The GeoChallenge is fun, and it is also ‘college and career ready’ fun,” said Alex Oberle, interim department head for the Department of Geography. “What the students learn and develop through the GeoChallenge are the skills, abilities and habits of mind that are both needed for college and valued by employers.”

This year, the theme of the GeoChallenge is Tackling Plastic, which invites students to investigate the urgent issue of plastic pollution in waterways and the ocean. Teams of students will use skills such as teamwork, research, innovation, critical thinking and persuasive communication to address the challenge. The students will create maps, models and videos as they develop their solutions to the issue.

“This is the middle school version of the same process undergraduates in our UNI Department of Geography undertake to complete class projects and undergraduate research,” Oberle, a 2018 National Geographic Society Education Fellow said.   

The GeoChallenge provides a direct pathway for these students to continue their motivation and inspiration as future UNI students, Oberle said. The finalists in both competitions will receive $200 scholarships if they choose to attend UNI.

“Sustainability is one of the values in our strategic plan, and Iowa students ‘tackling plastic’ embodies UNI’s commitment to achieving sustainability,” Oberle said.

March 12, 2019 - 2:55pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – A night of hip hop music, art, dance and performance is planned from 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, March 14, in Seerley Hall, Room 115, on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The UNI community and general public are welcome to attend.

Hip Hop Travel Showcase
UNI students participate in cultural festivals in China and Thailand.

The evening is an outgrowth of community collaborations that led to students from UNI and the Waterloo Community School District performing at cultural festivals in Thailand in January and in China last fall. The travel showcase will feature video of the trips as well as live performances by the students along with guest performers from Des Moines and the Waterloo area. 

The full line-up of events includes: 

  • Video of the China trip, including performances by the Waterloo Hip Hop Literacy students at the Hangzhou Citizens Leisure Festival.
  • Video of the Thailand trip, part of the Thailand International Folklore Festival, which included the UNI hip hop dance group, The Movement.
  • Live performances by both student groups. 
  • Additional hip hop performances by Des Moines-based Hip Hope, and King Tez and Marcus Jackson, local performers. 
  • Written works and art projects by Waterloo students who are part of the Waterloo Writing Project and Youth Art Forum. 

The Waterloo students who participated in the China trip are part of the Hip Hop Literacy group in Waterloo, a summer camp co-founded by Shuaib Meacham, Ph.D., associate professor of literacy education at the UNI College of Education, and Lamont Muhammed, a teacher with the Waterloo school district. Meacham sees both trips as reflective of partnerships in place. “They really grew out of community connections that have been made. Waterloo has so many resources and talent, so it’s been one of my purposes to connect with talented artists here and bring them into connection with the hip hop program.”

The trip to China grew from a connection UNI doctoral student Dongyub Back in leisure studies had with the World Leisure Organization. This led to an application to perform at the Hangzhou festival. While in China, representatives of the Thailand festival extended an invitation to perform in January. This time, UNI undergraduate students who are part of a campus hip hop dance group called The Movement joined other local artists and performers on the trip. 

The performers in both China and Thailand were treated like celebrities, Meacham said. “In China, the global demand of U.S. hip hop was a real source of fascination. We had the youngest group there, yet had teenagers looking for our kids in hallways and wanting to know them better. Thailand was more of the same, but on a larger level, because we went to rural cities there.” 

Though the trips were not coordinated by UNI, the McElroy Trust provided support to help make the China trip possible, while the UNI College of Education, Center for Multicultural Education, Provost Office and Academic Affairs helped support the UNI students’ trip to Thailand. 

Meacham and Muhammed accompanied the Waterloo students along with independent music producer “Lyrikal TMG” Marc Anthony Nalls; Sheryl Jones, a teaching assistant in the Waterloo schools; Dacia Carter, videographer and UNI digital and communications alum; and Back. Lyrikal TMG and Back accompanied Meacham and the UNI students to Thailand.

March 11, 2019 - 1:56pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – Mary E. Losch, director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR) and professor of psychology at the University of Northern Iowa, has been named the 2019 recipient of the John M. Kennedy Achievement Award given by the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations (AASRO) for her service and leadership in academic survey research.

Mary Losch
Mary Losch

Losch's distinguished career includes 20 years of service in the roles as director and as assistant director of UNI's Center for Social and Behavioral Research and 10 years as program director at the University of Iowa Social Science Institute. She has also served as a leader of the Institutional Review Boards, charged with the protection of research subjects, at both the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.

"Mary has been instrumental in establishing CSBR's national reputation," said Brenda Bass, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. "She is highly regarded for her dedication to research ethics and data quality and commended by colleagues for her ability to foster a positive work environment and strong, collaborative team. Her expertise as a researcher, scholar and leader are a tremendous asset to our college and university."

As a founding member of AASRO, Losch has been involved since its first meeting, serving the organization in many capacities, including as conference chair, Collaboration Work Group chair, Steering Committee member and now as incoming president. Losch’s professional service extends to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), where she has served as standards chair, secretary-treasurer and chair of AAPOR’s Code of Professional Ethics Review Committee. She also served on the committee that developed and implemented AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative.

Losch is also an accomplished scholar, having published more than 50 peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters. As of 2018, her total grant and contract funding exceeded $23 million. She has additionally mentored countless students and research staff at both UNI and the University of Iowa.

AASRO, the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations, is dedicated to supporting and promoting excellence in survey research conducted in academic settings. The membership is made up of over 60 academic survey research organizations from across the country. For more information, visit

March 11, 2019 - 10:34am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art and the UNI Department of Art will present the "Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition" in Kamerick Art Building (KAB) South from Monday, March 25 through Saturday, April 20.

An awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, March 25, in the KAB Auditorium, Room 111. The Friends of the UNI Permanent Art Collection & Gallery are co-sponsoring the opening reception, which follows the ceremony.

This competitive exhibition showcases outstanding recent artworks by students enrolled in classes in the UNI Department of Art. The juror for this year's competition is T.J. Dedeaux-Norris, assistant professor of art from the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa. Dedeaux-Norris will make a selection from approximately 300 student entries and choose a number of merit awards and honorable mentions. She will also give a lecture about her work as well as her perspective on jurying at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 13 in KAB 111.

Dedeaux-Norris (fka, Tameka Jenean Norris) was born in Guam and received her B.A. in African-American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010 and her M.F.A. in painting and printmaking from Yale University in 2012. She has completed artist residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Fountainhead, the Grant Wood Colony, the MacDowell Colony and Open Kitchen in Milwaukee. She is the 2017 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Her most recent solo exhibitions have been at the following venues: Catich Gallery, St. Ambrose University, Davenport; Ronchini Gallery, London; and Savannah College School of Art and Design, Atlanta.

All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and by appointment. The gallery is located on the main floor of KAB South. 

For additional information, visit or contact Darrell Taylor, director of the UNI Gallery of Art, at 319-273-6134 or

March 11, 2019 - 2:10pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa will host the Student Leadership Awards at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 9, in the Old Central Ballroom in Maucker Union. The ceremony recognizes outstanding student leadership through a series of awards presented to students and student organizations.

Several awards are presented in various categories, including three awards from the Office of the Dean of Students: the Lux Service Award, Outstanding Student Leader Award and Servant Leadership Award.

- The Lux Service Award is the most prestigious award given to graduating senior students to acknowledge their outstanding involvement and lasting legacy.

- The Outstanding Student Leader Award recognizes students that have demonstrated dedications and leadership in one or more campus activities.

- The Servant Leadership Award is presented to students who strive to serve others before themselves and promote the common good.

Other awards include the UNI CARE (Creating a Responsible Environment) Award, Northern Iowa Student Government Above and Beyond Awards, Student Organization Awards, Drake Martin Gold Star Awards, Dr. Sue Follon Scholarship for Women in Leadership and Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award.

Recipients of Student Leadership Awards were chosen from nominated students or student organizations throughout January and February. For more information, visit or contact Steffoni Schmidt, associate director of Student Life and Event Services, at 319-273-7422 or

March 8, 2019 - 11:15am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa will welcome about 100 English-language learners from Waterloo West High School in an effort to both develop leadership skills in current students and showcase the benefits of higher education to potential first-generation college students.

Cara Burnidge and Yasemin Sari
Cara Burnidge and Yasemin Sari

The English Language Learners Youth Conference will take place this Friday and was organized by Philosophy and Study of Religion students, and UNI’s Panther Promise Program, in partnership with Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resources Center (EMBARC), a nonprofit founded by and for refugees of Burma living in Iowa.

The conference – the first of its kind at UNI – is the culmination of a semester of work in the fall by students of Cara Burnidge, assistant professor of religion, and Yasemin Sari, assistant professor of philosophy. Their students planned and organized the conference to help participants in EMBARC’s Youth Navigators program build their leadership skills and consider college as an avenue for further leadership to help their communities, Burnidge said.

The conference will include campus tours, leadership workshops and presentations from a variety of campus organizations and entities to help the high school students understand what it takes to be successful in college and outside of it.

“The program connects UNI to the surrounding community as an important reminder and statement that we care about the region the university is in,” Burnidge said. “We are empowering a community that, with a little support, can impact the Cedar Valley in new ways.”

Minorities of Burma (also known as Myanmar) fled from the longest running civil war in the world, Burnidge said. As a refugee relocation city, Waterloo is home to an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 minorities of Burma. Since 2008, refugees of Burma make up the largest refugee population in the United States.

March 7, 2019 - 11:24am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa Women's and Gender Studies Program will host multiple events this March in honor of Women's History Month.

Highlighted events include:

- "Surviving R. Kelly & Beyond: Women and Girls of Color in the #MeToo Era" panel from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, March 11, at the Center for Multicultural Education.

- Women's and Gender Studies keynote address and book signing with Cynthia Bond, American author and former actress. Bond is author of the best-selling novel "Ruby," which was featured on Oprah's Book Club 2.0. This event is at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 26, in Sabin Hall, Room 002.

The full list of Women's History Month events can be found at

For more information, contact the Women's and Gender Studies Program at 319-273-7102 or

March 6, 2019 - 11:27am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – This spring break, two groups of exceptionally talented UNI School of Music students will travel internationally to perform around the world.

Panther Marching Band
UNI's Panther Marching Band

One hundred forty members of the UNI Panther Marching Band will travel to Ireland from March 15-22. The group has been invited to perform on March 17 in Dublin and March 18 in Limerick at parades, which are part of the St. Patrick’s Festival that sweeps across Ireland every year. In addition to the parade performances, the group will explore Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Cobh as part of its tour around the country. 

Marching band director Justin Mertz said, "The PMB has a long-standing tradition of high-profile, international parade performances and this trip continues that! Over 500,000 people will come out to watch the parade. St. Patrick’s Day is a major Irish cultural event, and it is an honor to be invited to participate in it."

The UNI Concert Chorale, under the direction of John Wiles, will also be traveling over spring break and will perform a series of concerts in Wisconsin before their international departure to Spain. The group will perform at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Badger High School and in collaboration with the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra from March 14-16. They will then head for Spain with performances scheduled at the Andalucia Music Festival in Granada, Parroquia de Santa Maria la Mayor in Ecija and the Auditorio de Tomares outside of Seville. Walking tours and visits to historical sites will pepper the group’s itinerary between performances. 

Jeffrey Funderburk, director of the UNI School of Music, stated, "In our ongoing efforts to help students to have an international experience as part of their college training, the UNI School of Music is pleased to support two ensembles traveling and performing in the coming weeks. Students consistently report that such international experiences are life altering and have tremendous impact on their view of the world. Cooperating with friends and colleagues while sharing the gift of music in an international setting is an amazing experience and one that we are very pleased to offer to students at the University of Northern Iowa."

For more information on these upcoming tours or the UNI School of Music, contact Caroline Francis, UNI School of Music communications and operations coordinator, at 319-273-2028 or

February 26, 2019 - 8:45am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa College of Education will host its bi-annual Teacher Education Induction Convocation at 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 27, in the Great Hall of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Two hundred and seventy-five students have satisfied requirements for admissions into the UNI Teacher Education Program and are invited to participate in the formal ceremony, the official induction of students into that field of study. Jane Lindaman, superintendent of the Waterloo Community School District, will deliver the Convocation address.

This will be the 57th group of candidates inducted into the Teacher Education Program since formal ceremonies began in 1991. Parents and friends of the candidates are invited, along with UNI faculty and administrators. A reception will follow in the Gallagher Bluedorn lobby.

For more information, contact J.D. Cryer, Convocation committee chair, at 319-273-2294 or

February 21, 2019 - 11:24am


UNI NEWS SERVICES—University of Northern Iowa student Sharla Brunsvold will be brushing elbows with big-name celebrities this weekend, thanks to her internship with the exclusive Night Before Oscars event in Los Angeles.

Sharla Brunsvold
UNI senior Sharla Brunsvold


The event is a fundraiser for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, an organization that aims to provide support to workers in the entertainment industry. Brunsvold, a senior liberal studies major at UNI, is the first out-of-state student to be selected for the internship.


Brunsvold will help prepare for the event leading up to the big night, during which she’ll help facilitate the festivities. During the semester, Brunsvold works as an event coordinator for Maucker Union on campus, so she has experience doing the logistical work event planning calls for, although this is on a much bigger scale.


“The event itself will be an entirely different experience,” Brunsvold said. “The talent I will be able to meet at the event is unreal. The biggest names in Hollywood will attend, and I don’t believe I will truly understand how monumental this is until the event takes place.”


Brunsvold also interned with a Minneapolis event management company, where she had the opportunity to work as event staff for the 2018 Super Bowl.


“The opportunities [UNI has] given me are second to none,” she said. “They have allowed me to grow as an event coordinator and as a person.”

February 14, 2019 - 9:04am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa will host UNI Day at the Statehouse from noon to 2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 18, at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. The event is an educational opportunity to highlight UNI's impact across the state of Iowa by showcasing programs, services, students and alumni.


UNI is committed to ensuring a reasonable, predictable cost of education for Iowa families while providing the state with the qualified applicants it needs to fill positions in high-demand fields. UNI is asking the state legislature for an additional $4 million in state appropriations for financial aid to resident undergraduates and a three-year, $38 million investment for the renovation and expansion of the Industrial Technology Center, home of the Department of Technology. An additional $400,000 is also being asked for additive manufacturing expansion through UNI’s Metal Casting Center.

Although UNI students already graduate with less debt than the average college student, the university is striving to make education even more affordable. The additional $4 million in state funding would allow UNI to maintain tuition costs essentially at current levels and become more competitive with peer institutions, while growing enrollment in line with its facilities.

“UNI is committed to educating Iowans for Iowa,” Nook said. “That means we must continue building support for educational opportunities that are within reach for Iowa students and their families. We must also do our part to build a vibrant workforce and economy for years and generations to come.”  

Alumni are encouraged to attend UNI Day at the Statehouse to reconnect with their university and speak with their elected officials about the value of UNI.

For more information, contact the UNI Office of Governmental Relations at 319-273-6144.

February 12, 2019 - 12:07pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – For students looking to work in the nonprofit sector, a University of Northern Iowa student association is providing a head start for success in the field.

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance
UNI's Nonprofit Leadership Alliance at the Alliance Management Institute's national conference in Florida.

In early January, UNI’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) chapter brought home two awards from the Alliance Management Institute’s national conference in Florida, including honors for “Campus Program Excellence for Outstanding Student Association Fundraising” and first place in “Best Practices in a Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Student Association.”

Five UNI students—sophomore Katelyn Brockmeyer and juniors Madison Gaffney, Mikaela Heikens, Jenna Hoover and Josie Riedell—were awarded first place for their presentation titled “NLA Annual Campaign: A Study in Fundraising and Student Development Best Practices.”

For the best campus fundraising awards, the Alliance Management Institute (AMI) considered the efforts of all 36 campus student associations across the country. The UNI NLA students raised a total of $22,040, which goes directly to students to attend professional development opportunities and the AMI event with no out-of-pocket expenses.

"The awards for our association validate that our students are gaining great experience in fundraising that they may not otherwise get,” said NLA advisor, Kristina Kofoot.  “We have several alumni who are now working in fundraising in the nonprofit sector. We are proud of the work that our students are doing and the impact that is going on to have in their futures."

Students who participate in NLA and earn their credential are proven to be seven times more likely to rise to the level of director or higher in a nonprofit organization, twice as likely to stay in the nonprofit sector and two years ahead of their peers when they enter the workforce,” Kofoot said.

Students in NLA are interested in working in nonprofits sectors after graduation. Through the association, as well as required courses, students earn their Certified Nonprofit Professional credential.

For more information on the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, contact Kofoot at or 319-273-4507.

February 8, 2019 - 11:36am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE) will host the S.H.I.N.E. Young Women's Conference for Educational Talent Search middle and high school students in the Waterloo Community School District Tuesday, March 5 and Wednesday, March 6. Middle school students will attend March 5, and high school students will attend March 6.

Diana Patton
Inspirational speaker, Diana Patton, is the keynote for the conference.

The S.H.I.N.E. Conference, which stands for Strong, Healthy, Independent, Natural and Empowered, gives participants the opportunity to celebrate the power they hold for today and for their future. Students will join other young women from UNI-CUE's Educational Talent Search Program and outstanding female presenters who will give insight on how to be the best person they are meant to be.

Diana Patton, a dynamic and inspirational speaker who travels the world, will be the morning keynote speaker. Patton presents to organizations and women's groups on identity, improving self-image and leading personal change. An attorney and former business executive, she consults with companies on their diversity efforts and improving employee engagement. Patton believes that each student has physical, emotional, social and character development needs that are educational priorities. During her presentation, she will share her monumental journey through abuse, racism and heartache to prove no barrier is too high and no obstacle is too great.

"I want schools to really care about people," said Patton in one of her YouTube videos. "So if a young person is struggling, there are actually teams of people who will dive in and help that young person get to a state of understanding his or her self-worth."

The conference will also feature interactive breakout sessions discussing personal wellness and self-care, a lunch discussion with guest of honor Gaëtane Jean-Marie, dean of UNI's College of Education, and additional breakout sessions with UNI's College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, Allen College, Dupaco Credit Union, Amani Community Services and Black Hawk County Extension.

In addition to the S.H.I.N.E. Young Women's Conference, UNI will host Patton for a free presentation to UNI students, faculty, staff and guests at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, in the Maucker Union Ballroom.

For more information about the S.H.I.N.E. Young Women's Conference, contact Sunni Kegebein, director of Educational Talent Search, at or 319-273-4784 or Janet Priemer, recruiter and advisor for Educational Talent Search, at or 319-273-4791.

February 7, 2019 - 11:58am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – Hundreds of first graders from the Cedar Valley will participate in the 13th annual African-American Read-In, which will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, in Maucker Union on the University of Northern Iowa campus. This year's featured guest is author and illustrator Janet Spivey-Gilchrist.

African-American Read-In
2018 African-American Read-In.

"The Great Migration: Journey to the North," written by Eloise Greenfield and illustrated by Gilchrist, is her most recent picture book. It won the 2012 Coretta Scott King Honor Award. It is also a Junior Library Guild Best Book, a NAACP Nomination, a Cooperative Children's Book Center Best Books for 2012 and Georgia State Nominee.

Gilchrist’s first children’s book, "Children of Long Ago," written by Lessie Jones Little (1988) won the Parents’ Choice Award. She has illustrated over 73 award-winning books for children since then. 

For more information, visit or contact Gloria Holmes, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, at 319-273-2007 or

February 7, 2019 - 11:34am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa College of Education will host the eighth annual African-American Children and Families Conference from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22, in the Schindler Education Center. A pre-conference will be held from 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, in Maucker Union. The theme for this year's conference is "The Power of Our People, Strength Through History, Culture, Hope, Experience and Collective Stories."

African-American Children and Families Conference

This conference is designed for educators, administrators, childcare providers, law enforcers, policy makers, health care professionals, social workers, business leaders and students of all ages. The goal of the conference is to promote a better understanding of culture, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status and the needs of African-American families. Participants will engage in networking, sharing ideas and meeting new colleagues to improve the quality of life for African-American children and families.

Keynote speakers for this event are Jamila Lyiscott, social justice education scholar, nationally renowned speaker, spoken-word artist and educational consultant, and Louis Hilton, former professor of history of African-American education and currently an educational consultant. Mickye Wilfred Johnson, director of UNI's Classic Upward Bound, is the keynote speaker for the pre-conference.

Both conferences are open to the public; registration is free for UNI students and faculty as well as middle and high school students. For more information or to register, visit or contact Gloria Kirkland-Holmes, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, at 319-273-2007 or


February 1, 2019 - 3:10pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES—Documentary filmmaker S. Leo Chiang will visit the University of Northern Iowa from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6 to speak and screen two of his works.

Chiang will screen and discuss the following films:

S. Leo Chiang
S. Leo Chiang

- 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 4, "Out Run" (Runtime: 75 minutes), Lang Hall Auditorium.

- 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 5, "A Village Called Versailles" (Runtime: 67 minutes), Curris Business Building—John Deere Auditorium, Room 109.

He will also speak in a public lecture at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6, in the Rod Library Scholar Space, Room 301.

S. Leo Chiang is an independent documentarian. His Emmy® Award-nominated film, "A Village Called Versailles," about the rebuilding and transformation of the Vietnamese American community in post-Katrina New Orleans, picked up eight film festival awards, aired on PBS Independent Lens series and has been acquired by more than 200 libraries.

His most recent documentary, "Out Run," which profiles the only LGBT political party in the world, premiered at the 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and won Best Cinematography at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. 

His other films include "Mr. Cao Goes to Washington" (Inspiration Award 2012, PBS broadcast 2013), "To You Sweetheart, Aloha" (PBS broadcast 2006), "One + One" (CINE Golden Eagle Award 2002) and "Safe Journey" ( Short Movie Award 2002).His most recent documentary, "Out Run," which profiles the only LGBT political party in the world, premiered at the 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and won Best Cinematography at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. 

 Born in Taiwan and based in San Francisco, Chiang holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering and received his MFA in film production from the University of Southern California. His work has received support from funders such as Sundance, Tribeca, Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). He has taught documentary production at the University of California at Santa Cruz, University of California at Berkeley, Northwestern University and the Communication University of China. He is a co-founder of the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and previously the co-chair of New Day Films, the social-issue documentary distribution co-operative. Chiang is a consulting producer for CNEX, the Chinese documentary foundation and a Documentary branch member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, also see and

January 31, 2019 - 3:49pm


Although the government shutdown is over, one thing that has remained the same is that when national media are looking for political expertise, they are turning to the University of Northern Iowa.

Donna Hoffman

Political Science Professor Donna Hoffman was quoted in a CNN story last week, offering her perspective on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move to cancel President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address until the government reopens.

Hoffman this week was also a guest on the NPR show 1A, broadcast on American University Radio, discussing whether the State of the Union address is still necessary.Political science professor Donna Hoffman was quoted in a CNN story last week, offering her perspective on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move to cancel President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address until the government reopens.

Hoffman, a nationally known scholar in the areas of the United States presidency and elections, is the co-author of the book “Addressing the State of the Union: The Evolution and Impact of the President’s Big Speech.”

“I am extremely proud of our faculty and the work they do, and it is wonderful to see it recognized at a national level,” said Brenda Bass, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Science. “The quality of Hoffman’s work is a good example of the excellence found in our faculty within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and UNI overall.  And critical to the mission of UNI, this faculty expertise gets shared with students in the classroom.”

CNN link:

NPR link:

January 31, 2019 - 12:00am


UNI NEWS SERVICES – Accounting students at the University of Northern Iowa are providing free income tax assistance again this year through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Assistance in the preparation of tax returns will be available on Monday and Wednesday nights from Feb. 11 through April 10 (excluding March 18 and 20 of spring break week). Returns for foreign students and scholars will be prepared beginning Monday, March 4.

Returns are being prepared from 6 to 8 p.m., with registration taking place in Room 223 of the Curris Business Building on the UNI campus. No appointment is necessary; Room 223 will open at 5:30 p.m. You are encouraged to arrive early to allow students sufficient time to complete your return. Only a limited number of returns will be completed each night. 

VITA was established by the Internal Revenue Service to help low income taxpayers who may find it difficult to pay for tax preparation services. The program also provides accounting students an experiential learning opportunity as they work with taxpayers.

Students will be available to electronically prepare and e-file federal and Iowa tax returns for eligible taxpayers. Accounting students have completed a one-semester comprehensive tax course, plus additional training for IRS certification, and have access to a variety of federal and state reference materials.

Taxpayers seeking assistance should bring: social security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents; valid photo identification; a copy of last year’s Federal and Iowa tax returns; Form W-2, "Wage and Tax Statement," from each employer; Forms 1099, for such things as interest, dividends or retirement payments; a list of other income and expenses; Form 1098-E, student loan interest statement; Form 1098-T, tuition payment statement (also bring institution billing statement); banking information (account and routing numbers) for automatic deposit of refund; and all other information pertinent to your 2018 tax return. Clients will also be asked about health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents. If you received a Form 1095-A (Health Insurance Marketplace), Form 1095-B or 1095-C statement, please bring it with you to indicate your health insurance coverage.

For more information, call the UNI Department of Accounting at 319-273-2394.

January 25, 2019 - 11:52am


The University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE) will be honored with a Heritage Legacy Award for outstanding organization Friday to recognize its commitment and impact to the African-American community.

Robert Smith
Robert Smith is the executive director of the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE).

The UNI Center for Urban Education’s mission is to provide a positive environment for lifetime learning in which underserved populations may pursue and continue their educational goals and prepare for careers. Annually, they serve over 17,000 participants via services such as tutoring, ACT Prep and assistance for adults seeking post-secondary education. Historically, they have housed such powerhouse programs as Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and the Educational Opportunity Center.  

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said Robert Smith, the center’s executive director. “We live by this statement at UNI-CUE: ‘Earned, not given.’”

Recently, the center started the Panther Promise Program (3P) to introduce more minority students to higher education. 3P provides preventative measures, financial and personal advising, access to special workshops related to academics and financial literacy, and advising on student goals. It offers personalized attention to students as they transition from high school into a university.

Joy Briscoe, whose children utilized the center’s services while attending West High School in Waterloo, nominated UNI-CUE for the award.

“(The center) has long been a leader in our community, striving to provide equitable opportunities in education for all,” Briscoe said. “It wasn’t until I became a parent, watching my own children participate in their services, that the impact they have made in the Cedar Valley and beyond truly registered with me. Their assistance with my daughter, preparing her for college and her ACTs, was priceless. As a result, she received a full scholarship to New York University, graduated with the second-highest GPA in her class and is now in her junior year.”

The Heritage Legacy Awards are given out by I'll Make Me a World in Iowa, a diverse collection of Iowans who highlight African-American arts, culture and contributions through education, awareness and preservation. The Heritage Legacy Award recognizes Iowans whose creative and civic activities in African-American life and culture in Iowa have contributed to making the world and the state a better place for all.

The awards gala will be Friday evening at the Hilton Downtown in Des Moines.

January 18, 2019 - 10:26am


UNI NEWS SERVICES—A University of Northern Iowa student group has been recognized as outstanding for the third time by a national organization.

The UNI Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society received an outstanding award from the society – the highest of three distinctions awarded to student groups – for the 2017-18 academic year.

Halloween House
UNI chemistry students perform Halloween-themed science demonstrations for students and community members at the annual Halloween House event.

“The Outstanding award they have received from the ACS is a recognition that they are conducting a large number of well-run activities that are excelling in assisting students to prepare for careers as chemists and other related scientific careers, while helping them enjoy their time as students at UNI,” said Colin Weeks, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

The student chapter is perhaps best known for hosting its annual Halloween House, an event where UNI students perform Halloween-themed science demonstrations for all ages. Last year, the event was attended by about 1,200 students and community members.

The purpose of the student chapters is to foster the professional development of students and carry out service activities related to chemistry and education. The chapter organized group travel to the national meeting of the American Chemical Society to make presentations on the research they have done at UNI, as well as arrange visits to chemical-related companies and graduate schools in the region.

“The outstanding award from the ACS shows that the student chapter at UNI makes a large contribution to creating an environment that is an excellent place for students to prepare for careers in chemistry, biochemistry and related fields,” Weeks said. “The award is also evidence that the student chapter's activities are making substantial contributions to engaging K-12 students and developing their interest in and understanding of science.”

The student chapter also received outstanding awards in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

January 17, 2019 - 1:39pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES—The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present an exhibition titled "An Art Collection Travelogue" from Monday, Jan. 14, through Saturday, March 2. Please note, the gallery will be closed Monday, Jan. 21 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

At 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24, in the Kamerick Art Building, Room 111, artist Paul Valadez will present a lecture titled "The Potlatch Project, the Artwork of Paul Valadez." An opening reception will follow.

An Art Collection Travelogue

"An Art Collection Travelogue" is a UNI Permanent Art Collection exhibition curated by Gallery Director Darrell Taylor that features the installation "Paper Border" by Paul Valadez, eleven large-scale drawings from Mary Frisbee Johnson’s "Navigating" series, newly acquired ceramics by Dean and Gunnar Schwarz and a remarkably pristine tapa bark cloth from the Polynesian island of Tonga. Most of these artworks are being displayed for the first time.

The UNI Permanent Art Collection is a rich resource for the Cedar Falls, Waterloo and university communities in that it provides the viewer an opportunity to view significant artworks by world-renowned artists and a wide range of representation from the past few centuries of art movements, styles and genres.

The most important aspect of the collection, however, is its versatility. For instance, countless topics may be addressed in Valadez’s "Paper Border," such as the seasons, emotions, time and cultural boundaries; and Johnson’s "Navigating" series is a witty look at tourism, geography and even land use. The contemporary ceramics of Decorah-area artists Dean and Gunnar Schwarz are invested in the landscape and lifeways of eastern Iowa via influences from the pottery traditions of South Korea, Japan, Panama, Israel and the European Bauhaus movement.

Additionally, the exhibition will include a pairing of objects by ceramist Edwin Scheier and printmaker Charles Barth, both of whom were influenced by the art and culture of Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as 19th century lithographs by Louis Haghe that depict the city of Benares, the most visited Hindu pilgrimage site in India.

All events are free and open to the public. The gallery is located on the main floor of the Kamerick Art Building, and its hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and by appointment.

For additional information, visit or contact Darrell Taylor, director of the UNI Gallery of Art, at 319-273-6134 or


January 17, 2019 - 1:42pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES—The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present an exhibition in the Mary Haskell-Hansen Room of the gallery, a UNI Permanent Art Collection exhibition titled "In and After the Anthropocene." It will be open to the public on the following dates: Jan. 14 - March 2; March 25 - April 20; and April 29 - May 11. Please note, the gallery will be closed Monday, Jan. 21 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

In and After the Anthropocene

In and After the Anthropocene" was co-curated by Elizabeth Sutton and Gallery Director Darrell Taylor. Sutton states, "In order to mark humans’ profound impact to the Earth and its organisms, Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen popularized the term "Anthropocene" to denote a new geological epoch. The art selected for this exhibition suggests varieties of life from a human perspective, and it provides views into spaces, pre- and post-human. Thus art, as ever, can serve as a reflection of our narcissism as a species."

The exhibition includes artworks by British printmaker Elisabeth Frink, Chicago artist Phyllis Bramson, San Diego artist Suda House and a large-scale woodcut by Hannah March Sanders who is printmaking area head at Southeast Missouri State University. Other artworks include a stone carving by Zimbabwean artist Fanizani Akuda and screenprints by Korean ceramist Sunkoo Yuh and American artist Mark Dion, which were completed in the UNI Printmaking Labs under the direction of professors Tim Dooley and Aaron Wilson.

Finally, Texas artist Paul Valadez’s screenprint, "Abuela," will be displayed for the first time. Incidentally, Valadez’s remarkable installation, "Paper Border," will also be on view in the Gallery exhibition titled "An Art Collection Travelogue," which runs from Jan. 14 through March 2, 2019.

All events are free and open to the public. The gallery is located on the main floor of the Kamerick Art Building, and its hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and by appointment.

For additional information, visit or contact Darrell Taylor, director of the UNI Gallery of Art, at 319-273-6134 or

January 17, 2019 - 1:44pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES—The University of Northern Iowa's newly formed Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice will host an open house Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Center for Multicultural Education on the UNI campus. Information sessions will begin at 9 a.m., noon and 4 p.m.

DIS Open House

The Center for Multicultural Education, Military & Veteran Student Services, and Gender & Sexuality Services have merged into a cohesive unit that will advance inclusion and social justice through advocacy and support of underrepresented and marginalized students, provide diversity education for all of its community members, and promote a safe and welcoming environment that fosters academic success, a sense of belonging, and respect for all people and cultures.

"UNI is embarking on exciting times as it relates to diversity and inclusion," said Jamie Butler Chidozie, director of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice. "Society is changing. Students are coming to our institution with varying experiences. We are aligning ourselves with that change. We want to message to all that UNI is not only a place where you belong but that we are expecting you. UNI will look different but also feel different, and that's good."

The open house on Jan. 24 is free and open to the public. For more information about the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, contact the office at 319-273-2250 or

January 11, 2019 - 1:49pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES—In its continuing effort to keep tuition affordable and competitive while providing high-quality education, the University of Northern Iowa is asking the state legislature for an additional $4 million in state appropriations for financial aid to resident undergraduates.

In addition to the general fund request, the university requested a three-year, $38 million investment for the renovation and expansion of the Industrial Technology Center, home of UNI’s Department of Technology. The extensive transformation will modernize the facility and increase its enrollment capacity by 40 percent to better meet Iowa’s workforce needs in construction, manufacturing and engineering technology industries.

Metal Casting Center
UNI proposes to modernize and expand the Industrial Technology Center to serve the workforce needs of Iowa industry and better prepare teachers to teach STEM and career and technical education disciplines.

Combined, the requests represent UNI’s commitment to ensuring a reasonable, predictable cost of education for Iowa families while providing the state with the qualified applicants it needs to fill positions in high-demand fields.

“We know that the cost of college is a concern for many students,” said UNI President Mark A. Nook. “Our goal with our new budget process is to provide the high-quality education that our state needs at a price that students and their families across the state can afford.” 

UNI has been a recognized national leader in reducing debt. In the four years from 2012 to 2016, UNI lowered the average undergraduate student debt by more than $2,000, and they are now $4,959 below the national average. The college’s program and its impact on student borrowing has been featured by the American Council on Education. UNI was also ranked as one of the “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine.

Although UNI students already graduate with less debt than the average college student, the university is committed to making education even more affordable. The additional $4 million in state funding would allow UNI to maintain tuition costs essentially at current levels and become more competitive with peer institutions, while growing enrollment in line with its facilities.

Meanwhile, the state has more job vacancies than workers to fill them. These jobs demand highly skilled workers in dynamic industries, such as teachers, accountants, construction managers and operations specialists.

UNI is situated to meet these state employment needs. Its programs in business and education are nationally recognized, and more than 85 percent of UNI’s graduates remain in the state to work, with the vast majority leaving college with experience directly related to their future careers.

“UNI is committed to educating Iowans for Iowa,” Nook said. “That means we must continue building support for educational opportunities that are within reach for Iowa students and their families. We must also do our part to build a vibrant workforce and economy for years and generations to come.”  

UNI’s total state appropriation request for the 2020 fiscal year is $99.7 million for the general education fund, with an additional $5.7 million for special purpose units and $2.3 million for economic development.


January 8, 2019 - 4:07pm


UNI NEWS SERVICES – Bruce Mack has been named interim vice president of University Advancement at the University of Northern Iowa. Mack most recently served as director of Development for Regional Programs at University of Nevada, Reno. He also served as associate vice president for Development and Alumni Relations and associate executive director and secretary of the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation. Mack will assume his duties at UNI on Jan. 10, 2019.

Bruce Mack
Bruce Mack has been named interim VP of University Advancement at UNI. He will begin his new duties on Jan. 10, 2019.

"Bruce is a skilled administrator with a background in managing professional and volunteer relationships, marketing, organizational enhancement and program development," said UNI President Mark Nook. "His expertise with fundraising and capital projects will transition well to UNI, and his leadership will lay the foundation for the permanent vice president of University Advancement."

Mack said he is looking forward to working with the UNI community and Advancement division.

"I am grateful to President Nook and other members of the campus community for the opportunity to come to the University of Northern Iowa," said Mack. "I am impressed with what the university has achieved to date in raising private gift support and look forward to working with people on campus to identify new and increased sources of philanthropic support."

While at the University of Nevada, Reno, Mack worked with the vice president for Development and Alumni Relations to successfully increase the university's annual fundraising results from $20-$25 million to $40-$60 million, managed a portfolio of prospective donors, developed the plans and coordinated work for the university's $500 million capital campaign—"Building What Comes Next: The Campaign for the New Nevada"—and served on committees that successfully completed fundraising for multiple campus buildings.

Mack has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in Adult and Continuing Education and a B.A. in Political Science from Michigan State University. Before his time at the University of Nevada, Reno, Mack served numerous colleges and universities in advancement and development roles.

Mack replaces Lisa Baronio, who announced in December 2018 that she was leaving her role at UNI after nearly four years of service. UNI is conducting a nationwide search for the vice president of University Advancement.

January 4, 2019 - 3:13pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – University of Northern Iowa Rod Library’s Special Collections & University Archives has been selected to receive Preservation Assistance Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the amount of $5,986. The grants were awarded for the project “Improving Preservation Policies and Practices for Rod Library Manuscripts and University Archives,” which is under the direction of Jaycie Vos, special collections coordinator/university archivist and assistant professor at Rod Library.

This project will improve preservation in Special Collections & University Archives at UNI, which will support future research, teaching and outreach. The focus will be manuscripts and university archives, which consist of 5,400+ linear feet of print, audiovisual and large format items that document experiences from diverse perspectives in activities, ideas and change across education, arts, culture, politics and social life on campus and across the region. Materials reflect research, teaching and creation in the humanities, such as faculty papers, and records from groups supporting humanities engagement, such as local art festivals. Other materials reflect political, social and civic activities by local and regional organizations and leaders, such as Sen. Charles Grassley’s papers.

The grant will support a site visit by a preservation consultant, resulting in a report identifying goals for improved policies and practices to align with professional standards, a training workshop for library staff and colleagues at neighboring institutions, and supplies. The project will take place from Jan. 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.

For more information, visit or contact Vos at 319-273-6307 or

December 17, 2018 - 11:16am


UNI NEWS SERVICES — VP of University Advancement and Foundation President Lisa Baronio announced earlier today that she will be leaving her role at the University of Northern Iowa following the end of the calendar year.

"UNI afforded me an amazing opportunity to work closely with talented staff, faculty and administrators to help transform lives of deserving students through the generosity of many alumni and friends,” said Baronio. “UNl's trajectory is on the rise under the leadership of President Nook, and the path ahead is bright. Rafael and I will reflect fondly on our time with the Panther family."

Lisa Baronio
VP of University Advancement and Foundation President, Lisa Baronio, addresses attendees of the 2018 President's Distinguished Alumni Celebration.

Prior to joining UNI, Baronio served as vice president for Alumni Relations and Development at Trinity University in San Antonio, vice president for advancement at the University of North Texas, vice president for development at the University of Connecticut Foundation, associate vice president for development at the Wichita State University Foundation and director of corporate relations at the University of Nebraska Foundation.

“During her tenure, Baronio was instrumental in implementing many best practices at the UNI Foundation,” remarked President Nook. “Her ability to successfully meld the UNI Foundation and UNI Alumni Association into today’s cohesive UNI Advancement team was no small task and one worthy of praise.”

UNI Advancement successfully raised more than $85 million and distributed more than $20 million to UNI endeavors during Baronio’s tenure. Her impact went beyond dollars as she helped grow the UNI Foundation Board of Trustees to 37 members by adding 16 highly successful trustees.

“Lisa did an outstanding job creating the Outreach and Annual Giving team that is now housed in a renovated space in the Commons,” said Board Chairman Dave Takes. “The board is proud that this team consistently raises more than $725,000 in unrestricted dollars annually while also supporting broader giving options."

The Alumni Relations team has also flourished, expanding their programming to host more than 100 events for more than 10,000 alumni annually. Alumni Association dues were eliminated under Baronio’s watch, immediately growing membership to all 118,000 living alumni.

“As a Waterloo native, Lisa was uniquely positioned to help us grow the Purple Circle,” commented President Nook. “With the steadfast work of the Advancement Division, our campus and community partners, we will continue to grow that circle.”

UNI will appoint an experienced external higher education advancement professional to serve as interim prior to Baronio’s departure. A search for a permanent replacement will commence in January.

December 13, 2018 - 11:04am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host its annual fall Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, in the McLeod Center. This year’s Commencement speaker delivering the student address is Jo Ellen Latham, a candidate for Doctor of Education: Educational Leadership.

Approximately 560 graduates will participate in Commencement. The names of candidates will be read by Nichole Zumbach Harken, instructor of communication studies.

The individual receiving an honorary degree is Jane Jennison Elliott. Elliott is an internationally known teacher, lecturer, race activist and advocate for diversity education. She is a Riceville, Iowa, native and UNI alumna. She earned a teaching certificate in 1954 and degree in elementary education in 1974.

Like mane Panthers, after graduating from UNI, Elliott returned to her hometown to give back to her community and to the state of Iowa and started teaching third grade. She developed a world-famous teaching strategy to demonstrate how easily prejudice, inequality and racism can exist and thrive and how education about structural inequality can prevent it and change people's lives for the better. Elliott's "blue eyes/brown eyes" exercise was initiated in 1968 when, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she realized that simply having a discussion about racism with her classroom full of all-white students would not effectively teach them about the cultural impact and legacy of prejudice, structural inequality and racism.

The Commencement ceremony will be streamed live at For more information, visit

November 2, 2018 - 10:46am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is hosting its first Panther Push Day on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Panther Push Day is a chance to share Panther pride with family and friends who are seeking an engaging and challenging education. The university always welcomes student referrals, but this day has been set aside to give those new student referrals an extra "push."

Students, faculty and staff can stop by Maucker Union from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 8 to manually refer a new student at a bank of computers. Prizes will be available for students who participate in Panther Push Day in the Union, including a $500 scholarship. Participants can also fill out the "Refer a Student" form on the Panther Push Day webpage

For more information about Panther Push Day, visit or follow the #PantherPush hashtag.

October 25, 2018 - 2:01pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Cassie Mathes has been named director of University Relations at the University of Northern Iowa. Mathes is currently director of University Relations and Marketing at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. She will assume her new duties at UNI on Nov. 30.

Cassie Mathes
Cassie Mathes

"Cassie is an accomplished marketing and communications professional, and her strong higher education background will serve the University Relations team and the campus community well," said UNI President Mark Nook. "I'm delighted that she will be a part of the Panther family and will bring her skills and expertise to UNI."

Mathes holds a master's degree in communication from Missouri State University and a bachelor's degree in communication from Missouri Southern State University. Prior to her time at Missouri Southern, she served in a variety of roles within the Office of University Marketing and Communication at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and also worked at a newspaper and TV station.

Mathes replaces Scott Ketelsen, who left UNI in June to become the executive director of Communication, Alumni and External Relations for the University of Iowa's College of Nursing.

October 11, 2018 - 12:00am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – University of Northern Iowa senior marketing and management double major, Gabe Groothuis of Marion, won the UNI Elevator Pitch Competition that was held on campus Tuesday, Oct 9. He will get to test his pitch against college students from around the nation at the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) Conference Elevator Pitch Competition, which will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, Nov. 1-3.

Gabe Groothuis
Gabe Groothuis

Groothuis shared, “I am very blessed to be the winner of this year’s pitch competition. I have been working on scaling and growing my business this year and am excited to work with the JPEC to take my ideas to the next level. I am looking forward to representing UNI next month in Kansas City.”

Groothuis, owner and founder of Groothuis Solutions, pitched his service of providing consulting to high school students involved in Mock Trial. With over four years of experience with mock trial and a National Mock Trial 1st place win under his belt, Groothuis is able to provide expertise through workshops and online consulting. His award-winning pitch earned him $500 in addition to an all-expense paid trip to the National CEO conference.

Second place winners for the UNI competition were Corey Behrens and Jack WorthingtonBehrens, a junior communications and digital media productions major, won $250 for his business Simplistic Views, a wedding videography service. Worthington, on military leave from West Point, also won $250 and is taking advantage of his time off to develop his business, LED Save, in the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator. LED Save is a company designed to assist home owners with switching their bulbs from regular to LED in a simple and cost efficient way.

Taking home third place with $100 was oldpeoplebrand, a Streetware clothing company that designs, produces and launches exclusive lines through their e-commerce site. Hollis Wilson, Joey Dunning, Camden Dusenbery and Mack Eastmas, all Cedar Falls High School students, have their business located in the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator and are also associates in the Cedar Falls CAPS Business, Communication & Design strand.

The UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, a division of UNI’s Business and Community Services, can be reached at, 319-273-JPEC (5732) or by email

September 22, 2018 - 4:28pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa—The University of Northern Iowa has received national recognition for its efforts in increasing student voting participation. The university received a Silver Seal award for achieving a student-voting rate of 67.5% in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, which recognizes colleges and universities nationwide for their commitment to increasing student voting rates.

National Voter Registration Day

The recognition was awarded retroactively to the university for its efforts in the 2016 election. After joining the challenge this past summer, it was discovered that UNI had one of the top two student-voting rates in the country, coming in nearly 18 points above the national average.

“UNI is a campus full of highly engaged and civic-minded students, so it was not a surprise that we would do well, but I am very impressed with the 2016 results,” stated political science professor Justin Holmes. “It reflects not only the engagement of our students, but the hard work of various groups to engage and mobilize them.”

For the 2018 midterm elections, UNI is working on a new unified effort, #PanthersVote, led by the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) and university chapters of the American Democracy Project (ADP) and Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP). The team is currently gearing up for the upcoming National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 25, when several activities are scheduled across campus to help support student voter education and registration.  

From Holmes, “Midterm turnout is always lower than presidential years and the drop off is most acute among young people. ADP, NISG, CEEP and other groups are working hard right now to get students registered and to provide them with the information they need to feel informed when voting. We look forward to building on our past success and to continue our tradition of high participation.”

Beyond registration, students are organizing satellite voting stations at various campus locations leading up to Election Day. They will be active again on Nov. 6 for the final effort to get out the vote.

For more information about the #PanthersVote initiative, visit

September 21, 2018 - 12:00am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa has announced the start of a new cohort for the Physical Education: Teaching—Pedagogy M.A. program, set to begin January 2019. Teachers or coaches that are interested in learning more about this online graduate program are encouraged to attend an informational webinar that will take place from 4 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17. Participants will learn more about the program, meet faculty and have an opportunity to ask questions. Visit to register.

This program prepares teachers and coaches to be effective and reflective educators while providing for the professional development needs of pre-K through 12 physical education teachers and coaches. Participants will link practice to theory while broadening their understanding of the educational processes as they relate to the physical education teaching and learning environment.

Courses are offered in eight-week modules on select Wednesday evenings via interactive desktop video conferencing (Adobe Connect) with additional coursework offered online via eLearning, a dynamic platform that will enhance your learning experience and sense of community with fellow classmates.

The program uses a cohort model in which a group of students moves through the six-semester course sequence together. To learn more about this program or to apply, visit

For information about additional offerings available through UNI Continuing and Distance Education, visit or call 319-273-7211 or 800-648-3864.


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa is accepting applications for the Advanced Studies Certificate in Superintendency program scheduled to begin January 2019. The two-year program is designed for individuals seeking endorsement in the state of Iowa as a superintendent or AEA administrator.

Courses included in this program are performance-based, minimize student class time and maximize on-site skill development while working with a lead mentor and mentors with special expertise. The program offers hands-on experience through an internship where work products and skills are developed.

“The program focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as a superintendent in Iowa schools,” says program coordinator Denise Schares. “Courses are taught by experienced administrators, and an extensive internship is included, providing opportunities for students to engage in authentic leadership experiences.”

Courses are taken using a cohort model in which a group of students moves together through the six-semester course sequence. Courses are offered primarily online via interactive video conferencing as well as eLearning, a dynamic platform that will enhance your learning experience and sense of community with fellow classmates. Summer sessions include a short, engaging on-campus experience.

To learn more about this program or to apply, visit Applications received by Nov. 9, 2018, will receive full consideration. For information about additional offerings available through UNI Continuing and Distance Education, visit or call 319-273-7211 or 800-648-3864.

September 13, 2018 - 1:56pm


UNI NEWS SERVICE – The University of Northern Iowa ranked No. 2 in the "Best Regional Universities (Midwest)" category for public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges 2019" guidebook. UNI was also ranked No. 25 overall on a combined list of all public and private Midwest regional universities.


"U.S. News & World Report has consistently recognized UNI for our commitment to student success," remarked Paula Knudson, vice president for student affairs. "This year's No. 2 ranking continues to show that we not only have great students, but tremendous faculty and staff who truly care about students and their success."

In fact, since 2008, UNI has never been ranked lower than No. 3 in the category.

According to the methodology used by U.S. News & World Report, rankings are based on several key measures of quality. Peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student/faculty ratios and average alumni giving are all used to rank colleges.

For more information about the college rankings, visit UNI's other national rankings and awards can be found at

September 6, 2018 - 11:08am


UNI NEWS SERVICE – The University of Northern Iowa's fall 2018 enrollment is 11,212. The total headcount is down from 11,907 from the previous fall—an anticipated decline that university officials included in the budget.

Incoming class

UNI administration has outlined key strategic initiatives and investments the campus will be implementing over the next fiscal year to help attract more students while equipping those students for success beyond UNI.

"It is imperative to the health of Iowa and our region that we ensure our students thrive on campus and carry that momentum into their careers," said Jim Wohlpart, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "You need look no further than our retention and graduation rates to see we are indeed doing just that."

UNI realized an 83.6 percent retention rate for first-time full-time freshmen returning this fall. In addition, the four-year graduation rate of 40.6 percent is 11.1 percentage points above the expected rate when compared to peer institutions.

"Persistence to a degree at UNI is unmatched," said Matt Kroeger, associate vice president for enrollment management. "It's exciting to see that more than 95 percent of UNI graduates find success within six months of graduating, with more than 80 percent of those graduates taking their first job in Iowa. By attracting more students, we have the opportunity to help them find success in a number of unique ways and grow Iowa’s professional workforce."

The primary opportunity, new student recruitment, is of paramount focus this fiscal year and beyond. To competitively position the institution with prospective students, it is going to take the entire UNI family to lead enrollment efforts and to reach campus' five-year goal of 13,500 total students.

  • While UNI drives for 13,500 in the fall of 2023, the institution will continue to ensure the high-quality education that is a hallmark of the UNI experience.
  • UNI will find opportunities to increase its share of Iowa's recent high school graduates and Iowa transfers through community college outreach.
  • The institution also will focus on growth in non-resident undergraduate enrollment.

College and university enrollment has become much more competitive in the last few years due in part to the growing conversation about the value of higher education, in-state and out-of-state competition, and a strong local and regional economy with low unemployment rates. Members of the university community will continue to focus on providing the high-quality education students need to be successful after they graduate and enter Iowa’s professional workforce.

August 29, 2018 - 9:57am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – University of Northern Iowa Athletics is partnering with campus on Elevating Educators, a new initiative that seeks to recognize and elevate professional educators in Iowa, nationwide and throughout the world.

Elevating Educators

"UNI Athletics is excited to have an opportunity to partner with our campus community to honor professional educators," said David Harris, UNI director of athletics. "Elevating Educators is an initiative that will bring much needed attention to the important role that these men and women play in our society. This partnership allows us the chance to pay homage to our history as an institution while giving respect to educators across the world."

UNI is acknowledged as Iowa’s premier teaching school because of its rich 142-year history and proven track record of graduating highly prepared, sought-after teacher education graduates. The university graduates more than 450 new teachers each year who join the more than 17,000 UNI alumni educators around the world. UNI also prepares principals, superintendents and speech pathologists, school librarians, counselors and psychologists, as well as many other educator roles in steady demand.

To kick off the Elevating Educators initiative, UNI is offering all educators who work in a pre-K through 12 school district two free tickets to the UNI vs. Missouri State football game and tailgate set for 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, at the UNI-Dome. Details on how to obtain these tickets will be announced at a later date. 

In addition to the Nov. 17 football game, Elevating Educators will honor educators throughout the year with different recognition events, social media campaigns, a visual illustration of the initiative on all Panther Athletics uniforms, a pen-pal program between current student-athlete education majors and students in pre-K through 12 schools interested in the profession, and more.

Educators and Panther fans can find more information about Elevating Educators as it becomes available at or by following UNI Athletics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

August 29, 2018 - 3:37pm


WATERLOO, Iowa — Last week, the Iowa Economic Development Authority board approved a $1.5 million Strategic Infrastructure Program (SIP) grant to the University of Northern Iowa’s (UNI) Metal Casting Center (MCC).

“The funding is an example of Iowa’s commitment to support growth in the manufacturing sector through advanced technologies,” said Jerry Thiel, MCC’s director. “Several equipment manufacturers have already expressed their interest in partnering with the university to explore new opportunities through joint research and development programs.”  

Over the past four years, the Additive Manufacturing Center facility, located at TechWorks Campus in Waterloo, has expanded its large-format sand printing services to include a student engineering center, polymer printing lab and a robotic mold machining center. The SIP grant will continue this expansion into investment castings. “This funding provides an opportunity to further expand UNI’s role in keeping Iowa as the leader in additive manufacturing for investment castings and support businesses across the state,” said Randy Pilkington, director of UNI’s Business and Community Services.

Projects funded by the SIP must have a goal of providing a competitive advantage to the private sector or create needed physical infrastructure in Iowa. The new equipment that will be purchased will do just that, allowing the MCC to advance metal casting technology in the state which will then be transferred throughout the industry with MCC assisting in its adoption and utilization.

“This is a rare opportunity to serve as an innovative leader in building a technology that can transform the castings industry,” said Pilkington.

For more information, contact Joe Bolick, communications and public relations manager for Business and Community Services, at 319-273-6577 or

About the University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center

The University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center was established in 1990 with a grant from the Iowa Lottery to serve foundries and foundry suppliers in Iowa. The UNI MCC has been a leader in foundry innovations and added 3D sand mold printing capabilities in 2014. Since then, the UNI MCC has worked with more than 100 small and medium enterprises across Iowa and the Midwest as well as with all branches of the U.S. military.

August 15, 2018 - 8:40am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and several area agencies will present "Engage, Empower, Act: A Cedar Valley Conference on Economic Inclusion" from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, October 12, 2018, at the Diamond Event Center in Cedar Falls.

"Engage, Empower, Act" will foster a day of crucial conversations on creating an inclusive community in the Cedar Valley. The conference will focus on best inclusion practices in business, community, and K-12 and higher education. Featured are a keynote speaker and several breakout sessions. For the past several years, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber has hosted an annual Economic Inclusion Summit. Last year, UNI hosted its first Engage, Empower, Act Diversity Conference. However, this year, the two organizations are partnering to host one conference focused on economic inclusion both in education and industry.

Nika White
Dr. Nika White

"Economic Inclusion includes everyone. That's why we are leading a collaborative to host a Cedar Valley Conference on Economic Inclusion that welcomes attendees from education, business and the community. Everyone is welcome,” explains Jean Trainor, chair of the Alliance & Chamber’s Economic Inclusion Council.

"Last year, we saw people coming in with a thirst for more information about putting diversity and inclusion's best practices into play within their organizations. It was so gratifying for all of us to be able to share knowledge and work on real-time workplace situations," said Gwenne Berry of UNI's 2017 conference. Berry is assistant to the president and chief diversity officer at UNI. "We are truly looking forward to bringing together our efforts with GCVA and serving our community in this crucially important area."

The conference keynote is Dr. Nika White, author of "The Intentional Inclusionist," a book inspired by philosophies of leadership and inclusion, containing principles to help individuals become more intentional in how diversity and inclusion is understood and practiced at the individual level.

Dr. White serves as the senior advisor to the Greenville, South Carolina, Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and is responsible for creating and collaboratively implementing an overarching diversity strategy for the Greenville Chamber as an extension of the executive team. Since taking on the position, Dr. White has helped the Greenville Chamber gain the recognition of the Organization of the Year from the Minority of Economic Development Institute, 2014 Excellence in Diversity Award Recipient presented by Greenville Society of Human Resources Management (GSHRM) and a national platform as a leader in the space of diversity inclusion recognized by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Dr. White is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute of Organization Management (IOM), is a certified trainer with National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) and is a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) through the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC).

The conference is open to community leaders, human resources professionals, recruiters, educators and those interested in developing inclusion strategies for the Cedar Valley. This event will foster the exchange of new ideas and approaches for meaningful and impactful diversity and inclusion.

Companies sponsoring the conference include University of Iowa Community Credit Union as the Premier Sponsor; Diamond Event Center, Table 1912, and Veridian Credit Union as Platinum Sponsors; Cedar Valley Nonprofit Association, Courier Communications, Covenant Medical Center, CUNA Mutual and KWWL as Gold Sponsors; and the Cedar Falls Human Rights Commission, Community Bank & Trust, SHRM and Viking Pump as Inclusion Partners. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

The following organizations are collaborating to plan the conference: the Cedar Falls Human Rights Commission, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, IowaWORKS of Waterloo, Infiniti Enterprises, Legacy Branding and Events, University of Northern Iowa, UNI Center for Violence Prevention and the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights.

Registration for the conference is open via the UNI Diversity Matters website at and is free to the public. Organizations and individuals that cannot attend are encouraged to download information from the conference tool kit, available October 10, 2018.  For more information, call 319-883-0219 or visit

August 7, 2018 - 11:15am


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art will present "Drop Shadow" by UNI professor of art Aaron Wilson and "Visions" by UNI assistant professor of art Noah Doely from Monday, Aug. 20, through Saturday, Sept. 29. The opening reception is 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 28, in the Kamerick Art Building south lobby. Artist Doely will present a gallery talk titled "Degrees of Certainty" at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25, in the gallery, which is in the Kamerick Art Building, Room 113.

"Drop Shadow" consists of many newly exhibited drawings and prints created over the last decade. The concepts of originality and reproduction are recurring themes in the exhibition, with the simultaneous use of drawing and printmaking processes in many of the works. A foreboding quality permeates the exhibition through pervasive use of dark imagery. It is a reminder that visual representation is one of the most powerful and subversive cultural mechanisms, used by power structures to promote themselves or denigrate others. Cataclysmic events are referenced throughout many of the pieces, not as a reminder of the tragedies and triumphs of history, but as proof of constant upheaval. Wilson’s exhibition ponders the link between superstition and representation through depictions of time, history and repetition.

"Visions" is comprised of several different bodies of work that combine photography, sculpture, video and found objects to explore the paradoxical relationship between seeing and belief. Cave dioramas recorded with a pinhole camera produce illusory worlds of seemingly authentic primordial landscapes, while digital photo collages, created by manipulating butterfly wing patterns into new configurations, explore the relationship between color and perception. The act of identifying bird species serves as a means to complicate the notion of an authentic visual encounter, which Doely explores through subjects such as the ivory-billed woodpecker. The exhibition highlights mediated examples of natural phenomena to underline the precarious nature of subjective experience. With items curated from the collection of the UNI Museum. This work supported in part by a 2018 artist fellowship grant from the Iowa Arts Council.

All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and by appointment. Please note, the gallery will be closed Sept. 3 for Labor Day. For additional information, visit or contact Darrell Taylor, director of the UNI Gallery of Art, at 319-273-6134 or

July 30, 2018 - 3:26pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's online master's in secondary education program has been recognized as one of the best in the country for 2018 by, a leading provider for higher education research and college planning resources. The ranking highlights accredited, not-for-profit institutions, which have developed exceptional academic online programs for students looking to advance their knowledge, skills and career in secondary education.

"We are deeply honored to have our online master’s in mathematics secondary education program selected by as one of the best in the country for 2018," said Douglas Mupasiri, professor and department head of the Department of Mathematics at UNI. "The recognition is the culmination of hard work and sustained effort, which was spearheaded by the mathematics education faculty with the support of all the other faculty in the Department of Mathematics. The list of the other programs that made the ranking is humbling. But even as we celebrate this milestone, we will 'keep our eyes on the ball.' Our cause, as always, is to do everything we can to provide a first-rate education to the students we serve. If anything, the recognition by motivates us to rededicate ourselves to that cause."

"Our online Master's in Secondary Education ranking highlights education institutions that have established quality academic curriculums while remaining affordable and flexible for today's graduate students," said Stephanie Snider, director of "Earning a position on our ranking demonstrates that the University of Northern Iowa is committed to providing an online program that focuses on successful student outcomes."'s ranking uses a methodology grounded in statistical data compiled from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. The aim is to objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities.

To view the full ranking, visit

June 26, 2018 - 8:37am


The University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association has been awarded two bronze awards by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in the 2018 Circle of Excellence Awards.

The UNI Alumni Association won bronze in both advancement services—donor relations and alumni relations programs—marketing and branding for the work the organization did as part of its transition away from a dues-based membership to a more inclusive model that offers services to the more than 117,000 alumni of the university.

This international awards program honors outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing at colleges, universities, independent schools and affiliated nonprofits.

“I am incredibly proud of our alumni team for earning two CASE Circle of Excellence Awards for our membership program transition” said Leslie Prideaux, director of alumni relations and president of University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association. “The transition has allowed us to focus on our mission to connect all alumni and friends to this amazing university.”

Declining membership in the UNI Alumni Association prompted an evaluation of the types of programs and services alumni and friends want and need to help make the association stronger. With research, beta testing and discussions, the UNI Alumni Association chose to transition to a non-dues, all-inclusive alumni association format where all alumni have access to programs and services. The focus is on keeping alumni informed and engaged with UNI.

The awards program received 3,204 entries for consideration in nearly 100 categories from 676 higher education institutions, independent schools and affiliated organizations located worldwide. Judges gave nearly 350 awards. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is one of the largest international associations of education institutions, serving more than 3,700 universities, colleges, schools and related organizations in more than 80 countries. 

June 15, 2018 - 1:31pm


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa–The University of Northern Iowa Department of Computer Science was recently awarded a two-year $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). A proposal for the grant was submitted last year by three associate professors of computer science—Sarah Diesburg, Philip East and Ben Schafer. This grant is the biggest NSF award the department has received.

The three colleagues were looking at ways they could improve the curriculum efforts for computer science teachers. The grant will fund UNI’s K through 12 computer science education curriculum project and will help computer science educators with professional development.

Professor Ben Schafer notes that "Though our plans may be revised after initiating the partnership, we currently envision offering five courses that will provide teachers a solid base for teaching simple programming or either of the current AP courses and for growing their knowledge and understanding of computer science." 

The courses will be open to all teachers and start this summer, moving into the 2018-19 school year.

“Specifically, these practices involve ways the teacher can interact with students to provide support, types of problems and assignments the teacher offers, and ways the teacher can provide assessment,” added Diesburg on the teaching practices of the courses.

For more information about the grant and the curriculum project, contact Ben Schafer, associate professor of computer science, at 319-273-2187 or