A heart for art

Prior to becoming Panthers, Dallas Center high school students Maria and Niah Howard went on a mission trip to El Salvador with a delegation from their church.

"We fell in love with the country and the people we met," said Maria. "They had a spirit of genuineness, compassion and resilience that was simply unforgettable."

The sisters were deeply concerned, however, about the poor living conditions and their new friends' stories of hardship. "Our eyes were opened to a reality we had previously not understood," Maria said.

Ready... Set... Go!

From the television screen to the workshop to the streets. The University of Northern Iowa's Physics of Mario Kart camp brought the classic video game, "Super Mario Kart," to life. Eight high school students spent a week constructing life-sized Mario karts and took them to the walkways on campus for some friendly racing.

Inspiration just around the river bend

Ben Hoksch has always had a love of the outdoors. His dad grew up in rural Iowa, and as a child, Hoksch and his father would often spend time fishing and hunting along the Mississippi River. His love for nature has had a large influence on his life. As an undergraduate at UNI, Hoskch majored in biology and recently canoed down the Mississippi River.

While his childhood experience and general love of nature influenced his decision to take this trip, it was experiences at UNI that ultimately inspired Hoksch to set sail.

A new chapter for President Allen

During his time as president of the University of Northern Iowa, Ben Allen presided over seven spring and fall commencements, attended countless athletic and performing arts events, shared words of praise and encouragement with students, and most importantly, "elevated UNI in the eyes of the citizens of Iowa."

After seven years at UNI, Allen is stepping down from his position as president and is looking forward to retirement. "We want to be with the grandkids and our daughter and her husband," said Allen.

UNI student grows through leadership

For Kelvin Robinson, the best thing about being a student at the University of Northern Iowa is the people that surround him on a daily basis. "They smile and they're welcoming," noted Robinson. "It's a totally different dynamic than the city I'm used to."

Robinson, a junior majoring in business management with an emphasis in supply chain and demand at UNI, is a leader both on and off campus. Coming from Gary, Ind., Robinson's main focus has been to seize every opportunity he could, and he has done exactly that.

Majora Carter and environmental equality

Majora Carter redefined the field of environmental equality, starting in the South Bronx. Now she's leading the local economic development movement across the U.S. Carter is a keynote speaker for the University of Northern Iowa's Sustainability Dialogue and Action Conference, scheduled for April 12 and 13. She will present "Home(town) Security" at 7 p.m., Friday, April 12, in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center Great Hall.

UNI student learns from experiences

For some people, losing weight and feeling good about themselves physically is a lifelong battle. It's something Darin Adams, a University of Northern Iowa senior majoring in criminology, came face-to-face with.

While still in high school, Darin decided to visit an Army recruiter – he walked into the office weighing 380 pounds.

"I was told there was no way I could join the army, I was too big," he said.


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