Edward Failor and Tyler Campbell became buddies while playing youth sports in their hometown of Muscatine. They learned how to tackle problems on and off the field, how to strike a balance between sports and schoolwork, and how to cheer on each other and their team. The boys' parents were able to pay the sign-up fees and the costs for equipment and team travel. The two friends learned, however, that many parents cannot.
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.
Three weeks. Six classes. Thousands of dollars. UNI students can invest a little time and receive big payoffs now and for years to come by taking the free course Live Like a Student. This non-credit course is offered by the Office of Student Financial Aid several times a semester, which means it can fit into almost any student's busy schedule.
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.
"People who have from the beginning developed complex lives with multiple interests and multiple talents, and continued to develop psychological complexity and tolerance for ambiguity... do very well in later adulthood," said Gary Gute, director of the Creative Life Research Center at UNI.
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.
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.
Approximately 1,644 UNI students will graduate this spring. A few are giving us a sneak peek at their next adventure...
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.
Whether it's through his love for computer science, home brewing beer, or working with LEGO® bricks, it's clear that Ben Schafer, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Northern Iowa, is motivated by his urge to understand how things work.