Nick Benson, J.D.
Nick serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Community Engagement and provides leadership on campus for community engaged teaching and learning and community engaged research. Nick has worked for eight years in various community engagement roles at the University of Iowa, including as Director of the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities and Director of Community Development and Outreach. Prior to his time at Iowa, Nick worked for the City of Iowa City in community and economic development and at Leff Law Firm. He holds a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and Juris Doctorate from Iowa.
Leslie Finer, PhD
In her role as Director of Arts & Humanities, Leslie works to enhance community vitality by utilizing the University of Iowa's arts and cultural resources. She also oversees the Arts Share program, which has been facilitating arts outreach and engagement initiatives for over 25 years. Leslie received her bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and a PhD in musicology from the University of Iowa. Before working at the University of Iowa she taught music history and piano at Coe College.
Maura Pilcher, MS
Maura Pilcher currently serves as the Director of the Grant Wood Art Colony. She holds a Bachelor's of Art in Anthropology and Art History from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has over 15 years of experience in the museum industry including The Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), The Field Museum (Chicago, IL), and The Snite Museum (Notre Dame, IN). She has participated on arts engagement and preservation-related panels and provided workshops for national audiences.
James oversees strategic communication, including marketing of office events and activities, managing the website, and creating and editing content for multiple media channels. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy, from the University of Iowa.