Thousands of hours of collaboration occur each year between faculty, staff and students at the University of Iowa and community partners across the state. These partnerships result in projects, research, performances, events, and workshops that help build a brighter future for the university and our state.

The impact of community engagement at Iowa can be experienced in the stories below.

Mosaic Map

Transforming Your Learning Experience

A group of students walk down the sidewalk together

Graduate Engagement Corps connects grad students to funding, community partnerships, and professional development

GEC an opportunity for to learn about and receive support for community engaged teaching, learning, and research.
A woman reads to a group of small children

Latham Science Engagement Initiative captures spirit of community engaged courses

The Initiative works with students to ‘engage our community in thinking about how science impacts their daily lives.'


A city billboard outside Maquoketa

Undergraduate Marketing Institute partners students with local communities

Students work with community partners in Boone Forks, Webster City, Keokuk, Washington, Dubuque, and Sioux City.  

Student Michael shares presentation at research fair

Tippie students RISE through experiential learning

Students acquire job-related skills to advance career preparation, expand global view, and build professional network. 

Student nurses pose for photograph

College of Nursing students respond to COVID-19 needs in Iowa

College of Nursing helps fill shortage of nurses while students get valuable experience.

Yanet Velazquez

Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities guides Yanet's career path

Yanet Velasquez clarified her career path, along with a desire to work in the Hispanic community, in Community Development course.

Megan Schott

Megan sees the potential of Iowa with fresh eyes

Megan Schott's perspective shifted and opened her professional pathway to new possibilities when she saw a fresh side of Iowa’s cultural landscape. 

Empowering Your Teaching Experience

Exploring engagement episode 2

Exploring Engagement

Exploring Engagement: Faculty Perspective - Interview with Dr. Peter Gerlach

In this episode of Exploring Engagement, we met with Dr. Peter Gerlach to talk about his philosophy and approach to structuring mutually beneficial community engaged courses and the vital work that he is doing with his students to impact community partners serving immigrants and refugees across the state of Iowa.  

A student presents her project at an event

Community Engaged Course designation (CEC) enhances student experience with increased skills and job readiness

Community engaged coursework (CEC), which brings students out of the classroom and into the community to learn while applying skills in real-time, is found at universities across the country. Beginning Spring 2022, University of Iowa students will view and select courses with a CEC designated component in MyUI.  

Carolyn Colvin speaks to a crowd

Professor Colvin brings citizenship to immigrants in West Liberty, Iowa

In the early 1990s, Carolyn Colvin lived in San Diego and taught at San Diego State University. One evening, after a long, traffic-dense drive home, she turned on the NBC Nightly News to see Tom Brokaw standing in the middle of a street in West Liberty. 

Picture of ICTS location on campus

Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences moves medical research to practices across Iowa

Dr. Heather Reisinger introduces her colleagues to implementation science and studies how researchers rapidly put their findings into practice. 

Iowa Manning Sculpture

Professor Durham turns service learning into community engagement

After decades of teaching service learning courses, the Engaged Faculty Institute inspires Professor Frank Durham to begin organizing a working group.

Faculty Institute, Iowa City

Faculty across Iowa join together to advance community engagement

Area colleges and universities gather annually co guide and inform best practices for pedagogical development.

Making a Difference in Your Communities

Dave Heiar works with a group of students

Jackson County Economic Alliance improves lives and spurs economic growth through community engagement initiatives

The JCEA, which opened over eight years ago, was formed to combine economic development efforts among communities in Jackson County.  


Picture of Rachel Young painting with students

School of Journalism supports diversity and inclusion, safety training, and improvement initiatives across Iowa

Rachel Young has taught many community engaged courses, especially in public relations and strategic communications. 

Students help sort household items at a local nonprofit

Strategic communications writing students help Houses into Homes in Coralville

In the Fall 2021 semester, McCarty worked with a strategic communication writing course to identify ways H2H could tell its story while soliciting volunteers and attracting new sources of fundraising support. 

Students research a project together in a public library

Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates makes a difference in Iowa through student research

Robert Kirby, director of the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), and his team support around 120 research fellow projects per year.

Photo of BLN community forum event

Communities harness resources and expertise through Business Leadership Network

College of Public Health's Business Leadership Network (BLN) launches new program to connect with small- to mid-sized Iowa communities.

Craig Syrop with students

Community engaged research transforms healthcare delivery and provider education

Dr. Craig Syrop, MD, MHCDS, research intersects with medical student Jared Peterson to find links between gestational diabetes and food insecurity.

A painted mural on a silo in Clinton, Iowa

Turning scholarship into action: Public art residency advances public art in Iowa

Research presented during the Grant Wood Symposium: Art in Public manifests a Public Art Residency for UI students and murals and sculptures across Iowa.

Emily Shields

Rigorous and Relevant Community Engagement

The daily news cycle provides no shortage of reminders that higher education is operating in a changing environment, and the pace of change continues to grow.

Carolyn Colvin speaks to a classroom

Equity and the Community Engagement Process

Those of us who are guided by equity and identify our research approach as 'community-engaged scholarship' are struck by the ways that COVID has exacerbated long-existing inequities in classrooms, communities, prisons, and churches.