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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 22, 2007

UI Volunteer Fair To Link Students, Employees With Service Organizations

The University of Iowa will sponsor a campus-wide volunteer fair Wednesday, Sept. 5 to connect students, faculty and staff with local service organizations. The fair will be held from noon to 4 p.m. in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union. Nearly 80 organizations will be available to provide information and sign up volunteers.

"By inviting our local nonprofit organizations to campus, we hope to help fair visitors become aware of the interesting and rewarding volunteer opportunities and potential service learning partnerships available in our community," said Mary Mathew Wilson, coordinator of the UI Civic Engagement Program.

A substantial number of UI students, faculty and staff participate in the local, state, national and international communities through volunteerism and service learning. Wilson estimated that approximately 8,000 UI students volunteered for community service projects last year. The university is actively supporting the creation of service-learning courses, which help students learn course content by partnering with community organizations that address a variety of community needs.

"University of Iowa students are a very involved and dedicated group of people who are looking for ways to contribute," said Tom Rocklin, senior associate provost for undergraduate education and dean of University College. "Many of our students arrive with strong histories of community involvement and continue that involvement here in Iowa City and beyond. Others begin their community involvement in earnest as university students. Both groups of students, as well as all of our faculty and staff are going to find a tremendous number of outstanding opportunities at the Volunteer Fair."

UI student Mark Anthony Dingbaum said the Volunteer Fair opened his eyes to the 10,000 Hours Show organization and inspired him to join its leadership as executive director of outreach. "Prior to attending the volunteer fair, I had no idea that there were so many ways for students to get involved. The volunteer opportunities I've discovered at this fair have really helped me feel more connected to the Iowa City community. Plus I'm really excited about getting a free concert ticket to The 10,000 Hours Show in the spring," he said.

Among the organizations expected to be present at the Volunteer Fair are civic and government organizations, educational and child care organizations, art and cultural organizations, historical groups and groups that provide services to people who are poor, ill, disabled or victims of violence.

Campus-wide volunteer fairs have been held at the UI since 2005, with several others for freshmen held in previous years. "Volunteer fairs are becoming a strong tradition at the University of Iowa, providing a unique venue for matching community needs and strengths to the university's teaching, research, and service mission. Students, faculty and staff continue to benefit from this event where they can explore information about local community-based organizations and consider a wide range of engagement opportunities," said Phillip Jones, vice president for student services and dean of students.

The fair is co-sponsored by the Civic Engagement Program, UI Student Government, the 10,000 Hours Show, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Student Services, the Office of Student Life, and the UI Foundation.

SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

CONTACTS: Program: Mary Mathew Wilson, 319-335-7589; Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,