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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 14, 2008

Photos: Iowa Edge students participate in team building at the UI Ropes Course in 2007.

UI Iowa Edge program eases new student transition Aug. 18 through 22

The Iowa Edge program at the University of Iowa will offer a unique program for 54 African-American, American Indian, Asian-American, Latino, Pacific Islander and first-generation low-income college students Monday, Aug. 18, through Friday, Aug. 22, to ease the transition into a large, predominantly white university setting. This is the third year for the program.

Iowa Edge seeks to enhance student-institution fit, boost student performance, and improve student retention and graduation rates among students of color and first-generation, low-income students at the UI. During the weeklong program, Iowa Edge will create a welcoming environment, foster relationships, and empower Iowa Edge students to achieve their goals.

"This program fosters a sense of community and connects students to faculty, staff and resources on campus right away," said Gabriela Rivera, multicultural coordinator of the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment and a member of the Iowa Edge Executive Committee. "It helps students improve and gain confidence in their performance academically."

Lodging, meals and program expenses for student participants are paid for by a grant from the Kevin and Donna Gruneich Charitable Foundation. The Iowa Edge is coordinated by a coalition of University of Iowa students, faculty and staff. To view a list of all the academic programs and campus offices that plan and implement Iowa Edge, see:

On the first day, students will move into their residence halls and participate in an engaging orientation, where they are broken into small groups led by peer leaders. Other activities during the week include breakfast with UI President Sally Mason, participation in the UI High Adventure Challenge Course, personalized tours of resources and classrooms around campus, and workshops on campus life issues, such as managing finances and staying safe.

Rivera says the program helps the students get acquainted with resources right away and gain a support system when they enter the community.

For more information on the program and a complete schedule, visit

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Gabriela Rivera, Center for Diversity and Enrichment, 319-335-0570,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Aly Dolan