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University of Iowa News Release


May 27, 2008

Mason to teach leadership class this fall

This fall, 30 incoming first-year students at the University of Iowa will have a unique learning experience when they take a leadership class from UI President Sally Mason.

In addition to learning new leadership skills, the students will hear from local and state officials during President's Leadership Class. It is the first time a UI president has taught this kind of course, and the first one Mason will teach at the UI.

"I'm excited to interact with students in a somewhat formal classroom setting. With the help of our speakers, I believe this class will develop leaders at the University of Iowa and beyond," said Mason.

The class will be offered on Tuesdays in the fall semester, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the President's Residence, with some sessions meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union and Levitt Center. During three panel discussions, students will interact with university administration, alumni, local and state political leaders, and current student leaders. In addition, students will have an opportunity to dine at the President's Residence after class with President Mason once during the semester.

The Office of Student Life, in conjunction with Student Services, is coordinating the class with Mason. Postcards have been sent out to 950 incoming students inviting them to apply for the class. The UI admissions office helped select the invitees based on their academic record and previous leadership experience. To apply for the class, these students will be directed to a Web site, where they will list their GPA, leadership activities and honors, and submit an essay about their leadership philosophy. Selected participants will be notified by Monday, June 9, and will be asked to enroll in the course during their Summer Orientation Session.

The class is also an opportunity for incoming freshmen to discover new leadership opportunities at the UI and build on their high school leadership experience, said Tara Edberg, assistant director for Leadership Development Programs in the Office of Student Life. Students will also take a field trip to Des Moines to meet state legislators and tour the State Capitol, Edberg added.

"With the President's Leadership Class students will have an amazing opportunity to interact with university and state officials on a level that few students get the chance to. In addition, they will expand their leadership knowledge through leadership inventories, teambuilding activities and discussion of leadership theories, as well as learn how President Mason applies leadership at UI," Edberg said.

Edberg is coordinating the class along with Kelly Jo Karnes, associate director of Student Life, Bill Nelson, director of Student Life, and David Grady, associate vice president and director, University Life Centers.

Mason plans to teach the class every fall semester and hopes that many student government officers will come out of the class.

"I hope students come away with a better sense of how the university operates and what university leaders do," Mason said. "I want to provide students with a broad perspective on what leadership is. I also want them to have a better idea of what their opportunities are within the university."

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tara Edberg, Office of Student Life, 319-335-3059,; Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-335-0552,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,