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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 12, 2011

UI to introduce immersion program for first-year students

The University of Iowa this year will introduce an immersion program for incoming first-year students that will serve as a welcome and orientation. On Iowa! is designed to help students connect with each other, learn about university traditions, and begin a successful transition to college life—in the classroom and beyond.

For three days, Aug. 19-21, students will receive a comprehensive introduction to life at the UI and education about the skills necessary to succeed in meeting The IOWA Challenge, a concise statement of expectations for students.

Goal setting, safety and wellness will be emphasized, but there will be much more, including an opportunity to take the field at Kinnick Stadium, where a photo will be taken of the Class of 2015. A Hawkeye icon is scheduled to speak Friday evening at Kinnick, while Convocation on the Pentacrest and a block party at the home of UI President Sally Mason will cap off the program Sunday afternoon.

This year's convocation speakers include Mason, Provost Barry Butler, Vice President for Student Life Tom Rocklin, Associate Provost Beth Ingram, and Storm Miller, an incoming first-year student from Davenport, Iowa, who was selected based on a video he submitted on YouTube (

On Iowa! grew from recommendations by the UI Student Success Team (SST), a cross-campus, grassroots group committed to fostering undergraduate achievement in the classroom and beyond. SST members proposed a pre-semester immersion program for first-year students that would introduce students to the university and each other. Similar programs exist at Purdue University, the University of Minnesota, and other peer institutions.

Other SST-originated projects include the aforementioned IOWA Challenge, 47 Things to Do at Iowa, the Early Intervention Program, and Pick One, which helps connect new students with campus organizations and activities.

This enhanced emphasis on student success drives the university's current strategic plan. "Renewing the Iowa Promise" sets goals for quality, access and affordability, focusing on expanded living-learning communities, high-impact activities like study abroad and internships, and student safety and health.

More information:

Note to Editors: For more details about activities planned for first-year students, see this media advisory:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Communication and Marketing, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Emil Rinderspacher, senior associate director, Office of Admissions,, 319-335-1494; Sarah Hansen, director of assessment and strategic initiatives, Office of the Vice President for Student Life,, 319-335-1168