Iowa Campus Compact Recognizes Colleges and Universities Making Community Impacts

April 25, 2017

For immediate release (Des Moines, IA): Iowa Campus Compact (IACC) today announced the winners of the 2017 Engaged Campus Awards. Those nominated included students, organizations, faculty, staff and alumni who have built community-campus partnerships, community service programs, service-learning courses, and lead institutional engagement. More than 50 nominations were received from 14 colleges and universities across the state.

“These honorees are using creativity, hard work and innovation to better connect communities and campuses in ways that deepen student learning and impact critical needs,” said Executive Director Emily Shields.

Eight awardees were selected by a panel of reviewers. They include a Drake University student who founded their Community Action Board, a Central College alumna connecting campuses to marginalized Des Moines elementary students, and a University of Northern Iowa faculty member who helps freshman brings the arts to communities. Read more about each of the awardees and see the full list of those being honored below.

Awards will be presented at the annual Engaged Campus Awards and Summit on May 3, 2017 at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. The event will include a keynote speech by Dr. Timothy Eatman, co-director of Imagining America, an organization dedicated to engaging higher education artists, scholars, and designers in transforming society for the better. Attendees are also invited to participate in a summit on the civic mission of higher education.

Iowa Campus Compact (IACC) is a statewide association of college and university presidents providing leadership for the civic mission of higher education and strengthening the capacity of our member colleges and universities to prepare all students to become engaged citizens. See below for a list of all honorees and learn more at

Student Leadership Award – a student leader with demonstrated accomplishments in engaging students in meaningful service and civic engagement

Jamie Willer, Drake University Class of 2017

Jamie Willer is a Senior at Drake University studying Sociology and Social Justice in Urban Education. She serves as a Service-Learning Ambassador in the Office of Community Engaged Learning. She is a founding member of the Community Action Board and has served as President for two consecutive years. She is passionate about engaging students in meaningful service to help create a more equitable and just society.

Emerging Innovation Award – a recent project, program, or initiative making unique and innovative contributions that demonstrate strong future potential

Drake Community Press, Drake University

A unique small-press publisher since 2014, the Community Press is a two-year curriculum based publishing laboratory and community engagement experience that includes student and faculty collaborators from several academic disciplines, along with a selected non-profit partner with a story to tell about their work and mission.

Community Leadership Award – an alumnus of a member institution making strong contributions to their community and demonstrating the values of the civic mission of higher education

Heather Isaacson, Dreamer Academy Program Director, I Have a Dream Foundation – Des Moines, Central College Class of 1997

Heather Isaacson, Central College class of 1997 has made remarkable contributions to the Central Iowa Community, and in doing so she has demonstrated the values of the civic mission of higher education. Heather has worked professionally with GEAR UP, Partners in Economic Progress, Student Support Services at DMACC, and the I Have a Dream Foundation. In her current role as the Dreamer Academy Program Director with the I Have a Dream Foundation, Heather liaises with five Iowa colleges and universities who have adopted classes of students at Findley School.

Community Partnership Award – a community-campus partnership or collaboration that is deep, reciprocal, and transformational

Red Rock Lake Association, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Central College Partnership

The partnership between Central College and the Red Rock Lake Association in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been sustained for more than two decades, yielding outcomes for the entire Central Iowa community and beyond. In addition to the reciprocal exchange of expertise and resources, the goals of this partnership include enriching quality of life for Iowans; creating awareness of environmental issues in Marion County; expanding healthy recreational choices for residents of and visitors to Marion County; and engaging members of the college community and other Marion County residents in collaborative community service.

National Service Member of the Year Award – individual AmeriCorps and VISTA members (in IACC programs) who have made significant contributions building capacity

Trisha Griffin, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Grand View University and Iowa College Aid

Trisha is a Grand View University alumna who has served this year building capacity for both Grand View’s community engagement and specific partnerships with the Des Moines Public Schools through Iowa College Aid.

Network Choice Award – student organizations or student-led projects, winner selected via online voting.

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) is a student-run organization dedicated to educating, preparing, and certifying professionals to strengthen and lead nonprofit organizations. The group has developed six research projects with the local community and received $8,500 from the university to attend our Alliance Management Institute in Denver Colorado. Students hosted the Nonprofit exploraganza with 22 community organizations for networking opportunities. Students co-sponsored the student involvement fair for the campus community, created RFP’s for community organizations to participate in the Spring 500-hour service projects, and organized seven service projects where students in the alliance completed engaged service from event planning, research, to developing marketing materials.

Emerging Leadership Award – a new person in the field who is making unique and innovative contributions that demonstrate strong future potential

Angela Waseskuk, Instructor and Foundations Coordinator, University of Northern Iowa

Angela Waseskuk has been teaching at UNI since 2009 and has served primarily as the Art Department’s Foundations and first-year experience coordinator. From “Eco-House” (an ecologically-oriented student-produced art her various installation) to a Tiny House Capstone and the “Moving Words” and “Facing” projects, Angela has thrown herself into making art students’-particularly first-year art students’-experiences at UNI connected, engaged, and transformative by providing experiential opportunities for learning, and leading students to interact with and reflect upon their movement through the UNI, Cedar Valley, and World communities.

Civic Mission Leadership Award – a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated leadership for higher education civic engagement and has worked to give voice to the civic mission of higher education

Dr. Jim Wohlpart, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Northern Iowa

As Provost, Wohlpart has started a culture shift at UNI, embedding service-learning and community engagement throughout campus. He has been a leader in the development of UNI’s Civic Action Plan. UNI’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan was developed, an effort guided by Wohlpart when he was serving as Interim President, and for the first time UNI’s strategic plan specifically outlines a goal of Community Engagement. Also, when serving as President, Wohlpart tasked a committee with developing a Quality Initiative Project (QIP) for the Higher Learning Commission, which again, he directed be a project that addressed efforts to elevate and strengthen service-learning and community engagement. These accomplishments and more demonstrate Wohlpart’s leadership and shows the result of his voice and commitment to the civic mission of higher education.

Engaged Campus Award Honorable Mentions

Civic Mission Leadership:

  • Seth Andersen, Executive Director, Culver Center, Simpson College
  • Peggy Fitch, Vice President for Student Development and Title IX Coordinator, Central College
  • Adrienne Lamberti, Associate Professor/Professional Writing Program Coordinator, University of Northern Iowa
  • Eric Lee, University of Northern Iowa
  • Renee Sedlacek, Director, Community Engaged Learning, Drake University
  • Muhammed Spocter, Assistant Professor, Anatomy, Des Moines University

Student Leadership:

  • Megan Gustafson, Central College
  • Cristena Heschke, Buena Vista University
  • Laura Lenth, Loras College
  • Angela Lose, Grand View University
  • Robert Lyons, Simpson College
  • Melanie Majeed, University of Northern Iowa

Community Leadership:

  • Brianne Fitzgerald, Communications and Engagement Officer, Volunteer Iowa, Simpson College Alumna
  • Luke Harwath, Buena Vista University Alumnus
  • Emily Lang, Urban Leadership Academy Instructor and RunDSM Co-Founder, Drake University Alumna
  • Danny Laudick, Director of Talent Solutions, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber University of Northern Iowa Alumnus
  • Joyce Levingston, Graduate Assistant and Alumna, University of Northern Iowa

Emerging Leadership:

  • Brian Campbell, Director of Sustainability Education, Central College
  • Elizabeth Duncan, Professor, Iowa Western Community College
  • Laura Kieran, Associate Professor of Special Education, Drake University
  • Tammy Mildenstein, Assistant Professor of Biology, Cornell College
  • Anna Peña, Service Coordinator, Simpson College
  • Chad Timm, Associator Professor of Education, Simpson College

Community Partnership:

  • Indianola Rotary Club/Rotaract of Simpson College
  • Northeast Iowa Food Bank/University of Northern Iowa
  • Retrieving Freedom, Inc/Wartburg College
  • Vincent de Paul/Mercy College of Health Sciences

Emerging Innovation:

  • Drake University Engaged Citizen Corps
  • Guadalupe Center/Wartburg College
  • Mount Mercy University Enactus
  • Next Course at Simpson College

Network Choice Student Organization:

  • Central College Intercultural Educators
  • Next Course Food Recovery, Drake University
  • Out of the Darkness, Grand View University
  • Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Iowa Wesleyan University
  • Student Nurses Association, Iowa Wesleyan University

National Service Member of the Year:

  • Magen Andrasko, Iowa College AmeriCorps Program Member, Central College
  • Jeffrey Czerwiec, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Drake University
  • Kristina Kofoot, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, University of Northern Iowa