News from the Nest

How did that happen so fast?

Your student has gone from a high schooler to a college student or your once-upon-a-time-freshman has turned into an upper-class student heading our way. You ask yourself, “How did that happen so fast?!” I know it may be hard to comprehend how quickly time has flown before this moment when they prepare to fly on their own, but please know we are waiting with open arms to welcome them to campus.

August is a great time of year to be on campus – there is a contagious enthusiasm as students form new friendships, welcome a new academic year, prepare for football season, and enjoy Iowa City. As the Vice President for Student Life, I send this newsletter monthly to keep parents and families informed about initiatives taking place on campus. Communicating with you and your students is such a fun part of my job, and I’ve added a video component this year that hopefully allows you to get to know me a bit more.

Welcome to University of Iowa Parents 2019

It’s warm, crazy, and possibly raining, but you can handle this! Move-in tips and information.

Photo of students moving into the residence halls

Students move into the residence halls

We have everything you need to know for bringing your student to the residence halls within the Move-in 2019 University Housing and Dining website. Learn how combined prep and patience will make the day go smoother. We will have a whole crew of energetic, smiling people waiting to help you during this busy – and sometimes emotional -  day. We can do this together! 

Class of 2023 and new transfer students get ready to have some fun and meet lots of people! On Iowa! logo image

New students coming to campus are going to be busy August 20-25, as a whirlwind of great activities are planned for them during On Iowa! This initiative helps welcome new students to the university community and engages them to:

  • Make friends with new and returning students,
  • Discover Hawkeye traditions and what it means to be a UI student,
  • Prepare to excel in your classes,
  • Explore activities and student organizations, and
  • Commit to The IOWA Challenge!
  • Check out the On Iowa! video.

Looking for a way to stay involved?

The Division of Student Life has launched a Parent and Family Council. This idea grew from feedback UI families shared about their desire to have a more active role with the university. Parents and families have a huge influence on our students and we are excited to provide you with this opportunity to engage and support their experience. 

Participation includes two meetings each year hosted by the Division of Student Life, that focus on showcasing the great work taking place in the division, engaging with administrators across campus, and sharing feedback about ways we can continue to strengthen the student experience. There will be new, local opportunities in your home cities and around the country to share our story and build community around the University of Iowa.

If you have an interest in joining this group, please send an email to my assistant, Pam Krogmeier at We would be happy to provide you with more information!

Let us join you on your walk, your drive, or during your downtime! Tips, strategies, and lively conversation via our podcast for UI parents and families.

Bret Gothe in the studio recording a podcast

Bret Gothe, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life

Check out the UI Parent and Family Network (PFN) podcast series that engages the audience as educational stakeholders of UI students. Guided by theories, institutional research, and practice, podcasts provide a platform to connect with UI parent and family members and provide proactive discussions about the student experience. The podcast features campus partners who work with families and students to support student success.

2019-20 Podcast Schedule

  • August - Making the Big Move: Move-In & On Iowa!
  • September - Handling Homesickness: Strategies for Success
  • October - Paying for Next Year: The Financial Aid Process
  • November - Study Abroad—What’s it all about?
  • December - Managing the Winter Break Transition
  • January - Proactive Planning for Next Year
  • February – Exploring Summer Jobs & Internships
  • March - Academic Support Resources
  • April – Managing the Summer Transition
  • May - Iowa City in the Summer 

Plan ahead for Family Weekend! (Do you have a hotel booked and time blocked off on your calendar?)

Family weekend illustration of old capitol

Please mark your calendars for November 15 -17 and plan to join us for Family Weekend at Iowa. Sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, this is a fun time to explore campus and spend time with your student learning about their life at Iowa. As you can see from the calendar, we have many events planned and would love to see as many of you as possible. You can register here. 

As always, thanks for your support.

Together for UI, 

an image of the signature for Melissa S. Shivers, VP for Student Life

Melissa S. Shivers, PhD
Vice President for Student Life