News from the Nest

Melissa Shivers, Vice President for Student Life

Melissa Shivers
Vice President for Student Life

Home for the holidays

Well, you just got through the fall break with your college student back home in the nest, and now you're thinking this was just a practice run for the longer winter break shortly around the corner. Am I right?

I understand this can be both a joyous and stressful time for you and your student.

Whether things went well during fall break and you're already missing your student – or things were a bit bumpy and you're feeling relief your student is back on campus turf, we all know emotions can run high at this time of the year.

But there is strength in numbers, and many households with college students experience the same highs and disappointments when their student returns home for a month. For most families, their student has one foot brushing adulthood and another foot still firmly planted in youth. Here are some things to expect as you tiptoe or run around it all.

Snowy Pentacrest run, 2013

Snowy Pentacrest run, 2013

  1. The laundry room floor will not be visible
  2. They will eat a lot
  3. They will sleep even more
  4. Their friends will be the priority 
  5. They will test the rules
  6. You will miss how they were in the past
  7. You will see wonderful glimpses of how they may be in the future

All these things may seem fairly typical and, with a broader perspective, rather minor. If you're noticing some behavior in your student that worries you, please know there are resources available to them.

End of semester reminders

Parent and Family Council

As a reminder, the Division of Student Life is launching a Parent and Family Council this year. Parents and families have a huge influence on our students and we are excited to provide you with additional opportunities to engage and support their experiences.

Participation will include two yearly meetings 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 opportunities to engage in your home communities and around the country to continue telling the excellent UI story. Council participants will also be asked to help identify other families with an interest in deepening their connection to student life at Iowa. Additionally, we hope you will support the Division of Student Life Excellence Fund with a monetary gift.

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.

All the best to you and yours!

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
Interim Chief Diversity Officer

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