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News from the Nest

Photo of Melissa Shivers, Vice President for Student Life

Melissa Shivers – Vice President for Student Life

Hello, May, we’ve been waiting for you!

During this busy end of the semester, we know you may be fielding more calls from your student and also awaiting their arrival back home.The next few weeks will bring a whirlwind of activity and emotions. We always tell our students, “hang in there, and stay strong.” I believe in expressing these same sentiments to family members. We are all in this together, and we collectively need each other to finish strong.

As always, thanks for all you do to help your student succeed. We couldn’t do it without your support! Please join us in reminding your student of the following activities and information.


Did someone say pancakes?! It’s that time of year again when the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) hallways have the warm smell of pancakes, popcorn and pizza. Check out the events happening this semester. And, yes, it kicks off with pancake flipping on Monday, May 6th! If your student is stressed and looking for some comfort and camaraderie, remind them to stop into the IMU. 

Donate Don’t Dump

With residence hall move-out dates being May 8-11, University Housing and Dining is partnering with the Office of Sustainability for Donate, Don’t Dump. The annual event allows students and their families to donate or recycle unwanted items while moving out of their residence hall. Donation trucks will be staged in three locations on campus for large items. Goodwill donation carts and Crisis Center donation barrels will be staged in the lobby of most resident halls for smaller items. Learn more about how you can donate or volunteer.


As you know, graduation is right around the corner! If you are looking for information, you can visit the commencement site for all the details.

Student Health and Student Wellness

Student Health & Wellness, our campus resource for student medical and wellness needs, has changed to two individual entities: Student Health and Student Wellness. To place an emphasis on the collaborative, campus-wide movement toward a holistic well-being approach to student care, the strategic decision was made to create a Student Wellness unit as its own entity rather than embedded within the clinical Student Health model. This allows Student Wellness to become an important and equal focus in the approach to helping your student develop healthy lifestyles. The two units continue to collaborate through patient referrals and shared progress updates.

And, they now have their own websites that outline their respective service offerings within Student Health and Student Wellness. Please encourage your student to utilize the services when needed.

Parent and Family Council

As a reminder, the Division of Student Life has a Parent and Family Council. 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 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.

If you have an interest in joining this group, please send an email to Bret Gothe, assistant to vice president of student life, at We would be happy to provide you with more information.

Enjoy the upcoming summer, and I look forward to communicating with returning families this August!

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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