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News from the Nest

Melissa Shivers, Vice President for Student Life

Melissa Shivers
Vice President for Student Life

It’s hard to believe we are already over a month into the academic year. The temperatures are finally dropping a bit, and I hope your student is settling in well. I have seen so many young men and women spending time on the Pentacrest and Hubbard Park, enjoying football games, going through recruitment for various clubs and activities, and enjoying all that Iowa City has to offer. I hope we will get the chance to share it with you, too, during Family Weekend, November 9-11.

In this edition

• Midterms
• Healthy choices
• Flu shots
• Financial aid
• Parent and Family Council

Midterms are coming

In the coming weeks, your students will be preparing for midterms. These can take the form of papers, projects, or exams. This can be a stressful time of the semester, especially for first-year students. Some students may find midterms affirm all the work they have done this semester. For other students, midterms can be a good opportunity to rededicate themselves to their studies.

As family and supporters, I encourage you to check in with your student. Ask how preparation is going and remind them that the University of Iowa has countless opportunities available for students who need help with their studies. From office hours with professors, to on-campus tutors and study sessions, there are services in place. Some additional resources:

Supporting healthy choices for students

The first eight weeks of the school year can be a rough transition for many students. From living at home and eating homemade food, to living in the dorms and eating in the dining hall, the move to college can be a big lifestyle change. However, a healthy diet and exercise can help students with that experience.

Fit in Four is a new, four-week program meant to transform students’ bad health habits into better ones. Students can learn how to track their diet and exercise in hopes of creating a healthier lifestyle. The first session of the year will run from October 1 to 28. Read more...

Flu shots available on campus

Student Health & Wellness is offering the flu shot vaccine at their clinic in the Westlawn Building and the Nurse Care location at Iowa Memorial Union. The flu usually comes to campus early and stays late with peak infection times in late fall (around finals) and early winter. According to the Center for Disease Control, the single best way to prevent getting the flu is to get a flu vaccine. Please remind your students to bring their insurance card and the policyholder's date of birth and employer. Student Health & Wellness can submit directly to your insurance or your student can charge it to their U-Bill.

Financial aid

Please remember if your student is receiving financial aid, they must apply each year by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2019-2020 FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after October 1, 2018. Some financial aid funds are limited, so it is important to file your FAFSA as soon as possible. You will find information and links to pages within the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) website to assist you in the financial aid process.

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 story about the UI. 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.

Thank you for all you do to support your student and the UI.

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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