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Helping new students feel at home

Members of Cat Crew are student volunteers that help facilitate UNI Now, an extended orientation program for new students. These volunteers move into the residence halls a week before the start of classes and undergo two days of training before spending the rest of the week with freshmen and transfer students.

Going to college can be somewhat of an emotional roller coaster. Once you step on campus, you’ve opened yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities, but you can also feel like a stranger in a strange land at times.

A curtain call for theatre alum

Katy Slaven stood on stage in the Great Hall at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center the morning of February 23, as an audience of 1,500 exuberant middle school students sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

It happened to be her birthday, but both Katy and the children in the audience were gathered there for reasons other than a simple celebration.

For the students and their teachers, it was the chance to see “Out of Bounds,” a play about bullying that tackles the issue from a variety of different perspectives.

Oh, the places UNI graduates go!

Each year, the University of Northern Iowa Office of Career Services releases a report detailing post-graduation success. In 2013, 88 percent of respondents were either employed or receiving further education – the highest number in the past five years.

The annual graduate report categorizes respondents by department and major. The overall "occupied" percentage accounts for students who are employed, full-time volunteers, serving in the military, or full-time, stay-at-home parents.

UNI makes a difference with Special Olympics Iowa

In January, 400 athletes, 200 coaches and chaperones, and 300 volunteers attended the Special Olympics Iowa Winter Games in Dubuque. More than 50 of those volunteers were students from the University of Northern Iowa.

In 1986, Joe Wilson, associate professor of health, physical education and leisure services, was asked to help run the games. Gradually, Wilson began bringing student volunteers to the event and has since made it an annual volunteer opportunity.

Empowering and celebrating women

"I used to always hate my body and hate the way I looked," said junior mathematics education major and women's and gender studies minor Paige Hageman. Like a lot of girls, Hageman grew up reading magazines and comparing herself to the models she saw on the glossy pages. "I was always like, 'Why can't I just be this stereotypical girl and fit into all this?'"

UNI's track and field head coach is a two-time Olympian

Speeding down a twisting, turning, ice-covered track at 90 miles per hour on the banked curves of the Olympic bobsled track looks kind of fun—until you're in the sled.

"It's actually a violent ride," says Dan Steele, UNI's track and field head coach and brakeman for the four-man bobsled team that won bronze at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. "You can reach more than 5 G's in a turn and your body is compressed into positions you didn't think were possible.

UNI goes mobile!

University of Northern Iowa students, faculty and staff now have the ability to take UNI with them wherever they go... on their smartphones! The MyUNI mobile app is now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Android phones and other phones, such as Windows phones and Blackberry, via mobile Web.

Helping others get in the game

Edward Failor and Tyler Campbell became buddies while playing youth sports in their hometown of Muscatine. They learned how to tackle problems on and off the field, how to strike a balance between sports and schoolwork, and how to cheer on each other and their team. The boys' parents were able to pay the sign-up fees and the costs for equipment and team travel. The two friends learned, however, that many parents cannot.

A heart for art

Prior to becoming Panthers, Dallas Center high school students Maria and Niah Howard went on a mission trip to El Salvador with a delegation from their church.

"We fell in love with the country and the people we met," said Maria. "They had a spirit of genuineness, compassion and resilience that was simply unforgettable."



The sisters were deeply concerned, however, about the poor living conditions and their new friends' stories of hardship. "Our eyes were opened to a reality we had previously not understood," Maria said.

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