UIU family celebrates commitment to Cedar Valley

Waterloo Center celebration

Among the Upper Iowa University-Waterloo Center staff, alumni, and friends anxiously awaiting the start of the My Waterloo Days Parade on Friday were (l-r) Abby Backes, teacher education administrative assistant; Jill Hansen, center director; Michelle Lane, alumna and current MPA student; Pete the Peacock; Sarah Topliff, student support specialist; Randi Leuenhagen, financial aid advisor/student account specialist; Danielle Rundel, academic advisor;  Sarahmarie Hardy, teacher education coordinator.

FAYETTE, Iowa (June 15, 2015) – The My Waterloo Days Parade on Friday transformed into a “Feathers Up” celebration for over 80 students, staff, alumni, friends and family of the Upper Iowa University-Waterloo Center. The Peacock faithful marched along the downtown Waterloo parade route in recognition of the center’s commitment to higher education of the Cedar Valley community for 30 years.

“It was so wonderful to be surrounded by so many proud Peacocks. I continue to be amazed by the amount of school spirit that this center has. We have several people that proudly show off their ‘peacock feathers’ on a regular basis,” stressed Jill Hansen, UIU-Waterloo Center director. “It was also great to hear shouts of ‘Go Peacocks’ from members of the crowd as we walked in the parade. It further proves that UIU touches so many people in so many ways.”

A friend of the Cedar Valley for 30 years

“The UIU-Waterloo location is extremely proud to have developed several well-established relationships within the Cedar Valley. Our staff is encouraged to get involved in areas that help to support the growth of the community,” Hansen noted. “At the same time, the majority of students are non-traditional and have roots established in the Cedar Valley.  Because of this, many of the graduates have chosen to remain in the Cedar Valley and give back to the community with which they have received their UIU education. By earning their degree through us, many have been able to get that promotion they have been yearning for or to make that career change they have been wanting to do.” 

While the number of online students continues to increase, UIU also maintains a strong classroom setting at the Waterloo center by providing a friendly and student-centered environment. 

“By having night classes at the center, we give our students the options of taking courses in the delivery method that suites them best.  We even offer a self-paced option in addition to online and evening classes,” explained the center’s director. “One of the assets that I am most proud of is that of our adjunct instructors.  We have a group of very dedicated instructors that continue to teach for UIU-Waterloo because they love it. Our students get to benefit the most by learning from professionals in the workforce that are passionate about helping the next group of professionals in their chosen field.” 

As an example of further supporting education and the community, Hansen reported that the center partners with several local businesses and organizations in the university’s corporate advantage program (CAP). Because their employer is part of the CAP program, employees, along with their immediate family members receive a discount on UIU tuition. 

“We also help to support our military veterans and active duty members with discounted tuition,” Hansen added.  “This is not only another example of how UIU helps partner with those in our community, but also exhibits the university’s commitment to help honor those who have served or continue to serve our country.” 

The Upper Iowa University Waterloo Center opened in 1985 and currently serves approximately 500students with a variety of majors. A formal celebration commemorating the center’s 30th anniversary will be announced at a later date..

About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, nonprofit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,200 students–nationally and internationally–at its Fayette campus, 21 U.S. locations, as well as a location in Hong Kong. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit uiu.edu.

Michael Van Sickle
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