University of Northern Iowa students are making an impact on communities throughout Iowa and learning skills they can use in their professional and private lives. Following are stories from students who benefited from the Robert and Yvonne Koob Fund for Student Community Engagement during spring 2015.
Tyler Adams, ‘15 – Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley
“Volunteers are vital to the success of a nonprofit organization,” says Tyler Adams “and volunteerism is vital to the success and overall happiness of a person. Getting to be part of this organization has helped me share the power of volunteerism to community members in the Cedar Valley. Knowing that an impact has been made in this community is definitely rewarding.”
Adams implemented the Virtual Volunteer Fair, helped organize the Mayor’s Volunteer and Top Teen Awards, and assisted with Appetite for Service, the Volunteer Center’s major fundraiser.
This past summer Adams completed an internship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona as a special events intern. He plans to pursue a Master’s in Nonprofit Management at Arizona State University.
Emily Hanson, ‘15 – R.J. McElroy Trust
Hanson facilitated the selection of 10 outstanding teachers in the Cedar Valley and planned an event to recognize the service of all teachers in Black Hawk County (Iowa).
“Emily did a great job organizing the Gold Star teacher program,” said Stacy Van Gorp, executive director of the R. J. McElroy Trust. “Her effort resulted in 1,250 nominations for outstanding teachers. By implementing a new email marketing system, Emily also helped us realize a 40 percent increase in applications for the award.”
“My internship allowed me to take the knowledge I had obtained in the classroom and put it into action,” said Hanson. “I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow in a professional nonprofit setting.”
Hanson is pursuing her Master’s from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. She is working for the university’s College of Education as a graduate assistant.
Clarissa McPheron, junior – Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau
“Working for the Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau was a fantastic way to utilize my skills for a community I have grown to love, said Clarissa McPheron. “It was a great privilege to learn the tools to promote Cedar Falls as a travel destination.”
McPheron’s main project was to research, produce and distribute a customer service training resource to be used by the hospitality community. She also maintained an online blog that featured local attractions and organizations.
McPherson plans to work in the tourism industry after completing her studies at UNI.
University of Northern Iowa students may apply for a scholarship from the Robert and Yvonne Koob Fund for Community Engagement at uni-foundation.org/koob-fund-application.