Iowa Edge

2015 Iowa Edge Peer Leaders

The University of Iowa is an exciting place—full of academic, cultural, and social opportunities. Yet, attending a large university can be overwhelming and a little intimidating.

Many students have found that programs like The Iowa Edge eased their concerns and ensured a successful academic and social transition to the University of Iowa. The Iowa Edge, August 16-19, 2015, is an exciting program for selected African American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latino/a, and first-generation college students.

Participate in The Iowa Edge and:

  • Meet faculty and campus leaders who will support you during your college experience
  • Build community with a group of peers before the semester begins
  • Develop leadership skills for success in class, on campus, and in life

On the first day of class, you'll feel like a seasoned pro—your first step to becoming a University of Iowa graduate! Move in early at no charge; lodging, meals, and program expenses for all participants are paid by a grant from the Kevin and Donna Gruneich Charitable Foundation.

Building bridges via Iowa Edge

Advisory Board Members

Gabriela Rivera
Multicultural Specialist
Center for Diversity & Enrichment

Brooke Paulsen
Assistant Director, Student Success Initiatives
Tippie College of Business

Richard Barajas
Director of Admissions
College of Pharmacy

Valerie Garr
Diversity Coordinator
College of Nursing

Sheila Schechinger
Assistant Director, high school outreach and recruitment
Office of Admissions

Stacy Narcotta-Welp
Director, Career Leadership Academy
Career Center

Planning Committee Members

Alejandra (Alex) Almazan
Office of Student Financial Aid

Carly Armour
Student Disability Services

Jennifer Bell
College of Engineering

Jennifer Bertrand
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Kelly Collins
Residence Life

Dan Gall
Library Administration

Val Garr
College of Nursing

Omolola Jimoh
Center for Diversity and Enrichment

Preston Keith
Center for Diversity and Enrichment

Stacy Narcotta-Welp
Pomerantz Career Center

Cyrus Nichols
Office of Admissions

Tracy Peterson
College of Engineering

Kristin Wurster
PhD student

Campus Partners

Lori Adams
Iowa Bioscience Advantage Program

Aubree Compton
Office of Study Abroad

Jane Dorman
College of Engineering

Mario Duarte
Academic Advising Center

Denise Martinez
College of Medicine

Kathy Mossman
College of Education

Roy Salcedo
Center for Student Involvement and Leadership

Kelly Thornburg
Honors Program

Peer Leaders

Peer Leaders are trained to provide a person-centered, community-centered orientation to university life the week before classes begin for students who face challenging issues of transition. Iowa Edge peer leaders directly address and positively impact these students’ rates of persistence, retention, and graduation.

If you have questions, please contact Gabriela Rivera at

Associate Peer Leaders

Social Work & Anthropology
Brooklyn, New York
Social Work
Chicago, Illinois 

Peer Leaders

Lithonia, Georgia
Art, Journalism and Mass Communication
West Liberty, Iowa
Civil Engineering
Berwyn, Illinois
English (Creative Writing)
Naperville, Illinois
Chemical Engineering
Des Moines, Iowa
Human Physiology (Pre-Medicine)
Sperry, Iowa
Spanish (Secondary Education Interest)
West Liberty, Iowa
Marketing (International Certificate)
Wood Dale, Illinois
Nursing Interest
Burlington, Iowa
Human Physiology (Pre-Medicine)
Olmito, Texas
Ethics and Public Policy
Des Moines, Iowa
Second Elementary Education Interest
Sioux City, Iowa

The Iowa Edge (TIE) Student Organization

The purpose of The Iowa Edge Student Organization is to provide year-round academic, social, and volunteer programming for all students; with a focus on student of color, first-generation students, and Iowa Edge alumni. It is a student organization created by Iowa Edge alumni with the ultimate aim of increasing both student retention, student diversity, and the quality of student life at the University of Iowa.

The goal of The Iowa Edge Student Organization will be to provide leadership opportunities and year-round programming for all Iowa Edge alumni and the multicultural community. The Iowa Edge Student Organization will aim to help foster community and student success among the overall community of color. Building from The Iowa Edge program, the organization will pursue continued growth at both the community and individual level through community building, diversity education, and student support.

The organization will provide enriching academic, social, and volunteer programming opportunities throughout the year that all students may take part or become active leaders in organizing; with the purpose of increasing both student retention, student diversity, and the quality of student life at the University of Iowa. This will be done for all students, with a particular focus on students of color, first-generation students, and specifically Iowa Edge alumni.

Student Officers

President: Brianna Nash
Vice President: Fidel Estrada
Treasurer: Samuel Pang
Secretary: Nana Yaa Wright
VP of Public Relations: Jasmine Renee Woolery
VP of Programming: Victor Ivan Diaz

Advisor: Gabriela Rivera

facebook button If you are interested in joining The Iowa Edge Student Organization, please join our group on Facebook.


The Iowa Edge is funded by the Kevin and Donna Gruneich Charitable Foundation.

The Iowa Edge is coordinated by a coalition of UI students, faculty, and staff. Individuals from the following academic programs and campus offices plan and implement The Iowa Edge.

Kevin Gruenich
Kevin Gruneich BBA 1980 Park City, Utah

“I am just beginning to return the investment others have made in me.”


Bridging Student

How to Apply/Enroll

The Iowa Edge application is now closed. Students will be notified of their selection after July 7, 2015.

Questions about applications can be directed to Gabriela Rivera at

Iowa Edge program questions can be directed to the Center for Diversity & Enrichment at 319-335-3555.

Please note: The Iowa Edge program occurs at the same time as Honors Primetime and as required practice time for the Hawkeye Marching Band.  Due to significant time overlaps, it is not possible for students to participate in the Iowa Edge program if they are also participating in Honors Primetime or the Hawkeye Marching Band.  If you decide to participate in either of those activities, please notify Gabriela Rivera ( as soon as possible so we can remove your application from the Iowa Edge program.