The University of Iowa

Connecting Communities: Creating a space for underrepresented students

Gather. Connect. Grow.

The University of Iowa Graduate College invites new students of color to a welcome program, celebrating fellowship and building relationships. We hope to carve out time and space for folks to connect with peers and mentors, learn about navigating the academe, and prepare for graduate life at Iowa.


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The Schedule

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

5:45 - 6:00 pm

Arrive and check-in

6:00 - 6:20 pm


Dr. Melissa Shivers, Vice President for Student Life

6:20 - 7:00 pm

Student Discussion/Panel

7:00 - 7:10 pm

7:10 - 8:00 pm

Introduction of Dr. Montserrat Fuentes, Provost

Food, Drinks, and Conversation




Montserrat Fuentes, PhD

Recently appointed Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Fuentes brings energy and unique interdisciplinary focus to the UI community. She is coming from the Virginia Commonwealth University where she was dean and professor of Statistics in the College of Humanities & Sciences and a professor of Biostatistics in the College of Medicine.  Dr. Fuentes is a First Generation Student who earned BS degrees in mathematics and statistics as well as in music and piano from the University of Valladolid, Spain, and a PhD in statistics from the University of Chicago, IL. Dr. Fuentes conducted a postdoctoral fellowship with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. 


Melissa S. Shivers, PhD

As the Vice President for Student Life, Dr. Shivers is a staunch advocate for students at the University of Iowa while wearing many hats in her tenure here.  She likes best about Iowa is "The opportunity to engage with a brilliant cadre of teachers and learners committed to student success." Dr. Shivers earned a B.S. degree in Communication Arts from Georgia Southern University, then a M.Ed in Counseling and Guidance Services from Clemson University, and her Ph.D in Counseling and Student Personnel Services from the University of Georgia. 



Campus Resources

Elizabeth Lara, MS

Assuming the new role of Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Graduate College, Ms. Lara wants to provide spaces and services for students to be heard. Previously, she was a Diversity Resources Coordinator for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Iowa. As a proud first-generation Latina, Ms. Lara earned a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the UI and a MS in Urban and Regional Planning.








Karro Athletic Hall of Fame 

2425 Prairie Meadow Drive

Iowa City, IA 52242




*Free parking available in lot closest to the building (Lot 71)

*Cambus Stops #3155, #3156; Routes: Hawk Lot/Hospital, Hawkeye-Hospital, Hawkeye Interdorm




What Students Are Saying About Orientation

"Loved everything, appreciated the openness in discussing issues that may be deemed sensitive in other formal settings."

2017  Participant

"I really enjoyed learning the history of Iowa and significant individuals."

2017  Participant

"Overall, it was a great experience that should definitely continue to happen!"

2018  Participant

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