Submit a proposal for the First Generation Summit

All faculty, staff, and students are invited to submit proposals for presentations at the 2nd annual “I’m the First” First Generation Summit.

The goals of the summit are to spread awareness and understanding of what it means to be a first-generation college student (the first individual in their family to attend college), and to provide resources that will be helpful both for students and for the faculty and staff who want to help them succeed.

The First Gen Summit will be on April 13th, 2019, at the Iowa Memorial Union, from 10 pm to 5 pm.

If you have an idea for a presentation on a topic that intersects the first-generation student identity and the goals of the summit, please submit your idea for consideration:

The deadline for submission is Friday, March 1st.

Submissions to present will be reviewed by UISG and members of the First-Generation Student Task Force.  A total of eight presentations will be selected.

The First Gen Summit will be sponsored by the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG), working in collaboration with the First-Generation Student Task Force. The Task Force is a committee of faculty and staff brought together by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

CPH student, alum create app to help with public speaking

CPH alumnus Nico Aguilar and current CPH student Anthony Pham have created an app called ‘Speeko’ to help people improve their public speaking skills. “We believe that communication is not just a talent, it’s a skill,” said Aguilar. “It’s something that you can improve, and that improving this can change your life.”

Media Coverage

UI students create app to help with public speaking–505879241.html (KCRG)

Iowa grads want to help you speak up with Speeko: BTN LiveBIG (Big Ten Network)

Study looks at relationship between maternal depression, opioid use

Portrait of Kelli Ryckman, professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
Kelli Ryckman

A new study from researchers at the University of Iowa shows that mothers diagnosed with postpartum depression and having undergone a Cesarean section are five times more likely to fill at least two opioid prescriptions in the three months following labor than are mothers without those conditions.

Kelli Ryckman, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, led the study, which was conducted by members of the Iowa Perinatal Health Research Collaborative.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the opioid crisis, but mothers who have delivered and get opioids for pain are underrepresented in the discussion about opioid misuse,” Ryckman says. “Yet they are at increased risk.”

Ryckman and her colleagues looked at the information available in a statewide insurance claims database managed by the University of Iowa Center for Public Health Statistics. All the records in the database are stripped of identifying information to protect the subjects’ privacy. From there, they carved out a cohort of 19,000 mothers who gave birth in Iowa between 2004 and 2015.

By matching a patient’s depression diagnosis with that patient’s pharmacy claims, the researchers looked at the relationship between maternal depression and the number of opioid prescription fills.

The findings — which will be presented during a February 2019 meeting of the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine — include:

  • Nearly 44 percent of the women in the cohort had at least one opioid prescription, and 12 percent had at least two prescription fills from the time of delivery until three months postpartum.
  • Women with a history of depression had about 1.6 greater odds of having an opioid fill and about a two times greater risk of having at least two opioid fills compared to women without a depression history.
  • Women who had a Cesarean section and had postpartum depression were five times more likely to fill at least two opioid prescriptions in the first three months after delivery.

“We suggest there is universal screening for perinatal depression that can identify women with probable depression who are at an increased risk for opioid misuse or opioid-related maternal mortality,” Ryckman says.

UI research finds no health hazards from wind turbines

Noise created by wind turbines does not cause adverse health effects, according to a recently released report written by members of the Iowa Environmental Council and researchers at the University of Iowa.

“With the rapid expansion of wind energy, some neighbors to wind turbines have claimed the sound has affected their health. While, to some, the sound might be annoying, research studies have established no adverse health effects,” states Peter Thorne, a professor and head of the University of Iowa’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health.

Media Coverage

Iowa Report Refutes Human Health Risks Of Wind Turbines (North American Windpower)

Wind turbine health risks unfounded, says new research (Windpower Engineering)

Sound from wind turbines not detrimental (

UI research finds no hazards from wind turbines (Daily Iowan)

Join the Healthy LifeStars team

Healthy LifeStars is seeking student volunteer coaches who are passionate about healthy eating, exercising, or teaching kids. Students have volunteer opportunities every week of the semester Monday-Thursday. Training and lesson plans are provided. Contact for more information.

Learn more about Healthy LifeStars.