Alumni and friends help UI and CPH surpass fundraising goals

A portrait of Dr. Sue Curry, dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
Sue Curry

This week, the University of Iowa and the University of Iowa Foundation announced the successful conclusion of For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa. More than 272,000 UI alumni and friends—enough to fill Kinnick Stadium four times—contributed more than $1.975 billion to help the UI remain at the forefront of education, research, health care and athletics.

More than 1,913 donors contributed a total of $40 million to the UI College of Public Health, surpassing its $25.8 million goal. Donors supported students; faculty; the leadership fund; rural health, comparative effectiveness research, and community engagement; the community outreach fund; facilities; and unrestricted support for the college’s greatest needs.

“We are deeply grateful for the extraordinary and broad-based support provided by so many generous friends of the College of Public Health,” says Sue Curry, dean of the College of Public Health. “This campaign was successful because of the tremendous commitment of our long-time supporters and the enthusiasm of so many new donors, including our alumni, current and former faculty and staff, students, community members, and corporate and foundation partners. Their gifts are making a difference today and will continue to pay dividends in terms of better public health for years to come. ”

Steve Ummel
Steve Ummel

Curry specifically acknowledged the support of Steve Ummel, the College of Public Health’s representative to the For Iowa. Forever More campaign. Ummel earned an MA in Hospital and Health Administration in 1965, which launched him into a distinguished career as a top executive in several multi-hospital health systems in the United States. He has been a long-time supporter of the College of Public Health, serving on its Board of Advisors and in numerous philanthropic capacities since the formation of the college in 1999.

“Steve Ummel has been an exceptional friend and advisor to the College of Public Health,” says Curry. “Over the years, no one has been more dedicated to our success. I am grateful to Steve for his tremendous generosity, loyalty, and vision.”

The campaign has benefited students and faculty throughout the College of Public Health, including Isabella De Soriano, who is making a difference in the world around her. As a master’s student in the UI College of Public Health, De Soriano is working to reduce obesity in local communities by promoting healthy eating.

Isabella De Soriano with Dr. Nancy Sprince
Isabella De Soriano with Dr. Nancy Sprince

“We’re looking at how store layouts, pricing, promotional materials, and infrastructure influence customer decisions to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables,” says De Soriano, who completed her undergraduate degree at Iowa in medical anthropology and is currently studying community and behavioral health.

In 2016, De Soriano —who is from London, England, and will graduate in May—was the inaugural recipient of the Craig Zwerling and Nancy Sprince Award for Social Justice. This scholarship, which was created by two longtime UI faculty members during the For Iowa. Forever More. campaign, supports a Department of Community and Behavioral Health graduate student who is pursuing an interest in addressing health disparities and alleviating social injustice. De Soriano, who is working to build stronger communities through her research and her work with the UI Women’s Resource and Action Center, hopes to one day establish an organization that addresses public health issues in prisons.

“The generous scholarship from Nancy and Craig not only was welcome recognition for my achievements, but it provided invaluable financial support,” says De Soriano. “Their encouragement has been further inspiration for my continued pursuit for social justice.”

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the UI, and its mission is to promote the UI’s commitment to excellence through engagement and philanthropy.

For more information, please visit the UI Foundation website.


Results for Food Bank, Shelter House donation drives

Thanks to everyone who donated to the Johnson County Crisis Center Food Bank donation drive organized by the CPH Student Association in December. The College of Public Health collected 537 pounds of food and donations.

The break down by department is as follows:

  • Biostatistics – 138 lbs
  • Non-departmental CPH Admin – 99 lbs
  • Health Management and Policy – 91 lbs
  • Occupational and Environmental Health – 76 lbs
  • Epidemiology – 60 lbs
  • MPH – 45 lbs
  • Community and Behavioral Health – 28 lbs

Thanks also to those who participated in the Shelter House donation drive organized by CBH students last November.

CPH faculty, staff, and students donated more than 400 items to the Shelter House of Johnson County.



Food drive to benefit Crisis Center ends Dec. 16

The CPH Student Association is co-sponsoring a food drive December 5-16 to benefit the Johnson County Crisis Center Food Bank. The College of Public Health is holding a friendly competition with the Public Policy Center, College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics, Obermann Center, Army ROTC, and Air Force ROTC to see which unit can donate the most food!

Drop off your donation in the bins located around the main stairway in CPHB. On Dec. 16, the donations will be tallied and the winning department within the college will be determined.

View a list the the Food Bank’s Top 10 Needed Items.


On December 18, the 2nd Annual Last Dash Food Bank Fundraiser will take place. Organizers will announce how many pounds of collections each participating group collected for the Food Bank.

Place: The Mill, 120 E. Burlington St

Time: Doors open 3:00 p.m., music from 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Entertainment: Iowa bluesman Kevin BF Burt and IC rockabilly and blues band HomeBrewed.

Admission: 3 non-perishable food items or minimum donation of $5

Raffle items available during the show (donation of items for the raffle are welcome).


‘We Are Phil Week’ offers food, music, and fun

we are philThe UI We Are Phil Faculty and Staff Giving Program Campaign Week is Oct. 10-14.  Here are some of the fun activities planned for CPH:

  • Stories about Phil in CPH!
  • Flyers, posters, email messages!
  • Spotlight on Phil with food and music on Wednesday (See details below)
  • Daily drawings!
  • Daily opportunities to talk with committee members at We Are Phil table in the CPHB atrium!
  • Put your Phil message on the chalkboard display!
  • Herky in the house on Friday!

Standing, locked, deposit boxes are available in CPHB, IREH and UCC to collect contribution envelopes.  In addition, online giving is at:

Celebrate the UI College of Public Health with good food, music, and conversation!


Caribbean Kitchen Food Truck – $8 lunch special 

Music by Brandi and Marc Janssen 

Wednesday, October 12
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
CPHB East Doors

The Caribbean Kitchen food truck will be parked by CPHB east doors and be offering a special $8 menu that features a vegetarian dish (rice/beans) along with chicken and pork entrees. They will provide reggae music for the first hour. Then, Brandi and Marc Janssen will take over playing music in the Atrium for the second hour. CPH Faculty and Staff Councils will be providing dessert.

The CPH We Are Phil Committee invites all faculty and staff to buy a lunch or bring their own. Come together to enjoy the music and social time with peers. Look for the We Are Phil table where giving information will be available throughout the time.

Hosted by the CPH We Are Phil Committee

Help celebrate We Are Phil Appreciation Day on April 28

we are philStop by the location nearest you as CPH celebrates We Are Phil Appreciation Day on Thursday, April 28!  The UI Foundation is providing celebratory cupcakes!

First Floor Atrium
7:30-9:30 AM

123 IREH
9:30 AM

2400 UCC &  2625 UCC
10:00 AM

There will also be an opportunity to sign “thank you” postcards at CPHB that will be sent to those who annually support the College of Public Health.


The Preemie Project Donation Drive runs through March 16

The Preemie Project provides much-needed services to families of extremely ill children at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The CPH Staff Council is holding a donation drive from March 1-16, 2018.

These donations will be used by social workers for needy families in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Needed Items

  • Newborn and Size 1 Diapers 
  • Formula (especially Neosure/Enfacare, Enfamil and Similac (regular) )
  • Snap-front sleepers size newborn and 0-3 months (gently used are accepted)
  • Bibs
  • Burp cloths
  • Bottles
  • Wipes (unscented preferred)
  • Gas cards to local stations
  • Pack N Plays

Again this year there is the option of purchasing through the baby registry.  Purchases will be directly mailed to the Preemie Project and specific items are listed on the registry. Go to then go the baby registry search.  Type in College of Public Health’s Preemie Project for the Registry Name.  You will then see items that the Preemie Project needs. Contact Michele Hogue if you need a receipt.

The Preemie Project is especially looking for donations of Pack N Plays for babies to have a safe place to sleep.  More info can be found about the Safe to Sleep Public Education Campaign through the following link

If you would like to donate funds directly through PayPal or need additional information about The Preemie Project, visit their web site contact Michele Hogue at 384-1545 or

The CPH Staff Council has placed donation boxes throughout in the College of Public Health:

Epidemiology                                                 S409 CPHB

Biostatistics                                                    N306 CPHB

Community and Behavioral Health                 N406 CPHB

Occupational and Environmental Health        S309 CPHB

Health Management and Policy                         N206 CPHB

Administrative 2nd Floor                                     S268 CPHB

Student Commons                                                  2nd Floor CPHB kitchen/bulletin board area

Preventive Intervention Clinic                             SE257 GH

State Health Registry of Iowa                               2600 UCC

State Hygienic Lab                                                  134 HLI

Student Services                                                      N174 CPHB


UI Foundation says thanks with free bagels

we are philCollege of Public Health faculty and staff  — thank you for participating in the We Are Phil Faculty and Staff Giving Program last fall. Because of you, the CPH ranked in the Top Five in Participation among units campus-wide.

To celebrate, the UI Foundation is providing free bagels for all CPH faculty and staff!

Join your colleagues for a bagel break on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the following locations:

  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in C217 CPHB
  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in 2625A UCC
  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in Biostats UCC
  • 9 to 10 a.m. in 123 IREH

Some additional CPH achievements of last fall’s campaign week are:

  • 38% faculty and staff participation (up 1% over last year)
  • HMP won the PHILanTROPHY for highest dept/unit participation with 70.8%
  • Most Improved Award went to CBH for increasing participation by 7.87%
  • 20% of CPH donors contributed to new fund for undergraduate scholarships called Dollars for Scholars
  • 41% of CPH donors gave to the new CPH Staff Professional Development fund

Growing global citizens

Dale and Linda Baker are helping current and future College of Public Health students receive a globally relevant education.


portrait of Dale and Linda Baker
Dale and Linda Baker

Discovering the world around us is a life-changing experience. When Linda Baker (’68 BA) traveled to Romania with the University of Iowa Alumni Association’s Iowa Voyagers program nearly 10 years ago, she worked for three weeks in an orphanage. It was an experience Linda Baker has not forgotten, and it’s why she and her husband, Dale Baker (’68 BA), have established scholarships to support UI students in similar endeavors.

“When I returned from my own experience, I thought it would be great to be able to send students on the trip as well,” says Linda Baker. Initially, the Bakers provided a gift to endow the Dr. Ken Magid Child Advocacy Service Scholarship Fund, which honors Linda Baker’s mentor and covers UI students’ expenses related to volunteer service-learning opportunities in Romanian orphanages.

Today, the Bakers continue to support current and future students in their service-learning opportunities, specifically, through the UI College of Public Health. In December 2014, the couple made a gift to the UI College of Public Health, which has already helped four graduate students secure global public health internships this past summer — Ben Scott (’15 MPH) in Brazil; PhD candidates Maya Ramaswamy and Josie Rudolphi in India; and Natalia Santos, a community and behavioral health graduate student, in Ecuador.

Student experiences

Santos spent one month in Quito, Ecuador, exploring the characteristics of Ecuadorian food stores and conducting health education.

“This learning experience enhanced my understanding and capacity to effectively practice public health in the U.S. and abroad, strengthened my professional training, and continued to expand the global reach of the UI College of Public Health,” says Santos.

Rudolphi and Ramaswamy were able to conduct studies on Indian tea workers—identifying perceived occupational risks to safety and health, as well as opportunities and barriers to intervention.

“As the rest of the world becomes more industrialized agriculturally, I feel the United States is in a unique position to offer solutions to potential agricultural safety and health conundrums and share experiences of lessons learned,” says Rudolphi. “This experience allowed me to understand barriers and opportunities to developing interventions internationally as well as in Indian agricultural populations.”

Building a global presence

The College of Public Health continues to build a global presence because of such internships and because of partnerships with organizations such as the Center for Health Policy and Public Health, housed in the University of Babes-Bolyai, Romania. This partnership has helped facilitate collaborative research, education, policy, and outreach activities, as well as establish Romania’s first degree programs in public health.

The Bakers made another gift to the UI College of Public Health in May 2015. This generous gift qualified as a match for a challenge grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. This grant matched gifts aiding new faculty success, student support and educational innovation, health sciences research collaboration, entrepreneurship, and community outreach and engagement. The Bakers’ gift—as well as gifts from other donors—helped the UI College of Public Health meet its $1.5 million challenge from the Carver Trust.

In May 2015, the couple also supported the Sally and Ken Mason Student Success Fund, the Dale and Linda Baker Excellence Fund in Business, the Howard K. and Mathilda Ihrke Memorial Fund, along with the Dale and Linda Baker Excellence Fund in Public Health. The Bakers’ belief in giving back has influenced countless students and faculty at the UI, and they have long been generous supporters of various UI programs and initiatives—evident by their platinum membership in the Presidents Club.

“My dad always said he never wanted to be the richest guy in the cemetery,” says Linda Baker. “I guess that has always stuck with me.”

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Iowa Alumni Magazine.