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Belt has since built upon that Hawkeye network first formed in the Tippie Gateway Program through involvement in UI groups such as BizEdge and Iowa Edge that connect underrepresented students, and the Reaching OUT in Business organization and All In living learning community that provide support for LGBTQ+ students.
Belt also works to promote literacy as an undergraduate assistant for the Iowa Reading Research Center—a job that, alongside scholarships, helps pay for college expenses. "I'm looking forward to setting an example for my siblings to look up to," says Belt, who regularly sends home postcards of campus scenes to encourage them to pursue higher education. "I definitely do not come from a background where I'd be able to pay for college alone, so scholarships have given me such a relief to attend school and take myself to the next level without worrying about the expense of it."
With the gift of education, Belt plans to open a small business and promote economic development in Glenwood or become a teacher.
"The Tippie Gateway Program really helped me build connections before I came to college," she says. "It's nice to know someone [on campus] who looks like you and who understands you a little better."
Now wrapping up her first semester at Iowa, Garcia has already received a head start in her business education by participating in the BizEdge mentoring program, joining the Brand You fashion and marketing student organization, and enrolling in a first-year leadership seminar taught by Tippie College of Business professor and associate dean Ken Brown. Garcia hopes one day to parlay these experiences into a career designing apparel.
"I truly believe that fashion is an expression of personality, and that excites me," says Garcia, who has modeled at several fashion shows and keeps a journal of ideas from her favorite fashion magazines. "The artistic and creative energy involved really catches my attention."
Looking forward to a future in fashion, Garcia expresses gratitude for the opportunities she's had at the UI. "All of the scholarships Iowa provided me with were amazing," she says, "and I don't think I could've come here without them."
Fortunately, he received a kidney donation from his wife's niece in 2007 that, he says, "made a new man out of me."
PKD—which affects nearly one in 1,000 people—currently has no effective treatment or cure, so most patients over time end up in dialysis or with a kidney transplant like Jared. Because of the disease, the Hills' son, Paul (86BGS), has already received a transplant from his son, Hunter. The Hills' daughter, Kari, is on the donor waiting list.
Motivated by their family's personal struggles with PKD to help find new treatments and a cure, Jared (59BSME) and his wife, Carol Tangen Hills (59BSN), of Cedar Rapids, recently established the Jared and Carol Hills Polycystic Kidney Disease Research Fund and the Jared and Carol Hills Professorship in Nephrology at Iowa. The fund and professorship help researchers at the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine combine their talents to explore groundbreaking methods that could potentially stop the disorder. "We have great confidence that the researchers at the University of Iowa can make significant contributions to finding better treatments for a disease that has affected our family," says Carol. "We hope that one day there will be a cure."
Scientists discovered the gene responsible for PKD more than 20 years ago and have since been working to understand why the gene mutation causes the disease. UI researchers believe the key to a cure may lie in gene therapy. "It would be very difficult to carry out this kind of research without private support," says UI Hospitals and Clinics chief of nephrology Chou-Long Huang. "It's difficult to get funding from the government at this early stage of the research, but the Hills' support allows us to look into a very innovative approach."
FISCAL YEAR 2018*
alumni and friends provided more than
in much-needed resources for the university community.
has transferred to campus to assist students, faculty, programs, and research.
has been committed to Iowa's future through the University of Iowa and UI Center for Advancement's combined endowment pool, funded by the generous gifts of donors who wish to make a lasting impact. These gifts are invested in perpetuity to provide the UI with a steady and predictable income stream.