Leadership


Lynette Marshall

President and CEO

Lynette Marshall is president and chief executive officer of the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, an organization that recently combined two longstanding institutions—the UI Foundation and the UI Alumni Association. Lynette leads the organization’s mission to advance the University of Iowa through engagement and philanthropy. During her tenure, the UI Foundation experienced record performance and growth and became a national leader in creating a campus culture of philanthropy.

Lynette provides leadership to several national groups, including the Association of Governing Boards, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the CASE 50 Steering Committee. She also currently serves as dean of the Big Ten Fund Raisers Institute. In 2017, she received the CASE Commonfund Award, which recognizes individuals who have made valuable contributions to the field through best practices, distinguished service, and volunteer leadership. In 2020, CASE honored her with the Frank L. Ashmore Award for Service to CASE and the Advancement Profession.

Lynette came to Iowa in 2006 after 25 years in fundraising at her alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including two years as associate chancellor for development. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural science and a master’s in educational policy studies. Lynette grew up on a fifth-generation family farm near Peoria, Illinois. She and her husband, Jeffery Ford, have two adult children, Michael and Katharine.


Tiffani Shaw

Executive Vice President and CFO

As executive vice president and chief operating officer, Tiffani oversees the organization’s operations—Finance, Information Technology, Investments, Facilities Management, Legal, Talent Management, Data Analytics, and Prospect Development. She joined the organization in 1997 as controller and chief financial officer. She has also served as chair of the National Advisory Board for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Prior to coming to the UI, Tiffani was a public accountant with McGladrey & Pullen, LLP. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from the University of Iowa and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Sheila Baldwin

Vice President for Health Sciences Development

As vice president for Health Sciences Development, Sheila oversees fundraising for the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the Colleges of Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health, as well as University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and UI Stead Family Children's Hospital. Raising funds for the UI since 1999, Baldwin has served in several positions in medical development—most recently as development leader for UI Stead Family Children's Hospital. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business and, as a student, she was a founding member of UI Dance Marathon.


Kent Clark

Vice President for Main Campus Development

As vice president for Main Campus Development, Kent oversees fundraising for the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business, and Graduate College, as well as the Colleges of Law, Engineering, Education, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also supervises fundraising for various university programs, including UI libraries, the UI Stanley Museum of Art, Hancher Auditorium, Division of Student Life, International Programs, and Regional Major Gifts. Before joining the organization in 2015, Kent served in advancement executive roles at Minnesota State University, Mankato; California State University, Fresno; and Utah State University. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics from Michigan State University and a master’s in biblical studies from Cincinnati Christian University.


Erin Thomas-Lewis

Vice President of Alumni and Donor Engagement

As vice president of Alumni and Donor Engagement, Erin oversees the Office of Alumni Engagement, Stewardship and Donor Events, Communications and Marketing. Before she joined the organization in 2008, Erin worked in the President’s Office at Georgia State University as well as Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, Georgia. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications studies/speech communication from the University of Georgia and a Master’s in Public Administration from Georgia State University.


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The Krause Essay Prize and its $10,000 award is presented annually by a unique panel of judges: UI graduate students. Photo: Tim Schoon/UI Office of Strategic Communication Students in the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program's graduate seminar dug into their weekly reading assignments with particular enthusiasm this past spring?and for good reason. By the end of the semester, they were tasked with selecting the best of the bunch for a prestigious award on behalf of a university known for its literary tradition. This marks the 12th year that nonfiction graduate students served as judges for the newly renamed Krause Essay Prize, a national award presented to an essayist who pushes the boundaries of the genre through experimentation, exploration, and discovery. Thought to be the only national literary honor selected by students, the prize is accompanied by a $10,000 award for the first time this year thanks to a new partnership between the UI Nonfiction Writing Program and the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation. Shawn Wen, winner of the 2018 Krause Essay Prize, is the author of A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause. Her writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, Seneca Review, Iowa Review, White Review, and the anthology City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis. This year's Krause Essay Prize recipient is Shawn Wen, a San Francisco-based multimedia artist and the author of A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause (Sarabande Books, 2017), a book-length essay on the life of French mime Marcel Marceau. Wen, whom students selected from a pool of 14 nominees, accepted her award at a ceremony in September in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Nicol?s Medina Mora Perez, a third-year MFA student from Mexico City, was among the prize judges in the spring seminar taught by author and Nonfiction Writing Program director John D'Agata (98MFA). Perez said that beyond discussing the merits of the nominated essays each week, class conversations revolved around how they define essay writing and the type of nonfiction they wanted to champion as representatives of the UI. By serving as judges, Perez says, students had the opportunity to read a broad selection of contemporary nonfiction that they may not have otherwise sought out. "By the end of the semester I had a clearer idea of the sort of work that people are publishing today, which includes stuff that I'd like to imitate and stuff that I'd rather not," Perez says. "I guess it's a bit like watching the World Cup with your soccer teammates: You see moves that you think are cool and want to steal for your own gameplay, but you also notice pitfalls that you should learn to avoid." Wen says she's been "over the moon" since learning she was selected as this year's Krause Essay Prize winner. A producer for Youth Radio in Oakland, California, Wen says discovering essay writing "was very much like falling in love" and has long admired the UI's approach to the genre. "When I started writing essays, I felt like all these dusty windows in my brain were opened, letting in light and fresh air," she says. "It's incredibly meaningful to me that my writing has been recognized by this program and its students." D'Agata dreamed up the prize in 2007 as a way to introduce his students to high-caliber essay writing and the many forms it can take. The professor asked colleagues from around the country to recommend their favorite essays from the past year, which he then compiled into a reading list for his seminar. As an added twist, D'Agata noted that submissions could be from any medium?including radio and film?as long as they were "essayistic." To give class discussions a sense of consequence, D'Agata had students evaluate each piece at the end of the semester and select a single award winner. Author Aaron Kunin received the inaugural Essay Prize, as the award was previously known, and it soon became an annual tradition. D'Agata's seminar students spend the semester dissecting the pieces, giving presentations, and writing critiques for the The Essay Review, the Nonfiction Writing Program's national magazine. Over the years, the class has crowned winners as varied as poet?Claudia Rankine, science writer Oliver Sacks, performance artist Sophie Calle, and the producers of Radio Lab. A current group of 14 writers and artists from around the nation serve as the nominating committee, includes luminaries like Roxane Gay, Leslie Jamison (06MFA), and Kiese Laymon. "In the U.S. we do a great job teaching students about the powers and pleasures of reading and writing?poetry and fiction, but not so much with essays," says D'Agata, who in 2016 published an anthology titled The Making of the American Essay. "Essays are often an afterthought in literature classes in America." In 2017, the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation made a $500,000 donation to bolster the endowment of the UI Nonfiction Writing Program?the largest gift in the distinguished program's history. Founded in 1976, the Nonfiction Writing Program, a graduate program within the Department of English, is regularly ranked among the best in the nation and has launched the careers of alumni who have gone on to write for magazines like the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Harper's. "The Krause Foundation is about giving back and giving forward," says Elliott Krause (14MFA), a Nonfiction Writing Program alumnus who now works at the Wall Street Journal. "Helping fund the Essay Prize is a rare chance to do both. Eleven Krauses and counting have graduated from the University of Iowa; the Krause Essay Prize is a way to both express our gratitude for all Iowa has given us and be a champion for the arts." The support from the Krause family has not only allowed the program to award a cash prize for the first time, but also to invite winners to campus to present their essays and spend time with students and faculty. When Wen visited in late September, she taught a series of master classes for nonfiction students. D'Agata says that the foundation's support further legitimizes the idea of a student-driven award and its importance to the literary world. "It's also helping to bring attention to the entire genre," D'Agata says. "There are a lot of awards out there for works of fiction and poetry, but very few awards for essays. This award is saying, 'essays are awesome.' If you're an essayist, you don't hear that very?often. The Krause Foundation is helping to fix that." Krause Essay Prize Winners The UI Nonfiction Writing Program has awarded a national essay-writing prize annually since 2007. With support from the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation, the award was renamed the Krause Essay Prize this year. For more on the prize, visit krauseessayprize.org. 2018: Shawn Wen, A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause 2017: Peter Middleton and James Spinney, Notes on Blindness 2016: Oliver Sacks, Gratitude 2015: Claudia Rankine, Citizen 2014: Sophie Calle, The Address Book 2013: David Rakoff, Waiting 2012: Lauren Redniss, Radioactive 2011: Judith Schalansky, Atlas of Remote Islands 2010: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, New Normal? 2009: Mary Ruefle, The Most of It 2008: Joshua Raskin, I Met the Walrus 2007: Aaron Kunin, Secret Architecture

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