Student Impact Grant Recipients


Student Impact Grants help Hawkeyes experience, learn, and discover important lessons outside the classroom. Past recipients show you cannot always anticipate when a unique idea is going to arise—or when it will inspire action or creation. Support from the Iowa Impact Fund helps in the pursuit of new and exciting ventures. Read the stories of two Student Impact Grant recipients.

For a More Accepting Community

An image from Nachte Raho, a celebration partially funded by an Iowa Student Impact Grant.

Ridhi Jani

In an effort to celebrate and share Indian culture with the University of Iowa community, the Indian Student Alliance (ISA) hosts a series of charitable, cultural, educational, and social events each year. "Spreading diversity and cultural awareness is extremely important to us," says Ridhi Jani, president of the Indian Student Alliance.

The group’s yearly showcase event, Nachte Raho, is one of the largest Bollywood fusion dance competitions in the Midwest. Eight of the best university dance teams from around the nation come to Iowa and perform. The Student Impact Grant helped pay for a top-notch venue, Hancher Auditorium, and secure judges for the competition.

For a Better Quality of Life

An image of Sandra Castillo, a recipient of an Iowa Student Impact Grant.

Sandra Castillo

Tackling real-life problems and gaining hands-on experiences are important for future engineers, including Sandra Castillo. Through her work with the University of Iowa chapter of Continental Crossing—which helps communities in developing countries construct footbridges— Castillo spent five weeks in Nicaragua repairing two suspended bridges.

Thanks to the Student Impact Grant, Castillo was able to pay for lodging, meals, medical and health expenses, and equipment for the trip. "Your support made my experience accessible and affordable," says Castillo. "Your generosity is helping change the world and making a difference in the lives of so many students."

Learn how to apply for the Student Impact Grants.

If you are interested in helping provide students with more opportunities like these, please support the Iowa Impact Fund.

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This is the largest donation the University of Iowa has received in its 175-year history. The Richard O. Jacobson Foundation has committed a transformational $70 million gift to the University of Iowa to support a new patient care building for University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. The gift, the largest in the 175-year history of the UI, will help UI Health Care expand service to Iowans by increasing patient capacity while modernizing its care facilities. The new building will help UI Health Care to meet the complex care needs of all Iowans, allowing them to receive high-quality care without leaving the state. The new patient care tower, planned for UI Health Care?s main campus across from Kinnick Stadium, will be named in honor of the late Richard O. Jacobson and his philanthropic legacy, pending approval from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The building is part of the university's 10-year revitalization plan that encompasses academic, health care, and research buildings on its central campus. "We are proud to serve Iowa with our state?s only comprehensive academic medical center, providing life-saving and life-changing care to people from across the state and beyond," said UI President Barbara Wilson. "Richard Jacobson?s commitment to the UI was extraordinary, and this latest and very generous gift on his behalf will allow our exceptional health care team to deliver the highest level of care to all Iowans." Featuring single inpatient rooms, state-of-the-art operating rooms, and intensive care unit beds, the new tower will help resolve capacity issues, rising health care demands, and aging facilities. UI Hospitals & Clinics is consistently at, and often above, full capacity, which affects UI Health Care?s ability to fulfill its commitment to care for all Iowans. "Over the next decade, Iowa will face a health care crisis related to an aging population with complex care needs," said UI Vice President for Medical Affairs Brooks Jackson. "This new facility is an important piece of a larger plan to meet these needs, and this visionary gift will positively impact the lives of Iowans throughout the state for generations to come." Richard "Dick" Orrin Jacobson, who grew up in Belmond, Iowa, received the UI Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000 for his extraordinary support for the university. Jacobson?s giving to the UI during his lifetime and through his foundation totals more than $86 million and includes support for the Iowa Reading Research Center, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, and Hawkeye athletics; the Richard O. Jacobson Football Operations Building is named in recognition of his football program support. Previous support for UI Health Care includes gifts to UI Stead Family Children?s Hospital, the UI Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, and to support the pandemic response. "Dick Jacobson is an extraordinary example of how Iowans give back to care for Iowans," said UI Center for Advancement President and CEO Lynette Marshall. "His passionate commitment to education and medical research is an inspiration, and we are thankful for his vision, which has continued to be carried out by his foundation." "University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics has long been a beacon of hope for Iowans and others with serious health conditions," stated Governor Kim Reynolds. "This generous gift from the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation will not only expand access to world-class care in our state, it will further elevate UI Health Care's national reputation as a health care innovator and attract more medical professionals to fulfilling careers in Iowa." "The generosity of this gift is extraordinary," said Michael J. Richards, president of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. "UI Health Care must continue to prosper and grow, and this transformational funding gets the planning of the 10-year UI medical campus modernization off to a phenomenal start. I look forward to updates from the university." "A gift of this magnitude is truly remarkable,? said Sherry Bates, president pro tem of the Board of Regents and chair of the UI Hospitals & Clinics Committee. "UI Health Care provides unique, high-quality health care for the entire state of Iowa. As the planning process moves forward, I am excited to see more details, which will make the services UI Health Care offers even better." The Board of Regents, State of Iowa provided the university permission to proceed with its 10-year facilities plan, including this new UI Hospitals & Clinics patient care building, and the UI is requesting permission to name the tower in recognition of Richard O. Jacobson's legacy of giving at the board?s February 23 meeting. The plans and budget for the patient tower will go to the Board of Regents for approval at a future date. About the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation The Richard O. Jacobson Foundation was created in 1976 by Jacobson, a distinguished businessman and philanthropist, who attended the University of Iowa as a member of the class of 1958. For more than 45 years, the foundation has focused its grant activities in the following areas: education, including primary, secondary, and higher education; youth development; and medical research. For information contact: Dana Larson Executive Director, Communication and Marketing UI Center for Advancement 319-467-3661, 917-345-9841 (mobile) dana.larson@foriowa.org Learn more about giving to the University of Iowa at foriowa.org.

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