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  • Ondrea Li

Guinea-Bissau International Leaders Experience NCAA Action at Iowa's Carver-Hawkeye Arena!

From March 23rd to 26th, we had the pleasure of hosting four international leaders from Guinea-Bissau for the program “Public Universities’ Administration in the U.S.” During the international leader’s time in eastern Iowa, the program aimed to explore the collaboration between universities and state government, financing and budgeting, and alumni engagement. 

Their program kicked off by boarding a bus from Des Moines to Iowa City. In the afternoon, they had the exciting opportunity to attend the sold-out University of Iowa Women’s Basketball NCAA Tournament game at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena! This unforgettable experience was possible with the generosity of Terry Johnson, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from the University of Iowa Office of Finance. The international leaders were accompanied by volunteer Steve Merkel-Hess and had an absolute blast as they watched the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer, Caitlin Clark play her final game in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

International leaders from Guinea-Bissau attending the NCAA Iowa Women's Basketball game

The next day, the international leaders met with their Iowa Table Dinner host MKay James at Mount Vernon. 

On Monday morning, the delegation started their day by having breakfast with Executive Director Amy Alice Chastain. They then embarked to the University of Iowa Office of the Provost with volunteer Katie Ron to meet with the Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs, Russell Ganim. There, the international delegations delved into the intricate workings of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost’s responsibilities in communicating with the State of Iowa Board of Regents, as well as the Board of Regents’ role in governance, policy setting, and budget approval for the state universities in Iowa. 

The international leaders discussing the services provided by the Department of Finance and Operations with Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Terry Johnson

After their meeting, volunteer Steve Merkel-Hess joined the international leaders for their meeting with the University of Iowa Office of Finance. The leaders met with Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Terry Johnson and learned about the services provided by the Department of Finance and Operations. These services include human resources, business services, finance, and facilities for the university.


Following their meeting with Terry Johnson, the international delegations enjoyed some free time for lunch and then traveled to Cedar Rapids for their meeting with Kirkwood Community College. They met with Director John Hebrink, Nick Kettmann, Director of Admissions, and Neal Davis, Director of Upward Bound Math and Science to discuss Kirkwood Community College’s role as the leading provider of accessible, affordable, and exceptional education and training. They also discussed the programs and services they provide, including, international student admission, student services, advising, study abroad programming, and their English Language Acquisition courses. 

On March 26th, as their time in eastern Iowa came to an end, the international leaders boarded the plane for the next part of their program in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Thank you to MKay James for hosting the international leaders for their Iowa Table Dinner and also to Amy Alice Chastain for meeting with them! We are grateful for the time and effort you put into connecting with the delegation. We also thank Steve Merkel-Hess and Katie Ron for volunteering with this delegation! Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated. Additionally, thank you to our professional resources, the University of Iowa Office of the Provost, the University of Iowa Office of Finance, and Kirkwood Community College. Your efforts have been crucial to our success. 




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