Hawkeye Life Program

The Hawkeye Life program is an all-encompassing life skills and leadership development model which seeks to enhance the student-athlete experience at The University of Iowa. Hawkeye Life offers student-athletes educational opportunities beyond their athletic and academic responsibilities. The goal is to encourage student-athletes to get involved, to be good citizens, and to take an active role in their personal and professional development.

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Hawkeye student-athletes will gain and develop leadership skills throughout their tenure at Iowa. Programs designed specifically for each of their four years will ensure that student-athletes leave Iowa with a strong sense of self and leadership potential as they enter the workforce and/or continue their education.


Leadership Opportunities

Athletics Transitions Seminar

A course for first year and transfer student-athletes assists students with balancing athletics and academics, and provides resources as they transition through their first year and beyond. (1 credit, fall only)

Strengths Finder/Strengths Quest

Student-athletes will have the opportunity to take the StrengthsQuest assessment during their freshmen year. StrengthsQuest is a multi-faceted personality and leadership assessment that offers an insight into their inherent strengths and interests. The results can be used to help guide students in their studies, relationships, careers, and beyond.

Multicultural Focus Group

This student-led group strives to offer minority student-athletes a safe and welcoming place to discuss issues and promote a sense of unity amongst all student-athletes at Iowa. Monthly meetings invite all student-athletes to the table for discussion and fellowship. Campus and community mentors are also invited and paired with athletes based on career or social interests. The MFG advisory board consists of two members from each team at the University of Iowa.

Bystander Intervention Leadership Program (LEAP, WRAC, & RVAP)

Bystander intervention is the active engagement of witnesses and onlookers in situations involving inappropriate, offensive or potentially dangerous conduct in ways that promote safe, healthy, and respectful interactions between individuals, and communicate expectations for acceptable behavior in communities. Workshops available on bystander intervention help participants develop skills for safety responding and intervening in problematic situations, acknowledge violence as a community wide problem, and recognize barriers to intervention. This also includes WRAC (Women's resource & Action Center) & RVAP (Rape Victim Advocacy Program).

Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC)

ISAAC is a student-athlete leadership group acting as the voice of student-athletes within the department, campus, conference, and NCAA. The committee also facilitates and engages in various programs, social events, and community involvement activities. Two representatives from each team are elected by their coaches and teammates to serve on the committee. The executive board consists of 8 seats – Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Service, Life Skills, Social, and Marketing.

Career Leadership Academy

Two-part course worth 3 credits each, designed to give students an edge as leaders in their career field of choice. Focus is on developing both leadership and employment skills. Parts 1 and 2 are both 3 credits. CLA is delivered to student-athletes in collaboration with Student-Athlete Academic Services and the Pomerantz Career Center.

To get involved in all of these programs plus more head to the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership

Community Engagement

Service is an important piece of the student-athlete experience. Student-athletes, teams, staff, and coaches will participate in various community involvement/service projects throughout the academic year which benefit student-athletes, teams, the athletics department, and the campus and community as a whole. These opportunities also promote student-athlete collaboration and support for one another.

Getting Involved

Hawkeye PRIDE

In collaboration with Coralville Central Elementary school, student-athletes mentor students in various grade levels helping with reading, writing, and math skill development. Student-athletes commit to a weekly schedule at the school for the semester. Available both fall and spring. PRIDE stands for Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Determination, and Equality.

Fuel Up to Play 60

In collaboration with Midwest Dairy Council and Iowa City/Coralville schools, student-athletes will visit elementary and junior high students to speak about the importance of living healthy lifestyles. Athletes will visit during breakfast, lunch, and homerooms to discuss topics such as nutrition, physical activity, leadership and sportsmanship.

Hallowridge Halloween

In collaboration with the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, student-athletes create and facilitate a haunted house for the neighborhood center youth.

ISAAC Human Rights Bowling Social

Celebrating on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, ISAAC hosts a social for all student-athletes which helps to raise awareness for social justice issues, and gives back to their charity/organization of choice. The ISAAC Service Chair and committee coordinate this event.

Helper Helper App

The Helper Helper App is a community service app that connects student-athletes to meaningful experiences in the community. Helper Helper simplifies the organizational efforts for volunteer coordinators and helps student athletes easily find and schedule events. The app is available on down the Apple and Android devices.

ISAAC Day of Caring

In collaboration with the Johnson County United Way, teams serve their community in a spring cleaning day for various community organizations. All teams are encouraged to particiapte. The ISAAC Service Chair and committee coordinate this event.

Team-Led Service Projects

Throughout the year coaches and teams participate in a variety of service and community engagement events. Some of the agencies our teams have worked with: Boys & Girls Club, United Way, University of Iowa Childrens Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and various campus and community agencies.

To get involved in all of these programs plus more head to the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership

Academic Success

Student-Athlete Academic Services and the Athletics Department as a whole are dedicated to providing exceptional academic services for all student-athletes. Through a variety of programs and opportunities, student-athletes gain the skills and confidence needed to excel in the classroom and beyond. We are dedicated to the development of student-athletes as whole persons, with the ultimate goal of graduation.

Contact Andy Winklemann at andrew-winkelmann@uiowa.edu to learn more about this pillar of Hawkeye Life


Student-Athlete Dedicated Facility

The Gerdin Athletic Learning Center (GALC) is a student-athlete dedicated facility housing 12 full-time SAAS staff, two large study spaces, several small tutor rooms, a 100 person auditorium, and private office spaces for coordinator/student meetings.

Structured Study Program

SAAS offers a structured study program which requires student-athlete freshmen and select upperclassmen to complete a minimum number of hours in the GALC building. During this time students can work on homework, type papers, meet with tutors, and participate in study groups.

Tutoring/Learning Assistance Services

Free tutoring services are available to all student-athletes requesting tutoring services. Many general education as well as select major courses are available for tutoring. In addition, Learning Assistants are available to aid student-athletes in study skills, organization, and time management.

Retention Program

Student-athletes with a GPA at or below 2.40 are required to participate in the Retention Program, which consists of specialized tutoring and meetings with Learning Assistants. They are also required to meet with their Academic Coordinator once per week.

Team-Assigned Academic Coordinators

SAAS employs seven athletic academic coordinators. Coordinators are assigned specific teams and meet with student-athletes and coaches frequently to ensure athletes are meeting NCAA academic requirements.

Academic Workshops & Series

SAAS offers a variety of workshops and series focusing on academic skills including test and note-taking, campus resources, reading, writing, classroom expectations, exploring majors, etc. Workshops are offered throughout the year and during the summer. Workshops can be offered to entire teams or individual student-athletes based on topic.

Campus Collaboration

SAAS collaborates with many academic offices across campus including the Academic Advising Center, Pomerantz Career Center, major-specific advising centers, campus tutoring centers, etc.

Career Development

The Hawkeye experience does not end after graduation. The SAAS office works to ensure that student-athletes have a direction during their studies and are prepared for careers after graduation. This includes major and career exploration, resume development, professional skill-building, networking, interviewing, and experiential learning. The SAAS office also employs a full-time Career Specialist who assists student-athletes with resume development, interview preparation, graduate and professional school applications, gaining internship and job shadow experience & connecting them with career resources on campus. Please contact Tangela Cheatham at tangela-cheatham@uiowa.edu for more information.


Career Development Opportunties

Student-Athlete Academic Services offers many career development experiences including our two flagship programs Hawkeye PACE & Health CARE, which take place over the summer to accomadate student-athlete's busy schedules. To find out more information about our career development programs head over to our career development page by clicking here

Health CARE (Career & Research Exposure)

Our office teams up with health professionals from the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics to facilitate job shadow experiences between student-athletes and health care related fields. This 8 week program consists of shadowing with professionals and a weekly lecture and discussion series.

To learn more about this program check out this article from HawkeyeSports.com

Hawkeye PACE (Professional and Career Exposure)

Much like the Health CARE program Hawkeye PACE offers job shadow opportunities to student-athletes in any major. This 8 week program consists of 4 weeks of professional skill development (resume writing, professional communication, strengths assessment, etc.) and 4 weeks of job shadowing with professionals in their area of interest.

To learn more about this program check out this article from HawkCentral.com

Health & Well-Being


The SAAS office recognizes that student-athletes must focus on physical and mental health and well-being in addition to academics and athletics in order to be successful. This includes nutrition, mental health, coping with injuries, alcohol and drug education, body image, etc. In collaboration with campus counseling services and a full-time Sport Psychologist housed within SAAS, we aim to offer programs which address these specific needs.


Confidential Counseling with Sport Psychology

Student-athletes have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a licensed sport psychologist for confidential counseling sessions. Topics could include positive relationships, healthy body image, substance use, stress and anxiety management, general well-being, etc.

Violence Prevention & Bystander Intervention

In collaboration with Women’s Resources & Action Center (WRAC) and Rape Victim’s Advocacy Program (RVAP), student-athletes are informed and given the opportunity to discuss violence prevention and bystander awareness. These discussions happen at the yearly Orientation and Kickoff events, as well as during the freshman Transitions Seminar class. Student-athlete leaders are also given the opportunity to partake in anti-violence workshops, trainings and groups, such as the Men’s Anti-Violence Council (MAC).

Re-Fueling Stations

Per NCAA regulations, student-athletes are offered nutritious meal options and snacks at various locations in athletics department buildings. These “re-fueling stations” are designed to help student-athletes have time to eat nutritious meals in between busy schedules.

Alcohol Harm Reduction

The Alcohol Harm Reduction Advisory Committee (AHRC) is a multidisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students, that advises the Vice President for Student Life on a comprehensive and research-based plan to create conditions on our campus which decrease high-risk drinking and the related harmful consequences. The UI Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan contains multiple, mutually reinforcing, and research-based strategies. The tactics in our plan are grounded in the best available research on student success and effective strategies to reduce high-risk drinking on college campuses. To view the the most recent AHRP click here.

Collaboration with Athletic Training/Strength & Conditioning/Sports Nutrition

Collaboration with Student Health Services

Diversity & Inclusion

The athletics department seeks to cultivate a safe and accepting environment for all student-athletes and the university community as a whole. The Hawkeye Life program coordinates various programs which provide all student-athletes with opportunities to learn and understand cultures and communities which differ from their own. The programs also provide minority student-athletes with leadership, networking, and career development opportunities.


Multicultural Focus Group

This student-led group strives to offer minority student-athletes a safe and welcoming place to discuss issues and promote a sense of unity amongst all student-athletes at Iowa. Monthly meetings invite all student-athletes to the table for discussion and fellowship. Campus and community mentors are also invited and paired with athletes based on career or social interests. The MFG advisory board consists of two members from each team at the University of Iowa.

Coach For College Scholarships

Since 2013, the Iowa Athletics Department has funded one male and one female student-athlete to participate in the summer Coach for College program, a study abroad experience where athletes mentor youth in Vietnam through teaching English and sport.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Student-athletes are encouraged to partake in study abroad experiences, especially in the summer when they might have more time off from training.

NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships for Women & Minority Student-Athletes

Minority and female student-athletes are encouraged to apply for NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. A SAAS staff member will help interested student-athletes through the steps of the application process.

International Student-Athlete Initiatives

Facilitate opportunities for international athletes to not only meet each other (across sports), but also be integrated into campus international communities. Ideas include mixers, informational sessions, as well as educating US resident students about their unique needs.

Kevin Docherty


Corey Burns


Lindsay Herra

Co-Vice Chair

Nicholas Baer

Co-Vice Chair

Jake Brodarzon

Marketing Chair

JoElla Guagliardo

Service Chair

Sarah Kurtz

Life Skills Chair

Morgan Rafferty

Social Chair

Jon Wisnieski


Nikki Youd


Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee

The Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC) was established in the spring of 2001, combining the previous men's and women's advisory committees. The committee is comprised of two members from each team. The purposes of ISAAC are to represent the diverse interests of student athletes to the administration; to promote community among all UI student athletes; to foster commitment to service; and to represent the UI athletics program at UI, Big Ten and national levels. Members of ISAAC develop their leadership and citizenship skills by actively participating in departmental educational programs and special events. There are six executive chairs in addition to Chair & Vice Chair including; Secretary, Life Skills, Social, Service, Marketing and Treasurer.

Members of ISAAC develop their leadership and citizenship skills by actively participating in departmental educational programs and special events.

View All Members of ISAAC