The following information is intended for students participating in IISC projects. Each semester, at least 100 UI students from multiple colleges and disciplines are working with IISC community partners in different parts of the state.

In order for us to all provide high-quality work for our partners, not duplicate each other's work, and keep the leaders of IISC informed, we appreciate you following the guidelines and templates provided here. 

Gantt Charts

A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule and the current status. You can use it to make your work plan and track progress on tasks. Along with reverse calendars, IISC highly recommends using a Gantt chart to track all aspects of your project.


We recommend using agendas for meetings when appropriate, especially for meetings with community partners. Agendas help guide productive and thoughtful discussions, and meeting minutes provide a record of important points and decisions. Equally important is the need to make notes and share a summary with everyone involved in a project via minutes.

Agenda and Minutes Template  (for student project leaders)

Faculty & Community Partner Initial Meeting


Media Release Waiver

We encourage faculty and students to document their work through photographs and/or video. In order for the University of Iowa community and the residents and leaders of the partnering community to learn about our work and the recognize the valuable skills that our students bring to these projects, this documentation is vitally important. 

We have provided a Media Release Waiver that we recommend using when photographing or filming members of the partnering community.


Travel and Meals

IISC provides travel arrangements and reimbursements for trips related to our featured programs with partners in Iowa. We can assist you with vehicle rental through UI Fleet Services, lodging, and other arrangements. Please email Jennifer New for assistance at  


Because we often have many surveys happening simultaneously within a single community, students should coordinate survey creation and distribution for IISC projects with IISC.  If you will be creating a survey that will be distributed to one of our partnering communities, please contact Travis Kraus, director of IISC, at

Logo and Naming

Please adhere to the following naming and logo standards:

  • Our formal name is the University of Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. 
  • Our acronym is IISC.
  • Use our UI branding lockup, which can be accessed on this page:
  • Refer to the UI Brand Manual for specific colors, fonts, and other information. 


The IISC staff has ongoing communication meetings with our partnering communities. We also have relationships with communications personnel in these communities and at the University of Iowa. We greatly appreciate student input on communications as they establish relationships on the ground, however, it is important that we work together. Always collaborate with us to communicate information regarding your project beyond basic planning with your immediate team. 

Public Engagement Best Practices & Resources

Our colleagues in the Office of Community Engagement are an excellent resource for faculty and students interested in publicly engaged teaching, learning, and research. On their Resource Page, you'll find links to information about assessment, community partnerships, and engaged learning. We encourage UI graduate students to consider participating in the Graduate Engagement Corps to elevate your understanding of the ethics and tools involved in engaged research. Similarly, the Faculty Engagement Corps provides networking and pedagogy-based workshops to faculty and instructional staff.

"About" Language

As a representative of the Initiative for Sustainable Communities, please familiarize yourself with our mission statement. As a publicly engaged scholar, it's important that you're able to explain who you are and the purpose of your work -- including the benefit to the community and to yourself as a student.

Here is language we invite you to use in communications: "The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities creates mutually beneficial partnerships with communities across Iowa to advance shared goals. Each year, IISC works with two different Iowa communities, from larger cities to rural areas, bringing more than 100 UI students to each one to complete projects identified by community leaders."