Thirty minutes south of Iowa City, Washington, a town of 8,000, has invested significantly in its community and infrastructure over the last 10 years. A beautiful downtown square complete with new streetscapes and a LEED-certified public library illustrate the vibrancy of the community. Washington began to build upon these improvements through partnering with the IISC to enhance the city's marketing, tourism efforts, and land development.
Students in a Fundraising and Philanthropy Communications class organized ideas for a non-profit animal shelter's fundraising campaign. Using research on the latest trends in fundraising and philanthropy, students evaluated the shelter's past special events, marketing campaigns, and donor interests. They applied concepts and trends to organize new events, update marketing pieces, and developed a donor campaign with creative ideas and key messages to better position the shelter to receive support.
Marketing Institute students worked with the Washington Chamber of Commerce to rebrand the community as an attractive destination.
Students created a contemporary Activities Guide that provides information on community events, where to eat and visit, and recreational opportunities. Students also helped create a brand identity for Washington, creating a tag line for the community, “Discover a Classic,” and a Brand Standards Guide for the Chamber of Commerce to use when creating new materials.
Graduate students in the School of Library and Information Science worked with the Washington Free Public Library to address goals related to the library’s long-term plan, particularly in relation to the Children’s Area. Projects included evaluating the potential for creation of a parenting collection, reclassification of the Children’s Area, and rearranging the Children’s Area to create a welcoming environment.
Journalism students in the Strategic Communications Writing course researched and produced marketing materials for use by the Washington Chamber of Commerce for promotion of the hotel/motel tax.
Washington, Iowa is currently one of the only communities in Iowa without a hotel/motel tax. Funds generated by the tax will help put the community on the map, making it more competitive Iowa destination.
As part of the Senior Design Capstone Course in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, students completed a regional hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of the watershed in the northwest and southeast areas of the City of Washington.
Through a partnership with Arts Share, Erin Rappleye, a University of Iowa Masters of Fine Arts graduate student, designed a 2-story mural for the Washington Public Library as part of an effort to provide public art in the alleyway and enhance downtown Washington. There was a ribbon cutting for the mural in fall 2015.
As part of the Senior Design Capstone Course in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the students had the opportunity to complete the engineering plans for locating and constructing ball fields, new trails, parking facilities, and ancillary structures for the city of Washington.