Thanks, Hawkeyes!

Thanks, Hawkeyes!

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UI journalism students launch #ThankAHawk social media campaign

“Know a Hawk who rocks?” read a recent tweet.

Herky signing a Thank You card.

Hawkeyes across campus are invited to thank the people who make their University of Iowa experience better as part of a social media campaign organized by University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication students.

Students in adjunct instructor Heather Spangler’s event-planning course have been involved in conceptualizing and carrying out a campaign known as Thank A Hawk. The social media event asks Hawkeyes to express their gratitude by tweeting @ThankAHawk and using Twitter and Instagram hash tag #ThankAHawk.

Starting Wednesday, April 3, participants with their profiles set to public will be entered for a weekly chance to win two T-shirts from the Iowa Hawk Shop in the Old Capitol Town Center. The idea is for winners to keep one shirt for themselves and use the other as a thank-you gift for the person they mentioned on Twitter. The last prize will be awarded May 8.

Spangler says the event was inspired by a panel discussion she organized at the UI College of Education’s Teacher Leader Center as part of its year-long, Stop-the-Bully educational series for future educators. In addition to teaching journalism courses, Spangler is a strategic communications writer for the College of Education.

“Our panel was about constructive uses of social media in schools and featured Iowa City West High School students who started a Twitter campaign to compliment their classmates,” Spangler says. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to start something positive at the UI and also to give my students hands-on experience leading a social media event.”

The Thank-A-Hawk event launches today, Wednesday, March 27, with a video featuring a thank-you surprise on campus.

Clinical Associate Professor Motier Haskins of the UI School of Social Work was leading his Thursday night class on cultural competence when there was a knock at the door.

Haskins and the nearly 30 students in his class were surprised to see Herky and journalism student Kathleen Kuhar enter their North Hall classroom. Herky and Kuhar were there to surprise Haskins with a thank-you note from one of his students, Alexis Wallenburg, who nominated Haskins for the surprise.

“He creates a warm and welcoming environment for his students to talk about charged issues,” Wallenburg says. “He is a great man and truly deserves to be thanked.”

To see a video of Haskins’ surprise and to learn more about the Thank-A-Hawk campaign, visit or find the campaign on Twitter at or


Heather Spangler, Journalism and Mass Communication, 319-384-0845


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