Hometown Hawkeyes

Hometown Hawkeyes

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Meet your Hometown Hawkeyes

Alumni starting families, creating businesses, and becoming leaders in Iowa towns. Iowa students shaping their futures on campus and becoming role models for others back home. Faculty and staff establishing strong partnerships with communities in every corner of the state.

These are your Hometown Hawkeyes—people using their University of Iowa experience to make a difference for Iowa every day. This series introduces a few of them.

People living, working, and making a difference in Iowa. These are your Hometown Hawkeyes.

Know a Hometown Hawkeye you'd like to see profiled? Email us at now@uiowa.edu.

Hometown Hawkeye: Jennifer Ortega

portrait of Jennier Ortega in an operating room wearing blu scrubs

Jennifer Ortega knew growing up in Cedar Rapids that she wanted to attend the University of Iowa. Five older half-siblings all attended the UI—and so did her mom, who graduated with a master’s degree in higher education. Story

Hometown Hawkeye: Kelsey Hollingshead

Kelsey Hollingshead

Rural Iowans are quickly losing access to legal services as aging attorneys retire and close their small practices, leaving a void that younger lawyers aren’t rushing to fill. But University of Iowa College of Law graduate Kelsey Hollingshead went against that grain, starting her career in the summer of 2013 as a solo practitioner in Britt (population: 2,000) under the wing of a local attorney. Story

Hometown Hawkeye: Ryan Frerichs

A man in a lab coat and tie standing in the aisle of a pharmacy.

There’s no place like home for Ryan and Kate Frerichs, who decided after the birth of their first child to leave Colorado and move back to Waverly, Iowa, and pursue their long-held dreams of owning a pharmacy. Story

Hometown Hawkeye: Steve Bernholtz

portrait of Steve Bernholtz in his lab

Carroll native and Des Moines resident Steve Bernholtz is the kind of guy you want on your side, a chemical detective who looks for things in water and soil that you probably don’t want in there. Story

Hometown Hawkeye: Paul Willis

A farmer in bib overalls standing in a field of grass

Fourth-generation pig farmer Paul Willis hadn’t planned to return to his family’s farm in north central Iowa after completing a psychology degree at the University of Iowa and joining the Peace Corps. But when his stepfather asked if he could help with the harvest in 1974, he obliged—and never left. Photo Feature

Hometown Hawkeye: Nolden Gentry

A man sitting in an office holding a book.

Nolden Gentry came to the University of Iowa to play basketball, but stayed to become a lawyer and leader in the state’s largest city. Story

Hometown Hawkeye: Maggie Mangold

Maggie Mangold

Like many of her fellow Iowans, Maggie Mangold is full of pride—in her family, her profession, and her community. So it was a natural fit when Mangold chose to return to her hometown of Vinton to begin her family medicine practice. Story

Hometown Hawkeye: Adam Kruger

Adam Kruger

Adam Kruger never considered any place but the University of Iowa for dental school, and his post-graduation plans came naturally, too. He returned to northeast Iowa to practice with his dad and help his hometown of Oelwein chart new directions. Story

Hometown Hawkeye: Dennis Hunger

Dennis Hunger

When Dennis Hunger was named CEO of Washington County Hospitals and Clinics in August 2011, he was thrilled to be returning to his Iowa roots. Story

Hometown Hawkeye: Mark Bogue

A man posing for a photo in a metal fabrication shop. Another man stands in the background welding a piece of metal with an arc welder.

For some, the number 13 may be unlucky. But for Ida Grove steel business owner and University of Iowa alumnus Mark Bogue, 13 is a good thing: it’s the number of people—so far—in his immediate family (including his parents and his three children) who have attended or graduated from Iowa, representing three generations. Story

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