Students gather in the common area at the Engineering building.

With more than 30,000 students enrolled at The University of Iowa, some face serious academic and personal challenges that can impede their academic success. And as UI instructors seek to support their students, they can find themselves unsure where to direct students who appear to need assistance.

Fortunately, Mirra Anson, Director of Academic Support and Retention (ASR), and Angie Reams, Director of Student Care and Assistance, can help both students and instructors navigate those myriad challenges.

“Student concerns are not simple,” Anson says. “Our goal is to support students holistically with a multifaceted, personal approach.”

For both Anson and Reams, referrals from the UI community members—faculty, teaching assistants, administrators, and staff—are the key to securing individual support for students in crisis.

“Basically anyone who interacts with a student can make a referral to one of us,” Anson says.

The two offices offer support for all students—undergraduate, graduate, and professional—and provide instructors and staff members with direct phone access as well as anonymous online reporting.

Under Anson’s guidance, ASR coordinates campus-wide initiatives and programs that support the academic success of undergraduate students, including Tutor Iowa, an effective resource for finding academic assistance for students, and the Academic Resource Center, which offers Supplemental Instruction (SI) each semester targeted to a variety of specific courses, from Math for Business to Applied Exercise Physiology.

As Director of Student Care and Assistance, Reams provides individual support to students who can’t fully participate in their University of Iowa experience for a host of reasons such as medical crises, mental health or behavior concerns, natural disasters, or deaths of family members or friends.

This academic year, Reams’s office kicked off a program called On Call Dean, which provides support and assistance to students who are transported to the hospital. The program is currently offered on weekends, Friday, 5pm to Monday, 8am. On Call Dean helped more than thirty students in Fall 2015, and following program assessment, it may be expanded to provide support for students 24/7.

Reams also serves as a member of the UI Threat Assessment and Care Team, and both women regularly work with faculty members to provide guidance and address student concerns in and outside the classroom.

Beyond the Classlist
Friday, March 4, 2016  at 1:00 pm
Anson and Reams will explore how instructors might use student data to enhance their teaching.


Anson and Reams have a simple message for any instructor or staff member who wants to ensure a struggling student is connected to the right campuses resources: “Don’t hesitate, just call.”

Contact Mirra Anson at 319-335-1497 or

Contact Angie Reams at 319-335-1162 or


Other Campus Crisis Support Teams:

Early Intervention Team, a comprehensive group of staff members from various units across campus connecting students who have multiple concerns with appropriate campus resources to help ensure their wellness, personal safety, and academic success at the University of Iowa.
UI Threat Assessment and Care Team, composed of Assessment and Care Specialists (ACS) with mental health and law enforcement expertise, this partnership is between Human Resources and University of Iowa Department of Public Safety.