Fall 2015 Policy Matters Series

109 English Philosophy Building (EPB)
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
University of Iowa Old Capitol Building

"Policy Matters" is an undergraduate course that focuses on the policy challenges posed by the search for economic security and equality of opportunity.  The course traces the historical development of social problems and policy solutions, investigates the ways in which society addresses these issues, and engages students in critical analysis of both the effectiveness of current policies and the universe of policy options.  Each topical unit concludes with a public forum, bringing together the campus and local community to discuss major social issues facing us today.  

Each unit includes a panel discussion that is free and open to the public (see details below), which will be held in Room 109 English Philosophy Building (EPB) from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Policy Matters: Working in Iowa
  1. Misty Rebik
  2. Jesse Case
  3. Jennifer Sherer
  4. Rod Sullivan
  5. Mike Staebell
Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Policy Matters: Poverty Policy in Practice
  1. Patti Fields
  2. Crissy Canganelli
  3. Natalie Veldhouse
  4. Wendy Rickman
Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Policy Matters: Perspectives on Health Reform
  1. Peter Damiano
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
Session Details Speakers
6:30 PM Policy Matters: Schooling as Social Policy
  1. Brad Buck
  2. Lynne Cannon
  3. Liz Hollingsworth
  4. Mary Ellen Miller
  5. Art Tate
  • Brad Buck

    Superintendent, Cedar Rapids Community School District

  • Crissy Canganelli

    Executive Director, Shelter House

    Crissy Canganelli has served as the Executive Director for Shelter House Community Shelter and Transition Services for eleven years. She is a board member and Chair of the Local FEMA Board, an active board member and Co-Chair of the Local Homeless Coordinating Board and a founding and current member of the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County Board. In addition, Ms. Canganelli serves on the Governor-appointed Iowa Council on Homelessness, where she is Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee. She was recognized in 2006 by the Iowa City Human Rights Commission with an award for Individual Leadership Within a Service Organization. Ms Canganelli holds an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in Housing and Community Development and a BA from the University of Iowa in Economics.

  • Lynne Cannon

    Vice President and Director District 3, Grant Wood Area Education Agency Board of Directors

  • Jesse Case

    President, Iowa City Federation of Labor

    Jesse Case has been an organizer for different unions for over 20 years, and currently is the business agent for Teamsters Local 238 . He is past-President of the Iowa City Federation of Labor, and a member of the Johnson County Task Force charged with assessing the implementation and impact of the County's minimum wage ordinance.

  • Peter Damiano

    Director, Public Policy Center

    Peter Damiano is the Director of the Public Policy Center (PPC) and Professor, Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry at the University of Iowa. He started the health policy research program at the PPC in 1990 and has been Director of the Center since July 2007. He is a health services researcher who investigates issues relating to access to care, quality, cost and outcomes of care. Dr. Damiano has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and research monographs and has been the principal investigator on over 50 research studies funded by federal, state and Foundation sources. He is a former staff intern in the US Senate, a Robert Wood Johnson Dental Health Services Research Scholar and HRSA Primary Care Policy Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry (DDS) and UCLA School of Public Health (MPH).

  • Patti Fields

    Vice President, Community Impact and Engagement, United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties

    Patti Fields joined the team at the United Way in 2007. In her work as Vice President for Community Impact & Engagement, Patti partners and collaborates with local governmental entities, businesses and many nonprofit agencies in the areas of Education, Income and Health. She directs the Community Investment work and Disaster Response for United Way of Johnson County and supervises the United Way Volunteer Center.

    With over 20 years of experience working with volunteers in nonprofits, Patti is a leader in volunteer management at the local and state level. She has developed continuing education curriculum and presented numerous trainings and workshops in the core competencies and best practices of volunteerism and volunteer management. She is the Community Advisor for The Student United Way and an instructor for the Volunteer Management Certificate Program at Kirkwood Community College. Appointed by Governor Culver in 2008 to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, Patti served three years as Commission Chair. Embracing the value of service in her personal life, she served on the Iowa City Community School District School Board from 2005-15 and is on the Iowa Association of School Boards Board of Directors.

    Patti received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Iowa, her Volunteer Management Certificate from Kirkwood Community College, her Nonprofit Management Certificate from Iowa State University and the CVA accreditation from the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.

  • Liz Hollingsworth

    Associate Professor, Educational Leadership Associate Director, Center for Evaluation and Assessment

  • Mary Ellen Miller

    Iowa State Board of Education

  • Misty Rebik

    Misty Rebik is the Executive Director for the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa (CWJ). The CWJ was formally founded in November of 2012, and Misty was elected to its first Board of Directors. In July 2013, Misty was delighted to become the Center’s first hired staff and executive director. With the Center she is dedicated to the empowerment of immigrant workers to know and defend their rights and to build common cause across linguistic, religious, racial, national/political barriers to work towards concrete change. To date, CWJ has recovered thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, mobilized more than 500 people in the local community to take action, and educated more than 500 low wage workers about their rights. Misty was formerly a community organizer with the grass-roots organizing group, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI), where she worked on the group’s Latino Organizing Project. While at Iowa CCI Misty worked with dozens of low-wage Latino workers to recover tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, worked to strengthen wage theft enforcement in the state of Iowa, and to hold corporations accountable to fair treatment of workers. She also has served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer for the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition, and Iowa Legal Aid. Misty is passionate about all things social justice, and an enthusiastic traveler. She speaks Spanish, is practicing Portuguese, and soon wishes to learn Arabic.

    Misty has won several awards including the Iowa City Human Rights Commission Kenneth Cmiel for outstanding contributions to human rights by actively participating in the field, and the Jim Harris Award for commitment to volunteer social justice work. Misty holds a B.A. in International Studies emphasizing on Latin American Studies with a Spanish Minor from the University of Iowa and an M.S in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Iowa.

  • Wendy Rickman

    Administrator, Division of Adult, Children & Family Services, Iowa Department of Human Services

    Wendy Rickman has been employed with DHS since 1987. Since beginning her employment with DHS, Wendy has served as an abuse assessor, ongoing case manager, service administrator for Scott County, and a service area manager for the Davenport and the Des Moines service areas. Wendy is currently serving as the Division Administrator for the Division of Adult Children and Family Services. This division is responsible for policy development in the areas of Medicaid eligibility, Child Care, FIP, Food Assistance and all of the Child Welfare and Dependent Adult abuse eligibility policies. 

    Wendy graduated from Carroll College in 1981 with a BA degree in sociology, from the University of Iowa in 1996 with a MSW, and is currently licensed at the independent social work level with the State of Iowa.

  • Jennifer Sherer

    University of Iowa Labor Center

    Jennifer Sherer is Director of The University of Iowa Labor Center, where she coordinates statewide education and outreach programs reaching over 2,500 workers each year and teaches non-credit classes on a range of workplace rights, communications, labor history, union leadership, and public policy subjects. She also directs the Iowa Labor History Oral Project, and serves on the boards of the UI Center for Human Rights, the Iowa Policy Project, the Labor Studies Journal, the UI Occupational Medicine Residency Program, and on the Finance Committee of the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa.


    She was a co-author of the 2012 Iowa Policy Project report “Wage Theft in Iowa” and is currently working on an article chronicling the history of debates over “right to work” legislation in Iowa. Other forthcoming publications include “Making History Every Day: The Iowa Labor History Oral Project and Popular Education” (forthcoming in Civic Labors: Scholars, Teachers, Activists, and Working-Class History U of Illinois Press) and “Labor Education and Leadership Development for Union Women,” with Emily E LB Twarog, Brigid O’Farrell, and Cheryl Coney (forthcoming in Labor Studies Journal).


    She first gained experience in the labor movement as a local union officer, a Project Staff Organizer for the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers (UE), and an activist in student anti-sweatshop campaigns while earning a PhD in English from the University of Iowa and a BA from Oberlin College.

  • Mike Staebell

    US Department of Labor

    Mike Staebell is the District Director for the US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division in Des Moines.  The Des Moines District Office encompasses Iowa and Nebraska.  Mike has been with the Wage and Hour Division for 33 years, as an investigator in Des Moines and Waterloo, and in his current position.  In addition to supervising the District Office staff, he regularly gives presentations to the public, and has served as a national trainer for Wage and Hour on the Fair Labor Standards Act, Total Quality Management, Family and Medical Leave Act, Litigation Preparation, and Investigator Basic Training.

  • Rod Sullivan

    Johnson County Board of Supervisors

    Rod Sullivan of Iowa City is a Johnson County Supervisor, first elected in 2004 at the age of 38.


    Rod grew up on a Heritage farm near Sutliff, and attended K-12 in the Lisbon school system. He went to the University of Iowa, earning a BA in 1988. He has held several positions in the field of human services, including 6 years with the Department of Human Services and 6 years as Executive Director of the Arc of Johnson County.


    Rod is married to Dr. Melissa Fath, a Research Scientist at the UI and a volunteer Pharmacist at the Free Medical Clinic. They have 3 adult children and have served as foster parents for another 40+ children.


    Rod has been active volunteering for the Shelter Overflow, United Way, Community Foundation of Johnson County, Affordable Homes Coalition, Coalition for Racial Justice, City High Little Hawks Club, and the Batterer’s Education Program.


    Rod is a member of several community organizations, including: St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Iowa Foster & Adoptive Parent Association, Sierra Club, Johnson County Ag Association, Center for Worker Justice, ACLU Hawkeye Chapter, AFT Local 716, and NAMI. He also served 4 years as Chair of the Johnson County Democratic Party.


    Rod feels his biggest accomplishments as a County Supervisor include the passage of several ordinances: Human Rights, Sensitive Areas, Minimum Wage, and Storm Water Management, just to name a few. The passage of the Conservation Bond, kickstarting the 1105 Project, and restoration of the Sutliff Bridge are three proud moments. He is also proud of starting the Livable Community for Successful Aging and Local Foods Policy Boards, along with the County’s first Trails Committee. Rod also points to the Community ID program, rural warning sirens, Free Tax Help program, and investments in sustainability as major accomplishments.

  • Art Tate

    Superintendent, Davenport Community Schools

  • Natalie Veldhouse

    Community Food Security VISTA, Crisis Center of Johnson County

    Natalie Veldhouse is the Community Food Security VISTA at the Crisis Center of Johnson County. The AmeriCorps VISTA program stations full-time volunteers in nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and governmental offices to work with issues relating to poverty. VISTA members earn a living stipend that is adjusted to the local poverty level. The Crisis Center of Johnson County is a nonprofit in Iowa City that offers crisis intervention, suicide prevention, food bank, and emergency assistance services.


    Natalie’s work primarily involves serving the Johnson County Hunger Task Force: a gathering of local government officials, nonprofit leaders, community gardeners and concerned citizens interested in alleviating food insecurity in the community. Natalie serves as the chair of the Access Subcommittee and as a member of the Healthy Foods Subcommittee of the task force. The Access Subcommittee has been working on various research projects to gather data concerning food security from the community. The Healthy Foods Subcommittee works to promote healthy eating in the county, and to bring together the issue of food insecurity and the local foods movement.


    Natalie began serving the Hunger Task Force in December of 2014 as an intern for the Crisis Center during her last semester at Iowa. She started her position as the Community Food Security VISTA shortly after graduating from Iowa in May of 2015. Natalie graduated with a B.A. in Ethics and Public Policy, and minored in Sociology and French. She also served as the Vice President of the Sociology Club 2014-2015. She is interested in pursuing a career in community-based research, but is indecisive about whether to further her studies in social work or sociology. 

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Gannon at (319) 335-6817 or leslie-gannon@uiowa.edu.