David Gould

Title & Affiliation
Visiting Associate Professor Instruction


  • MA, Leisure Studies, University of Iowa, 1992
  • BA, Studio Art, Northern Illinois University, 1982

David Gould has served the University of Iowa as an administrator at the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent, the Associate Director of Professional Student Development in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, a Lecturer in the Department of Health and Human Physiology, and the first Obermann Center Public Scholar. Gould also worked with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project in its effort to transform Las Vegas into the “most community-focused large city in the world.”

For over a decade, the focus of Gould's work has revolved around reimagining higher education, and in turn, he has created a number of distinctive university courses concentrated on issues of meaning and community engagement. These courses have garnered considerable media attention and professional recognition. From 2010 – 2019, graduating seniors at the University of Iowa have recognized David Gould as one of the top faculty and staff members “who has had a positive effect on their life.” In 2019, he was awarded the David J. Skorton Staff Excellence Award in Service to The University of Iowa.

Gould is a sought-after public speaker, whose presentations include the commencement address for the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Educating 21st Century Adolescent Learners (keynote, Tokyo, Japan), Luther College Convocation, Next Gen. Summit (keynote), TEDx Iowa City, and TEDxUNI. Currently, he is contributing essays to celebrated designer Bruce Mau’s book “MC24” (Phaidon Press, June 2020).

Research Interests

  • "Twenty-somethings"
  • Aging
  • Community engagement
  • Culture
  • Higher education
  • Leisure
  • Social reflection