UNI's Center for Violence Prevention to host annual MVP Student Leadership Summit

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Center for Violence Prevention at the University of Northern Iowa and Western Iowa Tech Community College will host the 12th Annual MVP Student Leadership Summit from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friday, March 23, in the Rocklin Conference Center at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, Iowa.

Two hundred fifty student mentors from Sioux City, Council Bluffs and Treynor will be participating in this year’s summit. Vanessa McNeal, national speaker and film producer, will be the featured keynote presenter. McNeal speaks nationally on how to confront adversity with grace using her personal story as a vehicle to inspire and empower others. Additional topics and learning sessions offered to students will focus on leadership and facilitation skills, healthy relationships, team-building activities, preventing sexual harassment, social media literacy and active bystander strategies.

“Students play a key role in supporting and promoting healthy relationships among their peers. For over a decade, the MVP Student Leadership Summits have provided student leaders with the knowledge and skills to be proactive in reducing incidences of bullying and gender violence in their schools, homes and neighborhoods,” says center director, Alan Heisterkamp.

MVP Strategies was developed by Jackson Katz in 1993 and was the first prevention model to infuse the bystander approach within bullying and gender-based violence prevention programming.

“The Mentors in Violence Prevention program has truly changed our district for the better,” states Paul Gausman, superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District. “Our student mentors have become leaders of positive change through situational leadership examples and in making all feel welcome. We know, like all districts, we are not immune to the challenges of bullying and harassment, but we have become a stronger team by working together through MVP to make our school climate and culture better for all students.”

MVP Strategies is implemented worldwide in colleges, universities, professional and collegiate sports organizations, all branches of the U.S. military, secondary schools, as well as public and private corporations.

To learn more about MVP Strategies, contact Alan Heisterkamp, director of the UNI Center for Violence Prevention, at 319-273-3545 or alan.heisterkmap@uni.edu.


Alan Heisterkamp, director, Mentors in Violence Prevention Institute and UNI Center for Violence Prevention, 319-273-3545, alan.heisterkamp@uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu