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The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Jessie Cunningham

Assistant Director

Meet Jessie!

Message From Jessie:

Hi! I am the Assistant Director of the University of Iowa Dance Marathon Program (UIDM). Our program is largest student-led philanthropy organization on campus that promotes a year-long commitment to providing financial and emotional support to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital pediatric cancer and bone marrow transplant patients and their families. This position is also a part of Student Engagement and Campus Programs which provides students with opportunities to develop their interests, choose experiences that align with their goals, and enhance their education both in and outside of the classroom.

My biggest role is advising UIDM with the other advisor, Maddy Wilson. We help advise the Executive Team, a group of hardworking students executing all that Dance Marathon stands for and accomplishes throughout the year. My passion is to help students develop personal and professional skills that make them feel good about themselves and prepare them for any professional or personal journey they make take on.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can email me at, call me at 319-335-3059, or stop by the DM advisor office in the Iowa Memorial Union, room 153.


I graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training. Receiving a degree in something I did not want to pursue was difficult for me. My passion for higher education truly started in 2012 when I received my first position in the field at Mid-Plains Community College. It was there where my passion for helping students grew and I fell in love with the fact that I had the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life. I received a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling and Student Affairs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.


Victor, Iowa

Favorite DM Memory:

To date, my favorite memory is being offered the position of Assistant Director for the Dance Marathon Programs here at Iowa. Not only am I able to pursue my passion of advising students but it also allows me to be a part of a great cause, one that has personally affected me since I was 25 years old. Since 2012, I have had 3 battles with cancer. The first 2 were able to be surgically removed but the 3rd led to 13 months of treatment at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. There is a cloud of survivor’s guilt that continues to hang over me, as I often prayed that I would be taken in hopes that someone else could be saved. Now I believe my survival led me to this position so that I can help make a positive difference in my community by supporting a mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.


She, Her, Hers