Iowa Walking College Fellows Announced

By Jami Haberl on Monday, April 30, 2018

April 30, 2018 (Des Moines, IA) - Healthiest State Initiative, a nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation, and the Iowa Department of Public Health announces that 12 Iowans have been accepted into the 2018 Iowa Walking College. 

The 2018 class of the Iowa Walking College represents 11 different communities, expanding the reach of the program and adding both urban and rural voices to the growing walking movement.  The Iowa Walking College was launched as a pilot in 2016, modeled off the America Walks National Walking College and designed to expand the capacity of local advocates to be effective community-change agents. Participants will complete a six-module curriculum this summer, covering the science behind the benefits of walking, evaluation of built environments, as well as communication skills and building relationships with decision makers.  

“Walking is one of the easiest, most affordable and accessible ways for Iowans to get physical activity every day and increase social interactions within our community,” said Jami Haberl, executive director at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative. “We are excited to offer a training program brings together passionate Iowans who are working to improve walkability in urban and rural areas throughout the state. 

The program will kick off on May 16 in Ames, with a daylong interactive session with experts in transportation and public health, including special guest, Zach Mannheimer, Principal Community Planner at McClure Engineering Co. The remainder of the program will incorporate both online learning and two additional in-person sessions. 

The 2018 Iowa Walking College fellows are:  

  • Andrea Barnett, Clinton 
  • Ann Wolf, Indianola
  • Brian Leaders, Underwood 
  • Craig Leaming, Des Moines
  • Erica Barker, Maquoketa 
  • Jayne McCormick, Waukon
  • Norma Hertzer, Forest City
  • Sandy Berto, Ottumwa
  • Sarah Runkel, Urbandale
  • Stephanie Schrader, Cedar Rapids
  • Wanda Hilton, Indianola 
  • Whitney Springer, Iowa City

About the Iowa Walking College:  The Iowa Walking College emulates the America Walks national organization that is devoted to making America a great place to walk. Curriculum is based on the America Walks programming and its online format. More information is available at or


The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal.For more information, visit