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Dr. Jerry Anthony strongly advocates for community engagement, and loves participating in IISC’s efforts

Dr. Jerry Anthony

Associate Professor,
School of Planning and Public Affairs, University of Iowa

Senior Research Fellow, Social and Education Policy Research Program,
Public Policy Center, University of Iowa

Favorite Place

The Pentacrest — an amazing collection of buildings in the heart of the city with wonderful views of it from many angles, and great views from it to the surrounding areas

If applicable, briefly describe your first interaction with a school-community project and the impact it had on you.

My first interaction was a Masters student of planning over three decades ago. I felt a deep, overwhelming sense of responsibility to deliver a good project, but also a feeling of empowerment and agency that my work could/would make a tangible difference to people’s lives.

Briefly, how did you first learn about EPIC-N?

Our school has organized community projects in our Masters capstone course Field Problems for over 40 years. In 2010, in response to a call from the University administration we decided to re-brand and expand that effort as the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC). IISC now runs projects for many university departments. Another key feature of IISC now is that it chooses 1-2 communities for each year’s community engaged courses: this on the one hand, enables numerous courses to be partnering with the chosen 1-2 communities in a given year, and on the other hand, enables those communities to benefit from the convergence of diverse intellectual training and skills of students and faculty from those courses.

What led you to participate within the EPIC-Network in your current capacity?

In my graduate level training, all my courses engaged with the community. That experience enriched my training significantly, and prepared me well for my profession — urban planning. So as a faculty member, I strive to have significant community engagement in my courses. The University of Iowa’s School of Planning & Public Affairs had a few courses with community engagement two decades ago. Now with the expansion of IISC it has many more. As a strong advocate of community engagement, I love participating in IISC’s efforts.

What are you hoping attendees will take with them after attending your presentation?

During the EPIC-N Resilience Webinar Series featuring our Iowa EPIC Model program, I want students participating in community-engaged courses to leave with a clear or enhanced sense of agency — that with their knowledge and skills, they can make a difference in communities and in the lives of people. Communities partnering in such courses will find themselves looking for information that the students are asking them for, and face some additional demands on their time, and in most cases, end with products that will move the community forward significantly. Learn more about this recent webinar featuring Jerry.


Dr. Jerry Anthony is an architect and urban planner. He is an accomplished scholar. His article, “The effect of Florida’s Growth Management Act on Housing Affordability,” was named one of most outstanding articles published in the Journal of the American Planning Association in 20 years. He was named a HUD Urban Scholar in 2001. Dr. Anthony is an outstanding teacher. He has received the “Excellence in Planning Education” award from the Iowa chapter of the American Planning Association—one of only two educators in Iowa to be ever given this award. In 2003, Dr. Anthony co-founded a non-profit entity, Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County, to provide a new source of funding for affordable housing development in Johnson County, Iowa. In 2019, Dr. Anthony was awarded the University of Iowa’s prestigious Michael J. Brody award for Excellence in Service. In 2020, Dr. Anthony was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

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