Jacqueline Kleppe Williams: 2013 Forty Under 40 Honoree

Jackie Kleppe Williams


Jacqueline Kleppe Williams

Manager of Community and STEM Education

University of Iowa Health Care

Age: 37


Jacqueline Kleppe Williams always knew she wanted to be busy and involved in efforts that would impact other people.

With her work at the University of Iowa Health Care as the manager of community and STEM education, she creates programs that improve children’s education.

“Jackie has built a nationally-recognized outreach education program, while earning a reputation as a trusted liaison between the University of Iowa Health Care and a vast community of stakeholders across the state of Iowa,” Chad Ruback, UI’s assistant vice president of external relations, stated in his nomination of Ms. Kleppe Williams.

So far, Ms. Kleppe Williams has engaged 18,000 students from across Iowa about STEM skills in health-care careers and the importance of STEM literacy in their own health. She partnered with more than 90 educational groups and coordinated the participation of nearly 300 STEM ambassadors.

“I love to try to take an idea or concept and build that into some sort of program,” Ms. Kleppe Williams said. “I love building and developing programs to make them the best they can possibly be.”

Through her work, she watches students learn more and can witness them connect the dots to what they learned at school. She likes to see the “ah-ha” moment and witnessing children make the connection of how they can apply something they learned to their daily life.

“I like to see that I could help get them here,” Ms. Kleppe Williams said. “I see excitement and get hope for the future when I see the talents and ideas these kids have.”

She also helps students through her efforts on the STEM Advisory Council Regional Board; she was appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad in 2012 and again this year. Ms. Kleppe Williams volunteers for the UI Ladies Football Academy, Relay For Life of Johnson County, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church as a Sunday school teacher, is a member of the executive board for the Parent Teacher Association for Lemme Elementary, the UI Iowa Edge Committee for Diversity Recruitment and Retention and the advisory board for Workplace Learning Connection.

She earned her master’s degree in organizational leadership from St. Ambrose University in 2010 and received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication studies, with honors, from the UI. She lives in Iowa City with her husband, Jared and their children, Tate and Chase.


-Jessica Carbino