Who We Are

Founder & Director Bio

Rick Spellerberg was a first-generation college student who was born and raised on an East Central Iowa farm in the 1970s. At an early age, Rick’s father instilled in him and his siblings the idea that to be a valued member of a community, one must recognize on your own when a task needs attention and to act immediately to get the job done. It is this mindset that has allowed Rick to experience much success in life.

After completing his PhD in Mathematics at the University of Iowa, Rick accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at a Liberal Arts College in Iowa. During his 25-year tenure, Rick was integral in helping build one of the top undergraduate Applied Interdisciplinary Mathematics Programs in the region. He was recently recognized by the award-winning non-profit the Consortium of Mathematics and Its Applications, being named one of the two first time recipients of the Doug Fares Award for these efforts.

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Founder & Director Statement

Given the many sustainability challenges facing rural Iowa and America, I have been compelled to start the non-profit, the Iowa Center for Interdisciplinary Training. The ICIT, will be a Student Driven Think Tank that will focus on taking these challenges head on. During my teaching tenure, I witnessed firsthand if students are provided an interdisciplinary learning environment and proper mentoring, they are fully capable of taking on any real-world problem, no matter the complexity. 

Through the Iowa Center of Interdisciplinary Training, I am afforded the venue to expand this concept to the K-12 experience and build what I am calling Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving Communities across the state of Iowa. The overall goal is to assure that citizens of Iowa are taking on their own challenges while transforming education in the process. A transformation that will assure the state of Iowa is the leader in producing students that can take on any challenge, the future leaders of the state and the nation.