Communication is key
Communication is consistently ranked among the top 10 skills employers are looking for. We work with students to ensure their communication skills are on par to become industry leaders. Our trained tutors are here to help you write that report or design your presentation. Both graduate and undergrad students are welcome to visit individually or as a group. From creating content to practicing a speech, we’ll give you the tips and resources you need to succeed.
Visit us in S148 PBB, Monday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. and Friday, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Need help with pronouncing your Chinese students' names correctly? Come in and work on names with a Mandarin-speaking Frank Center tutor and start your semester off on the right foot.
Communicate like a pro
Every tutor at the Frank Center is knowledgeable and eager to help students succeed and progress as writers and speakers. Any student, regardless of ability to write or present ideas, can benefit and improve their communication skills by working with one of our peer tutors or graduate writing consultants.
We work closely with professors and teaching assistants in the writing-intensive courses, develop handouts based on particular assignments, and give targeted presentations to classes.
What we can provide:
- Individualized instruction
- Out-of-classroom learning
- Improved technique
- Immediate feedback
Business Communication and Protocol (BUS:3000)
We provide extensive support for the required core course, Business Communication and Protocol, which helps undergrads build a solid foundation of business writing and presentation skills. The course focuses on conveying information, backing it with evidence, and doing so clearly and concisely. Gain skills in composing business content, organizing data, creating presentations, and team-building.
Our instructors bring firsthand knowledge of business communication to the classroom and include:
- Barb Baker, director of advertising and community relations for Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance
- Patrick Highland, 30 years experience in connecting education and employment
- Deborah Neyens, 20 years of corporate experience and freelance writing
- Saul Mekies, 30 years experience in education
- Renee Schlueter, 20 years experience in higher education, technical writer, and communication consultant
- Michael Stutzman, human resources business partner for Rockwell Collins
Frequently asked questions
Do you offer walk-in appointments?
Yes, but they are not recommended, as there's no guarantee a tutor will be available. Time slots fill up quickly during peak times, so please make an appointment when possible.
What should I bring with me?
Bring a hard copy of your paper, your assignment sheet, and your rubric. If you are revising a previously graded paper, bring both the graded paper and the new version. If you are making a speaking appointment, bring your presentation with you.
If working on a group project, should we all make an appointment?
We encourage at least two members of your group to attend each appointment. You can sign up for a special group appointment for three or more students.
I'm a business student, but I need help on a literature paper. Can you help?
If you are an undergraduate business major, we will work with you on papers for any class you are taking, including literature and rhetoric classes. We can also help you with personal statements and cover letters.
English Language Discussion Circles (ELDC)
We host weekly discussions as a way for both domestic and international students to practice their English language skills. Join us to learn about different cultures and discuss new topics each week, such as food or movies.
ELDC meets Monday–Friday from 12:30–1:30 p.m. in S126 PBB. No RSVP required.
Mary Thomas Prappas Ethics Essay Contest
Want your shot at winning $3,000? Put your decision making and moral compass to the test and enter our annual ethics essay contest. Essays will be evaluated by members of the local business community, who will determine first through third place ($3,000–$1,000). Finalists are chosen in mid-May with the opportunity to revise their submissions for final judging in September. Winners are announced in October and will be awarded via U-Bill.
Essays from 2015 contest winners:
Essay prompt & format
Essays should be written in paragraph form, with no headings or bullet points, and an original title. Submissions should be between 3–4 double-spaced pages (1-inch margins, 12-point font, and page numbers). The prompt will change each year.
The current contest is now closed to submissions.
Judith R. Frank
Judith R. Frank long believed in the value of education and the importance of helping students develop their communication skills. Because of this belief, she and her husband, Harris Frank, made a significant gift to support Tippie's Communication Center enabling it to expand its programming.
"It had become apparent to Judy and me that there are bright students who are entering the workplace with strong technical skills but without the ability to express themselves adequately," Harris Frank said. "We felt that supporting these initiatives in the Tippie College's business communications center would enhance what is already an outstanding undergraduate business program."
Mary Thomas Prappas
Mary Thomas Prappas was raised in the Cedar Rapids community. She was the first in her family to earn a college degree, graduating from Iowa in 1949. Mary was one of 35 women who earned a business degree that year. Mary met her husband Dempsey in 1948, settling in Iowa City in their later years. With Dempsey's passing in 2015, Mary lost a lifetime partner and the university an avid champion of ethical legal and business practice.
"It is important that students develop a conscience in business. They need to be aware of ethics and of the consequences of unethical behavior on others' lives."