Blake Rupe - BA International Studies, 2010; MA International Studies, 2014
Blake Rupe (BA International Studies, 2010; MA International Studies, 2014), originally from Ottumwa, focuses on changing the ways that communities engage with environmental issues. Her determination in following her passion through educational, professional, and personal avenues identifies her as a Hometown Hawkeye, while also highlighting her entrepreneurial spirit. Rupe currently works at the University of Iowa College of Engineering as the Sustainable Water Development Program Coordinator for IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering.
During her MA in International Studies at the University of Iowa, Rupe became involved with the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC). She was studying garbage and marine debris policy and recognized the need for a company to enter this realm. She then launched Re-APP Inc., a company that encourages people to live more sustainable lifestyles. Rupe grew her business in the Bedell Entrepreneurial Learning Laboratory (BELL), a business incubator for UI students. The mentors at the BELL connected her with the University of Iowa Venture School, a six-week program that emphasizes real-world entrepreneurship and innovation-based, leading edge curriculum taught by serial entrepreneurs.