Maggie Vogel joined in November as facilities manager, and Jonna Higgins-Freese joined in December as senior IT director. Both expressed excitement for their new roles and joining CLAS.
Monday, January 22, 2024

Two key staff members recently joined the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  

Maggie Vogel joined CLAS in November as facilities manager and has more than a decade of campus facilities experience. She was previously with the University of Iowa’s Campus Planning and Development for eight years. She is an Iowa City native and CLAS graduate. 

Jonna Higgins-Freese joined CLAS in December as senior IT director and comes with more than 15 years of experience working in higher education, most recently as director of instructional services at the UI Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology. She has a liberal arts background and is also a published poet, essayist, and has a novel coming. 

Learn more about Vogel and Higgins-Freese. 

Maggie Vogel

Maggie Vogel wearing a black shirt and gold cardigan

Vogel started working at the university in facilities management more than a decade ago when she was still a student in CLAS. She started her career in Planning Design and Construction before moving to Campus Planning and Development. 

“I've been in the facilities-related world for over 10 years and really love it and really love the people,” Vogel said. 

Vogel said the facilities manager position within CLAS interested her because it is “all-encompassing of the facilities world” and various stages of construction. 

In the first months of her new role, Vogel has been meeting department administrators and taking tours of various CLAS buildings. She’s learning about how departments use their space, as well as what their issues and needs are. 

“I'm really looking forward to building the relationship with the department admins and having that connection,” Vogel said. “I really want them to see me as that resource for anything facilities-related.” 

Vogel added how everyone has been welcoming and there is a positive energy in CLAS.  

While Vogel now lives in North Liberty, she still spends time in downtown Iowa City with her family. She enjoys the various events put on by the Iowa City Downtown District, as well as the many restaurant options. Her favorite restaurant in Iowa City is Basta. 

Jonna Higgins-Freese

Jonna Higgins Freese, in a gold shirt and black cardigan

Higgins-Freese has worked at the university, ACT, and Cornell College during her more than 15 years of experience in higher education.  

She said much of her career has focused on bringing people together to improve processes and service and is bringing this focus on collaboration to CLAS. 

“If we can find better ways to collaborate, including with ITS and other colleges, we can improve support for teaching, research, and outreach,” Higgins-Freese said. 

Higgins-Freese said she worked with her predecessor, Lance Bolton, on a project in her previous role and realized her skills and abilities might be a good fit for the senior IT director position. She added how Bolton, associate dean Josh Weiner, and her other new colleagues have welcomed and supported her in her new role. 

“I love the breadth of what CLAS does and the opportunity to support research and outreach, as well as instruction,” Higgins-Freese said. 

Two of Higgins-Freese's favorite things about living in Iowa City are its walkability and that it is a UNESCO City of Literature.  

“I walk to work from the house where Marvin and Dorothy Bell lived for 50 years, and I get to write in Marvin’s studio. What could be better?,” Higgins-Freese said.