Des Moines Area Community College has named Tina Akinyi as the DMACC GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Iowa coordinator. In this position, Akinyi will work with GEAR UP students in their first year at DMACC, from the Des Moines and Perry school districts. GEAR UP Iowa, administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, aims to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Akinyi, who is originally from Kenya, obtained her bachelor’s and master's degrees in engineering from Iowa State University. During her time at Iowa State, she engaged in extensive academic and experiential research on the postsecondary recruitment, matriculation, retention and graduation of all students, especially those from systemically disadvantaged backgrounds. Akinyi was most recently an academic adviser at the DMACC Urban Campus. In her new role, she will work from the Ankeny and Urban campuses but will have districtwide responsibilities.