ANKENY, Iowa — The DMACC community is mourning the loss of Professor Lauren R. Rice, 38, a longtime member of the DMACC English Department and coordinator of the DMACC London Study Abroad Program. Rice was killed along with her dog, Holiday, when they were struck Sunday morning by a hit-and-run driver in the Beaverdale neighborhood in Des Moines.
Rice taught English and literature courses on the DMACC Newton Campus for the past 10 years as well as on the Ankeny Campus earlier in her career. She also helped lead the annual DMACC Celebration of Literary Arts Festival, hosting events with award-winning authors on the Newton Campus.
Rice recently returned early from England, along with fellow DMACC instructor Bethany Sweeney and 23 DMACC students who were participating in the DMACC Spring 2020 London Study Abroad Program. Just last week, she had emerged from a self-quarantine at home following her return.
“We are incredibly saddened by the tragic and senseless loss of Professor Lauren Rice, who was a beloved member of our DMACC community and who impacted the lives of many DMACC students throughout the years,” said DMACC President Rob Denson. “I knew Lauren best for her service as a DMACC Group Leader for English, and I always enjoyed her participation because you always knew when Lauren was in the room.”
DMACC Newton Campus Provost Dr. Joe DeHart said Rice was an exceptional teacher with “a great passion for her students. She worked hard to help students understand and appreciate the English language and realized the value of literature and writing in helping students make connections with the world around them.”