License plates with a story

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Interested in purchasing your own Cyclone plates? More information is on the Iowa DOT website. Half ($25) of the one-time purchase fee comes to Iowa State, where it becomes student financial aid.

We promote our families, our careers, our hobbies, our achievements. We tease, we remind, we rejoice, we lament. We get all that done in seven characters – or less – on our Cyclone personalized vehicle plates. Wow.

Following up on a popular 2006 summer feature, the staff of Inside Iowa State took to campus parking lots again this week, looking for Cyclone vanity plates that made us smile ... or simply made us wonder.

Here are some we found, accompanied by their owners' explanations of what they mean or why they were selected.



My plate means "Meat Science," which is my field of expertise for research and teaching at ISU. It's not "Empty Science" or "Mountain Science" as some might interpret.

-- Joe Sebranek
Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences
Professor of animal science




Read as "Three True Fans." My husband and I are both ISU grads. Shortly after my son was born in 2006, my husband gave me personalized plates as a gift to represent our new family of three. We are starting our little guy on the path to being a Cyclone.

-- Lindsey Richey
Ph.D. student and T.A., School of Education




The message is straightforward -- I help bring the "news to you," and the "news to U" (as in, the university). The personalized Cyclone plates were an early birthday gift from my husband in 2009.

-- Annette Hacker
News Service director, University Relations




As a boarded veterinary surgeon, I wanted a license plate to reflect my alumna status at ISU and also my love for all things surgical. The license plate was my incentive to study for and pass my surgery board exam. "I incise" refers to making a surgical incision. My husband’s license plate reads I EXCYZ because he's a small animal veterinarian who performs many spays and neuters. We are probably the cheesiest veterinarians in the state, but we think our plates are pretty clever!

-- Dr. Jennifer Schleining
Clinician, Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center




I have always been a big ISU fan. With my last name being Speicher ("Spiker"), the nickname Spike has followed me and many others in my family over the years. Mr. Spike is something a younger cousin would call me. Many spike-related themes had already been swooped up by other vehicle owners in the state. My buddies give me grief and call me MRS-PIKE from time to time. Oh well ...

-- Matt Speicher
Mail room distributor, ISU Postal and Parcel




It stands for "Please Neuter." [Before coming to Iowa State] I worked and volunteered at the Boone and Story County animal shelters, and I have been a long-time advocate of reducing pet overpopulation. I thought if my plate saved one litter, it would be worth it.

-- Jane Linn
Secretary, animal science department




It reads "Cy Tennis." I am the coach of the women's tennis team at Iowa State. I like to promote our sport and our athletics department around town.

-- Armando Espinosa
Athletics department




These plates were a birthday gift from my parents in high school. The message is short for "Got Agriculture?" because I was heavily involved in FFA and 4-H programs, serving as an FFA chapter president. I graduated in animal and dairy science (BS) and animal science (MS). I have always been an advocate for agriculture, and wanted to extend my passion for agriculture and Iowa State to my vehicle.

-- Jessie Juarez
Third-year veterinary medicine student




It's a reminder to laugh . . . often. When my husband convinced me to get vanity plates, I decided that I wanted to put something on them that would make people smile.  I hope LAFALOT does this. We receive so many blessings; why not smile and enjoy them?

-- Michele Kostelecky
Program coordinator, ISU Extension and Outreach to Families




I wanted a unique way to show that I am both a Cy fan and a fan of science so I came up with SCI FAN. My degrees from ISU are in the life sciences and I have worked as a scientist for more than 20 years. It also is a great way to show my support for the university!

-- Kellie Winter
Biological science lab technician, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment




We were trying to find a way to incorporate our last name on our plate. Everyone knows there aren't many Hansons in
Iowa . . . :) My wife came up with this idea.

-- Cory Hanson
Director of development, ISU Foundation




It's short for "d20 roller" which relates to role-playing games, in particular Dungeons and Dragons. It means someone who rolls 20-sided dice (most role-playing games use polyhedral dice with more than six sides). So basically my license plate is a shout-out to other gaming nerds.

-- Jeff Sorensen
Web Development Services manager, IT Services




I debated what my plate should say and I wanted something appropriate. [ISU Alumni Association president] Jeff Johnson suggested [the Roman numeral] and I really liked it.

-- Steven Leath
15th president of Iowa State