March 2012

Former journalism prof Lorraine Wechsler dies

Former Iowa State journalism and mass communication professor Lorraine Wechsler , 87, died March 24 in Chapel Hill, N.C.  She was on faculty at Iowa State for 20 years, retiring in 1990. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the National Parkinson Foundation. See obituary.

Veishea recruiting for world record Knockout event

Organizers of ISU's spring celebration, Veishea, invite you to help break a Guinness World Record in a giant game of Knockout at Hilton Coliseum April 17 (beginning at 7 p.m.). Iowa State Knockout players  broke the world record last spring with 360 participants (see video), only to have another college edge past that number a month later. This year, the Veishea goal is 1,000 participants.

"The event is free and, in order to call yourself a World Record Holder, all you have to do is participate in the first round," says Curtis Berry of Veishea's tournaments committee. " But if you're in it to win it, bring your A game. With 1,000 people, we expect the first round to last about an hour and the entire game to last about three hours." World Record Holder T-shirts will be sold for $5 at the event . No registration is required. Simply show up to participate.

Gov. declares Extension and Outreach Week

Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation March 27, declaring the week Extension and Outreach Week. View video of the signing and subsequent comments by Extension officials and clients. 

Earth Hour celebration on central campus March 31

The student organization GreenHouse Group will host Earth Hour activities on central campus Saturday night. Earth Hour, set for 8:30-9:30 p.m. March 31, is an international event to reduce energy consumption. Participants worldwide are urged to turn off, power down and unplug during the hour. Participants on central campus can enjoy laser tag, glow Frisbee, music and Catt Hall's official Earth Hour "switch off." The rain location is Beyer Hall.

Elementary science teaching is focus of brown bag lunch

Associate professor of science education Joanne Olson will present "Elementary Science Teaching: A Changing Landscape with Challenges and Opportunities" during a STEM education brown bag seminar April 12 (noon-1 p.m., N047 Lagomarcino). All faculty, staff and students are welcome; RSVPs are requested. Bring your lunch if you like. The seminar series is sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering.

Get your heart pumping with April 4 employee wellness event

Faculty and staff are invited to attend a free, one-time cardio sculpt class on Wednesday, April 4 (5:15-5:45 p.m., Gym 202 West, Forker). Get your heart pumping with cardio moves using various fitness tools to define and sculpt your body. No recreation membership is required. RSVP to

The latest Professional and Scientific Council news

  • P&S Council open forum, April 5 (noon-1 p.m., MU Gallery). Ombuds officer Elaine Newell will discuss "Dealing with Difficult Conversations." All are invited to attend. Feel free to bring your lunch.
  • P&S ice cream social, April 5 (4-6 p.m., Garden Room at Reiman Gardens). Enjoy free ice cream from Coldstone Creamery. Learn about the P&S Council and get a chance to win door prizes. The event includes free admission to Reiman Gardens. All P&S employees are invited to attend.
  • P&S Council nominations. Nominations for the 2012 P&S Council elections are due by 5 p.m. on April 13. All P&S staff are eligible to serve. The council is seeking to fill 12 seats. A nomination form and list of specific vacancies are available online. 

University Book Store closed April 1

The University Book Store in the Memorial Union will be closed for inventory Sunday, April 1. The store will open at its normal time (7:45 a.m.) Monday, April 2.

You're invited: Dive-in movie at State Gym pool

ISU's Student Union Board is hosting a viewing of the 2011 Steven Spielberg film, The Adventures of Tintin, Wednesday, April 4 (8 p.m., State Gym pool). Relax in the pool while watching the film on a 16-by-9-foot TV screen. No food or drink is allowed in the pool area. Admission is free for students with an ISU ID; regular fees for non-students apply. Call 4-8081 for more information.

Donate household goods for service learning project

ISU's global resource systems learning community has organized a service learning project to benefit Burmese refugees in Des Moines. The group will collect new and gently used household items and donations in the Horticulture Hall atrium and loading dock (north side of building) on April 4 and 5 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.). Suggested household goods include kitchen items, small appliances, bedding, toiletries and household products. Monetary donations also will be accepted.

Enrichment funds for students available for fall; apply now

The Johnny and Terry Pickett Student Enrichment Fund provides support (up to $1,000) to help facilitate student experiences such as internships, research and study abroad that would enrich a student's career interest or potential. Applicants should be students from underrepresented groups who will pursue a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field. Applications for fall activities are due by 5 p.m. April 16. Guidelines and the application (PDF) are online. Questions may be directed to Martha Tanner, 4-0322.

Regents university students at State Capitol March 29

Iowa State students will join their counterparts from the universities of Iowa and Northern Iowa in the State Capitol rotunda in Des Moines Thursday (March 29) to celebrate higher education achievements in the state. As part of Regents United Day, student representatives will talk about their collegiate experiences with lawmakers and other visitors from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  At a 1 p.m. news conference, ISU Government of the Student Body president Dakota Hoben will join other student leaders and Board of Regents president pro tem Bruce Rastetter in a discussion of the universities' impact on the state.

Osborn Club lecture is April 9

Assistant professor of mechanical engineering Erin MacDonald will present the final Osborn Club lecture of the semester April 9 (7 p.m., Molecular Biology auditorium). She will hit the highlights of 40 years of research on pro-environmental behaviors, the understanding/awareness of which is important to successfully designing and marketing sustainable products. Coordination among designers, manufacturers, marketers and government policy makers is essential to the success of sustainable products, according to MacDonald. Osborn Club lectures, which are free and open to the public, follow a monthly dinner meeting of club members.

Annual ISU Student Profile document is online

The Office of Institutional Research has posted the 2011-12 version of the Iowa State University Student Profile (PDF) online. The office no longer produces print copies of the profile for distribution to the university community.

PRSSA clothing drive and fashion show give back to the community

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is hosting its second annual “Donate and Look Great Clothing Drive” March 19-28, and Iowa State’s student chapter is participating. Members have put collection boxes in the Union Drive Community Center, Parks Library, Hamilton Hall and the Memorial Union. Donations of spring and summer clothing are encouraged. The group’s goal is to keep the donations within the Story County area, so clothing donations will go to the Ballard Community Clothing Pantry, a local resource center that helps struggling families.
Donations also will be accepted at the PRSSA “Donate and Look Great” business attire fashion show March 28 (7 p.m., MU Pioneer Room). The event is open to the public; admission is at least one clothing item to be donated.

Summer tutoring in reading available for 1-12 graders

Iowa State's Fred Duffelmeyer Reading Improvement Clinic offers one-on-one tutoring in reading for children in grades 1-12. Sessions are conducted by graduate students in reading under the guidance of literacy education faculty. Summer session dates are May 29-June 21 (5:30-6:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday, Lagomarcino Hall). The enrollment fee is $100/child; scholarships are available. To request an application, contact Marissa Vermeer.

STEM education is focus of joint CESMEE and SP@ISU event

The Center for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education (CESMEE) and Strengthening the Professoriate at ISU (SP@ISU) are co-hosting a "Spotlight on STEM Education" event April 4 (3-6 p.m., Howe Hall Atrium). A Campus Programs and Broader Impacts Resource Fair is planned from 3-5 p.m., followed by an hour-long presentation by Timothy Scott, associate dean for undergraduate programs at Texas A&M University and co-director of the university's Center for Mathematics and Science Education. All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to

Registration is open for hybrid processing symposium

Participants in a 1.5-day symposium (May 9-10, campus) will discuss the challenges of hybrid (thermochemical) processing of biomass and identify opportunities for collaboration. Both industrial and academic participants are invited; and the registration fee is waived for Iowa State students, faculty and staff. The Bioeconomy Institute, Plant Sciences Institute and Office of Biotechnology are hosting the event. More information, including registration, is online.

Internal candidates sought for lab coordinator position in ME department

The mechanical engineering department is conducting an internal search for a teaching lab coordinator. Qualified candidates are sought among faculty, professional and scientific, or merit employees. Applications are preferred by March 29. More information is available on the ISU Jobs website (vacancy ID no. 120248).

Judges still needed for State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa

A record number of students entering the 2012 State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa, March 30-31 at the Iowa State Center, has created an urgent need for more volunteer judges. Individuals with a major, background or degree in science, engineering or technology are sought to serve as judges. About 350 judges are needed for the middle school exhibits and 100 are needed to evaluate high school exhibits. Register online. Contact Vicki Speake, 4-5738, with questions. 

MBA informational lunch is March 29

Learn more about the College of Business' MBA program during an informational lunch March 29 (noon-1 p.m., 1360 Gerdin). Lunch is provided; registration is requested. Questions may be directed to Jenny Reitano.

Storm spotter training is April 2; register now

All students, faculty and staff -- especially those employees who work outdoors -- are invited to attend the National Weather Service's free storm spotter training on April 2 (1:30-3:30 p.m., MU Gallery). Whether you work or play on a sports field, golf course, farm or yard, this class could be lifesaving. Learn the warning process, elements of a spotter report, thunderstorm basics and storm spotter safety. Registration is encouraged. 

Iowa House honors Geoffroy

The Iowa House honored Gregory Geoffroy March 14 for his "remarkable achievements" in the ISU presidency. In a house resolution, the lawmakers commended the former Iowa State  president for leading the university to such accomplishments as:

  • Achieving record enrollments
  • Bringing in record amounts of sponsored funds
  • Completing the largest-ever fundraising campaign
  • Doubling the number of endowed facutly
  • Renewing the campus infrastructure through numerous building projects
  • Reducing campus energy consumption by 10 percent 
  • Achieving the high student-athlete graduation rate in the Big 12

Residence department names finalists for facilities position

The department of residence has named four finalists for its associate director for facilities position. An open forum is planned for each candidate; dates, times and locations are listed below. All are invited to attend.

  • Mark Huss, ISU facilities planning and management, March 27 (9:15-10:30 a.m., 136 Union Drive Community Center)
  • Leroy Brown, ISU facilities planning and management, March 30 (9:15-10:30 a.m., 1132 Eaton)
  • Todd Sirotiak, Diversified Construction Services, Ames, April 3 (9:15-10:30 a.m., 136 Union Drive Community Center)
  • Roger Graden, ISU facilities planning and management, April 5 (9:15-10:30 a.m., 136 Union Drive Community Center)

Club offers lawnmower servicing March 23-24

The Agriculture Systems Technology Club will hold its annual lawnmower service days March 23 (1-6 p.m.) and 24 (8 a.m.-3 p.m.) at Industrial Education II (west of the horse barns; look for signs). This event provides routine service only; major repairs are not offered. The cost is $35 for a push mower, $50 for a riding mower. Pickup and dropoff is available in Ames for an additional fee ($15 push, $20 rider). To request pickup service, call (515) 708-8672 or email by 2 p.m. March 22. 

Learn more about The Beatles' music at March 13 lecture

ISU professor of music David Stuart will give a talk March 13 (7 p.m., Ames Public Library) on the British band, The Beatles. Stuart will talk about early covers of Beatles songs by American artists and how the "British invasion" brought our music back to us. Guests will have a chance to win tickets to a March 23 performance by the tribute band, The Fab Four, at Stephens Auditorium. Stuart's talk is free and open to the public.

Spring EH&S Safety Summit is March 23

Environmental Health and Safety invites anyone interested in ISU safety issues to attend its spring EH&S Summit, March 23 (7:30-9 a.m., Environmental Health and Safety Services Building). Lab safety contacts, lab managers and principal investigators are encouraged to attend. Parking is available in Lot 122, south of the building. To register, visit the EH&S website, click on the "Training" icon (right side of page), log in to the Learning Center, click on "Schedule" (under My Menu), go to March 23, select "Safety Summit" and click "Register." 

Student Activities Center seeks award nominations

The Student Activities Center is accepting nominations for the 2012 Student Organization Awards. Award catetories include:

  • Outstanding student leader of the year
  • Outstanding adviser of the year
  • Outstanding commitment to diversity
  • Outstanding commitment to service
  • Outstanding event of the year

The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. March 21. Nomination forms are available online. Nominees will be recognized at the Veishea Opening Ceremonies and Awards program on April 17 (6-8 p.m., MU Great Hall). Contact Amanda Martin for more information.

New website details information about provost search

Information about the search for Iowa State’s next provost is available on the new senior vice president and provost website at  The search committee, led by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Wendy Wintersteen, plans to move quickly. An aggressive timeline calls for bringing  candidates to campus for interviews in mid-April. Wintersteen recently put out a call for nominations for the position. Nominations and applications should be be submitted by March 31.

ISU Spring Blood Drive is March 19-22

Roll up your sleeves and help someone in need. ISU's student-run Spring Blood Drive is March 19-22 (10 a.m.-5 p.m., MU Great Hall). Any student, staff or faculty member is encouraged to donate (faculty and staff on a tight schedule may avoid the line by talking to a planning committee member in an ISU Blood Drive shirt). Questions? Contact

Antibiotic resistance, superbugs topic of March 19 Osborn Club lecture

Qijing Zhang, professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine, will discuss antibiotic resistance and the emergence of superbugs during the next Osborn Club lecture, March 19 (7 p.m., 1420 Molecular Biology). The lecture portion of the club's monthly meeting is free and open to the public.

Presentation looks at footwear trend analysis

Global material and packaging representatives from the footwear firm Payless ShoeSource will talk about "Material Development and Trend Analysis in Footwear" March 26 (4-5:30 p.m., 1210 LeBaron). The university community is welcome. The guests also will make presentations to students in apparel, merchandising and design classes and meet with faculty during their March 26-27 campus visit.

Turf team brings home 12th win in 14 years

The ISU Turf Bowl team won first place for the 12th time in 14 years at the Collegiate Turf Bowl held in Las Vegas. Members of the winning team are Isaac Mertz, Dan Strey, Shane Lohman and Casey Sheehy.The team is coached by Nick Dunlap, a graduate student in horticulture, and the team adviser is Nick Christians, University Professor of horticulture.

Entrepreneur events scheduled for March 20

Adrian Sannier, vice president of product for Pearson eCollege and the former general manager of Engineering Animation, Ames, returns to campus March 20 for two events hosted by the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. He will give a public lecture during a luncheon (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., MU Sun Room), and he will moderate a faculty roundtable discussion, "Teaching and Practicing Entrepreneurship: How Do We Meet the Opportunities and Challenges of Entrepreneurship Today?" (1:30-4 p.m., 3512 MU). Panelists include Eric Henderson, ISU genetics, development and cell biology; Elena Karpova, ISU apparel, events and hospitality management; Hank Harris, ISU animal science; and Jim Oliver, ISU mechanical engineering. Online registration is required for each event.

Cycling class offers (virtual) tour of Ireland

Faculty and staff are invited to attend a free cycling class March 7 (12:15-12:45 p.m., Cycling Room 2185, State Gym) that includes a theater-enhanced tour of Ireland. No State Gym access pass is required. Registration is limited to 19 people. Contact if you would like to attend.

Leath's Iowa Press conversation is online

If you missed the weekend broadcasts, President Steven Leath's appearance on the March 2 edition of Iowa Press is posted on Iowa Public Television's website. You can read the show's transcript or watch the 27-minute video.