January 2020

Where to caucus on campus Monday

Participants from seven of the 20 Ames precincts will convene in campus locations for Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential caucus on Monday.

Interlibrary loan is fast and effective

In the time it can take to drink a cup of coffee at Bookends Cafe, University Library may be able to fill an interlibrary loan request.

Coronavirus outbreak prompts travel prohibitions

Iowa State is barring business travel to China and closely monitoring the outbreak of a new respiratory illness there, but the novel coronavirus poses little immediate risk in Iowa.

Proposal would relax chalking rules, with some areas off-limits

A proposed policy change would permit sidewalk chalking on much of campus but prohibit it on a portion of central campus and in a handful of other specific areas.

Save the date: Symposium on Sustainability is Feb. 24-25

The 2020 Symposium on Sustainability will take place at the Memorial Union Feb. 24-25. Highlights include keynote speaker Erin Brockovich, whose sustainability work was featured in the 2000 film bearing her name, poster and tabling reception and a sustainable art and design exhibit. The sustainapalooza event will offer green-it-yourself centers, sustainable living giveaways, clothing swap and local food refreshments. For more information, to reserve a space for the reception or submit a nomination for the annual Live Green! Awards for Excellence in Sustainability, visit the symposium website.  

Goldfinch Room announces Feb. 9 shows

Acoustic duo Danika & The Jeb will be featured in the Iowa Songwriters Showcase in Stephens Auditorium's Goldfinch Room on Sunday, Feb. 9 (shows at 5 and 7:30 p.m.). Reserved tables are available for four ($40) or two ($25). Tickets may be purchased online. Food options include cheese platters, hummus tray, popcorn, cookies and candy, and a selection of wine, soda and craft and domestic beer.

Zero-waste department presentations offered

Recycling services is offering a presentation series called Zero Waste Talks to help departments learn more about Iowa State's zero-waste efforts. Departments and individuals can learn about the university's waste reduction and diversion plans and how to assist in achieving the goal of diverting at least 85% of waste from landfills by 2025. Interested departments can schedule the presentations beginning Feb. 10 by emailing

National recycling contest begins Feb. 2

Iowa State is participating for a second year in the 8-week RecycleMania, a large collegiate recycling competition managed by the National Wildlife Federation. Schools go head-to-head in several categories based on the weight of recyclables, food organics and waste collected, reporting their numbers each week Feb. 2-March 28. Iowa State is entering the per capita classic contest, which calculates the paper, cardboard, bottles and cans recycled on a per person basis. Recycling and special events coordinator Ayodeji Oluwalana said he'll use the competition to benchmark ISU's efforts against the best recycling universities in the U.S. and Canada.

Preorder valentine flowers by Feb. 5

The Horticulture Club is selling roses, carnations and alstroemeria, with complimentary bouquet greens, for its Valentine's Day fundraiser Feb. 13-14 (10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, MU west spiral stairwell). Prices are $5/stem for roses and $2.50/stem for carnations or alstroemeria. Prices are 50 cents lower on preorders (due Feb. 5). Cash and checks are acceptable payment. Proceeds from the flower sale will support meetings and travel for industry tours and competitions. 

Student org fair is part of Admitted Student Day

Faculty and staff who advise or otherwise work with a student organization are asked to encourage their group to participate in the student organization fair on Monday, March 30 (1-3 p.m., site TBA). The fair is part of the admissions office's Admitted Student Day for about 2,000 prospective students still in the process of selecting a college. The registration deadline for student orgs is Feb. 14; register online. Questions may be directed to German Avila, graduate assistant in the admissions office.

Candy-making workshop is Feb. 13

Lauren Grant, a 2016 alumna of the culinary science program and owner of Zestful Kitchen multi-media company, will showcase her candy-making skills during a workshop, Introduction to Candy Making, on Thursday, Feb. 13 (6-7:30 p.m., 2739 Food Science). The cost is $25 per person; register online through Feb. 12 or until the workshop is full. 

Reminder: Student employee award nominations due Feb. 5

The office of student financial aid is accepting nominations through Feb. 5 for Iowa State's student employee of the year. Nominees must be undergraduate students employed on campus part-time for at least six months between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020 (anticipated). The award recognizes competency in eight areas defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers: critical thinking, oral and written communication, teamwork/collaboration, digital technology, leadership, professionalism/work ethic, career management and global/intercultural fluency. More information is online; the nomination form is in OneApp. Questions may be directed to Erin Schwartz, 294-0102; or Julie Arnold, 294-0103.

Make way for green space: Insectary to be demolished

Asbestos abatement is complete on the 92-year-old Insectary on Pammel Drive and, pending the outcome of a bid opening this week, the building should be razed by June.

Faculty Senate considers student learning outcomes

The Faculty Senate will vote in February on four universitywide student learning outcomes that will put ISU in line with accreditation criteria.

Librarians are eager to help through live chat

Via the live chat function on the University Library website, Iowa State librarians answer questions from students, faculty, staff or anyone in the world.

Spring lectures kick off this week

Well-known names and timely topics highlight the nearly 40 scheduled events.

Dave Chappelle to perform at Stephens Jan. 28

Renowned comedian Dave Chapelle will perform Jan. 28 at Stephens Auditorium. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show go on sale at noon Jan. 24 and will start at $72.50. They are available at Stephens Auditorium's box office, online at or by calling 800-745-3000. The creator behind "The Chappelle Show," a sketch comedy that aired on Comedy Central from 2003 to 2006, Chapelle has released five stand-up specials on Netflix since 2017.  

25 Year Club banquet set for March 2

The 25 Year Club will honor 131 new members at their annual banquet at the Scheman Building on March 2 at 5 p.m. To be eligible for the club, an employee must complete 25 continuous years as an ISU faculty or staff members. New honorees this year needed reached that mark in 2019. Honorees and their supervisors will receive an invitation from and current 25 Year Club president Brian Meyer. Go online to for details on the banquet and information about the prestigious club. 

CALS associate dean candidate interviews begin Jan. 29

Public seminars and open forums are scheduled for four finalists in the search for an associate dean for academic innovation in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Finalists will open with a one-hour seminar, followed by an open forum. The presentation topic is "Academic Innovations in CALS: A Futuristic Vision." All events will be held in 1204 Kildee Hall. Interview dates and candidates for the position are:

  • Jan. 29 (9 a.m.), Mike Retallck, chair of agricultural education and studies
  • Jan. 30 (2 p.m.), Steven Lonergan, professor of animal science
  • Feb. 3 (9 a.m.), Carmen Bain, professor of sociology
  • Feb. 4 (2 p.m.), Howard Tyler, assistant dean for student services

Caucus rights presentation is Jan. 22

Ariela Fleisig, a national organizing specialist for Iowa with the American Civil Liberties Union, will present "Rights for ALL at the Caucuses" Wednesday, Jan. 22 (7 p.m., Memorial Union Sun Room). She works on the ACLU's "Rights for All" campaign, which includes voting rights, immigrants' rights, reproductive rights and ending mass incarceration. Her talk is free and open to the public.

Pipette calibration service on campus runs Jan. 27-31

In collaboration with chemistry stores, Eppendorf North America is offering a calibration service Jan. 27-31 on campus. Service and calibration for all major brands of pipettes will be offered by a dedicated, factory-trained Eppendorf technician. The price for a full pipette cleaning, lubrication and calibration is $40 for single channel/repeater pipettes and $120 for multi-channel pipettes. Prices do not include any parts that may need replacing. Pipettes can be dropped off at chemistry stores, 1351 Gilman, on or after Jan. 27; you'll be contacted when calibration on your pipette(s) is complete. Questions may be directed to John Burright, 294-0200.

Reiman Gardens closed today, Jan. 17

Reiman Gardens will be closed Friday, Jan. 17, due to inclement weather. Closure information can be found on the gardens' admissions webpage.

Poster sale at the MU runs Jan. 27-Feb. 1

The Memorial Union is hosting its semiannual poster sale Jan. 27-Feb. 1 in the Cardinal Room. It features hundreds of options in art, movies, music and pop culture, with most priced between $8 and $12. Sale hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Sale proceeds support art programs at the MU.

Inside Update diverted to junk email folder

Most recipients of the Inside Update faculty/staff email will find the Jan. 16 edition in their junk email folder. The editorial team apologizes for this inconvenience. It is related to email spam filters set by the university, and an IT services team is addressing the problem. Before moving the email out of your junk folder, IT's recommendation is to mark it as "not junk" to strengthen the "reputation" of these messages in Outlook.

Snow ordinance starts at noon Friday

The city of Ames' snow ordinance will go into effect at noon Friday, Jan. 17, and remain in effect until it has stopped snowing and the streets are plowed curb to curb. Vehicles on city snow routes (identified by red and white signs) should be moved to off-street parking or to streets not designated as snow routes. To assist with the plowing effort, owners are asked to not park vehicles on any residential street, particularly on circles and cul de sacs; however, only vehicles on snow routes are required to be moved.

Gallery reception postponed to Jan. 31

A Jan. 17 reception at the College of Design's Design on Main gallery, featuring Ames artist Catherine Reinhart, has been postponed to Friday, Jan. 31 (5-7 p.m., 203 Main St.)

Limited Madrigal tickets remain

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, there were a dozen tickets for Friday and eight tickets for Saturday's performance of the 55th annual Madrigal Dinner (6:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. social hour, MU Great Hall), presented by the music and theatre department. Through Friday (11 a.m.-5 p.m.), tickets may be purchased at the Maintenance Shop box office in the Memorial Union. Online sales are closed.

Library has resource guides for innovation

While the University Library has a wealth of resources related to entrepreneurship and innovation, many of these materials are included in two resource guides, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Guide and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Reading List. The guides include links to activities at Iowa State, resources for entrepreneurship in different areas (arts, biosciences, engineering) and information on how to find materials in the library.

Proposals sought for STEM career conferences for girls this spring

The Program for Women in Science and Engineering seeks session proposals for its Go Further Girls STEM career conferences, one-day events for girls in grades 8-10 to learn about STEM fields and careers. Conferences will be held March 26, April 9 and April 16 in the Memorial Union. Sessions last 45 minutes or 1.5 hours, and slots are available in the morning and afternoon. Facilitators should provide an engaging, hands-on activity focused on a STEM field or career and share information about majors and careers in your field. Submit your proposal online by Jan. 31. Questions may be directed to Sarah DuBois at

Know Your Rights workshop offered Jan. 23

The office of diversity and inclusion is hosting a workshop, Know Your Rights: Harassment 101, on Thursday, Jan. 23 (3-5 p.m., 0001 Carver). Learn what constitutes harassment and what resources are available for reporting and investigating harassment incidents -- on campus and in Ames. A presentation, led by ISU Police engagement and inclusion officers, office of equal opportunity staff and Story County prosecutor Ben Matchan, will be followed by small group discussions and an open mic. All members of the campus community are welcome; no registration required.

Study Abroad Fair is Jan. 23

Students can learn about interning, studying and volunteering abroad in experiences ranging from one week to one year during the spring Study Abroad Fair Thursday, Jan. 23 (10:30-1:30 p.m., MU Great Hall). This is a one-stop opportunity to learn about many adventures abroad. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service will take appointments for passport applications and renewals. Contact Natalie Welter, 515-251-2360, to schedule a passport appointment.

Honors program seeks fall seminar proposals

The University Honors Program seeks proposals for fall 2020 Honors seminars by Friday, Feb. 7. These one- or two-credit courses explore various topics of current or special interest. Seminars are pass/not pass, with enrollment usually limited to 17 students.  A grant of $500 per seminar supports the professional development of the instructor(s). More information about seminars, as well as guidelines for teaching one, is online. The online proposal form is in Qualtrics. Questions may be directed to Honors director Laurie Law.

A peek inside the Student Innovation Center

Sidewalks and driveways are in, the lawn is seeded and the construction fence is gone. But interior work at the Student Innovation Center continues in various phases of completion as spring semester gets underway.

A few tables remain for Jan. 19 Goldfinch Room concert

A few tables remain for the 7:30 p.m. performance Jan. 19 by Iowa singer/songwriters Chad Elliott (folk, blues) and Ryne Doughty (folk, Americana) in the Goldfinch Room at Stephens Auditorium. The 5 p.m. show is sold out. Reserved tables for four cost $40, and tickets are purchased online or at the door.

Open labs announced for Canvas assistance

Staff from the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching will host Canvas open labs Thursday and Friday, Jan. 9-10 (9-11 a.m. daily) on the third floor of Morrill Hall. Beginning the week of Jan. 13, CELT staff will host Canvas open labs on Morrill Hall third floor on these days/times: 

  • Tuesdays (1-3 p.m.)
  • Wednesdays (11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
  • Thursdays (9-11 a.m.)

For those interested in online training (demonstration sessions, interactive sessions or discussion sessions), visit CELT's online training website. Canvas offers 24/7 support options (phone line, live chat, web-based problem form); use the ?Help icon in the left navigation menu on CELT's MyCanvas Teacher at ISU website.

Retirement contribution limits edge up for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service has raised the limits for additional tax-deferred and post-tax retirement contributions for 2020. The new limits are:

  • Elective contributions: $19,500 (increase of $500)
  • Additional elective contribution for employees 50 years and older: $6,500 (increase of $500)
  • Total employer/employee contributions (basic and elective): $57,000 (increase of $1,000)

Changing contribution amounts is now a self-service function in Workday; a job aid outlines this process. Questions about voluntary retirement contributions may be directed to the office of fringe benefit accounting and compliance, 294-7662. Questions about the tax implications for your personal situation should be directed to your tax professional.

ISU Theatre to perform at festival in Sioux Falls

The ISU Theatre production of "Iowa Odyssey or (How We Got Here?)" will perform at the Region 5 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival at The Pavilion in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Jan. 22. "Iowa Odyssey" is the only production from the state of Iowa invited to perform at the regional festival. To prepare, a performance will take place at Fisher Theater on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.

Volunteers sought for LEGO state competitions this month

ISU Engineering Community Outreach seeks volunteers for two Iowa FIRST LEGO League (FLL) state championship events: Saturday, Jan. 18 (Event 1), and Sunday, Jan. 19 (Event 2), 2020, on campus. FLL helps children (ages 9-14 years) develop skills in problem solving, teamwork, strategizing and creative thinking. In this year's challenge, teams identify an issue cities face and design a sustainabile solution, or improve upon an existing one. To volunteer, go this website, log in (or create an account) and "apply" for one of the two state events. Details on how to sign up and apply are online. Questions may be directed to

Garden trips scheduled to Chicago, Portland

Reiman Gardens director Ed Lyon will lead two out-of-state garden trips in 2020, to public and private gardens in the Chicagoland area (June 11-14) and Portland (Sept. 15-20). See the online brochures for details.

Central Stores closed Jan. 8-10 for inventorying

Central Stores, 195 General Services Building, will be closed Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 8-10, for inventorying. For emergency requests, call supervisor Bill Spratt, 515-745-0084. 

Volunteer slots still available for Science Bowl events

Ames Laboratory's regional Science Bowls are seeking 150 volunteers, both scientific and nonscientific, for the 2020 competitions on campus: High school Science Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 25 (8 a.m.-5 p.m.), and middle school Science Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 22 (8 a.m.-5 p.m.). Student teams from across Iowa will square off in game-show style rounds of questions from a range of science and math disciplines. Volunteers serve as moderators, judges, timekeepers, scorekeepers and runners during the competition; shifts range from 4 to 8 hours. A buffet lunch, T-shirt and other goodies are provided. For more information or to sign up, go to the Science Bowl volunteer information website.

Nominations due Jan. 10 for 2020 Ivy Women in Business awards

The Ivy College of Business is accepting nominations until 5 p.m. Jan. 10 for its three Ivy Women in Business awards. One category, the Outstanding Young Alumna Award, requires nominees to be Ivy alumni. The other two -- Women in Business inspiration and champion awards -- do not. Recipients will be honored during a March reception and must be present. The awards are intended to inspire young women in college as they prepare for futures in business.