February 2021

March 9 P&S seminar is a two-part wellness series

The next Professional and Scientific Council Seminar on March 9 (2-3 p.m., online via Adobe Connect) is part 1 of a 2-part series focusing on mental and physical well-being. 4-H Healthy Living program specialist Laura Liechty will introduce the eight dimensions of wellness. After taking a Wellness Wheel assessment to measure their well-being in each dimension, participants will be able to identify areas in which they thrive and others that need more attention and, with that awareness, take steps to achieve a fuller sense of well-being. Participants may submit questions in advance on a Smartsheet. Recordings of the P&S seminar series are archived in Learn@ISU about one week later.

Applications due March 4 for undergraduate research symposium

Undergraduate researchers are encouraged to participate in ISU's 15th annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression April 21 and share their research with the university community and other guests in conference-style oral presentations. This year's symposium will be held in a hybrid mode: In person for all presenters and their mentors, and online for all other attendees. The application deadline is March 4. More information, including application instructions, is online. Questions may be directed to Svitlana Zbarska, 294-2064.

Johnny's ends Saturday hours due to low numbers

Due to decreased clients on recent Saturdays, Johnny's in Hilton Coliseum will be closed on that day, effective Feb. 27. Saturday hours will resume if the need arises. Students, faculty or staff who need a COVID-19 test on a Saturday should call 515-294-5801 to schedule a test at Thielen Student Health Center. Current hours for Johnny's are: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday.

Goldfinch Room announces March 23 show

Country music artist Angela Meyer will perform on the Stephens Auditorium stage Tuesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Reserved tables for up to four people are $40 and must be purchased in advanced. Livestream links are also available for a single stream ($10) or group ($20). Physical distancing of 10 feet between groups will be observed, and masks are required except when eating or drinking.

Applications being accepted for undergrad research mentors

The office of student financial aid continues to accept applications from faculty, staff and students for the 2021-22 Undergraduate Research Assistantship program, which provides outstanding juniors and seniors hands-on experience in a formal research environment. The March 26 deadline is now flexible. Faculty, staff and students should seek out those with similar interests for possible "matches;" preference is given to qualified students and faculty/staff who ask to work with each other. Student candidates must have filled out the FAFSA financial aid form and be eligible for work-study funding. More information, including program guidelines, funding sources and application documents, is online. Questions may be directed to Julie Arnold, 294-0103.

Nominations for supplier awards due March 12

Procurement services has created a supplier award program to recognize the extraordinary efforts of suppliers that contribute to its mission to provide efficient, timely and effective services that support the university. The nomination deadline for all five award categories has been extended to Friday, March 12:

  • Customer Service
  • Strategic Partnership
  • Sustainability
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Supplier of the Year

Nominations must provide detail for how the supplier meets the criteria specific to that award. More information, including award descriptions and nomination form, is online.

Sidewalks closed around Ross Hall

map showing sidewalk use around Ross Hall

Crews from Servicemaster are working inside Ross Hall this week to clean fire and smoke damage caused by Monday morning's fire on the first floor. To accommodate their vehicles and dumpsters, sidewalks and bike racks on the west side of Farm House Lane near Ross Hall are closed, as is access to the building's loading dock. Pedestrians are asked to use the sidewalk on the east side of Farm House Lane. The intent is to keep Farm House Lane open, but traffic is restricted to emergency and vicinity drivers.

Reminder: Retirement incentive application closes March 1

The seven-month application window in the university's 2020-21 retirement incentive option closes Monday, March 1. Employees approved to participate choose from three incentives and must retire from Iowa State by June 30. The program is open to benefits-eligible employees who meet a rule of 70 (age and continuous length of university service) and are at least 60 years old on their retirement date. 

Extension offers digital courses on accessible documents

Digital courses about how to produce accessible digital documents are available online from ISU Extension and Outreach. The courses cover documents in Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign CC and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. While the courses carry prices from $350-$450 for the general public, they are available at no cost to those in the Iowa State community. Anyone with an Iowa State email address may log in to the eAccessibility website to access the courses.

Purchase tickets for virtual Irish concert next month

Ireland With Michael is a virtual concert of Irish culture and music to observe the Irish American Heritage Month of March, and stars tenor Michael Londra who introduces other acclaimed Irish performers. Stephens Auditorium fans may access this video-on-demand option from 7 p.m. March 17 through 7 p.m. March 19; tickets start at $25/family.

Deadline for fall honors seminar proposals extended to March 5

The University Honors Program invites proposals from experienced instructors (all levels) for fall 2021 Honors seminars. The submission deadline has been extended to Friday, March 5. Honors seminars are one- or two- credit courses that examine topics of current or special interest in an active learning environment. Seminars generally are limited to 17 students and offered on a satisfactory/fail basis. The Honors Program allocates $500 to seminar instructors for professional development. More information is on the Honors program website; applications should be submitted online.

Obbink steps away from public health team

Kristen Obbink, who co-chaired the university's COVID-19 public health team since August, is on leave from the university through the end of spring semester. Co-chair and associate vice president for student health and wellness Erin Baldwin will continue leading the group.

While many questions may be answered by the university's COVID-19 public health dashboard or COVID-19 personal health website, health-related inquiries also may be directed to The appropriate public health team member will respond.

Innovation event for students features three ISU leaders

Students are encouraged to register for the March 8 (5:30-7 p.m.) Innovation Short Circuit, "Making Friends and Influencing People Like the Deans," with Engineering dean Sam Easterling, Human Sciences dean Laura Jolly and vice president for extension and outreach John Lawrence. They'll discuss the practices, drivers and personal characteristics that create business relationships that are both valued and valuable. Building relationships through networking is the #2 skill leaders say they wish they had learned more about in school. All majors and class levels are welcome; register online.

Weather-related changes announced for Feb. 16

In-person classes scheduled before noon on Tuesday, Feb. 16, will not meet. Classes delivered online will remain in session. In-person classes scheduled after 12 p.m. will be held.  If it's necessary to extend the restrictions past noon Tuesday, the university will announce that decision by 8 a.m. 

The university will remain open for business, and employees should contact their supervisors about working arrangements. Employees in food service, public safety, security, power plant, animal care, critical maintenance and snow/ice removal who can't get to campus should contact their supervisor.

Graduate students awarded research support

Fourteen Iowa State graduate students each will receive a $10,000 Brown Graduate Fellowship to support strategic research over the next year. The program is administered by the office of the vice president for research and focuses on university research in the areas of science, agriculture and space science.

Nominations sought for P&S Council seats

Professional and scientific (P&S) employees are invited to nominate themselves or a colleague for a position on the P&S Council. Nominations are being accepted through March 5 for the April election. Members represent more than 3,500 P&S employees across all four ISU divisions and have a voice in the decisions, events, and activities that make Iowa State better. To complete the nomination form, provide a recent head shot (JPEG file) and brief summary (fewer than 1,250 characters with spaces and punctuation) of your qualifications and why you want to serve on the council. Questions may be emailed to the council's representation committee. Message from President Wendy Wintersteen.

Meat Lab's in-person purchase option resumes Feb. 12

The Meat Lab sale, Kildee Hall atrium, will reopen for in-person shopping Friday, Feb 12. Sales hours will be 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays. Payment must be via check (no cash). The online ordering option with curbside pick-up will continue.

Regents committee meetings scheduled for Feb. 17

Preceding the full board meeting Feb. 24, four committees of the state Board of Regents will hold virtual meetings Wednesday, Feb. 17. Open portions of the meetings will be livestreamed. Agenda items are available on the board's website.

  • 9:30 a.m., Academic affairs and Campus and student affairs committees joint meeting
  • 11 a.m., Property and facilities committee
  • 11:30 a.m., Investment and finance committee

'Tracing Race at ISU' initiative seeks digital project proposals

The advisory group for the Tracing Race at Iowa State University initiative seeks proposals for digital projects that reveal the history of accomplishment and experience of people of color, and engage with the university's history of race, inequality, racism or activism. Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff in all disciplines may submit proposals; undergraduate applicants are asked to identify a faculty/staff advisor for their project. The submission deadline is March 31. The initiative is administrated by the library's digital scholarship and initiatives department, and questions may be directed to project coordinator Erin Anderson. Virtual 40-minute Q&A sessions will be held Feb. 19 (10 a.m.) and Feb. 23 (2 p.m.) via Webex.

Info session Feb. 11 is on Cyclone Aide, DIS team leader opportunities

New student programs is recruiting students interested in developing their leadership skills as a Cyclone Aide or Destination Iowa State (DIS) team leader. Cyclone Aides work an estimated 30-40 hours/week during orientation (mid-May through early July) and during DIS (Wednesday through Saturday before fall  classes begin). DIS team leaders work an estimated 30-40 hours during DIS. An information session on both opportunities will be held Thursday, Feb. 11 (4 p.m., via Webex). Applications close Feb. 21 for Cyclone Aides; March 31 for DIS team leaders. More information, including application materials, is online. Questions may be directed to new student programs,, 515-294-0801.

Input sought on national strategy for inclusivity in innovation and inventing

In December, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in consultation with the National Council for Expanding American Innovation, announced a request for public comments to assist in the development of a national strategy to expand the American innovation system demographically, geographically and economically. The deadline to submit comments was extended to Feb. 23. Submit comments through the federal eRulemaking portal at (docket number PTO-P-2020-0057; any attachments must be in MS Word or Adobe PDF). Submitted comments can be viewed online. Associate professor of materials science and engineering Martin Thuo represents Iowa State on the council's workgroup. If individuals don't want to comment via the public portal, they may submit comments to, and Thuo will submit them to the council.

Non-engineers sought for ISU chapter of Engineers Without Borders

The Iowa State chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a sustainable development program, seeks non-engineering members, for example, students majoring in sociology, anthropology, economics, geography, political science, public health or community planning. A 30-minute information session will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17 (7 p.m., via Zoom). Register in advance to receive the link. Students interested in earning project management experience should consider applying for the director of sustainable development post; applications are due Feb. 21.

Face coverings still required on campus, around Ames

As in the fall, statewide COVID-19 mitigations may periodically change. However, Iowa State continues to require face coverings on campus. The requirement includes university classrooms, laboratories, public and communal work areas, libraries, dining centers and residential spaces, and all other learning spaces. Face coverings also are required on all other university property whenever physical distancing is not possible. The city of Ames also requires face coverings in public settings.

Applicants sought for fall student fellowship in university museums

Established by the estate of Lori A. Jacobson, the Lynette L. Pohlman Museum Fellowship provides one-on-one mentoring to an undergraduate student who gains hands-on experience in a museum setting, assisting curators and staff with exhibitions, collections, research, programs and special projects. Applications for the paid fellowship will be accepted through April 1 for the fall 2021 semester. More information about the fellowship is online.

Fall junior applicants sought for scholarship

The office of student financial aid is seeking undergraduate applicants for the Roy J. Carver Scholarship. For the 2021-22 academic year, 20 awards of $6,000 (renewable for one year) are available. The deadline to apply online is April 1. Questions may be directed to 294-0103 or Eligibility requirements include:

  • College junior classification by fall 2021
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.80
  • Financial need demonstrated in 2021-22 FAFSA
  • Evidence of significant social/economic obstacles to attending college fulltime
  • Graduate of accredited Iowa high school OR Iowa resident for five years

ABE student wins 3-Minute Thesis competition

Bailey Adams, a third-year doctoral student in agricultural and biosystems engineering, won this year's 3-Minute Thesis competition, held virtually Jan. 14. Sponsored by the Graduate College, during the contest graduate students describe their research in concise presentations designed for an audience unfamiliar with the topic. Adams is studying how to optimize sprayer chassis suspensions to improve boom performance. See video of his and other finalists' presentations at the Graduate College's 3-Minute Thesis webpage.

Public health data site resets for spring semester

The COVID-19 Public Health Data website updated on Feb. 1 to start tracking testing, quarantine and isolation data for the spring semester. Data from the fall semester and winter break is accessible using the Archived Data tab on the website. Resetting for the spring semester will allow ISU's public health team to provide an accurate view of how COVID-19 is occurring and being mitigated in the campus population. It also will ensure data accuracy and ease of interpretation, since student enrollment as well as faculty and staff numbers change each semester.

Cyclone Honor Band is a virtual event this week

The Cyclone Honor Band Festival, a 40+ year tradition of the music department, will be held virtually Friday, Feb. 5. As of midweek, more than 200 high school students from 47 Iowa schools were registered to participate, a number higher than if the festival had been held on campus. Though rehearsals and a Stephens Auditorium concert are not possible, the students still will have the opportunity to learn from two guest conductors virtually and "meet" with the ISU music faculty who teach the instrument they play through the use of breakout rooms.

Creamery offers ice cream pickup for Valentine's Day

Looking for a Valentine's Day treat? The ISU Creamery will offer curbside pick-up of its ice cream Thursday, Feb. 11 (4:30-5:30 p.m., circle drive off Wallace Road, east side of Food Sciences Building). Flavor options are posted on the Creamery website. To order, email sizes (quart $12, 8-ounce cup $5.50) and flavors to Sarah Canova, by noon Feb. 10. Accepted forms of payment are credit/debit cards and cash (exact change). 

Nominations for next Emerging Leaders class are due March 8

Nominations for the 2021-22 cohort of the Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) are due March 8. ELA, sponsored annually by the office of the senior vice president and provost, fosters leadership development in faculty and P&S staff who currently serve in leadership roles or aspire to such positions. During the academic year, members participate in monthly leadership activities led by content experts and facilitators. They achieve the program's learning outcomes by completing modules that examine skills such as strategic planning, budget development, performance management, understanding diversity and promoting an inclusive organizational culture. In teams, the cohort members also complete a university-related capstone project. More information, including eligibility criteria and the nomination process, is online. The provost's office will select the cohort by mid-April.

Nominations due Feb. 26 for supplier awards

Procurement services has created a supplier award program to recognize the extraordinary efforts of suppliers that contribute to its mission to provide efficient, timely and effective services that support the university. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 26 in five award categories:

  • Customer Service
  • Strategic Partnership
  • Sustainability
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Supplier of the Year

Nominations must provide detail for how the supplier meets the criteria specific to that award. More information, including award descriptions and nomination form, is online.

ITS releases cyber guide outlining services

Information technology services released a cyber guide for the first time this spring, providing a single source to introduce students to ITS services and resources. Printed versions are available at the IT Solution Center and tech lending in Park Library, on the ground floor of the Student Innovation Center and Tech CYte, inside the ISU Book Store. A digital version also is available on the cyber guide website.

Shop MU poster sale online through Feb. 15

The Memorial Union is hosting its winter poster sale as a virtual event. Instead of browsing in person, visit to see hundreds of designs, from art prints and movies, to music and pop culture. Order online through Feb. 15 and posters will be shipped directly to you (standard shipping is free). Most posters are priced $8-$12, with proceeds supporting MU art programs.

Semiannual study abroad fair is Feb. 10

The spring Study Abroad Fair will be held Wednesday, Feb. 10 (10 a.m.-3 p.m., South Ballroom and Sun Room, Memorial Union). The event is a one-stop shop to learn about adventures abroad for fall 2021 and beyond. (Due to the global pandemic, ISU study abroad experiences that would start prior to Aug. 1 have been cancelled.) Students can learn about intern and study abroad experiences lasting from one week to one year. Masks and physical distancing are required for this event; more information about the fair is online.