March 2022

Donate socks and gloves to residents of Iowa's Ukrainian sister state

ISU's Seed Science Center is partnering with Iowa Sister States to collect 500 pairs of gloves and 1,000 pairs of socks for women, men and children in Cherkasy, Ukraine -- Iowa's sister state since 1996. Cherkasy is located in the middle of the country, bordering Kiev state, and also an agriculture state. Cash donations will be used to purchase the needed items. Bring cash donations and new or gently used socks and gloves in good condition to the Seed Science Center, 2115 Osborne Dr., or email to request pick-up from your campus building. The donation deadline is Thursday, April 14. For those who want to donate money to Cherkasy, go to, click on "Donate" and select Cherkasy, Ukraine from the dropdown menu.

By the numbers: COVID-19

For the week that ended March 27, the positive rate for COVID-19 tests completed at the Thielen Student Health Center was 6.56% (4 of 61 tests completed), up from no cases a week earlier. Testing reflects both symptomatic students and student-athletes following NCAA testing protocols. The vaccination rate among Story County residents at least 5 years of age rose to 65.8% as of March 30. Iowa State is providing weekly updates on these and other public health benchmarks on its COVID-19: By the numbers website.

Register now for Project LEA/RN workshop in May

Project LEA/RN will host an in-person workshop May 17-18 (9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, 1022 Agronomy, following Cyclones Care guidelines) aimed at training educators to help their students learn the kind of thinking required to solve complex problems. Faculty, staff and graduate students are welcome. Participants will share insights about the brain based on current research, engage in strategies that promote interaction and deep thinking, and apply them to situations in which they facilitate learning -- classes, orientation sessions, extension meetings or other learning situations. Enrollment is limited to 20. To register or for more information, contact Project LEA/RN director Jan Wiersema, (712) 221-1203.

MU will host Ames housing fair April 12

The Memorial Union will host an Ames Housing Fair April 12 (11 a.m.-1 p.m., Great Hall) to help students and members of the Ames community find their next rental home. Consider the options from local property managers and other resources, and learn more about tenants' rights in Ames. There's no cost to attend.

Apply for 2022-23 faculty professional development

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) scholars programs, Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA) and Teaching Partners Program (TPP) are accepting applications for the 2022-23 academic year. All faculty with at least one year of experience teaching at Iowa State qualify for at least one of the programs. Whether you are an instructor investigating questions to improve student learning (SoTL), supplementing departmental mentoring (TPP), or looking at course design and teaching strategies (TLA), the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching has programming to meet your goals. All may apply through this Qualtrics survey. Applications are due April 15, and applicants will be notified by April 30. Email with any questions.

Where to park if you're going to Scheman Building

The parking lot north of the Scheman Building (B1) is closed for expansion and reconstruction. The Brunnier Art Museum and university museums office in Scheman remain open, as do the north and south entrances to the building. Visitors may park in the lot south of Scheman (B2), north of Hilton (C1), south of Hilton (C-2), or the lots south of Center Drive.

Register for symposium on youth programming

Registration is open through April 18 for the office of risk management's 2022 Youth Programs Symposium Friday, April 22 (8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.). This free, virtual conference is open to youth program leaders, staff and other individuals interested in youth programming at Iowa State. Learn about policies, procedures and best practices; share challenges and successes; and connect with others in the campus community engaged in youth programming.

'Feed the Future' collaborator to present seminar

The animal science department's April 8 seminar will feature Gbola Adesogan, University of Florida, who will present "Livestock for Improved Lives and Livelihoods," in 1204 Kildee (3:20-4:10 p.m.) Adesogan directs the Food Systems Institute and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, which is part of the U.S. government's Feed the Future global hunger and food security initiative. For more information, contact Curtis Youngs, 515-294-5541.

Bookstore hosts appreciation event April 7

The ISU Book Store in the Memorial Union is hosting an appreciation event for faculty, staff and students Thursday, April 7 (3-6 p.m.). Off-campus vendors will have free samples of chocolates, wine and other products.

Country musician Aaron Lewis to perform at Stephens in July

Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, April 1, for a concert by country music's Aaron Lewis and the Stateliners Friday, July 15 (8 p.m., Stephens Auditorium). Tickets, $39-$94 plus fees, are available through Ticketmaster and at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office (11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday). The original lead vocalist for the metal band Staind, Lewis has two #1 Billboard Country Album debuts for "Town Line" and "Sinner," and his latest album, "Frayed at Both Ends" was released in January.

Shivvers lecture looks at climate change and food

Author and agriculture policy researcher Timothy Wise will present the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' 2022 Shivvers Memorial Lecture, "Eating Tomorrow: Climate Change and the Battle for the Future of Food," Monday, April 4 (5:30 p.m., Memorial Union Sun Room). Wise is a senior advisor at the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, where his work focuses on agribusiness, family farmers and the future of food; and a senior research fellow at Tufts University' Global Development and Environment Institute. After his lecture, he will sign copies of his 2019 book, "Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers and the Battle for the Future of Food."

You're invited: Cookout celebrating addiction recovery

Join the Collegiate Recovery Committee at a cookout to celebrate National Collegiate Recovery Day Friday, April 15 (3-6 p.m., Maple Shelter, Brookside Park, 1325 6th St.). Attendance is open to all students, faculty, staff and the local community; food and fun will be provided. Collegiate Recovery Community is a peer support-based program to connect folks in recovery (or seeking recovery) from chemical or behavioral addiction to the services, resources and opportunities that help them thrive at ISU.

Lawn mower service days return April 8-9

The Agricultural Systems Technology Club will hold its lawn mower service days April 8-9 (Friday 1-6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m., west side of Sukup Hall). This routine service for lawn mowers or weed eaters includes oil and spark plug change, blade sharpening, air filter cleaning, deck cleaning and power wash (no major repairs). The cost is $35 for a push mower (weed eater $15); no riding mowers. Payment is by check. Pick-up and delivery for push mowers is available in Ames zip codes for an additional $25; email to schedule a pick-up.

By the numbers: COVID-19

For the week that ended March 20, no positive COVID-19 tests were completed at the Thielen Student Health Center (0 of 9 tests completed). That is down from a 3.97% positivity rate a week earlier. Testing reflects both symptomatic students and student-athletes following NCAA testing protocols. The vaccination rate among Story County residents at least 5 years of age rose to 65.8% as of March 23. Iowa State is providing weekly updates on these and other public health benchmarks on its COVID-19: By the numbers website.

Webinar is for managers of student employees

The office of student financial aid will host a webinar for managers of student employees on March 29 (1:30 p.m. via Webex). The webinar will address career readiness competencies and how managers can help student employees leverage their student employment positions in their full-time job searches. Participants also will receive student employee evaluation tools and help brainstorm ideas for National Student Employment Week (April 11-15). More information, including webinar registration, is online.

Reminder: Research Day is March 30

It's not too late to register for Iowa State's Research Day 2022 on Wednesday, March 30 (8:45 a.m.-3:25 p.m., Memorial Union). It will feature the insights of recent Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Initiative recipients, breakout sessions, resource fair, moderated discussions and opportunities to connect with colleagues across campus on issues that are key to interdisciplinary research success. Register online.

Extension's 'Money Smart' series begins April 4

ISU Extension and Outreach will host a free virtual series, "Money Smart: When Money Is Short -- Prioritizing Bills, Protecting Credit and Managing Debt," on Mondays, April 4, 11 and 18 (noon-1 p.m. or 6-7 p.m.). Participation in the three-part series is free but registration closes April 1 (sign up for the noon or 6 p.m. series). Individuals who register will receive an email confirmation with the Zoom link and class information.

Panel discussion March 23 explores impacts of war in Ukraine

An ISU lecture series panel discussion on Wednesday, March 23, will focus on the impacts that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is having on Ukrainian-Americans and those who have worked in Russia. "Personal Reflections on the War in Ukraine" will be livestreamed on Webex starting at 7:30 p.m. Panelists will include ISU staff and an alumna:

  • Svitlana Zbarska, program coordinator for campuswide undergraduate research with the Honors Program, originally from Ukraine
  • Lesya Myroslavivn Hassall, instructional technology specialist for the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, originally from Ukraine
  • Nancy Brannaman, ISU alumna, retiree of the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer, former foreign service consular officer in Kyiv, Ukraine

Plan ahead for severe weather season

Severe Weather Awareness Week (March 21-25) is a good time to review your weather awareness to protect yourself from storm threats. 

  • Monitor local forecasts and know what the National Weather Service is saying about the possibility of severe weather. 
  • Know the difference between a watch (dangerous weather is possible) and a warning (dangerous weather is imminent). To receive notifications about both, install a weather app on your phone. Popular apps include NOAA Weather Radar Live, AccuWeather and WeatherBug. 
  • On campus, identify the severe weather shelter areas in the buildings you spend the most time in. On the emergency maps posted in each building, the green tornado symbol indicates the location of a severe weather shelter. Emergency maps and other related information for every campus building are available online. If a tornado warning is issued, be prepared to set the example by moving to shelter and leading others there.
  • At home, identify a safe area on the lowest level of the building (a space with no exterior windows or doors). Be sure everyone in your household knows when to take shelter there.

Extension workshop on retirement free for ISU employees

ISU Extension and Outreach is holding a two-part workshop on preparing for retirement that is free for university employees. "Writing Your Retirement Paycheck" provides information and resources for people retiring within the next 10 years. Topics include inflation, health costs, Social Security, required minimum distributions and income tax. The workshop is open to the public for a fee ($25 per person or couple). ISU employees who register with their university e-mail address can use the coupon code ISUSTAFF to cover the cost of participation, thanks to funding from the FINRA Foundation's Financial Wellness at Work program. The workshop will be April 26 and May 3 6:30-8:30 p.m.) at the 4-H Extension Building. Register online by April 24. Contact Barb Wollan at or 515-832-9597 with questions.

Alumni graphic design competition underway

The apparel, events and hospitality management department and the ISU Alumni Association invite ISU alumni to create a graphic design that celebrates Cyclone alumni. The design will be used in a line of alumni products to be sold at Innovate 1858, a student-operated retail store in the Student Innovation Center. Designs must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 1. An online vote by alumni from April 11-15 will determine the winner, who will be announced in May. The winning designer will receive $1,000.

Stafford Lecture on banking is April 7

Agricultural business alumnus Jeff Plagge will deliver the 2022 Robert Stafford Lecture on Banking Thursday, April 7 (12:40 p.m., 1148 Gerdin). Plagge's lecture, "The Future of Community Banking," is open to the public with no charge for admission. Since Sept. 2019, he has served as Iowa superintendent of banking. Prior to the appointment by Gov. Kim Reynolds, he worked in the banking industry for more than 42 years. During the last 26 of those years, Plagge served as president and CEO of three banks ranging in size from $92 million to $1.1 billion, most recently at Northwest Financial Corp., Arnolds Park. He has served the banking industry in other capacities, including as chairman of the American Bankers Association and the Iowa Bankers Association and as a former board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Childcare scholarships available for undergraduate student parents

ISU WorkLife & Family Services is accepting applications for the undergraduate Childcare Assistance Program (CAP). This scholarship program is available to undergraduate student parents attending Iowa State with out-of-pocket costs for child care services for children who have not yet entered kindergarten. Eligible student parents may receive up to $750 per semester. Students with the highest financial need will receive priority consideration. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions are on the WorkLife & Family Services website, and funds are still available for spring semester. Scholarship recipients are notified within 10 days of application. Email or call 515-294-8827 with questions.

Three sets of graduate student seminars begin after spring break

The Center for Communication Excellence will kick off three seminar series for graduate students the week after spring break. A seven-part series of 90-minutes seminars on preparing job application materials will begin March 21. A four-part series of two-hour seminars on writing with the help of advanced technology will begin March 23. Both of the writing seminars are offered in hybrid mode, available on Webex and in-person. A six-part series of 90-minute virtual seminars on interpersonal communication begins March 24. See the center's events webpage for details on the seminars or to register for one or more of the sessions.

Second leadership clinic is March 22

The second of three faculty/staff clinics on effective leadership will focus on listening. It will take place March 22 (9-10:30 a.m., online). The goal is to help committee and council members be better prepared for leadership roles, and encourage participation and diversity in the Faculty Senate and P&S Council. Email Andrea Wheeler or Sherri Angstrom to receive the link.

By the numbers: COVID-19

For the week that ended March 6, the positive rate for COVID-19 tests completed at the Thielen Student Health Center was 3.45% (3 of 87 tests completed), down from 8% a week earlier. Testing reflects both symptomatic students and student-athletes following NCAA testing protocols. The vaccination rate among Story County residents at least 5 years of age rose to 65.6% as of March 9. Iowa State is providing weekly updates on these and other public health benchmarks on its COVID-19: By the numbers website.

No 'Inside' during spring break

Inside Iowa State will not publish Thursday, March 17, during spring break week. The next edition will post on March 24; submit announcements and events by noon March 23 to

Masks not required but welcome: New CDC community levels

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed new COVID-19 community levels -- low, medium and high -- to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Currently, Story County's community level is low, based on the updated community levels. For those in a low community level, wear a mask based on your personal preference and informed by your personal level of risk, the CDC states. People may choose to mask at any time. People should wear a mask if they have symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Be respectful of others' choices and do not pressure anyone to wear, or not wear, a mask.

Vaccine and tests remain available on campus

For employees and students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, rapid antigen tests are available at several campus locations while supplies last. Thielen Student Health Center continues to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations for students; employees are are encouraged to contact their medical provider for vaccinations.

P&S performance evaluations due by June 1

Performance evaluations for professional and scientific employees must be finalized and documented by June 1.

Annual evaluations are required and offer supervisors and employees a chance to discuss performance, development and goals. Supervisors should conduct evaluations in-person if possible and provide employees with a written copy after the meeting. The evaluation and a designation of satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance must be entered into Workday and acknowledged by the supervisor and the employee by June 1. Detailed information about the process can be found in the HR service portal. Direct questions to HR delivery teams.

P&S employees with overall satisfactory performance will be eligible for a merit-based salary increase in fiscal year 2023, which begins July 1. The size of the merit-based salary increase is based on parameters annually set by senior leaders. FY23 salary parameters are not determined yet.

Performance evaluations for merit employees coincide with their annual merit review date, which could be at any point during the year, depending on their hire date.

Celebration of Life for former Design dean is April 1

The College of Design is hosting a Celebration of Life for professor emeritus of architecture and dean emeritus Mark Engelbrecht on Friday, April 1 (4-6 p.m., College of Design atrium). A brief program will be followed by an informal opportunity for colleagues, alumni and friends to share personal tributes. Refreshments will be served. Engelbrecht died Dec. 30, 2021, in West Des Moines. He joined the Iowa State architecture faculty in 1979 and served as dean from 1994 to 2009. Engelbrecht's family also invites members of the Iowa State community to a remembrance event Saturday, April 23 (2 p.m., First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave.). Memorials can be made to the ISU Rome Scholarship fund

Spring ahead Saturday night

Daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 13, and most of the country will "spring ahead" one hour. It's time to adjust any non-smart clocks in your work area, home and vehicle. 

Learning Community award nominations due March 28

The Learning Communities advisory committee is accepting nominations through March 28 for this year's seven Learning Community Awards -- honoring individuals, teams and an office/department. Nomination forms are on the awards website. Past award recipients can be viewed in an online archive.

You're invited: Lunch and learn with the alumni association

The ISU Alumni Association will host a faculty/staff Lunch and Learn on Thursday, March 31 (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., ISU Alumni Center, Beach Avenue). Registration is free but closes at midnight Friday, March 18. Over a complimentary box lunch from HyVee, learn about ISUAA membership benefits and collaborative partnership opportunities, and hear from Iowa State's Green Dot team. Questions may be directed to Emily Beck, ISUAA director of member services.

New initiative asks employees to log March volunteer hours

Organizers of ISU Serves, a pilot initiative meant to encourage community engagement, urge Iowa State faculty and staff to log the volunteer hours they work in March.

Employees' individual hours will be added with others in their unit, and a traveling plaque will be given to the unit that records the most hours per person. The program aims to "gamify" community service, increasing volunteerism this month and beyond.

To submit volunteer time and service type, go to the website for ISU Serves, which is a capstone project from one of the teams in the 2021-22 Emerging Leaders Academy. The project website also includes an FAQ and information about what qualifies as community volunteering.

Individual submissions will be confidential, including whether an employee did or did not submit hours. The only public information will be aggregated data such as unit totals.

Workflex application window open until April 1

The second application window for P&S and merit employees seeking a flexible work arrangement is open through Friday, April 1. Supervisors then have through April 29 to review their employees' applications. All requests are initiated and completed in Workday. Monday, May 16, is the starting date for new approved Workflex arrangements. The Workflex program lays out options for when, where and how employees work. P&S and merit employees received an email March 7 outlining the process, and a new Knowledge Base Article in the human resources service portal explains how to submit a Workflex request.

Register for faculty/staff Research Day on March 30

Iowa State's Research Day 2022, scheduled for Wednesday, March 30, features the insights and perspectives of recent Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Initiative recipients. With breakout sessions, a resource fair and networking moderated discussions, it also will provide many opportunities to connect with colleagues across campus, and dive deeper into issues that are key to interdisciplinary research success. The event will be held in person in the Memorial Union (8:45 a.m.-3:25 p.m.). Register online.

Concert by Merz Trio is March 22

Tickets ($30) are on sale for a March 22 performance by the Boston-based Merz Trio in Tye Recital Hall, Simon Estes Music Hall. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online, in 149 Simon Estes Hall, at Rieman Music and Chocolaterie Stam in downtown Ames, and at the door. Admission is free for K-12 students and university students with ID. The concert is part of the Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association's 2021-22 season. Questions may be directed to Paula Forrest, 515-292-3891.

Presentation proposals sought for Youth Programs Symposium

Proposals for educational presentations are being accepted for the 2022 Youth Programs Symposium to be held virtually Friday, April 22 (8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.). Hosted by the risk management office, the symposium is for youth program leaders and interested faculty and staff who want to learn more about youth programming at Iowa State. Proposals will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 28. More information, including the submission form, is online.

Spring blood drive is March 7-9

Iowa State students are hosting their spring blood drive Monday-Wednesday, March 7-9, in the Memorial Union Great Hall (10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily). Schedule an appointment online.

Irish dance tour stops at Stephens March 24

Called "the next generation of Irish tap dance," Velocity will perform at Stephens Auditorium Thursday, March 24 (7 p.m.). Velocity's featured dancers are five-time Irish dance world champion David Gearney and Tyler Schwartz. They're accompanied by guest dance performers and a five-piece Irish band. Tickets are $25-$45 plus fees, and can be purchased at the Stephens ticket office (weekdays 11 a.m.-4 p.m.) or via Ticketmaster.

By the Numbers: COVID-19

For the week that ended Feb. 27, the positive rate for COVID-19 tests completed at the Thielen Student Health Center was 8% (10 of 125 tests completed), down from 16.22% a week earlier. Testing reflects both symptomatic students and student-athletes following NCAA testing protocols. The vaccination rate among Story County residents at least 5 years of age rose to 65.5% as of March 2. Iowa State is providing weekly updates on these and other public health benchmarks on its COVID-19: By the numbers website.

Top student employees recognized

Bahar Hashemi, a senior in computer science who has worked since May 2018 as a technical assistant in the ITS solution center, is the 2022 ISU Student Employee of the Year. She was selected from among 39 nominees. Three others were named students of distinction: Gwen Davis, office of student financial aid; Thaddeus Hill, residence department's conference services; and Sierra Weldon, dietitian service, ISU Dining. Hashemi's name will be submitted for possible state and regional recognition. Each of the winners received a prize and gift card donated by ISU Book Store.

Reminder: Complete free speech training by May 13

The state Board of Regents expects all students and employees to complete virtual training about free speech and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by May 13. The training emphasizes the importance of how to both use speech and expression in classroom and out-of-class activities and respect the protected speech and activity of others. The regent universities are required to provide training annually.

Apply before April 15 for OER support next year

Iowa State instructors can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help use open educational resources (OER) in their courses during the 2022-23 academic year. OER are educational materials that are free for students and free for faculty to customize, which can improve learning outcomes and make courses materials more accessible for all students. Miller Open Education Mini-Grants, awarded annually since 2018, provide ISU faculty funds to locate, adopt, adapt, update or create OER. A drop-in Q&A for those interested in applying will be held 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 1 via Zoom. Applications are due by April 15.

Cyclone gifts approach $500,000 on Forever True Day

During the ISU Foundation's first 24-hour fundraising challenge, Forever True Day March 1-2, Cyclones around the globe made 1,525 gifts totaling $475,241. The college with the most gifts unlocked $5,000 in matching funds from the foundation board to their general scholarship fund. With 249 gifts, the Ivy College of Business earned that top spot.

P&S seminar looks at federal student loan repayment and forgiveness options

The March edition of the P&S Council's seminar series, on Tuesday, March 8 (2 p.m., 3580 Memorial Union or via Webex) will cover federal student loan repayment and forgiveness options. Chad Olson from the office of student financial aid and Isaac Ehlers from the office of student financial success will discuss income-driven loan repayment options and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for public sector employees, including a temporary expansion of it that expires in October.

Regent Dakovich loses cancer battle

Alumnus Milt Dakovich, who served on the state Board of Regents since 2013, died of cancer Feb. 24 in Waterloo. He was 67. A Mass of Christian Burial was held March 1 in Waterloo. Memorials may be directed to St. Edward Catholic Church in Waterloo, Cedar Valley Catholic Schools, Northeast Iowa Food Bank or to the Dakovich family to be distributed among other favorite organizations. Obituary. Statement from board president Michael Richards.