Creamery offers limited edition cheddar cheese Friday afternoon

Just in time for Homecoming, the Iowa State University Creamery announced its second foray into cheese production, a limited-edition, cyclone-shaped and cardinal-waxed, aged cheddar cheese. The Creamery has been selling fresh cheddar cheese curds intermittently since April in its retail location, 2955 Food Sciences.

A limited first release of 15 chunks of cheddar cheese was sold Oct. 16, and an additional 15 pieces will be offered Friday, Oct. 22 (noon-4:30 p.m.) at the retail store. Pieces are sold by weight, and range in price from approximately $6.50 to $16.50 each.

COVID-19: By the numbers

For the week that ended Oct. 17, the positive rate for COVID-19 tests completed at the Thielen Student Health Center was 4.82% (12 of 249 tests completed), up slightly from 4.44% the week earlier. Testing reflects both symptomatic students and student-athletes following NCAA testing protocols. The Story County positivity rate for the week ending Oct. 20 was 8.97%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccination rate among eligible Story County residents -- those at least 12 years of age -- rose to 63.5% as of Oct. 20. Iowa State is providing weekly updates on these and other public health benchmarks on its COVID-19: By the numbers website.

Comments due Oct. 29 on digital accessibility draft policy

Oct. 29 is the deadline to review and provide comments on the university's draft policy for digital accessibility. The draft is available from the policy library homepage; comments should be submitted to, or via the feedback button near the top of the policy library homepage. More information.

Sick time off can be used for vaccinations

Language was added this week to the university's sick time off policy to clarify that employees can use sick time off for a paid absence to receive a vaccination and recover from the vaccination. 

The clarification to the policy came in response to questions about whether sick time off can be used for employees to receive and recover from their own vaccinations. That usage has been allowed, but the language added to the policy ensures clarity, said Andrea Little, associate director of university human resources for employee and labor relations. 

The temporary bank of paid sick time off for absences related to COVID-19 the state Board of Regents approved for use from July 1 through June 30, 2022, can be used for an employee receiving their COVID-19 vaccine and any subsequent recovery, Little said. The COVID-19 sick time bank is 80 hours for full-time employees and is available as an absence option in Workday as “BOR COVID-19 Sick Time Off Plan.” 

Review this UHR infographic for more information regarding vaccine-related time off options, including when a family member is receiving or recovering from a vaccination.  

Save the date: ISCORE 2022 is March 2-4

The 2022 Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) will be held March 2-4. This comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity is free and open to the ISU community. Consider submitting a presenter's proposal  by Nov. 12. The 2022 edition of the conference will include both virtual and in-person components to reach a broad audience:

  • Virtual preconference: Wednesday, March 2
  • Virtual conference: Thursday, March 3
  • In-person conference: Friday, March 4 

Greek trick-or-treat for families is Oct. 31

Iowa State's sorority and fraternity community will host its annual free Trick-O-Treat in the Memorial Union Great Hall on Sunday, Oct 31 (1-3 p.m.). Chapters will have games (such as bags, mini golf, Simon Says, apple relay, pin the donkey and ring toss) and lots of candy to take home, with tables spaced out to provide a fun and safe atmosphere. Face coverings are encouraged. All participants are encouraged to wear their best family-friendly costume.

Apply to be a WorkCyte change liaison for your unit

Faculty and staff who are interested in volunteering for a crucial role in the implementation of the Workday platform are encouraged to apply online by Nov. 5 to represent their college, department or unit on the WorkCyte change liaison network

Change liaisons will serve in a two-way communication role by sharing and receiving information about the Workday Student and Receivables implementation, introducing colleagues to new terminology and processes while providing feedback to project leaders and shaping training plans. Change liaison network meetings will take about 2-4 hours per month. In early November, the WorkCyte change management team will share details regarding a kickoff meeting planned for Nov. 30. Liaisons should have experience with existing systems and support the modernizing efforts of the WorkCyte program. See the change liaison web page for more information or contact with any questions.

'Nutcracker Ballet' tickets go on sale Oct. 20

Tickets for three performances of the 40th annual "Nutcracker Ballet" at Stephens Auditorium go on sale to the public at noon Wednesday, Oct. 20, via Ticketmaster. Tickets are $30 ($25 for seniors at least 65 years, youth 17 years and younger and groups of at least 10) plus fees. Matinee performances begin at 1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 11-12, and a single evening show is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11. This holiday fairy tale features choreography by Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato Thomas, Iowa Youth Ballet. More than 150 dancers from central Iowa communities participate and guest dancers perform the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Tanya Lynn Trombly, a freelance artist based in New York City, and Fred Davis, currently affiliated with American Midwest Ballet, will dance those roles this year.

Comedian Ron White returns to Stephens this week

Grammy-nominated comedian Ron "Tater Salad" White is returning to Stephens Auditorium for the third time Thursday, Oct. 21 (8 p.m.). White performed to sold-out crowds at Stephens in 2016 and 2018. Tickets, $45-$74 plus fees, are available online via Ticketmaster or by contacting the Stephens ticket office at or 515-294-2479.

Instructors: Submit class materials lists (and no-lists, too)

Faculty who will teach a winter session or spring semester course are asked to submit all materials needed for class, such as textbooks, courseware, e-books, course packets, manuals, Top Hat and other subscriptions, and supplies (design, lab, PPE, technology, etc.) as soon as their teaching assignment is confirmed. Include courses for which there are no textbook requirements or open educational resources (OER) will be used. These lists should be submitted to the department academic coordinator, who shares them with the textbook team at the ISU Book Store. No department coordinator? Contact Emma Hartman, 294-0362. The ISU Book Store team publishes the student book list in AccessPlus and the schedule of classes.

Bookstore staff find the most affordable course materials from array of options, including digital, rental, loose-leaf, used and a textbook price comparison tool. The bookstore staff also works collaboratively with university librarians to find new OER options to alleviate the cost of course materials for students.

Immunocompromised protocol extended through spring semester

Senior leaders have extended the ISU immunocompromised protocol program, set to expire Dec. 31, through May 13, 2022, the last day of spring semester. The program allows immunocompromised faculty and staff, as well as faculty and staff with immunocompromised household members, to qualify for workplace modifications. Employees with an immunocompromised work modification in place don't need to take any action. Current work modifications automatically will be approved for spring semester. Employees or their supervisors who would like to request a modification to a current work modification should send an email to

Additionally, two temporary policies that provide flexibility for fall instructors have been extended through spring 2022 semester. They address instructors with a positive test for COVID-19 and instructors facing substantial absenteeism.

Nominations due Dec. 1 for alumni awards

Nominations are due Dec. 1 for three annual awards from the ISU Alumni Association and a new award this fall: Kansas City Cyclone of the Year. Questions about any of the awards may be directed to Katie Lickteig. The awards are:

  • Faculty/Staff Inspiration Award (nominators must have been ISU students), recognizes an employee who had a significant impact on a student's professional or personal life while at Iowa State.
  • Iowa STATEment Maker, recognizes alumni 34 years and younger who reflect the spirit of ISU with accomplishments in any of these categories: scholastic, career achievement, personal achievement, entrepreneurial spirit or service.
  • Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award, recognizes outstanding senior students (90+ credits) who display high character, achievements in academics and university/community activities, and promise for continuing these exemplary qualities as alumni. Seniors graduating this December are eligible.
  • Kansas City Cyclone of the Year, recognizes alumni and friends whose career achievements and volunteer involvement or philanthropic efforts have made a positive impact on the greater Kansas City and Iowa State communities.

Library lineup celebrates open access week

University library invites the campus community to attend these events as part of its 2021 International Open Access Week (Oct. 25-31) observance:

You're invited: Wellbeing in a post-pandemic year

ISU employees are welcome the ISU Retirees 9th annual "Rock On" symposium Wednesday, Nov. 10, focusing this year on "moving on in a post-pandemic year." Registration is requested by Oct. 25 to guarantee participants receive a packet in time. The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via Zoom, and features three keynote speakers whose presentations will include time for Q&A:

  • 9-9:50 a.m., How to Boost Your Resiliency as a Retiree Post-pandemic, Connie Bleile, behavioral services therapist, MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, Mason City
  • 10:10-11 a.m., Grandparenting in a Pandemic, Barbara Dunn Swanson, human science apecialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
  • 11:20 a.m.-12:10 p.m., Wellbeing Strategies, Tools and Resources for Moving Forward in a Post-pandemic World, Sue Tew-Warming, ISU university human resources

'Allies for gender equity' workshop has room for male faculty

Seats still are available for a two-hour workshop, "Men Allies for Gender Equity," to be held in person three times next week: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 21, 12:40-2:40 p.m. Oct. 21, and 8:50-10:50 a.m. Oct. 22. The workshop, intended for male faculty, shows participants how to positively impact gender equity at Iowa State, particularly in the STEM fields. In an interactive format, they are invited to ask questions and practice skills in scenario-based exercises. To register, or for more information, email D. Raj Raman, agricultural and biosystems engineering, who will send a Doodle pool with an option to register for one of the sessions.

'Tracing race' initiative seeks project proposals

The advisory group for the Tracing Race at Iowa State University initiative seeks proposals for digital projects that reveal the under-documented history of people of color's accomplishments and experiences, including the history of race, inequality, racism and activism on campus. Submissions are due Nov. 24 for expected work during spring semester 2022. The initiative is administered by the library's digital scholarship and initiatives department, which provides technical support and project management/coordination as needed.

Students (undergraduate or graduate) who submit proposals and serve as the project lead will be considered for $2,500 project awards, made possible by the Sanderson Family Library Assistantship fund. 

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