Honors and awards

Witherspoon receives distinguished service recognition

Mark Witherspoon, editorial adviser at the Iowa State Daily, received the Iowa Newspaper Association's Distinguished Service Award during its annual convention in February. The award recognizes a long-time journalist for contributions to the newspaper profession and their community.

ISU earns third straight gold in higher ed sustainability assessment

Iowa State earned its third consecutive gold rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating system (STARS), developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. STARS is a self-reporting tool for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance in four broad areas: academics, operations, engagement and planning/administration. The gold rating is in place for three years. Among 329 colleges and universities around the world currently certified through the STARS program, 129 achieved a gold rating, second-highest in a four-tier rating system.

Rossini awarded Sloan Research Fellowship

Aaron Rossini, assistant professor of chemistry and senior scientist at Ames Laboratory, has earned a 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship for achievements that designate him as one of the nation’s most outstanding early-career researchers. Rossini’s research focuses on advancing a richer and more comprehensive understanding of molecules and their structure. Sloan fellows receive a two-year $75,000 award. Rossini will use the funds to support and expand research efforts in the Rossini lab.

Sarkar named American Society of Civil Engineers fellow

Partha Sarkar, professor of aerospace engineering and civil engineering, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Sarkar, the associate chair for research in the aerospace engineering department and director of the Wind Simulation and Testing Laboratory, has significantly advanced the understanding of near-ground flow field and extreme wind loads on civil structures and the aeroelastic theories to predict loads and response of flexible structures. He also pioneered the development of next-generation wind tunnels and wind simulation techniques. He'll be inducted as a fellow at a March 13 gala in Washington. 

Crawford, Young named to state STEM council

Denise Crawford, associate professor and director of the Center for Technology Learning and Teaching, and Michael Young, associate professor of mathematics, were named by Gov. Kim Reynolds to the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. Junior chemical engineering student Emily Wilkerson also was among the 22 new members who will help set direction and provide guidance for achieving the council's mission of increasing student interest and awareness in STEM studies and careers. Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert previously was named to the council and still serves.

Lamont receives award for exemplary service

Susan Lamont, C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in the Department of Animal Science, received the U.S Poultry & Egg Association annual Lamplighter Award. The award honors individuals for "sustained and exemplary service" to the poultry and egg industry. 

Optics and photonics society names Li a rising researcher

Beiwen Li, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was named a 2020 DCS Rising Researcher by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The rising researchers program recognizes early career professionals who conduct outstanding work in product development or research in the defense, commercial, and scientific sensing, imaging, optics or related fields.

University receives Borlaug Medallion

The World Food Prize Foundation honored Iowa State University with the Norman E. Borlaug Medallion, making the university the ninth recipient of the award. Presented in honor of Norman Borlaug, this award recognizes world leaders and exceptional institutions for their impact on issues of global food security that benefit humankind. 

Staff members elected to state board of directors

Erica Fischer, associate director of marketing and campus visits in the admissions office; Jason Follett, academic adviser in the software engineering program; and Matthew Wenger, program coordinator in the animal science department's Meat Laboratory, have been elected to Special Olympics Iowa's board of directors. Their four-year term runs January 2020-December 2023.

Zaikina earns NSF CAREER award

Julia Zaikina, assistant professor of chemistry, was granted a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Zaikina received the award for her proposal on intermetallic synthesis by theory and in-situ studies. The CAREER grant was awarded by the NSF’s competitive Solid State and Materials Chemistry Program in the Division of Materials Research.

Magill receives national public service award

Sophia Magill, director of federal relations, received the 2019 Ripple Effect Award from the Association of American Universities' council on federal relations. The award recognizes particularly memorable public service contributions to the AAU community. Magill served on the council's steering committee the last two years. She also chaired the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' council on government affairs.

Stephens Auditorium honored by event management publication

Stephens Auditorium was among the facilities that received the Facilities and Event Management Magazine's 2019 Prime Site Award. The Prime Site award is given to top entertainment, sports and special event venues based on their physical and structural building dynamics, venue staff and level of technology in sound, lighting and staging.

Whitfield receives first honor coin for diversity and inclusion

Samone Whitfield, assistant director of development for priority initiatives at the ISU Foundaiton and chair of ISU's Black Faculty and Staff Association, is the inaugural recipient of the Presidential Honor Coin for Diversity and Inclusion. She was honored Dec. 6 for "significant contributions in diversity and inclusion at Iowa State University."

Schalinske receives USDA regional teaching award

Kevin Schalinske, professor of food science and human nutrition, is one of five 2019 regional winners of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Sciences Excellence in Teaching Awards. Schalinske, whose research is focused on understanding methyl group metabolism in health and disease, has served as a faculty and teaching mentor within and outside his department. He has received several college and university awards and was recently named the 2019 recipient of an ISU award recognizing graduate student mentoring.

Narasimhan, Rao named to National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is adding Balaji Narasimhan and Guru Rao as academy fellows. Narasimhan is an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, the Vlasta Klima Balloun Faculty Chair in chemical biological engineering and director of Iowa State’s Nanovaccine Institute. His work is at the intersection of materials science, nanotechnology and medicine. Rao is an associate vice president for research whose work included engineering proteins for the nutritional enhancement of crops and designing proteins for resistance to insects and fungal pathogens. The academy cited Narasimhan’s work in nanomedicines and biomedical engineering and Rao's work in biochemistry.

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