May 2020

Legislature scheduled to resume June 3

The 2020 Iowa Legislative session, suspended March 16 about two-thirds into its planned 100 days, resumes Wednesday, June 3. Before then and at the request of the governor and legislative leaders, Iowa's Revenue Estimating Conference is meeting Friday, May 29, to set new numbers lawmakers will use to rebuild their state budget. The three-member panel last met March 12, a few days within Iowa State's decision to (at that time temporarily) move spring semester instruction online.

The last bill passed in March before legislators headed home extended state appropriations at the current level (FY20) for two months into the new fiscal year, or through July and August.

Fall reminders to faculty from the bookstore

The ISU Book Store shares these reminders with faculty and academic departments for fall semester:

  • Bookstore staff need required and recommended textbooks, supplies, courseware and subscription adoptions to secure materials for students ahead of the August class start date. These materials will be published in the student book list in AccessPlus for students to review when they enroll in the course. Upon receiving your teaching assignment, submit your selections to your department coordinator or contact Carl Arbuckle, course materials buyer,
  • Faculty and departments also are asked to share your student PPE requirements for the classroom/laboratory with the ISU Book Store. These materials also will be listed in the student book list on AccessPlus, and students will be able to purchase them at the bookstore. Contact assistant director Heather Dean,, to discuss details.
  • Faculty interested in requiring that digital course materials for fall semester be distributed to students directly through Canvas with the Immediate Access program need to contact John Wierson, digital course materials buyer,, by July 1. 

ISU Book Store will reopen June 1

The ISU Book Store is planning to safely reopen to the public on Monday, June 1, with store hours of 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Visitors must enter the store from the south (Lincoln Way) entrance to the Memorial Union. The parking ramp will be open, however, the only access to the building will be on the Lincoln Way side. As always, customers will receive one hour of free ramp parking with any purchase. 

Alumna Beth Ford to discuss food production, distribution

Beth Ford, president and chief executive officer of Land O'Lakes and a 1986 alumna of Iowa State, will discuss challenges in farming, food production and distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic with Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart on Wednesday, May 27 (2 p.m. CST). Their conversation will be livestreamed at, and the Post's Facebook Live and YouTube sites.

Reiman Gardens shares plan to reopen

Reiman Gardens will reopen to the public Monday, June 8, with restrictions in place due to the ongoing pandemic and several upgrade projects underway in the gardens. Hours will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Buildings will be closed, including the conservatory complex, Mahlstede Building and Hunziker House, so entry will occur at the east outdoor gate (opposite stadium lot S-2).

Vet Med alumna with CDC post will present public health webinar May 28

The College of Veterinary Medicine is hosting a series of free webinars for the public, via Zoom, on Thursdays during May. On May 28 (2 p.m.), Vet Med alumna Renee Funk will present "Public Health Response to COVID-19." Dr. Funk is the associate director for emergency management at the National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is co-leading the environmental health team for the COVID-19 response at the CDC/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Sign up at the registration link.

'Processing COVID-19' grant proposals due May 30

The Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities is sponsoring a one-time grant program (up to 30 awards of $250) to support projects that create a local record of the experience of a global pandemic as it was happening. There is no format that projects must adhere to, and any medium or form of expression is acceptable. The one expectation is that the outcomes of individual projects can be shared with the campus community. The center is collaborating with the library's special collections and university archives department to archive these products in ISU's digital repository. Proposals are due May 30.

Memorial Day remembrance goes online

The university's annual Memorial Day ceremony, hosted by the ISU Retirees Association to honor retirees or spouses who died in the past year, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the association's board has invited friends, family members and colleagues to submit tributes and memorials about their loved ones or former colleagues that will be posted on a Memorial Day 2020 website. Individuals who would have been honored at a 2020 Memorial Day event will be included in the 2021 ceremony, and their family, friends and colleagues will be invited to participate.

Monetary gifts sought for university's annual food drive for United Way

The university community's annual Live United food drive is taking place virtually through May 28. Monetary contributions will benefit 13 food pantries in Story County and ensure children and families have food during the summer months. ISU faculty, staff, students and friends can support the effort two ways:

  • Donate via the United Way of Story County website. Select "LIVE UNITED food drive" in the drop-down menu and type "Iowa State University" as the employer.
  • Mail checks, payable to United Way of Story County, to the United Way of Story County, 316 Clark Ave., Ames 50010. Write "ISU Live United Food Drive" in the memo line.

Questions may be directed to Iowa State's Live United food drive cochairs, Haley Cook or Tara Fisher.

Trail project south of Ames will close intersection for three weeks

To accommodate construction on a Story County Conservation multi-use trail project, 520th Avenue (State Avenue extended) south of Ames will be closed at 260th Street May 27-June 17. The trail, connecting the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor in the research park to county road R-38, will run along 260th Street. Access will remain to university farm properties on both roads, but travel between the two roads will be shut down. Through traffic on 520th will be detoured to University Boulevard.

Spring Cyclone tour goes online May 20

Initially planned as a six-day, 12-stop tour across the state, the athletics department's annual Cyclone Tailgate Tour will move online Wednesday, May 20 (5-7 p.m.), to protect staff, coaches and fans. The live broadcast of this family-friendly event is free and available for all Cyclone fans on, the department's Facebook and Twitter pages (@CycloneATH) and Mediacom's channel. Fans can RSVP for a chance to win prizes during the show and submit questions in advance.

NASA EPSCoR collaboration meeting delayed to late fall

Research faculty interested in NASA collaborations leading to future proposals through the NASA EPSCoR program are invited to a technical interchange meeting this fall at NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. The Iowa NASA EPSCoR program will support travel to the meeting. The original date of Aug. 10 has been rescheduled with a tentative timeframe of November-December. Applications are due Sept. 1. Questions may be emailed to

New ISU seed grant program focuses on COVID-19 research

The office of the vice president for research (VPR) is accepting applications through May 29 for a new research seed funding program intended to encourage faculty in all academic disciplines to apply their expertise to an aspect of the pandemic. The COVID-19 Research Seed Grant program will support the initial stages of high-risk, high-reward projects with an interdisciplinary focus and strong potential for external funding. The expectation is to award five teams up to $15,000 each to rapidly pursue projects for up to six months, with funding starting in early June. Full-time faculty in tenure-eligible, term research or clinician appointments from any discipline may apply. More information is shared in a CyBox document.

Applications due June 1 for term faculty professional development grants

The office of the senior vice president and provost has funds to support professional development of term faculty, particularly faculty without access to professional development support from their departments. Awards up to $500 help faculty participate in a virtual or in-person conference, workshop or training. Guidelines are online and applications (online) are due June 1 for conferences or workshops between July 1 and Dec. 31. Recipients will be notified within three weeks. Abstracts for conference presentations need not have been accepted at the time an application is submitted.

Library shares three options for returning materials

Through May 31, university library staff say clients can return borrowed items -- excluding tech lending -- one of three ways, depending on their circumstances:

  • Use the drop box at Parks Library
  • Request a pre-paid return label and ship them
  • Drop off at one of 45 public or university libraries in the upper Midwest

Travel FAQ is updated on operations/finance page

A travel FAQ on the division of operations and finance website is now the go-to resource for the most current information for faculty and staff on university travel policy. It will be updated as circumstances change.

Equine eye care is topic of next Vet Med webinar

Faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine are hosting a series of free webinars for the public, via Zoom, on Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. This week's topic is "Who Cares About Equine Eyes?" presented by Dr. Rachel Allbaugh, associate professor of veterinary clinical sciences and board-certified ophthalmologist at the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. Sign up at the registration link.

TIAA consultants available for phone, video appointments

During this time of market volatility and dramatic changes to our lives, many have found it helpful to review their retirement accounts for an understanding of how they are invested and the best course of action for the long term. The Ames TIAA office is closed to walk-in traffic, but consultants are available for phone or video (video camera, internet connection required) meetings to assist you with your needs and questions, whatever they may be at this time. Schedule an appointment online. If you choose a video chat, you'll receive a link from TIAA.

Summer hours option begins May 11

While many university offices remain closed to the public with services provided remotely or virtually, units may implement flexible working hours (rather than office hours) of 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., with a shorter lunch break. This summer option is in effect Monday, May 11-Friday, Aug. 14. Units wishing to participate in summer hours should develop their own schedules with approval from the appropriate dean, vice president, senior VP or president.

Library users will use Okta to access online resources

The multi-phase process of implementing OpenAthens at the ISU library continues May 11. Library resource users already are familiar with logging into library systems. In the next phase, users will experience a rerouted path -- logging in to Okta -- to access online resources via OpenAthens.

Enjoy virtual exhibition by Focus grant recipients through May

The Memorial Union is hosting a virtual exhibition of work created by students who received a Focus grant in the last year for artistic projects done outside of the classroom. The exhibit, representing 14 students from nine majors, will be online through May 31.

'Parenting during COVID-19' webinar series offered during May

A live webinar series, "Parenting During COVID-19," will be available for the ISU community on Fridays in May. The first, "The Science of Parenting: Balancing Research and Reality," will be held Friday, May 8 (10-11 a.m.). Discover how current research on parenting -- plus a dose of reality -- can help us find our own parenting success. Learn about resources available through The Science of Parenting website and the "Stop. Breathe. Talk." technique to use in challenging moments. Future webinars will cover the topics of self-care and compassion, maintaining healthy relationships, and balancing work and parenting -- all through the lens of parenting during COVID-19. Register for the series to receive announcements 24 hours out about joining each one. Questions about this webinar series may be sent to Child Care and Family Services,

Museums requests faculty, staff interpretations of works of art

Art tells many stories, and university museums is hoping to engage the Iowa State community to help tell those stories. The museums staff are asking for faculty and staff interpretations (written) on works of art from the permanent collection for a fall exhibition. If interested, contact associate curator Adrienne Gennett for instructions and the list of selected artworks.

Creamery sponsors 'college flavors' ice cream contest

The Iowa State Creamery in the department of food science and human nutrition is hosting an "ice cream flavors of Iowa State colleges" contest open to all ISU faculty, staff, students and alumni. Participants don't have to make any ice cream; simply describe an ice cream concept and why it represents a specific ISU college. Online entries are due June 15 and winning entries will be announced by July 15; contest rules are online. Innovation and feasibility of production will be key considerations in evaluating entries.

Opening this fall after a 51-year hiatus, the creamery will have a retail store on the second floor of the Food Sciences Building. The highest-scoring ice cream entry from each college also will be launched this fall at Sparks, the student-operated café in the Student Innovation Center.

Student health center is county site for sexual assault exams

Since the beginning of April, the Thielen Student Health Center has been the only facility in Story County available for sexual assault exams. The center is equipped with the same equipment as a hospital and nurse practitioners connect patients with community resources. This change:
  • Lessens the risk of COVID-19 exposure for a survivor who wants to seek care.
  • Ensures the survivor receives access to the exam and the dedicated time, confidentiality and care required.
  • Supports other local emergency departments to focus on serving COVID-19 patients.

Food pantry sets up in West Side Market

A food pantry for students and their families is available in the West Side Market space on the lower level of the Union Drive Community Center, 207 Beyer Ct. Service hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (May 4, 5 and 8). Starting May 11, operational days will be Tuesdays and Fridays. No student ID is required, and staff will not be asking for any information. Participants are asked to follow the posted instructions and get the food they need. More information is online. This service is a collaborative effort of units within the division of student affairs and is supported by the ISU Foundation's Cyclone Strong Fund.

Emergency aid available for students

Iowa State students with a 2019-20 FAFSA on file and a demonstrated financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for an emergency grant to help with expenses related to food, housing, course materials, technology, health care or childcare. Through the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, the university will receive $10.85 million in funding for this purpose. More information, including the application form, is online. 

Students who don't meet the criteria for a CARES Act grant might be eligible for emergency funds from other sources, including the ISU Foundation's CycloneStrong campaign and the University Innovation Alliance, of which ISU is a member. President Wintersteen's message to students.

Seven-month project on Welch Avenue begins May 4

A city of Ames project to reconstruct and redesign the block of Welch Avenue between Lincoln Way and Chamberlain Avenue begins May 4 and will continue through November. The project includes replacing original underground utilities more than a century old (Welch Avenue and Lincoln Way), and improvements on Welch such as new road pavement, bike lanes in both traffic lanes, wider sidewalks, permeable pavers and tree trenches for improved stormwater management. The work will involve temporary lane, road and sidewalk closures, but there will be access to businesses along Lincoln Way and Welch Avenue throughout the construction. Drivers are advised to park along Chamberlain Avenue and at the Ames Intermodal Facility, 129 Hayward Ave. Updates will be available on the city's construction projects website.

STEM undergraduate scholarship applications due June 22

Full-time ISU undergraduate students enrolled in a STEM major are invited to apply for a $5,000 scholarship from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, headquartered at Iowa State. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with a GPA of at least 3.0 who will graduate no earlier than May 2021. The online application deadline is June 22; more information is online.

First reading of tuition proposal set for special May 4 meeting

The state Board of Regents will hold a virtual meeting at 10 a.m. Monday, May 4, for a first reading of the board's 2020-21 tuition proposal for the three regent universities. Open portions of the meeting will be livestreamed on the board's website.