August 2020

FAQ released for off-campus gatherings policy

Senior leaders implemented a new policy Aug. 21 extending the COVID-19 mitigation requirements that apply on campus, such as wearing a face covering and maintaining 6 feet from others, to all off-campus student gatherings. An FAQ released Aug. 31 further explains why the policy is necessary and some ways it will be enforced.

Harvest, Bookends cafés close for the semester

Effective Sept. 1, ISU Dining's Harvest Café in Sukup Hall and Bookends Café in Parks Library will close for the remainder of the semester due to customer traffic. Nearby cafés -- in the Design center and the Hub, respectively -- remain open to serve customers.

Dairy science club cancels its ice cream sales this fall

In the interest of protecting the campus community during the pandemic, the Dairy Science club announced last week it will forgo making and selling ice cream this semester. Members look forward to resuming their work, if possible, spring semester.

Fall plant sale moves online

Reiman Gardens' fall plant sale (online only this year) is open to the public Sept. 4-14. The selection includes mums, ornamentals, perrenials, succulents, houseplants, spring bulbs and native-to-Iowa trees. Payment must be by debit or credit card. Contactless pickup will be in parking lot S-2 Sept. 17-19, with the exception of bulbs, which will be available starting in early October.

Next town hall rescheduled to Aug. 31

With the fall semester underway, President Wendy Wintersteen and senior leaders have scheduled a fifth virtual town hall with faculty and staff for Monday, Aug. 31 (10-11 a.m.). Agenda topics include COVID-19 testing results, contact tracing and case management processes and other mitigation strategies to protect the community's health and security. It will be held via Webex Events, which offers an audio-only option: phone: 1-415-655-0001 (access code: 120 403 7428). Web attendees can type their questions in the Q&A box (not the chat box).

On-campus counseling sessions for employees to be offered weekly

Employee and Family Resources will begin offering weekly on-campus counseling sessions for ISU employees beginning in September. The sessions with counselor Megan Wych will be held in-person, with face coverings required, or virtually if an employee prefers. Wych will be on-campus once a week, alternating between Thursday and Friday, starting Thursday, Sept. 3. Sessions are free to benefits-eligible faculty and staff. Appointments are required. Call Employee and Family Resources at 800-327-4692 to schedule an appointment.

Library launches remote print queue system

A new print release system at Parks Library allows users to add black-and-white documents they wish to print to a queue at the library, where it will be printed when they arrive to pick it up. The system keeps documents secure, as they are not printed until the user is ready. It also avoids congestion around shared printers, limits how many people touch print projects and reduces unneeded printing. Projects that aren't printed expire after two hours. Users can print with personal or public computers on-campus or from off-campus by using the university's VPN. The print release station is located near the library's front door.

Lennon Stella virtual concert for ISU students is Aug. 27

Indie pop artist and actress Lennon Stella will perform a free virtual concert and chat with Iowa State students Thursday, Aug. 27 (8 p.m. via Zoom). The Ontario-born and Nashville-based singer, songwriter, actress and multi-instrumentalist recently was named a 2020 Amazon Music "Artist to Watch." The concert and conversation, sponsored by the Student Union Board, are free for Iowa State students, but they must register online at with their ISU email address to receive a link Thursday night for the virtual event.

Test Iowa clinic to open at ISU Research Park

A new Test Iowa clinic will open Aug. 31 at 2503 South Loop Drive in the ISU Research Park. The testing site, operated by Mary Greeley Medical Center, will be open for testing 12:30-7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Complete an online assessment at before scheduling an appointment by phone, 1-800-866-3492. Though the assessment is required and those with symptoms or contact with a person with COVID-19 are prioritized for scheduling, Test Iowa is available to individuals who don't have symptoms or known exposure. Samples are processed at the State Hygienic Lab, Iowa City.

Voter registration reminders for ISU students

The Catt Center provides these reminders: Voter registration is open for the Nov. 3 general election; the deadline to preregister is Oct. 24. Eligible voters are U.S. citizens who will be at least 18 years old on Nov. 3. Students who have never registered to vote or have moved to a new apartment or residence hall since the last election need to (re)register to vote. Students may choose to vote in Ames or at their permanent address. Voting in Ames will not impact students' eligibility for scholarships or financial aid. 

Anyone with an Iowa driver's license or nonoperator ID can register online. Otherwise, individuals can download a form from the Iowa Secretary of State website. Residents of Ames/Story County may download a preaddressed and postage-paid form from the Story County Auditor website. Students who wish to vote in another state may learn their home state's rules at ALL IN To Vote

Extension offers new resources for child care issues

Human Sciences Extension and Outreach is providing new resources for parents with concerns about child care due to COVID-19. Three new publications, available online, include information about child care options in a pandemic, hiring an in-home provider and arranging child care transportation. Extension's Iowa Concern hotline also added information for families seeking child care to its variety of referral resources. The hotline is available 24 hours a day at 800-447-1985.

Check with your supervisor about working on Labor Day

Though classes will be held on Labor Day and student support services will be available, most employees will still have the day off. Departments will determine the needed level of operations, so employees should check with their supervisor to see if they will be working Sept. 7. Classes on Labor Day are one of the changes to the fall calendar to allow the semester to end before Thanksgiving due to COVID-19 concerns. For non-exempt employees -- those who record their work hours and are eligible for overtime -- regular holiday pay rules will apply if they work on Labor Day. Exempt employees who work on the holiday will receive a flexible day of paid time off to use by Dec. 31. The Labor Day holiday time will be listed separately in Workday as an option when submitting an absence request and should be available by Oct. 1. It can be used for any time off between Sept. 8 and Dec. 31. For more information, see the university human resources guidance on Labor Day. Contact your supervisor if you have questions.

Register through Sept. 11 for year 4 of The Spark

Registration is open through Sept. 11 for year four of The Spark, a weekly email series that serves as ongoing training for faculty and staff who work with multicultural students. Participants will receive a description of the ISU student experience from a different multicultural student and other content to process the story and build awareness and skills. Participation is free, open to all ISU faculty and staff and requires roughly 20 minutes per week. The Spark is a good professional development opportunity for those who have not participated in the past. Questions may be directed to

ISU veterinarians share their COVID-19 roles in webinar

Faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine are hosting a series of free webinars for the public via Zoom; the next one is Friday, Sept. 4 (noon-1 p.m.). ISU public health veterinarians Kristen Obbink (ISU COVID-19 public health coordinator), Molly Lee (Story County Board of Health) and Kevan Flaming (software development for COVID-19 symptom-tracking system) will discuss their roles on the front lines. Register online.

After hours at Reiman Gardens is Sept. 4

Start the holiday weekend with an evening in Reiman Gardens. Its after hours event -- an opportunity to experience the gardens at dusk -- returns Friday, Sept. 4 (5-8 p.m.). To make this a COVID-19-safe event, a catered dinner won't be offered so registration is not required. Some bench and table seating will be provided and guests may bring their own picnic. Admission is $10 ($9 for seniors 65+, $5 for youth 2-12 years and free for members, ISU students with I.D. and youth under 2).

Safety policy for student parties takes effect Aug. 21

Effective this afternoon (Aug. 21), Iowa State senior leaders have approved a new safety policy for student social gatherings, whether they occur on- or off-campus. Students attending any social gathering must comply with the university's face covering mandate and physical distancing guidelines. Violators will be subject to university discipline, including suspension. The university will enforce the new policy through the Student Code of Conduct

Proposals sought for virtual girls STEM career conference this fall

The Program for Women in Science and Engineering seeks virtual session proposals for its Go Further Girls STEM career conference for female-identifying students in grades 8-10. The conference seeks to inspire girls to learn about STEM fields and careers. Virtual Go Further week is Oct 19-24 (Monday-Saturday), with the opportunity for prerecorded or live sessions. Facilitators should provide an engaging virtual activity focused on a STEM field or career and share information about majors and careers in your field. Contact Sarah DuBois for proposal information.

Students may pick up cloth face coverings in their college office

Following three days of on-campus pickup stations, remaining cloth face coverings for students were delivered to college student services offices. Undergraduate and graduate students may pick them up in their college's office. Graduate students in an interdisciplinary program should go to the Graduate College office in 1137 Pearson.

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences: 20 Curtiss, student services
  • Business: 1200 Gerdin, undergraduate programs
  • Design: 146 College of Design, main office/student services
  • Engineering: 1300 Marston, student services
  • Human Sciences: 131 McKay, student services
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Advising information table, first floor Catt Hall  (10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily)
  • Veterinary Medicine: 2270 Vet Med, academic and student affairs

Share what's brightening your workday

Inside Iowa State wants to share some personal and light-hearted examples of how faculty and staff are making the best of it lately. If you'd like to participate, let us know what has been brightening your workday, whether it's an inspiring quotation, a stress-relieving regimen, a joy playlist or a regular source of laughs. Send a short anecdote or photo to, and it could be included in an upcoming edition.

Reiman Gardens gift shop to start weekday hours

Closed since mid-March, the gift shop at Reiman Gardens will reopen Monday, Aug. 24, with limited hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays). Safety protocols in place include: masks worn by all, limited number of shoppers, physical distancing, hand sanitizer use before entering, freezer and refrigerator access limited to sales associates, regular santizing of the merchandise and no fitting room or merchandise returns. The gift shop still offers online ordering. The rest of the conservatory complex, including restrooms, remains closed.

Student food pantry relocates to Beyer Hall

SHOP, a food pantry run by students for students, has relocated from the second floor of Food Sciences Building to 1306 Beyer (just inside the southeast doors). Hours of operation early this semester are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Satellite locations in Frederiksen Court and Schilletter/University Village are currently closed.

Toolkit available for student well-being support

Supporting student well-being is a collective responsibility. Everyone plays a role in helping students connect to resources that will help them thrive at ISU. To assist faculty and staff, Student Health and Wellness created a student wellbeing toolkit of tangible, actionable strategies to implement in your spaces to help create a culture of well-being across campus. Visit the website, download the toolkit and fill out a brief action plan to commit to including these strategies into your spaces. Student Health and Wellness also:

  • Can assist you in implementing these strategies in your settings. 
  • Offers various resources, programs and services you can connect students to.

Questions may be directed to Student Wellness,

Biotechnology Council has three new members

Julie Blanchong, associate professor in the natural resource ecology and management department; Richard Martin, Clarence Hartley Distinguished Professor in the biomedical sciences department and E.A. Benbrook Endowed Chair of Pathology and Parasitology; and Rudy Valentine, associate professor in the kinesiology department, have been selected to serve three-year terms on Iowa State's Biotechnology Council. The council makes recommendations to the office of biotechnology on program activities supporting biotechnology research, education and outreach.

MU poster sale runs Aug. 19-28

The Memorial Union's annual poster sale, featuring hundreds of designs, will be held in the Campanile Room Wednesday, Aug. 19, through Friday, Aug. 28. Sale hours are weekdays 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Most posters are priced $8-$12, and proceeds from the sale support MU art programs. Face coverings are required in the Memorial Union.

Spring Honors seminar proposals requested by Sept. 11

The University Honors Program committee seeks proposals from experienced instructors for Honors seminars for spring 2021. The seminars are one- or two-credit courses that let Honors students 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. Honors seminar instructors receive $500 to be used for professional development. The proposal submission deadline is Friday, Sept. 11; more information is online. Questions may be directed to Laurie Smith Law, 294-4371.

Internet difficulties? Let your instructor know

Iowa State students with power or internet issues due to the Aug. 10 derecho are encouraged to alert their instructors if they're unable to participate in their online classes when the semester begins Monday. We know flexibility is key as we all work to launch our fall term! Campus directory.

Face covering purchase options on campus

Cloth face coverings are available for purchase at the ISU Bookstore. Individually wrapped disposable face masks are available in vending machines across campus and in the five markets operated by ISU Dining: Memorial Union, Hawthorn, West Side, South Side and East Side. University departments may purchase cloth face coverings, disposable masks and face shields from central stores.

Laptop Loaner Program deadline extended

Iowa State has a Laptop Loaner Program to support students who may not have access to laptop technology the university is requiring this fall. The deadline to request participation in the program was extended to 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28. Through the university library and while the inventory lasts, the program lends laptops to current students at no cost. Students with the greatest financial need and who have exhausted other options for financial aid will receive priority. Submit requests online.

A limited amount of funding through the federal CARES Act is available for students with documented financial need who need to purchase a laptop. The office of student financial aid will review all requests to the Laptop Loaner Program for possible CARES Act awards.

Undergraduate research presentations are viewable online

The Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium took place online earlier this month. Summer ISU and visiting undergraduate researchers from NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program shared their research with the ISU community via virtual posters and oral presentations. Faculty and staff are invited to view those presentations online in CyBox. Questions may be directed to Svitlana Zbarska, campus undergraduate research program coordinator, 515-294-2064.

Register now for after-school youth program

Registration is open for Swim and Gym, an after-school program for 5- to 12-year-olds led by undergraduate kinesiology students pursuing a degree in physical education. It meets Sept. 1-Nov. 5 Tuesdays and Thursdays (4-5:30 p.m.) in the Forker Building. The program includes team sports, gymnastics, fitness activities, dance, cooperative games, tag games, etc. Children often are divided into an older and younger group. Swimming lessons include instruction for swimming strokes, diving, water safety, etc. Young children spend time becoming comfortable in the water before pursuing swimming strokes and diving skills. For more information, contact Jenny Smith-Wittrock.

Students: Pick up face coverings on campus

Two free ISU face coverings will be distributed to Iowa State students on Thursday-Friday, Aug. 13-14, and Monday, Aug. 17 (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day). Students will need to show their student ID and can't pick up extra face coverings for friends, roommates or others. Face coverings already have been distributed to students in on-campus and Greek housing and to Cyclone student athletes.

Distribution will be held at three outdoor tent locations:

  • Lied Recreation Center, southwest corner. Walk to Lied or park in Lot 100.
  • ISU Alumni Center, east side. Walk to the Alumni Center or park in Lot A-2.
  • Central campus, Sloss House lawn (close to Curtiss Hall). Take CyRide, park in the Memorial Union ramp or walk to campus.

Volunteers needed for face covering distribution

Volunteers are needed to help distribute face coverings to students as they return to campus Thursday and Friday, Aug. 13-14, and Monday, Aug. 17. Three volunteer shifts are available: 8:30-11:20 a.m., 11:20 a.m.-2:10 p.m., and 2:10-5 p.m. To sign up, select your preferred outdoor distribution location:

Regular working hours in effect Aug. 10

Following university policy, regular working hours resume this week. Campus buildings and offices that must be open for fall semester should be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some buildings that do not need to be accessed by students or the public may remain locked as staff continue to work remotely. Visitors who need to access a locked office should call ahead to make an appointment.

Crews working to restore power

With electrical service in the city of Ames knocked out by this morning's storm, campus also is without power. The ISU power plant relies on city electricity. The city has not indicated when its power will be restored. 

Dean of students office strengthens its reporting structure

The dean of students office (DSO) implemented a new reporting structure Aug. 1 to enhance its mission to "Help Cyclones Succeed." Changes streamline support of DSO leadership, move central functions and realign reporting lines to some assistant deans of students and increase the supervisory efficiency of the associate vice president and dean of students by reducing direct reports from 17 to nine. The four assistant deans received updated working titles and a new "Dean Team" will help create a central direction for the unit and support for the dean of students. This restructure comes at a critical time as the DSO expands its portfolio with 16 unique departments and continues to serve the various needs and identities of students. The DSO's updated organizational chart is online.

Survey to gauge child care needs of employees with elementary-age children

University human resources is conducting a survey of employees with children in kindergarten through sixth grade to gauge what child care needs they anticipate in the coming school year. If there is a large enough need, the university will explore options to provide access to child care via a third-party provider in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those services would be paid for by the families of the children enrolled. The survey was sent Aug. 7 to all faculty, staff and graduate students who have dependents in that age range on an ISU benefit plan. Parents who have children that age who didn't receive the survey can request a link from child care and family services by emailing Responses are due by 4 p.m. Aug. 14.

We want to hear your making-the-best-of-it anecdotes

In the daunting process of preparing for fall, what's made work and life a bit more manageable? What's brightened your day? Inside Iowa State is looking for some personal and light-hearted examples of how faculty and staff are making the best of it, ways they've adapted to ease the transition to "new normal." Send a short anecdote or photo to, and it could be included in an upcoming edition.

Employees needed to support check-in and testing at Lied Rec Center

Help is still needed to support the COVID-19 testing and check-in at Lied Rec Center for students moving into the residence halls and campus apartments. Roles range from welcoming and registering students to performing temperature and symptom checks. Faculty, staff and student employees interested in assisting with this effort must first get approval from their supervisor before completing the online sign-up form. The form includes more detail about the various roles and what is required for each. 

Submit requests via Canvas for fall course reserves

Instructors who wish to place required materials on reserve for the fall semester should submit requests now. Place requests for articles, chapters, books, DVDs or streaming video via Canvas by following the library's guides for creating a Canvas course shellenabling course reservesrequesting items, and using the module. Email questions related to reserve materials, their copyright, or how to use them in Canvas to

UHR provides guidance on a flexible workplace for employees

University human resources (UHR) has provided more guidance regarding a flexible workplace for employees who may need time to deal with personal challenges druing the pandemic. The guidelines stress good communication between employees and supervisors. It provides recommendations for employees requesting such arrangements and what supervisors should consider before approving them. UHR will send a survey out this week to employees with students in kindergarten through sixth grade to help learn what care needs are anticipated during the school year. The Family Friday webinar series also continues Aug. 7, focusing on remote work and families. The webinar is from 10-11 a.m. with a live discussion for those who register.

First Ivy College of Business course earns QM certification

David Cantor, professor in supply chain management, teaches the fifth course to successfully complete a Quality Matters certified course review, for SCM 563 (Purchasing and Supply Management). The Quality Matters program recognizes excellence in online course design. The course is the first Ivy College of Business course to  be certified. (2020 QM certified courses in higher education).

Diversity and inclusion office releases podcast series

As a follow-up to a campus conversation June 17 -- a panel and Q&A session on how white action and accountability can combat anti-blackness and systems-based racism -- the diversity and inclusion office is releasing a podcast series in the lead-up to the fall semester. The first three episodes are available now, including "Race and Racism," How To Be an Anti-Racist" and "Intension vs. Impact." New episodes will come out Aug. 7 and Aug. 14.

Rec services to reopen Beyer Hall, Lied Rec Center

Beyer Hall and Lied Rec Center will reopen with the start of fall classes. Under its fall reopening plan, recreation services will open both facilities -- closed since mid-March -- beginning Aug. 17, though some amenities will remain unavailable. State Gym, which reopened in June, will expand its hours starting Aug. 17. The reopening plan also calls for some intramural students sports this fall and a return to in-person fitness classes. Virtual fitness classes still will be offered, and in-person classes will have limited capacity and may be held in nontraditional spaces, include outdoors east of Lied Rec Center.

Library reopens for limited hours, resumes regular hours Aug. 17

Parks Library reopened with limited hours Aug. 3. The library will resume normal business hours on Aug. 17, the first day of fall classes. Special collections and university archives, which remain closed from Aug. 3-16, will reopen with limited hours beginning Aug. 17.

Volunteers clean sections of College Creek

The 2020 College Creek cleanup on June 27, organized by the Live Green initiative, implemented physical distancing to ensure staff and volunteer safety. Twenty-nine volunteers provided nearly 70 hours of volunteer service and retrieved more than 400 pounds of trash from College Creek on campus and in campustown. 2020 College Creek photo gallery.