October 2020

Set your clocks back Saturday night

Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1. Clocks should be set back one hour for standard time.

Begin providing comments on proposed renaming policy Nov. 1

A public comment period will run Nov. 1-23 for a draft policy on considering the removal of names from university property. The draft will be available in the policy library.

Demonstration safety team rebuilding at a crucial time

After staffing about a half dozen events over the summer and fall, the demonstration safety team is looking to expand, both in size and scope. The faculty and staff team responds to protest events and conducts outreach with student groups on freely, safely and productively exercising their constitutional rights to assembly and expression.

Symptom checker serves as a reminder to self-assess

The one-question daily symptom checker survey is designed to assist with pillar four in the Cyclones Care behaviors campaign: Stay home if you are ill. Even on weekends or other days when you're not on campus, it's a reminder to keep tabs on your health.

Guidelines are reminder it's OK to gather in person

New guidance on informal gatherings doesn't replace or conflict with any university COVID-19 policies or guidelines, but it clarifies and highlights that casual interactions such as study groups or lunch with your team are possible. 

Library closes fourth-floor study spaces

Student study spaces on the fourth floor of Parks Library have presented an ongoing problem due to student noncompliance with Iowa State's face covering policy. To prioritize the safety of everyone using the library, fourth-floor study spaces have been closed for the rest of the fall semester and the upcoming winter session. The library plans to reopen these study spaces in the spring. The library's special collections and university archives, located on the fourth floor, will remain open.

Reminder: Students must activate MFA by Oct. 31

The deadline for students to activate their multifactor authentication (MFA) preferences for the Okta login process is Oct. 31. MFA provides a one-time authentication code during the login process to verify the user's identity. It helps defend against cyberattacks that can compromise university systems and individual accounts. Step-by-step setup help is available on the ITS website.

Wallace Road scheduled to reopen Nov. 5

Wallace Road, closed at the Gerdin Business Building construction site since May 2019, is scheduled to reopen Thursday Nov. 5. Reopening has been dependent on how quickly new concrete in the road surface cures.

Block and Bridle Club fundraiser orders due Nov. 9

The Block and Bridle Club is accepting orders for its summer sausage and cheese sales, which will not be conducted in person on campus this year. Items are available individually or as prepackaged assortments, and range in price from $9 to $25. Order forms are due Nov. 9. Funds are used for club activities, events and scholarships.

Students invited to online study session

Night Against Procrastination is planned for Sunday, Nov. 1 (5-9 p.m., online). Join the University Library, Academic Success Center and Writing and Media Center to study and work on projects. Optional presentations will be available on study strategies, helpful writing tips and healthy sleep habits. Work one-on-one or in groups with a subject librarian, writing consultants from the Writing and Media Center and subject tutors from the Academic Center. Get a head start on finals and finish the semester strong. There will be drawings for door prizes throughout the evening.

Groundbreaking for state vet lab is Oct. 30

State and university leaders and donors will break ground for the new state Veterinary Diagnostics Lab Friday afternoon, Oct. 30, on the site south of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Construction is scheduled to begin in March with completion targeted for fall 2023. 

CyThx recognitions now being accepted

The recognition initiative CyThx, now in its third year, aims to honor those individuals who make you feel like a valued member of the ISU community. Faculty, graduate teaching assistants, mentors, advisers, colleagues and others are eligible to be recognized until Nov. 30. The online submission form is active, and all who are recognized will receive an email and acknowledgement on the CyThx website between Dec. 9 and Jan. 4. CyThx is a joint effort of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, learning communities, Graduate and Professional Student Senate, office of multicultural student affairs and Student Government. 

Reminder: Classrooms designated for student study

Nearly 40 rooms in a dozen campus buildings are available weekdays as independent study areas with limited capacities. Ten rooms (indicated in bold) are open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Friday. The remaining rooms are open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days when they're not in use as a classroom.

  • Agronomy Hall (2026)
  • Carver Hall (0008, 0118, 0128, 0160, 01740184, 0190, 0274, 0290, 0294)
  • Curtiss Hall (0108, 0225)
  • Food Sciences Building (23112315)
  • Forker Building (0291)
  • Gilman Hall (1051, 1114, 1811, 2104, 2354)
  • Hamilton Hall (0210)
  • Howe Hall (1246)
  • Pearson Hall (1105, 1106, 21252131, 2158, 3125, 3131, 3137, 3149)
  • Physics Hall (0038, 0043, 0056, 0058)
  • Sweeney Hall (1116)
  • Town Engineering Building (0206, 0230)

ISU honey added to weekly produce sale

Honey harvested from hives at the ISU horticulture farm north of Ames is being sold to members of the campus community through the horticulture department's weekly produce sale (see "pure honey.") The sale website is open from Tuesday noon until Thursday noon each week, with campus curbside pickup on Friday (11 a.m.-1. p.m., outside the Meat Lab, northwest corner of lot 39). Two jar sizes are available: 15 ounces ($10) and 2.5 ounces ($4). Payment is by cash or check at pickup. First-time shoppers will set up an account on the site.

Instructors: Submit winter, spring course material lists now

Instructors should act now to submit winter session and spring semester course material requirements to the ISU Book Store. Materials include textbooks, courseware, eBooks, course packets, manuals, Top Hat supplies OER and other subscriptions, and will be included in the book list published on AccessPlus. Instructors should submit selections to their department coordinator as soon as possible. Digital course materials -- a cost-saving, affordable alternative with immediate access -- should be submitted by Nov. 1 (winter) and Dec. 1 (spring). Contact Carl Arbuckle, course materials buyer (, 294-0236), or John Wierson, digital course materials buyer (, 294-3501), with questions.

Creamery will serve college flavors beginning Nov. 2

The ISU Creamery, 2953 Food Sciences, will start rotating in its eight college ice cream flavors, four at a time, Monday, Nov. 2. The flavors rose to the top during a spring competition in which students, employees and alumni could propose a flavor unique to one of the university's colleges. College administrators and staff selected their flavor. The cost is $3-$5 (single to triple scoop). For a limited time, an $8 sampling tray will include all eight flavors. The Creamery will sell all eight college flavors in 32-ounce containers for $12, and Sparks, the student-run cafe on the fourth floor of the Student Innovation Center, will sell eight-ounce cartons for $5.50. In addition to four college flavors, the Creamery will continue to offer two of its traditional flavors, 1858 (dark chocolate) and Two Swans (vanilla), by the scoop.

Fifth annual ISU Innovation Prize set for Nov. 6-7

The fifth annual ISU Innovation Prize Nov. 6-7 will offer students, faculty, staff and community members a chance to brainstorm solutions in one of three focus areas: ag tech, ed tech and global impact. Participants will work in small groups, either one assembled prior to the event or formed from those who enter without a set team. The contest is sponsored by the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship and the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. Winning teams in each category will receive a $1,500 prize. Prior registration online is required. The event will be held in-person throughout the Student Innovation Center and begins at 5 p.m. Nov. 6. Cyclones Care protocols, such as wearing a face covering, will be required.

FAQ details how executive order will impact diversity programming

Scheduled training and instruction related to diversity, equity and inclusion -- principles Iowa State remains committed to uphold -- should continue as planned while university leaders implement a plan to comply with a federal executive order restricting the use and promotion of certain ideas in diversity programming and workplace training.

President Wendy Wintersteen, vice president for diversity and inclusion Reginald Stewart and university counsel Michael Norton released an FAQ on the issue in an Oct. 20 message to faculty and staff. The order by President Donald Trump bars recipients of federal grants from using federal funding to promote concepts identified in the order as "divisive" and bars federal contractors from using the concepts in workplace training programs. See the FAQ for a list of the concepts identified in the executive order as divisive, potential "red-flag" terms, recommendations for adjusting descriptions of diversity programs and more information about how the order may impact the university.

P&S CYtation nominations due Dec. 1

Nominate a P&S employee or team for a 2020 P&S Council CYtation Award. Nominations are now open and must be submitted by Dec. 1.

Garden seeks winter light show volunteers

Reiman Gardens is recruiting volunteers with winter cheer for its first annual holiday light show, which will be offered Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings Dec. 3 through Jan. 2, excluding Christmas. Volunteers also are needed to assist with setting up the show weekdays during regular business hours, starting in early November (dates/times to be determined). All work will take place outdoors, and shifts are 2-3 hours. Volunteers receive two tickets to the show each time they volunteer. Volunteer online. Questions may be directed to or 294-8225.

Demonstration safety team seeking new members

The demonstration safety team, a group formed to provide a faculty and staff presence during on-campus demonstrations, is seeking additional members. The team, coordinated by associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students Sharron Evans, supports a welcoming, safe and productive environment for students to exercise their free speech rights. Team members will participate in two to four hours of training and meetings, conduct student outreach and work at demonstrations. At demonstrations, the team will work to keep community members safe and communicate with campus leaders and law enforcement about unsafe or disruptive actions. To learn more, ask questions or express interest in joining the team, email by Oct. 30.

Study abroad programs canceled through April

Spring study abroad programs scheduled to depart before May 1, 2021, have been canceled. The university will continue to monitor the global situation and provide updates when decisions are made on study abroad programs scheduled after May 1. 

Campus conversation will reflect on the presidential election

Iowa State's next Campus Conversation will be held the day after the national election, Wednesday, Nov. 4 (noon-1 p.m., via Webex) and is titled, "The 2020 Presidential Election: Moving Forward Together." Barb Wheelock, Story County Democrats, and Judy Trumpy, Story County Republicans, will discuss their experience with Braver Angels, an organization working to depolarize America after the election. The conversation will include time for Q&A. Register online.

Have an effective teaching strategy? Share it with colleagues via video

With the goal of highlighting faculty and graduate student efforts to provide high-quality instruction during the pandemic, the office of the senior vice president and provost invites instructors to submit short (2-3 minutes) videos in which they share their tips for teaching effectively in face-to-face, online or hybrid formats. The videos are posted to a Tips for Teaching website as a tool for others who are teaching this fall or during winter session or spring semester. To submit a video:

Student contest offers $1,000 prize for innovation-themed music

The Cyclone Marching Band and the Student Innovation Center are co-sponsoring a contest for students to compose a 60-second musical score for the Innovate at Iowa State initiative. The score will be orchestrated by the Cyclone Marching Band and used before weekly Innovator Forum sessions and other ISU events. Teams can include up to six students and have a faculty or corporate adviser, though submissions must be the original work of students. The winning team will receive $1,000. Entries are due by Nov. 1. Contest rules and a registration form are available online.  

CELT offers 'Inclusive Classroom' training this fall

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is offering three all-university sessions, via Zoom, of its Inclusive Classroom (Year 1) annual training for faculty who missed their departmental sessions earlier this year, staff with teaching responsibilities and graduate teaching assistants. All are welcome to participate. Questions may be emailed to The dates (with registration links) are:

Product boxes are part of 'Women Who Create' week

As part of ISU's annual Women Who Create week (Oct. 19-23), the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship partnered with Innovate 1858 (retail store in the Student Innovation Center) to launch on Oct. 20 a limited number of specially-curated boxes that include products from nine women-owned Iowa businesses. The boxes were built around two themes, Comfort at Home and The Inner Artist, as a strategy to directly support women entrepreneurs. Would-be shoppers can sign up to be notified of the exact hour the boxes will be released. Initially, the boxes will be sold online.

Renewal window is open for employees with alternative work arrangement due to COVID-19

Employees who are working this fall under an Alternative Work Arrangement (AWA) because they're at higher risk for COVID-19 can apply for a renewal that will run through June 30, 2021. Current AWA employees and their supervisors received renewal surveys earlier this month, and those responses are due by Dec. 1. Employees who don't have an AWA this fall may apply for one for spring semester. Renewal FAQ.

Retirement workshop spread over two mornings

University Human Resources' Ready, Set, Retire! workshop for employees 55 years and older who are nearing retirement will be held via Zoom Oct. 29 (9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) and Oct. 30 (9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.), with several topics covered each day. Employees (and their spouses) may join just the sessions relevant to them. Register online to receive the Zoom link.

  • Oct. 29: 9-10:30 a.m. Medicare and other senior health insurance information, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ISU medical/dental insurance for retirees and voluntary retirement savings
  • Oct. 30: 9-10 a.m. IPERS, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Emotional aspects of retirement, noon-1:30 p.m. TIAA retirement income options

CELT seeks teaching briefs on teaching through the pandemic

Authors at any stage of their academic and teaching careers are invited to submit to the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching's call for teaching briefs (1,000 words or less) on this topic: Teaching through the pandemic: Effective practices from ISU instructors and online and hybrid course modalities. Submissions are due Oct. 30.The collection focuses on practical advice, solutions and implementations, exploring the topic from a broad array of academic disciplines and perspectives. More information is on CELT's ISU Digital Press site.

Departments should order COVID-19 supplies through Central Stores

Departments and units are strongly encouraged to order COVID-19 supplies through Central Stores. Face coverings, disinfectants and sanitizer supplies -- approved by Environmental Health and Safety for infection control -- are in stock for same-day order fulfillment and delivery. Include the department detail number (DD11790) for central COVID-19 expense tracking. Items ordered through cyBuy or by using a P-Card may not meet minimum health and safety requirements for campus use.

Investigators: Use required document formats for NSF proposals

Researchers planning to submit a National Science Foundation proposal soon are reminded that NSF is enforcing new format requirements for Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support accompanying documents in proposals. If approved formats aren't used, proposal submissions or post-award actions will fail compliance checks and can't be submitted through FastLane, or More information about the new requirements is on the office of the vice president for research website.

Research protocols updated for face-to-face human subjects

An expanded phase of allowable face-to-face human subjects research began on Oct. 8. Phase 1.A permits some research in off-campus and community settings when ISU-required COVID-19 risk mitigation practices can be implemented at the site, and the site grants permission for the research to occur. Phase 1.A criteria and planning tools are available now on the office of the vice president for research's COVID-19 & Research FAQ, and in a Guidebook to Human Subjects Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Researchers should continue to consult the COVID-19 & Research FAQ for the most current guidance.

Preregistration is open (and required) for 'Spirits in the Gardens'

Preregistration and and a timed admit ticket are required for Reiman Gardens' Spirits in the Gardens, to be held over two weekends, Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1 (5-10 p.m. nightly). On these four days, the gardens will close at 4 p.m. so staff can set up for Spirits in the Gardens. Friday evenings (7-10 p.m., Oct 23, Oct. 30) will feature a jack-o-lantern preview only, without activities or treats. Other COVID safety features include a face covering mandate for all, one-direction garden pathways and pre-packaged treat bags that will be presented to children as they leave the event. Admission is $7 ($6 for members and ISU students).

Trail connects research park to county road R-38

A 10-foot paved trail now extends 2.5 miles west from University Boulevard to bike lanes on county highway R-38/South Dakota Avenue, the final phase of Story County Conservation's Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor in the ISU Research Park. Most of the new trail runs adjacent to 260th Street, on some private property and land owned by the university and ISU Foundation. Some amenities, such as benches, signage and a bike repair station, have yet to be installed at the eastern end.

The new trail section connects the park and the rest of Ames to surrounding communities, the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail (Slater to Rhoads) and the High Trestle Trail (Ankeny to Woodward).

Extending north from the Tedesco corridor is the city's newly paved Vet Med trail (Airport Road to South 16th Street), completed this summer. The city trail from South Fourth to South 16th streets is closed until next fall as part of a city project to extend Grand Avenue to South 16th Street.

University to randomly test students for COVID-19

As part of its broad COVID-19 mitigation plan, the university will begin randomly testing students -- undergraduate, graduate and professional -- for the disease at the Hilton Colisum testing site. In an Oct. 9 memo emailed to all students, authors President Wendy Wintersteen, Graduate and Professional Student Senate president Eleanor Field and Student Government president Morgan Fritz said the intent is to identify more asymptomatic positive cases of COVID-19 and pinpoint any areas with notable case counts to identify further testing strategies.

Students selected for random testing will receive a text or email with scheduling instructions; the first notices will be sent Oct. 12. The random testing isn't mandatory, but those who complete it receive a $5 ISU Dining gift card and will be entered in a drawing for larger prizes, including scholarships, a housing contract and a dining contract.

Greek community holding no-contact trick-or-treat event Oct. 24

The sorority and fraternity community plans to hold its annual trick-or-treat event for families Saturday, Oct. 24 (4-6 p.m., stadium parking lot S2 near Reiman Gardens). The free event for childen in kindergarten through eighth grade will feature no-contact and minimal-contact treats, carnival games and crafts. A costume parade will be held at 5 p.m. Registration is not required. Face coverings are required and crowd size will be monitored to ensure sufficient space for physical distancing. For more information on safety measures planned, go to the event website. Parents also may call 515-294-1023 or email with any questions.

Open enrollment period to begin Nov. 2

Employees will be able to make changes to their benefit selections for 2021 during the open enrollment period, which will run Nov. 2-20. This is the only time of the year employees can make changes to their benefits without a documented life event. Watch for a story later this month in Inside Iowa State with more details about open enrollment.

Early voting is underway, will expand to Scheman and city library

In-person early voting for the Nov. 3 general election began at the Story County administration building in Nevada this week, with satellite voting beginning in Ames on Saturday. Through Nov. 2, voters can cast in-person ballots at the county administration building, 900 6th St. in Nevada, on weekdays (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) and on Saturdays, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 (8 a.m.-5 p.m.). The poll will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. every Saturday until the election (Oct. 10, 17, 24 and 31) at the Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Ave. A poll will be open on campus for four weekdays in October -- Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 21 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) at the Scheman Building, 1805 Center Drive. All eligible Story County voters can cast ballots at any early voting location.

Parent orientation for YSS Kids Club is Oct. 8

YSS Kids Club, which will provide full-day distance learning care and support for school-age children in Ross Hall beginning next week, will hold a virtual orientation for parents on Oct. 8 (11:30 a.m., via Zoom). Parents who have, or are considering enrolling their children in the program should register online to receive the orientation link.

Retirees annual symposium looks at One Health

Faculty and staff are invited to the ISU Retirees 8th annual symposium, to be held via Zoom Wednesday, Nov. 10 (8:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). One Health: Promoting the Health of People, Animals and the Environment will feature three presentations by scientists affiliated with the university's One Health Initiative:

  • "Animal and Human Health, Disease Detection and Prevention, Dr. Marcus Kehrli, director of the National Animal Disease Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • "Anti-Microbial Resistance: Animals and People," Dr. Paul Plummer, professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine and executive director of the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education
  • "Food Supply and Public Health," Dr. James Roth, Distinguished Professor in veterinary medicine, director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health and executive director of the Institute for International Cooperation in Animal Biologics

Register online to receive the Zoom link (capped at 200 links). Questions may be directed to Jerilyn Logue, 294-3192.

Comedian Ron White show postponed to next fall

The Stephens Auditorium performance by comedian Ron White, previously rescheduled for Oct. 24 (from April 24) has been rescheduled again to Oct. 21, 2021. Tickets purchased for both 2020 dates will be honored for the October 2021 show. Ticket prices range from $45 to $74 plus fees and remain on sale via Ticketmaster.

Accrued sick hours may help with closed child care centers, remote school learning

A new policy effective Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 allows employees to use up to 80 hours of their accrued sick time to care for children who are:

  • Learning remotely or in a hybrid model because the school district requires it.
  • Attending a school or child care provider closed due to COVID-19.
  • Home from school or child care due to a medical need in their household related to COVID-19.

This leave option appears in Workday as Sick Time Off -- School/Child Care. As a reminder, other options available to parents could include COVID-19 Family and Medical Leave Act and COVID-19 Sick Time Off -- Family (both also through Dec. 31), vacation or unpaid time off. More information is available on university human resources' COVID-19 website (see "time off and leave").

Student face covering model is on sale at bookstore

The cloth face covering designed on campus last summer for ISU students this fall is now being sold by the ISU Bookstore, either online or in its Memorial Union location. The genesis tale of the face covering, involving fast work by textiles faculty and procurement specialists, was featured last month in Inside Iowa State.

Regents will meet Oct. 5 on Iowa presidency

The state Board of Regents will hold a special meeting Monday, Oct. 5 (1 p.m., online) to discuss a presidential search at the University of Iowa. The meeting will be livestreamed on the board's website. President Bruce Harreld has announced his retirement from the university, but he will stay in his position until the regents select his successor. The board office indicated the goal is to have a new president in place by the fall 2021 semester. Harreld has served as the university's president since November 2015.