September 2023

Visitation, service this weekend for Gloria Oberender

A funeral service and visitation for former physics and astronomy department secretary Gloria Oberender are this weekend. The visitation (Sept. 29, 4-6 p.m.) and funeral service (Sept. 30, 10:30 a.m.) will take place at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Story City. Oberender worked at Iowa State for 35 years before retiring in 2021. Memorials may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church or Bethany Life. Obituary.

Registration is open for anaerobic digestion on the farm conference

Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and Region 7 of the Environmental Protection Agency are co-hosting a multistate conference on anaerobic digestion in agriculture Nov. 6-8 in the Scheman Building. Registration is $200 through Oct. 6; $300 after. Individuals and organizations interested in sharing ideas, building partnerships and developing well-rounded environmental and economic solutions within the Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska are encouraged to participate.

Ames Lab institute has new name, focus

In support of a new framework for critical materials at the federal level, Ames National Laboratory's Critical Materials Institute will be known as the Critical Materials Innovation Hub. It will establish a project portfolio around four research areas: enhancing and diversifying supply, developing substitutes, building a circular economy, and crosscutting research.

Reiman Gardens relies on volunteers in October

The Reiman Gardens staff seeks volunteers for several seasonal needs:

Stadium concert tickets on sale Sept. 22

Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Sept. 22 for the May 25 concert in Jack Trice Stadium by country music icon George Strait and eight-time Grammy Award winner Chris Stapleton. Joining them for their nine-stadium tour is the Grammy Award-winning band Little Big Town. Purchase tickets via Ticketmaster. Tickets will not be sold at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office.

Dance Marathon hosts pancake breakfast on Oct. 1

Dance Marathon at Iowa State will host its second annual "Stacks for Stead" pancake breakfast on Sunday, Oct. 1 (9 a.m.-noon, south campanile lawn on central campus). The public is invited. Tickets ($12; children and ISU faculty, staff and students $10) may be purchased at the door or on the student organization marketplace; proceeds benefit the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. Enjoy unlimited pancakes and live music, and hear the stories of families served at the children's hospital. Now in its 27th year, Dance Marathon at Iowa State has raised more than $5 million for the University of Iowa children's hospital, including $164,398 during the 2022-23 academic year.

New tools assist employees with medical insurance terminology

Two education tools have been developed to help employees navigate upcoming changes to the ISU benefit plans. Notably, new plan elements of the HMO medical insurance plan may be unfamiliar for many Iowa State employees. The Medical Insurance Glossary and Understanding Your Medical Coverage Costs video were created to help define plan elements such as a deductible, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximum, as well as how these elements interact and apply to care received. These tools, which can be found on the UHR Benefits website, are intended as a first step in supporting employees and their families in understanding plan changes. Additional resources will be released Oct. 2.

Students asked to complete survey on health behaviors, perceptions

Iowa State is partnering with the University of Michigan and the American College Health Association to administer two surveys on ISU student health behaviors, attitudes and perceptions. The surveys launch on Sept. 21, with an Oct. 13 deadline to complete. The surveys will be sent to random samples of ISU students (no student will receive both surveys). The data will be used for strategic university initiatives, including a needs assessment related to Iowa State's participation in the JED Foundation's campus program to enhance student mental health. All students who complete a survey will receive a free ice cream scoop from the ISU Creamery.

CALS study abroad fair is Sept. 26

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' (CALS) 2023 Study Abroad Fair will be held Tuesday, Sept. 26 (3-5 p.m., central campus). ISU students from all colleges can talk with program coordinators, study abroad representatives and past program attendees to learn more about domestic and international travel opportunities through CALS. Not able to attend the fair? Stop by 0018 Curtiss Hall soon.

Apply to Honors spring mentor program by Sept. 28

The registration deadline is Sept. 28 to participate in the First-Year Honors Mentor program during spring semester. All faculty (including teaching and research base) and scientists are invited to work with talented first-year students in some area of research or creative effort. Freshmen work three hours/week per credit of Hon 290, with a limit of six hours/week or two credits, graded satisfactory/fail. Interested faculty and scientists should register their research project(s) on the program website. Questions may be directed to Svitlana Zbarska, 515-294-2064.

Spirits in the Gardens tickets are on sale

Purchase tickets for Reiman Gardens' annual "Spirits in the Gardens" Halloween event Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 21-22 (5-9 p.m. nightly), or for a jack-o'-lanterns only preview on Fridays, Oct. 13 or 20 (6-9 p.m.). Tickets are $15 (members and ISU students $13) and $7 for youth and free for youth under two years. Tickets are stamped with a date and time entry. Enjoy a thousand carved and stenciled jack-o'-lanterns, holograms, glowing orbs and candy stations.

Children in grades K-3 invited to learn about 4-H Kids Club

A kickoff for the 4-H Campus Clover Kids Club will be held on Sunday, Oct. 1 (3-4 p.m., Extension 4-H Youth Building, 1259 Stange Rd.). Children in kindergarten through third grade and their families are welcome to learn more about joining the campus-based 4-H Clover Kids Club. Questions? Contact Cayla Taylor, 4-H senior program manager.

Deal lecture focuses on importance of innovation in agriculture

Animal science alumnus Al Tank, ag and food entrepreneur and consultant based in Bethesda, Maryland, will present the 2023 William K. Deal Leadership Lecture on Wednesday, Sept. 27 (5:30 p.m., Dolezal Auditorium, 0127 Curtiss). "Innovating Ag Innovation" is free and open to the public. The annual lecture is organized by the department of agricultural education and studies.

Proposals are due Nov. 3 for spring P&S conference

The committee organizing the 2024 professional development conference for P&S employees is accepting presentation proposals through Nov. 3. The 12th annual conference will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Gateway Conference Center, and the theme is "Innovate: Turning Ideas to Impact." The conference has four tracks: human interactions, leadership, health and wellness, and professional resources. Individuals who are interested in presenting or want to recommend a presenter should complete the online form.

Culinary club offers coffee and scones workshop

Members of the Culinary Science Club will host "Coffee and Scones 101" on Saturday, Oct. 14 (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2379 Food Sciences Building). The workshop will offer coffee demonstrations (including cold brew and pour over methods) and tastings by staff of the Roasterie Coffee Company (served in campus cafes) and a scone-making demonstration. There will be samples of both to enjoy. Space is limited to 40 participants; registration costs $30.

Staff will return to environmental health/safety building on Oct. 1

Environmental health and safety (EH&S) staff who temporarily relocated in late April due to an interior renovation at the Environmental Health & Safety Services Building will return to their building on Oct. 1. Until the renovation is complete, in-person EH&S training courses still may be hosted in other meeting rooms on campus, so employees and students are encouraged to pay attention to the building and room information for the courses they attend.

Abstracts due Sept. 25 for poster competition at Borlaug lecture

Poster abstracts are being accepted for the 20th annual Norman Borlaug Lectureship Poster Competition for graduate and undergraduate students on Monday, Oct. 23, in the Memorial Union. It will precede the 8 p.m. Norman Borlaug Lecture featuring 2023 World Food Prize Laureate Heidi Kühn. Poster abstracts that describe work in the general area of world issues -- which could include food, agriculture, climate, nutrition, economies, technology and more -- are due by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, via this Qualtrics form. All who submit a proposal will receive a response by Oct. 9. Questions about the competition can be directed to Ajay Nair, 515-294-7080, or Dorothy Masinde, 515-294-0029.

Student presenters are required to be present for the Borlaug lecture and poster competition awards ceremony immediately following it.

Statistics department marks 75 years with research conference

As part of a multiyear celebration of its 75th anniversary (2022), the statistics department is hosting a research conference Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at various campus locations. Registration is complimentary for presenters and statistics department faculty, staff, students and retirees, and $150 for all others. Former statistics faculty member Hal Stern, who now serves as provost and executive vice chancellor and Chancellor's Professor (statistics department) at the University of California, Irvine, will give the lecture at the anniversary banquet Saturday evening at the Gateway Conference Center.

Monday Monologues lineup announced

The lunch-time series hosted by the university library returns this fall with performances by student organizations and ISU Music and Theatre. Performances begin at 12:15 p.m. at Parks Library; additional details are on the library website.

  • Sept. 18, Jubilee Gospel Choir, front steps
  • Sept. 25, Climate Change Theatre Action, front steps
  • Oct. 2, Stormettes Dance Lince, front steps
  • Oct. 16, ISU Opera Studio, Grant Wood mural lobby
  • Oct. 23, Selections from "Head Over Heels," ISU Music and Theatre, Grant Wood mural lobby

Faculty, staff sought to assist at Three Minute Thesis prelims

The Graduate College seeks faculty and staff to serve as judges, doorkeepers and timekeepers for the preliminary rounds in ISU's eighth annual Three Minute Thesis competition on Oct. 25 (2:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.). Volunteers are asked to complete a short application.

Graduate students are invited to participate in the event, which challenges researchers to describe their work to a non-specialist audience in under three minutes. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Three Minute Thesis applications due Sept. 20

The Graduate College invites graduate students to participate in ISU’s eighth annual Three Minute Thesis competition. Three Minute Thesis challenges researchers to describe their work to a non-specialist audience in under three minutes. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 20, and the preliminary rounds will take place Oct. 25 (2:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.).

The Graduate College also seeks faculty and staff willing to serve as judges, doorkeepers and timekeepers for the two sessions on Oct. 25. Volunteers are asked to complete a short application.

Child care scholarships available for parenting students

ISU's office of Child Care and Family Services is accepting applications for the Childcare Assistance Program (CAP). This scholarship program is available to parenting students (graduates and undergraduates) attending ISU who have out-of-pocket costs for child care services. Students with the highest financial need will receive priority consideration. Eligibility guidelines and application instructions are online. For more information on services available to parenting students, visit the Child Care and Family Services website. Email your questions to

Workshop: Understanding bias in external P&T review letters

The ADVANCE Midwest Partnership -- Joining Forces, of which Iowa State is a member, invites faculty to a free workshop that will provide insights into promoting equity and fairness during the promotion and tenure evaluation process. "Bias in External Review Letters: Recommendations for P&T Committees" will be offered twice on Zoom: Sept. 26 (2-3 p.m.) and Sept. 27 (9-10 a.m.); register for either session online. Drawing from an analysis of 75 publicly available templates for requesting external P&T review letters, it's designed to help P&T committee members deepen their understanding of potential biases, particularly those affecting women and faculty of color, and explore strategies for reducing bias and increasing equity in their use of external review letters. Questions about the workshop may be directed to Cinzia Cervato, PI, ADVANCE Joining Forces.

Next Workday Wednesday topic: Graduate academic plans

The Workday Student and Receivables project team will host a Workday Wednesday on Sept. 13 (2 p.m., via Webex). The presentation will provide a high-level overview for employees interested in learning about Workday Student. Registration is required. Topics include:

  • The benefits and routing of graduate academic plans
  • Information pertinent to staff and faculty about supporting continuing graduate students in Workday Student

Financial wellness workshops offered this fall

Provided by university human resources and ISU Extension and Outreach, the Financial Wellness at Work workshops explore financial topics and are held virtually over the noon hour. Register for the workshops at least 24 hours ahead of each session -- registrants will receive login information via email. Learn more about workshop topics on the ISU Extension and Outreach website.

  • Sept. 26, Time for a Financial Checkup
  • Oct. 10 and 17 (two-part workshop), Money Smart: Taking Control of Your $
  • Oct. 24, Mission Possible: Saving
  • Oct. 31, Borrowing Smart

Judges needed for Homecoming events

Homecoming 2023: Carnival & Gold will run Oct. 29-Nov. 4, and features campus-wide events such as Food on Campus, office decorating contests, a kickoff celebration and Friday night pep rally. Check out the website throughout the fall for more information. The Homecoming central committee is looking for faculty and staff interested in judging some of the homecoming activities. If you are interested, please fill out an online form by Sept. 22. The lawn display and pomping judging will take place during ExCYtement in the Streets. Need more information before you commit? Contact Clarissa Boyd.

Ames Town & Gown announces 2023-24 chamber music lineup

Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association's 2023-24 season features five concerts by renowned ensembles and soloists performing music from six centuries and numerous musical styles. It opens with The Baltimore Consort on Friday, Sept. 29 (7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 516 Kellogg Ave.) A season subscription is $150 and single concert tickets are $35 (students free as space allows), both available online. The association's annual Musicale fundraiser concert in February isn't included in the season subscription. Ames Town & Gown's season is presented in cooperation with the music and theatre department. Questions may be directed to artistic director Paula Forrest.

Local Foods Festival is set for Sept. 20

Iowa State's Local Foods Festival, an annual celebration of local food and healthy living, is Wednesday, Sept. 20 (9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., central campus). This event focuses on incorporating local foods into daily meals and empowering healthy lifestyles and provides sustainability-focused activities to help students and employees make connections with services and organizations in Ames and nearby communities.

Women in Business Awards ceremony is Sept. 27

The Ivy College of Business will present the sixth annual Ivy Women in Business Awards at a ceremony on Sept. 27 (6 p.m., ISU Alumni Center, reception begins at 5:30 p.m.). The awards celebrate women in business and their champions. RSVPs are requested by Sept. 20.

Reiman Gardens seeks volunteer pumpkin carvers

Reiman Gardens seeks individuals and groups to help turn 1,000+ pumpkins into hand-carved jack-o-lanterns before its annual Spirits in the Gardens Halloween event. Clean, trace, carve or place; there's a task for everyone. Volunteers must be at least 13 years old; shifts are available Oct. 4-6, 8, 11-13, 18-20. Shifts fill quickly and volunteer registration closes 48 hours before each date. Volunteers receive a free ticket to Spirits in the Gardens for each shift they complete. Spirits in the Gardens will be held Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 14-15 and 21-22; tickets went on sale Sept. 1.

Student financial aid update for campus partners is Sept. 22

The office of student financial aid invites staff to its free annual conference for campus partners on Friday, Sept. 22 (8 a.m.-noon, Memorial Union). Register in advance. Sessions are geared toward those in student advising roles and will include:

  • Overview of, and major changes in, financial aid
  • Effects of Satisfactory Academic Progress, withdrawing, and dropping courses on financial aid eligibility
  • Discussion of FAFSA appeals, emergency grants and ways to support students with unique circumstances
  • FAFSA simplification and Workday implementation -- and implications for the campus community
  • Update from the ISU Book Store
  • Q&A time

Flag display on Sept. 15 spotlights suicides on college campuses

Student Counseling Services will sponsor its second annual Field of Memories exhibit on Friday, Sept. 15 (9 a.m.-3 p.m., Parks Library south lawn). The "Field of Memories -- Be Aware, Show You Care" flag exhibit represents the 1,100 suicides that occur on college campuses each year. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate by personalizing a flag: with a message of hope, honoring a life lost to suicide or encouraging an individual who struggles with depression. Staff from Student Counseling Services will be available to provide support for those impacted by the exhibit.

Study Abroad Fair on Sept. 14 includes passport service

The fall Study Abroad Fair will be held Thursday, Sept. 14 (10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Great Hall, Memorial Union). Learn about interning, studying and volunteering abroad in experiences ranging from one week to one year. Students can enter their names for a chance to win study-abroad scholarships. 

The U.S. Postal Service will provide a team to handle passport application appointments. This service is open to everyone in the Iowa State community: students, faculty, staff and family members. To make an appointment, contact Johanna, 515-967-2262, at the U.S. Postal Service. The standard processing time is up to 13 weeks, so travelers are advised to plan ahead to ensure they have a passport for study abroad or international travels. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome.

Voorhees Supply Chain Conference is Oct. 12

Registration is open for the department of supply chain management's 30th annual Voorhees Supply Chain Conference on Oct. 12 (9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sukup End Zone Club at Jack Trice Stadium). The conference is designed for professionals involved in planning, sourcing, manufacturing and delivering products. Attendees will hear from thought leaders and industry experts and network with other supply chain professionals. Four credits of continuing education are available. Registration closes Oct. 5. View speakers and register.

Learn strategies to strengthen your communication skills

The Art of Active Listening and Communication will be offered as a free, in-person workshop on Thursday, Oct. 5 (10 a.m.-noon, 3580 Memorial Union, register in Workday Learning). Participants will explore their communication style and learn to identify barriers to effective communication, as well as how to apply five key principles to achieve effective interactions. The workshop is part of the training series provided each semester through ISU's Employee Assistance Program, an employee benefit.