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.

Pick a day to celebrate Green Dot Action Month in October

As part of Green Dot Action Month in October, Student Wellness is asking faculty, staff and students to lead their offices or student organizations in promoting Green Dot, the university's personal violence prevention initiative. Go to the online sign-up sheet to select a proactive Green Dot action for an office or organizations and a specific day. On the day of your group's event, celebrate by decorating and wearing green. Post photos of your virtual or in-person gathering with #GreenDotActionMonth to enter a drawing for gift cards.

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