Art under foot

Curtiss Hall terrazzo floor

Crews work to grind and polish the terrazzo floor being installed in the rotunda of Curtiss Hall as part of the building's renovation. The design, by San Francisco artist Julie Chang, is an epoxy terrazzo, a compound mixed with stone and glass. The floor is part of the Art in State Buildings program, which allocates a percentage (0.5) of the construction project cost for a fine arts component. The cost of the piece is about $55,000. Photo by Bob Elbert.

August training events are built for new faculty

Faculty members new to Iowa State are reminded to reserve Aug. 20-21 for university-sponsored training that will help jump-start their careers. "New" in this case isn't limited to "brand new;" it includes all who have arrived on campus since last September.

The teaching seminar, to be held Tuesday, Aug. 20 (8 a.m.-4 p.m., Memorial Union), is coordinated by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and targets all new teaching faculty, whether tenured, tenure-track or non-tenure eligible – an estimated group of 100. Approximately 300 new teaching assistants also are included. The new faculty orientation, to be held Wednesday, Aug. 21 (7:45 a.m.-4 p.m., Reiman Gardens), is organized by the provost's office for new tenured or tenure-eligible faculty.

Registration for both events is free and can be completed online. Department chairs and/or department secretaries have been asked to remind their new faculty to participate.

Aug. 20: University Teaching Seminar

"We've made a great effort to give our new faculty a lot of information in this one event," said CELT associate director Holly Bender. "Our intent is to give them things they can use right away in their classrooms."

During the morning, faculty and teaching assistants will attend separate sessions. The faculty session will include overviews of:

  • Iowa State's student population
  • How students learn
  • Active learning
  • Programs and resources available through CELT

The morning also will feature a summary of university policies and procedures that teaching faculty should know to manage their classrooms well, including ethical and legal considerations.

Register online

Registration for both new faculty events is free and online.

The afternoon schedule, for both faculty and TAs, will be structured around three breakout sessions. For each session, participants will choose from three or four topics, as varied as classroom learning technologies, writing good exams, introducing communication skills to your students, making the most of the first week of class, grading students and teaching large-enrollment classes. There will be a session on engaging international students, and a session for new international faculty on the American classroom.

"The teaching seminar is highly encouraged for all new faculty," Bender said.

Aug. 21: New Faculty Orientation

This summer's faculty orientation is being coordinated by geological and atmospheric sciences professor Cinzia Cervato, who in May was appointed to a two-year, part-time fellowship in the office of the senior vice president and provost. Cervato's fellowship will focus on faculty development, particularly getting incoming faculty off to a good start.

"The idea behind this day is to provide a variety of resources to new faculty – in an efficient way -- that gives them a sense of being at Iowa State and living in Ames," Cervato said. "It's a lot of information, but the idea is to get them started."

Participants will meet key people, including senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert and their dean, with whom they'll have a roundtable discussion about their college. They'll learn more about expectations for them, assistance available to them and some best practices for success from other faculty. They'll learn about opportunities in Ames for both single professionals and faculty who arrive with families.

Cervato said a first-of-its-kind orientation event for Iowa State's 525-plus non-tenure eligible faculty members is planned for Sept. 13, also at Reiman Gardens. Details will be shared as they become available.

Speedy, sustainable refills at new water stations

At the water dispenser

Chase Uster, a recreation services student employee, fills up at a new water station on the third floor workout area in the Lied Recreation Athletic Facility. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Green-minded university citizens always are looking for ways to reduce the number of disposable beverage containers. ISU Dining offers a 35-cent discount on your drinks if you bring your reusable bottle or mug to retail cafés. For some time, facilities staff have been adding gooseneck water spouts to fountains in existing buildings and new construction. Now, there's new technology that may help persuade more of us to refill rather than pitch our water containers.

The touchless water station, a high-tech device that senses your water bottle under the spigot and delivers a fast fill-up, has come to campus. Stations are located in:

  • State Gym: One each in the gymnasium, first-floor weight area and second-floor weight area
  • Lied Recreation Athletic Facility: Two on first floor, two on the third floor and three in the wrestling practice room on second floor
  • Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility: Two in locker rooms, one in a meeting room and one at the players' entrance
  • Friley Hall: Main level, Henderson House (Staff hope to install 20 more stations in residence halls this summer)

Oil and water

The new water stations keep a running tally of how many disposable bottles' worth of water they've dispensed. For the three State Gym stations in operation since February 2012, the total bottle count is 191,000.

Sustainability director Merry Rankin offers another statistic. Imagine that 16-ounce plastic bottle filled with 4 ounces of petroleum. That's how much oil on average it takes just to produce the bottle.


On the phone: Manage calls with a mouse

Editor's note: Iowa State University no longer uses Aastra telephone products. Information about current phone hardware is in IT portal's voice and conferencing services.


If you'd rather "dial" with your mouse than your phone

If you'd like to create your own quick-dial directory

If you want to view missed, received and dialed calls

If transfers and conference calls make you sweat

Give the call manager a try. It's a small window that sits quietly on your computer screen waiting for you to make or take calls on your Aastra phone. The call manager can't pick up the receiver and hold it to your ear. But it can do almost everything else with an easy-to-follow screen interface. Those who find transfers and conference calls somewhat intimidating may appreciate the call manager's visual button-pushing approach to connecting callers.

Call manager

Call up the call manager

  • If you haven't done so, set up your portal
  • Sign on to the portal at
  • Generally, the small call manager window will open when your larger portal window opens. If not, click the "launch" button in the top right corner of the Clearspan screen and pull down to "call manager."
  • Once the call manager window is open, you can close the main window, freeing space on your screen. If you need to reopen the main window, click "configure" in the call manager's top right corner.

Check your call history

  • Click the "call history" tab
  • Select the "missed," "received" or "dialed" tab to view the last 20 calls in any of those categories
  • To dial any number, click it

Set up your personal phone directory

  • Sign on to the portal at
  • Click "outgoing calls" in the left navigation and then, "personal phone list"
  • Click the "add" button, fill in name and phone number on the form and click "OK"
  • Repeat to add more entries to your list
  • Note: You can't import names and numbers to the "personal phone list." The import option may be available later.

Make call

  • Insert the number in the "enter phone number" box and press "dial" button. Or click the "personal" tab to select a number from your list
  • Your phone automatically will go to speaker while dialing; lift the receiver to turn off the speaker

Send incoming call to voicemail

  • When the phone rings, you'll see the caller number on the screen
  • Click the "send to VM" button
  • The caller will receive your voice message greeting and won't be aware that you manually forwarded the call

Transfer a call

  • Click to highlight the number of the original caller on your screen
  • Press the hold button; the caller will hear music
  • Enter the number you're forwarding to and click "dial"; if the forwarding number is on your "personal" list, you can simply click there
  • Alert  the second party to the transfer
  • Click the "transfer" button

Do a three-way conference call

  • Get the second party on the line with you
  • Enter the number for the third party and click "dial;" this automatically puts the second party on hold
  • When third party has answered, click "conference" button to connect everyone
  • To release one of the parties, select that caller on your screen and click the "end" button

Call manager help

  • To access call manager instructions, click "help" in the top right window or visit the CommPilot Call Manager web page