Event recognizes three years of green living

Green wall

Students Jalessa Epps and Ryan Francois write their commitments to sustainable actions on a large green wall at the event. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Members of Iowa State's green community gathered in Memorial Union's Great Hall Tuesday, Feb. 28, to celebrate and showcase three year's worth of Live Green! activities. The university initiative, begun in 2008, has sparked a lot of green activity, much of which was on display at the Sustainapalooza event.

Some 50 poster presentations reflected such efforts as the use of green cleaning products in campus buildings, student recycling in the residence halls and programs to create local food systems in Iowa communities.

"In looking back at the journey that we have taken and what we have accomplished, there's not one corner of campus that has not been impacted by all of our creativity, dedication, spirit and vision," director of sustainability Merry Rankin said.

President Steven Leath credited his predecessor Gregory Geoffory for launching Live Green!. "As I reflect on what's been accomplished the last three years," Leath said, "I'm going to do everything I can to keep this initiative moving forward."

Five Questions for Mary Sauer


ISU Attending Veterinarian Mary Sauer must assure the best care for every animal -- be it pig or opossum -- used in the university's teaching and research missions. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Mary Sauer interacts with horses, beef cows, dairy cows, pigs, mini pigs, goats, mice, rats, opossums, guinea pigs, rabbits, zebra fish – and the faculty and researchers who teach and conduct research with them. In addition to the obvious ones – Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture and Life Sciences -- she works with the colleges of Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences and even Engineering.

The basics

  • Name: Mary Sauer
  • Position: ISU Attending Veterinarian, Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • Years at ISU: 2

We have lots of veterinarians on campus, but you have "attending" in your title. What does it mean?

It means the person where the buck stops. The federal government requires that an institution that uses animals for teaching and research has an Attending Veterinarian. Besides a VMD [Veterinary Medical Doctor], the background most critical to me is board certification in lab animal medicine.

My first responsibility is to be an advocate for the animals, someone who's helping researchers find the best ways, the most humane ways, to use animals in research. Secondly, I work with faculty from different colleges on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee [IACUC] to review all of the research and teaching that's being done with animals before it begins, and again, giving suggestions for improvement.

What might a typical day look like for you?

Every day is different. I do rounds, maybe go to one specific location and look at all the animals there. I meet with investigators to talk about new projects. I'm constantly reading protocols and commenting on them because a designated group of the IACUC meets every Thursday to review protocols. I attend each week. Sometimes, you have to read a few articles on the research subject to understand it correctly. I ask hard questions, not to be difficult, just to be sure that we are doing the absolute best job that we can do. Training researchers and Ph.D.s in animal procedures also is my job.

I've given lectures for veterinary students and animal science students, which I really enjoy. I'm working with [ISU Laboratory Animal Resources director] Ron Morgan to develop a residency program in lab animal medicine for the College of Veterinary Medicine. One way to get board certified in lab animal medicine is to do a 2- or 3-year residency after your DVM. We've never had that. In July 2013, we hope to have our first residency opening.

Do you sense some "Oh no!" when you show up unannounced?

There's a little of that, and it's OK. I don't take it personally. I believe I've done a pretty good job in diffusing as much of that as I can. For me, it's 'I'm here to see what's going on, I'm here to educate.' It's not 'Let's see how many things we can find wrong,' but 'Let's see everything that you're doing right and if there are some things that need improvement, let's work on them.'

And I think that I've had really good buy-in from faculty across campus on that. I’m about making it the best I can for the welfare of the animals and for the quality of the research. Healthy animals equal good results.

AAALAC: That's a whopper of an acronym. Why is it important to the university?

Seeking accreditation with the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care is voluntary. It's important to people who care about animals – including us -- and it's important to funders. If you're following the [federal] Animal Welfare Act, you're kind of at the basic level, and if you're AAALAC accredited, you're voluntarily raising the bar. It says we're doing excellent work in our animal care and use. All the universities that are getting the largest number of grants are AAALAC accredited.

Last fall, we received accreditation for the Veterinary Medicine and Human Sciences colleges. The goal is to eventually achieve this for all animal research on campus. My assignment when I came two years ago was to get this done.

If you closed your eyes and walked into a lab or a barn, would your nose tell you what kind of animal is in there?

It could, yes. One of our goals is to have such good ventilation that you can't tell, but if the ventilation wasn't superb, yes, I could pick most of them out.

Presidential sound bites

President Steven Leath fielded questions from Iowa State employees at a Feb. 28 open forum hosted by the Professional and Scientific Council. Here is a sample of topics and his responses.


"I want Iowa State to be more demand-driven. We need to be much more sensitive to the needs of the state, we need to do a better job of listening to our citizens, our elected officials, our business partners, our community leaders, as to how we form our [research] agenda.

"That doesn't mean we're going away from basic research. It means we're going to frame it with a practical question."

Provost search

"The provost will remain the top academic official on campus, so that won't change. Some things that probably will change -- some responsibilities will go to vice president Tom Hill and vice president Warren Madden. So there will be a little bit of restructuring -- not in the academic world, but more on the budget, finance and student affairs things -- just spreading the workload out.

"Here is the dilemma we're in. If we don't move very quickly and do interviews while all the faculty, students and staff are here this semester, we can't do interviews until fall. So, we're going to move on a fairly aggressive schedule and I think we're capable of that."

"Things that drive me right now"

"I'm very nervous and frustrated and disappointed with the amount of student debt we have with our undergraduate students. This is going to be a multi-year passion of mine. It's going take a lot of effort and time and different approaches to get on top of that.

"You'll see a more focused approach in research. You'll see more public-private partnerships. Some people worry about private partnerships, but they can be done well. There are a lot of resources out there we can capture to help our students, and our university, and to help our nation compete."

Enrollment growth

"We've got a lot of issues to wrestle with, and we're not there yet. I don't think it's a panic [situation], because we can handle this next year and we've got a little time to get organized.

"This is something I'm trying to drive home with our legislators, too. Because of our admissions policy in Iowa, if students meet the criteria we tell them they have to meet, they get to come. We don't control how many kids come, we take whoever wants to work hard."

Review of the Resource Management Model

"We expect two things: a report from a group that feels disadvantaged on what it thinks is a fairer look at [the model]; and a look at the overall plan from the university [review committee].

"It will be different than it is. I don't have any intention of throwing it out. I like a lot of the incentives that are built into it, but it won't look quite the same."

Initial impressions of ISU

"I'm convinced this school is way better than most people think it is, probably including most people here. I said early on that I think the university is too humble, I still think it was and is.

"What surprised me -- I had a really positive impression, I was excited to be here, I was proud to be here -- but every time I turned a page, you're even better than I thought you were."

Communicating our value to legislators

"We definitely need everyone's help. We're taking some different approaches. I'm meeting with groups, and I'm meeting with legislators one-on-one.

"They seem to be very responsive to students, so we've started an initiative where we're going to engage more students down there to talk about how important it is to them and then especially to the legislators that represent the districts where the students, parents live, work, pay taxes, vote."

Search committee seeks nominations for provost

The committee searching for the next provost is seeking nominations for the position.

“We hope many in the campus community will submit nominations,” said Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who chairs the committee. “We are proposing an aggressive timeline for the search, with the main focus in the coming weeks to identify excellent candidates for this important position. All suggestions, nominations and applications will be welcomed.”

The search committee, which was named by President Steven Leath last Friday, met for the first time on Monday, Feb. 27. The committee received its charge from the president and finalized the position announcement for senior vice president and provost — the new title for the position. The timeline discussed by the committee includes scheduling on-campus candidate interviews between April 18 and April 27.

Parker Executive Search, the Atlanta firm that assisted in ISU’s successful presidential search last fall and also the previous provost search in 2006, is helping the search committee with its recruiting efforts and will collect nominations. Submit nominations or applications by March 31 to:

Laurie Wilder, executive vice president and managing director
Ryan Crawford, principal
(770) 804-1996 ext. 110

Elizabeth Hoffman will continue to serve as executive vice president and provost until the end of 2012, unless she accepts another position or the new senior vice president and provost can begin sooner.

A provost search website is under development that will include updates and, eventually, candidate information.

Members of the 17-member search committee are:

  • Sanjeev Agarwal, professor of marketing
  • Daniel Burden, president, Professional and Scientific Council; and program coordinator, international and special projects, ISU Extension and Outreach Value-Added Agriculture Program
  • Ann Marie Fiore, professor of apparel, events and hospitality management
  • Nancy Franz, director, Extension to Families, and associate dean, College of Human Sciences
  • Steven Freeman, president, Faculty Senate; professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering; and associate director, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
  • David Gregory, associate professor and associate dean, research and access administration, Parks Library
  • Tahira Hira, executive assistant to the president and professor of personal finance and consumer economics
  • Dakota Hoben, president, Government of the Student Body
  • Alexander King, director, U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory
  • Cory Kleinheksel, representative, Graduate and Professional Student Senate
  • Kenneth Koehler, University Professor and department chair of statistics; and director, Statistical Laboratory
  • Ingrid Lilligren, professor and director of integrated studio arts
  • Catherine Logue, professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine
  • James Oliver, Larry and Pam Pithan Professorship in Mechanical Engineering; and director, Virtual Reality Applications Center
  • Elisa Rizo, assistant professor of world languages and cultures
  • Steven Rodermel, professor of genetics, development and cell biology
  • Wendy Wintersteen (chair), Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

There's still time to register for ISCORE

The 13th annual Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) is Friday, March 2 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Memorial Union), and you still have time to register for this free event.

ISCORE is a comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity at Iowa State and beyond. President Steven Leath and Nana Osei-Kofi, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies, will initiate the day's events at 9 a.m. (MU Sun Room) with opening remarks and a short program. 

Beginning at 10 a.m., students, staff and faculty will lead two sets of concurrent sessions prior to a luncheon keynote address by 91-year-old Ames resident and social justice educator Grace Amemiya, a Japanese-American who was forced to live in a Japanese internment camp in 1942 (noon, MU Sun Room).

The afternoon sessions begin at 2:10 p.m. and continue through 4 p.m., followed by a reception.

Following is a schedule of the ISCORE seminars:

10-10:50 a.m.

  • "-isms" Explored Through the Eyes of George Washington Carver Students (South Ballroom)
  • Chinese Adoptees in the U.S.: Americanizing Identity (Campanile Room)
  • Are You Illegal? The Impact of the War on Drugs on the Image of the Latino Community in the United States (Cardinal Room)
  • Reconceptualizing Leadership Development for Latino/a Graduate Students (Oak Room)
  • An Update on the ISU Campus Climate Survey (Gold Room)
  • Teaching Racialization Critically: A Course on Constructing Race and Ethnicity (Room 3512)

11-11:50 a.m.

  • Can I Touch Your Hair? Lyricism as a Space of Resistance Toward Eurocentric Standards of Beauty (Campanile Room)
  • Minority Student-Athlete Experiences at Iowa State University (Cardinal Room)
  • Strategies for Increasing Students of Color in Study Abroad (Gallery Room)
  • Exploring Multiculturalism, Privilege and Social Justice: Recommendations for Group Work with College Students (Oak Room)
  • Navigating Iowa State University: The Social and Cultural Climate for First-generation College Students (Gold Room)
  • Measuring What Counts: Institutional Assessment and Accountability for Representation and Intellectual Diversity (Room 3512)

2:10-3 p.m.

  • Cultivating Ambassadors of Color: A Year in Review (Gallery Room)
  • When Race Becomes More Complex: Giving Light to Racially Mixed People “Bill of Rights” (Campanile Room)
  • A Lesson on Hearing Privilege and Audism from Our Lens (Gallery Room)
  • Multicultural Programming (Oak Room)
  • The Power of a Single Story (Gold Room)
  • Building Strong Adviser-Advisee Relationships for Minority Student Success (Room 3512)

3:10-4 p.m.

  • But That Isn’t What Was Shown to Me! Inaccurate Portrayals of Indigenous Peoples in Media and Literature (Campanile Room)
  • Womyn of Colour Network at Iowa State University (Gallery Room)
  • McNair Scholars Program Showcase (Oak Room)
  • More Than Just a Day: A Short Presentation about the 13-year History of ISCORE (Cardinal Room)

A bit o' Irish


Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, Irish ensemble Danú brings its high-energy mix of new and traditional Celtic music to Stephens Auditorium for a 7:30 p.m. performance on Monday, March 5.

The six-member group fuses Irish and English vocals with the flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion and bouzouki to give audiences an authentic Irish musical experience. Danú has won numerous awards from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and Irish Music magazine, and often performs for standing-room-only crowds throughout Ireland.

Tickets are $33 ($18 for youth; $15 for students) and available at the Iowa State Center ticket office or through Ticketmaster. Contributed photo.