Cyclone Spring

red tulips

Color arrived on central campus earlier than usual this spring. Any complaints? Enjoy more seasonal photos by Iowa State cameras on the Photostream site. Photo by Barb McBreen, CALS Communications.

Provost search committee is reviewing applications

One hundred and thirty nominations have been received for the ISU provost position, and 35 people have submitted applications.

"The search committee currently is reviewing the applications for senior vice president and provost," said Wendy Wintersteen, search committee chair and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences dean. "Our goal is to narrow the field to those we wish to invite for a first round of interviews that would take place off campus."

The committee expressed its appreciation to all who submitted nominations.

"We’re pleased that so many in the campus community came forward with their ideas," Wintersteen said. "A hundred and thirty nominations is an outstanding response, and a great starting place for the work we need to do."

Although the preferred deadline for submitting applications was March 31, the search committee will continue to consider candidates throughout the process.

The committee continues to work toward a goal of scheduling on-campus interviews for finalists between April 17 and April 28. Open forums will be scheduled to allow the university community and the public to meet with finalists.

All applicants have requested that their names be kept confidential during the early part of the search. The names of those who become finalists will be released before they visit campus.

At the festival

Staffing Iowa State's exhibit

Return to story on Iowa State's exhibit at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Iowa State faculty, staff and students who will staff Iowa State's exhibit at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival are:

  • David Ringholz, associate professor and director of industrial design
  • Lisa Fontaine, associate professor of graphic design
  • Lynn Adams, community development specialist, extension community and economic development, Red Oak
  • Steve Adams, community development specialist, extension community and economic development, Red Oak
  • Arthur Croyle, associate professor of integrated studio arts
  • Jennifer Drinkwater, lecturer, integrated studio arts
  • Amy Edmondson, senior, industrial design
  • Jane Goeken, community development specialist, extension community and economic development, Spencer
  • Himar Hernandez, community development specialist, extension community and economic development, Ottumwa
  • Karen Lathrop, community development specialist, extension community and economic development, West Liberty
  • Sandra Norvell, program assistant, Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities
  • Chitra Rajan, associate vice president for research and economic development
  • Chris van Oort, senior, software engineering


Other participating universities

More than 25 land-grant and public universities will participate in this year's festival, including consortia of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges in the land-grant system, and Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Among participating universities are:

  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Florida
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Illinois
  • Indiana University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Maryland
  • Michigan State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Missouri
  • Montana State University
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Tennessee
  • Texas A&M University
  • Washington State University
  • West Virginia University
  • University of Vermont (a contributing university)

Iowa State on display at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Sketch of ISU Folklife Exhibit

The display includes a 180-degree, large format LED display, four large LCD TVs and four touch screens that set up the content for an LED ring panel at the top of the exhibit. Sketch by associate professor of art and design Anson Call.

Iowa State will be center stage in Washington, D.C., this summer when the nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act and creation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The university will participate in the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which is celebrating the 150-year partnership between land-grant universities, the USDA and communities. The festival will be June 27-July 1 and July 4-8 on the National Mall.

Inaugurated in 1967, the 10-day festival attracts more than 1 million visitors annually. Each year, the festival features themes, such as "Rhythm and Blues" or "NASA: 50 Years and Beyond."

One festival theme this year, "Campus and Community: Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA at 150," is being produced in partnership with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the USDA.

Last spring, the APLU invited land-grant universities to submit proposals to participate. Iowa State submitted two proposals under the direction of associate vice president for research Chitra Rajan. The proposal from the College of Design and ISU Extension and Outreach, "Rise with the occasion: Land-grant institutions as platforms for knowledge, infrastructure, social innovation and entrepreneurship," was selected.

University exhibits will fall under four areas: reinventing agriculture, sustainable solutions, transforming communities and building on tradition.

"The Folklife Festival is a pretty significant stage on which to promote ISU," said David Ringholz, associate professor and director of industrial design, who leads the team designing the exhibit. "It's an opportunity for everyone to see ISU the way we see ourselves -- as a top-tier, high-tech, cutting-edge, relevant university that is grappling with the most complicated problems of our era."

Putting the 'D' in land grant

Iowa State's exhibit, "Transforming Communities: Design in Action," will highlight the central role of design in the land-grant mission, and extension's past, present and future impact on communities.

2009 FolkLife Festival

At the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, themes are presented in an integrated array of tented pavilions and stages, engaging visitors with interactive demonstrations, discussions and workshops. Submitted archive photo, 2009.

Inspired by Abraham Lincoln's 1862 national call to "think anew, and act anew" to solve the monumental challenges of the era that spawned the Morrill Act, Iowa State's exhibit will be the only exhibit to focus on design's role in outreach. It will showcase the university as a leader in the unique, ongoing partnership between the College of Design and ISU Extension and Outreach in applying creative problem solving to find innovative solutions to communities' complex challenges.

High-tech backdrop, low-tech dialogue

Multi-layered messages will be communicated through a mix of interactive technology and old-fashioned, personal conversation.

Iowa State's T-shaped exhibit structure made of a powder-coated, steel truss system will be 26 feet by 18 feet and stand 10-feet tall at its highest point. On one side, TV monitors will show video of examples of the university's completed and ongoing projects in Iowa communities -- from affordable housing for flood recovery to Main Street economic development and diversity. It also will show innovative student design projects. And one panel will display the inspirational Abraham Lincoln quote accompanied by a recording of it read by Simon Estes, adjunct professor of music and theatre.

The center column will have a 180-degree LED large-format display screen topped by a circular, ribbon-board LED crawl. These technologies will be integrated with four interactive touchscreen workstations on a table encircling the column. Here, visitors can play age-calibrated activity games to explore what design is and how designers think and create. For example, one children's game will guide the design for a butterfly habitat, while an adult game would focus on solving community challenges for seniors. As visitors complete their games, light pulses will travel up the column to the LED crawl, which will display their ideas. Seen from the tent's entrance, the column and ribbon board will help attract visitors into the exhibit.

Creative solutions

Various interactive activities will happen in two design performance spaces within the exhibit. In one area, design faculty and extension and outreach program specialists will conduct demonstrations, mini-workshops on creativity and interactive design charrettes (intense, collaborative design activities in which people brainstorm, discuss and draft solutions to a design problem). Video monitors, whiteboards and movable wall panels will aid their activities.

In the second area, ISU integrated studio arts lecturer Jennifer Drinkwater will renew her Morrill Hall interactive studio project, "Working Over Wood: Recomposing the Grant Wood Murals." Visitors can help recompose the nine-panel 1934 Grant Wood mural, "When Tillage Begins, Other Arts Follow." Drinkwater recreated the mural on steel panels, allowing participants to position painted magnetic pieces to reflect their own interpretations.

ISU students have been invited to enter a competition to create a 3-D, interactive feature -- a constructive tabletop activity that teaches visitors about design thinking.

"We designed the exhibit so everyone comes away knowing that ISU does a lot of amazing and innovative things," said Lisa Fontaine, associate professor of graphic design and leader of the exhibit content team. "We want them to know that design is not only about making lovely products, but also about thinking through creative solutions. The power of design thinking is as an agent of change."

On campus and beyond

At the festival

  • Faculty, staff, students who will staff ISU's exhibit
  • Other participating universities

When completed in late May, the exhibit will be displayed on campus for an open house and test of the technologies and games. It will be packed and shipped to Washington, D.C., in mid-June.

The ISU Alumni Association is hosting a reception for alumni and special guests at 6 p.m. June 27 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. President Steven Leath and executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman have been invited to a gala lunch at the Smithsonian. Leath and vice president for extension and outreach Cathann Kress also will participate in Washington events surrounding the anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act.

"Transforming Communities: Design in Action" also will be ISU's State Fair exhibit and part of the Farm Progress Show. Both events are in August.

The project involves the Offices of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and Vice President for Extension and Outreach; College of Design; University Relations; University Marketing; University Museums; and Information Technology Services.

Welcome, Dean Schmittmann


Beate (bay-AHT-uh) Schmittmann officially began her duties as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on April 2. Schmittmann comes to Iowa State from Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, where she was a member of the physics faculty since 1991 and department chair since 2006. Schmittmann's office is in 207 Catt Hall; her phone number is 4-3220.

The university community is invited to a welcome reception hosted by the LAS college on April 9 (4:30-6:30 p.m., MU Sun Room). A short program will begin at 5 p.m.

Photo by Bob Elbert.

Help Ames become a Blue Zones community

Blue Zones

Ames remains in contention to become a Blue Zones community, one of several Iowa cities that will be awarded extra resources and programs to become a model of health and well-being.

Register online or text your support

You can help Ames make its case by registering at the Ames Blue Zones Project website. Click the green "I'm a Citizen . . . Support Ames" button. Your registration indicates your support for the promotion of healthy lifestyles in the Ames community. The short form requires your name, zip code and a password (supplied by you).

Another option is to show support for the project by texting "BZP" to the number "772937." Don't using the texting option, however, if you've already registered for the Blue Zones project.

Anyone 13 or older with a home, work or school address under an Ames zip code can register. Iowa State employees who live outside of Ames can still pledge, based on their work zip codes. Pledges must be completed soon, as final decisions on Blue Zones communities will be made by mid-April.  Individual pledge support is key to the selection.  Final Blue Zones demonstration communities will be announced May 4. 

The goal: No. 1 in health and well-being

The Blue Zones Project, a key component of Gov. Terry Branstad's healthiest state initiative, involves a collaboration between Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Healthways.

Selected Iowa communities will receive advice from a team of international experts on longevity and healthy lifestyles, and on how to make permanent changes in their communities. The communities, in turn, will share experiences and mentor other Iowa cities as they adopt Blue Zones principles.

The Blue Zones project encourages all Iowa communities to become Blue Zones communities over the next five years.  Over the short-term, 10 communities will be selected as models for the project. Three or four of these communities will be announced in May. Ames is competing against 10 other Iowa cities and currently is in fourth place, behind Spencer, Cedar Falls, and Mason City. Check the Blue Zones scoreboard for the current standing of the Iowa contenders.

Elaine Hieber and John Shierholz, Ames, are co-chairs of the Ames Blue Zones Project. ISU representatives are Suzanne Hendrich, university professor in food science and human nutrition; Greg Welk, associate professor of kinesiology; Pete Englin, director of the department of residence; and Emily Bisbee, a senior in kinesiology and health.

Syllabus language gets senate approval

Senators approved a heavily amended piece of business at their April 3 Faculty Senate meeting, developing recommended language for use in class syllabi. The document responds to a request from the Government of the Student Body for better communication of classroom policies and guidelines.

"What the students have asked us to consider is that these are issues that are of concern to them and the information about these issues is difficult to find," said senate president Steve Freeman. "The request is that we include these issues on our syllabi. It's a recommendation that we include these issues, it is not a mandate to include these or use the exact language that was included in today’s docket item."

Issues and policies covered in the language include:

  • Academic dishonesty
  • Disability accommodation
  • Dead week guidelines
  • Harassment and discrimination
  • Religious accommodation
  • A contact email for reporting student rights violations

Five proposed amendments were debated at length, with four of them passing. The changes fine-tuned the language, while still covering the original issues.

"We're just trying to create more transparency and avoid confusion about things that go on in the classroom," said Zach Boss, GSB director of student affairs. "We want to protect the students and give them a sense of student rights in the classroom."

Other business

Three other pieces of business passed unanimously at the meeting, including:

  • Creation of an energy systems minor in the mechanical engineering department
  • Discontinuation of the engineering studies minor
  • Revised Faculty Handbook language (PDF) covering the summer appointment policy for B-base faculty, aligning the policy with effort-reporting requirements


Annemarie Butler (philosophy and religious studies) was elected senate secretary, running unopposed. Three council chairs also were elected:

  • Governance: John Cunnally, art and design
  • Faculty development and administrative relations: Ann Smiley-Oyen, kinesiology
  • Academic affairs: Rob Wallace, ecology, evolution and organismal biology

Coming up

Four new degree programs were introduced and will be voted on at the senate’s April 17 meeting, including:

  • An undergraduate minor in wind energy, an interdisciplinary program involving departments in the colleges of Engineering; Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • A master of design in sustainable environments, an interdisciplinary program in the College of Design
  • A master of urban design, an interdisciplinary program in the College of Design
  • A master of engineering in engineering management, primarily offered through distance education by the department of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering

Income tax woes? Change your W-4

It's income tax season, and that usually means one of three things:  You received a refund, you paid additional taxes, or you're an income tax whiz who didn't receive a refund but you paid no extra taxes either.

No matter your situation, you -- like many employees -- may want to consider changing your W-4 form.

"We do have more activity this time of year," said Doug Anderson, ISU payroll manager. "People see that they are either getting a large refund or that they owe a large amount."

What are my current withholdings?

Knowing your current exemptions is the place to start. You can find these near the top of your monthly pay stub, under "W4." Marital status, federal exemptions and state exemptions are listed there. Your electronic pay stub is available via AccessPlus; follow the Employee tab and "Payroll Info."

Need some help?

The Internal Revenue Service website contains a withholding calculator to help you determine your income tax allowances.

Anderson said there is no magic formula for determining your income tax allowances; each person's situation is unique. He recommends thoroughly reading the instructions on both the state and federal W-4 forms before selecting your withholdings.

"The W-4 [forms] walk you through what needs to be done," Anderson said. "The worksheets [that accompany the forms] are the best source to use to see what you can claim."

How to change your W-4

There is no limit to the number of times per year employees can submit new W-4 forms. Both the state (PDF) and federal (PDF) forms are available on the payroll department's website. Paper copies also are available in the Human Resource Service Center, 3810 Beardshear, or in the payroll office, first floor of the Administrative Services Building.

To make changes, print and complete the forms and return them to:

ISU Payroll Office
3608 Administrative Services Building
Ames, IA 50011-3608

30th annual student fashion show set for April 14


Senior architecture student Sam Mulholland models a jacket designed by Anna Moody, a senior in apparel merchandising, design and production, for the 2012 Fashion Show. Judging for the show took place March 24 in the Memorial Union. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the April 14 runway show. Photo by Allison Butler.

From humble beginnings as a small show in a classroom with enough space for close friends and family, the Textiles and Clothing Fashion Show has grown over three decades, now drawing nearly 2,500 guests each spring to Stephens Auditorium. The 30th annual show will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14.

Iowa State's event has become the largest student-produced fashion show in the country. It showcases student designs in categories such as street wear, special occasion, eco-friendly, menswear, accessories and experimental. Student models will show more than 100 designs on the runway. An exhibition of entries better suited for display opens at 6 p.m. in the Stephens lobby.

In addition to student designs, this year's show will feature a menswear line by guest designer and alumnus Todd Snyder. Snyder has launched a self-titled collection that was named standout collection at this year's Fashion Week by GQ Magazine.

Snyder, the former vice president of menswear design for J.Crew and co-founder of Tailgate Clothing, Co., also was the guest designer for the 2008 Fashion Show.

He is a nominee for the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Swarovski Award for Menswear, akin to an Academy Award in the fashion industry. The recipient will be announced June 4.

Guest judges

Industry professionals are recruited each year to serve as judges; this year's judging team included:

  • Basia Szkutnicka, study abroad director/design lecturer for the London College of Fashion
  • Lindsay Hillard-Driscoll, ISU alumna and freelance wardrobe stylist with Balan Inc.
  • Emily Hall, designer for American Eagle Kids
  • Dana Bohlen, senior technical designer at Target

Judging took place on March 24, and winners will be announced at the end of the show.

Tickets to the fashion show are $22 ($16 for ISU students with I.D. and children ages 12 and under) at the Stephens ticket office. Tickets also are available online through Ticketmaster (adults $27.50, students $21.35).

Iowa State recognized for greenhouse gas reduction

Iowa State received a certificate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Combined Heat and Power Partnership that recognizes the university for efficient energy production.

Members of the partnership, including Iowa State, are organizations committed to improving the efficiency of the U.S. energy infrastructure and reducing the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Since 1891, the university's power plant has used a combined heat and power process -- called cogeneration -- to serve the campus energy demands. In calendar year 2011, this efficiency resulted in 24,000 metric tons of avoided carbon equivalent emissions as compared to conventional energy suppliers. This is approximately equal to the amount of annual emissions from the electricity used by 11,178 homes.

The 2011 data brings to 892,000 metric tons the estimated total avoided emissions from the plant over 120-plus years.

Cogeneration at Iowa State

Steam (generated by burning coal and other fuels) that already has been used to spin turbines to produce electricity is extracted from the turbine generators and used to heat buildings and to generate chilled water to cool buildings.

Events observe April as sexual assault awareness month

The annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign during April will focus on promoting healthy sexuality as a way to prevent sexual violence. The 2012 national SAAM theme is "It's time . . . to talk about it!"

The Margaret Sloss Women's Center is partnering with several departments and ACCESS (Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support) in Ames to lead the public education effort about sexual assault.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network:

  • Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States
  • One in six women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted
  • College-age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted
  • 54 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police

Following are events during the Story County observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 5

  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sloss House lawn, volunteers will distribute teal ribbons and information about consent and bystander intervention.

Wednesday, April 11

  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m., near the Free Speech Zone, Iowa State police officers will distribute "Get a Yes" magnets and 29-Alert magnets (promoting the 24-hour crisis line and 24-hour advocacy line for sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking survivors). Learn about the university's sexual misconduct policy and the definition and importance of affirmative consent.
  • 6 p.m., Memorial Union west terrace, Take Back the Night rally and march. This international tradition dates to the 1970s.
  • 7:30 p.m., Sloss House, Post-march gathering for community building and discussion.

Friday, April 13

  • 3-5 p.m., Sloss House, Film and discussion, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Monday, April 16

  • 8 p.m., MU Great Hall, Lecture, "Beyond Consent: How Reclaiming Sexuality Combats Sexual Violence," Jaclyn Friedman,writer, performer and activist. Her latest book, What You Really Want: The Smart Girl's Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety, was published in November.

Tuesday, April 17

  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sloss House lawn, Clothesline Project, a display of T-shirts designed by survivors of violence and family members or friends of survivors. Participants may create a shirt in the Sloss House.
  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sloss House lawn, "These Hands Don’t Hurt." Participants are invited to imprint their hand on a large canvas as a show of their pledge to not commit acts of violence against others.

Friday, April 20

  • 3-5 p.m., Sloss House, Film and discussion, Rosita, a 2005 documentary about a 9-year-old Nicaraguan girl who becomes pregnant as the result of a rape and the ensuing battle over whose life takes precedence