Twilight delight

State Gym walkway

Employees and students exercise in the late afternoon on the skywalk connecting Beyer Hall and State Gym. Faculty and staff are welcome to purchase recreation services passes, which include access to the Beyer, Lied and State Gym facilities. 2012-13 is the final of a two-year rate phase-in for university employees following major renovation to the west campus facilities last year. A semester membership costs $130 this spring, about 80 percent of the full rate. The summer-only (mid-May through mid-August) rate for faculty and staff is $66. Monthly, weekly and daily passes also are available. Semester and annual passes can be purchased through payroll deduction. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Leath urges students to seize college opportunity

Moulton-King schools celebration

President Steven Leath and State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad chat with a couple of students after the recognition ceremony. Photo by Bob Elbert.

"When you get your education, no one can take it away from you," president Steven Leath told an auditorium full of grade school students in Des Moines Tuesday. "You can do whatever you choose from there."


View the video on Iowa State's new opportunity for Moulton-King students.

The president followed up with a special invitation to the third through eighth graders at Moulton Extended Learning Center and King Elementary School. He encouraged them to take part in a new program that could earn them full-tuition scholarships to Iowa State.

Leath was the keynote speaker at a recognition ceremony honoring some 100 students who entered an essay contest celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Full-tuition scholarships 

Leath told the students the partnership program between their schools and Iowa State will be launched next year. The program is designed to take students through the steps and work needed for acceptance at Iowa State. Those who complete the program will receive full-tuition scholarships.

"There are thousands of students who have come through Iowa State University to achieve their dreams and we're going to make it easy for you to do," Leath told the students. "All you have to do is roll up your sleeves and work with your parents, your principals, your teachers to get this done."

Also attending the ceremony was State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, who Leath called the driving force in putting the program together.

Leath mentioned the partnership with the Des Moines schools several months ago during his presidential installation speech. The program, he said, aimed to increase the number of lower-income and minority students enrolling at Iowa State.

Moulton and King essayists

Moulton and King students who entered a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest await the recognition ceremony. Photo by Bob Elbert.

"You heard me talk about partnerships," he said at the September installation. "If Ako had tried to do this alone, or if I tried to do it alone, this would have never happened. This is a great example of a new Iowa partnership that's going to make a difference in this state."

More about the partnership

  • Officials in Iowa State's School of Education and the Des Moines schools continue to develop the program that will start next fall. Here's a quick look at the program's elements:
  • A plan is being developed to identify eligible groups of Moulton and King students. Students in the program will have to maintain good grades and participate in various school-related activities throughout their precollegiate careers to qualify for the full-tuition scholarships.
  • In an exclusive agreement, all student teachers and practicum students (those involved in short-term teaching activities at the schools) at King and Moulton schools are Iowa State students.
  • ISU Extension and Outreach staff will develop some after-school and parent programs.
  • ISU's School of Education will develop activities for future teachers that focus on STEM areas and increasing pupils' skills in reading and the sciences.


VITA program is win-win for students, taxpayers

Ready or not, tax season is here. If complicated tax forms are not your forte and your household income is less than $51,000, you may want to consider having your taxes filed for free through the Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Items needed for a tax appointment

  • Proof of identification
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents, and/or a Social Security number verification letter
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements (Form 1099)
  • Copy of last year's federal and state returns
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit of refunds
  • Total paid for daycare and the daycare provider's tax ID number

To file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign forms. You also must know whether you are being claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return.

The details

The VITA program is staffed by 20 to 25 trained Iowa State accounting students, most of whom are members of Beta Alpha Psi, a national honorary organization for students seeking degrees in accounting, finance or management information systems. Experienced faculty and staff assist the students as needed.

Beginning Feb. 1, taxpayers may schedule appointments online for Feb. 19 through April 11 (no assistance will be available during spring break, March 18-22). Hours are Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Walk-in appointments may be available if time allows. All appointments will be held in 2148 Gerdin Business Building.

Since VITA began about 20 years ago, the number of taxpayers who use the program has steadily increased. Last year, students assisted 450 taxpayers, primarily ISU students and Ames residents.

Positive student experience

Taxpayers who qualify to participate in the VITA program benefit from having their tax returns prepared at no cost, but ISU students benefit, too.

Prior to preparing the returns, students receive 10 hours of training, led by Bill Dilla, associate professor of accounting. Following their training, the students are required to pass an ethics exam as well as several state and federal IRS exams. Students receive one credit, which counts toward their total accounting and graduation credits.

The real-world tax experience also helps the students prepare for their future.

"Some students have already done a tax internship so they participate in VITA to keep gaining more tax experience," said Matt Allbee, VITA graduate assistant. "Some students may plan on going into tax, but have never done an internship, so VITA allows them to see if tax is something they are truly interested in and helps them prepare for internships and future careers."

Emerging Leaders Academy seeks nominations

The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost is looking for nominations for the 2013-14 Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA).

ELA is an academic year initiative to develop faculty and professional and scientific staff currently serving in leadership roles at Iowa State, or who aspire to hold leadership positions. Participants attend monthly sessions on leadership theory and practice, current issues in higher education, and university-related challenges and opportunities.

John Schuh, Distinguished Professor emeritus of educational leadership and policy studies, will lead the program. Schuh led an earlier version of the program called Shared Leadership for Institutional Change.

Eligibility criteria

To participate, faculty must be tenured or in a position of senior lecturer or senior clinical faculty. Eligible P&S staff should have an appointment at P35 or above. All applicants should be aspiring or recently appointed leaders of a department, college, division, unit, center or institute.

The group will begin meeting in August. Nominations should be submitted online by Friday, March 15. Additional information on the program and nomination process can be found on the provost's website.

Museum exhibit features treasures of textiles and clothing collection

Students, faculty prepare for textiles exhibit

Students and faculty put the finishing touches on the "Treasures" exhibit that opens Feb. 3, at the Textiles and Clothing Museum. Photos by Bob Elbert.

Walking into the Textiles and Clothing Museum in Morrill Hall is like traveling through history and visiting another culture all at the same time. In celebration of the museum's fifth anniversary, the exhiibit in the Mary Alice Gallery features historical and ethnographical treasures from a collection of more than 10,000 pieces. The public is invited to an opening reception for the exhibit on Sunday, Feb. 3, from 2 to 4 p.m.  

Sara Marcketti, museum curator and associate professor of apparel, events and hospitality management, selected the items to feature in the historical collection.

“I wanted to feature the oldest pieces that we have, and then in the 20th century feature one key piece that epitomizes each decade,” Marcketti said. “Visitors can look at a dress and know that represents the 1920s, for example.”

Even more important, Marcketti wanted to select items that tell a story about a person or a period in history. Many of the pieces featured in the exhibit have a special connection to the university as well as the Ames community and state of Iowa.

Velvet dress of a suffragist

Rose Rosenfield's velvet dress

Worn by an area suffragist

One piece that stands out to Marcketti is the story behind the woman who owned a brown velvet dress from 1905. Rose Frankel Rosenfield, who wore the dress, fought for women’s voting rights by providing considerable financial support for the unsuccessful 1916 referendum. Rosenfield’s family also owned the Frankel Clothing Store in Des Moines, which eventually was bought by the Younkers Corp.

Other pieces featured in the exhibit tell a story about the impact of fashion.

“A lot of people might think of clothing as frivolous or not important. I really hope that we can show through this exhibit how clothing and textiles are related to the politics of the time, the social aspects of the time and the economic aspects of the time." Marcketti said. "To get people to understand that we can really learn something about culture and society by looking at the items we choose to wear, produce and consume.”

Of the nearly 50 pieces featured in the “Treasures of the Textiles and Clothing Museum” exhibit, several have a cultural significance that is outlined in the intricate details. Iowa State students helped research each piece, even interpreting the meaning behind the different motifs.

“A lot of the pieces are featured because of the handwork and the technique that are put into the piece,” said Janet Fitzpatrick, collections manager for the museum.

Fitzpatrick selected pieces for the ethnographic collection, including a red kimono that was part of a wedding ensemble. The kimono features a crane which symbolizes a happy marriage, but Fitzpatrick said it also highlights the craftsmanship. 

“Just the attention to detail that is represented in the design of the garment as well as the handwork – there’s wonderful embroidery and symbolism,” Fitzpatrick said.    

Marcketti and Fitzpatrick invite the public to visit the museum to see the "Treasures" exhibit. The items, along with many too fragile to display, also are featured in a full-color catalog that can be purchased ($12) through the University Book Store and in 31 MacKay.

The exhibit will be on display in the Mary Alice Gallery, 1015 Morrill, through April 21. Regular hours are Monday-Friday (11 a.m.-4 p.m.). The gallery will have extended hours from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 and 20, and Sunday, April 21. Admission is free.

Tragic love story still central to revamped Broadway musical

West Side Story

A revival of the Tony Award-winning musical West Side Story makes a tour stop in Stephens Auditorium on Monday, Feb. 4 (7:30 p.m.).  The love story, based on that of Romeo and Juliet, has been remastered, including an infusion of some Spanish into the dialogue of the Puerto Rican characters. Still set in New York City with the Sharks, Jets, Bernardo, Tony and Maria, the production shakes off its 1950s origins for a more timeless -- and edgy -- look and feel.

Tickets, available at the Stephens box office and through Ticketmaster, are $49-$53 for adults, $25 for ISU students and $28 for youth (parental guidance suggested, not intended for audience members 13 years and younger). Admission includes access to a talk by assistant professor of theater Brad Dell in the Celebrity Café, 30 minutes prior to the show. Contributed photo.