A program with roots in Iowa State history

Bill Graves with catalpa tree

Bill Graves with a seedling from the nearly century-old catalpa tree taken down on the east side of Pearson Hall. Photo by Bob Elbert.

A program launched this fall will make it possible to bring home a piece of campus history -- literally. Bill Graves, horticulture professor and associate dean in the Graduate College, is guiding a project aimed at preserving and sharing the historic trees that define Iowa State's award-winning campus landscape.

"We're well aware of the fact that a lot of the trees on campus that were planted in the 1800s, after the campus was founded, are reaching maturity," Graves said. "Instead of just removing those in declining health, we had this idea of trying to propagate them to generate progeny that can be planted to maintain the same genetic heritage on campus."

Northern catalpa

Catalpa speciosa
Height: 70 feet
Width: 50 feet
USDA zones: 4B-8
Identifiers: Large, heart-shaped leaves with clusters of white flowers in June. Rapid grower, but somewhat weak-wooded.
Order: Online or at the Alumni Center.

Cultivating a catalpa

After years of structural decline, a nearly century-old catalpa tree on the east side of Pearson Hall was scheduled for removal this spring. With the help of the grounds staff from facilities planning and management, Graves and his coworkers collected and planted seeds from the tree before its removal.

Now a bumper crop of 500 to 600 seedlings, each measuring 3 to 4 feet tall, is ready to be planted. Graves said he is partnering with the ISU Alumni Association to sell the trees to anyone interested in owning a piece of campus heritage. Seedlings are available individually ($30) or in bulk ($25 each for two to four seedlings, $20 each for five or more) and can be purchased online or at the Alumni Center.  Shipping is $20; there is no charge for pick-up in Ames.

"This is the beginning of what we hope is a much bigger project," Graves said. "What we envision is having an annual event in the fall -- in cooperation with the horticulture club and possibly other student groups -- and offer for sale the progeny of trees that are historical on campus or particularly significant in our tree collection."

Bill Graves with catalpa seedlings

The catalpa seedlings near Horticulture Hall. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Sustainable program

Graves said proceeds from the seedling sales will be invested in the program, as is a gift from the Bob and Eileen Martin family.

"Even before we worked on this catalpa project, [the Martins] were working on making a donation to the foundation to start a heritage tree fund," Graves said. "With the timing and the support and cooperation from FPM campus services staff, everything came together this year. We're calling this our inaugural year of this effort."

About 50 of the catalpa seedlings will be kept in the campus nursery. These and progeny from other species will be used in future landscaping projects, returning the genetic legacy of historic trees to the campus landscape. Beginning as early as this weekend, Graves plans to gather seeds from several more tree species.

Tracking the trees

A website is being developed to show where the catalpa seedlings are planted. Customers will be able to register their trees and planting sites and see a map of where trees have been established.

Search begins for next vice president for research

The search for the next vice president for research is under way. Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert has identified an 18-member search committee to seek a successor to Sharron Quisenberry, who retired in July. The group is led by Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Dave Holger, associate provost for academic programs and dean of the Graduate College.

The committee will start its work immediately, assembling a diverse pool of internal candidates, with the expectation that the successful candidate will move into the role on Jan. 1, 2014. Candidates must be tenured professors at Iowa State.

Nominations for the position may be submitted to Schmittmann or Holger. Applications should be submitted electronically on the Iowa State jobs site by Oct. 25 and include a cover letter, current curriculum vitae and contact information for three references.

"Iowa State is looking for a researcher and administrator who will grow sponsored funding, diversify our research portfolio and pursue large multidisciplinary grants consistent with my presidential research initiative," said President Steven Leath. "The new vice president also will work closely with my office on economic development issues, including the expansion of Iowa State's research park, and encouraging more start-up activity from students and faculty. All qualified, collaborative faculty are encouraged to apply."

Search committee

Additional members of the search committee are:

  • Brian Behnken, associate professor of history
  • Jim Davis, vice provost and chief information officer
  • Jack Harris, president/CEO, Iowa Innovation Corp.
  • Kirsten Hofmockel, associate professor, ecology, evolution and organismal biology
  • Qing Hu, Union Pacific Professor of Management Information Systems and associate dean for graduate programs, College of Business
  • Harrison Inefuku, librarian, University Library
  • Vitalij Pecharsky, Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering
  • Carla Peterson, associate dean, College of Human Sciences
  • Tammy Polaski, director, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration
  • Paul Richmond, director, environmental health and safety
  • Kevin Schalinske, professor, food science and human nutrition
  • Deb Sellers, associate dean, College of Human Sciences, and director, Human Sciences extension and outreach
  • Arun Somani, Distinguished Professor of electrical and computer engineering, and associate dean for research, College of Engineering
  • Seda Yilmaz, associate professor, industrial design
  • Hongwei Xin, professor, agriculture and biosystems engineering
  • Qijing Zhang, professor, veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine, and associate dean for research and graduate studies, College of Veterinary Medicine

Penni Bryant and Jaime Watson, administrative specialists in the provost's office, will assist the committee with its work.

"Iowa State has many qualified and outstanding research faculty, and we've already received 11 nominations for the position," Wickert said. "I look forward to hiring a visionary leader who will work collaboratively with faculty and staff to increase both the size and impact of our research programs."

The vice president for research leads Iowa State's entire research enterprise, including pre- and post-award administration and compliance; interdisciplinary research centers and institutes; the ISU Research Foundation; and the offices of intellectual property and technology transfer, sponsored programs administration, responsible research and laboratory animal resources.

David Oliver, professor of genetics, development and cell biology, and associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is filling the role on an interim basis.

Affordable Care Act: Marketplace offers more health care options

When it comes to health insurance, employees who don't currently qualify for Iowa State health benefits may soon have more options.

A key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the Health Insurance Marketplace (often called the "exchange"), begins open enrollment on Oct. 1 for coverage that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Individuals may consider options for health insurance through the marketplace, even if they already are covered by an employer's existing plan. But it may not make sense to do so.

"Iowa State employees have access to affordable health care plans that exceed plans offered through the exchanges," said Jane Walter, human resources specialist.

However, some Iowa State employees who work less than 20 hours a week (or are on a short-term appointment) and are not eligible for the university's health plan may want to consider the marketplace option.

In addition, some individuals may qualify for lower monthly premiums through the marketplace, but only if they meet certain household income requirements, their employer offers no health care coverage, or that coverage doesn't meet certain requirements. Iowa State's health care plans meet all requirements, including essential benefits.

General information about the marketplace and the details about Iowa State's health care coverage is available online (PDF). Individuals who wish to purchase health care coverage through the marketplace must use the information from Part B of the online document. Employees also are encouraged to review Iowa State's certificates of coverage (click on your employee classification, then choose "Medical plan").

For more information about the marketplace and to apply for coverage, go to HealthCare.gov

Faculty, staff to be honored Oct. 2

Faculty and staff recipients of the university's most distinguished awards will be honored Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The awards ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m., followed by a reception. Following are the individuals who will be recognized:


Distinguished Professor

The title of Distinguished Professor, first awarded in 1956, is presented to faculty members whose accomplishments in research or creative activities have had a significant impact on their discipline, and who have demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility. A $6,500 increment in base salary is granted, and the awardee retains the title for the remainder of his or her career at the university.

Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences
Jack Dekkers

Professor of animal science
Dekkers is an international research leader in animal breeding and genetics. His research focuses on the integration of molecular and quantitative genetics for the genetic improvement of livestock. He has published more than 180 papers in scientific journals and given many invited lectures around the world. His research is at the cutting edge of theory, yet he has a keen eye on practical aspects of his work.

Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences
Catherine Kling

Professor of animal science and economics
Kling is a pioneer in developing methods to evaluate how we value environmental amenities and how such information can be used to assess willingness to pay for environment improvements. Her work has had a huge impact on the area of environment sustainability, from how to clean lakes and rivers threatened by runoff to limiting hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, and helps shape national policy at the highest levels.

Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences
Patrick Schnable

Professor of animal science, and professor and Baker Chair in agronomy
Schnable is internationally known for his research in maize genetics and genomics, and served as a co-leader of the National Science Foundation-funded maize genome sequencing project. His research looks at the mechanisms involved in crop improvement, such as hybrid vigor, and developing carbon-capturing crops to promote carbon sequestration in soils. He is a founding director of the Center for Plant Transformation; a founding and current director of the Center for Plant Genomics, and co-founder of the start-up company Data2Bio.


University Professor

The title of University Professor is bestowed on a faculty member who has acted as a change agent by having made significant contributions to the university, and who has demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility. A $6,000 increment in base salary is granted, and the awardee retains the title for the remainder of his or her career at the university.

Micheal Owen
Professor of agronomy
Owen has been an outstanding university citizen in his 30-plus years at Iowa State. His work in extension, supported by his research, has resulted in better weed management in Iowa, the nation and the world. He supports students with both formal teaching and mentoring for student clubs and organizations. He has an extensive record of service to the university -- at the department, college and university levels, including the Faculty Senate, where, as president, he led the development and adoption of post-tenure review policies.


Morrill Professor

Named for Senator Justin Morrill of Vermont, the author of the Morrill Act that established the land-grant system of universities in the U.S. 150 years ago. The Morrill Professorship is awarded to faculty members who excel in undergraduate or graduate teaching, and/or extension and outreach programs. A $6,000 increment in base salary is granted, and the awardee retains the title for the remainder of his or her career at the university.

Thomas Greenbowe
Professor of chemistry
Greenbowe has had a huge impact in chemistry education at the college and secondary levels. He combines his research in teaching and learning with innovative instructional use of computer visualizations and active learning strategies to enhance student understanding and problem-solving. He has established a strong record of outreach to students and educators at all levels through hands-on demonstrations and workshops, serving on national American Chemical Society and AP Chemistry exam committees, and helping teachers implement guided inquiry in the chemistry classroom and laboratory.

Gail Nonnecke
University Professor of horticulture
Nonnecke is widely recognized as a leader and innovator in education. She has worked to broaden the concept of education to include such elements as learning communities, study abroad and service learning. She serves as faculty coordinator of the global resource systems major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She has been recognized numerous times for her teaching excellence, including one of only two U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching National Award recipients in 2006.

Leo Timms
Professor of animal science and veterinary diagnostics and production animal medicine
Timms is an innovative and stimulating educator -- in the classroom, on the farm with dairy producers or 4-H youth, and on the campus with fellow researchers. His multidisciplinary extension programming with dairy producers and industry groups allows him to bring real-life examples to his classes. He has established an internationally recognized research program in dairy animal health, mastitis prevention, milk quality and dairy profitability, and frequently involves undergraduate students in his research. He has been recognized many times for his contributions to the dairy industry.


Regents Faculty Excellence Awards

The award is presented by the Board of Regents to recognize faculty members who are outstanding university citizens and who have rendered significant service to the university or the state of Iowa. A $1,000 award is granted.

Julia Badenhope
Associate professor of landscape architecture
Over her 20-plus year career at Iowa State, Badenhope has secured more than $13 million to support her research and community development projects. The largest and most visible of these is the Iowa's Living Roadways Community Visioning Program, which she created in the mid-1990s, and which has brought planning, beautification and economic progress to 182 Iowa communities -- all under 10,000 in population. This program has received national recognition and established Badenhope as a national leader in community development partnerships.

Fouad Fanous
Professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering
For the past 19 years, Fanous and his colleagues have conducted landmark research into the strength of existing nuclear power plants across the country. To this day, this work is highly acclaimed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He is known as a staunch advocate for quality in the classroom and for getting the most from his students.


Regents Awards for Staff Excellence

The award is presented by the Board of Regents to recognize members of the Professional and Scientific or Supervisory and Confidential staff who are outstanding university citizens and who have rendered significant service to the university or the state of Iowa. A $1,000 award is granted.

Liesl Eathington
Assistant scientist, department of economics
Eathington's work as director of the Iowa Community Indicators Program and liaison with the State Data Center of Iowa has earned her respect and a reputation as a source of highly reliable socioeconomic data. A nominator wrote: "Ms. Eathington is arguably Iowa State's pre-eminent expert on sources of socioeconomic data, and because of this, she is an indispensable resource person for clients on and off campus."

Darren Jarboe
Program manager, Center for Crops Utilization Research (C-CUR) and BioCentury Research Farm
Jarboe's grantsmanship knowledge and ability to assist faculty build sustainable, productive industry relations have led to more than $3.3 million in funds related to C-CUR. In addition, he has secured more than $2.7 million in grants as principal or co-principal investigator in research and outreach projects.

Marcia Krause
Radiographer, Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center
The Diagnostic Imaging Center at the Veterinary Medical Center is a complex and busy place. It provides services to the college's clinicians and faculty, as well as faculty and scientists outside the college and university. The center also provides training for third- and fourth-year vet med students. Krause coordinates all of that, and she further assists the college by preparing materials for public events like Veishea, student recruitment visits and other activities.

Lynette Pohlman
Director, University Museums
Pohlman's nomination states: "Lynette Pohlman has brought joy, beauty and culture to almost every corner of the campus. She has guided the university toward building and displaying a world-class art collection; built bridges that link people around the world with Iowa State through its art; and she has done all of this with exemplary skill, enthusiasm, loyalty and pride in the university and community for the past 32 years."

Marshall Ruble
Agriculture research station manager, department of animal science
Ruble has made significant contributions to the animal science program for the past 34 years. He manages the beef teaching herd and recruits and mentors students interested in careers in the beef industry. He is an active leader in the beef industry in Iowa and holds a patent on an internationally used device for weighing newborn calves.


Louis Thompson Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award

Established by the late Louis Thompson, emeritus associate dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the award recognizes an outstanding teacher who is dedicated to helping undergraduate students. A $1,500 award is granted.

Alan Russell
Professor of materials science and engineering
Numbers don't always tell the whole story, but in the case of Russell's teaching quality, they do provide some insight. Over the last six years, Russell's teaching evaluations by students have averaged 4.8 on a 5-point scale. That's for all of his classes -- small and large; introductory and advanced. At no time in his 37-year career here has he received an evaluation lower than 4.2.

Patricia Thiel
Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of chemistry
Thiel's teaching ability is best described by one of her students: "Dr. Thiel was great. She is clever in how she presents material and tries to relate concepts to things that are easier to understand. Her corny jokes were fun, too. ISU really needs to find more teachers like her."


James Huntington Ellis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Introductory Teaching

Established by a 1928 Iowa State graduate, the award recognizes a faculty member for exceptional achievement in teaching introductory courses. A $1,500 award is granted.

John Monroe
Associate professor of history
Monroe is an exceptional teacher at all levels of instruction, but he shines especially bright when he's teaching Introduction to Western Civilization. The course covers 500 years of history, and he makes it engaging and meaningful to both budding historians and students with little interest in history. He receives positive student evaluations, and Princeton Review named him one of the 300 best professors in America.


Margaret Ellen White Graduate Faculty Award

Established by a long-time staff member of the Graduate College, the award recognizes superior performance by a member of the graduate faculty in enriching the student-professor relationship and enabling students to finish their work in a timely and scholarly manner. A $1,500 award is granted.

Ann Marie Fiore
Professor of apparel, events and hospitality management
Fiore is not only an exceptional teacher and mentor of graduate students, she also is a highly regarded researcher on consumer behavior and an educational innovator. She spearheaded Iowa State's first dual-degree graduate program by forging a partnership with Shanghai's Donghua University. In 2009, Fiore was elected a Fellow of the International Textiles and Apparel Association in recognition of her excellent teaching and significant contributions to research and the textiles and clothing field.

William Meeker
Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences, professor of statistics
Meeker's website states: "I'm a statistician who just happens to have an interest in reliability and quality." Clearly, he also has a deep interest in preparing the next generation of statisticians, because he devotes so much of his time, talents and knowledge to his graduate students. Meeker has been mentoring master's students since 1976 and Ph.D. students since 1981. His very first Ph.D. student wrote a letter of support, calling his now professorial colleague, collaborator and friend a "role model" for graduate educators.


International Service Award

The award recognizes a faculty member for outstanding international service in teaching, research or administration within the United States or abroad. A $1,500 award is granted.

Gail Nonnecke
University Professor, Morrill Professor and professor of horticulture
Nonnecke has served as the coordinator for the global resource systems major since it was created in 2008, growing it to 90 majors. She has led many international travel courses throughout the world, and she co-leads international service learning projects in India and Uganda. There is no stronger proponent, advocate and worker for Iowa State's emphasis on providing a global educational experience for students.


Iowa State University Award for Departmental Leadership

The award recognizes outstanding departmental leadership that helps faculty members meet their complex obligations to undergraduate teaching, graduate mentoring, research and service. A $1,500 award is granted.

Michael Bugeja
Professor and Director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Bugeja has served as director of the Greenlee School since 2003. In that time, the school has increased enrollment, faculty scholarly activity and productivity; enhanced alumni relations and private support; and undergone a culture change and morale boost befitting the longest continuously accredited program at the university.


Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching

The award recognizes faculty members for outstanding teaching performance over an extended period of time. A $1,500 award is granted.

Kevin Schalinske
Professor of food science and human nutrition
Schalinske's teaching is recognized for two things -- his versatility in teaching classes of all levels and sizes in food science and human nutrition; and his quality, as evidenced by his many teaching awards and his consistently high ratings by the students in those classes. One of Schalinske's most important qualities is his concern for all of his students, not just the high achievers.


Award for Early Achievement in Teaching

The award recognizes a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding teaching performance unusually early in his or her career. A $1,500 award is granted.

Richard Stone
Assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering
In his five years at Iowa State, Stone has set a high bar. As a colleague wrote: "He is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic teachers you will ever observe. He has developed many interesting approaches to teaching, such as using Mr. Potato Head to demonstrate industrial engineering concepts." Stone does not limit his teaching impact to Iowa State, as he works with middle and high school students as well as Native American students at Six Nations Reservation in Ontario, Canada, to encourage more young people to pursue engineering careers.

Arthur Winter
Assistant professor of chemistry
A colleague wrote: "By all measures of his teaching performance, including his scholarship, student and peer evaluations … it is evident that Art is a rising star." However, Winter's student evaluations say it best: "Best chemistry class I've ever been in," "I always looked forward to the class. Really energetic lectures, clear and well-defined mechanisms … great teacher!" and "Dr. Winter is the greatest teacher I have ever had. GIVE HIM A RAISE!"


Award for Academic Advising Impact

The award recognizes outstanding performance by an academic adviser over an extended period of time. A $1,500 award is granted.

Jack Girton
University Professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology
Girton has demonstrated a long-term commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to several aspects of Iowa State's advising mission, and his work and leadership have fundamentally improved advising in many ways. He not only designed the advising system for genetics majors, he instructs others in its use and is a superb practitioner of that system, advising hundreds of students.

Andrea Klocke
Academic adviser, department of materials science and engineering
Klocke has made an impact on student learning in materials science and engineering since she joined the department in 2007. She developed the advising process structure for all students, developed a student advising database for department-wide use, established a study abroad program, and has been instrumental in finding research opportunities for undergraduates. In addition, she advises 165 students and has established and coordinated the department's learning community the last four years, receiving the university's Exemplary Peer Mentor Award each year.


Award for Early Achievement in Academic Advising

The award recognizes outstanding performance by an academic adviser early in his or her career. A $1,500 award is granted.

Michelle Tremmel
Academic adviser, department of English
Tremmel has excelled in working with a large number of English education majors, helping them with their course selection and career preparation in the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Human Sciences. This major's course requirements are complex, with numerous prerequisites, frequent challenges in course scheduling, as well as state Department of Education requirements, but students report that Trammel puts them at ease and greatly relieves their stress.


Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research

The award recognizes a faculty member who has a national or international reputation for contributions in research, and who has influenced the research activities of students. A $1,500 award is granted.

Mei Hong
Professor of chemistry
Hong has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in research, scholarship and service to the scientific community. Her lab is one of the best in the world for solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance structural studies of membrane proteins, demonstrated by her publication record in leading journals, and by awards such as the American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry Award and election as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2011, she received the Young Investigator Award from the Protein Society and gave an invited lecture at its annual meeting.


Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Research

The award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary research performance or scholarship accomplishments as documented by peers and experts in the field. A $1,500 award is granted.

Ruslan Prozorov
Associate professor of physics and astronomy
Prozorov's research involves experimental condensed matter physics with an emphasis on magnetic materials and superconductivity. He is acknowledged as the world's leading authority on the measurement and interpretation of a key measurement in superconductivity known as the "London penetration depth." He has published more than 200 articles and presented nearly 100 invited talks around the world. His honors include fellow status in the American Physical society.

Manimaran Govindarasu
Professor of electrical and computer engineering
Govindarasu is widely regarded as a pioneer and a leader in the emerging interdisciplinary research area of cyber security of power systems and the power grid, important to our nation's security and economic well-being. His research has guided future research directions, helped government agencies formulate effective policies, and assisted industry in meeting evolving needs and compliance requirements.


Award for Early Achievement in Research

The award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments unusually early in his or her professional career. A $1,500 award is granted.

Peng Liu
Assistant professor of statistics
Liu has made influential and fundamental contributions to statistical inference of high-dimensional data, genomics and bioinformatics. She also has developed many innovative and highly effective statistical methods for analyzing high-dimensional gene expression data. A paper she co-wrote in 2010 has been described as "groundbreaking," led to substantial improvements in the field, and inspired much follow-up research by top scientists.


Professional and Scientific Research Award

The award recognizes excellence in research in a professional and scientific staff member who has been at Iowa State for at least five years. A $1,500 award is granted.

Marek Pruski
Scientist, U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and adjunct professor of chemistry
Pruski is breaking new ground in solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with the goal of developing improved materials for heterogeneous catalysis, which has major implications in the production of biodiesel and in hydrogen storage. Some of Marek's impressive numbers are: 150 peer-reviewed articles, 140 invited talks around the globe and 3,500 citations of his work.


Award for Achievement in Intellectual Property

The award recognizes individuals or teams of faculty or professional and scientific staff for outstanding ISU-based achievements in producing intellectual property. A $1,500 award is granted.

Max Rothschild
Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences and professor of animal science
When it comes to using science to strengthen the pork industry, Rothschild is the leader. He has been using genetics to improve the selection and breeding of pigs for improved pork production for three decades. He also has been at the leading edge of genetic science in this effort, with 334 refereed articles. He has 12 U.S. patents, several international patents, two R&D 100 Awards and was named the 2002 Iowa Inventor of the Year.


Professional and Scientific Staff Excellence Award

The award recognizes contributions made by a professional and scientific staff member within and beyond the university, and career progress demonstrated by accomplishments at Iowa State. A $1,500 award is granted.

Ling Li
Associate scientist, department of genetics
Li employs a rare combination of sciences in her plant biology research, from metabolomics to bioinformatics. Her initial discovery and subsequent characterization of a particular gene has evolved into a project that promises to increase protein content in soybeans, corn, rice and potatoes, with the potential to garner significant external funding.

Janell Meyer
Grant coordinator, food science and human nutrition; and food safety coordinator, hospitality management 
Meyer was a key member of the hospitality management program's food safety project team for more than seven years, following 15 years with ISU Dining. In those 22 years, she has contributed to many different aspects of the university's food safety teaching, research and outreach, as well as in Iowa State's food service operations.

Joel Nott
Assistant scientist, Office of Biotechnology
Nott manages the university's Protein Facility that provides products and services to clients at Iowa State and throughout the world. He also provides computer and web support for 10 other ISU instrumentation facilities. He has brought efficiencies to the Protein Facility's business operations, and helped create advances in the university's research infrastructure.


Carroll Ringgenberg Award

Named for a former long-time staff member in purchasing and facilities, the award recognizes a professional and scientific staff member who has been employed by the university for at least 10 years and has demonstrated constant and contagious dedication and goodwill for Iowa State. A $1,500 award is granted.

Mark Huss
Manager of project management, facilities planning and management
Huss has managed facility projects at Iowa State totaling a quarter of a billion dollars, including big projects like the Biorenewables Complex, and many smaller jobs that are just as important to the users. He also coordinated one of the most destructive projects in Iowa State's history -- the demolition of the two Towers buildings and the re-use of the 60,000 tons of that material at the new ISU Dairy Farm. He works to ensure that all of the projects he manages adhere to the university's high standards in conservation and sustainability.


Professional and Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award

The award recognizes a professional and scientific staff member who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments unusually early in his or her professional career at Iowa State. A $1,500 award is granted.

Richard (Dick) Pfarrer
Hall director, department of residence
Pfarrer coordinates the volunteer effort that helps students move in, expanding it to 750 volunteers last year and more than 900 this year. It's just one of many things he does for the residence department and for the students who live there.

Melissa O'Rourke
Farm and agribusiness management specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
In the two and a half years since O'Rourke joined ISU Extension and Outreach, she has demonstrated outstanding innovation, creativity and an eagerness to serve clients. She has played a key role in the development and presentation of several programs designed to help farm families in business and estate-planning decisions.

Christine Mowrer
Research associate, department of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine
Mowrer coordinates the production animal disease risk assessment programs. Under her guidance, it has experienced significant growth and achieved national and international recognition. She has conducted training sessions in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Serbia. She also coordinates the summer veterinary internship program that immerses aspiring veterinarians in on-farm experiences.


Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice

The award recognizes a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated outstanding performance in statewide leadership in extension or professional practice and who has achieved national recognition for outreach activities. A $1,500 award is granted.

Kimberly Greder
Associate professor of human development and family studies; and family life specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
Greder has more than two decades of experience helping families become stronger and more resilient to stresses and challenges. She was instrumental in raising more than $6.5 million to fund family research and outreach programs. She also has published more than 200 articles and materials for families and has presented her programs and research in 150 venues.


Award for Distinguished Service in Extension

The highest award bestowed on an extension professional, it recognizes sustained distinguished performance and educational contributions to Iowa State's clientele through extension programs. A $1,500 award is granted.

Leo Timms
Morrill Professor; professor of animal science and of veterinary diagnostics and production animal medicine; and dairy specialist and dairy team leader, ISU Extension and Outreach
Timms' successful extension career is full of achievements. His goal is "to improve production efficiency and profitability of the Iowa and total dairy industry, while assuring a safe and abundant dairy product supply of the highest quality." He has spent the past 29 years at Iowa State doing just that, with excellence.


R.K. Bliss Extension Award

Named for the director of extension from 1912 to 1946, the award recognizes outstanding achievement of an Iowa State extension staff member for developing an overall or continuing extension education program. A $500 award is granted.

Byron Leu
Beef program specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
Leu has developed and coordinated some the most effective and popular extension programs, including the cow herd improvement program (CHIPS) and the CHIPS heifer development program. He also has provided leadership and vision for the Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference for 28 of its 42 years.

Campus readout pays tribute to banned books


Library dean Olivia Madison closed out a central campus readout Sept. 25 that highlighted a dozen book titles that have been banned or challenged at some time in our nation's history. Madison read attorney Atticus Finch's closing argument to the jury in the Harper Lee novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Madison noted that, while Lee's book won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, it also ranks among the Top 10 books most frequently challenged 50 years after initial publication.

The event was part of Iowa State's observance of Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28, organized by University Library staff. Administrators and faculty from all corners of campus read excerpts from a favorite banned or challenged book. They gathered at the university's free speech zone south of the library. Photo by Bob Elbert.

A parking game plan for Oct. 3

By now, many faculty, staff, students and fans know the drill for a Thursday night home football game. But since it's been a while, here's what you need to know before the Cyclones take on Texas next Thursday, Oct. 3.

Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m., and fans will begin streaming into stadium parking lots the minute they open at 12:30 p.m.

As they always do, people who normally park around the stadium and in commuter lots will need to move their cars. Thursday is a regular class and work day, so campus parking spots will be scarce. Squeezing 3,000 or more extra cars on campus requires cooperation on everyone's part. Department of public safety and athletics department officials expect the process to go smoothly, based on the courtesy and patience people have shown in previous years.

Depending on where you normally park, the following instructions should help you tackle (or keep) the best spot and avoid hassles on Thursday. (Plan accordingly and you may even have time for a bratwurst before the big game.)


Motorists who park in the Iowa State Center lots will be directed to any of these locations on Oct. 3:

  • Kmart/Staples parking lot, 1405 Buckeye Ave. (east side only, along Buckeye)
  • Lot 29, north of the Communications Building and Molecular Biology
  • Lot 112M, west of Frederiksen Court on the west side of Stange Road
  • Memorial Union Parking Ramp (regular hourly rates apply)
  • Lot 68, north of General Services Building

Commuters will receive this information several times, and signs will be posted in and around the Ann Campbell Transit Station.

Commuters may ride CyRide's Orange Route for free from the east side of the Kmart lot to campus. Pickup from the Kmart lot will run every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 3. Look for the bus stop signs.

Stadium permits

Those who usually park at Jack Trice Stadium will be asked to move their cars between 5 and 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2. They'll be directed to:

  • Iowa State Center (staff will be on hand from 5 to 11:59 p.m. Oct. 2 to direct traffic to designated lots)
  • Lot 61A/B at the Towers
  • Lot 100, Lied Recreation Center
  • Lot 29, north of the Communications Building and Molecular Biology
  • East Campus Parking Deck – upper level only

All stadium permit holders must move their cars before midnight on Oct. 2, and should return their cars to the stadium by 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 4. The people who park at the stadium – primarily students – will receive an email with this information.

Reserved (cardinal red) permits

It's business as usual in reserved lots Oct. 3. These parking spots will not be up for grabs. Reserved spaces will remain available only to those with reserved permits for a designated lot.

General staff (gold) permits

General staff lots will be open to the public after 11 a.m. on Oct. 3. It'll be easy enough to park first thing in the morning, but if you leave for lunch or an appointment, you may lose your spot. Consider lunching on campus or walking to appointments if at all possible.

Disability, 24-hour reserve permits

Parking in spaces for holders of these permits will remain strictly enforced.

At day's end

Get in the game and cheer on the Cyclones! But if you're headed home or elsewhere, avoid traffic near the stadium. ESPN will carry the Cyclones vs. Texas game. 

Online survey tool extended to ISU community

A popular Web-based survey tool, Qualtrics, now is available to the university community. Information technology services (ITS) and several colleges and departments recently teamed up to purchase a license that gives faculty, staff and students free access to the software.

The software can be used to create a simple survey, like a Government of the Student Body poll. Or it can build complex questionnaires, employing logic and branching. There are a variety of question formats, ranging from familiar multiple choice lists and matrix tables to more exotic options, like heat maps and hot spots.

It's easy to invite collaborators into a survey project. The survey creator uses a "share" option to give others access to building a survey, reviewing results or both. Survey results can be exported into several formats for analysis and display.

Getting started

  • Log in to Iowa State's Qualtrics site, iastate.qualtrics.com, with your Net-ID.
  • Hit the "click here to create your first survey" button to open a new survey file.
  • To get some help, check out training resources. The "help and tutorials" tab in the top left corner of the page goes to Qualtrics University, home to training tutorials and support.
  • If you'd like to join a newly formed ISU Qualtrics users group, send an email to Qualtrics-users-subscribe@iastate.edu.


Several ISU colleges and departments already were using Qualtrics software and paying some $30,000 collectively in annual licensing fees, said Mike Lohrbach, senior systems analyst in ITS.

"With a university-wide license, approximately $53,000 annually, we were able to extend Qualtrics to a much larger audience," Lohrbach said. "We hope many faculty, staff and students will give this useful survey tool a try."

For nonprofit use only

ISU's licensing agreement with Qualtrics is only for nonprofit use. Projects that involve for-profit or revenue-generating activities aren't covered under the license agreement. Examples would include certain projects involving marketing, athletics, survey research centers and the alumni association.

No more cow paths?

sidewalk sign

Students near Curtiss Hall pass one of a half dozen signs that encourage pedestrians to use campus sidewalks.

Campus services has a half dozen sandwich-board messages staff are moving around campus this fall, encouraging pedestrians to stay on the sidewalks and off of the grass and plant beds. A dry, hot summer and large numbers of moving feet take a toll on the turf, said Chris Strawhacker, a landscape designer in facilities planning and management.

"We're trying to educate our students and give the lawn a chance to recover," he said. "The goal would be to prevent some cow paths from getting started."

The message boards grew out of staff conversations with student government senators last fall, following another dry summer and an August central campus event with President Barack Obama that left the grass in tough shape. The signs were first used for a few weeks late last fall. They're part of the Keep Iowa State Beautiful campaign. Photo by Bob Elbert.

ISU Theatre season opens with Chekhov classic


Brent Leblanc, senior in performing arts, stars as playwright Konstantin Tréplev in ISU Theatre's production of The Seagull. Photo by Nancy Thompson.

ISU Theatre's 2013-14 season opener is a production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. Performances, all in Fisher Theater, begin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27-28 and Oct. 4-5, and at 2 p.m. Sept. 29 and Oct. 6.

In his few plays, Chekhov experimented with the idea that a play's drama could be in the characters' words and not their actions. The story's main events occur between acts. Once asked to summarize The Seagull, Chekhov said it featured "three women's parts, six men's, four acts, landscapes, a great deal of conversation about literature, little action and tons of love."

The Seagull follows the romantic and artistic conflicts among four characters: the famous but fading actress Irina Arkadina; her lover, writer Boris Trigorin; her son, playwright Konstantin Tréplev; and Nina, a young actress whom Konstantin loves.

Theater department lecturer Matt Foss, who directs The Seagull, studied and performed in 2007 at the American Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre. This theater is where an 1898 performance of The Seagull helped propel Chekhov, a medical doctor, to international fame as a writer and playwright.

"It was exciting to work on this great play in the rooms and on the stages where Chekhov and the Moscow Art Theatre ensemble created such a famous production," Foss said. "Chekhov in Russia is a lot like Shakespeare in the United Kingdom and the United States. You are seeing fewer plays featuring gauzy curtains and samovars full of tea, and more theatrical productions of Chekhov's works. We are trying to get at what Chekhov was writing, rather than recreating his Russia."

Student leads

Cast in the lead roles are: Meghan Berkland, junior in performing arts, as Irina; Taylor Sklenar, senior in chemistry and English, as Boris; Brent Leblanc, senior in performing arts, as Konstantin; and Christina Holaday, senior in performing arts and journalism, as Nina.

Dan Poppen, junior in performing arts; and Mat Wymore, graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, have scored and arranged original music for the production. Serving as stage manager is Kiah Kayser, senior in performing arts.

Season tickets available for another week

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and $9 for students. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster, the Iowa State Center ticket office in Stephens Auditorium or at the door before performances. ISU Theatre season tickets will be sold through Oct. 4 at the Stephens location. Season tickets (good for admission to all six productions) are $92 for adults, $88 for seniors and $56 for students.