Sunny stop for Team PrISUm

Solar car and Cy

Fans keep an eye on their mascot and their solar car during the car's one-hour stopover in Ames. Photo by Diana Pounds.

Building a solar car

A youngster, with a little help from his mechanic, builds a real, working solar car. Photo by Eric Debner.

Several hundred people gathered in an Iowa State Center parking lot Saturday afternoon to watch solar cars roll into the Ames checkpoint, cheer on the local favorite -- Team PrISUm's car Phaeton -- and engage in hands-on activities involving wind and solar energy.

President Steven Leath and Cy were among the spectators watching cars in the 1,700-mile American Solar Challenge make a quick, one-hour stop in Ames before hitting the road for La Crosse, Wisconsin.

The Iowa State car car arrived in Ames in third place and held that spot through the race's Monday finish in Minneapolis. In addition to finishing third overall, the ISU team won the best mechnical design award for the car's suspension design. It was the Iowa State team's second consecutive year for the award.

Shimkat named SBDC state director

Lisa Shimkat headshot

Lisa Shimkat

Lisa Shimkat, a regional director for the Iowa Small Business Development Center, will start her new role as statewide director of the organization on Aug. 18. She succeeds Jim Heckmann, who retired in February.

For nearly 10 years, Shimkat has worked in the SBDC’s North Central Iowa region based in Fort Dodge, counseling clients looking to start or expand an existing business. Her efforts helped her center earn the 2014 Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Shimkat also was recognized in 2010 by the SBDC’s national organization as Iowa's "State Star" for her contributions to the SBDC’s economic development efforts and commitment to small businesses. She completed both her undergraduate and MBA degrees at Iowa State.

In January, President Steven Leath announced the creation of the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations, to make it easier for the university's external partners to access Iowa State's economic development resources. As SBDC statewide director, Shimkat will work closely with Michael Crum, senior policy adviser and head of the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations, and David Spalding, Raisbeck Endowed Dean in the College of Business.

"As we work to reorganize and centralize the university's economic development enterprise, the Iowa Small Business Development Center continues to be a critical component of our economic development efforts," Leath said. "I'm very pleased to have Lisa on board to not only lead the SBDC network and ensure we’re providing excellent service to our clients, but also build strong relationships with our partners."

Shimkat wants to make Iowa a model for small business success.

"I'm excited to continue the mission of the Iowa Small Business Development Center at the state level," Shimkat said. "The SBDCs are a great example of carrying Iowa State’s land-grant mission of research, education and service throughout the state of Iowa. I’ve seen firsthand the impact our centers have, and I’m eager to help build on our successes."

Spalding says Shimkat understands the SBDC’s mission. "Lisa is an outstanding choice as the next statewide director for Iowa's Small Business Development Center," he said. "Her years of experience as an award-winning regional director make her well-equipped to move the SBDC forward and strengthen its position as a valuable economic development resource for Iowa."

Gerontology degree proposals go to regents

Final approval of the FY15 university budget and new ISU degree programs in gerontology are on the agenda when the state Board of Regents meets via telephone Wednesday, Aug. 6. Based at the board office in Urbandale, the meeting is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A live audio stream will be available on the board's website.

The total Iowa State budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 is a proposed $1.3 billion. This includes a $655 million operating budget and a $670 million restricted budget, which includes sponsored research, private gifts, endowment income, sales and services, and auxiliary units such as athletics, residence, printing, parking, bookstore, Reiman Gardens and the Memorial Union.

Operating budget revenues come from state appropriations (36 percent), federal support (2 percent), tuition and fees (58 percent), and other sources (4 percent). About two-thirds of the operating budget (a proposed $433.9 million) will be used for employee salaries and benefits.

Gerontology graduate programs

The College of Human Sciences would like to offer interdepartmental master's and doctoral degrees in gerontology to meet the growing societal demand and student interest in careers focused on older adults. The master's program, with both thesis and project options, would be offered in addition to the college's current Master of Family and Consumer Sciences with a specialization in gerontology. No Iowa college or university offers a Ph.D. in gerontology.

In other business, Iowa State will seek permission to:

  • Increase the boiler replacement budget by $4 million, to $42 million, due to higher-than-anticipated costs to: purchase the three new boilers, redesign ISU's electrical distribution system and remodel the power plant. Reducing the project scope to stay within the current budget would negatively impact the function and operational reliability of the power plant.
  • Sell an anticipated $17.6 million in academic building revenue refunding bonds to save an estimated $1.35 million in interest on the 2016-27 payments on 2005 bonds that financed improvements to the veterinary teaching hospital, veterinary diagnostics lab and Coover Hall. The savings are due to lower interest rates today.
  • Change Michael Crum's title, from senior policy adviser on economic development to the president, to vice president for economic development and business engagement, effective retroactively to July 1.

Alumni in Iowa are focus of state fair exhibit

In partnership with the alumni association, the university's 2014 state fair exhibit will boast "Adventurous Iowa Staters Making Iowa Greater." The names of all 97,002 living alumni in the state will be featured on an alumni wall as part of the display.

Red shirts, friendly faces

More than 150 Iowa State faculty and staff will volunteer their time to work in the exhibit -- rolling posters, applying tattoos and answering questions. Slots still are available; sign up online.

"We are sharing the multitude of ways that graduates are impacting the state," said Carole Custer, director of university marketing.

A showcase of alumni services and programs will be on display, and visitors can access and update the online alumni directory. Video features and panel displays will spotlight some Iowa State alumni who are living their own Cyclone adventures in Iowa, Custer said. A Tagboard social media video display will share live Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Foursquare posts by fairgoers using #myadventure.

"We want people to tell us how they are making Iowa greater," Custer said.

State Fair T-shirt

State Fair T-shirt. Submitted photo.

Visitors can watch Cyclone athletics video highlights and snap photos with the Iowa Corn CyHawk Series trophy and Big 12 Conference championship trophies for the 2014 men's basketball and women's cross country titles. Cyclone fans can order their Iowa State vanity license plates on site and stock up on cardinal and gold merchandise offered by the University Book Store, including an exclusive T-shirt ($7.99) available only at the state fair.

As always, tens of thousands of temporary tattoos and football posters will be handed out, and prizes -- including tickets to football games, volleyball matches, concerts and Iowa State Center performances -- will be awarded during three daily drawings throughout the fair (Aug. 7-17). The exhibit will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the northeast corner of the Varied Industries Building.

There's an app for that

ISU Extension and Outreach has again partnered with The Des Moines Register on a Food Finder mobile application for iOS (Apple) devices. In addition to providing nutritional information and locations for all of the fair's food offerings, the free app provides a searchable schedule of events -- including a list of healthy activities.

Cy sightings

Cy Fan

Cy fan.

Cy fans will be (literally) everywhere once fairgoers pick up the free hand-held air coolers at the 4-H Exhibits Building and Grandfather's Barn. Visitors can snap selfies with the fans at eight designated locations and share them on Facebook or Twitter (#cyadventures) for a chance to win an iPad.

The actual mascot will visit the fairgrounds on Aug. 9 and is scheduled to participate in the Aug. 14 celebrity grape stomp at Grandfather's Barn.

4-H and more

An estimated 2,800 youth will display thousands of projects and stage hundreds of performances in the 4-H Exhibits Building. Another 3,000 livestock entries will be shown by 4-H members in many fairground venues.

Dr. Bruce Leuschen, a clinician in veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, will again serve as the state fair's veterinarian. He and his staff manage the health of exhibit and special event animals on the grounds. Leuschen has been the fair veterinarian since 2008 and served as assistant veterinarian in 2007.

'VISIONS Across America' exhibit closes soon

Aviator Bob Gannon

Alumnus Bob Gannon flew his single-engine Cessna around the world, landing in more than 1,200 places. Photo by Jim Heemstra.

If the alumni association's "VISIONS Across America" exhibit was on your summer to-do list, better get on it. Saturday, Aug. 9, is your last chance to see the results of a two-year journey to alumni in every state by VISIONS magazine editor Carole Gieseke and photographer Jim Heemstra's two-year.

'VISIONS Across America'

Blog, art exhibit, special issue

The exhibit at the Brunnier Art Museum in the Scheman Building features stories and photos of more than 100 alumni. You can find the stories and photos online as well, but your big screen computer really can't compete with the breathtaking photos (some eight feet wide) sprawling across the walls of the Brunnier. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday (11 a.m.-4p.m.) and Saturday-Sunday (1-4 p.m.).

Road trips

Post-exhibit, the alumni association will take samplers of the exhibit (20 to 30 pieces) on the road to alumni gatherings in Kansas City, the Twin Cities, Omaha, Denver and Chicago. Gieseke said approximately two-thirds of the exhibit pieces will find a home on campus in colleges and departments from Ross Hall to Howe Hall.