Volunteers dig in at ABE

Landscaping at ABE facility

Approximately 60 people -- including landscape professionals from around the state and horticulture faculty and students from Iowa State and Kirkwood Community College -- participated in a Sept. 11 service day project outside Sukup and Elings halls. The volunteer crew installed an estimated 1,950 perennials and grasses, 73 shrubs and 22 trees, and hand-spread about 9,000 square feet of mulch.

The annual service day projects are coordinated by the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association. The landscape design plan and materials were provided by facilities planning and management and funded as part of the overall construction budget. Elings and Sukup halls will be dedicated on Sept. 25 during a 4:30 p.m. public event. Photo by Erin Rosacker.

Iowa State joins alliance to help more students graduate

Provost Jonathan Wickert, doctoral student Angie Mallory (left),

Representing Iowa State at the announcement in Washington, D.C., were (from left): veterans learning community coordinator Angie Mallory, senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert and chemical engineering senior Alma Marquez.

Iowa State joined 10 other public research universities in launching a first-ever project to expand the use of highly successful, innovative programs designed to help more students complete a college education. Formation of the University Innovation Alliance was announced Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Washington, D.C.

Founding members of the alliance

Arizona State University

Georgia State University

Iowa State University

Michigan State University

Oregon State University

Purdue University

The Ohio State University

University of California, Riverside

University of Central Florida

University of Kansas

The University of Texas at Austin


Iowa State will share best practices in its learning communities program, which has consistently been recognized as one of the best in the nation.

The learning communities program at Iowa State is in its 20th year, and if this year is like previous ones, about 70 percent of Iowa State’s first-time, direct from high school students will join a learning community.

Here's how learning communities work at Iowa State:

  • First-year students or transfer students with a common thread – pursuing the same major or participating in the same scholarship program, for example – are enrolled in the same sections of key courses.
  • Staff and faculty coordinators oversee sophomore mentors who lead small group study sessions as well as weekly meetings that cover topics such as time management, career exploration or a four-year plan to graduation. Learning community teams also meet for purely social gatherings. Last year, the program employed nearly 500 mentors for 5,400 students in 80 different learning communities.
  • The one-size-fits-all approach doesn't fit Iowa State learning communities. Instead, departments or colleges choose a structure that works well for their students. But a central office coordinates funding and training.

Learning communities make a difference

Since 1998, Iowa State has analyzed student performance to see if learning communities make a difference, and the results show they do. Over that time, Iowa State freshmen in learning communities returned for their sophomore year on average at a rate nearly eight percentage points higher (89 percent vs. 81 percent) than for those not in a learning community. The average six-year graduation rate for learning community freshmen is 12 percentage points higher (74 percent vs. 62 percent) than for non-learning community students.

“The innovation alliance is a great way for our universities to share and expand successful programs that help students, particularly those from low-income families, earn a college degree,” said President Steven Leath. “We believe our track record in learning communities can benefit other universities and their students.”

University Innovation Alliance logo

Representing Iowa State at the announcement in Washington, D.C., were:

  • ISU senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert
  • Alma Marquez, a graduate of East High School in Des Moines and an ISU senior in chemical engineering (and a learning community participant and mentor)
  • Angie Mallory, a doctoral student in English, U.S. Navy veteran and coordinator of the new veterans learning community


VPR office to launch central office for grant resources

In his annual address to the university community last week, President Steven Leath mentioned a new office that would provide assistance and training related to research development and grant administration to faculty and staff from all disciplines. In January, the office of the vice president for research will launch the Grants Hub. This centralized resource will help researchers access information about funding opportunities and assist with grant proposal development and post-award setup.

The Grants Hub's creation stems from discussions at open forums last spring about pre- and post-award processes. The forums, which included research faculty and staff and grant coordinators, helped identify needs for grant support services across campus.

"What we heard during our forums was that there's room for improvement in the grant support process at Iowa State," said Sarah Nusser, vice president for research. "The Grants Hub is designed to fill gaps that exist in critical support services in some areas around campus and, ultimately, help our researchers achieve success."

Many details about the hub still are being worked out and will be shared later this semester. Here's what's known now:

Services and implementation

A main goal of the Grants Hub is to reduce the administrative burden on faculty in submitting grants and managing awards. The Grants Hub is expected to improve the overall efficiency in the grant submission process by working closely with sponsored programs, responsible research and compliance units.

Grants Hub staff will:

  • Create and maintain databases with institutional information for specialized grants
  • Offer workshops and programs that provide research development and administration training
  • Provide a help desk for proposal-related questions from the campus community
  • Provide project management support for some medium- and large-scale grant proposals

Services will be implemented in phases beginning in January. The timing and structure of this phased implementation will be determined and announced later this fall, as will the office's staffing structure.

Free services and fee services

Many Grants Hub services will be free. These include assistance with coordination and review of medium- to large-sized grant proposals, help with finding funding sources, access to institutional information for specialized grants, training in research development and administration, and assistance and referrals through the help desk.

Additionally, new faculty will receive full support and mentoring for their first proposal submission and first award setup, free of charge. The costs of all other pre-and post-award services offered by the Grants Hub will be shared. A fee structure will be worked out this fall after consultations with stakeholders.

Because the Grants Hub is intended to fill gaps in research services, it will not compete with services offered at other places on campus. Partnerships with existing support units will be discussed with key stakeholders.

The VPR office has a fulltime staff member who provides pre- and post-award services for faculty in the arts and humanities, and who will be brought into the Grants Hub. Arts and humanities faculty will have access to all the services that they have had in the past and the additional services and resources of the Grants Hub.

Questions about the Grants Hub may be directed to associate vice president for research Chitra Rajan.

Leath discusses growth, next step for ISU

President Leath gives annual address

"Our faculty and staff do a tremendous job of connecting with the students. They offer them extra time during the class day. They offer them extra time on nights and weekends. I see people of all walks of life on this campus focused on helping students. That cannot be minimized. We need to keep that culture here at Iowa State. It really makes us special." President Steven Leath, Sept. 12 annual address. Photo by Gary Clarke.

Two key messages emerged from Steven Leath's presidential address Sept. 12:

  • The university community has been working steadily and successfully to meet the needs of record numbers of students
  • Iowa State, poised for the next level of success, will get there by focusing on all parts of the university mission, including a strong student experience, groundbreaking research, economic development and a diverse and inclusive campus

Here are highlights from the president's address, delivered Sept. 12 in the Memorial Union.

More faculty, facilities, amenities

Leath noted a number of ways "we have been working aggressively to expand the capacity of the institution."

"As far as I know, we'll be the only university in the country that's hired over 100 tenure-track faculty two years in a row, a tremendous accomplishment for Iowa State. This is what's really going to allow us to keep our quality programs and it's going to allow us to keep our student faculty ratios where they need to be, which right now is 19 to 1."
Steven Leath

  • New faculty: 105 new tenure or tenure-track faculty were hired this academic year, bringing the total of new hires to 245 in less than three years. Nearly 70 percent of classes have 29 or fewer students.
  • Strategic hires: To ensure hiring in strategic areas, Leath launched the Presidential High Impact Hires Initiative, which identified approximately 30 positions last year and another 30 this year in key areas, such as big data and translational health. "It's added to our profile nationally to recruit at this level," Leath said.
  • Facilities: Elings Hall, Sukup Hall and the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center are new to campus. MacKay, Lagomarcino, Horticulture and Physics halls upgrades are complete; a Marston Hall remodel is underway.
  • Repurposing space: To free approximately 100,000 square feet of central campus space for faculty and student needs, some administrative offices will be moved off campus and space in the Memorial Union will be repurposed.
  • First-class entrance: The project to bowl in the Jack Trice Stadium south end zone and modernize Reiman Gardens will integrate gardens with stadium, creating a "beautiful, first-class entrance to campus and Ames."
  • On campus: To house a record 12,350-plus students living on campus and in university-managed apartments, officials opened six new Frederiksen Court buildings since last fall and increased off-campus apartment capacity to nearly 1,100 beds. Plans are underway for a 700-bed residence hall near Buchanan Hall.
  • Amenities: Students have access to more on-campus dining options, CyRide buses and WiFi spots this year.

"One of the major highlights I want to showcase today is that Iowa State secured a Tier 1 partnership for the $320 million Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, which is based in Chicago. It's a tremendous accomplishment."
Steven Leath

Research enterprise grows

"We're clearly growing the research enterprise, which is something near and dear to my heart," Leath said. He noted that sponsored research funding rebounded well from the previous year -- a "relatively off-year" that resulted from challenges caused by federal sequestration. Total awards were up 13 percent, the second highest total on record, and federal awards rose nearly 22 percent.

Leath said he's pleased with the progress of seven research teams that are tackling large global problems, such as food security, disease prevention and treatment, and crop acceleration. Funded though the Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research, the teams are finding "ways to grow Iowa State University's research enterprise by providing solutions to major problems facing our country and beyond." So far, investments in the teams have resulted in more than $133 million in grant applications.

Lively economic development scene

Leath cited several examples of progress on the economic development front. Ground recently was broken at the ISU Research Park for a new building that will house all of Iowa State's economic development service units and programs. Leath said the economic development core facility will be a one-stop shop for companies to access Iowa State's workforce (students seeking jobs and internships) and capital (world-class research facilities, incubation space, innovation and ingenuity).

The new facility is part of a major expansion at the research park, which has grown by 200 acres this year. In four years, the number of employees has increased from fewer than 800 to approximately 1,400. The goal is to add thousands more high-paying, high quality jobs in the next few years.

Leath co-chairs the Cultivation Corridor, an initiative aimed at making central Iowa the premier region in the country for the ag biosciences.

"I really believe that this is the future of our economy," he said. "It's how we will find new, sustainable ways to feed and fuel the world. This, too, will create the kinds of good-paying, stable jobs that our state wants and needs, and that our students are looking for when they graduate. Iowa State is perfectly positioned to successfully drive this initiative, because the biosciences are among our core strengths."

Making a welcoming campus more so

While Iowa State is the most diverse it's ever been, "I know we can do more to support our students, staff and faculty," Leath said. The president plans to hire a chief diversity officer to review and implement some of the recommendations from a couple of recent studies aimed at improving the campus environment.

He noted that more than 95 percent of faculty and staff have completed an online training program on discrimination and harassment prevention and Title IX policies.

"That is really tremendous," Leath said. "Now I want to make sure we get to 100 [percent]."

"More students than ever before are on this campus. This growth is exciting. It highlights the incredible responsibility we have to live up to our pledge to provide the very best college experience possible. I know we can do that and keep true to our land-grant heritage."
Steven Leath

Universities join forces to help close achievement gap

"We're also working hard here, as a land-grant, to make sure that family background, socio and economic status are no longer a predictor of success," Leath said. Iowa State has joined 10 other public universities in an alliance to help close the achievement gap and increase graduation rates for students from all backgrounds. The universities will share their expertise in relevant areas -- Iowa State's is learning communities. The University Innovation Alliance recently was unveiled in Washington, D.C.

Support from the state

Leath thanked the state Board of Regents, lawmakers and Gov. Terry Branstad for their roles in garnering enough state support to allow Iowa State to freeze resident undergraduate tuition for the second straight year.

He also commended former regent David Miles for leading the Performance Based Task Force that reviewed how the general state appropriation is distributed among the regent universities. The new funding model, recommended by the taskforce and approved by the regents, is more responsive to taxpayers, Leath said.

"It allocates a portion of the university's appropriation to in-state enrollment. It also allocates monies based on degree progress, degree attainment, access, diversity and statewide impact. I'm very pleased that the board of regents approved this recommendation and we now look forward to working with the Legislature and the governor to make it a reality."

Search begins for library dean

The search for the next dean of the university library is underway. Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert has named a search committee to seek a successor to Olivia Madison who, since Sept. 1, is serving as special assistant to the provost.

Search committee co-chairs are Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for faculty; and David Spalding, Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the College of Business. Megan Peterson, administrative specialist in the provost’s office, will assist the committee with its work.

Search committee

Additional members of the search committee include:

  • April Anderson, doctoral student, School of Education
  • Michael Belding, graduate student, history
  • Lynne Carey, director, Ames Public Library
  • Hilary Deike, human resources, library
  • Jesse Garrison, librarian, library
  • Emily Godbey, associate professor, integrated studio arts
  • Ed Goedeken, professor, library
  • Shelley Hawkins, business manager, library
  • Chris King, associate dean, library
  • Brad Kuennen, associate, library
  • Jeff Kushkowski, associate professor, library
  • Lorraine Pellack, associate professor, library
  • Alex Ramirez, associate professor, veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine
  • Stephani Scherbart, library assistant, library
  • Michael Snook, junior, computer engineering
  • Jonathan Sturm, professor, music, and adviser to the interim dean
  • Chris Sweet, systems support specialist, library
  • Kelly Thompson, librarian, library

The committee will start its work immediately, and is working with the Greenwood/Asher and Associates search firm to identify candidates. Nominations for the position may be submitted to Bratsch-Prince, (deprince@iastate.edu) or Spalding (spalding@iastate.edu).

Joyce Garnett, university librarian emeritus at Western University, London, Ontario, is serving as interim dean.

New emergency response guide may help save lives

Think emergency situations don't happen at Iowa State? Think again.

  • May 30, 2014: A fire ignites the mechanical penthouse at Sweeney Hall, causing extensive smoke and water damage in the building.
  • Nov. 4, 2013: A young man drives recklessly through Ames and onto campus, resisting police attempts to stop him. After revving the engine and ignoring police commands, he is fatally shot by an Ames officer.
  • Sept. 1, 2005: A tornado strikes central campus, destroying nearly 70 trees.

Campus emergencies are not a question of if, but when. Environmental Health and Safety wants all Iowa State faculty, staff and students to be equipped with the appropriate knowledge to handle such situations.

Be prepared for an emergency

Emergency response guide now includes a video

EH&S, in cooperation with Iowa State's department of public safety, dean of students Pamela Anthony, and the rest of the ISU Critical Response Team, have implemented an enhanced emergency response guide.  The information gives the campus community step-by-step instructions about what to do in the event of a fire, severe weather, an urgent situation (medical emergency, bomb threat, etc.) or violent incident (active shooter on campus).

One of the key components of the guide is an eight-minute video, narrated by university relations staff member Angie Hunt with an introduction by senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. The video uses role-playing, with the help of Iowa State students and police officers, to show how the campus community should handle emergencies.

"We want people to be aware of what their response should be in any of these emergency situations," said Steve Simpson, director of emergency management.

While the video is not required viewing, Simpson strongly encourages faculty and staff to watch it.

"Following these guidelines can save lives," Simpson said. "Acting together can save lives."

Students also will view the video this fall during residence hall and Greek house meetings.

New signage

Another component of the enhanced guide is new signage in all classrooms that gives step-by-step instructions on what to do in the event of an emergency. Anyone may print the signs and post them in their offices or departments. Signage has always been displayed in campus buildings to inform people what to do in case of a fire or severe weather. The new signs offer more details on how to react to urgent and violent situations.

"We've always responded well to emergency situations here at Iowa State, but we want to continue to improve," Simpson said. 

University awards ceremony is Sept. 22

Faculty and staff recipients of the university's most distinguished awards will be honored Monday, Sept. 22, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. 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 disciplines, 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.

Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering
Vikram Dalal

Thomas M. Whitney Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dalal is widely regarded for developing materials and devices that more efficiently convert sunlight into energy. His research has led to device structures with significantly higher conversion efficiencies, and has changed the industry’s understanding of how organic solar materials degrade over time. He holds 12 patents for his work and is the author of 180 publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings.

Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Steven Rodermel

Professor of genetics, development and cell biology
Rodermel has made many significant contributions to the field of photosynthesis and chloroplast biogenesis. He is recognized as the world’s leader in deciphering the molecular mechanisms that lead to leaf variegation in plants. His work has produced more than 100 publications in significant journals, earned numerous research awards and contributed to the success of Iowa State undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students.

Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences
Hongwei Xin

Iowa Egg Council professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and professor of animal science
Xin is director of the Egg Industry Center. He is internationally renowned for his research in the areas of poultry and egg production. His work addressing animal housing systems, animal welfare, air quality, production efficiency and sustainability has resulted in nearly 150 refereed journal articles, and in the process, modernized the poultry industry.


University Professor

The title of University Professor is bestowed on a faculty member who has acted as a change agent by making 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.

Steven Freeman
Professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering
Freeman has positively impacted Iowa State’s learning and scholarship efforts. In his role as associate director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, he has enhanced learning communities for undergraduate students and integrated the scholarship of learning and teaching into the university’s promotion and tenure process. He also is a leading authority on farm safety.

Gloria Jones-Johnson
Professor of sociology
Jones-Johnson has been an advocate for racial and gender equity at Iowa State for nearly 30 years. She is an expert in social inequality and the workforce, and currently directs the women’s and gender studies program. She also has been active as a member of numerous diversity-related groups and committees, and she is a longtime champion for graduate students.

Arvid Osterberg
Professor of architecture
Osterberg has been a strong change agent at Iowa State through his involvement in the design of public buildings and spaces on campus as inclusive designs that can be enjoyed by all people, including those with disabilities. He has reviewed more than 200 Iowa State capital project designs and, in the process, established ISU as a leader in accessible campus design.


Morrill Professor

Named for Sen. 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.

Cinzia Cervato
Professor of geological and atmospheric sciences
Cervato exemplifies the spirit of her Morrill Professorship through her active scholarship of learning and teaching in the geosciences, the bold use of active learning tools in large lecture courses, award-winning teaching and service to Iowa State. She created the Tall Grass Prairie Project, which uses sustainability as a vehicle for multidisciplinary teaching.

Donald Simonson
Professor of music and theatre
Simonson is a pioneer in the field of training the singing voice. He uses digital sound analysis software and other technological innovations in his teaching and research to help singers better understand and interact with the acoustical elements of the singing voice. He brings Broadway to campus as the music director/conductor for Iowa State’s spring student theater production.

W. Robert Stephenson
University Professor of statistics
Stephenson has modeled excellence in the undergraduate teaching and learning of statistics for more than 30 years. His innovative teaching methods have impacted thousands of statistics students in multiple generations. He has numerous refereed publications in the scholarship of teaching and learning in statistics education.


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.

Mufit Akinc
Professor of materials science and engineering
Akinc is well recognized for his research which has led to reduced energy consumption and lengthened the service lifetimes of many components in furnaces and related high-temperature applications. His administrative service includes 11 years as chair of materials science and engineering, which led to transformative changes in curricula and research in the department. As interim dean of the College of Engineering, he led efforts to renovate Marston Hall and to secure accreditation for all engineering curricula.

William Crumpton
Professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology
Crumpton is recognized nationally and internationally as an authority on the water quality functions of wetlands in agricultural landscapes and on performance-based approaches to wetland restoration. He also has dedicated substantial time to institutional service, especially in support of graduate and undergraduate interdisciplinary programs in environmental programs.

Kristen Johansen
Professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology
Johansen is widely recognized for her groundbreaking research on nuclear organization during the cell cycle as well as for her considerable contributions to teaching, student mentoring and leadership roles. Results from some of her research work appears in the quintessential molecular genetics textbook, Genes IX.

Mark Rectanus
Professor of world languages and cultures
For 29 years, Rectanus has served in numerous capacities that have positively impacted Iowa State. His most sustained internationalization effort at Iowa State is the establishment of the Languages and Cultures for Professions program. He is an internationally recognized scholar of German cultural studies whose research publications have had great impact on the fields of museum studies, media studies and the global publishing industry.


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.

Carol Heaverlo
Outreach coordinator, Program for Women in Science and Engineering
Heaverlo coordinates outreach for programs that reach more than 12,000 K-12 students every year across the state. She also directs conferences aimed at inspiring girls across Iowa to consider a career in a STEM field.

Tonia McCarley
Assistant director, Center for Biorenewable Chemicals
McCarley has played a key role in making the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals successful, including a recent $12 million extension to the center. She is regularly asked by the National Science Foundation to provide guidance to administrative directors at other engineering research centers.

Michael Miller
Manager, information technology, College of Design
Miller has made significant contributions through coordinating the acquisition, construction and renovation of the college’s research and teaching facilities, and finding innovative solutions to the college’s unique technology and space needs.


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 $2,500 award is granted.

Mufit Akinc
Professor of materials science and engineering
Akinc has been an extraordinary mentor and role model to both students and faculty throughout his career. What separates him is his genuine interest in the student as a person. Akinc is well recognized for his research. His administrative service includes 11 years as chair of materials science and engineering. As interim dean of the College of Engineering, he led efforts to renovate Marston Hall and to secure accreditation for all engineering curricula.

Steven Rodermel
Professor of genetics, development and cell biology
Rodermel is best described by his former students. One wrote: “Steve had a special ability to manage and mentor his people so that lab work and group discussions were … fruitful and constructive. He was also able to bring out the best in their strengths and find opportunities to strengthen areas of weakness.”


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.

Julia Dominguez
Associate professor of world languages and cultures
Domínguez’ outstanding accomplishments in teaching, research, professional practice, service and outreach are all interconnected with Iowa State’s internationalization activities and goals. As co-director of two faculty-led study abroad programs, she has provided nearly 1,000 ISU students the opportunity to live abroad, undertake international internships and become both bilingual and bicultural.


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.

James McCormick
Professor of political science
Serving as chair since 1999, McCormick has navigated the department through many major changes in curriculum, funding and personnel. He has been an effective steward of the department’s resources, a provider of wise counsel and maintained a calm demeanor in the face of many challenges.


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.

Gayle Brown
Senior lecturer, veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine
Brown co-teaches two courses in the veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine department and assists with a third class. She also develops and manages content for the only course that is used at all U.S. veterinary schools.


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.

Jan Duffy
Adjunct instructor, accounting
Duffy has taught approximately 10,000 ISU students during her 25 years as an accounting instructor. She’s taught almost every accounting undergraduate course offered at Iowa State.

Thomas Holme
Professor of chemistry
Holme’s teaching is described by his nominators as “truly legendary.” He has a unique ability to quickly recognize the level of knowledge of his audience (or class) and aim his presentation at their level. Not only does he prepare lectures using examples relevant to the students’ interests, but he is adept at in-class student interactions.


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.

Leroy Sturges
Associate professor of aerospace engineering
Sturges has made many contributions to engineering education at Iowa State and at the national and international levels, notably through his widely used textbooks in statics, dynamics and the mechanics of materials. For more than 15 years, he’s conducted weekly help sessions in the evening to assist students, one-on-one.


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.

Jacob Harrison
Assistant professor of music and theatre
In the time he has taught at Iowa State, Harrison has transformed the University Symphony Orchestra into a sophisticated ensemble that consistently overflows the concert hall with enthusiastic audiences for each performance. He takes a personalized approach to working with all of the orchestra’s string performers.

Beth Hartmann
Lecturer, civil, construction and environmental engineering
Hartmann joined the department in 2009, after a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy. From the beginning, she has placed importance on creating a positive learning environment. She has served as faculty leader for the E2020 Scholars Program Leadership Pillar for the College of Engineering, and she leads efforts to create long-term and effective mentoring programs for students, faculty and staff in her department.


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.

John Burnett
Student services specialist, natural resource ecology and management
Burnett has consistently proven to be a great resource and advocate for undergraduate education. He is responsible for recruitment, orientation and advising activities; and personally advises approximately 320 students. His success reflects his philosophy that each student is an individual who deserves his respect, time and attention.

Jane Dawson
Senior lecturer, geological and atmospheric sciences
Dawson is a powerful student recruitment and retention weapon. For her student advisees, she is a trusted, passionate, caring friend and a role model. For the incoming and visiting students, she is an inspiring, welcoming face. For her fellow faculty, she is an authoritative and accessible source of knowledge in academic advising.


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.

Ulrike Genschel
Assistant professor of statistics
Genschel has been overseeing students in undergraduate research experiences, some of which led to nationally recognized awards. Due to her initiative, the Undergraduate Statistics Club found new life and provides professional resources for students beyond immediate coursework.


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.

Lawrence Johnson
Professor of food science and human nutrition; director, Center for Crops Utilization Research
Johnson has been a highly productive and successful researcher in cereal science and technology with numerous books and chapters, peer-reviewed publications and $42 million in grants. He has a great vision and ability to enable people and research teams. With his assistance, many junior faculty and scientists have succeeded in establishing their own research programs.


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.

Tong Wang
Professor of food science and human nutrition
Wang has developed novel food and fuel processing techniques and value-added utilization strategies for soybeans, corn and eggs, and transferred them to industries. She is internationally recognized as a lipid chemist. She has 100 peer-reviewed publications, 11 book chapters and 114 scientific presentations.

Xinwei Wang
Professor of mechanical engineering
Wang performs cutting-edge research in micro/nanoscale thermal transport, laser-material processing and micro/nanoscale thermal probing. His scholarship has been widely received, recognized and cited through publication in 85 high-quality journals with more than 1,000 citations.


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.

Baskar Ganapathysubramanian
Associate professor of mechanical engineering
Ganapathysubramanian’s research focuses on the computational modeling and design of complex multiscale systems, primarily in the area of clean energy. His focus on bringing the tools and power of computational physics and mechanics to bear on problems of interest to the broader research community has resulted in highly productive collaborations with researchers across the world.

Kirsten Hofmockel
Associate professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology
Hofmockel is a nationally recognized scientist known for insightful research into soil microbial ecology. She has been awarded more than $6 million in research funds since arriving at Iowa State, participates in four interdepartmental graduate programs and has authored 18 scientific articles and two book chapters.


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.

Amani Elobeid
Scientist, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
Elobeid has become well recognized as a leading authority in world sugar and biofuel markets. Her outstanding research record has contributed significantly to the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute’s internationally recognized agricultural and trade policy research reputations. She has authored or co-authored 70 research reports and papers.


Award for Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa

The award recognizes individuals or teams of faculty or professional and scientific staff for outstanding ISU-based achievements in advancing the economic development of the state of Iowa. A $1,500 award is granted.

Linda Niehm
Associate professor of apparel, events and hospitality management
Niehm serves as the leader for the College of Human Sciences' Entrepreneurship Education Initiative and works closely with the PappaJohn Center for Entrepreneurship in providing support for individuals seeking counsel on starting a business. She’s also worked with numerous Iowa communities to strengthen and develop rural economies.


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.

Mark Hanna
Scientist, agricultural and biosystems engineering
Hanna’s seminal contribution to intellectual property at Iowa State is the development of the award-winning Impellicone manifold, a flow-divider system that enables better control over the application of anhydrous ammonia. It’s generated over $4.4 million in sales and $250,000 in licensing fees.


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.

Matthew Nelson
Design engineer, aerospace engineering
Nelson designed and supervised the building of the Make to Innovate Laboratory and now manages the laboratory, which serves 170 students working on 21 projects. He has progressed from his initial status as an electronic technician to the manager of an exciting hands-on experience for students.

Mark Peterson
Program coordinator, College of Business graduate program
Peterson’s strong leadership in Graduate Business Career Services and his professional service in the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance have significantly improved the brand and recognition of Iowa State’s MBA and other graduate programs.

Renu Srivastava
Assistant scientist, Plant Sciences Institute
Srivastava has been recognized nationally and internationally for her research excellence. Since coming to Iowa State, she has been a coauthor on 11 and the lead author on four prominent research publications in some of the most respected journals in plant sciences. She has made advances in understanding how crop plants can be improved to better tolerate stress.


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.

John Hoffman
Systems support specialist and web technologist, facilities planning and management
Hoffman actually supported and worked with Carroll Ringgenberg, the namesake of this award. They collaborated on the development of facilities planning and space utilization on campus. And you can thank him if you’ve ever used the online map to find your way around campus or looked up information about a building or classroom.


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.

Samantha Boyd
Communications specialist, Thielen Student Health Center
Boyd’s creativity and passion for building a student health brand has spread far beyond her department. The student health tagline she envisioned, “Specializing in Students,” is evolving from a marketing campaign into a culture of student affairs excellence.

Melissa Hulme
Hall director, Department of Residence
Hulme’s creative approach to problem-solving and collaboration resulted in a complete overhaul of the key management process in the residence department, directly impacting the safety and security of the facilities.

Sarah Wilson
Student services specialist, College of Business undergraduate program
Wilson offers high levels of achievement in all her duties, including scheduling classes and rooms in the Gerdin Building, identifying enrollment trends and registration needs, improving the prerequisite management program and collaborating with department chairs and the associate dean.


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.

Daniel Loy
Professor of animal science and director, Iowa Beef Center
Loy helped pioneer the use of microcomputers in data management for cattle feeding operations. Later, he was instrumental in the transition by beef producers to cattle diets that include corn co-products.


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.

Angela Rieck-Hinz
Extension program specialist, agriculture and natural resources extension and outreach
Rieck-Hinz coordinates statewide training programs for more than 3,000 manure applicators. Her leadership style fosters teamwork and collaboration on environmental stewardship programming across all levels within extension, and soil health and with water-quality stakeholders.


Award for Early Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice

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

Darin Madson
Assistant professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine
Madson is internationally renowned for his diagnostic medicine skills and outreach efforts. His research discoveries have had a major impact on developing new approaches to assure the health and well-being of Iowa’s $12.5 billion animal agriculture industry.


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.

Mary Beth Kaufman
Family finance program specialist, human sciences extension and outreach
Kaufman is on the cutting edge of emerging issues such as flood recovery, mental health and poverty reduction. She serves on the Iowa JumpStart board of directors, gives leadership to Money Smart Week in Council Bluffs and Shelby County, and is Iowa’s liaison for the High School Financial Planning Program.

Corny coffin


Students from an integrated studio arts class assist fantasy coffin artist Eric Adjetey Anang (center), Ghana, create a "corny," Iowa-themed coffin. Anang is an artist-in-residence in the integrated studio arts department this week, working with associate professor Chris Martin's classes. Faculty and staff may watch Anang work Thursday (9:30-11 a.m.) and Friday (8-11 a.m.) on the lower level patio behind the College of Design. The demonstrations are free and open to the public.

Fantasy coffins are a traditional folk art, unique to the Ga people of southern Ghana. The coffins are sculpted and painted in ways that represent the deceased.

Martin plans to auction the coffin Anang is creating here at Iowa State as a fundraiser for an ISU Engineers Without Borders project to develop a water retention system in a drought-prone Ghanaian village. Read more about Anang and his fantasy coffin creations online. Photo by Amy Vinchattle.