Season of rest

Employee sweeps leaves from the pool floor at the Fountain of th

Memorial Union employee Tony Winkler sweeps up autumn leaves from the pool floor surrounding the Fountain of the Four Seasons on a foggy Tuesday morning. On the heels of Homecoming week, the fountain, located on the front lawn of the Union, was shut down for the winter this week. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Dining director finalists invited to campus

The search for the next director of ISU Dining has been narrowed to four finalists. Campus interviews, including open forum sessions, begin next week.

The finalists are: 

  • Mohamed Ali, auxiliaries operations director, Ohio University, Athens
  • John Gaughan, general manager and director of operations, Chartwells Dining Services, Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania
  • Gayle Hanson, senior food service director, Aramark, Peoria, Illinois
  • Amanda Steiner, resident district manager, Sodexo Campus Services, North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro

Open forums

Campus interviews include a one-hour open forum. Attendees can submit candidate evaluations through an online form. All open forums will be held from 11 a.m. to noon in the Memorial Union. The scheduled dates and room locations are:

  • Nov. 12, Steiner, Gold Room
  • Nov. 13, Hanson, Cardinal Room
  • Nov. 19, Ali, Gold Room
  • Nov. 20, Gaughan, Gold Room

About the search

Information about the finalists, including résumés and cover letters, is available on the student affairs website. The search committee, chaired by associate vice president for student affairs Martino Harmon, is working with the Massachusetts-based executive search firm, The Spelman and Johnson Group.

The successful candidate succeeds Nancy Keller, who served as dining director from 2006 to January of this year.

Extra benefits that could pad your wallet

Most Iowa State employees probably think the university's benefits package is pretty good, maybe even really good. But did you know that you have access to several additional benefits and perks once you've enrolled in certain programs? From discounted health magazine subscriptions, to hotel and restaurant discounts, to identity theft kits, there are scores of discounts available to ISU employees.

Here's a look at some of these extra benefits (there may be more), who qualifies for them and how to access them. For more information about these programs and services, contact the vendors directly.


If you're enrolled in a medical insurance plan through Wellmark, you have access to health discounts and services through Blue365, a free program that offers savings from brands like Jenny Craig, Reebok and SNAP Fitness. You also can save on personal care items -- like contact lenses -- and receive discounts on hotels and pet insurance. To sign up, go online, read the disclosure statement and select "I Agree." From there, follow the site's instructions.

EyeMed Vision Care

If you're enrolled in a Delta Dental plan, you have access to vision care through EyeMed Vision Care. Delta Dental subscribers can save up to 35 percent off frames and contact lenses, and also receive savings on eye exams. There is no limit to how often you can use these services annually. However, you cannot use these discounts in conjunction with the Avesis voluntary vision plan, currently offered by Iowa State.


All state employees, including Iowa State faculty and staff, have access to PerksConnect, a free app that gives members access to local and national merchant discounts. Examples of local deals include discounts at hotels, restaurants, health clinics and recreation parks. The app is available from the Apple Store and Android Marketplace. If you don't own a smart phone, you can register online (enter STOFIA when asked for "Your Group Code").

Smoking cessation

Trying to kick the habit? There are several smoking cessation resources (most are free) available to Iowa State employees. More information is available on university human resources' benefits website (Other Benefits > Smoking Cessation Information).

Travel assistance

If you are enrolled in Iowa State's basic life insurance plan through Principal Life Insurance Company, you are eligible for travel assistance services through AXA Assistance. This benefit provides you, your spouse and dependent children (either traveling together or separately) with travel, medical, legal and financial assistance, plus emergency medical evacuation benefits. The benefits apply to domestic and international travel when you are more than 100 miles from home, for up to 120 consecutive days. Services are available 24/7, 365 days a year. For more information, call 888-647-2611 (in the United States) or 630-766-7696 (call collect outside the United States).

Legal help

Another added benefit for employees enrolled in the basic life insurance plan is access to free legal documents and identity theft protection through ARAG/Principal Financial Group. Available documents include:

  • Will
  • Living will
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Financial power of attorney preparation

To access these documents, go online and create a new account (left side of screen). You are required to enter a group policy number for Iowa State in the "Employer Information" section. That number is N1460.

Healthy perks

Employees enrolled in Iowa State's basic life insurance plan or long-term disability program have access to several health-related discounts.

Hearing assistance: American Hearing Benefits Inc.

  • Free annual screenings
  • Free one-year supply of batteries
  • One year of free office visits (limit of 6)
  • Go online or call 877-890-4694 for more information

Hearing assistance: Ear Professional International Corporation

  • Access to a large network of audiologists and ear, nose and throat physicians
  • Up to 60 percent off major hearing-aid brands
  • Three-year extended warranties
  • Go online or call 866-956-5400 for more information

Weight Watchers

  • $10 off a three-month subscription to Weight Watchers Online
  • Go online for more information

Oral health

  • Discounts available on Epic brand toothpaste, oral rinse, mints and gum
  • 50 percent off first order; 25 percent off additional orders
  • Go online for more information

Laser vision correction

  • Available through National Lasik Network, administered by LCA-Vision Inc.
  • Receive 15 percent off standard pricing or 5 percent off promotional pricing for Lasik eye surgery
  • Discounts apply to you, your spouse and dependent children
  • Go online or call 888-647-3937 for more information

Diabetic Living magazine

  • Get a one-year subscription for $6 (70 percent savings off retail)
  • Go online for more information


An expanded Johnny's welcomes fans to Hilton this week

front doors to Johnny's in Hilton Coliseum

Memorabilia cases flank the new inner-concourse entrance to Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Basketball fans attending the Cyclone women's (7 p.m. Thursday) or men's (7 p.m. Friday) season-opening exhibition games this week at Hilton Coliseum will notice a bright change at the east end of the arena: Over the summer and fall, the athletics department expanded Johnny's, its gameday gathering spot for donors, across the building's outer concourse. Johnny's now opens onto the east inner concourse.

The expansion was driven by demand, said senior associate athletics director Chris Jorgensen. More donors are eligible to use the space, and the original Johnny's wasn't large enough to accommodate them, he said. Eligibility rules remain the same.

The $1 million project adds about 50 percent more space to Johnny's, most of which is floor space and seating for guests. The expanded Johnny's also includes two new bars, a food service area, larger coat checkroom and self-serve soda and water fountains.

The Hy-Vee concession stand formerly in that location will be replaced with portable stands on the concourse. The Johnny's expansion had no impact on public restrooms on Hilton's east side.

Johnny's opened during the 2010-11 season in offices vacated when the Sukup basketball practice facility opened on South Dakota Avenue. It honors former men's basketball coach Johnny Orr, who led Cyclone teams from 1981 to 1994.

New UHR training series focuses on resolving conflict

Iowa State supervisors identified conflict management as one of the top five issues they face in the workplace, according to a university human resources survey conducted last spring.  As a result, UHR has created a new training series to help all employees -- not just managers -- cope with conflict.

"Addressing Conflict Using the Tools of Employee Engagement" is a series of three, two-hour workshops open to all ISU employees. Participants will:

  • Get a basic understanding of conflict
  • Learn the basic tools of engagement
  • Explore how conflict impacts their work
  • Learn a process for addressing conflict situations
  • Apply engagement tools to conflict situations
  • Identify what campus resources are available for handling conflicts

"Most people are uncomfortable with conflict, and they're uncomfortable because they don't have the skills to deal with it," said Don Broshar, human resources specialist and the series' instructor. "This series will provide participants with practical, useable tools to deal with conflict, increasing their confidence in dealing with it."

Classes for the winter series are scheduled for Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and Feb. 23, 2016 (9-11 a.m., Memorial Union, Gold Room). A spring series runs April 5, April 19 and May 3 (MU Gold Room). Registration is open through Learn@ISU or AccessPlus (Employee > UHR Training > Courses). Cost is $75 for the series.

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Opera will hit high notes in Fisher

Magic Flute cast members Phillip Sears and Sara Mildenstein.

Seniors Phillip Sears and Sara Jane Mildenstein fill the roles of Papageno and Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute. Photo by Nancy Thompson.

Hear from Simon Estes

Ticketholders to any of the four shows are invited to attend a free reception and lecture on Saturday, Nov. 7 (6-7 p.m., 175 Scheman), featuring opera bass-baritone Simon Estes. An Iowa native and ISU artist-in-residence, Estes performed the role of Sarastro during his international career and will share some of his experiences.

Fisher Theater will reverberate with arias and instruments when Wolfgang Mozart's The Magic Flute takes the stage for a four-show run, Nov. 5-8. ISU Theatre and the music department collaborate on a fall semester opera production every three years.

Leslie Bennett, an associate professor at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, will guest direct the 31-member cast of singers, dancers, actors and puppeteers. ISU associate professor Jacob Harrison will conduct Iowa State's 24-piece chamber orchestra. The production is a mix of spoken dialogue and music, all in English.

"Mozart is particularly transparent. It's very evident if it's not well-sung or in tune," said Jodi Goble, senior lecturer and the show's musical director. "We have really, really strong students right now. It's hard to imagine they're undergraduates."

The fantastical tale features Prince Tamino (junior Ian Butler), who falls in love with Princess Pamina (senior Sara Jane Mildenstein). Pamina's mother, the Queen of the Night (senior Taylor Troyer), arms the prince with a magic flute and sends him on a quest to rescue the princess from the high priest Sarastro (junior Braeden Irvine). Tamino, accompanied by the comical Papageno (senior Phillip Sears), must pass three tests to win Pamina's freedom and the couple's chance for a happy future.

Tickets for The Magic Flute are $21 for adults ($19 for seniors, $14 for students), and available through Ticketmaster or at the Iowa State Center box office. Show times are 7:30 p.m. (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and 2 p.m. (Sunday).