Apparel showcase

Student explains a gown she made to another student

Photos by Christopher Gannon.

Senior apparel design majors and graduate students shared their fall semester projects during a showcase event Monday morning in the Student Innovation Center atrium. (Above) Lauren Hansen shows a Victorian-inspired gown to fellow apparel merchandising and design student Merveille Dimambu. (Below) Cleo Green describes the process of designing a garment that features wearable art components.

In the Senior Design Studio (AMD 495), students create apparel, from target market research to prototypes, using manual techniques and CAD technologies. 


Student explains her wearable art dress to male instructor

Jason Henderson to lead Extension and Outreach programs

Jason Henderson has been appointed vice president of Iowa State's extension and outreach programs. He will join Iowa State April 3.

Jason Henderson head shot

Jason Henderson

Henderson currently serves as director of extension and senior associate dean for faculty development in the College of Agriculture and assistant vice provost for engagement at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He succeeds John Lawrence, who last June announced his plans to retire this spring.

"Jason Henderson brings a wealth of experience to Iowa State University, both as an agricultural economist and an academic leader," said President Wendy Wintersteen. "He was raised on a family dairy farm in northeast Iowa. He understands the needs of Iowa's rural communities and the critical role extension and outreach plays in their vitality and success."

Henderson holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Central College, Pella, and master's and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University. He served in several positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, including vice president and Omaha branch executive, before joining Purdue in 2013 as extension director, associate dean and assistant vice provost of engagement.

A nationally recognized expert in agricultural and rural issues, Henderson has published more than 80 research articles in academic and Federal Reserve publications on topics such as land values, entrepreneurship, e-commerce in agricultural industries, changing demographics in rural America and value-added food manufacturing.

"Leading Iowa State's extension and outreach programs is a tremendous and humbling opportunity," Henderson said. "As a native Iowan, I am excited for this opportunity to serve my home state and to work with our team of faculty, staff and county leaders to maintain a strong Iowa."

In making the announcement, senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert praised Lawrence for his performance in the role, and thanked members of the search committee for their thoughtful consideration of candidates.


Editor's note: This story was added to Inside Iowa State on Dec. 21, when the appointment was first announced.

Regents direct universities to comply with governor's TikTok ban

On Dec. 15, Iowa Board of Regents President Mike Richards provided guidance to all regent institutions to comply with a directive by Gov. Kim Reynolds to ban TikTok, the social media platform, on all state-owned devices.

In a statement, Richards asked all institutions to:

  • Remove and prevent the installation of the TikTok app from all electronic devices owned, leased or controlled by the university.
  • Stop creating and posting content on all TikTok accounts owned or controlled by the university.

University leaders ask that all employees immediately remove the TikTok app from university-owned devices. For questions or assistance, contact the ITS Solution Center or 515-294-4000.

Employees can still access TikTok on privately-owned devices, even if connecting through the university Wi-Fi network, but it cannot be for business purposes. The board guidance does not apply to student organizations.

Editor's note: This story was posted on Dec. 16, at the time of the announcement.

Data glut in Google storage still needs our attention

About 2,800 employees whose university Google accounts hold more than 3 gigabytes (GB) of data received an email reminder Dec. 15 from information technology services (ITS): Their account is at risk for read-only status on Jan. 3. Employees still have about 20 days to delete or move files and get their personal data storage under 3 GB to keep their account fully functioning.

Implementing individual storage quotas is one strategy in a broader need to reduce the university's total storage in Google by Jan. 1 to 100 terabytes (TB). If the university community can't hit that mark, Google announced it will put all Iowa State accounts on read-only status after Jan. 1. Read-only means account holders could download or read files, but they wouldn't be able to edit existing files or create new files.

Like other cloud storage providers, last year Google halted its policy of unlimited storage for higher education clients and put them on alert that quotas were coming. Google set Iowa State's storage limit at 100 TB, with enforcement set for January. At the end of November, institutional storage in Google totaled 275 TB; this week, it's at about 220 TB and trending down.

"We have seen a noticeable improvement in responses, and want to thank everyone for their help moving toward this goal. We still have a bit to go, but we're making progress and the numbers are dropping," said Jason Shuck, who manages the systems operations team in ITS, which oversees data storage for the university.

He said his team is focused on assisting a group of about 50 super storers with unusually high data storage. All employees are encouraged to review their Google data storage and see what they can:

  • Delete. This is an appropriate choice for personal use files, unused or obsolete files and duplicated material owned by someone else. Look at both Google Drive and Google Photo.
  • Move. Iowa State has new, multiyear contracts for generous storage in Microsoft OneDrive and Box (branded on campus as CyBox), Shuck said. There's not a concern about capacity with either option. A knowledge base article, Export Your Google Drive Content, shows employees how to move files. For ITS assistance migrating files to OneDrive, complete the form, Request Managed Migration to OneDrive. ITS staff also can create a shared space in CyBox for departments or units; email to request help with this.
  • Delete after moving. Files in Google that were successfully migrated to CyBox or OneDrive still need to be deleted.

Regardless of institutional storage levels, Shuck said ITS will enforce the 3 GB personal quota. So, if the university reaches its overall 100 TB goal, employees using more than 3 GB would still go read-only.

Employees who need to migrate stored data out of Google are encouraged to email to review options and develop a plan.


Departments asked for feedback on adding another master degree

At the final Faculty Senate meeting of the fall semester Dec. 13, senators were asked to seek input from their departments about the potential impact of another type of master's degree. ISU graduate council chair Monica Haddad, community and regional planning, said some departments have expressed interest in a master of science requiring only coursework.

Currently, the university offers three types of master's degrees:

  • Master of arts or science with a thesis
  • Master of arts or science without a thesis but involving a creative component
  • Professional master degree with coursework only. The name of the degree is distinguishable from a master of science or arts by being named master of the disciple pursued, for example, master of computer science.

"I am asking if the council should revise the policy, or if programs wanting to offer a coursework-only master be required to name it a master of the discipline?" Haddad said.

She said there is not a trend among universities nationwide for this kind of master's program. Some departments believe more applicants would consider it if there was an online, coursework-only master of science option.

Some senators voiced opposition, believing it would lessen the prestige of a master of science degree by not requiring a thesis or creative component. Another concern was the possibility of graduates implying their master of science degree included a thesis or creative component when it did not. Other senators asked if it could be a department-level, rather than universitywide decision.

Haddad asked senators to have their department's faculty respond by Feb. 1 by emailing feedback to Natalie Robinson, Graduate College student services assistant director.

Degree planning

Senators will vote at the January meeting on numerous changes to the degree planning policy for majors, minors and certificates. Academic affairs council chair Rahul Parsa said the intent is to provide more opportunities to students. Generally, changes within the proposal would:

  • Clarify language about multiple (formerly "double") degrees and majors, and which combinations are permitted within colleges and across colleges.
  • For students completing multiple degrees or majors, eliminate the requirement for 30 additional credits above the degree or major requiring the most credits, with exceptions noted in the colleges of Business and Engineering.
  • Add clarification language about secondary majors (which are different from multiple majors), including a standard of 24 credits, the makeup of those credits and where they're earned.
  • Keep the requirement for minors at 15 credits, but modify the makeup of those credits and where they're earned.
  • Keep the requirement for certificates at 20 credits, but remove some restrictions on eligible credits and where they're earned.
  • Add language to encourage students to complete multiple degrees or majors concurrently so they're not adversely affected by eligibility rules for federal financial aid.

Peer institutions

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert shared updates coming to two lists of ISU peer institutions.

The first list of 10 is established and approved by the state Board of Regents. An Iowa State advisory committee will offer suggested changes to it at the regents' February meeting, the first major changes to the list since 1986.

"Of the 10 [current] schools, only one lists Iowa State as a peer," Wickert said. "Seven of the universities on the list have medical schools, and that provides them different funding opportunities."

A second list, prepared by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, includes 97 peer institutions for Iowa State. Wickert said the goal is to make that list shorter but still offer a broader comparison than the regents-approved list.


Denise Vrchota

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert (left) and Faculty Senate president Jon Perkins present Denise Vrchota an engraved clock to recognize her leadership on the task force that updated the Faculty Handbook. Contributed photo.

Former Faculty Senate president Denise Vrchota was recognized by Wickert and the senate for leading a task force of former senate presidents that updated the Faculty Handbook for consistency in reference, style and completeness, a process that lasted 16 months. Vrchota led the senate during the 1998-99 academic year.

Other business

Senators will vote next month on:

  • A proposed bachelor's degree in agricultural communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Currently, ag communication is an option within the ag education major. The 128-credit major would prepare graduates to communicate science, policy and technology in ag production to numerous audiences.
  • A proposed professional master of business administration in the Ivy College of Business. A part-time graduate program aimed at working adults, it would feature a hybrid format and weekly in-person classes at the Capital Square Des Moines campus. Electives could be taken in Ames, Des Moines or online for the 42-credit master's program. 
  • A proposed asynchronous online master of accounting analytics in the Ivy College of Business. It would prepare students for professional certification or licensure. This first-of-its-kind master in the state is a 30-credit program that would take two semesters for full-time students and four for part time.

Senators approved:

  • A policy revision in the Faculty Handbook for nondisciplinary corrective action related to faculty misconduct. Corrective action includes a clarification meeting, letter of expectation and written warning. It includes a timeline for all responses.
  • A revision to the last 32 credit policy that exempts students who earned credits from an ISU study abroad or national student exchange program.
  • As part of the consent agenda, a change in the annual faculty review period, from the calendar year (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) to the academic/fiscal year (July 1-June 30).

Iowa State celebrates its graduating students this weekend

Nearly 2,100 students are completing degrees at Iowa State this semester. Their achievements will be celebrated during two graduation events this weekend in Hilton Coliseum. The ceremonies also will be livestreamed.

Graduate students

Beate Schmittmann head shot

Beate Schmittmann

At a 7 p.m. graduate ceremony Friday, Dec. 16, an estimated 218 doctoral and 254 master's degree recipients will be honored. Beate Schmittmann, since 2012 the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of condensed matter, will address the graduates. Schmittmann leads the university's largest college, with 21 departments and one professional school. Every undergraduate takes courses in the college. Prior to joining the Iowa State faculty, Schmittmann was a physics faculty member and administrator at Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, for nearly 21 years.

Undergraduate students

Suku Radia head shot

Suku Radia

An undergraduate ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, will celebrate the accomplishments of an estimated 1,615 bachelor's degree recipients. Alumnus Suku Radia of West Des Moines, who retired in 2017 as chief executive officer (CEO) of the state's largest independent bank, Bankers Trust, will address the graduates. He is serving as an executive-in-residence in the Ivy College of Business. Previously, he served as vice president and chief financial officer for Meredith Corp., Des Moines (2000-08) and enjoyed a 25-year career with the financial services provider KPMG (1975-2000). He was elected to the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in 2010.

Born and raised in Kampala, Uganda, Radia came to the United States in 1971 to attend Iowa State, completing a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1974.

Honorary degree recipient

Daniel Houston head shot

Daniel Houston

Another ISU alumnus and distinguished member of the Des Moines business community will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during Saturday's undergraduate ceremony. The university will recognize Daniel Houston ("HOW-ston"), chairman, president and CEO of Des Moines-based Principal Financial Group, as "one of the world's most influential business leaders." Houston was named to the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in 2019, a recognition of his contributions to improving and developing the state's economy. He completed a marketing degree at Iowa State in 1984, and has spent his 38-year career at Principal Financial. Houston and College of Design dean Luis Rico-Gutierrez led Iowa State's 2017 national presidential search committee.

Faculty in the marketing department nominated Houston for the honor. 

College-specific celebrations

Colleges will honor their graduating students during convocations held prior to the university commencement ceremonies. Most events will be livestreamed. Professional students (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) in the College of Veterinary Medicine graduate once a year, in May. The college convocation schedule is:

What's open, what's closed during winter break

Winter break begins this weekend and lasts a month. The first day of the spring semester, Jan. 17, is the Tuesday following the Martin Luther King Jr. Day university holiday.

Out-of-office energy checklist

Faculty and staff who will be out of the office for an extended time during the winter break should make sure their workspace is in energy-saving mode before they depart. Here are some tips:

  • Shut down all computers, printers and other accessories. Leave your office computer on if needed for remote access or critical operations, but turn off connected devices.

  • Turn off and unplug copiers, space heaters, coffee pots, microwaves, desk lamps, radios and chargers for electronic devices. 

  • Make sure faucets in restrooms and break rooms are turned off and not dripping. If you notice a dripping faucet, contact the FPM service center at 294-5100. 

  • Turn off office lights and public lighting, such as hallways, restrooms and conference rooms.

  • Check windows to make sure they're closed tightly.

  • If you can manually adjust the thermostat in your office, turn it down to 65 degrees. 

  • Shut down unnecessary climate-controlled plant growth chambers and close fume hood sashes completely, if possible. Otherwise, open them minimally.

During the period from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2 -- which includes three university holidays (Dec. 26, 27 and Jan. 2) and the second (Dec. 23) of two holidays Gov. Kim Reynolds awarded state employees -- senior leaders may approve requests for units to physically close their offices Dec. 28-30, effectively creating an 11-day closure for employee work-life balance. Procedures should be in place to handle incoming messages and any emergencies that arise.

Offices can operate on break hours throughout the month. Services for students should remain available because more than 1,600 students will be enrolled in the online four-week winter session. Coaching, consultations for writing and communications, and on-demand workshops with the Academic Success Center will be offered online. Departmental student services also will remain open, though hours will vary and services may be offered online. Check department websites for details. 

Buildings typically unlocked during the week when classes are in session often are locked during winter break. Consult the facilities planning and management building information listings to see building hours or to contact a building supervisor to arrange access. Units and departments should post winter break schedule and service adjustments publicly and in multiple places: websites, social media, phone messages and office doors, for instance.

ISU central receiving and postal and parcel services also have adjusted services and hours of operation during the break.

Here's a rundown of what else is open and closed during the four-week winter break.

Ames/ISU Ice Arena

Closed Dec. 24-25. See online schedule for public skating hours. 

Chemistry Stores 

Closed Dec. 23-Jan. 3, except Dec. 28 when the store room is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for pick-up of in-stock items. No deliveries during winter break. 


No service Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Service ends at 6 p.m. Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. No Moonlight Express. Break schedule in effect Dec. 17-Jan. 15, eliminating some routes and reducing frequency on others. 

Health and wellness

Student Counseling Services and Thielen Student Health Center are open weekdays 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., except Wednesdays when Thielen opens at 8:30 a.m. 

ISU Book Store

Closed Dec. 23-27, Dec. 31-Jan. 2. Open weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Open Dec. 18 and Jan. 15 at noon.

ISU Dining 

Closed Dec. 22-Jan. 2. Limited locations begin opening the first week of January, gradually expanding until spring semester starts. See online schedule for hours and menus. 

IT Solution Center

Open weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m., weekends noon-4 p.m. Closed Dec. 23-27, Dec. 31-Jan. 2.

Memorial Union

Open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 18-Jan. 15, except for 11 a.m. opening on Sundays. Closing at 5 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30. Closed Dec. 24-27 and Dec. 31-Jan. 2. 

Parks Library

Closed Dec. 18, 23-27, Dec. 31-Jan. 2, Jan. 14. See online schedule for reduced hours Dec. 19-Jan. 15 and library department hours.

Recreation Services 

All facilities closed Dec. 23-27, 31-Jan. 2. Lied Recreation Athletic Center closed Dec. 17-Jan. 14. Beyer Hall and State Gym open weekdays 6 a.m.-8 p.m., weekends noon-6 p.m. 

Reiman Gardens

Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Open 5-8 p.m. for Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show Dec. 15-17, 22-24 and Dec. 29-Dec. 31.

Ticket offices

  • Athletics ticket office at Jacobson Building closed Dec. 23-29 and Jan. 2. Open Dec. 30 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Stephens Auditorium ticket office open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Dec. 23, 26-27. Check online for updates.

Transportation Services

Closed Dec. 23-Jan. 2. Kiosk and fuel pumps available 24-7. Call after-hours line at 515-509-1686 with any emergencies. 

University Museums

All galleries closed Dec. 19-Jan. 15.