Iowa State University

News Service


News Service

Annette Hacker, director, (515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777


University holiday

University offices will be closed on the Jan. 1 New Year's holiday.

Geoffroy provides plan for handling budget cuts

In a Dec. 31 letter, ISU President Gregory Geoffroy updated faculty and staff on plans for handling the latest mid-year reversion in state funds to the university.

Geoffroy's letter.

National association honors ISU architecture professor for creative achievement

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture awarded a 2008-09 Creative Achievement Award to Mitchell Squire, associate professor of architecture. He was honored for his "positive and stimulating influence" upon students at Iowa State through the semester-long course he created, Craft and Crafty Action: On the Relationship between Creativity and Mischief.

News release.

Iowa State Gerontology Program conducting three-year study on Iowa centenarians

An Iowa State research team is studying Iowa centenarians to learn their secrets of longevity and the quality-of-life obstacles they encounter. Researchers from ISU's Gerontology Program began the three-year initiative on 136 centenarians across the state last year.

News release.

University holidays

University offices will be closed for the holidays on Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1. Some university departments may operate on different schedules through Jan. 1. Call departments or check their web sites for more information on office hours.

Iowa State study finds early family depression has lasting effects on teens, young adults

A new study by researchers from Iowa State's Institute for Social and Behavioral Research on 485 Iowa adolescents over a 10-year period (1991-2001) found that early socioeconomic adversity experienced by children contributes to poor mental health by the time they become teens -- disrupting their successful transition into adulthood.

News release.

Veterinary medicine students excel in animal welfare competition

Iowa State veterinary medicine students took high honors at the Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Competition last month. Second-year student Jennafer Glaesemann placed first in the individual competition, and Iowa State's team placed second in the veterinary college competition. Students must be familiar with physiological and behavioral indicators of animal welfare, and be able to evaluate how well a given situation suits the animal.

News release.

Keeping canines healthy -- canine teeth, that is

Brenda Mulherin, ISU Veterinary Medicine, offers tips on how to keep canines' teeth healthy.

News release.

Rankin named director of sustainability programs at Iowa State

Merry Rankin, a director in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), will become director of sustainability programs at Iowa State University on Jan. 15.

News release.

ISU receives 'community engagement' designation

Iowa State is among 119 institutions that recently received the "community engagement" designation from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The designation recognizes institutions for outreach to local and global communities. The designation now been given to 195 institutions.

Details on the designation.

American Association for the Advancement of Science honors four Iowa Staters

Four Iowa State researchers -- Surya Mallapragada, Klaus Schmidt-Rohr, George Kraus and Kenneth Moore -- are being named AAAS Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

News release.

After 45 years of service at ISU, veterinary medicine professor says goodbye

Dr. Nani Ghoshal, ISU veterinary medicine, will retire this December after almost a half century of teaching at ISU.

News release.

Weather-related updates

  • The public forum with Iowa Energy Center director candidate Bill Nesmith, originally scheduled for Dec. 19, has been postponed. The interview will be rescheduled later
  • Some airlines have begun cancelling flights at the Des Moines airport; travelers are advised to check their airlines' web site

Obama selects Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

President-elect Barack Obama has selected former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to join his cabinet as agriculture secretary. Obama announced the nomination Wednesday morning. Vilsack is a Distinguished Fellow in Iowa State University's Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products.

See story.

Looking to get fit in the New Year? Iowa State fitness experts offer advice

Warren Franke and Gregory Welk, two Iowa State kinesiology professors, offer tips to people who vow to shape up in the New Year.

News release.

Average value of Iowa farmland nears $4,500 an acre in 2008

The average value of an acre of farmland in Iowa reached $4,468 in 2008, continuing to increase for the ninth year in a row, according to an annual survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension. Mike Duffy, ISU Extension farm economist who conducts the survey, said the indicators toward the end of the year imply the upward trend may be slowing as the national economy battles recessionary pressures.

News release.

Student veterans with financial need may qualify for ISU Veterans Grant

ISU has allocated $100,000 for the ISU Veterans Grant, a new program the Office of Student Financial Aid hopes will help supplement existing GI Bill benefits. The grant will provide up to $1,000 per semester for students whose veteran status is confirmed. Preference will be given to students whose status is confirmed by Jan. 2, 2009. Awards will continue to be made as long as funding is available.

News release.

Iowa State Biobased Industry Center studies carbon emissions, other industry issues

Iowa State University's new Biobased Industry Center will support interdisciplinary research of the biorenewables industry and its economic, policy, business, social and workforce issues. The center is now sponsoring four studies, including three studies related to carbon emissions.

News release.

Iowa State's Hira offers retirement savings resolutions for the New Year

Tahira Hira, an ISU professor of personal finance and consumer economics who serves on President Bush's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, offers 10 New Year's resolutions for investors who are planning to reassess their retirement options.

News release.

Global resource systems major first in the nation

An interdisciplinary major that allows students to pick an international region, language and area of expertise will be offered next fall through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The first-in-the-nation major is expected to attract students interested in addressing issues of hunger and poverty in developing nations and those who want to work for companies with global connections.

News release.

Three design college programs rank in top 15 nationally

Iowa State University's programs in landscape architecture, interior design and architecture are among the top 15 in the nation, according to a survey of practitioners by DesignIntelligence, a bimonthly publication for leaders in design professions. The magazine's annual report, "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools," is the only national college ranking survey that focuses exclusively on design.

News release.

Commencement set for Dec. 19-20

An estimated 1,601 students will receive degrees from Iowa State during winter commencement events Dec. 19-20. The graduate ceremony will be at be at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, in Stephens Auditorium. The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, in Hilton Coliseum, and will include an address by Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation and a former United States Ambassador to Cambodia. Quinn also will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

News release.

Regents approve sexual misconduct policies

The state Board of Regents unanimously approved student-focused sexual misconduct polices for all the regent institutions Dec. 11.


Regents approve tuition rates for 2009-10

Tuition at Iowa State for resident Iowans, both undergraduate and graduate, will go up 4.2 percent next year, following approval by the state Board of Regents Dec. 10.

See details.

Carver Trust awards Iowa State University $508,000 for two projects

ISU has received two grants from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, based in Muscatine, Iowa, to study the biochemical mechanism by which the Ebola virus evades the host immune response to infection, and also to establish an educational technology classroom within the Parks Library on campus.

News release.

Iowa Energy Center candidates to visit campus

Four finalists will interview for the position of Iowa Energy Center director the week of Dec. 15. The finalists include Anne Kimber, director of energy services for the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities; Bill Nesmith, independent consultant and senior energy advisor, National Association of State Energy Officials, Salem, Ore.; Kevin Nordmeyer, partner, RDG Planning & Design, Des Moines; and Harvey Sachs, senior fellow, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Washington, D.C.

Public forum schedules, resumes.

ISU names new multicultural student affairs director

Santos Nez Galicia has been named the new assistant dean and director of multicultural student affairs, effective Jan. 20, 2009. Nez Galicia has been program director of the Multicultural Resource Center at the University of Kansas since June 2001. She will provide leadership to the progress ISU's Office of Multicultural Student Affairs has made in improving retention and graduation rates for students of color.

News release.

Spellman arrested in North Carolina

Ames Police reported Monday night that ISU student Atiba Spellman has been arrested in Pikeville, N.C. He was charged with two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Shakena Varnell and Michael Odikro in Ames over the weekend.

Iowa State team leads USDA study on motivators for safer retail food handling practices

A team of ISU researchers are conducting a three-year study, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on what motivates retail foodservice employees to follow safe food handling practices. The project will eventually produce training modules for supervisors on how they can get their employees to more readily practice and sustain safe food handling behavior.

News release.

Iowa State educators address Latino college success in national policy brief, research

Researchers from Iowa State's educational leadership and policy studies program are working to improve Latinos' chances of experiencing college academic success through two recent projects.

News release.

Design by two ISU architecture students takes top honors in national competition

The work of two architecture graduate students is featured on the cover of the December issue of Hospitality Design (HD) magazine. Michael Grundleger and Jennifer Lehmkuhl were featured because they won the top award in the student category of the fourth annual HD Awards for their design of a hotel with an art gallery. There were 24 competition entries in the student category from schools around the United States. Entries were evaluated on creativity, practicality and function.

News release.

Iowa State, Ames Laboratory chemist looks for cleaner, cheaper rocket fuel

Mark Gordon of Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is part of a U.S. Air Force research collaboration looking for new and better rocket fuels. The researchers have turned their attention to ionic liquids -- salts that can melt down to liquids at room temperature -- as a potential fuel.

News release.

ISU community planning students help Perry integrate immigrants into revitalization

Some community planning students In Gerardo Sandoval's class spent the semester working with the people of Perry to enhance the city's downtown revitalization plan. City leaders asked the students to find ways to integrate the immigrant community into the planning process and the final plan. Students will present their recommendations, "Iowa's Re-emerging Hometown: Planning for a Multicultural Perry," at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Center for Town/Craft, 1122 Willis Ave. in Perry.

News release.


Cy's in the semifinals

Cy has made it to the semifinals of the grueling Capital One National mascot of the Year competition.

Vote for Cy

ISU Alert: Ames Police seek help in connection with murders

The Ames Police Department is investigating the murders of two persons that occurred early this morning near the 1100 block of Pinon Drive in west Ames. Ames Police have identified a person of interest relating to this investigation. Police are asking the public's assistance in locating Atiba A. Spellman of Ames. Spellman is described as a 33-year-old, black male, 5'6" tall, and weighing approximately 200 pounds. Spellman is currently enrolled as a student at Iowa State University; however, he does not reside on-campus. Spellman may be driving a blue 1995 four-door Buick LeSabre bearing Iowa license plate 686 TOT. The vehicle may have a cracked windshield. Anyone with critical information relating to Atiba Spellman or this investigation is asked to contact the Ames Police Department at (515) 239-5133. Please monitor local media for further developments.

Test of ISU Alert is under way

A routine test of ISU Alert, Iowa State's emergency warning system, is under way this morning. ISU Alert is a system for quickly delivering emergency messages via phone, text and e-mail to the university community. Approximately 32,000 students, faculty and staff have signed up to receive ISU Alert messages. Officials activated the alert test at 10:30 a.m. Periodic testing helps officials measure the effectiveness and capabilities of the system.

More about ISU Alert.

ISU's best and brightest show their work at the Honors Poster Presentation Thursday

Thirty-two honors students will showcase their academic talents during the fall 2008 Honors Poster Presentation from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Projects include a therapy-tool book for children dealing with divorce, an investigation of whether or not wearing a backpack destabilizes gait, a study of the relationship between nutrition and cognition in Iowa centenarians, a look at the truth behind lie detectors and a travel guide of Iowa's commercial and public horticultural establishments.

News release.

WinterFest is Dec. 3

Campanile tours, carriage rides, music and lights are part of WinterFest activities on campus Dec. 3.

News release.


Cy's in the finals

Cy has made it to the finals of the grueling Capital One National mascot of the Year competition. Fans can cast votes daily through Dec. 15.

Vote for Cy

Tamara Benedict

Adversity is springboard to success for graduate

Tamara Benedict has persevered through ordeals that few could fathom. The 43-year-old mother of five, who left a 10-year abusive marriage only to have a near-fatal car accident disrupt her dream of a college education, recently received her diploma from Iowa State.

News release.

In the news

ISU Professors Suggest Waiting to Begin Losing Weight

During the holidays, many people try to fight food temptation and get started on a new fitness program to lose weight. Some Iowa State University fitness experts say holiday stress may make that more difficult.

See story.

Young Republicans seek a new kind of party

The Christian Science Monitor

Young Republicans are mounting an ideological and technological insurgency to change the course of the GOP. Steffen Schmidt, a political science professor at Iowa State University, says young people are the new trees in the deforested Republican party.

See story.

10 really cool university networking labs

Iowa State University's Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment (ISEAGE) made the NETWORKWORLD list.

See story and click to slide 6.

Putting kids on learning trail

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Playing games can create an opportunity to assess and evaluate student skills, says ISU Associate Professor Scott McLeod. "If we substitute the word 'simulations' for 'video games,' most people see the possibilities," McLeod says.

See story.

The value of living within our means

The Des Moines Register

Register columnist Rekha Basu laments that our priorities are out of whack, fueled by easy credit and a "buy now, pay later" philosophy. "We have all become children," says Tahira Hira, an ISU professor of personal finance and consumer economics. "We just point ... and say we want that, and we just get that." This holiday season, "if you don't have the money to buy gifts, please don't do it," Hira says.

See story.

Experts say serious flood frequency may increase

Associated Press

The likelihood of more frequent and severe Iowa flooding is increasing, say Iowa State faculty experts Gene Takle and Elwynn Taylor.

See story.