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News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

2-14-08

Chris Deal

ISU senior Chris Deal was named to USA Today's All-USA Academic Second Team. Deal is pictured here during an internship last summer in Washington, D.C. (Downloadable photo is print quality.)

Contacts:

Chris Deal, Mechanical Engineering student, (515) 370-3325, cwdeal@iastate.edu

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

ISU student named to All-USA Academic Second Team by USA Today

AMES, Iowa -- Although he's a straight "A" student in mechanical engineering, it was Chris Deal's work as executive co-director of Iowa State University's 2007 Dance Marathon that earned him a spot on USA Today's 2008 All-USA Academic Second Team.

USA Today announced the three academic teams of the nation's most outstanding undergraduates in today's (Feb. 14) paper. Each team has 20 members.

Deal, a senior honors student from Jefferson, minors in Spanish and entrepreneurial studies. He has earned many of the highest awards Iowa State has to offer and served in several of the highest student leadership positions available. And he has completed two internships and four international experiences, conducted independent research, mentored 7th graders, assisted in Katrina relief and taught alternative energy concepts to middle and high school students.

But it was his 2007 Dance Marathon work that he chose to write about for his entry essay into the USA Today competition. He considers that Dance Marathon as his proudest accomplishment at Iowa State. Nominees were asked to write about their most outstanding intellectual endeavor. The essay carried the most weight in the selection process.

Although he doesn't consider himself to be much of a dancer, Deal said he "came to college with the idea that I wanted to try new things and break out of the typical engineering mold."

Early on in his four-year involvement with the Dance Marathon, Deal met some of the children who have benefited from the proceeds of the marathon, and he was hooked. For the next two years he served as a morale captain, helping to keep the dancers pumped up for 15 straight hours of movement.

"For the 2007 Dance Marathon, the committee was able to achieve a 60 percent increase in fundraising and student involvement," Deal said. "We had 120 members and raised $160,664 for the Children's Hospital of Iowa through the Children's Miracle Network. It was a record-setting year and an amazing experience."

Deal was nominated by Gloria Starns, his advisor and a lecturer in mechanical engineering. But he remembers hearing about the award as a freshman when ISU student Omar Tesdell was named to USA Today's All-USA Academic Second team.

"It was something that I always had on the radar screen, something I always thought I'd apply to but really never thought I'd be awarded. It's a real honor to be selected," Deal said.

Deal, who will graduate in May, has also been named a 2008 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, receiving a full scholarship for a year of graduate study at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. At Makerere, he will build on his previous internship experience at the Duane Arnold Energy Center, Palo, and ISU's Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies, as well as his biorenewables and energy research in China, and his ethanol study in Brazil.

"I'm very interested in Third World development from an energy perspective--whether that be renewable energy, or making energy available," he said.

And for the two years after graduate school, Deal is committed to teaching high school science in Kansas City as a member of the Teach For America Corps.

"For my long range plans, I could list several completely different tangents that interest me," Deal said. "I'm interested in sustainable development on an international scale, clean energy development, global climate change, science policy and educational reform to name a few. Whichever route I choose, I would ultimately like to end up back in Iowa, close to my family."

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More about Chris Deal

Leadership positions

  • Varieties Emcee, 2007
  • Historian, Cardinal Key Honor Society, 2006-2007
  • Vice president of the Government of the Student Body, 2005-06
  • Vice president of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, 2005
  • President of the Freshman Council, 2004
  • President's Leadership Class, 2003-04
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers International, Board on Government Relations, Adjunct Member
  • ISU Alumni Association, Young Alumni Council

Honors and awards

  • Wallace E. Barron All University Senior Award, 2007
  • W. Robert Parks and Ellen Sorge Parks Senior Scholarship, 2007
  • Order of Omega - Greek Male Most Outstanding Senior, 2007
  • David J. Henry All-University Leadership and Academic Excellence Award, 2006
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship finalist, 2006
  • Phi Delta Theta Arthur R. Priest Scholarship, 2005
  • David W. and Ellen J. Raisbeck Leadership Award, 2005
  • College of Engineering Dean's Student Leadership Award, 2005
  • Des Moines Register Academic All-State Top Ten, 2003
  • National Merit Scholar

Quick look

Mechanical engineering senior Chris Deal, Jefferson, has been named to USA Today's 2008 All-USA Academic Second Team. USA Today announced the three academic teams of the nation's most outstanding undergraduates today. In his entry essay, Deal wrote about his experiences as co-executive director of ISU's 2007 Dance Marathon. Deal has served in several leadership positions at ISU and received many honors for his academic achievement and leadership activities.

Quote

"It was something that I always had on the radar screen, something I always thought I'd apply to but really never thought I'd be awarded. It's a real honor to be selected."

Chris Deal, ISU senior