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News

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.

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.

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.

Regents approve sexual misconduct policies

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

Details.

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.

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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.

In the news

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.

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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.

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Iowa educators address college success for Latinos

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Iowa State University's educational leadership and policy studies program has collaborated with the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education on a policy brief that provides recommendations for schools and colleges, the university announced last week.

See story