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By Megan Lutz, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service
Yijing Ding, program coordinator for the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering, loves a challenge.
For the last two years, Ding has helped coordinate activities at the newly formed Iowa State University Bioplastics and Biocomposites Center. For her work with the center and the department she received the Professional and Scientific New Professional.
Ding likes the start-up feel of the center and the close connections between staff.
"It's very important," Ding said. "It's like I grow with the center."
Being the liaison between the center and industry provides daily challenges. Ding relies on her industry background and expertise to answer questions and work on projects. She enjoys it because she wants to make a difference for others and values working in an environment where she can learn from others.
Ding also helps enhance the student learning experiences is through the Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer Program. She coordinates the housing, meal plans and company visits for students. She believes that it's important to provide an experience that's meaningful for students.
Ding said she couldn't do her job without the support of her David Grewell, the center director, and Sherry Xie, a lecturer in marketing and her mentor.
"Working with Yijing is an absolute pleasure," Grewell said. "She is a problem solver, independent thinker, perfectionist and more than a pleasure to work with. Yijing keeps me out of trouble and is always looking for opportunities to enhance the center and the college. She answers emails late at night and on the weekends to make sure progress never stops."
To ensure that progress never stops, Ding constantly works to improve her work process to get ready for the next project or challenge.
Ding's motivation is evident in other aspects of her life as well, which includes a dedication to a healthy lifestyle.
"If you're healthy outside of work you will be more productive and efficient in work," Ding said.
Ding said work challenges and helping others gives her a set purpose.
"I feel like I work with the most brilliant people," Ding said.
Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will present awards to faculty and staff on March 8 at its Spring-Semester Convocation and Awards Program in the Memorial Union.
March 1, 2018