Issue: 1203

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
May 9, 2022 

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – Campus seems to have already quieted as we approach convocation and commencement. Please take time to wish our students well for the summer, whatever their destinations are… Last week I had the chance to tour EEOB’s Ada Hayden Herbarium in Bessey Hall, with herbarium leadership Lynn Clark and Deb Lewis. It’s an amazing collection, including, for example, specimens collected by none other than George Washington Carver with labels in his own handwriting! More

Top Stories

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will hold its spring convocation Friday, May 13, at 10 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum.

CALS Convocation to Honor Graduating Seniors, May 13
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will hold its spring convocation Friday, May 13, at 10 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum. Doors open at 9 a.m. The event will also be livestreamed. The CALS Student Council will present its senior awards (see award winners below). Javelis Marín Castro, animal ecology and pre-vet, is the convocation speaker. Alyssa Rosenbaum, culinary food science and horticulture, will serve as the CALS student marshal at the university undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, May 14, at 2:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The graduate commencement ceremony will take place Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. 

Senior Award Winner: Belinda Hoffman
Belinda Hoffman, global resource systems and dietetics, is the spring 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award given by the CALS Student Council. While in the Semester Along the Nile Program in Uganda, she worked with the demonstration gardens. Seeing this connection between nutrition and agriculture prompted her to add her second major.

Senior Award Winner: Emily Saeugling
Emily Saeugling, animal science, is the spring 2022 recipient of the Leadership Excellence Award given by the CALS Student Council. From club involvement to mentoring students, she has had many leadership roles, including the Block and Bridle Club Beef Interest Group President and the Professional Development Committee Co-Chair for Sigma Alpha.
Senior Award Winner: Jensina Davis
Jensina Davis, agronomy and seed science, is the spring 2022 recipient of the Academic Achievement Award given by the CALS Student Council. She realized she has a strong passion for research while working as an undergraduate research assistant. Davis is a recent recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
Senior Award Winner: Javelis Marín Castro
Javelis Marín Castro, animal ecology and pre-vet, is the spring 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by the CALS Student Council. She is recognized for her leadership promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Marín Castro will present comments on behalf of her graduating class at this semester’s CALS Convocation on May 13.
Senior Award Winner: Cole Eden
Cole Eden, agricultural business, is the spring 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Ambassador of Agriculture and Life Sciences Award given by the CALS Student Council. Through his leadership roles at Iowa State in various organizations, including Alpha Gamma Rho, Eden is being recognized for connecting people to agriculture.
Senior Award Winner: Nick Battles
Nick Battles, global resource systems and agriculture and society, is the spring 2022 recipient of the Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Award given by the CALS Student Council. He has a broad worldview and a narrow life goal: to advocate the right to food and nutrition for all. Through academics, internships and international travel, Battles found his voice at Iowa State.
Class of 2022: Alyssa Rosenbaum 
Alyssa Rosenbaum, culinary food science and horticulture, will leave Iowa State with an extensive resume including four internships, a study abroad service-learning experience, two executive club member positions and membership in a sorority. In recognition of her many accomplishments, Rosenbaum will serve as the CALS Student Marshal during Iowa State’s commencement ceremony Saturday, May 14.
Class of 2022: Allee Koestner
Allee Koestner’s curiosity of the agricultural industry began in FFA. Now a senior in agronomy, she has assisted in research projects based on crop science and soil science and has come to recognize how one influences the other. More specifically, Koestner has dug deep to examine how plants interact with microbial communities.

Class of 2022: Valeria Miranda Ortiz
Valeria Miranda Ortiz, animal science, spoke no English when she arrived at Iowa State. After graduating from high school in Puerto Rico, she moved to Ames to begin the Academic Program of Excellence, an immersive summer experience to help multicultural high-schoolers transition to Iowa State. And she spent hours learning English to achieve her dream of becoming a veterinarian.  

Class of 2022: Savanna Judson
Savanna Judson will graduate on Thursday with a master’s degree in agricultural education. She has taken a bit of a winding pathway to becoming a community college instructor, but she has enjoyed the journey. Following graduation, Judson will be teaching at Des Moines Area Community College’s Carroll, Iowa, campus.  


ABE Researcher Uses UV Light to Produce Safer, Cleaner Air
Jacek Koziel, agricultural and biosystems engineering, has teamed up with Kryton Engineered Metals, a metal spinning and fabricating company in Cedar Falls, and Iowa State’s Center for Industrial Research and Service, to develop a box unit that uses UV light to filter airborne dust, pathogens and odors from livestock facilities. The resulting air smells minty fresh. More  

Researchers Share Surprise Beaver Dam Observations from Study
A study funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center that seeks to quantify beaver dam impacts on water quality, hydrology and stream morphology has reached the one-year mark. Although primary goals of the study focus on how dams influence sediment, nitrate and phosphorus levels in waterways, time in the field has generated observations on additional impacts. Researchers present their top three surprise beaver dam observations from year one. More  

Teaching and Students

Animal Science Offering New Swine Management Certificate
Animal science is now offering a swine management certificate option for students majoring in animal science and interested in learning more about swine. “The idea behind this certification was to position students for a productive transition to become swine industry professionals,” said Justin Chapman, student services specialist in the animal science department. More  

New Name for Major Appeals to Students, Faculty
The agriculture and society undergraduate major has been renamed agricultural and rural policy studies, effective fall semester 2022. “Agriculture is more than just farming,” said David Peters, professor of rural sociology. “It’s about food, energy and conservation. Rural is more than just small towns. It’s about the linkages between cities, urban consumers and the global economy. Students will learn about the policy dimensions of agriculture, and about strategies to promote rural vitality… In short, our major is the people and policy side of agriculture.” The major will still be housed within CALS and administered by the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. More  

Extension and Outreach

New Resource Available on Establishing Perennial Prairie Plantings
The Conservation Learning Group recently published “What to Expect: Establishing Prairie Vegetation on Your Farm,” an infographic designed to inform farmers and landowners about the process and benefits of creating perennial vegetation areas that aid in soil health and water quality improvement and offer habitat for a diversity of wildlife. More  

Webinar Highlights Impacts of Wetland Restoration and Drainage Improvements
The next Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar will take place Wednesday, May 11, at noon. William Crumpton, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, will present results from his research on the impacts of wetland restoration and drainage improvements. More  

Around the College

Horticulture Research Station Grows New Turf for Jack Trice
The 2022 football season for the Iowa State Cyclones will feature a new playing surface. The Kentucky bluegrass installed May 3 inside Jack Trice Stadium was grown at the university's Horticulture Research Station north of Ames by horticulture students and faculty turf extension specialists. Crews from Iowa Sports Turf and Stensland Sod cut the sod in 4-by-85-foot rolls— about 280 total—and transported them to the stadium on flatbed semitrailers. The whole process took less than two days. Adam Thoms, horticulture, said his team grew about 87,000 square feet of turf from seed. The sod grew for "a year and a day, from seed to harvest," he said. More  

Helmers Honored with Brent and Cindy Hart Professorship
Matthew Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Brent and Cindy Hart Professorship in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. More  

Cruse Co-Authors Chapter in ‘Climate Actions’ Book
Richard Cruse, director of the Iowa Water Center, co-authored a chapter in the book “Climate Actions,” by Brenda Groskinsky. Chapter 2 is titled “Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change” and is focused on limiting degradation of soil and water resources. More  

Tekeste Named Iowa ASABE Engineer of the Year
Mehari Tekeste, agricultural and biosystems engineering, was named Engineer of the Year by the Iowa Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. His research focus is on physical systems modeling biomass-machine interaction. More  


May 19: CALS Faculty and Staff Picnic
CALS faculty and staff are invited to celebrate the end of the semester at a picnic on May 19 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Moore Memorial Park, Big Bluestem Shelter. Dinner, live music and games will be provided. Family and guests are welcome to attend. RSVP by Thursday, May 12.  

June 10: Dairy Farm Open House
The annual open house at the ISU Dairy Farm is scheduled for Friday, June 10, from 7 a.m. to noon. Tours include stops at the milking parlor, the milk house and dairy barns. Visitors can sample free dairy products while learning about the dairy industry.

Communications Kiosk

Graduation vs. Convocation vs. Commencement
Technically, graduation happens when a student completes their degree requirements. Iowa State requires students to complete a graduation application showing that all academic requirements have been completed. By definition, convocation is an assembly of persons called together to a meeting, and can include a ceremonial assembly of members of a college or university. At Iowa State, colleges hold convocations to recognize students graduating from the college. The gathering is smaller and the achievements of each individual student are recognized. Commencement is a ceremony connected with graduating from an academic institution. Degrees and diplomas are conferred at a commencement ceremony.


2022 World Food Prize Awarded to NASA Climate Scientist
Cynthia Rosenzweig, senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has been named the 2022 World Food Prize Laureate for her pioneering work in modeling the impact of climate change on food production worldwide. More  

Iowa State Adds Chapter of National Entrepreneurship Honor Society
Iowa State has launched a chapter of the national Sigma Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Honor Society. Students eligible for the honor society must be an entrepreneurship major or minor; be a junior, senior or graduate student; and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2 (3.5 for graduate students). More  


ABE Alum Builds Soil Health Company from the Ground Up
By the time Mitchell Hora graduated with a degree in agricultural systems technology and agronomy in 2017, he had launched his self-built business called Continuum Ag, a soil health data intelligence and consulting company enhancing sustainability for farms. Now, Continuum Ag does consulting and is an ag-tech software company with 24 employees, working globally with large companies and enterprises. “Being able to learn who you are as a person and what drives you and what you can be passionate about, that’s the real takeaway and opportunity that you get at Iowa State,” Hora said. More  

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart, Editor, (515) 294-5616 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is published by email every Monday. The deadline for submitting content is 12 p.m. on Thursday. 


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