Issue: 1280

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
January 22, 2024 

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – This week, I am off to Florida to visit with key donors and partners to the college, along with the CALS Development team of Sarah Roelfs, Nick Van Berkum and Gelin Gil. It is an annual event that includes days filled with individual and small group visits and then a big evening event for all of Iowa State’s friends in the region (lots of snowbirds and plenty of year-rounders, too) led by President Wintersteen and ISU Foundation President Larissa Holtmyer-Jones… More 

Top Stories

Students in the inaugural section of the course were tasked last semester with producing podcast episodes for the Contemporary Issues in Agriculture Podcast.

Empowering Students to Communicate about Agriculture
Conversations about contemporary issues in agriculture can be intimidating for students, especially when they involve controversial topics. An important goal for Fally Masambuka-Kanchewa, agricultural education and studies, is to empower her students to feel more confident addressing and communicating about such issues before they graduate. Masambuka-Kanchewa created the AGEDS 463X: Communicating Contemporary Issues in Agriculture class through her participation in the CALS Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows program. Students in the inaugural section of the course were tasked last semester with producing podcast episodes for the Contemporary Issues in Agriculture Podcast. More 


Research Suggests Value of Framing Social Media Messages for Conservation-Related Outreach
A group of researchers, including Jacqueline Comito and others at Iowa Learning Farms, tested messages designed to appeal to different farmer “identities” among Facebook users. The researchers focused on four identity frames, based on how farmers identify themselves individually or within their social groups: Business, Hero, Stewardship and Science. Findings from the project, supported by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, were reported recently in the journal Sustainability Science. More 

Roundtable Seeks Faculty Interested in Community Vitality 
The Office of the Vice President for Research is hosting a Research and Innovation Roundtable for faculty across campus who would like to explore issues around community vitality. Register by Feb. 16 to participate in the roundtable on March 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union (lunch provided). More 

Teaching and Students

CALS Council Elects New Executive Team
The CALS Student Council has elected its new executive team: president is Maddilyn Klemme, senior in agricultural communication; vice president is Alexandra Hoffman, senior in animal science; secretary is Raegan Kime, senior in agricultural and rural policy studies; and treasurer is Madi Harvey, junior in animal science. More   

EWB Travel Team Returns from Ullo, Ghana
Members of the Iowa State University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, led by Dirk Maier, agricultural and biosystems engineering, just returned from a trip to Ullo, Ghana. Working with students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Ullo community members, four projects were successfully implemented, including the expansion of the water distribution system at the Ullo Senior High boarding school. More 

Student Club Taking Fudge Orders Now for Valentine's Day
The Food Science Club is making and selling 250 pounds of fudge to celebrate Valentine's Day. Pre-orders from the university community are accepted through Jan. 31, or until sold out. The club is offering six flavors in half-pound containers: chocolate, peanut butter, cookies 'n cream, chocolate mint, Cyclone (chocolate fudge with peanuts and mini marshmallows topped with M&Ms) and a new flavor, orange cream. The price is $7 for one container, and $6 each for two or more containers. The online order form is on the club's website. Orders can be picked up Feb. 12-13 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside of 206 MacKay). Funds raised will be used to cover regular club expenses and industry trips. 

Extension and Outreach

Be Vigilant about Animal Care in Cold Weather
With more cold days in the forecast, livestock and pet owners need to be vigilant about the care they give to outdoor animals. While many hobby farm animals in Iowa are well acclimated to lower temperatures, a few basic considerations can keep livestock healthy and comfortable throughout the winter months, according to Amy Powell, ISU Extension and Outreach. More 

Annual Shade Tree Short Course Scheduled for February
The 68th edition of the Shade Tree Short Course, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, is Feb. 21-22 in Ames. The course began in the mid-1950s and has become one of the most popular and well-attended tree care conferences of its kind in the country. More 

Around the College

Move What Matters: Treating Wastewater Sustainably
Martin Gross knows the power of algae. The green gunk that collects on pond surfaces changed his life and inspired a business that’s helping municipalities and the environment. While an Iowa State undergraduate with an interest in algae, Gross met Zhiyou Wen, now the William K. Deal Agricultural Innovation Professor in food science and human nutrition and director of Iowa State’s Center for Crops Utilization Research. Following research and technology development, and with a new focus on wastewater treatment, Gross and Wen wanted to launch a business. Their timing was good, as Iowa State’s Startup Factory was just getting up and running. Gross was one of the first to join, learning from experienced professionals about how to turn an innovation into a viable business venture. Gross-Wen Technologies has been in business for nearly a decade, and their system is used around the world. More 

Kerkove Receives Future Nurse Leader Scholarship
Karla Kerkove, food science and human nutrition and a doctorate student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, received a 2024 Deborah E. Trautman Future Nurse Leader Scholarship, presented by the Foundation for Academic Nursing, the philanthropic arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Kerkove is a clinical assistant professor in the FSHN nursing program. More 


Jan. 24-25: Iowa Pork Congress
The Iowa Pork Congress is Jan. 24-25 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The Iowa Pork Industry Center will be available in booth 134. Swine specialists will be leading producer certification sessions for PQA plus and TQA, and faculty from veterinary medicine will be panelists for a session on swine diseases. More 

Feb. 2: CALS Chat with the Dean
Dean Robison will host a CALS Chat on Feb. 2 from 2-3 p.m. in Agronomy Hall’s second floor commons. The informal, drop-in event will be an opportunity for casual conversation.

March 27: Save the Date
The CALS Spring Awards Program, honoring faculty and staff achievements, is March 27 at 4:10 p.m. in Dolezal Auditorium, 127 Curtiss Hall. The program will include brief comments from Dean Robison and recognition of the 2024 CALS faculty and staff award recipients. A reception in Harl Commons will follow the program.


Exhibition Tour of Christian Petersen’s Works on Thursday
Explore how Christian Petersen’s works of art have transformed the visual legacy of Iowa State’s campus. Art on Campus curator Sydney Marshall will highlight objects within two Christian Peterson exhibitions on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 5-6 p.m. The tour begins in the Campbell Gallery, 1017 Morrill Hall. More 


Social Media Posts from Library of Congress Drawing Attention
The Library of Congress has about 178 million historical artifacts, with about 61 million of them digitized. “We can highlight items from our collection – from a diary to a letter or another physical item – based on what’s going on in the world,” said Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, in an article for Issues in Science and Technology, published by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. “You can go online and see Teddy Roosevelt’s diary in his own hand and Rosa Parks’ peanut butter pancake recipe in her own hand,” Hayden said. “That’s what social media has been doing for us. We can share this with people.” 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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