Issue: 898

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 2, 2016 – No. 898

Top Stories

Graduating Senior Adapts Urban Roots to Global Agriculture
On Saturday, May 7, Malcolm Smith will graduate from ISU with a double major in global resource systems and public service and administration in agriculture. During his time in Ames Smith has won scholarships, photo contests, a research poster competition and an essay competition. He’s attended the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington, D.C. with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; presented research summaries to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization staff in Rome; and represented the ISU student experience on a promotional cover wrap for Forbes magazine. But for Smith, his most meaningful experience at Iowa State was two summer internships in Uganda through the college’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. More

College Convocation to Honor Graduates Saturday
Faculty and staff are invited to recognize graduating seniors at the College convocation Saturday, May 7, at 8:30 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum. Drew Mogler, agricultural business, is the convocation speaker. Matthew Welter, agricultural biochemistry, is the college’s student marshal. The Ag and Life Sciences Student Council will present awards to the following graduates: Alissa Campbell, microbiology and genetics, for academic achievement; Hannah Darr, global resource systems, for distinguished service; Alexandra Ferguson, agronomy, for outstanding ambassador of agriculture; Mogler, for leadership excellence; and Matt Kerns, animal science, for outstanding senior.

Spring Undergraduate Commencement Moves to Jack Trice Stadium
President Steven Leath announced Friday that ISU’s spring undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 7 will be moved to Jack Trice Stadium, the university’s largest venue. University officials predict attendance at this spring’s undergraduate commencement ceremony will exceed capacity at the traditional Hilton Coliseum location. More


Plant Scientists Receive Grant to Explore Genetics of Stress Resistance in Corn
A $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help ISU plant scientists build a better understanding of how corn plants deal with stress conditions such as heat waves. Stephen Howell, genetics, development and cell biology, is the primary investigator on the project. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Graduate Prepared for Harvard Medical School
Alissa Campbell will graduate on Saturday, May 7, with a degree in microbiology and genetics. And while she knew she wanted to attend ISU, she wasn’t sure she wanted to study medicine until she got here. Campbell says the education and opportunities she received in her time at ISU helped lead her to Harvard Medical School next fall, where she hopes to continue her research in infectious disease. More

Horticulture Club Co-Hosts Plant Sale Extravaganza, May 6-8
The ISU Horticulture Club, Graduate Horticulture Club and the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology are working with Reiman Gardens and the Story County Master Gardener Association to host a Plant Sale Extravaganza this weekend in the Reiman Garden’s parking lot. A pre-sale for Reiman Gardens’ members will be held Friday, May 6, 3 to 7 p.m. A public sale will be held Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More

Agricultural Education Student Elected Iowa FFA President
Elisa Russ, sophomore in agricultural education, was elected state president at the Iowa FFA Leadership Conference held April 17-19 at ISU. Russ served on a committee that organized the first-ever Letter of Intent Signing held in conjunction with this year’s state leadership conference. Michael Tupper, junior in agricultural engineering, passed the gavel to Russ during the conference. Tupper said a memorable part of his past year as president was experiencing the various talents of FFA members around the state. More

Extension and Outreach

Extension Releases Publication, Videos on Working with Pollinators
ISU Extension and Outreach has released a publication, “Gardening for Butterflies and Pollinators,” listing specific plants for attracting various species of butterflies and moths, as well as the host plants where caterpillars will feed. Authors are Laura Jesse, Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic; Nathan Brockman, Butterfly Wing at Reiman Gardens; and Donald Lewis, entomology. Jesse Randall, natural resource ecology and management, has also released a series of short videos on beekeeping. More

Extension Releases Five Publications on Managing Athletic Fields
ISU Extension and Outreach turfgrass specialist Ryan Adams has written a series of five publications designed to help athletic field managers keep their fields healthy and safe. The publications are available online through the Extension Store. More

Around the College

Polito Receives Thomas Thielen Award
Tom Polito, director of CALS Student Services, received the Thomas B. Thielen Award, the highest honor given by the Division of Student Affairs, on April 26. The award, named after Iowa State’s vice president of student affairs from 1977 to 1997, recognizes individuals who strongly support student success.

Retirement Reception for Tom Polito, May 3
A retirement reception for Tom Polito, assistant dean and director of CALS Student Services, will be held Tuesday, May 3, 3 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Campanile Room, with a short program at 4 p.m. Polito is retiring in May after 38 years at ISU.

Animal Scientists Travel to Honduras for Ensminger School
Seven ISU animal science faculty will travel to Honduras in May to help educate producers, students and faculty about advances in science and technology to improve livestock production, while emphasizing reasonable and sustainable use of resources. The Honduras conference is the latest in a series of international animal science conferences known as the Ensminger Schools that began more than 50 years ago. Max Rothschild, animal science, holds the Ensminger Endowed Chair of International Agriculture at Iowa State. More

Governor Branstad Signs Proclamation for Soil and Water Conservation Week
Governor Terry Branstad signed a proclamation to celebrate Iowa’s Soil and Water Conservation Week on April 25. He then toured a cover crop test site (research by Mike Castellano) and a bioreactor test site (research by Michelle Soupir) at the ISU Ag Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm. The Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Station also demonstrated how vegetation helps filter water as it moves through a watershed. More

CALS Hosts World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute
CALS hosted the fifth annual World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute on April 25. IYI serves as a high school STEM exploration program discussing critical global food security issues, and serving as a platform for discovering academic career paths in STEM fields. Since its inception in 2011, the event has tripled in size with more than 292 student participants representing approximately 130 high schools across the state. IYI serves as a national model for 17 other state youth institutes across the nation. College faculty and staff provided hands-on workshops and served as student roundtable experts. They were joined by CALS alumni including members of the college’s young alumni program, Curtiss League. 

ISU United Way Food Drive Continues
The eighth annual ISU LIVE UNITED Food Drive continues through Thursday, May 5. Non-perishable items are being collected for Story County food pantries. Campus collection boxes are in Curtiss Hall (Harl Commons near the elevator and the ground floor Rotunda), 2312 Food Sciences Building, 351 Bessey Hall, 1221 Kildee Hall, 207 Science I, 124 Science II, 2610 and 2810 Beardshear Hall and 2200 Gerdin Building. More: Carla Persaud,, 4-1823. 

Funding Opportunities

Beckman Scholar Mentors Needed, Due May 11
Under direction of the Provost’s Office and the Office of the Vice President for Research, ISU is submitting a grant proposal to the Beckman Scholars Program, a prestigious program to provide an in-depth, sustained undergraduate research experience. Research activities will be centered in chemistry, biochemistry, the biological and medical sciences, or some interdisciplinary combination of these subjects. Outstanding faculty researchers are invited to join the application as potential undergraduate mentors to Beckman Scholars. Mentors receive a $5,000 stipend. Applications are due May 11.

NSF Innovative Computational Infrastructure, Due May 20
The National Science Foundation has issued a Dear Colleague Letter to support initial exploratory activities toward the creation of comprehensive shared computational infrastructure solutions that are designed to transform the practice of collaborative neuroscience and enable systematic and grand-scale investigations of the brain and nervous system. NSF encourages funding requests for Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (limited to $300,000) and conference proposals (limited to $50,000). Proposals are due May 20. More

AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships, Due Nov. 1
The American Association for the Advancement of Science seeks candidates for AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships. The aim of these fellowships is to foster scientifically informed, evidence-based policy and practice by involving scientists and engineers from a broad range of career stages to engage their knowledge and analytical skills while learning first-hand about policymaking and implementation at the federal level. Program areas include diplomacy, security and development; energy, environment and agriculture; health, education and human services; big data and analytics; and global stewardship, among others. Applications are due Nov. 1. More

Funding Information, Opportunities and Deadline Reminders
Dates listed are application deadlines. Contact: Roxanne Clemens, Additional information is posted at CALS Pre-Award Resources

May 20 (pre-proposals): North Central Regional Aquaculture Center Regional Research and Outreach Project; $200,000.

June 12 (pre-proposal): Earthwatch Institute; $20,000 to $80,000 and citizen scientists. More

July 13: Morris Animal Foundation Large Animal Studies; horses and llamas/alpacas.

July 20, 21, 22: NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program. More

Aug. 1: Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr Foundation; basic biomedical research, $180,000, early stage investigators, one per institution, contact Sue Shipitalo ( with interest. More

Aug. 24: NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates; includes DOD Awards to Stimulate and Support Undergraduate Research Experiences. More

Oct. 3: National Academy of Sciences Award Nominations. More

Oct. 23 (letter of intent): NIH Nutrition Obesity Research Centers (P30); $750,000, one application per organization, contact Sue Shipitalo ( with interest. More

Communications Kiosk

Spring University Marketing Summit, May 12
The spring University Marketing Summit will be held May 12, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Alliant Energy – Lee Liu Auditorium in Howe Hall. The summit is an educational event put on by the Office of University Marketing each fall and spring semester for faculty and staff at ISU. Participants will learn how to support the university brand along with new features on the university’s Brand Standards website. Registration deadline is noon on Thursday, May 5,


Second Mural Installed at Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center
A second mural by Clint Hansen has been installed at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in the main entrance atrium. “Innovation From Production to Plate” is a 6.5 foot by 56 foot glass and ceramic tile mosaic depicting Iowa’s swine industry from an educational perspective. The mural was commissioned by University Museums and the Department of Animal Science with funding provided by the Iowa Pork Producers as part of the Art on Campus collection. 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 Friday.


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