CALS Professional and Scientific Council

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Professional & Scientific Council is the representative body for all P&S staff in the college.  Members work with the dean and ISU P&S Council representatives to address topics that are important to CALS P&S staff.

CALS Awards Program Enhances Opportunities for P&S Staff Recognition

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Dean’s office and the CALS Professional and Scientific Council partnered to review the CALS Awards Recognition Program. As a result, the 2020 process, which closes nominations on Nov. 19, includes an expanded opportunity for Professional and Scientific (P&S) staff to obtain recognition for the work they accomplish.

This year separate awards have been established for both faculty members and staff members in these eight existing award categories:

  • Early Achievement in Advising Award
  • Early Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award
  • Learning Community Coordinator Award
  • Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award
  • Outstanding Adviser Award
  • Outstanding Service in Student Recruitment and Retention Award
  • Diversity and Inclusion Enhancement Award
  • Teaching Award

As always, staff remain eligible for three additional awards:

  • CALS P&S Outstanding New Professional Award
  • CALS P&S Excellence Award
  • CALS P&S Research Award

“Dean Robison is in full support of these new changes which ensure that both faculty and P&S staff are getting recognized for their excellent contributions to the mission of the college, and the university as a whole,” said David Acker, Associate Dean of Academic and Global Programs.

The awards website and nomination process will look much the same, but the process by which the awards are selected has been updated. The CALS P&S Council Awards Committee now has the responsibility of reviewing applications and serving as the selection committee for the P&S awards. They also will work with the faculty awards committee on the section of the recipients for the two remaining awards where the nominees can be faculty or staff, the CALS Dean Lee R. Kolmer Award for Excellence in Applied Research and the CALS Distance Education Teaching Award. The faculty and staff selection committees will continue collaboration to ensure efficiency.

Additionally, language was removed from the awards process that restricted P&S staff from winning more than one award during their career at Iowa State. “We believe our work with Associate Dean Acker will result in an awards structure that will enhance the College’s efforts to recognize both P&S staff and faculty excellence,” said Nate Dobbels, CALS P&S Awards and Recognition Committee chair and academic adviser in the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies.

CALS P&S staff are encouraged to submit applications by Nov. 19 for the 11 awards now available to them. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to be active in the nomination process. Please consult your departmental awards committee or department chair for details on the nomination process. For further questions, please contact Dobbels.

The CALS Professional and Scientific Council’s purpose is to represent the professional interests of the CALS P&S staff by serving as a voice to the ISU P&S Council, the CALS Dean’s Cabinet, and other leaders as appropriate; as well as coordinate staff activities that support and strengthen professional relationships between leadership and P&S employees. The CALS Professional and Scientific Council was the idea of ISU President Wintersteen. Joe Colletti, who was the Interim Dean at that time, worked with a task force to create the structure and guidelines to set up the CALS P&S Council.  The inaugural councilors were seated in June 2018 and many of them are still serving their first term on the council.


CALS Professional and Scientific Council - Committees


President, Jeff Hartwig, Supt Ag Res Station II,

Past President Tracy Schlater, Communications Specialist III, 

Secretary, Barb McBreen, Communications Specialist IV, 

Communications Officer, Lesa Vold, Communications Specialist III,

Networking and Social Events Committee

Chair, Danielle (Dani) Clark, Asst Scientist I,

            Kati Smith, Comm Specialist I,

            Visha Arumugam, Program Assistant II,

            Danise Jones, Program Assistant II,

            Karla Long, Program Coordinator I,

            Bruce Fulton, Associate Scientist,

Professional Development Committee

Chair, Rachel Fleck, Research Assoc II,

          Robert Hartmann, Teaching Lab Coordinator,

          Steve Jonas , Ag Specialist III,

          Kelvin Leibold, Field Specialist IV,

          Barb McBreen, Communications Specialist,

          Betsy Danielson, Extension Program Specialist IV,

          Joel Rybolt, Systems Analyst III,

          Elaine Phompheng, Student Services Specialist II,

Recognition and Awards Committee

Chair, Nate Dobbels, Academic Advisor II,

            Brenda Downs Admin Specialist II, bdowns@iastate.edui

            Michael Kaiser Research Assoc. II,

            Liesl Eathington, Asst. Scientist III,

            Mickie Deaton , Academic Advisor II,

           Susan DeBlieck, Program Coordinator II,

Ex Officio Members                           

Casey Smith, University P&S CALS Representative and Student Services Specialist,

Ruth MacDonald, Food Science and Human Nutrition Chair and Assistant Dean of Graduate programs,