CALS faculty, staff, students recognized for exceptional efforts during COVID-19

A number of faculty, staff and students from within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recently earned recognition by Iowa State University for their exceptional efforts to respond to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A dozen different COVID-19 Exceptional Effort Awards were presented to 52 individuals and teams university-wide, selected from a pool of 647 nominees.

The following CALS individuals and teams were recognized:

Excellence in Face-to-Face Instruction

  • Claudia Lemper-Manahl, assistant teaching professor, plant pathology and microbiology - for leadership and creativity in ensuring the safety of students and staff in undergraduate in-person microbiology labs.

Excellence in Remote Instruction

  • Alejandro Plastina, associate professor, economics - for adapting ECON 330: Advanced Farm Business Management to an exceptional hands-on, but entirely online, format. Read more about Plastina's efforts
  • Grant Thompson, assistant professor, horticulture - for outstanding virtual delivery of HORT 240: Landscape Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines, and for enduring improvements to student accommodations. Read more about Thompson's efforts

Research Impact

  • Nicholas Gabler, professor, animal science - for delivering practical science-based solutions to pork producers in order to overcome the challenges of packing plant shut-downs. Read more about Gabler's efforts
  • Lily Wang, professor, statistics - for research of COVID-19 dynamics in order to understand and improve forecasting of the spread of infectious diseases.

Graduate Student Research Impact

  • Ryan Andrews, graduate student, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology - for important discoveries in the functional annotation of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.
  • Amanda Bries, graduate student, food science and human nutrition - for tireless efforts to support nutritional research and undergraduate student lab experiences.
  • Emma Helm, graduate student, animal science - for selflessly leading two impactful research studies of pandemic effects on the swine industry. Read more about Helm's research studies
  • Urminder Singh, graduate student, genetics, development and cell biology - for breakthrough research into the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on orphan genes of African American populations.

Principles of Community Champion

  • Social Media + Diversity and Inclusion teams, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences - for intentional collaboration during the pandemic leading to the creation of the #CALScommunity social media campaign.

Exemplary Team or Unit Effort

  • Ben Chamberlain and Nate Dobbels, academic advisors, agricultural education and studies - for providing exceptional face-to-face instruction and supervision, alongside student peer mentors, that assisted new students during their transition to ISU.
  • Jenny Macken, academic advisor, sociology - for dedication to student success and retention through creative online learning communities.

Find a full list of awardees in this Inside Iowa State story.