Issue: 1086

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Jan. 6, 2020

Top Stories

Harmon Named CALS Associate Dean for Extension
Jay Harmon has been named the associate dean for extension and outreach programs and director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension in CALS, effective Jan. 1. Harmon has served as interim since April 2017 when John Lawrence was named the interim vice president of ISU Extension and Outreach. CALS Dean Dan Robison said, “He not only understands the important role Extension and Outreach play in the state’s economic development, and how it is part of the fundamental mission of Iowa State University, but also how it is infused in the culture and work of our faculty, staff and even our students. He’s an expert and we are thrilled to have his leadership.” More

Open Forums: 4 Candidates for CALS Associate Dean, Academic Innovation
Four internal candidates have been identified for the new position of CALS Associate Dean for Academic Innovation. Each candidate will provide a public seminar and open forum on the topic of “Academic Innovations in CALS: A Futuristic Vision.” All seminars and open forums will take place in the Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee Hall. They will be taped for future viewing, but not live-streamed. The four candidates and seminar/open forum dates are:

  • Jan. 29: Mike Retallick, chair, Department of Agricultural Education and Studies. Seminar: 9 a.m. Open forum: 10 a.m.
  • Jan. 30: Steven Lonergan, professor of animal science. Seminar: 2 p.m. Open forum: 3 p.m.
  • Feb. 3: Carmen Bain, professor of sociology. Seminar: 9 a.m. Open forum: 10 a.m.
  • Feb. 4: Howard Tyler, CALS assistant dean for student services. Seminar: 2 p.m. Open forum: 3 p.m.

Steve Mickelson, chair, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, is chairing this internal search. The position partly replaces the former Associate Dean for Academic and Global Programs position held by David Acker. Acker now holds the title Associate Dean for Global Engagement and director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods.

Acker to Serve as Associate Dean for Global Engagement
David Acker, associate dean for academic and global programs since 2004, will now serve CALS as associate dean for global engagement. He has led the college’s internationalization efforts since 1995. Acker has also been named director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods following Denise Bjelland’s retirement on Jan. 3.

Taylor Named Director of Global Programs
Shelley Taylor, director of the CALS study abroad program, has been named director of Global Programs for the college. She brings more than 20 years of international program leadership to her new position. Taylor replaces Denise Bjelland, who retired after 47 years of service to ISU.

Patience Named Interim Chair of Animal Science
John Patience has been named interim chair of the Department of Animal Science following the retirement of Don Beermann on Jan. 6. Patience joined ISU in 2008 and has provided leadership in animal nutrition through extension, research and as an administrator. He begins his interim role Jan. 7. A decision on a new department chair after a national search is forthcoming.


Less Muscle and More Body Fat May be Bad for Thinking
Auriel Willette, food science and human nutrition, and Brandon Klinedinst, a PhD student in neuroscience, have found that less muscle and more body fat may affect how flexible thinking gets as people become older, and changes in parts of the immune system could be responsible. These findings could lead to new treatments that help maintain mental flexibility in aging adults with obesity, sedentary lifestyles or muscle loss that naturally happens with aging. More

Teaching and Students

Second Round for Sustainability Scholarships for Undergraduates, Due Feb. 15
Junior and senior undergraduates at Iowa four-year colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals to apply for the second round of the sustainability scholarship program sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and CALS. Awards of up to $1,000 will be provided to selected proposals to support planned learning and participation experiences for students interested in the broad area of sustainability. More

Two Economics Students Selected for Land O’Lakes Internship
Brooke Beinhart and Rachel Grober, juniors in agricultural business, are among six students selected for the 2020 class of Emerging Leaders for Food Security, part of the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge. During the 12-week paid summer internship, the students will learn about hunger, agriculture and sustainability, and travel to key Land O’Lakes locations including headquarters in Minnesota, member cooperatives locations, and Land O’Lakes International Development projects in Africa. More

First Class of FSHN Nursing Students Graduate from Iowa State
For the first time in Iowa State’s history, a group of students graduated in December with their bachelor of science in nursing degree. Virginia Wangerin, food science and human nutrition, was hired to develop the curriculum and the first class was admitted in the fall of 2018. With a curriculum focused on population health and self-care, students have the opportunity to get out in the community to experience various aspects of nursing in addition to bedside care. More The program was also featured on WHO-TV.

Animal Science Student Raises Money for Uganda Lunch Program
Aly Stadtlander, junior in animal science, raised $10,000 for a school garden and lunch program in Uganda. Stadtlander spent spring break in Uganda with the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods program and learned that children only get one nutritious meal a day during school. She noticed students trying to store food to eat later in the day and share with siblings. Stadtlander is a runner and decided to get sponsorships to run the IMT Des Moines Marathon in October. She was able to raise more than $10,000. More

Extension and Outreach

New Year is Prime Time to Review Farm Financial Statements
In the December edition of Ag Decision Maker, updated files are available to help farmers with their net worth statement, farm income statement and financial performance measures. William Edwards, professor emeritus in economics, said most farmers use calendar-year accounting, so the end of the year is prime time for wrapping up farm financial numbers. More

Around the College

Seed Science Center Breaks Ground on New Growth Rooms
The Seed Science Center broke ground on a 2,000 square foot growth room addition in December 2019. The addition, funded by donors, will provide valuable new space for student research. “The new growth rooms will provide both undergraduate and graduate students with unique opportunities to conduct work in a climate-controlled environment and to work with some unusual plant pathogens that require this kind of containment,” said Gary Munkvold, plant pathology and microbiology. The new space will also increase the capacity of the SSC to conduct GMO testing, test for a wider range of seed-borne pathogens and improve the ability to do epidemiology experiments with the plant pathogens that cannot be released into the field. Construction is expected to be complete by fall semester 2020.

Ross and Baum Part of APLU Food Systems Leadership Institute
Jason Ross, director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center, and Thomas Baum, chair of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, were accepted to the fall 2019 Food Systems Leadership Institute, an executive leadership development program through the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. FSLI is a two-year program. More

In Memoriam: Darlene Harl
Darlene Harl, the spouse of emeritus distinguished professor of economics Neil Harl, died Jan. 2. Darlene worked at ISU in the 1950s, graduated from ISU with a bachelor of science degree in 1981, and traveled widely with Neil, who served as head of the Center for International Agricultural Finance. Neil and Darlene gave the gift towards the renovation of Curtiss Hall that created the Neil and Darlene Harl Commons. The Harl Commons is a student-centered area including open space for informal gatherings, a café and meeting rooms. Visitation will be held at Adams Funeral Home on Tuesday, Jan. 7, from 4 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at First United Methodist Church in Ames on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at the ISU Cemetery. More


Jan. 6: Retirement Reception for Donna Otto
A retirement reception for Donna Otto, economics, will be held today, Jan. 6, from 9 to 11 a.m. at 260 Heady Hall. Otto is retiring after more than 40 years of service to the department and ISU.

Jan. 7: Crespi to Present Seminar
John Crespi, candidate for director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, will present a public seminar on Tuesday, Jan. 7, from 11:15 a.m. to noon in 0013 Curtiss Hall. Crespi will speak on “CARD’s Land Grant Obligation.”

Jan. 21: Nobel Laureates’ Campaign to Support GMOs
Sir Richard Roberts, 1993 Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine, will speak at ISU on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Roberts is one of 129 Nobel Laureates contributing to a campaign to convince governments and the public to support the use of GMOs in order to increase food production, reduce dependency on insecticides and end hunger in developing counties. Agronomy Graduate Students are a co-sponsor of the event. More

Jan. 22-23: Iowa Pork Congress
The Iowa Pork Congress will be held Jan. 22-23 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. ISU faculty and staff will be available in booth 1601. CALS faculty and staff presenting seminars and moderating panels includes: Dan Anderson, agricultural and biosystems engineering; Jay Harmon, associate dean for Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension and Outreach; and Mark Storlie, Tom Miller and Colin Johnson, Extension to Agriculture. More

Communications Kiosk

Guidance on Political Campaign Activities at ISU
ISU supports the full freedom of its faculty and staff, within the law, to express their personal opinions regarding political candidates and political issues. As state employees, however, faculty and staff are responsible for appropriately using state resources and for making it clear that their opinions are their own and that they do not speak on behalf of the University. As such, ISU faculty and staff may participate fully in political activities provided they are acting on their own behalf and using their own personal time and personal resources. Guidelines issued by the Office of the President and an FAQ issued by the Office of the Provost provides guidance to help faculty and staff better understand this timely issue. More


Register for International Travel Beginning Jan. 1
Registration for international travel for faculty, graduate students and staff will soon be required. Comprehensive international health and emergency medical insurance is provided at no cost to all faculty and staff traveling internationally on university business. Enrollment in the insurance is now completed through this registration with the Office of Risk Management. The policy became effective Jan. 1, 2020.

FAO Welcomes Global Recognition of Food and Agriculture
The Food and Agriculture Organization welcomes a recent decision of the United Nations to create two new international days and one international year devoted to issues directly related to food and agriculture. The UN General Assembly adopted resolutions designating May 21 as International Tea Day and Sept. 29 as International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. The year 2021 has been designated International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. 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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