Issue: 1154

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 10, 2021

Top Stories

CALS Student Council Honors Senior Awardees  
The CALS Student Council has selected the following senior award winners. Recipients were recognized on college websites, social media, e-newsletters, press releases and in the PDF program of the college undergraduate Cyclone Celebration held May 8. See videos on each awardee:

  • Erin Chalupa, animal science – Outstanding Senior Award
  • Hans Riensche, agricultural business – Leadership Excellence Award
  • Alyssa Swehla, agronomy and global resource systems – Academic Achievement Award
  • Madelyn Main, agricultural business – Distinguished Service Award
  • Brianna Gorham, agricultural business, economics and international agriculture – Outstanding Ambassador of Agriculture and Life Sciences Award  
  • Esperanza Moothart, global resource systems – Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Award  

Graduate to Use Research to Solve Global Problems
A couple of commercials sparked a journey that would eventually lead Behnia Rezazadeh Shirazi from Iran to Iowa. Shirazi graduated from Iowa State last weekend with bachelor’s degrees in biology, biophysics and biochemistry. He’s looking toward a career in the biotech industry, with hopes to solve global challenges from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. More

Graduate Pursued Marine Biology at Landlocked Iowa State
Iowa State may not be the first university you think of when it comes to marine biology. That didn’t stop Toni Sleugh from turning her ISU experience into exactly what she wanted in terms of marine biology, environmental conservation and management. Sleugh graduated last weekend with a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies and is now heading to a Ph.D. program. More


Soybean Cyst Nematode Spreading Rapidly
The soybean cyst nematode, the most damaging pathogen of soybean in the United States and Canada, is spreading rapidly, according to new information compiled by Gregory Tylka and Christopher Marett, plant pathology and microbiology. They document recent expansion of the pathogen in an article published in Plant Health ProgressMore

Swine Research Finds Microbiome Differences Linked to Risk for Gestating Sows
A new study published in Scientific Reports, by CALS animal scientists Zoë Kiefer, Jamie Studer, Amanda Chipman, Aileen Keating, Stephan Schmitz-Esser and Jason Ross, and other ISU researchers, identified vaginal microbiome and serum metabolite differences in commercial sows that can be used to establish a phenotypic scoring system to identify sows at greatest risk for pelvic organ prolapse. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Student Named Udall Scholar
Nolan Monaghan, junior in horticulture and global resource systems, has been selected as a Udall Scholar. He aspires to transform agricultural practices “to be a force for ecological good.” More

Extension and Outreach

Youth Gain Livestock Experience through Iowa State Research Farm
Giving more youth the chance to learn about livestock and take animals to the fair is the goal behind a project started 10 years ago in Monona County. Known today as “The Breakfast Club,” the project allows youth to keep pigs and broilers at ISU’s Western Research and Demonstration Farm. The pigs are owned by the university, but youth get the full experience of providing care and showing them at the fair. More

Livestock Composting Can be a Beneficial Practice
ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Pork Industry Center have released a new publication on composting for livestock producers. Whether there is interest in reducing or eliminating rendering truck stops on-site or working on an overall biosecurity plan for an operation, composting is an option. Field Tips for Successful Composting is available at no charge from the Extension Store. More

Around the College

CALS Welcomes New Human Resources Partner
Rob Stevenson has joined the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as the new human resources partner, effective May 3. His most recent position was HR Partner for Extension and Outreach. Stevenson came to ISU and University Human Resources in February 2020 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he had served as a senior HR consultant since 2012. Prior to that, he served for six years as an HR consultant/employee recognition manager at North Carolina State University. The following HR coordinators work with college departments and centers:

  • Becky Green (4-6367, – Leopold Center, Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative, Agronomy, the North Central Plant Introduction Station, NREM, Entomology, the Iowa Soybean Research Center and the Seed Science Center.
  • Robyn Davis (4-9138, – Brenton Center, Research Farms, AGEDS, Animal Science, Animal Science Farms, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa Pork Industry Center, Egg Industry Center, Horticulture and Plant Pathology and Microbiology.
  • Lora Socia (4-3058, – CALS Administration, CSRL/Global Programs, CALT, North Central Aquaculture Center, Iowa Coop Fish and Wildlife Unit, Economics and FSHN.
  • Jenny Grundmeier (4-3517, – EEOB, BBMB, GDCB, Sociology and Statistics.
  • Mallory Hamilton, Senior HR Coordinator (4-8531, – ABE

CALS Faculty, Staff to Receive Top University Awards
Several CALS faculty and staff are among the recipients of the university’s most distinguished awards, to be given this fall at the ISU Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony. The following individuals from CALS departments and centers will be recognized. More

  • J. Gordon Arbuckle, sociology – Outstanding Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice
  • Jennifer Bundy, animal science – Academic Advising Impact
  • Lynn Clark, ecology, evolution and organismal biology – Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Shawn Dorius, sociology – Interdisciplinary Team Research Award
  • Heike Hofmann, statistics – Interdisciplinary Team Research Award
  • Maro Ibarburu-Blanc, animal science, Egg Industry Center – Professional and Scientific Research Award
  • Steven Lonergan, animal science – Morrill Professor
  • Daniel Loy, animal science, Iowa Beef Center – University Professor
  • Daniel Loy, animal science, Iowa Beef Center – Distinguished Service in Extension and Outreach
  • Thomas Lubberstedt, agronomy – Outstanding Achievement in Research
  • Elaine Phompheng, agricultural and biosystems engineering – Award for Inclusive Excellence
  • Kelsey Powell, animal science – Early Achievement in Academic Advising
  • Jim Reecy, associate vice president for research, animal science - Interdisciplinary Team Research Award
  • Michelle Soupir, agricultural and biosystems engineering – Mid-Career Achievement in Research
  • Matthew Wenger, animal science – Outstanding Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice
  • Steven Whitham, plant pathology and microbiology – Regents Award for  Faculty Excellence

Promotions Approved for Six College Term Faculty
In the second year of the new classification system for Iowa State’s term faculty, promotions were approved for the following six college term faculty for the 2021-22 academic year. More

  • Associate Teaching Professor to Teaching Professor – Karri Haen-Whitmer, genetics, development and cell biology; and James Wright, agricultural and Biosystems engineering.
  • Assistant Teaching Professor to Associate Teaching Professor – Claudia Lemper-Manahl, plant pathology and microbiology; and Michael Rentz and Lidia Skrynnikova, natural resource ecology and management.
  • Affiliate Assistant Professor to Affiliate Associate Professor – Petro Kyveryga, agronomy.


May 12: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
Learn more about beekeeper, farmer and landowner attitudes toward pollinator conservation in Iowa during an Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, May 12, at noon. Randall Cass, entomology and bee specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will present. More

May 25: Wetlands Series Webinar
“Profiles in the Wonders of Iowa’s Wetlands” will feature 12 in-depth educational videos highlighting the diversity and benefits of wetland ecosystems throughout the state. The videos are being developed by ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Nutrient Research Center. A webinar on Tuesday, May 25, at 7 to 8 p.m., kicks off the series during American Wetlands Month. More


Borlaug CAST Communication Award Winner Presents Webinar
The 2020 Borlaug Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Communication award winner will present a live webinar on Tuesday, May 11, at noon. Alexa Lamm, University of Georgia, will talk about “Bouncing Forward: Capitalizing on the Current Societal Evolution to Strategically Communicate about Science.” Lamm will also announce the 2021 Borlaug CAST Communication award winner. Registration is available online. More


Periodical Cicadas Will Emerge this Year, but Not in Iowa
Iowans who want to see or hear the emergence of the 17-year periodical cicada will need to go on a road trip. While this long-lived insect will indeed emerge this year, it will do so only in select parts of the Midwest and the east coast, according to Donald Lewis, professor and extension entomologist. 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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