Issue: 1231

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
December 12, 2022

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS Colleagues – This is CALS Convocation and university-wide commencement week. Please join us at these events Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 to support our students and celebrate the completion of their degrees. I hope you’ll reach out and congratulate your (and others’) students and recognize their great work to achieve their goals! The turn of each semester is the special part of the academic calendar that gives us cause to pause and think about our work and our responsibilities to promote and enable the development of the next great generations of thinkers and doers. It’s a sacred trust of sorts… More

Top Stories

CALS Convocation to Honor Graduating Seniors, Dec. 16
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will hold its fall convocation Friday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum. Doors open at 9 a.m. The event will also be livestreamed. The CALS Student Council will present its senior awards (see award winners below). Jen Merryman, forestry, is the convocation speaker. Payten Watson, food science, will serve as the CALS student marshal at the university undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 1:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The graduate commencement ceremony will take place Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. 

Senior Award Winner: Emma Parkins
Emma Parkins, agricultural and life sciences education – communication option, is the fall 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award given by the CALS Student Council. The award recognizes her leadership and active involvement in several organizations, and her efforts to encourage professional advancement for women in agriculture.  

Senior Award Winner: Hunter Field
Hunter Field, animal science, is the fall 2022 recipient of the Leadership Excellence Award given by the CALS Student Council. He has held leadership positions in a number of student organizations on campus, including Vice Noble Ruler of Planning for Alpha Gamma Rho and serving as one of the organizers of the Student Alumni Leadership Council’s “Cy-mazing Race.”  

Senior Award Winner: Grace Howe
Grace Howe, agricultural and rural policy studies and journalism and mass communication, is the fall 2022 recipient of the Academic Achievement Award given by the CALS Student Council. Howe completed five internships while at Iowa State in her effort to make the most of her academic journey.  

Senior Award Winner: Lauren Mosher
Lauren Mosher, agricultural and life sciences education – communication option, is the fall 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by the CALS Student Council. Mosher took an interest in advocating for the beef industry at a young age, something she has continued to do as a student at Iowa State.  

Senior Award Winner: Andrew Boschert
Andrew Boschert, animal science, is the fall 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Ambassador of Agriculture and Life Sciences Award given by the CALS Student Council. In addition to his extensive involvement in Alpha Gamma Rho, Boschert has been involved with Swine Production Advocates, Greek Week Central, Block and Bridle, Alpha Zeta Agriculture Honor Society and the Gamma Sigma Alpha Greek Academic Honor Society.  

Senior Award Winner: Fatima Najar
Fatima Najar, forestry, is the fall 2022 recipient of the Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Award given by the CALS Student Council. Through volunteering as an Admissions Outreach Ambassador, Najar has been making sure underrepresented students and their families feel welcomed and included when they arrive at Iowa State.  

Class of 2022: Jen Merryman
Jen Merryman, forestry, has learned through the years that life changes. She will share that message with fellow graduating students as the CALS Convocation speaker on Friday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum. A non-traditional student, Merryman initially enrolled in college right after high school, but life changes put a halt to her journey. Now with her undergraduate degree nearly complete, her sights are set on working toward a master’s degree at Iowa State starting this spring.  

Class of 2022: Payten Watson
Payten Watson, food science, gained new perspectives beyond her area of study by getting out of her comfort zone. She is a current World Food Prize Foundation intern and wants to combine her passions for food science and helping people into a career working with youth. Watson is the fall 2022 CALS student marshal. She will lead fellow graduates as they enter Hilton Coliseum during Iowa State’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 1:30 p.m.  

Class of 2022: Jacob Mefford
A family friend introduced Jacob Mefford to the world of food science, and he’s been hooked ever since. Mefford spent two summers interning at a flavor company in Illinois. Following a successful internship with Niagara Bottling in California, he will return there to begin a rotational program, gaining experience working in several departments within the company.  


Agronomist Predicts the Future through Modeling
Sotirios Archontoulis, agronomy, runs “What if” scenarios that help explain the present and predict the future. The international leader in modeling for agriculture, natural resources and climate, will discuss his work at the upcoming Iowa Nutrient Research Center water quality research seminar, Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 3:10 p.m., with co-presenter Chaoqun (Crystal) Lu, ecology, evolution and organismal biology. More  

Tylka Featured in ISA Video on Soybean Cyst Nematode
Soybean cyst nematode is in 70% of Iowa soybean fields. A new video discusses the latest news on North America’s most significant soybean pest in a conversation between Greg Tylka, Iowa Soybean Research Center, and Aaron Putze, Iowa Soybean Association. More  

Teaching and Students

Students Team Up to Tackle Food Insecurity
Food insecurity is a global concern, but it can also strike close to home. The complexity of this issue cannot be solved with a single solution — it must be approached from multiple angles. Students in CALS teamed up with students from various other departments to compete in Iowa State’s first-ever Food Insecurity Challenge. The event, hosted by CALS, the Ivy College of Business and the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, was designed to encourage participants to think critically about combating food insecurity. More  

Career Services Releases 2022 Summer Internship Survey
CALS Career Services released results of its 2022 summer internship survey, with nearly 650 student responses. There were many similarities to last year’s results. The biggest change was the average hourly wage rose to $15.67/hour – up nearly 7% from last year. “Similar to the full-time increases we saw with our regional report released earlier this fall, this is just another strong indicator of labor demand and inflationary measures,” said Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services. More  

Science with Practice Students Share their Work
Students in the Science with Practice program shared their semester’s work in a poster session on Dec. 7. An article in the Iowa State Daily highlights the research and personal experiences of some of the students and their faculty mentors. More  

Extension and Outreach

Saturated Riparian Forest Buffers Focus of Virtual Field Day
Research on establishing saturated riparian forest buffers will be the topic of a virtual field day on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. The event is hosted by Iowa Learning Farms, the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and the Conservation Learning Group. More  

Home Gardening Webinar Series Begins Jan. 3
ISU Extension and Outreach’s Master Gardener program will again host the Home Gardening Webinar Series, beginning Jan. 3 and running through March. The series is an educational opportunity for existing master gardeners, those interested in becoming master gardeners and those who just want to learn more about these topics. The sessions are free and open to the public, although registration is required. More  

Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association Committed to Supporting Producers
The newly branded Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association will carry on the same duties of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association – with a new name and a broader focus, said Kendra Meyer, executive secretary for the association and program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach's Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program. Meyer expects the name change will lead to a growth in membership, netting more ideas and opportunities for Iowa’s specialty producers to network and learn. More  

Around the College

Iowa State Wine Available for Purchase
Limited quantities of the inaugural vintage of wine produced and bottled by the Iowa State University Winery are now available for preorders. La Crescent, Marquette and Rosé varieties are available. Preorders will be taken Monday, Dec. 12, through Thursday, Dec. 15, at noon or until gone, whichever comes first. Preordered wine can be paid for and picked up Thursday, Dec. 15, at noon through Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 p.m. at Cyclone Liquors, 626 Lincoln Way, Ames. The wine is sold through Cyclone Liquors and will not be shipped to purchasers. Individuals must be 21 years of age or older to preorder and purchase the wine. Erin Norton, Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, advises the wine will be best to drink now, rather than let it age. 

Every Iowan Should Attend an Agricultural Tour
In a Dec. 11 opinion piece for the Des Moines Register, Rachelle Chase talks about an agricultural tour she took during the World Food Prize Foundation’s Borlaug Dialogue in October. There were five stops, including the Iowa State dairy farm with host Ben Drescher, farm director; the BioCentury Research Farm with host Andy Suby, assistant director of research administration; and the Agricultural Engineering/Agronomy Farms with host Mark Licht, agronomy and cropping system extension specialist. More  


Dec. 13: Land Value Survey News Conference
A news conference will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, in 142 Curtiss Hall to announce the results of the 2022 Iowa Land Value Survey conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and ISU Extension and Outreach. The news conference will also be available via livestream.  

Dec. 14: Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Webinar
Lisa Schulte Moore, natural resource ecology and management, will present “Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges of Grass-to-Gas” for the Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at noon. More  

Dec. 21: ISU Creamery Curbside Pickup
The ISU Creamery is offering curbside pickup of ice cream quarts, 8 ounce cups and aged cheddar cheese on Dec. 21, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Email your order by noon on Dec. 20, to Pickup will be on the east side of the Food Sciences Building in the semi-circle drive. Pay at pickup with credit/debit cards, cash and gift certificates or vouchers. More  


Stress Hormones Could Explain Rising Infections in Norwegian Salmon
Mark Lyte, veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine, pioneered the study of how stress hormones can directly stimulate pathogen growth. He will work with Norwegian researchers over the next three years to see if intensive handling methods are making farmed salmon more susceptible to bacterial diseases. More  

COVID Vaccine Booster Clinic Available for Employees on Dec. 16
Iowa State is partnering with Hy-Vee to offer a vaccine clinic for employees on Friday, Dec. 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at State Gym. Hy-Vee will offer the Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 booster as well as the flu vaccine. Appointments must be scheduled online by noon on Thursday, Dec. 15. While there is no cost for the vaccine, insurance information will need to be uploaded when the appointment is scheduled to cover administrative fees. Those receiving the COVID booster must bring their COVID-19 vaccination card to the clinic. A copay may be required for the flu shot. Graduate and undergraduate students can receive the COVID booster, flu and mpox vaccine by calling Thielen Student Health Center at 4-5801 or scheduling online at  

Protect Property during Winter Break
Cally Jennett, insurance and claims manager for the Office of Risk Management, offers the following reminders to avoid property damage or loss as faculty and staff prepare to leave campus for winter break. More  

  • Unplug electronic devices, space heaters, etc.
  • Lock doors and shut windows.
  • Take home or secure valuables.
  • Close fire doors.
  • Leave the heat on to prevent pipe bursts.


Die-cast Replica of ISU Police Car Available for Purchase 
The Iowa State University Police Department worked with GreenLight Collectibles to produce a limited edition 1:64 die-cast replica of their police vehicle. The cars sell for $10 each and all proceeds will go to Iowa State’s student food pantry, the SHOP. The cars can be purchased from the Parking Division office at 27 Armory Building. 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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