- University creates student recruitment council
- Several hundred attend Animal Science Roundup
- Ag Mechanics Career Event draws 19 teams
- Summer Students at Work: A summer series
- Summer Students at Work: Pachyderm polymorphism
- Summer Students at Work: A study of rural towns
- Sign up to be Iowa State Fair volunteer
- Respond to Ag Online survey by July 2
- Audiotapes of Leopold Center series available
- Deadlines & Reminders
- It's a wonderful life … if you use it's and its
- First Virtual University students expected in '97
- … as work continues on virtually every detail
- One view: SATs a poor indication of achievement
- Another view: SATs add element of fairness
- Fear of needles? Eat a banana
C O L L E G E N E W S
UNIVERSITY CREATES STUDENT RECRUITMENT COUNCIL
ISU has created a student recruitment council to integrate efforts
within the university. Tom Polito of Student Services is the College
of Agriculture's representative on the council. If you have comments,
suggestions or questions on student recruitment efforts, contact
Polito at 4-2766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEVERAL HUNDRED ATTEND ANIMAL SCIENCE ROUNDUP
The annual Animal Science Roundup took place June 25-27, in concurrence
with the Iowa Youth and 4-H Conference. The conference was attended
by 597, with several hundred taking part in the Roundup. County
4-H groups send to the Roundup high-school-aged members who excelled
in livestock projects. Animal science faculty and staff, vet college
faculty, industry representatives and adult volunteers conducted
more than 40 hours of workshops, including those on ultrasound
evaluation techniques, anatomy, ethics and animal welfare. The
workshop concluded with a make-it-yourself omelet breakfast and
county quiz bowl championship.
AG MECHANICS CAREER EVENT DRAWS 19 TEAMS
The Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering hosted
the 1996 Iowa Ag Ed/FFA Agricultural Mechanics Career Development
Event (formerly the Agricultural Mechanics Contest) on June 6.
Nineteen Iowa high school FFA teams participated, with Orange
City placing first and Riceville second. Teams had to demonstrate
skills and problem-solving in ag machinery and equipment, energy
systems, structures, environmental and natural resources, and
industry and marketing systems. A written exam and computer activities
SUMMER STUDENTS AT WORK: A SUMMER SERIES
Each summer hundreds of students are employed throughout the College
of Agriculture. For example, this summer animal science has about
135 hourly student employees and 85 graduate assistants, and plant
pathology is employing 29 hourly students and 26 grad assistants.
For the next few issues of Ag Online we'll highlight some of the
work these students are doing. Thanks to the communications advisers
in the departments who sent items to our attention.
SUMMER STUDENTS AT WORK: PACHYDERM POLYMORPHISM
Elephant genes are the focus of a research project by Nikki Elavsky,
a junior in animal science/pre-vet. With support from a Howard
Hughes grant, she is working in Max Rothschild's pig gene-mapping
lab to identify and sequence possible disease-resistance genes
in endangered Asian and African elephants. She also is looking
at polymorphism in the genes, which may help conserve maximum
genetic diversity when breeding the animals in captivity. She
is testing blood samples from five Asian elephants in California
and an African elephant at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.
SUMMER STUDENTS AT WORK: A STUDY OF RURAL TOWNS
Jeff Sharp, a sociology grad student, is studying rural community
development and whether social structure is as important as economic
structure in communities. He and his research team are spending
time in Vandalia, MO, (pop. 2,800), and Aurora, NE (pop. 3,800)
doing extensive surveys and studies of local newspapers and government
publications. This is part of a national study. These towns were
chosen based on criteria including size and community projects.
SIGN UP TO BE AN IOWA STATE FAIR VOLUNTEER
Volunteer sign-up sheets for the Iowa State Fair have been sent
to departmental offices in the College of Agriculture. Faculty
and staff volunteers are needed to staff the college's exhibit
at the fair, Aug. 8-18. This year's display has a dairy theme.
Two volunteers work each four-hour shift, starting at 9 a.m. Volunteers
get free admission and parking tickets. Sign up on your departmental
sheet or by contacting Jennifer Bensen, 4-3538 (email@example.com).
RESPOND TO AG ONLINE SURVEY BY JULY 2
Thanks to all those who took the time to fill out and return the
Ag Online survey, which was mailed June 14. A final reminder has
been sent to those who haven't responded; the deadline to return
it is Tuesday, July 2. From those subscribers who return the survey
by July 2, we'll randomly choose five to receive a book on improving
communications. We want your comments to help improve the newsletter,
so please respond if you haven't already. For more information:
Brian Meyer, 4-0706, firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUDIOTAPES FROM LEOPOLD CENTER SERIES AVAILABLE
Audiotapes from "Food Production in the Year 2020: Iowa's
Role," the spring 1996 Sustainable Agriculture Seminar Lecture
series, are available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable
Agriculture. There are a total of 12 tapes available for loan
at no charge. Up to three tapes may borrowed at a time for a three-week
period. For a list of speakers and topics, contact the center,
4-3711, or e-mail email@example.com.
DEADLINES & REMINDERS
July 1 --Leopold Center Conference and Workshop Support Program
July 2 -- Deadline for responding to Ag Online survey, 4-0706
C O M M U N I C A T I O N S K I O S K
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE . . . IF YOU USE IT'S AND ITS CORRECTLY
Believe it or not, there's a Web page (www.rain.org/~gshapiro/its.html)
devoted solely to the correct usage of "it's" and "its".
It was created by someone whose pet peeve is the misspelling of
the two words. ("I know there are more important peeves to
have as pets, but when I think of them I also try to remember
how that Serenity Prayer goes," he writes.) Here, in its
(not it's) entirety, is advice from the It's vs. Its Page: "It's"
is a contraction for "it is" or "it has".
"Its" is a possessive pronoun meaning, more or less,
"of it" or "belonging to it". Simple test:
If you can replace "it's" in your sentence with "it
is" or "it has", then your word is "it's";
otherwise, your word is "its". And there is absolutely
no such word as "its' ". Another technique: "Its"
is the neuter version of "his" or "her". Try
plugging "his" or "her" into your sentence
where you think "its" belongs. If it still works as
a sentence grammatically (if not logically), then your word is
I N F O G R A Z I N G
FIRST VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS EXPECTED IN '97…
The governors of 10 Western states have pledged to raise funds
for the establishment of their "virtual university,"
and say the first students should be enrolled by next year. Their
move is spurred by a burgeoning population and an anticipated
enrollment boom, which they hope to meet through electronically
facilitated learning. Next steps will focus on breaking down bureaucratic
barriers to the "virtual" concept: "It's not the
technology that slows you down, it's the sociology," says
Utah Governor Leavitt. "While there is resistance, it is
more caution than resistance. People rightly want to be assured
that the quality is there." (New York Times, June 25)
… AS WORK CONTINUES ON VIRTUALLY EVERY DETAIL
The Western Governors' Association is expected to endorse the
creation of a central governing body and a system of local "franchises"
for participating states on its "virtual university."
The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems will
come up with a viable assessment system to ensure that students
have mastered the subject matter of the courses they take. The
center is also examining licensing and accrediting laws in participating
states to determine how college credit can be awarded and transferred.
A prototype of a "virtual catalogue" has been produced.
It will collect information about the interests and equipment
of prospective students and list courses or products that match
their needs. (Chronicle of Higher Education, June 14)
E X T E R N A L V O I C E S
ONE VIEW: SATs A POOR INDICATION OF ACHIEVEMENT
"Muhlenberg (College) is the latest of more than 240 four-year
colleges to drop the (SAT) test-score requirement. With luck,
it won't be the last … A 1992 survey by the American Association
of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers found test scores
to be a poorer indication of achievement on campus than either
grades or class rank … College admission policies that don't
consider the whole student fail the test." From a May 14
editorial in USA Today.
ANOTHER VIEW: SATs ADD ELEMENT OF FAIRNESS
"Admissions offices must sort through variations in academic
rigor, grade inflation and grading systems that use letters, numbers,
portfolios and descriptive evaluations. To assess academic potential,
colleges are primarily interested in students' records of grades
and courses, but test scores add an element of fairness or 'uniform
yardstick' to the process." From an "Opposing View"
editorial in the May 14 USA Today by David Hubin, executive assistant
president, University of Oregon, and a social historian of testing
in the United States.
M A R G I N A L I A
FEAR OF NEEDLES? EAT A BANANA
Effective vaccines may be delivered in genetically engineered
fruits and vegetables in the not-so-distant future, making vaccination
by injection "as primitive as blood-letting with leeches,"
says a researcher at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.
Scientists have already successfully inserted genes into potato
plants that make vaccines against cholera, diarrhea and hepatitis
B, and they are looking at bananas as the next vaccine-carrying
vehicle, because they could be grown locally in the countries
where the vaccines are most needed. If all goes well, vaccine
bananas could be ready to peel in about five years. (USA Today,