Issue: 47

COLLEGE NEWS

- 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

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- It's a wonderful life … if you use it's and its

correctly

INFOGRAZING

- First Virtual University students expected in '97

…

- … as work continues on virtually every detail

EXTERNAL VOICES

- One view: SATs a poor indication of achievement

- Another view: SATs add element of fairness

MARGINALIA

- 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 tpolito@iastate.edu.

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

were included.

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 (bensen@iastate.edu).

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, bmeyer@iastate.edu.

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 leocenter@iastate.edu.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

July 1 --Leopold Center Conference and Workshop Support Program

deadline, 4-1854

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

"its".

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,

March 27)

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