Iowa State University Professors Presented Awards for Applied Research

September 5th, 2012

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University professors Helen Jensen and Nick Christians were presented the Dean Lee R. Kolmer Award for Excellence in Applied Research Sept. 4 by the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Jensen, a professor of economics, was recognized for her work in applying economics to nutrition and food policy.

"Jensen's research has expanded knowledge in areas important to Iowa consumers and food markets. She's studied diets and food security, effectiveness of food assistance programs, food safety and the effect of promotional and informational messages on consumers' food choices," said John Schroeter, interim chair of the Department of Economics.

Jensen joined Iowa State in 1986 and is head of the Food and Nutrition Policy Division at Iowa State's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development. She earned a bachelor's degree in economics at Carleton College, a master's degree in agricultural and applied economics at the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in agricultural economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Christians, a University Professor of horticulture, was recognized for his research on turfgrass, including a discovery of the herbicide properties of corn gluten meal, which was patented and is used for pre-emergence weed control. In 1996, Christians won an R&D 100 Award in a competition that honors the year's top 100 products of technological significance.

"If you've grown a turfgrass plant in Iowa, for business or pleasure, then you've been positively impacted by the work of Nick Christians. He has helped countless businesses become more profitable and assisted legions of additional clients become more efficient landscape managers and better stewards of the land," said Jeff Iles, chair of the Department of Horticulture.

Christians joined Iowa State in 1979. He earned a bachelor's degree in outdoor recreation and forestry from Colorado State University and master's and doctorate degrees in agronomy at Ohio State University.

The award, made possible by a gift from Lee and Jean Kolmer, recognizes faculty and staff within the college who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of the people of Iowa through applied research. It was presented to Jensen and Christians at the College convocation.

It's named for former Dean of Agriculture Lee Kolmer, who died in January 2010. Kolmer began his 14-year tenure as dean in 1972. Under his leadership, the college launched a successful effort to increase public investment in agricultural research.


Helen Jensen, Economics, (515) 294-6253,
Nick Christians, Horticulture, (515) 294-0036,
Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication Service, (515) 294-2314,