Page 1


7 8 10

History major has NCAAs in sight

Melvin Ejim traveled to Italy with the Cyclone men’s basketball team. The trip resulted in an academic major for the hoops standout.

20 years of political opportunities

One of only a dozen similar U.S. programs, the Catt Center for Women and Politics provides educational and leadership opportunities for Iowans.

Structured for biological success 3

Link is published in the fall and spring each year by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University for alumni and friends of the college.

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES ADMINISTRATION Dean Beate Schmittmann Associate Dean Arne Hallam Associate Dean David Oliver Interim Associate Dean (Half-time) Amy Slagell Interim Associate Dean Martin Spalding Associate Dean (Half-time) Zora Zimmerman LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES DEVELOPMENT TEAM Senior Director of Development Michael Gens Development Coordinator Kylie Behm-Newhard LINK STAFF

14

Bringing out the poet in us

16

‘Love’ campaign and a hairy creature

Mary Swander, Iowa’s Poet Laureate and an ISU Distinguished Professor, promotes poetry in her native state from “young ones to the elders.” With an eye for talent and the ability to change, English alumnus Doug Spong directs two successful creative agencies.

Editor Steve Jones Writers Steve Jones Laura Wille Graphic Designer Hieu Nguyen Cover Photo Bob Elbert

Link About ISU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a world-class learning and research community. Iowa State’s most academically diverse college, LAS educates students to become global citizens, providing rigorous academic programs in the

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 202 Catt Hall Iowa State University Ames, IA 50011 515-294-0461 las@iastate.edu

sciences, humanities and social sciences within a supportive personalized learning environment. College faculty design new materials, unravel biological structures, care for the environment, and explore social and behavioral issues. From fundamental research to technology transfer and artistic expression, the college supports people in Iowa and around the world.

More than one way to stay connected. www.las.iastate.edu/social

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance, 3280 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.


Emerging priorities in Liberal Arts and Sciences Dear Friends of LAS, Fall has been picture perfect at Iowa State University, with crisp mornings, warm afternoons, and colorful leaves glowing in the sun. The campus buzzes with the energy and excitement of over 31,000 students. We just experienced the fourth year of record-breaking enrollments. In late August, we welcomed 5,366 new freshmen – the largest incoming class ever. Again, more Iowans choose Iowa State than any other university. At the same time, our students are more diverse than ever – more than one in five is either a minority or an international student. It’s worth noting that every one of these students will take classes in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Our college provides all Iowa State students with life skills critical for their future success: excellent communication skills, mathematical and scientific literacy, and the ability to thrive in a diverse, globally connected world. My first six months as dean of LAS brought countless conversations, extensive travel, and much careful study of college data. Two key priorities emerged thus far: We offer an excellent education at a very affordable cost. Many of Iowa State’s top-ranked programs, especially in the sciences, are in LAS. This is a tremendous opportunity to attract additional outstanding students to the college. Thus, we have launched a comprehensive student recruitment initiative that will build more personal contacts with prospective Iowa Staters and their parents and make campus visits even more welcoming and informative. You can help by continuing to share your Iowa State experience with prospective students. Iowa State University is a major national research university that continues to embrace its land-grant mission. Today, this translates into solving major global and regional challenges by merging advances in science and technology with a deep understanding of human behavior, historical context, and local culture. To best accomplish this, we are defining five signature themes for LAS, built on our strengths, to give our research efforts a strategic focus and a clear identity. While discussions in the college are still shaping the specifics, here are the working titles of our themes: • Biological structures and systems (see article on page 10) • Complex materials • Data-rich environments • Environmental, social, and economic sustainability • Global citizens, science, and society. In future issues of Link, we will introduce you to our vision for each theme and to the outstanding faculty whose

WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

research and educational programs anchor our leadership in these areas. On a personal note, LAS has changed my life. I have gone from being a researcher and teacher at Virginia Tech, with time for inward reflection, to an outward-directed dean at Iowa State, who seeks every opportunity to advance the excellence of our college. My days have become amazingly rich, thanks to the pleasure of meeting successful friends of the college, developing and supporting a superb faculty and staff, and being part of life-changing learning opportunities for our students. This has to be one of the most exciting and meaningful jobs in the world. Please accept my warmest thanks for your generous support of our college and university. Your investments, in the past and in the future, support the success of our students and faculty. We could not do it without you.

Beate Schmittmann Dean 1


News

A TIP OF THE VISOR TO LYNN SANDEMAN Lynn Sandeman, left, retired last summer after a long career as an academic adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A former member of the ISU women’s golf team and still an avid golfer, she and her colleagues – including LAS adviser Kathleen Timmons, right – donned golf visors for her retirement reception.

WE’RE NO. 1 AGAIN For the second time in three years and third time in seven years, Iowa State’s American Meteorological Society student chapter has been named national chapter of the year. The 75-member group combines social events with community involvement and learning opportunities “These events drive the underclassmen to get involved, which sustains our club’s success into the future,” said chapter president Josh Alland. “Other social events, such as tours of the National Weather Service and news stations, are not only fun but also inform our members of the career opportunities in meteorology.”

U.S. State Department turns to applied linguistics expertise When U.S. Department of State officials needed learning materials to teach English to youth around the globe, they turned to the applied linguistics program in the Iowa State Department of English. Applied linguistics personnel developed print and electronic resources for the project “Engaging M@terials for Global English.” Two dozen international education professionals spent three weeks at ISU last summer testing the materials and contributing their recommendations. The State Department, which awarded a $1.2 million grant to applied linguistics, will distribute the materials globally, and the international educators will share the new resources with other educators in their home nations. “A lot of students around the world will end up using educational materials developed at Iowa State,” said Volker Hegelheimer, associate professor of English, shown above, right.

LAS ALUM JAKE VARNER TAKES LONDON GOLD Former Cyclone wrestler and Liberal Arts and Sciences alumnus Jake Varner is an Olympic gold medalist. He won the gold in men’s freestyle wrestling at 211.5 pounds in London on Aug. 12 with a win over Ukraine’s Valerii Andiitsev. Varner is the sixth Iowa State wrestler to earn an Olympic gold medal. A native of Bakersfield, Calif., he graduated in 2009 with an interdisciplinary studies major in criminal justice. Also in London, LAS biology alumna and former ISU runner Lisa (Koll) Uhl finished 13th in the women’s 10,000-meter run.

2

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


BIOCHEM STUDENT NAMED A PRESTIGIOUS GOLDWATER SCHOLAR An Iowa State biochemistry student who someday wants to earn a Ph.D. and conduct research is a 2012 Goldwater Scholar. Sam Condon, from Waterloo, Iowa, was one of 282 U.S. sophomores and juniors honored with the nation’s premier undergraduate scholarship award in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,123 students nominated by faculty members.

Argonne National Laboratory photo

Sanchez wins presidential early career award Jonathan Wendel

Gordon Miller

HIGHEST ISU FACULTY HONORS TO WENDEL, MILLER Two College of Liberal Arts and Sciences professors have earned Iowa State’s top faculty honors this year. Jonathan Wendel, chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, has been named a Distinguished Professor, and Gordon Miller, of the Department of Chemistry, has been named a University Professor. Liberal Arts and Sciences now has 18 Distinguished Professors and 17 University Professors.

John Warne Monroe

Douglas Gentile

LAS pair among ‘Best 300 Professors’ in U.S. A book published earlier this year that listed America’s top 300 undergraduate professors included two associate professors from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Douglas Gentile, psychology, and John Warne Monroe, history. ISU’s Anne Clem, senior lecturer in accounting, also made the selective list. The Princeton Review and RateMyProfessors.com created The Best 300 Professors (Random House/Princeton Review), which featured professors based on data from survey findings and ratings collected by both organizations.

ISU ENROLLMENT CROSSES 31,000

Mayly Sanchez, a physics assistant professor, won a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. It is the highest honor awarded by the U.S. government for researchers in the early stages of their careers. Sanchez studies neutrinos (subatomic particles). She is currently affiliated with the proposed Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment, which would send the world’s most intense beam of neutrinos from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., to the Homestake Mine in Lead, S.D. She also is working with several other major physics experiments. President Obama honored Sanchez and the other award recipients in July at the White House.

PROUD NBA MOM Shirley Barnes, long-time secretary in the ISU Music Department’s main office and now a secretary in Political Science, was a proud mom on June 28. At the NBA draft, Barnes watched as her son, Harrison Barnes, left, was selected seventh overall by the Golden State Warriors. A small forward, Harrison played collegiately at North Carolina. Nine draft picks later, Iowa State’s Royce White was taken 16th by the Houston Rockets.

For the fourth consecutive year, Iowa State has record enrollment. This fall, 31,040 students are attending ISU, marking the first time enrollment has surpassed 30,000. The student count is up 3.9 percent (1,153 students) over the previous record of 29,887 in fall 2011. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences also saw record enrollment with 7,523 students. Golden State Warriors artwork WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

3


Research in the College

Bing Yang, center, with Bo Liu, left, and Ting Li. LAS photo

‘Landmark experiment’ edits genes

I

In 2010, Iowa State researcher Bing Yang led a team that developed a group of hybrid proteins that he believed could lead to a highly-efficient method for modifying plant and animal DNA. Now Yang has demonstrated the hybrid proteins do indeed “edit” genes. His team has modified a specific gene in rice to make the plant resistant to bacterial blight, a destructive disease that affects the food staple that feeds nearly half the world. The researchers are the first to use the so-called TALEN technology to change a plant that benefits society, said Yang, assistant professor of genetics, development and cell biology. “We demonstrated we could move this technology to the real world, to make a change in the rice DNA. It’s a proof of concept.” The discovery shows that scientists can use the TALENbased technology to efficiently locate and remove a speck of undesirable or defective DNA from a plant or animal cell. Yang said this new process is applicable for any plant species, including important Midwest crops corn and soybeans, and animal systems. “It’s a landmark experiment,” said Martin Spalding, interim associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and one of the project’s collaborators. “Yang’s research group is making a specific modification in DNA that converts a plant that is susceptible to a certain pathogen to one that’s resistant to it.” Yang’s modified proteins are fusions of two bacterial proteins – the TAL (transcription activator-like) effector and an enzyme called a nuclease. Like a pair of “molecular scissors,” the TAL effector binds to the exact spot on the DNA to be cut and the nuclease cuts the DNA strands. The cuts in the DNA repair themselves naturally but alter the recognition sequence slightly so the rice pathogen is unable to recognize the disease susceptibility gene. The result is that the blight can’t get a toehold in the rice plant.

4

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

Douglas Gentile, media violence exposure. Bob Elbert photo

Finding the risk factors of bullying

A

A study led by Iowa State psychologist Douglas Gentile may provide schools with a new tool to help them profile students who are more likely to commit aggressive acts against other students. The research identifies media violence exposure as one of six risk factors for predicting later aggression in 430 children (ages 7-11) from five Minnesota schools. In addition to media violence exposure, the remaining risk factors are bias toward hostility, low parental involvement, gender, physical victimization and prior physical fights. Knowing students’ risks for aggression can help school officials to determine which students might be more likely to get in fights – or possibly bully other students – later. “As you gain risk factors, the risk of aggression goes up disproportionally,” said Gentile, who runs ISU’s Media Research Lab. “As you gain risk “Having one or two risk factors, the risk of factors is no big deal. aggression goes up Kids are resilient – they disproportionally.” can handle it. You get to three and there’s a big jump. When you get out past four risk factors, risk is increasing at a much higher rate than you would expect. “If we are concerned about bullying in schools, then this approach has real world implications for helping to target the kids who are at higher risk for bullying behavior so we could use our limited resources more effectively to reduce bullying in schools,” he continued. “I can get over 80 percent accuracy knowing only three things – are they a boy, have they gotten in a fight within the past year, and do they consume a lot of media violence?” Gentile said that high exposure to media violence is just one risk factor for increased aggression, neither deserving special concern nor dismissal among other risk factors. What makes it different from the others is that it’s the one that is most easy for parents to control. –ISU News Service C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


Bill Gallus, left, and Chris Karstens. LAS photo

Model and simulator lead to tornado insights

C

Christopher Karstens was studying the damage caused a week earlier by the deadly 2011 tornado that hit Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Ala. He was between the two cities, in terrain that’s “beyond hilly.” It was a perfect place for Karstens – then an Iowa State doctoral student of Bill Gallus, professor of geological and atmospheric sciences – to study the effects of complex terrain on the structure of a tornado. The study is part of a larger research program at ISU’s Wind Simulation and Testing Laboratory, which includes the Tornado/Microburst Simulator. The lab has allowed ISU researchers to learn much about the interaction of wind with structures and terrain. In Alabama, Karstens looked at what happens to a tornado when it hits complex terrain such as cliffs, slopes and valleys. He looked for signs the terrain had disrupted the tornado as it moved up and down the steep slopes. Studying aerial photos, he noticed that trees along valleys far from the tornado path were damaged by high winds. “He looked for He saw damage that signs the terrain changed as the storm moved up and over the low had disrupted mountains. One idea was the tornado.” that the perpendicular valleys provided a channel for the high winds and kept them going far from the actual tornado. To test the theory, Karstens built a 32-by-20-foot, 3-D foam replica of a two-mile by three-mile section of the Alabama countryside he explored on foot. Then he ran Iowa State’s Tornado/Microburst Simulator over the model terrain, taking wind readings inside the various valleys. The results appear to confirm his theory that near-surface winds in tornadoes are uniquely affected by the underlying topography. “The tree damage suggests the topography profoundly influenced the near-surface inflow to the tornado by channeling the flow into valleys,” explained Karstens, “with a resulting increase in speed.” –ISU News Service WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

Jean Goodwin, Clark Wolf, Michael Dahlstrom. LAS photo

Helping scientists navigate policy debates

A

A team of Iowa State researchers, led by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty, will explore science information that has become questioned or rejected within policy decisions. The goal is to develop teaching materials focused on communicating science during those policy controversies. Teaching Responsible Communication of Science is funded by a new three-year $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Ethics Education in Science and Engineering program. The researchers will design teaching modules to help future scientists better navigate the conflicting expectations they will face when contributing to controversial policy. Jean Goodwin, professor of English and the project’s lead researcher, said that while climate change and evolution are prominent examples of science being questioned within policy, questions of appropriate science communication exist whenever scientists and non-scientists communicate. “As scientists leave their labs and enter the public sphere, audiences will already expect them to communicate in specific ways,” Goodwin said. “How can scientists be expected to successfully contribute to policy if they are not trained on what is expected from them?” Goodwin said appropriate communication in complex and often-heated debates can challenge scientists. “So our goal is to help scientists use communication techniques appropriately, avoid the appearance of politicization and share their results without hype,” she explained. “Successful science communication is more than just simplifying or communicating clearly,” said Michael Dahlstrom, assistant professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and one of the project’s researchers. He added that scientists must know how to promote their work while avoiding perceptions of hype and spin. Also involved are Clark Wolf, professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and director of the ISU Bioethics Program, and Mari Kemis, assistant director of ISU’s School of Education.

5


My View Maximizing education investments on our planet By Peter Orazem

I

n 2012, I was asked to develop the most cost effective options in the area of education for review by the Copenhagen Consensus. In 1960, when 41 percent of the world’s children age 6-11 were not in school, the answer might have been to build more schools and hire more teachers. Fifty years and $69 billion in World Bank investments later, only 10 percent of primary age children are not in school. But while most countries have now attained universal primary schooling, over 30 percent of primary aged children are not in school in countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Pakistan. All of these countries rank among the poorest governed according to the Fund for Peace Failed States index. Trying to raise school enrollments in these Failed States would not meet the Copenhagen Consensus benefitcost criteria. Children in these countries are not absent because schools are lacking but because the government cannot insure the safety of the children while in school or provide an economy that can utilize their skills when they graduate. In a separate paper, colleagues and I showed that the highest returns to schooling are found in the developing countries that guarantee economic freedom, defined as the ability to apply one’s skills to the activities that have the highest reward to those skills. As an example, before the transition to

market, the added income from an additional year of schooling in the former Soviet states averaged three percent. After transition, the returns to a year of schooling rose rapidly to 10 percent per year, the same as in the U.S. and Western Europe. To maximize the benefits from educational investments in developing countries, we need to concentrate on countries that can capture returns. In those countries, most children are already in school, and so we need to make their time in school more valuable. One way is to make sure that children are properly nourished. About one-quarter of children under age 5 in developing nations are stunted mentally and physically because they lack sufficient iron, zinc, iodine or caloric intake, and this stunting permanently lowers the capacity to learn and earn over a lifetime. Studies show that providing inexpensive nutrients to preschool and young children increases their school attendance, lengthens their time in school, raises their cognitive attainment, and increases their earnings as adults. One could address the needs of all 175 million malnourished children in the developing world under age 6 at a cost of roughly $5 billion per year. Poor and rural parents and their children consistently under-predict the potential returns to schooling, as they are poorly informed about wages in urban labor markets. Two recent

A consensus for global development In 2004, the Copenhagen Consensus, a nonprofit research organization, identified the most cost effective mechanisms to spur growth in developing countries. Thirty researchers from around the world presented the best ideas for helping poor countries develop. A panel of Nobel Laureate economists and other experts winnowed down the list to a few proposals determined to show the greatest benefit per dollar. The most cost effective strategy in 2004 was deemed to be dissemination of AIDS treatment. A second round in 2008 focused on reducing the spread of malaria and other diseases.

6

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

Peter Orazem. Bob Elbert photo

projects in Madagascar and in the Dominican Republic provided current information on the average earnings for adults with primary and secondary degrees to parents and their children. Attendance, test scores and persistence to graduation rose. The cost of the intervention was eight cents per child in Madagascar. While there are only two studies to date, it would be hard to find a less expensive intervention with the potential of substantial benefits. In Latin America, several countries have successfully implemented income transfer programs that are conditional on children attending school. These programs reinforce the parents’ incentives to support their children’s education while providing an income floor for the poorest households. As a result, families are less likely to pull their kids out of school to work if one of the parents suffers a job loss. These programs can only succeed in relatively developed countries where government institutions necessary to identify the poorest households, manage a large transfer program, and monitor child attendance are well developed. Nevertheless, they have proven quite successful where implemented. All three of these strategies were rated among the top half of 30 proposals by this year’s panel of Nobel Laureates. – Peter Orazem is a University Professor of economics

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


History in the making By Steve Jones

Melvin Ejim is a top student, but he’s better known as one of coach Fred Hoiberg’s most steady players.

T

The photographer was quite late without a good excuse. Yet the photo subject, third-year Iowa State University history student Melvin Ejim, was not bothered. He sat quietly on the Carver Hall steps reading a thick history book. However, that’s Ejim (pronounced EDGE-um) – a top student with a reputation as a truly nice guy. He also might be the best-known history major on campus. Ejim is a two-year starting forward on the Cyclone men’s basketball team, combining scoring, rebounding and steady play for coach Fred Hoiberg. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Toronto native enters his third ISU season as the second leading returning rebounder in the Big 12 Conference. He averaged 7.1 boards per game in Big 12 play last season. He also scored 9.3 points per game overall for the 23-11 Clones, who reached the NCAA Tournament second round. He had some of his best games last year against Big 12 foes. Ejim totaled a season-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds in ISU’s road win at Oklahoma and also scored 15 second-half points against No. 9 Baylor in the Cyclones’ come-frombehind home win. Against No. 5 Kansas, his 15 points and eight rebounds helped ISU to a 72-64 victory before a sold-out, frenzied Hilton Coliseum crowd. Ejim came to Iowa State as an open option (undecided) student. Although strong in the classroom, he didn’t WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

know what he wanted to study. “When it came time to choose a major, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Ejim recalled. “I didn’t know what interests I had or the things I was good at. Nothing really popped out at me.” Then came a summer 2011 trip to Italy with the Cyclone basketball team. In addition to playing some Italian teams, Ejim enjoyed the museums, the cathedrals, the art and most of all, the history. “There is so much history you can’t see anywhere else. It opened my eyes that I really enjoyed hearing stories about the past,” he said. Ejim has enjoyed his new major. “History is a class that you go in and everyday hear a new story from a different point of view. I said, ‘What’s better than that?’” The major, Ejim said, is also improving his study skills, particularly reading and writing. He admitted he “wasn’t a big fan of reading” and he wanted to become a better writer. “History has forced me to become better at both.” A first generation Canadian, Ejim’s family is from Nigeria, which opened doors to international hoops. He played last summer with the Nigerian national squad, eyeing a position on the team that would try to qualify for the London Olympics. At 21, younger than the rest of the team, he didn’t make the cut, which wasn’t unexpected. Ejim was being groomed for the future and perhaps a spot on the national team when the

2016 Olympics qualifying comes around. “It was an incredible experience,” he said. “The Nigerian basketball coaches told me they want me to come back.” Heading into the 2012-13 season, Ejim will again be counted on to be a Cyclone leader. He said the team is focused on post-season play again. “We want to make it back to the NCAA Tournament and go even farther,” he said. “Individually, I want to play at my best and show improvement in my game and help the team in anyway I can. Ultimately, when we win, everyone looks good.”

7


The Catt Center

Scholarship, Research and Politics By Laura Wille

Catt Center director, Dianne Bystrom. Bob Elbert photo

The Catt Center for Women and Politics, guided for 16 of its 20 years by Dianne Bystrom, has provided leadership and educational opportunities for females and males interested in politics and public service.

I

In April 1992, a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences alumna proposed a center at Iowa State University dedicated to the study of women and politics. The idea was met with such positive response that Iowa’s Board of Regents approved it in September of that year. Twenty years later, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics is the second oldest of only about a dozen such centers across the country. It is named after 1880 ISU graduate Carrie Chapman Catt, who is recognized as one of the key leaders of the American women’s suffrage movement. In its two decades the Catt Center has provided leadership development and educational opportunities for

8

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

women and men interested in politics, leadership and public service. “What makes us unique is our mission to blend the scholarship and research on women and politics with the experience of those who work in the field,” said Dianne Bystrom, director of the center since 1996. “We still honor that mission today. We combine research with practical experiences. That sets us apart.” Sharon (Miller) Rodine, of Dallas, Texas, is the ISU alumna who proposed the center. She remembers it well. “From 1989-91, I had an opportunity to travel the country encouraging women to seek elective and appointive office. My travels revealed the need for a high-quality, ongoing political and civic education

initiative that was anchored in a permanent setting, like a university, where the programs could be sustained and grown. “Thus, the idea for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics emerged.”

Getting ‘Ready to Run’ Through a program titled Ready to Run Iowa, the center provides non-partisan campaign training for Iowa women running for elective office, preparing for appointive office or those becoming more involved as leaders in their communities. “Iowa ranks below the national average in sending women to the state legislature, and we’re one of only four

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


states that has never sent a woman to Congress,” Bystrom said. “One thing that can change the deck is to provide training to get women more excited to run for office.” Approximately 160 Iowans have participated in Ready to Run Iowa since it began in 2007. Bystrom said there are multiple stories of women who successfully ran for the state legislature or were elected to school boards, city councils and county offices. The Center’s Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics – named after the Iowan who was the first and only woman to chair the Republican National Party – brings well-known political leaders, scholars and activists to Sharon Rodine campus. Since the first speaker in 1996, past presenters include Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Dole during their respective runs for the presidency, Gwen Ifill from PBS’ “Washington Week,” and Michele Norris of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” In November, CNN’s Candy Crowley was slated to analyze the results of the

WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU Hillary Clinton at ISU, 2007.

election as the fall 2012 chair. “We try to bring in people who symbolize the good things about political life,” Bystrom said. “The speeches are about the status and role of women in politics as well as other professions, and we choose speakers based on the currency of the topic they bring.” Another alumni idea was to provide leadership training for ISU students. In 2009, leadership classes taught by Catt Center staff were combined with other Iowa State courses to form a 21-credithour certificate program in community leadership. Key learning components are leadership, organization, and communication theories and practices.

Enrollment growth To date 18 students have completed the program, which annually enrolls about 25 students from every college at the university, including three of the four students on ISU’s 2011 Government of the Student Body presidential ticket, Bystrom said. And enrollment in the certificate’s entry-level leadership course is growing. Since 2010, the class has increased from 20 students in one section to more than 150 students in five sections. Off campus, many have found the Center’s Archive of Women’s Political Communication as a great resource for women’s political speech. Launched in 2006, the archives currently include 769 speeches from 258 political leaders from around the globe. Bystrom said the site receives about 40,000 hits per month from school teachers, women running for office and researchers around the world. “Such an archive didn’t exist anywhere before,” Bystrom said. “It only has room to grow.”

Elizabeth Dole spoke in 1999.

At service to Iowa Many other programs and opportunities are housed at the center, allowing it to serve thousands of women and men through programs, events and activities, and hundreds of students who participate in scholarship, mentorship and leadership development programs. “What we bring to the state of Iowa is a center that not only conducts research related to Iowa women in politics, but also offers programs like Ready to Run and the Mary Louise Smith Chair to inspire women to run for office,” Bystrom said. “We provide the tools they need to become more politically informed and more politically involved.” Rodine added, “The center’s accomplishments have turned it into a tremendous asset for the students, the university and the state of Iowa. It is a valuable asset that has far exceeded our initial vision and has great potential for the future.”

Carrie Chapman Catt

9


ON THE COVER

The shape of things to come By Steve Jones

Iowa State’s exceptionally strong structural biology research group – which seeks new solutions to challenges important to human, plant and animal life – is poised for even greater success.

W

Will a new drug help a patient feel better? To answer this question, scientists in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and their colleagues at Iowa State University and elsewhere turn to structural biology. For a drug to be effective, the molecules making up its active ingredient and their target molecules in the body need to fit together like lock and key. The three-dimensional shape of these molecules – their structure – plays a critical role in determining their function. In addition to drug development, a better understanding of the complex

10

structure of biomolecules is also essential for many other discoveries in wide-ranging areas important to human, plant and animal life. Iowa State’s structural biology group is exceptionally strong, also benefitting from the presence of an excellent College of Veterinary Medicine. “Structural biology is a very important part of how biology is going to advance,” said David Oliver, associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a biology professor. With competitive funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and private support from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust and others, researchers tackle challenges in areas such as pharmaceuticals, animal and plant health, insect control and bioenergy. In May, Iowa State announced a $7.5 million award by the Carver Charitable Trust, of Muscatine, Iowa, to Amy Andreotti, left, and Guru Rao. Bob Elbert photo support strategic

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

research initiatives in biomolecular structure in ISU’s Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology (BBMB). The department has been renamed in honor of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, in recognition of the trust’s gifts and commitments to the department of more than $12.3 million. (See story on page 11.)

Interest, expertise “Iowa State has a strong interest and expertise in biomolecular structure across campus,” said Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The Carver Trust’s initiative is very timely and will provide us with the resources to attract additional top faculty and graduate students, and equip our laboratories with state-of-the-art instrumentation.” The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences jointly administer BBMB. In support of the Carver Trust gift, both colleges are making large investments in the department’s research programs, with specific emphasis on structural biology. “This is a unique opportunity to raise our research profile in this critically important interdisciplinary field to a new level of prominence,”

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


ON THE COVER

Schmittmann added. Carver Charitable Trust funds have created three endowed professorships in BBMB. Professor and initiative director Amy Andreotti and Professor Guru Rao – who also serves as the department chair – both now hold the title of Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust Professor in BBMB, with a national search under way for the third position. Each is a gifted scientist working with biomolecular structures.

3-D Structures “All of life is driven by biomolecular systems,” said Andreotti. “Structural biology is studying these systems at the atomic level and generating models for the shape and features that are important and allow these molecules to carry out their prescribed functions.” Rao said modern research techniques such as nuclear magnetic

“The Carver Trust’s initiative is very timely and will provide us with the resources to attract additional top faculty and graduate students, and equip our laboratories with state-ofthe-art instrumentation.” – LAS Dean Beate Schmittmann resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography have allowed scientists to peer deep into living cells. Continued on page 12

Carver Charitable Trust’s latest commitment further supports ISU’s biomolecular research I

Iowa State University’s Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology (BBMB) is now named in honor of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, in recognition of gifts and commitments to the department totaling more than $12.3 million. This support includes a $7.5 million commitment announced in May to support strategic research initiatives in biomolecular structure. “The purpose of this most recent investment in Iowa State University is to further enhance what are already successful research endeavors in the dynamic scientific field of structural biology,” said Troy Ross, executive

administrator of the Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa. Ross added that, “the board of trustees anticipates that this highly focused award will provide an infusion of intellectual capital through both the hiring of topflight new faculty and by attracting some of the very best graduate students nationally and abroad, as well as create the capacity to acquire some of the most cuttingedge laboratory instrumentation utilized in this area of study. When fully implemented, this initiative should serve to bring greater attention to the overall research enterprise of the Department of Biochemistry,

Biophysics and Molecular Biology from the scientific community at large.” The Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology is jointly administered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Detailed knowledge of biomolecular structure and function is necessary to identify new solutions to challenges in areas ranging from medical and pharmaceutical science, to plant and animal health, insect control, food and nutrition, bioenergy and biomaterials. Continued on page 12

WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

11


ON THE COVER

Continued from page 11

They can now determine the three-dimensional shape, or structure, of proteins and enzymes, which Rao calls the “business end” of what makes us all function. “Now we know what the proteins look like. We can visualize them because of the instrumentation,” Rao said. Andreotti explained that for the tiny but complicated protein molecules to carry out their functions, they must fold up into their unique 3-D shapes. “The sub-units that make up proteins are amino acids,” she said. “We have machinery inside all our cells that string together just 20 naturally occurring amino acids into long protein chains. Each protein chain then adopts a specific 3-D shape.” Colorful graphics of protein

Continued from page 11

“These are areas in which the university has interdisciplinary strengths,” said Amy Andreotti, a Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust Professor of BBMB. “As a faculty group, we’re extremely excited to further advance this area of biomolecular research at Iowa State with the generous support of the Carver Trust.” The $7.5 million gift is the single, largest one in BBMB’s history and represents the greatest concentration

12

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

“Our interest is in defining the precise mechanisms that control the function of this enzyme in the immune

cell. We’d like to answer the question of how this protein gets turned on and off during an immune response,” she explained. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences structural biologists and their teams of investigators at Iowa State attack a variety of research challenges in various ways: Mark Hargrove (BBMB) uses X-ray crystallography to work on enzymes that excel at breaking down cellulose from plants, with applications to more efficiently develop biofuels. He is studying natural enzymes called cellulosomes, found in termites and the first stomachs of cows. Hargrove is developing a method to make synthetic cellulosomes that are efficient and easier to work with than natural Hargrove cellulosomes. Edward Yu (physics and astronomy, chemistry, BBMB and an associate of the Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory) is working on how bacteria resist drugs. Yu’s research team is beginning to study disease resistance in Yu tuberculosis by

of support by the Carver Trust to any particular entity at Iowa State. The gift created the first named faculty positions in BBMB. It also is providing funding for laboratory development and startup support for new faculty, research-related equipment, and graduate and post-graduate educational and training assistance. “The Carver Trust has been a key partner with Iowa State University for more than 25 years,” said ISU President Steven Leath. “The Carver

Trust’s financial support to the university has totaled more than $38 million in grants, gifts and commitments, making it one of our strongest supporters. We are very grateful for this partnership with the Carver Trust, and we look forward to the exciting new research and learning opportunities that this investment will create.” “The Carver Trust and Iowa State share a vision to posture the Department of BBMB as the premier

structures, which serve as visual models derived from experimental data, tell scientists how biological molecules work and carry out their specific tasks. Andreotti said researchers have to study the minute details to understand the specific interactions within structures. “You have to look at the molecular details because these protein structural features lead directly to exquisitely specific functions,” she explained. “Nature has evolved to take advantage of small structural differences that then lead to big differences in specificity and function.” Based on its shape, Rao added, researchers are able to predict what a protein can do and how it might be changed so that it could perform a completely different and more beneficial function. Andreotti researches a type of enzyme (a specialized protein) called a kinase, in particular one made in the cells of the human immune system. She said many cancers arise because a kinase molecule gets stuck in the “on” position when it should turn off, leading to uncontrolled cell growth. By studying the enzyme structure, Andreotti works to determine how to chemically intervene and turn off the kinase molecule.

Precise mechanisms

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


ON THE COVER describing the structure of a regulator that controls the expression of a pump that removes toxins from the bacteria. Mei Hong (chemistry and associate of the Ames Laboratory) made important discoveries about the flu virus while demonstrating the capabilities of solid-state NMR spectroscopy to study the virus. She determined where an antiviral drug binds to and blocks a channel Hong necessary for the flu virus to spread. Sanjeevi Sivasankar (physics and astronomy and associate of the Ames Laboratory) is developing a device that will assist structural biologists. His team has blended optical and atomic force microscope technologies and found a way to complete 3-D measurements of single biological Sivasankar molecules with unprecedented accuracy and precision. Medical researchers, for example, could benefit from the technology.

for the best students and faculty. “We are recognized through our faculty and our research for being right at the cutting edge. We’re taking biochemistry to a level that is very competitive with what is going on in the field at other universities. “We’re very good.”

Rao sees Iowa State’s structural biology expertise growing to unprecedented levels and competing

destination for structure-based investigations of macromolecular function,” said Guru Rao, BBMB department chair and also a Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust Professor in BBMB. “Together with support from our colleges, this gift will enable us to achieve prominence as a world-class department.” – From ISU news sources

WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust focuses on research, education and youth The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is one of the largest private philanthropic foundations in Iowa with assets of more than $250 million and annual grant distributions of over $12 million. It was created through the will of Roy J. Carver, a Muscatine industrialist and philanthropist, who died in 1981. Since it began its grant-making activities in 1987, the Carver Trust has distributed more than $258 million in the form of nearly 2,000 individual grants. The Carver Trust focuses its charitable giving on biomedical and scientific research; primary, secondary and higher education; and youthrelated needs.

13


An Iowan and a Poet By Laura Wille

Mary Swander takes her projects to Iowans. Bob Elbert photo

14

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


Fueled by a passion for her native state, Iowa Poet Laureate and ISU Distinguished Professor Mary Swander strives to bring out the poetry in all of us.

A

A fourth-generation Iowan, Mary Swander’s two-year reappointment by Gov. Terry Branstad as Iowa Poet Laureate is very fitting. Swander has written poems, books and a musical about Iowa, directed an Iowa-based reader’s theatre and is a Distinguished Professor of English at Iowa State University. As Iowa’s symbolic leader of poetry, Swander has found many ways in her first and now second term to incorporate works of poetry throughout her home state. “Poetry is a really vibrant genre,” Swander said. “I try to think of ways to make it more accessible and exciting, and get larger audiences.” A friend and colleague, Neil Nakadate, University Professor Emeritus and former president of the board of directors of Humanities Iowa, said Swander “has a knack for finding new audiences for poetry and new poetic voices among those audiences. We see this in her insistence on taking her dramatic readings and other projects to all corners of the state.” All of Iowa As only the third Iowa Poet Laureate, Swander is traveling throughout Iowa. She has visited schools, nursing homes and a prison where she reads her own work, teaches a class or leads a workshop. The tasks come naturally to Swander, who has written 11 books of fiction, nonfiction, collections of poetry, essays and memoirs, and has taught English at Iowa State since 1986. “I’d been to all 99 counties before, but I’m seeing Iowa in a different way now,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to work with the young ones to the elders.” Those corners of Iowa include making poetry more accessible to persons with disabilities. Swander and her ISU students have collaborated on poetry projects with the Iowa

WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

Department for the Blind and the Iowa School for the Deaf, giving the students an opportunity to experience poetry outside the classroom. She also sponsors Writing Through Change, a free class in creative writing for persons with disabilities. Now in its third year, the response has been great, Swander said, and the writing course has mushroomed into photography, quilting and painting courses by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “People are finding self fulfillment through the arts,” she said. The theater, the theater The Iowa native’s popular reader’s theater, “Farmscape: Documenting the Changing Rural Environment,” continues to tour Iowa and the U.S. Based on interviews with Iowans, the production was written by students in her Writing About Environmental Issues class in 2008. “Farmscape” documents the changing rural landscape as told through interviews with Iowa farmers, winery owners, bed and breakfast proprietors and a confinement worker. The production became a book in early October this year, published by Ice Cube Press in North Liberty, Iowa, and authored by Swander. Said Nakadate, “As long as I’ve known her, Mary has been interested in a diversity of land and landscape, from urban gardens to the Loess Hills. Her writing expresses an understanding of our relationship to place – land and water, weather and climate, and the everyday and extraordinary events that shape people’s lives. Another way to put it: Mary helps people see that poetry is what-we-say in collaboration with where-we-are.” Her next play will be yet another way to experience poetry. “Blind Sculpture,” inspired by the work with the Department for the Blind, will open later this year on the ISU campus. Swander

transformed the students’ poetry into dramatic form. Directed by Matt Foss, lecturer in the Department of Music and Theatre, special effects will give the audience a sense of what it’s like to be visually impaired. Promoter of poetry Swander also continues to promote her other compositions, many of which revolve around the people and landscape of Iowa. Her latest book, How I Got My Dog, is a three-essay compilation about living in Kalona, an eastern Iowa town. The hand-printed and hand-sewn book, designed by an Anamosa, Iowa, artist, is available only at her speaking engagements. These projects and many more, as Iowa Poet Laureate and ISU English professor, keep Swander happily busy. “I’m practically booked for a year,” she said. “It’s hard to find a lot of free time.” Swander has always been an enthusiastic promoter of poetry, Nakadate said. “She never tires of reminding us that poetry is constantly ‘out there’ and inside all of us. As Poet Laureate, Mary is helping everyone see that Iowa itself is a diverse landscape of voices, of stories, of styles of expression.”

Keeping up with Mary To keep up with Mary Swander’s Iowa activities, visit her homepage at www.maryswander.com/ and follow her on Facebook at “Mary-Swander”.

15


Connecting brands and people By Steve Jones

Doug Spong at the office in Minneapolis. LAS photo

Doug Spong is a matchmaker of sorts. The Minneapolis PR and ad man and Iowa State English alum excels at building and sustaining a love affair between people and brands.

D

Doug Spong laughed and shook his head. He thought about how Americans share their information today compared to 1981 when he entered the public relations field fresh out of Iowa State University. PCs didn’t clutter desks, and the Internet, smart phones, texting, Facebook and Twitter were far off. ESPN and CNN were still in diapers, and NBC, ABC and CBS dominated television viewing over something called the airwaves. The fruits of the information age radically changed how we communicate. Yet Spong, a Minneapolis public relations and advertising leader, still excels in what he’s always done – build and sustain powerful emotional connections between people and brands. “The technology and trends have changed so much in 31 years,” said the tall, personable ISU English alumnus. He knows of only one way to succeed in our

16

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

media- and communications-saturated world. “You have to embrace change throughout your life. I’ve had to completely, in my 31-year career, relearn how to do business almost each and every day.” Spong is the president of Carmichael Lynch, an established creative agency in advertising, public relations and digital media. He also is the founder and president of Carmichael Lynch Spong, named national “PR Agency of the Year” for mid-sized companies four of the past seven years. Addition of digital The two integrated agencies share more than an open, environmentally friendly downtown space a couple of towering Joe Mauer home runs from Target Field. Traditionally, Carmichael Lynch was advertising and Carmichael Lynch Spong was public relations. The

addition of digital media such as websites, Facebook and online advertising blurred the line. “Each requires specific skill sets,” Spong said of advertising and PR. “Then along comes this thing called digital, which has been the unifying glue between the two. There is so much collaboration between the disciplines now.” Spong oversees a staff of 200 in Minneapolis and New York whose mission is to spark and sustain a love affair between people and brands of products and services. It’s done through a blend of art (creativity) and science (analytics) to turn target consumers into soul mates of the brands the agencies represent. “We try to understand basically what’s in the head and heart of the target,” he said. “This helps inform where we will take the positioning and messaging of the campaign. It’s really

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


finding human truths.” An Illinois native, Spong followed his sister to Iowa State’s English program. He wanted to write for a living and joined the Iowa State Daily staff as a freshman. He later became an officer in the Delta Upsilon fraternity and garnered valuable PR experience as the Greek Week publicity chair. Spong, who has a journalism minor, recalled with fondness Dale Boyd, his Journalism 201 professor. Boyd took a personal interest in his students, Spong said, and even had the class over to his house for tuna melts.

creative reputation, and I thought, wow, what a great opportunity to build something that hadn’t existed before,” he recalled. Lynch said he saw a bright, talented up-and-comer who understood how to be an asset for clients. “I saw in him the ability to successfully run a PR agency in a traditional ad agency,” Lynch recalled. “It was seldom done back then.” Spong hired a staff, helped attract clients and watched Carmichael Lynch Spong grow. National awards piled up and the agency’s reputation ballooned. Spong credits the good fortune to hard work, a knack for knowing “what did and didn’t need to happen to be successful,” Helping business and his Iowa State education. “He really had a big influence on me, “Iowa State provided the foundation and helped shape the fact that I love the for me to be able to adapt, reinvent art and craft of writing,” Spong myself, learn new technologies and explained. “He also showed me that I skills, and embrace change,” Spong said. could make a great career at it, “If you’re not open to reinvention and combining my love for writing with discovering new things about life, man helping businesses solve problems and you’re going to get lost really fast.” achieve their objectives. For me, that Today Spong keeps his finger on the was the perfect match for public pulse of PR and advertising for two firms relations.” that have an “envied portfolio of great Spong began his PR career with the brand-name clients,” he said. “If you Minneapolis firm Colle & McVoy. Nine haven’t heard of it, we don’t represent it, successful years later, at only age 31, he generally.” was finally swayed by advertising The client roster includes Subaru of executive Lee Lynch to make the short America, Sherwin Williams, American move to Carmichael Lynch and start a PR Standard heating and air conditioning, side to what was then strictly an ad Cargill, CITGO, H&R Block, Jennie-O agency. “Carmichael Lynch had a great Turkey Store, Rubbermaid and SUPERVALU. Another is Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, which has grown from a distant second to become the best-selling food brand in U.S convenience stores, thanks to a towering, mythical creature who gets even with human pranksters. Carmichael Lynch “Baby Driver” commercial had an Emmy nomination. introduced the “Messin’ WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

With Sasquatch” campaign in 2006. The popular commercials feature “adventurous spirits” who enjoy the great outdoors and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky while playing juvenile tricks on the unsuspecting hairy creature, who always gets payback. “It’s funny when they mess with Sasquatch,” Spong said, “and even funnier when he gets Sasquatch always gets payback. his revenge.” Subaru, Carmichael Lynch’s largest client, has seen its market share double because of the “Love” campaign, a series of ads aimed at the bond between a car and its owner. In 2011 the campaign’s “Baby Driver” commercial, about a father who for the first time gives up the Subaru keys to his teenage daughter, was one of six nominations for an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Commercial. (Chrysler’s “Born of Fire” ad won.) Creativity and research The campaign’s success is due to creativity and market research that reveals “these human truths that are out there with a brand,” Spong said. “When you can marry that up with consumers, the lives they lead and what role the brand plays in that...when you have that trifecta working together, that’s how you really get a campaign that works magically like Subaru’s has.” Top-flight campaigns are the result of many inventive folks, and Lee Lynch says Spong has a sharp eye for talent. “Doug has been able to recruit the top people, and they tend to stay with him. People enjoy working for Doug.”

17


Making science relevant for students Iowa State STEM retention program is showing students they can follow their scientific curiosity and creativity.

T

The student-designed lab experiment was sweet. It involved Pop-Tarts. Four students in Barbara Krumhardt’s Biology 256 human physiology laboratory last year ate the sweet pastries. Afterward two students worked up a sweat by jogging outside as the other two rested in the lab before all four had their blood checked for glucose levels. The joggers, by the way, had significantly less sugar in their blood as the students hypothesized. A simple exercise, but the students were motivated to learn because they had designed the experiment themselves to test their hypothesis. Iowa State University educators see this example in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and many other student-led experiments on campus as a sign that science education is changing. Engaged to Excel A program called Engaged to Excel aims to transform Iowa State science laboratory curricula for first- and secondyear students to make science more relevant to them and ignite their excitement for scientific discovery. “The long-term hope is that we can show this increases the retention of

18

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

science majors,” said Craig Ogilvie, assistant dean of the Graduate College and professor of physics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Ogilvie said too many undergraduates decide to leave science in the first two years of college “largely because they are asked to do things they don’t think are relevant, and they don’t find introductory course work compelling.” He said nationally about 60 percent of students leave a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) major. The figure is about 50 percent at Iowa State, he noted. “There is a certain slice of people who I think would be extremely talented scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs who leave the discipline far too early,” Ogilvie said. Krumhardt, a senior lecturer in genetics, development and cell biology, said the student-centered concept pushes students to be more creative in the lab. After learning concepts and finishing some class exercises, the Biology 256 students made group proposals for further investigation and tested their own hypotheses. “I kept thinking we could do more,” Krumhardt said. “This makes students think.” The Iowa State program has been supported by a $1.6 million grant in 2010

from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) of Chevy Chase, Md. The grant was part of the medical research organization’s program to help universities strengthen undergraduate and precollege science education nationwide. A STEM leader Liberal Arts and Sciences dean Beate Schmittmann said the program has already made Iowa State a leader in the national push to increase the number of students earning degrees in STEM disciplines. “Good science begins with natural curiosity and asking lots of questions,” Schmittmann said. “This project encourages students to follow their curiosity and explore their own ideas. They develop a life skill, which is critical for future scientists as well as everyone else. With this HHMI grant, we are one of the leaders of a national effort to increase the number of STEM graduates.” Ogilvie and others hope that someday this new exploration-based approach will take hold in all of the introductory science courses on campus. “You walk into a lab at Iowa State and this is just how we do science here,” Ogilvie said. “Whenever you’re in a lab at Iowa State, no matter which department, you know that your creativity and brainstorming will be part of your learning experience. It’s more than just getting through the lab experiments. It changes what students expect to happen.”

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


4

Moses Bomett has Hope Africa By Laura Wille

Moses Bomett talks to students in Solai, Kenya.

ISU senior Moses Bomett started Hope 4 Africa, which has also taken root at other colleges, to aid needy schools.

A

A high school speech delivered some four years ago was the starting point to a non-profit organization that has raised more than $30,000 for African students. The money has provided textbooks, computers, trees, musical instruments and electricity for the young learners. Moses Bomett, now a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University with a triple major in economics, political science and international studies, delivered a speech at West Des Moines Valley High School about his life experiences in Africa. He had been back in the United States for two years at the time, and could see the vast differences in opportunities for African and U.S. children.

Fundraising activities Born in the U.S., Moses lived in Kenya from age 2 to 14. He saw a gap in education there, where those with money had opportunities, but millions of children didn’t have the resources, he said. Of all the problems affecting Africa, Moses spoke his opinion of what could make a big impact on solving much of WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

the tribulations: education is key. The ideas presented in his speech soon became the goals for a new club at Valley High. Hope 4 Africa began raising funds through bake sales, T-shirt sales and other events. After Moses’ high school graduation, he started a Hope 4 Africa club at ISU. Fundraising events include “Hunger Out 4 Hope,” where students experience 12 hours without food and raise awareness about the organization. They also sell shirts on central campus through “Tie Dye 4 Hope.” Other Hope 4 Africa clubs have sprouted across the Midwest, many of them started by students who went to Valley with Moses. Hope 4 Africa clubs can also be found at Waukee (Iowa) High School, the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, Loras College, the University of South Dakota and the University of Nebraska. Since the humble beginning in 2008, Moses said 1,774 books, 10 computers, 1,300 trees and multiple student sponsorships have been funded at two primary schools and one high school in

Kenya. He has traveled to Africa multiple times with the organization. “It’s a very satisfying experience,” Moses said. “You see how hard they are working and how they’re trying to get a quality education, and it inspires you to help out more.” In May 2012, on his fourth trip to Africa with the organization, Moses and fellow ISU club members bought musical instruments, more books and set up a library in one of the schools. Hope 4 Africa also funded the electrical hook-up for one of the schools, which had electricity access nearby, but previously could not afford to tap in to the resource.

List of needs Moses said the Kenyan schools submit their needs to Hope 4 Africa. “We told them how much money we raised, and they gave us a list of what they wanted,” Moses said. “We don’t tell them what they need; they are the ones who know.” Moses will graduate in May 2013 and is considering graduate school. He may also take a year off after graduation to visit schools and share the Hope 4 Africa story. To learn more about the organization, visit www.hope4africa.info.

19


Bergman is the newest Janson Professor of Mathematics Professor Clifford Bergman is the new holder of the Barbara J. Janson Professorship in Mathematics at Iowa State University. The professorship recognizes Bergman’s professional achievements and provides him with supplemental annual funds to advance the teaching and research efforts of the Department of Mathematics. “I’m excited and flattered to be selected for the Janson Professorship,” said Bergman, an ISU faculty member since 1982. He said this is a great time for young people to be joining the mathematical sciences. “In addition to traditional fields such as physics and engineering,” explained Bergman, “advances in biology and in information technology are providing new opportunities for anyone with a deep background in From left, LAS dean Beate Schmittmann, Clifford Bergman, Barbara mathematics, statistics and computer science. I hope to use this position to Janson and Math department chair Wolfgang Kliemann. LAS photo make these fields accessible to as many students as possible.” Barbara Janson of Dedham, Mass., a 1965 ISU mathematics graduate, established the professorship to reward a research mathematician who also is committed to undergraduate teaching, including encouraging students to major in mathematics. She is the retired president and founder of Janson Publications. Janson continues to be an active member of the Iowa State community. She sits on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council and the Department of Mathematics Advisory Council. She also is an ISU Foundation Governor where she serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the Investment Committee. “Endowed faculty positions, such as the Janson Professorship, are critical to strengthening the university’s academic excellence,” said Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Faculty awards help attract and retain outstanding faculty members at Iowa State. We all appreciate Barbara Janson’s continued commitment to Iowa State.”

Hasiuk named second holder of David Morehouse Faculty Fellowship

Franek Hasiuk

Franciszek “Franek” Hasiuk, a geology assistant professor, has been named the second holder of the David Morehouse Faculty Fellowship in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Hasiuk joins assistant professor Alan Wanamaker, named the first holder last year. The fellowship will provide Hasiuk additional yearly funds for his teaching and research programs. The funds can be used to support students, purchase additional equipment and supplies, and provide travel to professional meetings or for professional development. A Charles City, Iowa, native, Morehouse earned an M.S. in geology with a minor in economics from ISU in 1970. He recently retired after 37 years of federal civil service, much of it in supervisory petroleum geologist and senior petroleum geologist positions at the U.S. Energy Information Administration. He established the fellowship to assist the geology program to hire new faculty and give an early boost to their careers. Hasiuk is developing a research program around the study of limestone both as a record of climate changes and as a reservoir rock for water, oil and natural gas.

Stanley becomes the next Carlyle G. Caldwell Chair in Chemistry

Levi Stanley

20

Assistant professor Levi Stanley is the new holder of the Carlyle G. Caldwell Endowed Chair in Chemistry at Iowa State University. The two-year chair will provide him with supplemental funding for his instructional and research efforts in the Department of Chemistry. Endowed chair funds often are used to support graduate students and post-doctoral researchers along with additional equipment purchases and professional development. “The Caldwell Chair is absolutely vital to research efforts in my group,” Stanley said. “Progress in many fields of the medicinal sciences is tied closely to the ability to access a diverse array of chemical structures. The Caldwell Chair allows us to pursue studies to develop new catalysts of highly selective synthetic methods that provide access to a diverse array of chemical architectures.” The Caldwell Chair was established in 1985 in honor of ISU chemistry alumnus Carlyle G. Caldwell and funded through contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals. Caldwell was chairman and chief executive officer of the National Starch and Chemical Corp. until 1984 before becoming chair of the company’s executive committee.

IOWA STATE UNI VE R S I T Y

C O L L E G E O F L I B E RA L A RTS & SC IENC ES


‘Quiet voice’ active in social justice issues is Upstander Award winner Women’s studies course was “eye-opening experience” for Abby Barefoot. A May 2012 graduate of Iowa State University is this year’s recipient of the Engel Upstander Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Abby Barefoot, who has been active in several Iowa State and Amesarea organizations and events dedicated to social justice, earned degrees in journalism and women’s studies at ISU. She is a 2008 graduate of Dubuque Senior High School. “I started at ISU as a journalism major, then I took a women’s studies course. It was an eye-opening experience,” said Barefoot, who then added women’s studies as a second major. She had been aware of issues such as domestic violence and sexual assault, she explained, but she was unaware of their prevalence in society. “The more I learned about this, the problems were no longer just statistics, but real faces and people.” The Engel Upstander Award recognizes individuals who choose to take a positive stand on an issue of diversity and tolerance – often in difficult circumstances – and act on behalf of others. The award is inspired by the Upstander Awards by Facing History and Ourselves, a Massachusetts-based educational nonprofit organization. The award is named for the family of Iowa State alumna Debra J. Engel. She earned a Abby Barefoot psychology degree in 1973 and a master’s degree in industrial relations in 1976. Barefoot will receive $1,000 with the Upstander Award. “Abby is one of the ‘quiet voices’ behind the scenes that combine action with belief,” said Joel Geske, associate professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication who nominated Barefoot for the award. “Seldom in the spotlight, she works hard behind the scenes to make social justice a reality in our community.” Barefoot has been involved in women’s and gender justice issues throughout her Iowa State career. She has interned at ACCESS, an Ames assault care center where she worked with survivors of domestic violence. She also has volunteered at Iowa State’s Margaret Sloss Women’s Center for three semesters and created the center’s online magazine, published from a feminist perspective that combines women and gender issues with the environment. In addition, Barefoot was on the public relations committee for two events held at Iowa State, the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference and the Social Justice Summit. She also was active in the 2012 Women’s Leadership Retreat at ISU.

WWW.LAS.IASTAT E .E DU

Liberal Arts & Sciences Development Staff

Michael Gens Senior Director of Development 515-294-0921 mgens@iastate.edu

Kylie Behm-Newhard Development Coordinator 515-294-3607 knewhard@iastate.edu

21


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 202 Carrie Chapman Catt Hall Ames, Iowa 50011

Whether working to fulfill the

DREAM of an Iowa State student or a donor’s PASSION , the Iowa State University Foundation helps move lives

FORWARD.

www.foundation.iastate.edu

Link Magazine, Fall 2012  

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you