Inside Iowa State for faculty and staff
Dec. 10, 2020
Inside news
An initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Iowa this month, and Iowa State is preparing to help the state implement its distribution plan. The impact on campus could be significant by next fall. 

Instructors are preparing courses for the online winter session that opens Dec. 14 and concludes Jan. 21. In addition to content, they say establishing and maintaining a connection with students is important to its success. 

As the end of 2020 approaches, so does the deadline for incurring expenses that can be paid with a flexible spending account.

The project eliminates deferred maintenance, replaces small rooms with open, daylit work spaces and gives greater visibility to more student-focused service units in the student union.

On Jan. 1, the university's Conflicts of Interest and Commitment disclosure form is moving from AccessPlus to IRBManager, a project management system that accommodates many kinds of compliance processes.

In a presentation to the Professional and Scientific Council, a student counseling services psychologist outlined the expanding mental health options available to students. Faculty and staff play a crucial role in creating a community of care.

University counsel Michael Norton was invited to talk about free expression and the syllabus statement instructors will begin using in the winter session. The statement addresses recent issues on campus and free speech issues on college campuses across the nation.

For the first time, the Cyclone football team will vie for a Big 12 Conference football championship Dec. 19 in suburban Dallas.
The following announcements were added this week:
  • Iowa State implements shorter quarantine for asymptomatic cases
  • Honors program's fall poster session is a virtual gallery
  • Creamery offers ice cream curbside pick-up Dec. 16, Jan. 6
  • Workcyte website has been reorganized
  • Upcycle your holiday cards through Jan. 25
  • Symptom checker reminders continue for employees, grad students
Around campus
An ISU team's analysis of diet and "thinking on the fly" ability in a database of nearly 1,800 adults suggests the foods we eat may impact our cognitive acuity in our later years.

An ISU report finds the U.S. trailing other countries in building "macro grids" capable of moving electricity across grids or regions. The grids provide cost reduction, economic development, improved reliability and many other benefits.

Professor of psychology Christian Meissner helped develop CogTracer -- a free online tool to help people contact trace before professionals reach out. It helps people who may have COVID-19 recall contacts and locations they visited before symptoms became apparent.

The office of biotechnology's Research Experiences for Teachers program expanded beyond its usual summer experience this year to support and inspire participating teachers and research mentors through the academic year. 

When they log into CyBox Dec. 10 or after, employees and students will notice user interface updates that include a new function for organizing files into collections that are logical to the user.
Retirements and farewells
Next week
  • Farewell, Kerry Dixon, project management, facilities planning and management, Dec. 14

  • Retirement, Don Behning, ISU Alumni Association, Dec. 31, cards may be sent c/o Tom Elston, Alumni Center, 429 Alumni Lane, Ames 50011
  • Retirement, Kathy Dobbs, controller's department, Dec. 31, send congratulations to her Kudoboard
  • Retirement, Ellen Olson, mathematics, Jan. 4, 2021, send congratulations to her Kudoboard
  • Retirement, Susan Tourtellott, utility services, facilities planning and management, Jan. 8, 2021
Arts and events
Trading "curtain up" for "lights, camera, action," ISU Theatre has created an inventive short film based on a Charles Dickens holiday classic. "Our Community Carol: A Blueprint for a Play," is streaming Dec. 11-30. Details on how to access the stream are posted on the show's website; admission is "pay what you will."

With the Iowa State Center's 40th annual "Nutcracker Ballet" production canceled due to the pandemic, Stephens Auditorium instead will host "Sugarplum Celebration," holiday-themed dances performed by 85 dancers from the Ames-based Iowa Youth Ballet. Two Dec. 13 shows, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., also will be livestreamed, and tickets for either viewing option can be purchased.
Learning opportunities
Provost office programming
  • Online program, Smile and Write, for faculty and staff, Dec. 15, Dec. 29 (11 a.m.-1 p.m., via Zoom), register online

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) programming
Previous Inside coverage
About us
Inside Update is published Thursday mornings by Strategic Relations and Communications. Questions may be directed to 515-294-7065.