Inside Iowa State for faculty and staff
Aug. 12, 2021
Inside news
In an update about fall public health plans, senior leaders urged employees and students to get vaccinated, the No. 1 way to protect against COVID-19. They're also encouraging the campus community -- regardless of vaccine status -- to wear face masks indoors when around others, though vaccinations and masking remain personal choices. 

Every morning, colleges and units will demonstrate innovation happening in their areas, based on exhibitions at last spring's Ignite Innovation Showcase. In the afternoon, student teams will face off in a LEGO sculpture contest as an ISU alumnus constructs a life-sized LEGO depiction of one of ISU's most innovative graduates: George Washington Carver.

The pandemic forced spring and fall commencement celebrations last year into a virtual format. On Saturday, Oct. 9, those graduates will have the chance to walk across a stage and hear their name read aloud.

ISU employees who live in surrounding communities can diminish the downsides of a daily drive to Ames by joining a van pool. It makes getting to work cheaper and easier, with a reduced carbon footprint and increased connections with colleagues.

An FAQ on House File 802 provides additional guidance from university counsel and the provost's office on how Iowa State training and teaching may be affected.

Rummage RAMPage, a nine-day event at the Ames Intermodal Facility, saw more than $40,000 raised and hundreds of couches and chairs kept out of the waste stream. It also led to the donation of numerous items to nonprofit organizations throughout the area.
The following announcements were added this week:
  • Paper towel composting expands at Vet Med
  • Submit requests now for fall course reserves
  • Free access to N.Y. Times, Wall Street Journal available
  • Move-in to campus housing begins Aug. 17
  • Student work-study begins Aug. 16
  • Senior VP Younger seeks students for advisory seats
  • Celebration of life for Hector Avalos is Aug. 15
  • Employee volunteers still needed for state fair exhibit
Around campus
Chemistry professor Aaron Sadow is part of the Institute for Cooperative Upcycling of Plastics based at the Ames Laboratory, working to turn discarded single-use plastics into more valuable products. Early results are promising with plastics being turned into fatty alcohols useful in detergents and other applications.

Assistant professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology Yang Yang's study may help lead to the development of better treatments for patients dealing with COVID-19. Yang was able to detail the atomic structures of a key enzyme that renders most antiviral treatments ineffective.

The researchers behind a new artificial intelligence institute say their work can accelerate the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture are supporting the researchers’ idea with a five-year, $20 million grant to establish an AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture based at Iowa State.

As a married father at age 18, the top ambition of Chris Cornelius was a promotion to produce manager at the grocery store where he worked as a clerk. After growing up in Montana as a member of the Oneida tribe, he never dreamed of being where he is today, leading Iowa State's materials science and engineering department.

Athletics director Jamie Pollard will serve as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics for the 2021-22 academic year, helping lead the organization during one of the most challenging times college athletics has ever faced.
  • Carolyn Lawrence-Dill, professor of agronomy and genetics, development and cell biology, to associate dean for research and discovery in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, effective Aug. 16 
  • Amy Rutenberg, associate professor of history, to equity advisor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Open houses and receptions
This week
  • Retirement, Christine Leiran Wise, apparel, events and hospitality management, Aug. 12 (no public event)

Next week
  • Retirement, Diane Meyer, grants hub (retired June 30), Aug. 17 (2-4 p.m., The Launch Pad, 4250 Student Innovation Center)
Open forums
Learning opportunities
University Library programming
Registration is required.
Previous Inside coverage
About us
Inside Update is published Thursday mornings by Strategic Relations and Communications. Questions may be directed to 515-294-7065.