Campustown Reborn

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Originally published in the fall 2014 issue of VISIONS
Written by Steve Sullivan. Photos by Jim Heemstra

When the state of Iowa prohibited smoking in bars and restaurants in 2008, the crew at Welch Avenue Station took action.

They removed everything from the walls of the longtime Campustown oasis. The neon beer signs. The music posters. The Iowa State memorabilia. All of it. After years of nicotine were scrubbed away, the walls were repainted as close to the same color as they had been for as long as anyone could remember. Then the Welch Avenue gang put everything back on the walls, hanging each sign and picture exactly where it had been, even using the exact same nail holes.

“Alumni come back to town and come in and say the place hasn’t changed a bit,” says Mike Adams, Welch Avenue bar manager since 1996. “It has, but it feels the same.”

This bit of tavern lore offers an apt metaphor for the challenge now facing Campustown: How to hold tight to the district’s diverse character, while embracing the opportunities presented by significant change.

And significant change is most definitely coming to Iowa State’s Campustown.

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A Campustown renaissance
Kim Hanna, director of the Campustown Action Association (CAA), does not hesitate to use the “r” word when talking about what’s happening in the nine-block district that for more than 100 years has been a hang-out for Iowa State students, staff, and alumni drawn to the bars, restaurants, hair salons, T-shirt shops, book stores, movie theaters, tattoo parlors, and much more.

“We’re seeing the biggest wave of investment in Campustown by the city and university in years,” she says. “This is the renaissance of Campustown.”

This so-called renaissance is driven primarily by Kingland Systems, a software and data-management company started in the ISU Research Park by founder David Kingland (L)(’80 industrial administration). The company moved to the old Ames Theater space on Lincoln Way in 2004, tightening the bond with its biggest pool of employees: Iowa State students.

The old theater was one of nine buildings on the 2400 block of Lincoln Way owned for decades by the Champlin family of Ames. Kingland purchased all nine in 2012, launching a redevelopment project that will alter the landscape of Campustown, and quite possibly the very personality of the district.

“We are excited about this being our permanent home in Ames,” says Todd Rognes (A)(’85 accounting), Kingland president. “We believe this area can attract college students and professionals alike, and we hope our project demonstrates that Campustown is an area for the entire community.”

Birth of a district
The late A.L. Champlin is considered by many to be the father of Campustown. In 1908, he built the area’s first brick building at the corner of Lincoln Way and Welch Avenue. It was the entry point to what would eventually become today’s Campustown. During its long history, the building housed a grocery store, a drug store, a dance hall (in the years before Memorial Union), and various eating and drinking establishments, including People’s Bar and Grill, which energized Iowa State’s live music scene in the 1990s.

Over the years, Champlin built more structures along the 2400 block of Lincoln Way, including the Ames Theater. Champlin constructed it in 1919 after the city lifted a ban on theaters near campus.

The 2400 block itself has hosted the occasional residence and a variety of businesses, including the Varsity Theater, Student Supply Store, and the Maji Jewelry Store. The strip has also been home at one time or another to long-defunct restaurants with names like Cyclone Lunch, College Inn, Mother’s Kitchen, L-Way Café, Baxter’s Bar and Grill, and Serpico Pizza.

The Champlin buildings are now gone, demolished in May 2014 to make way for the Kingland project, which Rognes hopes will provide “a positive lift in attitude and appearance to Campustown.”

A retail tenant, CVS/pharmacy, will occupy a portion of the new three-story structure going up at the corner of Lincoln and Welch. Kingland plans to use about

a third of the remaining new space for its growing business. Iowa State also has plans to use a significant amount of the new space for staff offices. The entire ground level will be available to retail tenants.

Kingland expects to eventually have more than 300 employees working in Campustown. Rognes acknowledges that some may view the project as an office space takeover of the district. But, he points out, the project also “actually increases the amount of retail space from its previous state. We engaged with many parties as we designed our project, including the city, CAA, the Champlin family, and Iowa State to design a project that will draw people to Campustown for a multitude of reasons. This project can support Campustown in becoming a district that is well-rounded and full of a variety of offerings.”

Lynn Lloyd, the granddaughter of A.L. Champlin and former co-owner of the Lincoln Way buildings, knows all too well the toll that business turnovers, upkeep of aging buildings, and competition from other areas of the city have taken on Campustown.

“We had 17 bars at one time,” she says. “There’s no way that many bars can make it now.”

While the brick-and-mortar buildings represented a wealth of Champlin family history, Lloyd feels as exhilarated as she does bittersweet about their demise.

“I hope new and interesting and exciting things happen for the students, and that this also inspires other parts of Campustown to develop,” she says. “My grandfather would be happy to see all this. He didn’t believe in sentimentality.”

A neighborhood
Campustown has been going through a gradual transformation for several years, spurred by increasing Iowa State enrollment.

There are 20 apartment buildings with 501 units in the district as of June 1, 2014. More than half of those units were built in the last decade. Many of the new buildings feature retail space.

More housing is on the way. In May 2014, Campus Book Store, at the corner of Lynn Avenue and Lincoln Way and directly across from campus, was demolished to make room for The Foundry, a six-story structure with 53 rental units and groundlevel retail space. It is slated to be completed in August 2015.

Just up the street, a small building that most recently housed a coffee shop (Lorry’s, which has since moved to West Street where it shares space with Mother’s Pub, which was once home to Boheme Bistro and before that the gone-but-fondly remembered Dugan’s Deli) was torn down. A bank building next to it also was razed. The site will now be home to 23 Twenty Lincoln, a 320-bed student housing complex. 23 Twenty will also have retail space, as well as the kind of amenities that get the HGTV crowd oohing and aahing: granite counter tops, walk-in closets, enclosed courtyard with a hammock garden, fire pit, and outdoor barbecue kitchen. Oh, and there’s also a coffee bar and fitness center with a tanning room.

On Chamberlain Street, just off Welch Avenue, yet another building offering eight units with 40 bedrooms, as well as retail space, is going up.

Guarded optimism
The Campustown student housing boom has, at least to this point, had little impact on the retail environment of Campustown. While a few new establishments have popped up, the district remains a collection of primarily locally grown businesses housed in aging buildings that are owned by a mix of area and long-distance landlords. With all the new retail space coming, the CAA has a long wish list for the district: a grocery store, an 80-seat restaurant, and a combination performance and cinema space.

“Campustown has thousands of students and hundreds of residents, but we are missing so many services,” Hanna says. “We want regional and national chains moving into the district, but we also want a mix of local businesses and chains to keep our diversity alive.”

Diversity is a huge component of the Campustown personality, and one that many fear will be diminished. A bright and shiny 2400 block of Campustown facing Lincoln Way runs the risk of making the 2500 block look like an ugly cousin. (The city has recently made grant money available for façade renovation.) With its row of older buildings, each with its own distinct curb appeal, housing ethnic eateries, a comic book store, a tanning salon, and more than one hairstyling establishment, the block arguably has more of a “lived-in” look that you might expect from a campus town.

“They are missing the whole point of Campustown if they are going to tear it down and give it a facelift,” says Rob Josephson, who opened Mayhem comic book store in 1990. “Looks are one thing, but it’s the businesses that draw people. Who wants to come to a campus town that’s all office space?”

“We’re happy to see a fresh look coming to Campustown. The rundown look can chase people away,” says Welch Avenue’s Adams. “But I’d hate to see the character of the place go. You need more than apartment buildings and big box stores.”

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Matthew Goodman (’96 chemistry, MS ’00), both a Campustown restaurateur and a member of Ames City Council, hopes “we can maintain the incredible diversity of ownership and incubator nature of Campustown. I think we have more foreign-owned restaurants per square foot than any place in Iowa. If our choices destroy the unique cultural fabric, then we’ve failed. It’s going to take vision and courage to maintain this. It’s the only district like this in town. This is it. If you gussy it up too much to the point of it being sterile you’ve really lost something.”

All anyone can do right now is wait and see what the impact of the new developments will be. In the meantime, contractors and cranes will be busy along Lincoln Way. Visitors to the district will continue to stop by Stomping Grounds for a latte, University Barbers for a trim, and Mayhem for the latest installment of “The Avengers.”

But there’s no avoiding this fact: The Champlin buildings are history, and in Campustown, a new era is has begun.

Ames freelancer Steve Sullivan counts a Dugan’s Deli T-shirt among his most cherished possessions.

Career Minute

Think You Chose the Wrong Career?
Do you have a sinking feeling that after years of college and working in a specific industry you may have gotten it all wrong? Read this article from Brazen Careerist to find out some tips to help you transition to the career you love.

Archived Webinars
We have several archived career-related webinars that you can watch at any time. The topics range from emotional intelligence to why you might be sabotaging your job search. Click here to watch and keep checking back as more archived webinars will be added.

Catching up: With our former feathered friends

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Young Alumni News recently caught up with some young alumni who have a very special thing in common: They were members of the mascot squad during their college years. Read on to find out more about their Cy experiences in honor of the big guy’s big 6-0 this Homecoming. This article was originally published Oct. 1 in the October issue of Young Alumni News, a bimonthly publication of the ISU Young Alumni Council.

Noelle Lichty
lichty_blog1Noelle Lichty (’11 marketing and management) is an assistant manager with Hy-Vee Food Stores in West Des Moines, Iowa who performed as Cy from 2008-2011.

YAN: What initially inspired you decide to try out for the mascot squad?
NL: I have been I huge Cyclone fan my whole life. I grew up traveling to Ames from my hometown Sioux City to attend many Cyclone events. Many of my family members are graduates and now supporters of the Cyclones. My freshman year I was attending a men’s basketball game cheering in Cyclone Alley. I was watching Cy work the crowd. I thought I had enough school spirit and what it takes to be Cy. I jokingly told my friends I wanted to Cy. With a few loudmouths in my friend group, word got around that I was interested. A few weeks later I tried out and made the squad!

What was the most challenging part of being Cy?
The most challenging part of being Cy is that it’s hard work. You start sweating the minute the suit goes on until the minute the suit comes off. People sometimes forget that there is a person inside the suit. Your body definitely takes a beating.

What was your favorite moment(s) as Cy?
It’s hard to name my favorite memory as there are so many. To name a few: traveling with the football team to Texas and being a part of the upset. I will never forget watching all the Texas cheerleaders and dance team members cry after we defeated them. Also, Cy is stored in two massive red bags. When I would carry them from appearance to appearance people would always look at me like I was crazy. I would never disclose I was carrying Cy around but say I had two dead bodies. People really didn’t know what to think.

Did things ever not go as planned while you were in the suit?
When I was Cy Craig Brackins was our big basketball star. The night before the ISU vs. Kansas game at Hilton Coliseum, my friends dared me to chest-bump him during the game. They thought I would never do it. Before the game started the starting players names are called as they come off the bench and the sold out crowd all on there feet cheering as loud as possible. Craig Brackins was always the first name announced. I positioned myself at the end of the player tunnel so I would be the last person Craig met to give a high-five. However, he was not going to receive a high-five from me. His name was called as he made his way down the tunnel toward me. I was in prime chest-bumping position. He reached me and started to leap in the air. I also leaped; however, my leap was not nearly as high as his. Craig’s vertical jump was a tick higher than mine, to say the least. I went up and came back down as he continued to go up. Our timing was off and as I landed on the ground I felt my bird head slip away up over my head. The hot stuffy confined space was no more as fresh air hit my head and light shined in the eyes. The bird head was not on my head. I’m the center of attention of over 14,000 fans in a giant bird suit with no head on. My cover was blown. Everyone saw who was inside one of most popular figures on campus.

The crowd went silent. Craig Brackins finally lands from his leap and, in shock, says “Holy shit! Cy’s a girl.” As I look frantically for the Cy head, it is nowhere in sight. The head had flown across the floor of Hilton Coliseum. I run across the floor to retrieve my costume’s giant red bird head. I quickly put it back on my head and wonder what just happened. Craig comes up to me as I continue to digest the situation. He asked me if I was OK. I stayed on the floor for the rest of pre-game with a detached head. I tried to act as nothing had happened. The minute the game began, I ran to our changing room. The other members of the Cy squad ran after me. In shock of what happened, they calmed me down. All of Hilton Coliseum just saw me, a female, in the masculine mascot suit. My performance throughout the game was extremely awkward because the mascot everyone believed to be a male was in fact a female. I was known around campus and amongst Cyclone fans as the mysterious female Cy. It opened people’s eyes that Cy can be a woman. Women can put on a large suit and act like an idiot for other people’s entertainment. In that game against Kansas, Craig Brackins scored a record number points — 42. The paper’s headline read “Brackins opens Eyes,” with the first sentence mentioning how he knocked off the female mascot’s big red head. I was pictured right underneath.

What was your favorite part of performing?
The best part of being Cy was being able to do whatever you wanted to do. The more crazy and obnoxious, the better. You were always the center of attention.

Photos courtesy Noelle Lichty.

zelle_blog2Ben Zelle
Ben Zelle (’14 ag business and management information systems) is a marketing representative for Deere & Co. who was a member of the ISU mascot squad from December 2011 until he graduated in May 2014.

YAN: What initially inspired you decide to try out for the mascot squad?

BZ: Growing up a Cyclone fan and having loved Cy as a kid, it seemed like a great opportunity to give back and support the Cyclones. I had mascotted once in high school, then served a few years as Iowa Corn Association’s mascot, Captain Corn. The try-outs were posted right before Thanksgiving break, and I was encouraged by a friend to try out. Right after Thanksgiving break, the try-outs were in the indoor football practice field. I figured, “I’ll at least get to try the suit on and say that I did it.” Well, the rest is history.

What was the most challenging part of being Cy?
The physical demands of the mascot suit. Although you adjust to it over time, it is taxing on your body to subject yourself to 30-degree increases in air temperature that could push inside suit temps to easily over 100 degrees. It is also a high-energy demand to provide a consistent experience to fans at every event. No matter if it is your first or 1,000th picture where the camera operator does not have the camera ready (<-please have your camera ready!), there is a need to provide that same Cy experience, so that every Cyclone to come has the same love for our mascot.

What was your favorite moment(s) as Cy?
I have two: National Cheer Association (NCA) Mascot Competition in Daytona Beach, Florida and winning the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament. In 2013, Iowa State participated in NCA nationals for what we believe was the first time in the mascot competition. While we didn’t take home first place, it was a great adventure putting a skit together and then having the opportunity to preform on the Beach Bandshell Stage. Supporting the Iowa State men’s basketball team through the 2014 Big 12 tournament championship was a memorable experience. Cheering from the sidelines as our team showed its true colors and #cycLONEnation came out in full force to support was amazing. I’ll never forget that moment and being on the court while they cut down the nets!

Did things ever not go as planned while you were in the suit?
During basketball season, I was working the crowd at a men’s game during the pregame warm-ups. There was a family that had courtside seats with a young boy. I came onto the floor to give him a high five when he dropped his hot cocoa onto the sidelines. Yikes! I went immediately into ‘customer experience’ mode and ran to the bathroom and got paper towels then into the maintenance room to get a towel with cleaner spray bottle. I ran back (which is difficult with Cy’s big feet) and began cleaning the spill. After getting the floor shined up, I knew there was an opportunity to really change this experience around for the young Cyclone fan. I looked up at the clock to see 15 minutes till tip, then took off up the stairs to the concourse. I grabbed a Hilton staffer on my way and went around to the stand that sold hot cocoa. I then attempted to explain the story and order the drink using all non verbals. (Try that the next time you are ordering something beyond a Clone Cone!) We finally got it worked out, and I carefully walked back down to the court to deliver the drink to the young boy, who had a renewed love for Iowa State’s mascot. While I was exhausted before the players were even announced, it was an awesome example of the impact Cy can have — even when things don’t go as planned.

What was your favorite part of performing?
Making a memorable experience for fans. There is often the opportunity to make or break a fan’s experience. There is literally a few split seconds to make a child cry or love mascots, and we get that experience almost any time we suit up. Making a memorable experience for them like I had growing up is what kept my passion during my tenure as a mascot.

Photos courtesy Ben Zelle.

Zane Brugenhemke
Zane Brugenhemke (’12 athletic training) is a graduate assistant working with the football program at the University of Akron. He suited up as Cy from April 2008-Fall 2012.

YAN: What initially inspired you decide to try out for the mascot squad?

ZB: My love for Iowa State Athletics and the chance to be more than just your average fan.

What was the most challenging part of being Cy?
Toeing the line, I would say. Every game, it seemed we had people complain that Cy did something they didn’t think was appropriate. But honestly, that is kind of Cy’s persona! Cy isn’t always a nice a friendly mascot; he is a bit of a prankster and sort of likes causing a bit of mischief. Some people didn’t always like it, but I found the vast majority always had a laugh if Cy was stealing their purse for a few minutes or stealing their nachos!

What was your favorite moment as Cy?
Winning the Capital One competition in 2008 and being able to go out to L.A. to shoot the commercial.

Did things ever not go as planned while you were in the suit? We know you were involved in an incident at the ISU vs. UConn football game in 2011 where you were injured while falling in the opponents’ student section. The incident was covered by media such as deadspin.com and the ESPN Big 12 football blog, where David Ubben described the situation as an “ugly incident.” Describe the event.
That event has been a very big part of my life. Even now, working here at the University of Akron, people ask me about my scars on my arm and can’t believe the story I tell them. The blunt and honest truth is very far from the story that the press like deadspin.com and David Ubben heard. The UConn press release was really a bunch of frustrating lies. Here is the story as short as I can make it.

ISU had scored and I was in the corner end zone that also had our fans in it. After James White scored the TD, I looked up and saw a UConn fan heckling our fans. I had encountered this before as a mascot, and it is fun to play with opposing fans. I saw this and decided to run up the stairs to where he was standing. At the top of these stairs there was no guard rail on one of the ends. I DID NOT KNOW THIS BEFORE CLIMBING THE STAIRS. I then started shaking my finger just to be playful with the UConn fan and trying to tell him to be nice to us! I then tried to climb over the small guardrail into the stands and I must have placed a hand on him and he didn’t like. So he decided to punch Cy in the face and then push me the rest of the way off the ledge that didn’t have a guard rail. I DID NOT FALL DOWN THE STAIRS ON MY OWN. I WAS PUSHED. I wasn’t in the UConn student section as the UConn press release stated.

I knew right away my arm was broken. I was then taken to the medical room and, in the middle of removing the suit, a UConn policeman burst in asking if I wanted to press charges. I said yes, but I was very busy right now dealing with an arm that was broken in three places and I would talk to them later. I was never contacted by UConn police again, and they conducted the rest of the investigation without ever talking to me.

The rest gets boring and just involves me having surgery the following Sunday in Omaha, Nebraska by Dr. Crabb and his incredible staff. Two plates and 13 screws later I am doing just fine and have a hell of a story to tell.

How has that night changed your perception of mascotting or athletics fan bases in general?
It hasn’t. I will say that I almost hate UConn as much as the Hawkeyes, but I still work in college athletics and see a new fanbase every week. It is all part of being a fan, and that one UConn fan can’t be a representation of fans across America. My assumption is that he was drunk and made some poor decisions, and I honestly probably should have never gone up those stairs in the first place.

What was your favorite part of performing?
The OSU (football) game (in 2011) had to be the greatest moment of my life thus far, and the fact I got to be Cy for that game will be something I always remember.

My first two years and the squad we had with Brent Behrens, Noelle Lichty, and John Shroyer were some of the best of my life. Those guys were some of my best friends, and I have so many fond memories of having some great times with them on and off the field. I really do miss it, even though I thought I wouldn’t after doing it for almost five years. Every time I see Cy now, I am always watching to see how good [he or she is]. Cy is truly one of the best things about ISU, and I am so proud I got to be a small part of his history. Cy truly made my college experience a great one… broken bones and all!

James Ortiz
James Ortiz (’11 chemical engineering) was only a part of the mascot squad for one season (summer-fall 2010), but, he says, “I did have a blast doing it!”

YAN: What initially inspired you decide to try out for the mascot squad?
JO: My cousin was the mascot at Oral Roberts University, “Eli”, the Golden Eagle… Was hoping ISU and ORU would meet someday…

What was the most challenging part of being Cy?
Trying to keep mascotting fresh. I was always trying to think of different things I could do that would entertain fans/little kids, without being too repetitive. Also, pesky kids pulling my tail was challenging.

What was your favorite moment as Cy?
Crowd-surfing up the student section.

Did things ever not go as planned while you were in the suit?
Once I wore a bandana that would come loose during pictures and walking around the tailgates before the game. It’s tough getting around in the suit when you’re blind!

What was your favorite part of performing?
I really liked feeling like I was an important part of the gameday experience: Messing around with kids, taking pictures with fans at the tailgates, and giving the football players high fives after the games. It was a lot of fun! I only wish that I would have gotten involved earlier in my college career! It really was a blast.

Five Things

Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week.

2014_9_26hclogo1) It’s Homecoming week, and it’s probably not event necessary to point out that it’s going to be a hectic week at the ISU Alumni Center. Hectic in a good way, of course. You’ve probably seen all the promotions, but we’re not above reminding you a few more times about some of the events planned for this weekend, including:

  • Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: ISU Alumni Center open house — coffee, tours, and pick up a special button if you’re sharing your 60th birthday with Cy this year.
  • Friday, 10:30 a.m.: Walking tour of art on campus, departs from the Fountain of the Four Seasons
  • Friday, 1:30 p.m.: Annual Honors & Awards ceremony and dessert reception in the Scheman Building
  • Friday, 5-9 p.m.: Homecoming Pep Rally at the ISU Alumni Center, featuring pizza, Cy’s birthday cupcakes, games, giveaways, and live music from 5-7 p.m. The pep rally program will start at 7 p.m. outside on the big stage, featuring coaches, student-athletes, the band, spirit squad, and the Yell-Like-Hell finals.
  • Friday, 8-10 p.m.: ExCYtement in the Streets
  • Saturday, 9-11 a.m.: College open houses at Curtiss, Gerdin, Design, Howe, LeBaron, MacKay, and Palmer
  • Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Cyclone Central tailgate at the ISU Alumni Center (register by noon Wednesday if you want to purchase a Hickory Park meal).
  • Saturday, 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.: Campus bus tours, departing from the Memorial Union south entrance
  • Sunday, 9 a.m.: Breakfast and a tour at Green Hills Retirement Community (register online) or breakfast and admission at Reiman Gardens (register online).

There’s even more stuff going on than that, so be sure to check out our Homecoming website for the skinny on everything. And if you’re not pumped for Homecoming yet, this video produced by the Student Alumni Leadership Council’s Homecoming Central Committee should help.

2) Even though the VISIONS Across America magazine and portrait exhibition are over, there’s still news on the VISIONS Across America blog — the upcoming tour, which will visit five cities across the U.S., and Jim Heemstra’s receipt of the Impact Award this Friday during Homecoming. (Congrats, Jim!)

3) Last week an article from the College of Human Sciences introduced us to a fascinating new faculty member — Sara Jablon, who packed up her life as a 10-year-veteran Broadway costume designer in New York City and moved to Ames to pursue a Ph.D. She is currently a guest designer for ISU Theatre’s production of “Spring Awakening,” which opened Friday and is the first of six productions celebrating the 100th anniversary of ISU Theatre. (The department is also busy planning a gala celebration on Nov. 15 that will showcase performances by students, alumni, faculty and staff, so save the date!)

4) The Sierra Club is gearing up to present its first-ever Robert Bullard Environmental Justice bullardAward Nov. 21. The award is named in honor of Iowa State alumnus Robert Bullard (PhD ’76 sociology), dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University and the founder of the modern environmental justice movement. Bullard has written 18 books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity. His book Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality is a standard text in the environmental justice field. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century, and in 2013 he received the Sierra Club’s highest honor: the John Muir Award. Now he has a Sierra Club award of his own — Congrats, Dr. Bullard!

5) Tickets go on sale Friday for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council’s second annual ISU Bacon Expo, which will be held Nov. 8 from 1-5 p.m. at the Hansen Student Learning Center. After a successful debut last year, the ISU Bacon Expo remains the only student-run bacon event in the country. Get all your ISU bacon-related information on Twitter by following @ISUBaconExpo.

Catching up: How I spent my summer vacation

shanemairetShane Mairet (’09 horticulture) owns and operates Mairet’s Garden Center on Highway 61 in Muscatine, Iowa. This summer, he put his ISU entrepreneurship minor to good use by adding an ice cream store to attract customers to the garden center. What could be more summery than that? We at the Young Alumni Council recently caught up with Shane to add his story to the feature on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Did you do something cool with your summer vacation? Contact Young Alumni Council marketing committee chair Andrea Fellows ’06 at alfellows@gmail.com to share your story with Young Alumni News.

YAN: What inspired you to start the ice cream shop?
SM: The ice cream shop came about as I was looking for an addition to the garden center and produce farm part that would pull in new people from Hwy. 61 that runs in front of my store. So I decided food was how I wanted to go, but I needed to do it without building an full restaurant. I also love making homemade ice cream, so I combined the two into a ice cream shop. Then I wanted it to be something different than anything else in the area, so I went on the hunt for the best hard serve ice cream I could find. That led me to Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream out of Madison Wisconsin.

How did your time at Iowa State prepare you for your business career?
Iowa State does a great job preparing students for their futures. In my case, I was strongly encouraged and given many opportunities to strengthen my networking skills with programs like Wakonse, the Okoboji Institute of Entrepreneurship, and the great job fairs the colleges organize.

Another opportunity I had at Iowa State that has really helped in preparing me for my position as a business owner is the peer mentoring program. Being a peer mentor to the freshman and transfer horticulture students taught me to think outside of the box to keep people engaged and how to bring many different people together to accomplish a task.

Being comfortable as a leader and networking with other people are invaluable skills that I use almost every day, and I have Iowa State to thank for helping me develop and enhance these skills.

What advice do you have for the class of 2015?
My advice to the class of 2015 is to never let fear dictate the choices you make. Too many times in life we let the fear of what might/might not happen or what other people will say or a million other fears influence what we choose to do. By being true to yourself, you can accomplish amazing things.

Catching up: How I spent my summer vacation

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Sheena Schreck (’04 communication studies) is the founder of Stand Up Paddle (SUP): Iowa, an organization dedicated to promoting one of the country’s most up-and-coming outdoor recreational sports. While her work and love of the water has taken the Carroll, Iowa, native to Laguna Beach, California, she has never forgotten the place she calls home and has enjoyed the opportunity to bring her favorite sport to her home state. We at the Young Alumni Council were thrilled to have the opportunity to add her story to the feature, and watch for more summer vacation stories to be added to the blog soon. Did you do something cool with your summer vacation? Contact Young Alumni Council marketing committee chair Andrea Fellows ’06 at alfellows@gmail.com to share your story with Young Alumni News.

YAN: What inspired you to get involved in SUP and promote it in Iowa?
SS:The Sup Iowa story began during a family trip in Lake Tahoe, California in 2009. It was during that vacation my sisters and I were offered a chance to try a new sport called “SUP” — stand up paddle boarding. Always having a curious mind and a love for adventure, my sisters Liz and Keely and I decided to set sail on our first experience at sunrise on the lakes of beautiful Tahoe. After a few paddle strokes into the experience, I found myself a new passion that offered a great workout, serenity, and the excitement of something different.

SUP Iowa is born.

Soon after the trip, I relocated from Iowa to southern California and immediately bought my first paddle board. I became immersed in the sport and enjoyed sharing my new passion with friends, local beach bronzers, and my family that would often visit from Iowa. During a sunset paddle session in the fall of 2012, I envisioned bringing two of my passions together — my love of paddling and my desire to give back to my home state of Iowa. Immediately after returning from that paddle session I went to work on how I was going to turn my dream into reality. Fast forward to today, where the coastal experience has been brought to the Iowa lakes! SUP Iowa provides a fun and unique opportunity for the residents of Iowa to enjoy the beautiful waters around the state through the growing water sport activity originating from the islands of Hawaii.

What is SUP and what are the benefits?
Stand up Paddle Surfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Stand Up Paddling, or SUP for short is a popular water sport where a paddle is used while standing up on a surfboard. SUP has a Hawaiian heritage and translates in Hawaiian to Ku How He’e Nalu: to stand, to paddle, to surf, a wave. Stand Up paddleboarding came about as a way for surf instructors to manage their classes of beginner surfers. The higher viewpoint offered by the SUP style made it easier for the instructors to see what was going on around them and check for incoming swells. The instructors used their regular surf boards and added a single blade paddle.

The popularity of the modern sport of Stand Up Paddle Surfing also has its origins in the Hawaiian islands. In the early 1960’s the “Beach Boys of Waikiki would paddle out on their long boards with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. The term “Beach Boy Surfing,” another name for SUP surfing, came from this. Rick Thomas is credited as being the first modern surfer to bring Stand Up Paddleboarding to the mainland. In 2000 Rick introduced California to the new sport of SUP Surfing as an alternative way to train while the surf was down. Stand Up Paddling has since became huge in the States as well as around the globe.

Stand Up Paddling offers the young and old an alternative to challenge their balance and their core. The benefits range from the satisfaction of trying something new to an intense cardio workout under the beautiful open sky. SUP Iowa offers a variety of options for the beginners and advanced paddlers alike. SUP fitness is a fun and challenging way to get fit, sculpt your body, strengthen your core, improve your balance, and increase your overall wellbeing. Who doesn’t love getting a workout on the water and under the sun? In addition, we also offer SUP YOGA, offering a modified version to your yoga practice. Can you think of anything better than savasana on board, with your fingertips in the water?

How did your time at Iowa State prepare you to create SUP Iowa?
My college experience I had at Iowa State provided me a strong foundation of business acumen and excellent communication skills with the courage to realize my entrepreneurial vision! From my mentors to the curriculum, Iowa State offered an experience that has allowed me to succeed in my “day job,” as well as an opportunity to stretch myself beyond the normal every day. In addition to SUP Iowa, I have been in the pharmaceutical business for the last 10 years. I initiated my career with Pfizer and now have the good fortune to work for Mylan, where I have been for the last five years. Currently, I am a district sales manager for Southern California and Hawaii.

My involvement within the Greek system (Go GPHI-B!) allowed me opportunities to create friendships with positive and talented women across the state and beyond. These women, including my supportive family, have been an integral part of my professional success. I am so appreciative for the wonderful experiences I had as a college student at ISU and still wear my cardinal and gold colors with pride! My time spent at Iowa State enhanced my pride I have for our great state.

How do you show you are “Forever True” promoting your movement this summer?
I will always be an Iowan at heart — always Forever True to the “field of dreams.” Anyone who has ever met me in my career which has taken me all across the United States and around the globe, knows I am an Iowan – born and raised! I once was told by a former client of mine that Iowa should stand for Intelligent Outstanding Women of America. Sounds about right! In all sincerity, my vision for SUP Iowa was twofold: to create a business out of a growing sport I am incredibly passionate about and in a state I will always call home. As a current California resident, I’m a proud Iowan and Cyclone ambassador. I’m proud of the opportunities I have been able to create for the locals and visitors of the Iowa Great Lakes through the sport of SUP. In addition, I am thankful for my SUP Iowa ambassadors who have been an essential part of building SUP Iowa over the last two seasons; two of my ambassadors are current Iowa State students, and I believe their experiences at ISU have helped elevate the experience we have been able to offer for our guests.

What advice do you have for the class of 2015?
Start with why! One of my favorite books is Start with Why by Simon Sinek. In this book, Sinek enlightens readers as to why some leaders have the gift to inspire others more than the rest. In a nutshell, it is those who know their “why” who often generate the most impact on others. I believe it’s about finding what you are incredibly passionate about and pursuing it relentlessly.  In addition to discovering your why, I think it’s all about taking advantage of every opportunity! From the friendships you form to the classes you take, each opportunity is a choice you can make to further your personal and professional development. Carpe Diem! Lastly, the social media generation has produced an “immediate gratification” mentality where text messaging and twitter trump the face to face conversation. Although I am a big fan of many of the social media platforms that allow connectivity across the globe, we must remember the power of human contact. Relationships are key to realizing success. Invest the time to pick up the phone, or meet in person and spend the time speaking and listening to others.

Catching up: How I spent my summer vacation

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Brandon Woods (’12 biology) is a third-year student in the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine who reached out to us after the August issue of “Young Alumni News” to tell us more about how he spent his summer vacation: On an internship in Borneo, researching endangered orangutans. (Read more from Brandon on the EcoHealthNet Alliance website.) We were thrilled to have the opportunity to add his story to the feature. Watch for even more summer vacation stories to be added to the blog in the coming weeks. Did you do something cool with your summer vacation? Contact Young Alumni Council marketing committee chair Andrea Fellows ’06 at alfellows@gmail.com to share your story with Young Alumni News.

YAN: What inspired you to pursue this opportunity and travel to Borneo?
BW: My inspiration to pursue this opportunity in Borneo boils down to four things: a curiosity of new cultures, a concern for wildlife conservation, a passion for public health, and of course a great thrill of adventure! After I discovered the internship on the EcoHealth Alliance website, I felt like this global veterinary research project was the perfect culmination of all my experiences. I wanted to make the most of my last summer before I started my senior year of clinical rotations, and what could sound more exciting and practical than an overseas study on orangutans?

How did your time at Iowa State prepare you for the cultural differences as well as the challenges of the internship?
I believe that two of the reasons why I was selected for this internship were my past international experiences and research projects at Iowa State University. Studying abroad for a semester in Tasmania pushed me out of my comfort zone in a land down under, where I explored cultural diversity and grew more independently. Likewise, volunteering on a Nicaraguan veterinary mission trip also taught me how to be culturally sensitive in a foreign country. For example, I respected the local traditions while I toured the Kotakinabalu mosque and tasted exotic foods like bird nest coffee and grilled eel. My years in ISU’s Honors program and my capstone Lyme disease project prepared me for the internship challenges surrounding wildlife ecology research. I learned valuable skills such as how to manage a demanding work load, how to communicate effectively, and how to problem solve and persevere. Although nothing could quite prepare me for a hike through a cockroach and bat-infested cave!

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How did you show you are “Forever True” while in Borneo?
Even though I was half way around the world in the hot, humid heart of Borneo, I still showed pride for my alma mater. When I wasn’t wearing my jungle gear or a white lab coat, I sported the good ol’ cardinal and gold and shared Cyclone stories with my new-found colleagues and friends!

What advice do you have for the class of 2015?
I think three of the most important pieces of advice that I learned in Borneo were to remember the big picture, collaboration is key, and balance your time OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwith work and play. Sometimes you’ll get frustrated and can’t see the forest for the trees, but try to keep positive, zoom out, and remind yourself of your overarching goal. I would not have been able to do this internship and promote orangutan conservation without the widespread collaboration of veterinarians, wildlife forest rangers, scientists, and others — so remember that the keys to success are teamwork, compromise, and communication. Lastly, this trip would have been more fatiguing than fantastic if I only worked and never truly experienced the culture, cuisine, and color of Malaysia, Borneo. On one of my days off, I went scuba diving in a crystal clear coral reef and it definitely was a breath of fresh air. Stay focused and work hard, but take time to explore, reenergize and monkey around, at least for a little while.