2017: Student Residence & Dining


Full house

In 2005, Iowa State’s campus housing occupancy was at 7,736 – the lowest it had been since 1971. Now it’s the highest on record. And it’s not just due to the burgeoning enrollment: Occupancy growth (65%) has even outpaced the rise in enrollment during that time period.

How has the Department of Residence kept up with the demand? It’s taken a variety of approaches: Expansion of apartment-style living; addition of a large, traditional residence hall; renovation of Memorial Union hotel rooms to student rooms; and off-campus leases. As of last fall, all freshmen requesting housing were placed in on-campus residence halls.

With dozens of new apartments popping up in Campustown, west Ames, and along 4th and 16th streets east of the stadium, it might seem surprising that the demand for on-campus housing is so strong.

But Pete Englin (L)(PhD ’01), director of the Department of Residence, understands what motivates students to live on campus.

“Students get to know each other in the residence halls,” he said. “e experience is built on relationships and a shared investment in the living community.”

Since taking over leadership of the residence division in 2005, Englin has placed a high priority on working with students and providing the services that matter to them. He emphasizes leadership opportunities; nurturing the whole student – academically, socially, emotionally, physically; providing resources to allow students to succeed; and keeping costs down.

“Students need to know they’re relevant and they matter,” he said. “Their opinions are clearly informing the decisions we make.”


Our campus home

A quick look at new and revamped facilities

  • Frederiksen Court Apartments expansion: Six new buildings since 2012
  • Geoffroy Hall: A traditional residence hall opening in January
  • Memorial Union: 70 students now living in former hotel space
  • Reinvestment in current housing: “Lifecycle” projects are taking place in ISU’s historic residence halls (new windows, flooring, restroom upgrades, etc.)


  • Clyde’s Fresh Express: Retooling of existing sports-bar-themed restaurant to a fast-casual restaurant with healthy grab-and-go options
  • ABE’s Harvest Café: Located in the Biorenewables Complex
  • Froots: Smoothie bar in the renovated and expanded State Gym
  • Global Café: Located in renovated Curtiss Hall space
  • Coming next fall: Friley Windows dining center



  1. All incoming freshmen who submitted contracts were placed in university housing in fall 2016.
  2. 95% of all freshmen live on campus.
  3. A total of 12,437 beds were filled in fall 2016 in university-owned or -managed housing.
  4. Housing occupancy growth (65%) outpaced enrollment growth (40%) from fall 2005 to fall 2015.
  5. University housing is guaranteed to all new-to-ISU students, including transfers.
  6. The Department of Residence employs 192 full-time and more than 300 student staff members.
  7. The Department of Residence is completely self-supported (no money from tuition or general fees; all revenue from room/apartment fees).
  8. Iowa State has 20 residence halls and two on-campus apartment communities.
  9. Some university housing isn’t actually on campus. The university has leased 1,455 off-campus spaces and operates them as on-campus housing. All leased apartments are furnished, with CAs, hall directors, and paid utilities.
  10. Students can choose to eat at four residential dining centers, three on-campus restaurants, and 11 cafes scattered across campus.
  11. Three convenience stores offer snacks and made-to-order sandwiches and other meals.
  12. Meals that can be used outside the dining centers give student meal plans flexibility and on-the-go convenience.
  13. Most ISU Dining bakery items are baked from scratch, and flavors are rotated seasonally. But don’t worry – the über-popular buttermilk chocolate brownies are available all year.


Rooms with a view

Geoffroy Hall, located just east of Buchanan Hall on Lincoln Way, opens in January 2017.
The $49.5 million project includes large, traditional, double-occupancy rooms with 784
beds; four elevators; community bathrooms with private showers; open gathering spaces;
and a “front porch” area on every floor. Oh, and one more thing: amazing views of both
campus and Ames. During a sneak peek last fall, photographer Jim Heemstra snapped
photos from upper floors of the still-under-construction residence hall.


Five Things

Good morning, Cyclone Nation! Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week:


1) Another weekend, another school record posted by the Cyclone track and field team: this time it was the men’s 4×400-meter relay team — Eric Foglantz, Ben Kelly, Roshon Roomes, and Jaymes Dennison — at the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind., clocking a time of 3:05.61, which shattered the previous school record of 3:07.39 set in 2007 and put the Cyclone team in strong position for the 2017 Big 12 indoor championships Feb. 24-25 in Ames, as well as the indoor national championships March 10-11 in College Station, Texas.

2) Today is ISU Day at the Capitol, an annual opportunity for Iowa State constituents and supporters to gather on the first floor rotunda of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines and advocate for our university. Legislators will learn about the university’s prominent role in advancing the welfare of our state during this three-hour event (1-4 p.m.). The public is encouraged to attend.

3) College Choice recently released its list of “50 Best Big Data Degrees,” and Iowa State University comes in at No. 33. “Big data” refers to extremely large data sets that can be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns and associations, particularly as they relate to human behavior, and Iowa State’s master of business analytics program plays a major role in earning ISU its reputation for leading the way in this new discipline.

60314) This Wednesday Adam Davidson (pictured, right), co-founder and host of NPR’s “Planet Money” team, will visit the ISU campus for an 8 p.m. lecture called “It’s the Economy.” The lecture is free and open to the public in the Memorial Union’s Great Hall.

5) Last week the Association of American Universities (AAU) announced it was awarding 12 universities, including ISU, grants to improve undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. More than half of Iowa State’s undergraduates currently major in STEM fields, making the university a natural fit when it comes to improving understanding and opportunity in STEM ed. Project coordinator Jo Anne Powell-Coffman, professor and chair of ISU’s Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, says the funds will help the university build on its existing strengths. “We will use the funds,” she said, “to establish new partnerships with colleagues at other universities and learn from their innovations in undergraduate education.”

Have a great week!

The Hall-of-Famer


A college football player rushing for 2,000 yards in a Division I season has only happened 26 times in history – and two of those were the work of one man: Iowa State’s Troy Davis. In 1995 and 1996, Davis raced into the record books and kicked off an era of Iowa State football in a way no other player could.

“We were coming off an 0-10-1 season and needed somebody to get us on the map and represent the standard our new coach, Dan McCarney, was espousing,” remembers former Cyclone offensive tackle Tim Kohn (1993-1996). “Troy was a talent that was an order of magnitude above everyone else on that team. Even though [1995 and 1996] were losing seasons, what he did in reversing our momentum is an accomplishment you can’t find on the stat sheet.”

Kohn (’96 pol sci & intl. studies) says he wouldn’t have blamed Davis if he’d left Ames after a winless freshman season in which he carried the ball only 34 times for Coach Jim Walden. But if there was one person who could light a fire under the diminutive phenom, it was McCarney. The young, energetic coach was full of belief – not just in Iowa State, but particularly in Davis. McCarney knew he could make the elusive, 5-foot, 7-inch Miami native the centerpiece of his program.

“Coach Dan McCarney didn’t recruit me, but he re-recruited me,” Davis says. “He told me he could help me transfer, but he also promised we were gonna run the ball here. He looked me in the eye and shook my hand.”

Davis took a chance on the future, surmising that McCarney’s commitment could translate into as many as 20 carries a game for him going forward. As a sophomore, Davis would carry the ball 345 times for 2,010 yards and finish fifth for the Heisman Trophy. As a junior, he rushed 402 times for 2,185 yards. In ISU’s 1996 home opener against Northern Iowa, Davis carried the ball an astounding 53 times.

Davis, who averaged nearly six yards per carry in his college career, succeeded because, Kohn says, he was almost mystifyingly durable, mentally tough, and innately able to see holes on the field.

“He was an incredibly complete player,” Kohn says. “He knew his body and knew what he was capable of and absolutely maximized it. He took Coach Mac at his word, and my goodness Troy held up his end. He always had the self belief and the awareness that he could do all the things he ended up doing – and I know a lot of us are better because of it.”

Davis still remembers his years at Iowa State – particularly 1995 and 1996 – as the best of his life. He held up his end of the bargain, put in the work, and showed off his talents. His belief in McCarney paid off and he became the football star he always knew he could be. So when, in 1996, Davis was denied the prize at his second-straight Heisman Trophy ceremony after accomplishing something no one in college football had ever done – rushing more than 2,000 yards in back-to-back campaigns – he felt helpless and hurt.

“I still remember Coach McCarney after the ceremony saying, ‘Troy, are you coming back for your senior year?’ I was like, ‘There’s nothing else for me to prove, Coach.’”

So Davis took his talents to the NFL, but he landed with Mike Ditka’s New Orleans Saints in a situation where he struggled to showcase his talents on a bad team. He spent three years with the Saints before heading north to Canada, where he became a Hall-of-Famer during seven seasons with three different CFL squads.

“I hear people say, ‘Troy, you left too early’ or ‘Troy, you did a good thing leaving,’” Davis says. “I can’t have any regrets. I feel like I made the best choice but ended up in the wrong situation.”

Years went by, and memories of Davis’ unprecedented accomplishments faded from the national conversation. Davis settled into a quiet existence surrounded by family back in Miami, returning to Ames just once in 2007 for his induction into the Iowa State
Athletics Hall of Fame. Number 28 jerseys remained popular at Jack Trice Stadium, however, and the lore of Troy Davis endured. “Only Iowa State,” self-deprecating fans would moan, “could produce a 2,000-yard rusher in back-to-back seasons and NOT get the Heisman Trophy.”

ISU officials never stopped toiling to right the Heisman wrongs and get Davis the recognition he deserved, even as decades passed and football coaches came and went. And then, in 2015, they learned their efforts had finally paid off: The 2016 College Football Hall of Fame class would include Troy Davis.

Davis couldn’t believe the news himself: “My first response was, ‘Oh, okay, when does the ballot come out?’ But I wasn’t just on the ballot, I was in. I just dropped the phone and looked up [in disbelief]. Every kid, that’s in their goals and dreams to be a Hall-of-Famer – and I’m there.”

Davis was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in New York City in December, the culmination of a year’s worth of celebration and reminiscence. A visit back to Jack Trice Stadium this fall wasn’t without “chillbumps” or tears for Davis as his beloved coach, Dan McCarney, was introduced on the football field as a member of the 2016 ISU Athletics Hall of Fame class one weekend and Davis was presented with his College Football Hall of Fame plaque the next.

Davis has been able to use the year to reflect on his unique story – on the people who helped him achieve his dream and the decisions he made along the way that shaped not just his life, but the Iowa State football program.

“I just think about how I was ready [in 1994] to pack it all up and go back home,” Davis says. “If it wasn’t for Dan McCarney, there wouldn’t be a story and there wouldn’t be a Hall-of-Famer. I’m glad he invited me to play in his system. There will never be another Troy Davis.”

Five Things

Happy Monday! Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week:

rastetter_d73b7bdb888821) Changes will be coming in Iowa higher ed, and not just in the wake of recent budget news or this week’s expected vote that could have an impact on collective bargaining agreements for state employees. Iowa Board of Regents president Bruce Rastetter announced Friday that he will not seek reappointment to the board following his current term. The board will nominate a successor later this term.

2) Last Monday’s USA Today included a feature about the growing levels of interest among women across the U.S. in running for office. The article features ISU Carrie Chapman Catt Center director Dianne Bystrom, who says the university has experienced unprecedented levels of interest this year for the Catt Center’s “Ready to Run” workshop, the first of which will be held this week.

3) The spring term of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ISU starts March 20, but the first opportunity to preview spring courses and start registering is this Thursday, Feb. 16 at the spring open house (1:30-2:30 p.m., ISU Alumni Center). OLLI at ISU courses are available to all lifelong learners age 50 or over. To take a class, you must simply meet the age qualification and become an OLLI at ISU member. If you’ve never given it a try, this spring just might be the right time. You can get all your questions answered this Thursday.


4) This weekend at the ISU Classic, Cyclone sophomore Jasmine Staebler broke the school record in the women’s 800-meter run at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. The Guttenberg, Iowa, native recorded a time of 2:03.08, taking down the three-year-old record held by Ejiro Okoro and moving into the nation’s top 10 in the event. Several Cyclones are literally hitting their stride as the indoor track season winds down; ISU travels to the UCS invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, before heading to the Big 12 championships Feb. 24.


5) Col. (Ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, will be on campus Wednesday to deliver a lecture on “Redefining Global and National Security” in the MU Great Hall (8 p.m., free and open to the public) Wilkerson, a decorated veteran and past recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star, among many other honors, has been an outspoken critic of U.S foreign policy.

Five Things

Happy Monday, Cyclone Nation! Here are five things to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week:


1) Yes, it was a big weekend in the Wide World of Sports with some apparently big-deal football game being played in Houston last night. But that was small potatoes compared to what happened Saturday. For the first time in school history, both the Iowa State men’s and women’s basketball teams defeated ranked foes on the road on the same day. And both wins were impressive in their own rights — the women’s victory for its sheer lopsidedness, a 25-point domination at No. 22 West Virginia sparked by a 31-point effort from Bridget Carleton, and the men’s for its high profile, a 3-point overtime victory at No. 3 Kansas that marked just the 10th time in KU head coach Bill Self’s career that he’s lost on the Jayhawks’ home court. (Oh, and Iowa State is now two of those 10.) So to say it was a statement-making weekend for ISU hoops is a bit of an understatement.

2) While the week ended on a positive note for Cyclone hoops, Iowa State’s prospects look more bleak when it comes to state funding. Last Wednesday Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill that will result in an $8 million cut to Iowa State University for the current fiscal year, as well as a carry-forward reduction in the university’s base appropriation. Back on campus officials are still assessing what the reduction will mean.

In a letter to the campus community, ISU President Steven Leath said the university’s immediate actions will be to postpone nonessential deferred maintenance and repairs, delay or halt some searches for vacant faculty and staff positions, reduce expenditures for things like professional development, travel, equipment, printing and communications, and temporarily reducing some campus services. But the long-term impact on the student experience, he warns, could be dramatically jeopardized — including the university’s inability to achieve its goal of a 19:1 faculty/student ratio.


3) Dan Shechtman, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, returns to the ISU campus tonight. An Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, Shechtman will speak in the MU Great Hall at 5:30 p.m. to share his ideas about science, technology, and entrepreneurship as drivers of peace and prosperity. Shechtman’s lecture, “Technological Entrepreneurship: A Key to World Peace and Prosperity,”  is free and open to the public.

4) The deadline to nominate ISU alumni and friends for the 2017 Honors & Awards is fast approaching: Feb. 15. Get more information about the Alumni Medal, Outstanding Young Alumni Award, James A. Hopson Alumni Volunteer Award, Alumni Service Award, and Impact Award on our website and complete your nominations soon — very soon.


5) The ISU Alumni Association’s sixth-annual Cardinal & Gold Gala is THIS Friday in Des Moines. Will we see you there? As you get ready for a “roaring good time,” take a few minutes to preview this year’s silent auction items online and prepare to bid enthusiastically. This year’s event will feature mobile bidding as we aim to raise record support for first-generation student scholarships and student and alumni outreach programming.


VISIONS Winter 2017: Our Changing Landscape



Biorenewables Complex*

  • Two phases of this building project have been completed since the original Biorenewables Research Laboratory opened in summer 2010.
  • The Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering program is housed in the new $60 million Elings and Sukup Halls.
  • Buildings feature more than 190,000 square feet of modern research labs, classrooms, student spaces, and offices offering a state-of-the-art learning and innovation environment.
  • Artwork includes “Floating World,” 14 parallel laser-cut steel panels by Ralph Helmick representing agricultural progression through time.


Troxel Hall*

  • Opened in fall 2013, this state-of-the-art teaching auditorium features a 400-seat general university lecture space and green roof.
  • Named for donor Doug Troxel (’67 mathematics), who gave a $5 million lead gift.


Jeff & Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center*

  • $7.9 million building paid for by nearly 1,200 donors, led by Jeff & Deb Hansen’s $2 million gift.
  • Versatile, multipurpose resource accessible to students campus-wide; includes an indoor 125-foot-by-250-foot arena with seating for 1,000, four classrooms, and a conference room.


Cyclone Sports Complex

  • In fall 2013, a new athletics facility opened its doors on campus – opening with it new opportunities for student-athletes in ISU’s soccer, softball, and track and field programs.
  • The $13 million Cyclone Sports Complex is located just east of the Towers Residence Halls at the intersection of Mortensen Road and Welch Ave.
  • The facility replaces the competition fields formerly housed at the ISU Soccer Complex and Southwest Athletic Complex with new, state-of-the art features for student-athletes and fans.



Marston Hall

  • The two-year project gutted and restored all four floors.
  • Reopened fall 2016.
  • Total interior renovation, with three state-of-the-art classrooms seating up to 80 students each, 177-seat auditorium, special events center student lounge/ welcome center, and office suites.
  • $27 million project (combination private giving and university funds).


Curtiss Hall*

  • Partial interior remodel, featuring Harl Commons, a student services area, and space for the Agriculture Entrepreneurship Initiative.
  • Projects completed in 2012 and 2013 at a cost of $14.3 million.


State Gym**

  • Remodel/expansion of the historic gymnasium, with a 92,320-square-foot addition.
  • Reopened in 2012.
  • Facility features two- and three-court gymnasiums, cycling room, fitness & wellness suite, Outdoor Recreation Program space, two jogging/walking tracks, skywalk, pool, rock-climbing wall, cardio equipment, weight equipment, and a smoothie café.
  • Pictured is a fitness yoga class held over the noon hour. Other classes include strength training, cardio sculpt, kickboxing, Cy-Cycle, Zumba, Pilates, Boot Camp, Jump Fitness, and more.


Jack Trice Stadium

  • Project constructed in two phases; $64.5 million total.
  • First phase enclosed the south end of the stadium with permanent upper and lower seating bowls in the south end zone and added the Sukup End Zone Club.
  • End Zone Club seats 3,000; the new sections of the stadium seat nearly 6,000, bringing total capacity to 61,000.
  • Funded in part by a $25 million lead gift from Roy (’57 ag journalism) and Bobbi (honorary alumna) Reiman (L)
  • A landscaped green space between the south end zone and Reiman Gardens to be completed in fall 2017.*LEED gold, **LEED platinum


  • Work is currently underway to renovate nearly a dozen state-of-the-art classrooms in two buildings – Hamilton and Pearson – that will open next fall.
  • An $80 million Student Innovation Center: This 140,000-square-foot interdisciplinary space for project-based learning, entrepreneurship, and team work will be located near Marston Water Tower. Funding comes from a $40 million state appropriation, a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor, and an additional $20 million to be privately raised. Completion is scheduled for spring 2020.
  • An $88 million project will construct new space to support biosciences programs. The project consists of two components: an addition to Bessey Hall and a new Advanced Teaching and Research Building (ATRB), both currently under construction. The $30.3 million, four-story addition to the east side of Bessey Hall (funded through state appropriations) will house biology teaching labs and two 80-seat classrooms, in addition to research facilities for ecology, evolution, and organismal biology. The new ATRB, located on the northwest corner of Stange Road and Pammel Drive, is being built at a cost of $56.1 million (funded through state appropriations, university funds, private gifts, and an $8 million bond). The ATRB will house programs in plant pathology and microbiology; genetics, development, and cell biology; and entomology with space for research, teaching labs, and a general university lecture hall.
  • University officials have requested a state appropriation to initiate funds for a $124 million Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) project. The VDL will put Iowa State on the map as a national leader in protecting animal and human health.


  • Andrews-Richards House
  • Davidson Hall
  • Industrial Education II
  • Soon: Nuclear Engineering Building and a portion of Sweeney Hall

VISIONS Winter 2017: Inside Academics


The big flip: New ways to learn

If your memory of attending classes at Iowa State was to drag yourself to class, plop down in your seat, and let the knowledge wash over you, you’d be in for a shock in many of today’s classrooms.

New ways of teaching – flipping the classroom, team-based learning, and innovative uses of technology – have changed the way students learn.

“Students like to be engaged,” says Ann Marie VanDerZanden, director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). “They like to be doing something other than just sitting there.”

As a result of ISU’s Presidential Flipped and Hybrid Course Initiative and the faculty’s Team-Based Learning (TBL) Community, students are engaging in the classroom like never before.

In the old model, students would learn curriculum content through a lecture and then do homework outside of class. The benefit of flipping the class, according to VanDerZanden, is that now when students have a question, the faculty member and their peers are there to help guide the learning. The result: significant learning gains and a deeper understanding of course content.

Here’s an example of both the “flip” and TBL: In Peter Savolainen’s Civil Engineering 453 Highway Design class, students are arranged into teams in one of the newly renovated Marston Hall classrooms. The team approach, he says, eliminates the problem of providing one-on-one consultation to students in a large classroom.

“By arranging the students into teams, I am able to more effectively interact with the entire class over the duration of the semester. I am also able to provide more challenging problems, which are well-suited for teamwork,” he said.

And here’s where the “flip” comes in: The prerequisite course, CE 355 Principles of Transportation Engineering, was a flipped class. So instead of reviewing that material at the beginning of CE 453, Professor Savolainen is able to refer his students to the YouTube site where the CE 355 lectures reside, allowing students to catch up on topics they may not remember while allowing him to keep pace and cover new material.

Online/distance learning has also expanded in recent years. Thousands of Iowa State students enroll in online classes today for a variety of reasons.

“Some academic departments are offering undergraduate courses that are part of a sequence of courses that students have to take, so they’re offering an online version of the course as a means to allow students to make progress toward their degrees,” VanDerZanden explained. “Sometimes it’s a bottleneck class, so the online (option) is relieving a little bit of pressure as our enrollment has grown. Other departments are thinking about attracting new audiences who might be looking for graduate programs
or professional development.”

In fact, 28 ISU degrees and 22 graduate certificate programs can be completed entirely online.

VanDerZanden says some faculty members at Iowa State are eager to integrate new uses of technology, new methods of teaching, and expanded undergraduate student research into their classrooms.

“Where it works in the discipline, I think more and more people are looking for different ways to teach,” she said. “It’s kind of that crest of the wave, right? I mean, there are the early adopters who will do a whole range of different things in their classes and be willing to take that risk.

And then, as there are more successes and positive student feedback and acknowledgement that this can be effective in the discipline, others start to join along.”

What is it? Defining the trends

  • Flipping the Classroom: A teaching model that “flips” the traditional instructional format. Students view lectures and other academic content, mainly online, prior to class. Class time is used for active learning activities such as discussion, problem solving, projects, and further explanation of materials.
  • Team-Based Learning (TBL): An increasingly popular form of flipped-classroom, small-group learning that provides students with an intimate, collaborative, active experience even in a large class.
  • Online/Distance Learning: Classes are offered online both to resident students and distance students for convenience, to make progress toward a degree, or for professional development.
  • Hybrid Course: A portion of the course’s meeting time is replaced by online instruction.

Hottest majors on campus

Some of today’s most popular majors have been around for years: Think animal science and mechanical engineering. Others are new to the mix. Here are the top undergraduate degrees conferred in 2016:

  • Mechanical engineering (358)
  • Kinesiology / health (282)
  • Supply chain / management information systems (274)
  • Apparel, events & hospitality management (267)
  • Animal science (232)