Five Things

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

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1) Last night American sports fans celebrated the 50th year of the Super Bowl, but at Iowa State we’re in the midst of celebrating a sports tradition that dates back doubly far: Cyclone wrestling, which is competing for the 100th season in 2015-2016. The Cyclones, who have won two in a row heading into this weekend’s Valentine’s Day matchup with West Virginia, will celebrate their current seniors, as well as 100 years of tradition, at Sunday’s 2 p.m. meet in Hilton Coliseum. It’s one not to miss.

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2) Tomorrow is Iowa State Day at the Capitol. The free event in the Iowa State Capitol Rotunda will give the public, as well as Iowa leaders and legislators, the opportunity to learn more about the impact our land-grand university makes in the state. (Cy will be available for photos, too.) Stop by between 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and celebrate the Cyclone State.

5389.jpg3) Thursday night in the Memorial Union Sun Room, you can attend the rescheduled (from Jan. 25) Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Series Keynote address by Wes Moore. Moore is a combat veteran, Rhodes Scholar, White House fellow and the author of two books: “The Other Wes Moore” and “The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters.”

4) On Friday, our ISUAA staff celebrated Super Bowl Weekend with a “Souper Bowl lunch” featuring chili, potato soup, and vegetable soup — with all the fixings, of course. Looking for some new soup recipes to get you from Souper Bowl Sunday to the end of winter-slash-cold-and-flu-season? (After all, there’s another blizzard going on and another virus going around today in Iowa). Check out the ISU Extension & Outreach “Spent Smart. Eat Smart.” website and get, among other soup recipes, the experts’ chicken noodle recommendation.

5) The Iowa State men’s basketball team scored a critical win on Saturday at Oklahoma State — without the services of 6-foot-9 senior forward Jameel McKay, a key cog on the squad who was suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm going into the contest for undisclosed reasons.

“I didn’t come here just to coach this team this year,” Prohm told reporters after Saturday’s game. “I came here to run a program. I came here to continue to build on what’s been done the last four or five years. There’s things I want done. I want things done the right way. Jameel and I will communicate on Monday, and then we’ll revisit the situation.

“I want things a certain way, and that’s the way it needs to be in every area. It’s not just about this year. I want Georges Niang, Monte Morris, Jameel McKay and Abdel Nader to come back in three years and be damn proud of the Iowa State basketball program. That’s why I have to make the decisions I make.”

For his part, McKay took to Twitter and Instagram Sunday to express what appears to be some contrition:

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Today’s the day Prohm and McKay are expected to meet to discuss the situation, and here’s hoping the Cyclones can finish the season on a positive note — with all team members on board. Stay tuned.

A magical dream becomes reality

jaddaCyclone point guard Jadda Buckley has seen Hilton Magic from every angle. The Mason City, Iowa, native has attended ISU men’s games since she was in elementary school and women’s games since high school.

Jadda Buckley was just a little girl when she was first introduced to Hilton Magic. Her best friend’s grandparents had season tickets to Iowa State men’s basketball games, so Buckley would often go along – cheering on the team, eating Clone Cones, watching Cy roam the court, and slowly falling in love with a magical kingdom called Hilton Coliseum.

“It was always loud and exciting and the fans were all great,” she remembers. “Here were these two little girls who probably had no idea what was going on on the court, but the older fans were talking to us and getting us involved in cheers. It was just, overall, so great.”

While Buckley became a Cyclone fan early in life, it took some time before she realized she could someday be the player little girls like her were screaming for.

“My parents never played basketball, and growing up I was more of a men’s fan because I wasn’t familiar yet with women’s basketball,” says Buckley – who today wears No. 11 because she says her first hoops idol was former Cyclone Will Blalock. “Then I met Lyndsey Medders Fennelly; when she was playing in college she would come and help our AAU team and that’s when I started to think [I could someday play in Hilton].”

The 5-foot, 8-inch guard went on to become a prep standout at Mason City (Iowa) High School, garnering top-50 national accolades and recognition as the 2012- 2013 MaxPreps.com Player of the Year. She was courted by college programs such as Kansas, Iowa, Northern Iowa, and Ohio State but ultimately knew where she belonged.

“I just knew I wanted to put on an Iowa State jersey one day,” Buckley says. “That stemmed not just from Hilton and the community but also Coach [Bill] Fennelly. He’s the kind of person you want to surround yourself with – someone who wants you to be the best you can be, who wants to challenge you and who cares about you. He has a 100 percent graduation rate with his players and he’s so good with the fans. He says thank you to every single fan that goes through the line. That’s a simple thing, but it’s pretty remarkable.

“Coach Fennelly started with 300 fans and one win, and now there are ten thousand fans and I don’t want to disappoint him. He’s worked so hard to get where he’s at, the least I can do is bust my butt for three hours in practice.”

Buckley knows she and her teammates owe the home-court advantage they enjoy today not only to the hard work of their head coach, but also to the steadfast support of Cyclone fans and the Ames community.

“We’re ranked in the top five in attendance in college women’s basketball, and after you go and play at another school that has 300 fans, you come back to Hilton and you just want to stand on the court and shout thank you,” Buckley says. “We’re so thankful for the people who come and watch us.”

For Buckley, connecting with those fans who support her isn’t just important from a team standpoint, but a personal one as well. She sees herself in every kid in the Hilton stands.\

“When I see little kids cheering at our games, I want them to have fun,” she says, “but someday it may hit them, like it hit me, that playing for the Cyclones is a dream. I took a fun, babysitting kind of day and turned it into a dream that I’m now making a reality. I want to be a resource to those little kids like Lyndsey was to me; I want to be available for kids like that.”

Buckley, who is now playing in her second sophomore campaign after being sidelined with a foot injury and earning a medical redshirt last season, says that unexpected return to fandom last year was a low point in her career. She’d definitely, she says, prefer to save her cheering role for after graduation.

“It was terrible,” she admits. “At first I felt like I couldn’t help the team out, but I figured out a role encouraging my teammates and really knowing the scouting report. You learn a lot about yourself in the game of basketball; every season has its ups and downs. It took me a while, but I’ve accepted that.”

And, she says, having a year off has made Buckley thirst even more for Hilton Magic.

“I’m so ready to walk out in Hilton and hear the people screaming,” she said before the season began. “Anywhere else, it’s 40 minutes of basketball. There’s a lot more meaning to a game here.”

Five Things

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

SDVL1) Super Bowl 50 is coming up on Sunday, and — continuing in the proud tradition of ISU’s turfgrass management program — one Iowa State student will be on hand to help the event’s grounds team. Georgeanna Heitshusen, a junior in horticulture from North English, Iowa, was selected by lawn care manufacturer the Toro Co. as this year’s winner of the annual Toro Super Bowl Sports Turfgrass Training Program.

“I was surprised and shocked when I first learned that I’d been selected for the program,” she told ISU News Service. “I was instantly excited about the opportunity.  I was bouncing off the walls with excitement.”

Georgeakleinnna isn’t the only Iowa Stater who will be on hand for Sunday’s big game. Former Cyclone AJ Klein is a member of the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. He becomes the 13th former Cyclone to play in a Super Bowl.

“It’s been a really surreal experience,” Klein told the Des Moines Register. “This season is so long, but it has gone by in a blink of an eye and we’re two weeks away from playing the biggest game in professional sports.”

2) Tonight the state of Iowa’s long, strange relationship with 2016 presidential candidates comes to an end — at least for now — with the 7 p.m. Iowa Caucuses. Tomorrow you can get all the scoop about what happened and what’s next at the Iowa Caucuses MOOC panel discussion with professors Steffen Schmidt and David Andersen, along with Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics director Dianne Bystrom. If you can’t attend the live discussion in the Memorial Union, a video of the panel discussion will be available online afterward.
3) February is Black History Month, and ISU’s office of Multicultural Student Affairs has compiled a list of activities that will be held on campus in celebration. Check it out online.
4) Our ISUAA career services staff is gearing up to host a Feb. 26 Webinar called “Identify and Zap Energy Drains,” presented by alumna Sarah Uchytil. Sign up now to participate and enjoy an energy boost at the end of the month — no Red Bull necessary.
5) And finally, some fun stuff from Facebook. After a surprise field trip to the ISU College of Engineering last week, some Clive, Iowa, fifth graders got inspired. These kids could certainly have some incredible adventures ahead of them:

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Five Things

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

1) For the second week in a row, it’s Big Monday in Ames — and everyone’s talking about tonight’s ISU vs. No. 3 Kansas men’s basketball matchup, though not all the news surrounding the big game is positive. Some students have been lined up outside Hilton Coliseum for more than a week in hopes of securing seats for the game, and while the “tent city” is certainly a good example of the dedication of Cyclone fans, it’s also presenting safety challenges in the freezing weather. A propane heater started a fire in one of the students’ tents early Friday morning, destroying the tent and a laptop computer. There were no injuries, but the alarming incident has put campers and officials on high alert and working to communicate as broadly as possible about safety.

University administrators and local law enforcement officials have emphasized that they do not encourage students to camp out for games, but they’re also not interested in violating students’ individual liberties. There is likely to be further discussion about the matter, but in the meantime ISU-KU tips at 8 p.m. CT tonight on ESPN and the student section will no doubt be there in full force.

5JMR-2082) The CEO and founder of “Girls Who Code” is slated to speak on campus this week as part of the university’s 30-year celebration of WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) at Iowa State University. Reshma Saujani’s keynote address will take place Thursday at 8 p.m. in the MU Great Hall. The presentation is free and open to the public.

3) New Cyclone football coach Matt Campbell seems to be working just about nonstop since his arrival in Ames Nov. 29, and he may finally get a chance to breathe Feb. 3 as the recruiting period ends on National Signing Day — though his fourth child is due to be born any day after that! If you haven’t had a chance to meet the new coach, he and his staff are inviting the public to a Cyning Day Celebration, presented by the Cyclone Gridiron Club Feb. 3 at the Sukup Endzone Club in Jack Trice Stadium. The event is free and open to the public.

4) ISU Dance Marathon, the university’s largest student organization, held its annual fundraiser this weekend at the MU Great Hall. $362,854.19 will be donated to patients at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital as a result of the students’ efforts. Check out photos in the Iowa State Daily online.

5) ISU has a new Student Health Center director: Welcome, Erin Baldwin.

 

Class act

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Katie Baumgarn has the responsibility of scheduling all the classroom spaces on Iowa State’s campus. (Photo by Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

The university’s fall enrollment is the largest in school history. In the last decade, overall enrollment has grown 40 percent. The impact of this growth has been felt from residence halls to dining centers, but nowhere is the pressure to accommodate the growing student body more intense than the competition for general university classroom space.

Katie White Baumgarn (L)(’83 home ec ed, MS ’95 curriculum & inst) is Iowa State’s coordinator of instructional facilities. Baumgarn has been scheduling rooms on campus for 23 years. She and her two-person staff scheduled 12,784 instructional meeting hours this fall in classrooms as large as 431 seats (in Hoover Hall) and as small as 12 seats (in Sweeney). Most of the work is done through a computer program, but there are still classes each semester that have to be scheduled by hand.

Q: How has the increase in student enrollment affected your job?
A: Before the semester begins, we look at high-demand freshman-level courses – like chemistry, biology, English, physics, and math – and project what space we’ll need. If we’re short a certain number of seats, we look at increasing class sizes or adding sections. We have to ask ourselves how we can help a class that’s always been offered Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 10 a.m. and the class limit is 70 – but now it needs to be 100.

There’s a lot of negotiating and partnering that we need to do with folks to figure out what we can do to make sure we have enough seats. We need to realize we’re here for the students. We need to do what we can to help them be successful and to complete their education here at Iowa State. It’s a four-year goal, and that’s what we should all be striving for.

Back in the day, classes were typically held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. What does the schedule look like now?
Prime time really used to be anything taught between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Now we’ve expanded that to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – that’s when faculty want to teach; that’s when students want to take classes. But because of the enrollment, we have a lot more classes at 8 a.m., and we’re seeing more classes that have to go to that 3:10 and 4:10 time. There are also more night labs. There’s actually been a big push by biology to offer labs from 7:30 in the morning to 10:30 at night.

We also schedule exams, review sessions, tutoring, and supplemental instruction in classrooms at night. Are we getting to the point where we can’t take on any more students? We can. We just all need to be creative in how we move forward in offering courses.

What would people be surprised to learn about your job?
Besides scheduling classes I’m also responsible for the renovation of the general university classrooms, and I’m part of the design team for new classroom spaces and auditoriums. One exciting challenge we have is team-based learning courses. That’s where the instructor has the students break into teams of four to seven students. For example, Troxel Hall was designed with swivel seating, so if an instructor wants to do team-based learning, they can.

I think people would also be surprised to learn that general university classrooms only take up 4 percent of the total space on campus. (Departmental teaching labs take up another 9 percent of the total space.) It’s a lot to squish in to such a small percentage of space.

The Iowa State Way

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By Carole Gieseke

Bill Fennelly saved the box score from the first game he ever coached at Iowa State. The official attendance was (drumroll, please): 310.

“It was pretty quiet,” Mary Pink, associate athletics director for marketing, says of that game. “There were not a lot of fans there, not a lot of atmosphere. I think they included the scorer’s table workers in that box score.”

The year was 1995, and Fennelly had just been hired as the women’s basketball team’s new, young head coach. He’d left a job he loved at the University of Toledo and took a pay cut to come back to the state of Iowa, where he and his wife, Deb, grew up.

“Honestly, we came thinking if it didn’t work out, I could go tend bar for my brother in Davenport,” Fennelly says, laughing. “We really didn’t know what we were getting into.”

This fall, Fennelly began his 21st year with the Iowa State women’s basketball program.

“If I would have told people [in 1995] that this is where we were going to be 21 years from now, no one would have believed it. No one.”

Building a fan base
In the year before Fennelly arrived, the women’s basketball program’s average attendance was 733 fans per game. Last season’s average was nearly 10,000, ranking second nationally behind Tennessee.

Today’s Cyclone fans are a devoted bunch, and the growth in their numbers has been nothing short of remarkable. But it didn’t happen overnight; there was no magic bullet to create Hilton Magic for the women’s program.

“I get asked all the time to speak at marketing conventions, and people want to know how did this happen and how did that happen, but there was no secret to it. It’s not like we came up with this master plan,” Fennelly says.

Fennelly had told then-athletics director Gene Smith in his interview that his number-one goal was to come out and sit on the bench and look up and have at least one person sitting in the balcony.

“I said that not really realizing how big Hilton was,” Fennelly says, chuckling.

The growth of the fan base began as a grassroots effort, with the Fennellys meeting as many people in the community as they could. The coach played golf with Cyclone Club members all over the state.

“I always had tickets in my pocket so that if I went somewhere and someone would say, ‘Hey, Coach, how are you?’ I could say, ‘Here’s two tickets.’ It was one day at a time, one person at a time.”

But it was two groups at opposite ends of the age demographic that made a huge difference in the growth of the women’s basketball fan base: little kids (with their parents) and the retirement community. Both of these groups appreciate the price point of the women’s games and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere in Hilton Coliseum.

It started with Fellows Elementary School, which the Fennelly children attended. Fennelly looked at those students and asked himself, “How do you get the kids to come to the games? They can’t drive themselves.” So he created a program – The Lil’ Clone Club (now called Jr. Cyclone Club) – where the kids got in free, but the parents had to buy a seat to bring them to the games. Fennelly’s goal was always to make a women’s basketball outing less expensive than going to a movie.

And then there was Green Hills Retirement Community in Ames. Longtime women’s basketball fan and Green Hills resident Kathryn Engel was so dedicated to the program that she would buy tickets and give them away to other residents so that they could fill a Green Hills bus and get convenient transportation to the games. Then it became two busloads, and Fennelly and his players grew more and more connected to the residents. Today the team still visits Green Hills annually to sign posters and chat with the residents.

The ABCs
Fennelly’s coaching philosophy focuses on academics, athletics, and character. Those tenets strengthen not only the student-athletes, but also the fan base.

“When we recruit kids, we talk about ABC: You’re going to get a great academic environment, you’re going to get a great basketball environment, and you’re going to get a community environment that’s connected,” Fennelly explains. “I want [to recruit] student-athletes who understand how privileged they are to go to this school, to wear the jersey. I want our fans to feel that they’re proud to say they’re rooting for that young person.”

The tradition of the program is important to Fennelly. Every day, he emphasizes “the Iowa State way” of doing things. Every day, he talks to his players about their academics and about how important it is to be appreciative and interact with fans.

“This is a small town. [I tell the players] if you’re at Coldstone ice cream and a little girl wants to talk to you, you better talk to her. You can’t just be, ‘I don’t have time for that.’ That’s not how we do things.”

Every student-athlete who has completed her eligibility under Fennelly has graduated from Iowa State with a degree. That’s the expectation; that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

“I tell the kids when I recruit them: ‘You’re going to hear a lot about all the great things that are going to happen at Hilton, but the greatest thing that’s going to happen at Hilton is to walk across the stage as an Iowa State graduate. That’s where the magic is.’”

A new game
Social media has changed the way Cyclone athletics has communicated with its fans. And Fennelly is a master. His Twitter account has more than 12,000 followers. The Cyclone women’s basketball program has 13,500 Twitter followers and more than 10,000 Facebook likes.

“On Twitter, you see Coach Fennelly’s personality,” Pink says. “You really see who he is as a person and how much he really appreciates our fan base. He’s a marketer’s dream, to be honest.”

Fennelly sees social media as one more way to connect with and thank the
fans.

“I’m on Twitter a lot,” he says. “It’s been a really good thing for us. Even the little stuff, like I’ll tweet out that it’s somebody’s birthday or one of our former players had a baby. People love that.”

But even with all the grassroots fan growth and personal touches and social media, ISU women’s basketball would not be a national leader in attendance if not for one important thing: winning teams.

In 20 seasons, Fennelly has averaged 22 wins per season (434-206). He’s guided the Cyclones to an unprecedented nine-straight NCAA appearances, one of just 10 schools to do so.

“Bottom line, you want that feel-good attitude of a winner,” associate head coach Jodi Steyer says. “I hate to say it, but it’s huge. You can be great people, but if you don’t show results it’s not going to be fun. When those wins come, it’s a great environment.”

The dean
Fred Hoiberg may have been the Mayor, but Bill Fennelly is the Dean of the Big 12 women’s basketball coaches.

“I’m the old guy,” he says. “I think I may be the only coach on the staff that Jamie [Pollard] didn’t hire.” Fennelly has been through six men’s basketball coaches, three athletic directors, and three university presidents. He’s seen the university’s enrollment go from 24,400 students in 1995 to 36,000 in 2015. He’s endured throat cancer that required him to stop speaking – which was really hard on everyone, he said. But the fan support during his treatment, he says, was “incredible.”

Fennelly says the past 20 years have been amazing.

“Iowa State University is like a big, beautiful state-fair-winning pie. We’re a very, very, very little piece of that, but I think we’ve added something.”

2015 Iowa State Year in Review

IN JANUARY…

isu4u…ISU President Steven Leath (L) signed the “ISU 4U Promise,” an agreement with the Des Moines Public Schools to provide tuition assistance to economically disadvantaged elementary students who wish to pursue higher education in their futures.

…ESPN’s popular “College GameDay” program visited Ames for the first time ever. Thousands of Iowa State fans came out for the broadcast and subsequent 86-81 men’s basketball victory over Kansas on Jan. 17.

…ISU’s largest student organization, Dance Marathon, raised $444,000 at its annual event benefiting the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

IN FEBRUARY…

…Roger Neuhaus left his position as president of the Iowa State University Foundation. Larissa Holtmyer Jones (L)(’94 marketing, ’03 MBA), an 18-year veteran of the organization, was named the Foundation’s new president and CEO.

…Iowa State University announced plans to hire its first-ever chief diversity officer.

kemboichamp…Racing on its home track at the Lied Rec Center, the Iowa State men’s track and field team recorded its best finish at the Big 12 Conference indoor meet since 1997 thanks to Edward Kemboi, who became the first athlete in Big 12 history to be crowned the 1,000-meter and 800-meter run champion in back-to-back seasons.

…More than 25 campus units participated in Iowa State Day at the Capitol Feb. 23, an annual showcase of how Iowa State serves Iowa and Iowans.

IN MARCH…

…Edward Kemboi won the national indoor title in the 800-meter run in Fayetteville, Ark., breaking the tape in 1:46.05 to become the first Cyclone man to win an indoor national championship since 1993.

gadson…Cyclone legacy Kyven Gadson (’14 child, adult, and family services) pinned Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder in 4:26 to win the 197-pound NCAA wrestling title, becoming the 69th national champion in ISU history.

…Freshman Haylee Young won the individual all-around crown at the Big 12 Women’s Gymnastics Championship, becoming the first Cyclone since 2002 to do so.

…The Iowa State men’s basketball team won the Big 12 tournament title in Kansas City for the second consecutive year, defeating Kansas 70-66 in the title game at the Sprint Center.

…ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard (L) suffered a heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. His greeting for Cyclone men’s basketball fans in Kansas City from his hospital bed drew cheers of support in the Power & Light District.

…Iowa State University was announced as a chief partner in the new Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium. ISU has planted 10,000 seeds of nine different milkweed species in an effort to help regrow the iconic butterfly’s habitat in the state.

IN APRIL…

talbot…The ISU Alumni Association received a $2.5 million gift from Lora and Russ Talbot (L) of Belmond, Iowa, to endow the organization’s president and chief executive officer position. The Talbots’ gift created the first non-academic endowed position at Iowa State and the first endowed alumni association president and CEO position at a college or university anywhere in the U.S. The announcement was made during the ISUAA’s annual Cardinal & Gold Gala in Des Moines.

…Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences Catherine Kling was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first Iowa State woman ever to receive the honor.

…Four Iowa State scientists were named to the team collecting data from the second run of the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, considered to be the “largest physics experiment in the world.”

…Beth McNeil (A) was named dean of the Iowa State University Library.

…Iowa State clinched the 2014-2015 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series with a 5-4 softball victory in Iowa City.

…More than 450 Iowa State alumni and friends participated in “Cy’s Days of Service,” an annual ISU Alumni Association initiative encouraging Iowa Staters to unite worldwide in community service throughout the month of April.

IN MAY…

…Iowa State University received a five-year, up-to-$20 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to create the Forensic Science Center of Excellence, which will do important research for the nation’s law enforcement and criminal justice systems.

…after 4,300 participated in spring commencement exercises, Iowa State topped the 100,000 mark for alumni living in the state of Iowa. A total of 100,223 alumni now reside in the state, making it the highest number of alumni living in Iowa from any institution of higher education.

…construction officially began on a much-needed new campus residence hall. The 784-bed facility is being built adjacent to Buchanan Hall and is scheduled to open in spring 2017.

IN JUNE…

prohm…Head men’s basketball coach Fred “The Mayor” Hoiberg (L)(’95 finance) left his alma mater to fulfill a life dream and become head coach of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. He was replaced by 40-year-old Steve Prohm, the 2012 Basketball Times Coach of the Year from Murray State.

…Despite supportive efforts by the governor, ISU, and the University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa legislature defeated a Board of Regents’ proposal that would have changed the state university funding model to be based 60 percent on the number of in-state students enrolled, resulting in significant funding increases for both ISU and UNI. ISU President Steven Leath expressed disappointment in the vote’s outcome, noting that he doesn’t want to have to deny qualified Iowans admission to ISU, where demand is at an all-time high.

…Edward Kemboi won the NCAA 800-meter outdoor track and field title in Eugene, Ore., with a time of 1:49.26, making him the third Cyclone in history to achieve indoor/outdoor sweeps and the first Cyclone man since 1996 to win an individual outdoor NCAA crown.

IN JULY…

phaeton_capitol…In the 25th anniversary season of solar car racing at Iowa State, Team PrISUm took home its first-ever title at the 2015 Formula Sun Grand Prix with the award-winning car Phaeton. No other car was within 30 laps of Phaeton after three days of racing in Austin, Texas.

…ISU alumnus Dennis Muilenburg (L)(’86 aero engr) became the 10th president and CEO of Boeing, the United States’ largest exporter and the world’s second-largest defense contractor.

…Registration opened for ISU’s first-ever massive open online course (MOOC). University Professor Steffen Schmidt announced plans to teach the course on the topic of the Iowa Caucuses.

…Glassdoor Economic Research released a report indicating that Ames ranked eighth nationally for successful “Recession Rebound,” fueled largely by the rapid expansion of the university’s business and technology incubator, ISU Research Park. The Park added 14 companies in 2015 alone and began work on a 183-acre expansion that will include amenities and services for Park employees such as child care, dining, and fitness facilities.

IN AUGUST…

…College of Human Sciences dean Pam White (A)(PhD ’81 food technology) announced her plans to retire in July 2016 after 40 years of service to ISU.

…The ISU chapter of Sigma Chi officially opened its new fraternity house at 2136 Lincoln Way.

…The ISU women’s soccer team earned its biggest win in program history, topping No. 10 Pepperdine on its home pitch in Malibu, Calif., Aug. 30, 1-0.

…The ISU College of Business launched a new master’s degree program in business analytics, an interdisciplinary program focused on business intelligence in the “big data” environment.

IN SEPTEMBER…

…Iowa State announced its seventh-consecutive record enrollment: 36,001 students.

…The ISU athletics department dedicated its $60 million addition at Jack Trice Stadium that created the Sukup Endzone Club and increased the stadium’s capacity to 61,500.

seasons…The ISU Alumni Association unveiled its new coffee-table book, “SEASONS of Iowa State University,” featuring the celebrated photography of Jim Heemstra (A).

…The National Science Foundation extended its grant supporting the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) based at Iowa State. The Center has already served as platform to launch six startup companies.

IN OCTOBER…

…Distinguished Professor of food science and human nutrition Diane Birt (A) was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine, making her the second ISU faculty member to receive National Academy induction in 2015 following a 10-year drought.

homecoming…Iowa State celebrated its 103rd Homecoming during a beautiful Halloween weekend, capped by a 24-0 gridiron shutout of Texas at Jack Trice Stadium.

…ISU President Steven Leath joined the Twitterverse, sending out the first message from @IASTATE_Pres on Oct. 12.

…readers of the website BuzzFeed selected Iowa State University as one of the 25 most beautiful campuses in the world.

IN NOVEMBER…

rhoads…Beloved head football coach Paul Rhoads (A) coached his final game at the helm of the Cyclone program Nov. 28 in Morgantown, W.V., following an emotional week of goodbyes. The following day, athletics director Jamie Pollard (L) announced that Toledo head coach Matt Campbell had been hired to replace Rhoads on Campbell’s 36th birthday. Campbell, who was named 2015 MAC Coach of the Year, becomes the Big 12 Conference’s youngest head football coach. View a photo gallery of Paul Rhoads’ seven years at ISU on the ISUAA Flickr page.

…A team of ISU students received the Community Service Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architecture for its project at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women.

…A team of ISU students won the first-ever National Cyber Analyst Challenge.

…Iowa State was announced as one of five universities comprising the National Science Foundation’s new Midwest Big Data Hub, SEEDCorn (Sustainable Enabling Environment for Data Collaboration).

…Cyclones junior Perez Rotich and sophomore Erin Hooker finished 1-2 in the Big 12 women’s cross country championship.

IN DECEMBER…

stewart…Reginald Stewart (pictured, right) began his duties on campus as ISU’s inaugural vice president for diversity and inclusion.

…the Iowa State volleyball team played in its 10th consecutive NCAA tournament, sweeping Miami (Fla.) in round one before losing to No. 10 Wisconsin. Ten of ISU’s 11 all-time NCAA tourney appearances have been under current head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch (L).

…The “Cardiac Clones” resurrected their crazy come-from-behind ways in men’s basketball under new coach Steve Prohm, beating instate rival Iowa 83-82 Dec. 10 with a last-second bucket by Monte Morris that sealed a 20-point comeback at Hilton Coliseum. The following night, the Cyclone women also came back from a significant deficit to beat Iowa.

…Vice president for student affairs Thomas Hill (A) retired after 18 years on campus.

…The Skunk River and Squaw Creek in Ames crested at twice their normal levels for mid-December following unusually warm temperatures and three consecutive days of steady rain from Dec. 12-14. Officials say the heavy rain may have been a factor in a deadly Dec. 14 hit-and-run accident that killed ISU freshman Emmalee Jacobs at the corner of Lincoln Way and Ash Ave. around 7 a.m. on the Monday morning of Finals Week.

…A record number of December graduates joined the ‪Iowa State alumni family Dec.18-19. The university awarded 1,631 bachelor’s degrees, 251 master’s degrees, and 111 doctoral degrees. Congrats to the last of the Class of 2015!

Bring on 2016! Happy Holidays!