Five Things

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


1) Two Cyclone men’s basketball players have joined the elite group of Iowa Staters drafted by the NBA — last Thursday, the Indiana Pacers selected Georges Niang with the 50th overall pick of the draft and the Boston Celtics took Abdel Nader eight picks later.

“The game is athletic, but I think he’s always gotten by and been successful because he’s super crafty,” Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard said of Niang. “My boss (Larry Bird) is pretty crafty, too. He knows how to use his body, he’s got the spin moves, he does all that and he knows how to be in the right position on defense, too. We needed to improve our overall team IQ.”

2) Decades after it was researched, screwworm sex took center stage last week with the announcement of Raymond C. Bushland and Edward F. Knipling’s (PhD ’47) 2016 Golden Goose Award — an honor that recognizes work that may seem silly but has led to important scientific breakthroughs. ISU grad Knipling worked with Bushland for the USDA and passed away in 2000, but the legacy of their work has implications today — including biological control efforts that are today being implemented around pests such as soybean aphids and Zika-carrying mosquitoes.

3) We’re still looking for alumni stories about Lake LaVerne to include in our celebration of #100YearsofLakeLaVerne, coming soon to our website and VISIONS magazine. Send your memories and Lake-related stories to ISUAA associate director of communications Kate Bruns at

4) Next Monday is Independence Day, and the campus will be closed for the holiday. But if you’re in Ames, be sure to visit Reiman Gardens on Sunday for a celebration and 10 p.m. fireworks display.

5) Our catalog of 2017 Traveling Cyclones adventures is now available online. Browse the site and find a great opportunity to escape next year.

Cy’s Suitcase: June 2016

Cy's Suitcase Web Banner - SIZED

A Message from Shellie

Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.

How many of you like to look through your passport? I do! It tells the story of all the places I have been. Each stamp holds different memories. One of my new favorite stamps is from my recent trip to Italy. I traveled with a group of colleagues from around the country to the Northwest region of the beautiful country, including a stop in Florence. I have always wanted to go to Italy, probably due to one of my favorite movies, “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

shellie_june2016The day we arrived, we went up to the terrace of the hotel and the view took my breath away. I instantly fell in love. I could have left right there and been completely satisfied. It was everything I had imagined. I have been in a lot of different countries, but this one was special. As we traveled through the Cinque Terre area and the Chianti and Tuscany regions, the scenery never disappointed. The Cypress trees and poppies were exactly as I had seen in photographs. In addition to the scenery, the food and wine was amazing. I have never tasted fresher tomatoes, and the bruschetta was the best I had ever had. In one hotel, I slept with the window cracked to hear the sound of the locals speaking Italian late into the night. I savored every moment I spent in that country.

That experience is what I hope for each of my travelers. I want them to be transformed by their surroundings, the food they eat, and the people they meet. I want them to remember how they felt while they were there. I want them to remember how the food tasted. I want them to build memories that will take them back instantly to that place in time. We all travel for various reasons, but escaping our everyday lives has to be on the top of the list.

In 2017, I have chosen an array of trips that will hopefully help you escape — trips that will transport you to another time and another way of life. We all have different bucket lists, but hopefully we have a trip that you can cross off your list.

Safe travels,


Shellie Andersen ’88, Director of Alumni Travel
Iowa State University Alumni Association

Travel Tips

How to keep your passport safe while you travel:

Before you even head out on your trip, you should make multiple copies of your passport. Copy the page that has your photo and full name on it, and keep these copies in separate places – at the bottom of your bag in different pieces of luggage, or even with different people who may be traveling with you. Leave one copy of your passport at home or with coworkers if on a work trip. (Also: Don’t forget, when traveling your passport must not have an expiration date that is less than six months from your departure date.)

When traveling, keeping your passport concealed is almost a no-brainer, but of course that doesn’t mean just carrying it in your pocket and hoping it stays out of sight. Instead, look for a flat money belt, which can be worn around your waist and neck and concealed under your clothing.  If you’re looking for something a bit more comfortable, try a travel wallet or passport cover. Both conceal your passport (and nationality), while the travel wallet also has room for other valuable, including credit cards and emergency cash. (Note: Avoid carrying your passport and spending money together if you can, as taking out cash will alert potential thieves.)

Most hotel rooms now have room safes. It’s a good habit to start to store your passport in your safe.

When most people think of passport safety, they think of safeguarding it from theft. Weather, however, is another consideration. To prevent water damage, travel with a waterproof cover.

Diversity: A fundamental component of the Iowa State experience

White police officers shooting black suspects. Fear and prejudice against Muslims. Campus uprisings across the U.S. by students who do not feel supported, valued, or safe.

Incidents of racial, ethnic, religious, and gender-related differences have been simmering for years in this country, and they have recently come to a full boil.

At Iowa State, President Steven Leath has made campus diversity and inclusion issues a priority since Day One. During his installation address in September 2012, he announced his commitment to promoting diversity on campus. In 2013, he ordered a university-wide diversity asset inventory and audit. Based on the recommendations from that analysis, he named a search committee that would attract the university’s first vice president for diversity and inclusion, and implemented other key initiatives.

Iowa State’s fall 2015 enrollment of 36,001 included a student body with record ethnic and multicultural diversity. But that increase has not come without some growing pains. In recent months, President Leath has responded swiftly to student concerns about safety and inclusion issues.

“Diversity isn’t something we should merely tolerate; it’s a fundamental component of higher education and the Iowa State experience,” he told the campus community in a Nov. 20, 2015, open letter. “By working together to embrace diversity and create a more inclusive culture we will make Iowa State a more inspiring and invigorating place to discover, learn, and achieve.”

Taking stock
During President Leath’s installation address in September 2012, he outlined his key priorities for the university. One of his initiatives was to “promote diversity on campus by supporting several recommendations proposed by the University Committee on Women and other key groups, and also by partnering with King and Moulton Elementary Schools in Des Moines to help increase the number of lower income and minority students enrolling at Iowa State.”

Just a few months later, in March 2013, Leath announced that Iowa State would conduct a university-wide diversity asset inventory and audit. Th e inventory was intended to take stock of the university’s diversity programs and initiatives; the audit phase would examine Iowa State’s diversity strengths and weaknesses, creating a road map for the future.

Leath said at that time that the project would help Iowa State better understand its existing diversity assets and more efficiently align those resources so the university could effectively support and promote diversity on campus and throughout the Ames community.

“Iowa State University is as diverse as it has ever been, but we have a responsibility to build upon past successes and ensure that we strive every day to create an environment that is as welcoming as possible to all people – regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation,” Leath said in a memo to the campus community.

The study
Jerlando Jackson (L)(PhD ’00 educational leadership and policy studies), founder of The Jackson Consulting Firm and distinguished professor of higher education at University of Wisconsin-Madison, has donated his services to conduct the diversity review and develop the final report for his alma mater.

Some of the report findings highlighted Iowa State’s already-positive practices, such as aligning groups based on affinity, recruiting diverse candidates for open faculty and staff positions, the presence of a supportive climate on campus, and a strong town-gown relationship. Jackson’s key recommendations for improvement included:

  • Provide incentives for colleges and units to increase diversity
  • Create a chief diversity officer position
  • Support groups in diversity-related endeavors
  • Be transparent in moving diversity efforts forward; hold regular listening sessions, invite suggestions, and include student leaders in planning
  • Conduct an institution-wide policy review to sharpen commitment to diversity
  • Assess and meet the social needs of diverse groups on campus
  • Focus equally on retention and promotion of diverse groups
  • Ensure that central administration reflects diversity expected in the campus population

Also in 2014 the University Committee on Women published the findings of its Status of Women at Iowa State University report. Key findings showed improvement since a similar report was conducted in 2002; however, the report indicated improvement was still needed in areas including representation, professional development opportunities, work/life balance, and knowledge of diversity initiatives on campus.


Reginald Stewart, ISU’s first vice president for diversity and inclusion

Vice president for diversity and inclusion
Chief among Jackson’s recommendations in the university-wide diversity review was to create a chief diversity officer position, and in early 2015 Leath created a first-ever position for Iowa State: the vice president for diversity and inclusion. A search committee was formed, a job description was written with broad campus input, and recruitment efforts began. By September, candidates were invited to campus for public forums and a series of interviews.

Reginald Stewart was Iowa State’s choice. He began his duties on campus Dec. 1. Stewart is the former chief diversity officer and adjunct professor of educational leadership at the University of Nevada in Reno.

“Iowa State’s commitment to diversity isn’t simply measured by statistics; it’s a principle that guides our land-grant mission of education, research, and service,” Leath said in naming Stewart to the position.

Stewart says he was attracted to Iowa State because it was a well-known, well-respected institution and that the university had put a great deal of thought into the establishment of the diversity and inclusion position.

“President Leath communicated that ISU has a dedicated faculty and staff, an engaged student body, and a desire to add a national reputation as a leader in diversity and inclusion to an already impressive list of accolades,” he said. “It was clear that Iowa State wanted to see long-term evolution in its diversity and inclusion efforts and was willing to invest the time needed to implement structural and procedural change.”

Working together
But before Stewart even arrived on campus, the Iowa State community was faced with overt acts of racism and bigotry during a peaceful protest against a presidential candidate outside Jack Trice Stadium on Sept. 12, 2015. A public forum, coordinated by ISU’s Student Government and Latinos United for Change (LUCHA), was held on Sept. 30 in response to the incident, in which a woman ripped a student’s protest sign.

That forum, President Leath said, “reminded us all that racism, bigotry, discrimination, and marginalization are happening on the Iowa State campus. The forum provided me an opportunity to listen, learn, and feel – to truly understand what some of our minority students, faculty, and staff have endured – and it underscored the importance of empathy and action.”

As a result of the public forum, and of subsequent meetings with groups on campus, Leath and his senior administration took a number of steps to continue addressing these issues, including:

  • Assigning ISU Police officers as liaisons to Multicultural Student Affairs to establish a strong partnership with ISU’s multicultural community
  • Developing a plan to expand the safety escort service
  • Developing a plan to relocate multicultural artwork to more visible areas on campus
  • Establishing a Diversity in Art course and a multicultural art exhibition
  • Launching a process to develop the university’s new strategic plan, which includes a subcommittee to ensure a welcoming, safe, and inclusive campus environment

In a letter dated Nov. 20, 2015, Leath told the university community that the university was developing an initial plan of action in close collaboration with Vice President Stewart and all stakeholders focused on three areas:

  • Classrooms: Existing training for faculty, lecturers, and teaching assistants on issues of diversity will be evaluated and, where necessary, new training will be developed and offered annually.
  • Academic advising: A framework will be established to enable departments to understand more about the cultural climate in all of our programs.
  • Student experience: Student orientation programming will be evaluated to ensure it includes culturally dynamic opportunities for students to engage with one another. Existing diversity committees and initiatives within colleges and departments will be reviewed and evaluated to determine gaps and ensure student representation. All student clubs and their advisers will be expected to understand the university’s expectations for creating a welcoming and inclusive culture.

“Acts of racism, bigotry, discrimination, and marginalization have no place on college campuses or in society,” the president concluded, “but we cannot ignore the fact that they are happening, and Iowa State is not immune. The reality is there are students, faculty, and staff on college campuses across the country, including here at Iowa State, who do not feel completely accepted, welcome, or safe. We must acknowledge this openly and candidly. We must work together to change this reality by taking action every day to reinforce a culture of inclusion and respect that upholds freedom of speech and expression in a way that fosters open discussion and civil discourse.”

– Carole Gieseke

Five Things

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


1) A retirement reception is being held this Friday (4-7 p.m.) at the Scheman Building in honor of Warren Madden, a university stalwart who is retiring from Iowa State after 50 years of service. Read some of Madden’s career reflections on the university homepage, and watch for more coverage in our upcoming summer issue of VISIONS.


2) ISU football coach Matt Campbell must have found a website with a wide selection of thunderstorm GIFs, because he was using a lot of them this weekend on Twitter to announce two big football commitments. #SoundstheSirens

3) In other Cyclone sports-related news, the popular YMCA Capital City Summer League for men’s basketball is officially underway — and Cyclone guard Naz Mitrou-Long is starting to show signs that he’s recovering quite nicely from the hip injury that forced him to redshirt last season. Mitrou-Long broke the league’s single-game scoring record yesterday when he poured in a “nazty” 72 points in a game yesterday at Valley Southwoods High School. Cap City League games are free and open to the public.

4) This week is a good one to do some online learning, as the ISUAA is offering a free online “Bringing You ISU” presentation about the ISU StartUp Factory tomorrow (noon CT) and a free webinar on behavioral finance Wednesday (noon CT) — register now for either or both opportunities. Please note that the latter presentation will NOT be archived, so you must attend live to participate.

5) June 20 is National Ice Cream Soda Day (a celebration we can all get behind). Here’s an ISU Archives photo of the soda fountain in Friley Hall in 1951, from the ISU Special Collections and University Archives’ awesome Flickr page:


Advocates in all fields


By Avery Amensen

With Iowa State University’s position as a change-maker regarding issues such as food security and sustainable farming, it makes sense that students would flock to Ames to learn how to shape tomorrow’s agriculture landscape. What may not be so common, however, is students seeking to influence agriculture through their writing.

Adam Blake Wright, a third-year graduate student at Iowa State, is pursuing a dual master’s degree in creative writing and sustainable agriculture.

“I want to write about food and couldn’t ask for a better combination of majors to help me achieve this goal,” he said. “Being from North Carolina, I underestimated exactly how dominant agriculture is in Iowa. There is a reason this state is called the Heartland of America, and as such, I am learning more about agriculture than I ever expected.”

“Currently I write about sustainability for the food magazine Edible: Iowa River Valley. I would love to be a professional food writer,” said Wright. “Until that dream happens, I hope to work in farm-to-school education. I love working with children and believe wholeheartedly that our current agricultural structure will change dramatically as we face issues like climate change, growing populations, and peak oil in the coming decades. It’s so important to prepare youth for these challenges, as they will be dealing with them much more directly than any generation before.”

In 2015, Wright served as a writer-in-residence for the Iowa Lakeside Lab, a 147-acre biological field station in the Iowa Great Lakes region. Additionally, he is working on a young-adult novel that deals with agricultural issues. “I am about halfway done with my first draft and hope to have the second half of the book done by the end of the year,” he said. Wright received support from the Dr. Pearl Hogrefe Creative Writing Fund in spring 2015, allowing him the time to concentrate more fully on his craft. And it paid off, as he received an award from the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts for an article he published in Edible last June.

Anticipating the future of the agriculture industry and preparing to tackle global challenges such as food insecurity is an important task, and Iowa State is up for the challenge. But with that comes other factors, including training advocates in all fields – especially communications.

“Change can’t happen in isolation. It needs to be facilitated through educated writers who can tell the story of what is going on,” Wright said. With Iowa State’s master’s program in creative writing and environment – one of the few in the country – students learn how to be effective communicators in many areas, including forestry, policy work, activism, and, yes, agriculture. Wright leads the way in this endeavor, proving that Iowa State is up for that challenge, too.

Five Things

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


1) The Iowa State track and field season ended over the weekend at the NCAA outdoor championships, and the Cyclones saved their best performance for last as sophomore Jhoanmy Luque finished fourth in the triple jump with a career-high 43-10 1/2. Across Luque’s six jumps at Hayward Field on Saturday, all five of her legal jumps were better than the personal best she had set just two weeks earlier. Luque’s performance earned Iowa State five team points. Combined with Christina Hillman’s three points for finishing sixth in the shot put on Thursday, ISU finished tied for 29th overall as a women’s team with eight points.

2) Speaking of outstanding performances in women’s athletics, how about senior cappaertsoftballer Aly Cappaert (’15 journalism & mass comm), who on Thursday became the first Iowa State softball player selected as the sport’s Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Ankeny native, who earned her undergrad degree in just three years, maintained a 4.0 GPA this season as a graduate student in higher education. She is also ISU’s all-time leader in walks (93) and hitting streak (18 games), and ranks second all-time in career home runs (38), RBIs (138), and slugging percentage (.609).

Iowa State has now had 15 student-athletes named Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year since the award’s inception in 2012, more than any other school in the conference.

3) The Iowa State Cyclone Football ‘Varsity’ Marching Band is back home this week after completing a historic trip to Normandy, France last week in commemoration of D-Day. For tons of photos, stories, and videos from their journey, check out the band’s Facebook page.

roses-1041156_960_7204) This weekend Reiman Gardens will be playing host to its annual Rose Fest, which coincides with the Iowa Rose Society’s annual show. Stop and smell the roses; no preregistration is required.

Cost is free for members and Iowa State University students with ID. The general public pays $8 for adults, $7 for seniors ages 65+, $4 for kids ages 4-17, and free for kids ages 3 and under.

DryDock_banner_logo15) Alumni and friends in Denver are gearing up for “Celebrate State: Denver,” which will be held June 23 at ISU alumni-owned Dry Dock Brewing Co. The deadline to register is coming up June 16, so if you’re in Denver or will be there June 23, sign up now!

Diversity on Campus: Alumni Voices

Building a bigger and better table

Without question “all lives matter,” as many will cry out when the Black Lives Matter Movement organizers remind us that black lives have not mattered enough in our society up to now. Latina/os, Native Americans, and other disenfranchised and underserved groups make the same claim. Latino and Latina lives matter! Native American lives matter!

This phrase was never intended to mean that black lives meant more than others. The meaning always was “black lives matter, too!” In America we have a long history of African American lives being counted for less than those of the white majority, from the counting for three-fifths of a person in the Constitution to the continuance of slavery for blacks only and the Jim Crow laws that were the law of the land up through the middle of the 20th century to the shorter life expectancy of African Americans today. Th e reality is, for all of our progress, America still struggles to allow many different minority populations full access to its benefits.

In response, over the years, attention has been focused on programs and curriculum dealing with issues of equity including ethnicity, “race,” gender, sexual orientation, and abilities. Diversity and inclusion advocates in institutions of higher learning throughout the United States are attempting to not only build their diversity, but also to forcefully affirm it.

My work in the ISU/Ames community as a community activist, mother, student, professor, and multicultural educator has been centered around equity and social justice in education in the public schools and institutions of higher learning. I am convinced we have to include a diversity of cultural backgrounds working together to bring dynamic, creative perspectives as we approach the challenges we face and continue to move forward. Right now we could use more diversity of voices at the table to see this task through.

The first thing that must be done is to concentrate on inclusivity.

This has not been easy or comfortable for most.

Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” Pushing this sentiment further, I say: “First they ignore you, then they invite you to the table and ignore you.” My advice is you use your seat at the table to teach them some manners and how to build a bigger and better table.

Yes, differences of viewpoints can and do bring tension, stress, and friction. Nothing moves ahead without those things.

We have to lose our fear of the “other” and invite all stakeholders to the table, to interact, get to know each other, gain appreciation, connect, and learn to care about each other. This is how you lead to a higher level of understanding and knowledge, the first step in breaking the lines of separation. Th is is a national problem, as most of us live in segregated spaces. In so many ways we are more segregated now than before the landmark  Brown vs Board of Education decision came down in 1954, integrating our nation’s schools.

People need to feel they are listened to, understood, and valued. Sometimes we need to stay in our comfort zones for this reason. There are many affinity groups and identity groups established for that purpose, from marching bands to ethnic clubs, international clubs, fraternity/sorority houses, and honor societies. These groups are good for providing us with opportunities to grow in directions we need, but can limit their menu by bypassing a varied and rich selection of prescribed spaces, and missing the opportunities we can gain from joining groups with the more varied membership of people we need to get to know just as much.

The university has the opportunity to open more spaces where its different communities can have meaningful opportunities to work, study, and live together. The barriers we face, or think we face, can be dismantled when we work together on mutual problems.

Before retirement, I directed an ongoing successful program called University Studies: Dialogues on Diversity, where faculty, staff, and graduate assistants facilitated classes of undergraduate students in activities and conversations where dividing lines are examined, among them “race,” ethnicity, economic class, gender, and sexual orientation. The program’s model continues to serve as a strategy for breaking down the barriers among us as people.

We must push each other to find ways to interact with members of our community outside the mostly segregated spaces we are normally offered. Th e university offers that opportunity in a multitude of ways. It is a delicate balance. Just think: Most places of worship have not managed to do it.

I was reminded by an article I read in the New York Times recently that though developing affinity groups makes people feel more comfortable, it could actually help in creating more separation, the opposite of what was intended. This may be true if those are the only sorts of groups we have available to us. I have learned that, like home cooking, some attending to the familiar can be nutritious without limiting our ability to reach out to the wider variety of interesting options beyond. An effective university off ers us the opportunity to develop both. Both are necessary for our progress as a society seeking full inclusion and social justice for all our citizens.

Carlie Tartakov (L)(PhD ’95 professional studies in education) is an emerita professor of curriculum and instruction in Iowa State’s College of Human Sciences. She is a former member of the ISU Alumni Association Board of Directors and currently serves on that board’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She lives in Amherst, Mass.

How can we be better?

dediosMy quest toward a college degree was far from a given for me. As the daughter of foreign-born parents who hadn’t attended college in Mexico nor the U.S., I knew it was up to me to own the responsibility. I was fortunate to have friends and advisers at Perry (Iowa) High School to guide me through the entrance exam, application, and financial aid processes.

Together, we navigated what could otherwise have been a long, confusing road. I was drawn to Iowa State for the simple fact that my friends enrolled there and it was close to home. Had it not been for that, I may have sought connections elsewhere.

I’m telling this story because I believe it’s an experience shared by many first generation Latino Iowans. The largest, youngest, fastest-growing minority group in our state, Latinos have the potential to lift Iowa State to become a premier example of diversity and inclusion in higher education.

In my time at ISU (2000-2004), connections with Latino faculty and staff were hard to come by. While I knew the numbers of Latinos at ISU would be low, that expectation did not diminish my desire to connect with those who shared my bicultural identity. Joining the College of Business’ Multicultural Business Group was invaluable, giving me the cultural connections with other minority students that I needed.

Toward the end of my college experience, I finally began hearing from successful people who looked like me and shared my culture. I’m so thankful to those individuals and to the university for exposing me to their stories, which inspired and motivated me. It was also humbling to address my class at the College of Business commencement. A memorable experience for many reasons, it allowed me to reflect on the fact that I beat the odds for Latino graduates. At that time, typically only one out of two Latinos graduated with a four-year degree. While the statistics are changing, I hoped to inspire others.

My education and hard work paid off. I have a fulfilling career as the youngest CEO in my organization’s family of companies. It’s my job to introduce more of the nation’s credit unions to the great potential of service to the Latino population. I feel a calling to apply my lessons learned, to help those who have helped me achieve the next level of success.

I’m filled with gratitude as I think about ISU’s courage in choosing to answer the question: “How can we be better?” The university is taking the first of many steps to pave the road in serving tomorrow’s leaders. Imagine ISU as the premier four-year university attracting, retaining, and graduating young, influential multicultural students. Currently, even though more multicultural students are attending college than ever before, they tend to choose two-year rather than four-year degree programs because they attend school part-time, live off campus, and have outside responsibilities (such as providing and caring for family members). If this dynamic is altered and multicultural students begin to feel part of a larger whole, I believe they, along with their families, will create thriving communities that perpetuate growth and change across the state and nationwide.

Miriam De Dios (A)(’04 management and marketing) is CEO of Coopera Consulting in Des Moines, the only exclusive Hispanic credit union consulting company in the nation. De Dios is a graduate of the Leading Change and Organizational Renewal executive education program at Harvard Business School. She also serves as senior vice president for Affiliates Management Company, Coopera’s parent company.

Five Things

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

1) This week the Iowa Board of Regents will consider a proposed $300 tuition increase for in-state students at Iowa’s state universities. Last week, ISU President Steven Leath says he supports the proposal. In a released statement, Leath said the following:

“Over the past decade, we have experienced a 41 percent enrollment increase, which is a testimony to the value of an Iowa state education. However, with enrollment exceeding 36,000, we have a significant need to add new faculty in order to maintain high quality and an appropriate student-to-faculty ratio. Tuition has increased only $100 for resident undergraduate students over the past three years. Even with the proposed increase, Iowa State would continue to be the most affordable university among our group or peer research universities.”

The Board of Regents meets this Wednesday and Thursday on the ISU campus.

Paul Rhoads 2

2) It’s been six months since ISU made a head coaching change in its football program, and it has given former Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads, now a position coach at the University of Arkansas, some time to reflect. The Des Moines Register‘s Tommy Birch recently spoke with Rhoads, who says he’s enjoying his new role, that he would have done a few things differently if he’d had his time at ISU over again, that he’s realized he needs to embrace social media, and that he’ll remain close to the Cyclone athletics program — including following his former team as well as his son, Wyatt, who remains a member of the Cyclone track and field team.


3) If you enjoy following Jim Heemstra’s Iowa State Photo of the Week on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed every week, you may also enjoy seeing the great work our new undergraduate intern, Mumbi Kasumba — a senior in journalism and mass communication, is doing adding more campus photography to our Instagram feed. Follow us in that space and see more great campus images, courtesy of an ISU student who shares Jim’s passion for the campus as a muse. (Because, really: Can you ever get enough pretty photos of campus? We think not.)

4) If you’re in the Des Moines area, we have a couple of great events coming up for you this month, including a Young Alumni Night at Blank Park Zoo’s Zoo Brew this Wednesday and a bicycle ride from Confluence Brewing Co. to the Valley Junction Farmer’s Market June 16.

But Des Moines isn’t the only place to find fun summer events with your fellow Cyclones, of course: Check out details on a social with ISU AD Jamie Pollard in Dallas June 14, an evening at Cedar Ridge Winery with the ISUAA Club of Linn and Johnson Counties June 17, and a “Celebrate State” cocktail event in Denver June 23. All the latest alumni events and activities can be found on our online calendar or by downloading the Iowa State Alumni app for your smartphone. Hope to see you at an event soon!


5) Today is National Gardening Exercise Day — a day designed to honor all the health benefits afforded by being one with the dirt. According to ISU Extension, gardening provides both cardio and aerobic exercise and that an hour of moderate gardening can burn up to 300 calories for women, and almost 400 calories for men. Mowing the grass equals a vigorous walk, bending and stretching while planting compares to an exercise class, and hauling plants and soil is like weightlifting. Celebrate today by spending some time working in your yard — get some of the latest yard care tips from Extension here.