Connecting with kids

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An adventure in the making

Iowa State’s Admissions Early Outreach team provides higher ed resources and engagement to Iowa youth

A dream adventure doesn’t just happen; it’s time to start planning.

That’s the message the Iowa State Admissions Early Outreach team is sharing with students at a young age.

Admissions Early Outreach works with students ranging in age from third grade through high school. The office coordinates programs for first-generation college students, students from low-income households, students of color, and talented and gifted students. The wide variety of programs offered by the office, ranging from campus visits to summer camps to outreach at schools around Iowa, is intended to help students think about college long before they are seniors in high school.

But explaining the concepts of class rank, GPA, ACT scores, and admissions standards to younger students is challenging. Abby Welborn (A), middle school counselor for Admissions Early Outreach, takes a lighthearted approach. In between pop-culture references and memes worked into presentations, Welborn encourages students to think about how the things they are doing now will prepare them for college.

“We have to begin with just building a framework of what it means to go to a university, and within a university, a college. Then, what is a major? And how does that align to a job?” Welborn said. “At the same time, we throw in some memes and some pop culture. I try to be funny and keep up with the fads.”

Admissions Early Outreach focuses on providing engaging, hands-on, and non-traditional classroom experiences to students to spark their curiosity about college. Students may build and program robotic cars during visits to campus or learn about epidemiology and statistics in a summer camp course about a zombie apocalypse. They learn about the freedom of a college schedule, treat themselves to an extra dessert in the dining center during lunch, or test their luck by walking across the Zodiac in the Memorial Union.

Although these experiences may help students imagine becoming Cyclones in the future, recruitment is not the primary goal of the office, according to Tricia Stouder, early outreach program coordinator for Admissions Early Outreach.

“We’re not trying to recruit students in third grade or in middle school even,” Stouder said. “As the land-grant institution in Iowa, it’s part of our mission to help bring the resources and the knowledge of the college to community members. Part of that is to help prepare the youngest citizens of Iowa. We want to make sure that they have the information and the knowledge that they need in order to be ready for recruitment when the time is right.”

As the only team dedicated solely to early outreach amongst Iowa’s public universities, the staff at Iowa State seems to have tapped into a previously overlooked market. Demand for early-outreach programs is high. Some of the office’s programs reach capacity minutes after registration opens. In an attempt to meet demand, Admissions Early Outreach is committed to growing the program offerings and partnering with other Iowa State entities to share their expertise.

“Sometimes you wonder if anything you’re saying has sunk in,” Stouder said. “But when you get to see those lightbulbs come on, it’s really empowering. We get to engage these students and get them excited about the next step, even if that’s still a few years away.”

– Coreen Robinson


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Summer programs bring kids to campus

Summer has always been a time for groups of youngsters to get involved with programs on campus. Previous summers at ISU have provided opportunities for groups large and small, ranging from 4-H and athletics activities to national conferences and academic prep workshops.

Some key outreach programs come from ISU’s Offi ce of Precollegiate Programs for Talented and Gifted, or OPPTAG. The Adventures program is designed for academically talented students entering grades 3-8. For older students, OPPTAG offers Explorations, a summer program for students entering grades 9-11. Each program is a full week and gives kids an opportunity to explore the worlds of science, math, art, literature, reading, engineering, and more.

Iowa State’s Early Outreach Program is a week-long residential summer program for first-generation African American, Native American, and Hispanic/Latino youth entering grades 9-12 at an Iowa school.

Whatever a child’s interest, Iowa State probably has a program that is both fun and enriching. Consider: harvesting vegetables and learning about healthy eating; examining the fields of art, photography, and fashion design; exploring the world of insects; discovering the many aspects of agriculture; learning about community
leadership; improving sports skills; studying computers; or competing in a talent competition.

Programs, workshops, and camps are planned through a number of campus units, but here are just a couple of places to start if you’re interested in finding summer programs for your kids: www.ispy.iastate.edu and http://www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/.

– Carole Gieseke


4H

4-H: Empowering Youth

Iowa 4-H offers experiences and opportunities for urban and rural youth throughout the state

Many people hear “4-H” and instantly think of livestock and horticulture.

Agriculture plays a big part, but 4-H is primarily a youth development program that teaches young people personal and professional skills that allow them to reach their fullest potential. The Iowa 4-H program is a hands-on learning experience that promotes youth development in several areas, including music and photography, digital storytelling, environment and sustainability, science and math, and food and nutrition.

Iowa State works to connect with young people year-round through the 4-H Youth Development program. Volunteer development specialist Tillie Bell Good (L)(’04 political science) says the goal is to connect with youth through research-based experiences. Adult volunteers build relationships with the kids involved to teach positive youth development, helping them to develop skills necessary to becoming the best citizens.

“There are so many positive effects of the healthy relationships young people have with the role models of both the older youth and adults in the groups,” Good said. “It helps them with growth and development. They see the positive outcomes of giving back to the community.”

4-H has four areas of focus: STEM, healthy living, citizenship and leadership, and communication and arts. Kids from grades K-12 have the opportunity to get hands-on learning experience with projects targeted to their age groups. They learn how to take ideas and concepts and apply them to real-life situations. For example, in learning about healthy living and gardening, kids not only learn how to harvest vegetables and fruits but how to make healthy meals out of the produce.

“The intent in teaching youth these ideas and concepts is that hopefully they’re taking them back to their family and starting the conversation around healthy living,” Good said. “We’re empowering youth to share their knowledge.”

Good says that STEM has been an exciting area to which to introduce kids. One aspect of STEM that kids relate to is learning anatomy and how the body works in playing a sport. They learn how food and nutrition is important to the way the body functions.

“4-H is not just one thing,” Good said. “You can make it what you want it to be.”

Aqua, robotics, Lego League, 3-D printing, coding, virtual reality – the areas of opportunity are endless. With 4-H, there’s always a new project to explore. The program provides learning opportunities to young people to which they might not otherwise ever have been exposed, teaching them new skills and allowing them to explore new areas of interest.

Many of the things kids learn in 4-H help in career preparation as well.

“We get a lot of people today saying how they learned communication skills through 4-H and how it helps with the career component,” Good said. “If they have to present information, whether in front of a group or at the State Fair, they get that experience in 4-H.”

Within the four areas of focus, 4-H volunteers integrate eight essential elements within 4-H youth development experiences: caring adults, safe environments, mastery, service, self-determination, inclusiveness, futuristic, and engagement.

Throughout Iowa, almost 10,000 volunteers guide 4-H members to become the best citizens they can be. Iowa State offers clubs, camping experiences, retreats, and several more opportunities for young people to get involved in 4-H. The campus recently hosted a cultural retreat – Maize – for the coming together of Native American, Latino, and Iowa traditions and cultures.

“It’s exciting to me that we have the connection to ISU,” Good said. “We take what we have here on campus and spread it throughout the state.”

Good says 4-H is for everyone, offering experiences and opportunities for urban and rural youth all over Iowa.

“It really can be and is an opportunity for all,” Good said. “Anyone can make 4-H part of their lives, no matter where you live or whom you’re connected with.”

– Michelle Chalkey Barichello


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Rewarding students for rewarding careers

Scholarships help Iowa State students reach their drams of becoming teachers

Growing up in Boone, Iowa, Stacie Leeds knew even as a child that she wanted to be a teacher. She even thought she might like to pursue that profession in the place where she grew up – to give back to her community and, most importantly, to enrich kids’ lives through her teaching.

Now, true to that aspiration, she’s teaching sixth grade in the exact same middle school she once attended. Her former science teacher is on her teaching team. Her principal was once her physical education teacher whose children she babysat.

Before graduating from Iowa State in December 2015, Leeds even student-taught in Boone, an opportunity that solidified her teaching skills – and her commitment to a demanding and rewarding profession. While student teaching is a required step in teacher education, the unpaid time can be financially challenging. Yet the demands are such that the university suggests students don’t work at another job, if possible. But that’s not feasible for all students.

Enter the Myrna and John Hamann Scholarship, which provides a stipend to STEM education students to cover living expenses during student teaching. Leeds was the second recipient of the fund the couple created in 2013, which has now benefited six education students at Iowa State. The Hamann Scholarship is helping students toward their dreams of becoming teachers, while also helping the School of Education in the College of Human Sciences toward a goal to raise new scholarship support, a key priority during the university’s Forever True, For Iowa State campaign.

Said Myrna Hamann (L)(’65 mathematics), who established the scholarship with her husband, Jon Hamann (L)(’66 chemical engineering), “Students really need the money, especially the semester when they are student teaching.” As Leeds recalled, “The scholarship meant I didn’t have to stress about making money, so I could truly focus on my students.”

Today, Leeds’ student debt load is light enough that she’s just bought a house in Boone, putting down even deeper roots in her community. She appreciates that, as a teacher in a small town, her job doesn’t end when the bell rings. “Even when you are just going to the store or out to eat, you run into your students. You are considered a role model whenever you are out in the community.”

Scholarships such as the Hamanns’ are important to attract and keep good education students because, noted Leeds, “They encourage you to stay in the teaching field, which you know is not going to be the most rewarding financially. But it is so rewarding in so many other ways.

“Being a teacher has been amazing. My students have such deep thoughts that they want to talk through. They make my day every day, just by being themselves.”

– Veronica Lorson Fowler


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Keeping the promise

ISU 4U Promise helps make college more accessible and affordable to a targeted group of underserved kids in Des Moines

Ten-year-old Aleena Tran isn’t afraid to dream big about her future.

Walking through the hallway at King Elementary School with her sparkle-kitty lunch bag, Aleena imagines that someday she will be an educator who helps students solve multiplication problems, memorize state capitals, and study the planets.

“I really want to be a teacher,” Aleena said. “I believe that my dream will come true, because I feel that many people support my dream. This makes me happy.”

The ISU 4U Promise program begins nurturing dreams like Aleena’s – as early as kindergarten – with a rich curriculum of activities, special events, and speeches. Promise kids learn from ISU students and educators that it is possible for them to attend one of Iowa State’s six undergraduate colleges. New worlds unfold as these kids learn that they can become an entomologist who studies bugs, or a reporter who covers breaking news, or an entrepreneur who runs a successful pizza business, among other careers.

“I feel super grateful that I have these opportunities. I’ve learned a lot about Iowa State,” Aleena said. “I’m only in fifth grade, but it makes me want to reach my goals even more.”

The program also provides generous tuition awards.

How the Promise works
ISU 4U Promise was conceptualized in 2013 by then-ISU President Steven Leath (L) and State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad. Created to make college more accessible and affordable for students at King and Moulton elementary schools in Des Moines, the program carves a supportive, positive path from elementary school to Iowa State’s front door.

“We show these kids that the future is full of possibilities, and we expose them to all kinds of new ideas,” said Kayla Pippitt, assistant program director for ISU 4U Promise. “We are selling enthusiasm.”

The program also features before-and-after-school programs, family events, back-to school nights, and field trips. Fifth graders tour the ISU campus, and high school students stay in the residence halls during an overnight campus visit.

To receive the ISU 4U Promise tuition award, students must graduate fifth grade at King or Moulton elementary schools, stay in the district, and graduate from a Des Moines public high school. The award will vary, depending on the number of years students attend King or Moulton, up to full tuition. To maintain eligibility, students must remain active in the program, meet attendance standards, take the ACT, and earn acceptance into ISU.

Graduating to bigger things
The oldest students in the program are currently high school juniors who plan to enter ISU in the fall of 2018. More than half of these 22 students, including Somerle Rhiner, are eligible for free tuition.

With plans to major in premedical and health sciences at ISU, Somerle wants to become a doctor. “I am so excited to attend Iowa State,” she said. “I just want to go to college now!”

“Dreams are coming true for me and many other students,” she said. “The tuition is important, but the support I’ve received and the skills I’ve learned are even more valuable.”

Program organizers identify student skills and harness those talents. Somerle was selected to mentor young students, and she has spoken to large groups at Callanan Middle School. These experiences have helped her to secure career-related opportunities. “I do volunteer work, and this summer I will job shadow at a hospital,” she said.

It takes a village to keep a Promise
A unique fusion of education, community, and business partners works year-round to ensure that ISU 4U Promise is successful.

“Everyone pulls together to create a sense of community and friendship, so these kids have a strong support system that carries them through grade school and into their college years,” Pippitt said.

Each year, ISU officials attend King and Moulton fifth-grade graduation ceremonies to demonstrate their commitment to each child’s goals and dreams.

Promise partners include the ISU School of Education, ISU Extension and Outreach, Human Development and Family Studies, Financial Aid, Des Moines Public Schools, and numerous community organizations and businesses in the Moulton and King neighborhoods.

“It is very rewarding to see an enthusiastic child proclaim, ‘I want to be a food scientist!’ or ‘I want to be an event planner!’” Pippitt said. “Many people work hard to show these kids that their futures are bright.”

– Angie Haggerty


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Careers with kids

Iowa State offers degree programs leading to professions working with children and families

“I want to work with kids.”

That’s a common request when students first arrive at Iowa State and are just starting to think about majors and careers. For those students, ISU has a number of programs from which they can choose.

Elementary education; early childhood education; and child, adult, and family services degree programs – all offered through the College of Human Sciences – prepare Iowa State students for careers in teaching, special education, child care, youth services, advocacy programs, preschool education, and more.

These majors, which allow graduates to connect one-on-one with children and youth, are considered to be some of the most meaningful degree programs available, according to findings of a national survey of 1.4 million college graduates.

“My major is meaningful to me because I know that teachers play a huge role in children’s lives as they grow up,” Bailey Oberbroeckling, an elementary education major, told writer Lynn Campbell for a story in the College of Human Sciences Matters magazine.

Iowa State’s Child Development Laboratory School is a hands-on resource for students in early childhood, where they gain valuable experience working with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. And early childhood majors also have an opportunity to work with students in kindergarten through third grade in area schools before they student-teach.

Elementary education students learn to teach the basics – like math, reading, and science – and also can choose to specialize in an area such as art or coaching. The child, adult, and family services major prepares students to work with young children and their families, making Iowa and the world a better place.

– Carole Gieseke


This article was originally published in VISIONS magazine. To receive the full issue delivered to your mailbox four times per year, become a member of the ISU Alumni Association.

 

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Cy’s Suitcase: August Edition

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A Message from Shellie

“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.”

– Samuel Johnson

If there was one piece of advice I have for people today to experience more joy in life, it would be to travel more. Traveling is wonderful in many ways. It gives us a sense of wanderlust and has us longing for more destinations to visit, cultures to experience, food to eat, and people to meet. But, most importantly, travel changes you by opening your eyes to see this world is a big place and we are just inhabiting one small part of it.

When we spend time away from home, especially in a place where we don’t have luxuries readily available to us — like a village I visited in Fiji that runs without electricity — we become more aware and appreciative of luxuries we have back home. I remember visiting Tanzania and watching kids haul concrete blocks in wheelbarrows and walk miles with the load – in the heat. The lucky kids there would walk more than three miles, one-way, to go to school. When I got home and heard my kids complain about HAVING to go to school, I felt sad at how we take things for granted here in the United States. I wish everyone had a chance to see how much poverty there is in the world and better appreciate what they have.

There are so many amazing places to visit in this world. I’m not sure where your heart is telling you to go next, but take a look at our 2018 trips that are now up on our website and see all the amazing places the Traveling Cyclones will be going in the upcoming year. You can travel to the Wild West or Antarctica or the Kentucky Derby or Cuba. You can explore Africa or Alaska or cruise on the Danube or the Mississippi. We offer a variety of trips that we hope will cover everyone’s wish list.

For anyone who gets to travel, it is a blessing. Traveling should change you. It leaves marks on your memory and on your heart. You take something with you and leave something good behind. When you return home, you are a better person with a wider perspective on your little part of the world. And — let’s be honest, as you lay your head on your pillow at night you will be grateful not only for what you have experienced, but for what you have.

See you everywhere,


Alaska 2018

We have a special opportunity for our Traveling Cyclones next July. We are partnering with the schools of the Big 12 Conference next July aboard Oceania Cruises’ Regatta  – – hosted by Voice of the Cyclones John Walters and his wife, Joni!

This Big 12 sports-themed trip to Alaska’s Vistas and Glaciers will include a Big 12 reception and tailgate, a celebrity lecture by legendary CBS Sports announcer Verne Lundquist, and the chance to network with not only your fellow Cyclones, but with Bears, Jayhawks, Horned Frogs, Sooners, Longhorns, Cowboys, Mountaineers, Wildcats, and Red Raiders, too. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see glaciers, fjords, forests, mountains, and historic Alaska towns — including the Alaska Explorer Youth Program for your children and grandchildren ages 5-12.

If Alaska’s on your bucket list, this is a cool opportunity to check it off. Let’s make sure Cyclones claim their fair share of the ship and represent the Cardinal & Gold on this Big 12 cruise. For more information about this unique opportunity to see Alaska, visit our website or call Traveling Cyclones director Shellie Andersen (L)(’88 marketing) or assistant director Heather Botine (L) toll-free at (877) 478-2586.


Shellie’s Shopping Secrets


Upcoming trips

Please check out our vast listing of 2018 trips to everywhere — and even some close to home. Visit www.isualum.org/travel. We hope to see you soon!


Travel tips

Ask for the digits.
If you are like me and have no sense of direction (a great trait for a travel director, huh?) I put my hotel name and address in my phone in case I go out on my own. And because I travel a lot, I also put my hotel room number in my phone. On a recent trip, we stayed at three hotels in six days. Not hard to get confused!

Ask the locals.
If you find some free time on your trip, ask a local where he or she would want to eat. You will find some spots that you might not have normally chosen.

Alert your bank and credit card company.
Let them know you will be traveling out of the country so they don’t put a hold on your credit card when they see you trying to use it out of the States.

Let someone at home know your plans.
This is extremely important when traveling solo, but it’s still a good idea no matter how many people are in your travel group.

Separate your personal items.
If you are traveling with a companion, it is a good idea to mix your personal items into each checked bag (if you have more than one.) That way if one of the bags gets lost, you still have some clothing and personal items.

Separate your sources of money.
Don’t keep all your cash and cards in one spot. I usually hide some cash and a backup credit card in a separate bag — not the same bag that my wallet is in.

Make a travel first aid kit.
I now travel with Tylenol, Ibuprofen, band aids, Benadryl, Tums, Neosporin, etc. I have had way too many bug bites, scrapes, tummy aches, etc., while traveling that I now know it’s best to be prepared. I also carry extra thread and buttons — something I have carried with me for years. A year ago, while in Cuba, my button on my dress fell off and that sewing kit came in handy!

Fans of the Future

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Cyclone Athletics connects kids to
ISU through the Junior Cyclone Club

Today’s kids are involved in countless activities, plugged into technology, and continually presented with a smorgasbord of entertainment options, leaving college athletics administrators everywhere with burning questions: Is there still room for good, old-fashioned sports fandom? Who will be the fans of the future?

At Iowa State, there’s reason to believe that the Cyclone fan of tomorrow is the kindergartener of today who high-fives Meredith Burkhall on the Hilton concourse after a women’s basketball victory, the fourth-grader who comes early to the spring football game so he can get  one-on-one coaching from Zeb Noland,  or the middle schooler who hosts her birthday party at a Cyclone gymnastics meet. Developed two decades ago as the “Lil’ Clone Club” by Cyclone women’s  basketball coach Bill Fennelly (L) to encourage game attendance among young families, today’s Junior Cyclone Club is one of the largest collegiate booster clubs for youth in the country, and Iowa State  is banking on the idea that this significant  investment in the future fan will ultimately pay major dividends.

“We put a tremendous amount of emphasis on our [youth] club compared to a lot of schools because we think it’s very important,” says Mary Pink (MEd ’10), ISU’s longtime associate athletics director for marketing.

When it began as a women’s basketball program initiative, the original Lil’ Clone Club attracted families by offering free T-shirts and souvenirs, priority seating, and a pizza party. Today, the Junior Cyclone Club offers, for only $59 per year, free admission to all football, women’s basketball, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics, soccer, and softball events, as well as priority to purchase student seats for men’s basketball games that happen during winter break. The club, which has averaged around 5,000 members over the last five years, has added special free events ranging from sports clinics to the annual Cyclone FanFest and even movie nights in Jack Trice Stadium. The goal, Pink says, is to engage Millennials and members of Generation Z by offering what they crave most: one-of-a-kind experiences.

Among the families that have embraced the experiences Junior Cyclone Club has to offer is the Tubbs family of Des Moines. Over the last decade, Joanne Wilson Tubbs (L)(’94 music) says her three children have done everything from discovering their personal passions to forging friendships with student-athletes and fans.

“It’s not just the tickets and the high fiving,” Tubbs says. “The kids get to do clinics with the coaches and do special jobs like guest announcer at a volleyball game. They are going deeper than just, ‘Here’s a T-shirt and a ticket.’ They are really trying to engage kids in new ways. Every year, there’s something new. Even college kids don’t get to experience some of these things that the Junior Cyclone Club kids get to do.”

Tubbs and her husband, Peter Tubbs (L)(’92 telecommunicative arts, MBA ’10), are the busy parents of 15-year-old Julia, 11-year-old Carl, and 9-year-old Miles, who attend nearly 40 Junior Cyclone Club events every year.

“They’ve been back in the locker rooms, they’ve been behind the scenes, and it makes them feel so comfortable,” Tubbs says. “Campus now feels like home. They see themselves going to Iowa State because of their love for campus, their love for the Cyclones. They see it as super welcoming and not intimidating.”

Her great seats for Cyclone athletics events have benefited Julia in an unexpected way. She started bringing a camera and, through hours of practice from a great vantage point, has become an award-winning photographer.

“Every year she’ll take anywhere from 500 to 700 athletic pictures at Iowa State,” Tubbs says of her daughter. “She’ll enter her best ones at the State Fair and she’s actually won some pretty amazing awards; she  even got a small scholarship from Iowa State. They saw one of her pictures at the Fair and attached an award to it.”

Creating opportunities for young Cyclone fans to have incredible experiences is fully in line with athletics director Jamie Pollard’s vision. From transitioning local golf outings into the more family-friendly Cyclone Tailgate Tour to helping spearhead the uber-popular movie night events, Pink says Pollard (L) has been integral in expanding the Junior Cyclone Club’s reach.

“He’s really seen the value,” Pink says. “He was the one who actually said, ‘Let’s offer the Iowa game for football and make it a whole package.’ He was the one who brought up the idea of doing a pregame tunnel on the field. He always wants us to be more engaging of a broader range of families and kids.”

Offering prime seats for men’s basketball is another way Junior Cyclone Club stands out from its peers nationally, Pink says.

“We were really surprised and appreciative of what they’re doing with men’s basketball,” Tubbs says. “They can fill that place up and could have taken a step back [with Junior Cyclone Club benefits], but they didn’t. We were in the second row for Okie State. Crazy!”

18318357_10212291854429476_2133812422_oCrazy is one word Tubbs says she might normally use to describe her decision to let two young boys stay up to attend an 8 o’clock basketball game on a weeknight, but the experience was one her sons will never forget. They even made a sign (pictured at right), which received lots of TV attention, praising their mother for letting them “stay up late.”

Ultimately, Tubbs and Pink both agree, it’s those experiences that will become enduring memories and therefore the foundation of a lifetime relationship with Iowa State.

“It’s now more important than ever to engage kids with your brand at an early age,” Pink says. “You have a lot of competing forces for their attention and their  attendance, so we’re just always finding new ways to work with how kids and families today operate to engage them with Iowa State.”

Learn more at www.jrcycloneclub.com


This article was originally published in VISIONS magazine. To receive the full issue delivered to your mailbox four times per year, become a member of the ISU Alumni Association.

Gardening for Good

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When you look at Iowa in the summer – with its bountiful crops and fertile soil – there’s no reason people should be hungry.

That’s the philosophy and the selfless goal of Tracy Blackmer (A)(’90 agronomy) of rural Madrid, Iowa. For the past four years, Blackmer has been organizing an army of volunteers to help tend his 10-acre garden for one purpose and one purpose only: To give the food away to those who need it.

IMG_8901This week, the ISU Alumni Association staff teamed up with colleagues at Nationwide Insurance to harvest peppers in the summer heat. So far this season, more than 8,000 pounds of food from Blackmer’s garden has been donated to the Food Bank of Iowa, a not-for-profit organization that disperses the produce to food pantries and other volunteer agencies in central Iowa. As of this week, Blackmer estimates that as many of 4,000 volunteers have worked in his bountiful vegetable patch this year, taking on such tasks as planting, weeding, and harvesting.

“This is my hobby,” he said. “I enjoy doing it, and it helps others. People want to make a difference, and we just provide a place for them to do it.”

IMG_8899In addition to the peppers the Alumni Association staff harvested, Blackmer and his wife, Doreen (A)(’88 animal science) are growing eggplant, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, zucchini, winter squash, cabbage, turnips, radishes, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, and string beans – a veritable vegetable soup of flavorful produce.


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The time each volunteer worked in the garden was recorded and submitted to our Cy’s Days of Service program. Cy’s Days of Service is designed to unite Cyclones everywhere in community service while spreading their ISU pride. If you have completed or plan to participate in any service opportunities before May 2018, you can report your hours on our Cy’s Days of Service website.
Whether your volunteer work is specially designed for Cy’s Days of Service or a project you’re doing with family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues, it can all be counted to help us reach our goal of 30,000 hours of service. Be sure to wear ISU apparel so your photos will showcase how Cyclones everywhere are making a difference in their communities!