Five Things

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

1) Shortly after we published “Five Things” last Monday, the Iowa State campus was hit with a really major thing: President Steven Leath is leaving the university this spring, bound for a new role as president of Auburn University.

Leath, who has served as ISU’s president since January 2012, has grown the university in significant ways over the past four years: Enrollment has climbed to more than 36,000; the ISU Research Park has doubled in size; and a $1.1 billion fundraising campaign was launched this fall. Leath has, however, spent the academic year facing public scrutiny over what a recent Associated Press report describes as a potential “penchant for mixing personal and professional interests,” questions about which began largely in October when the AP reported that Leath had damaged a university airplane he was piloting.

Despite the criticism he has faced, Leath says he leaves Iowa State proud of his accomplishments, filled with fond memories and goodwill:

“Janet and I have made lifelong friends here in Iowa and have had many great experiences,” Leath said in a letter to the campus community. “We will always consider ourselves Cyclones and have great affection for this university and its beautiful campus; it is a very special place. Our appreciation for the Cyclone family is beyond words, and we found this extended family of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to be the greatest joy of our time at Iowa State.”

The Iowa Board of Regents is expected to name a search committee for Leath’s permanent successor today.

allen2) Permanent successor is a question mark, but the interim successor may already be determined. Pending approval of the Regents today, former ISU provost and former president of the University of Northern Iowa Ben Allen will begin leading the university as interim president on May 9. Allen, a former dean of ISU’s College of Business, was a popular figure at ISU before he left to become UNI president in 2006. In his seven years at UNI, however, he was forced to make a number of tough budgetary decisions that made him less popular in Cedar Falls.

3) While there is about to be a major change at the top for ISU, athletics director Jamie Pollard is hoping there won’t be any changes coming soon at the top of ISU’s men’s and women’s basketball programs. Steve Prohm and Bill Fennelly have recently agreed to contract extensions through 2022, Pollard announced Friday.

“We have two of the premiere college basketball programs in the nation, and each is led by a very successful and talented coach,” Pollard said. “Securing contract extensions with Steve and Bill solidifies the future of both programs for our institution, fans, and student-athletes.”

rotunda4) Twenty-five Iowa State undergrads will be at the State Capitol tomorrow to showcase their research during the annual “Research at the Capitol” event — 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Rotunda. The event is designed to highlight the importance of research to the undergraduate learning experience, as well as the depth and variety of research being done. See a list of the project that will be on display here.

5) We need a digital communications professional — a videographer and photographer with social media experience — to join our staff team at the ISU Alumni Association! Is it you? Is it someone you know? Check out our latest job opportunity, share the link, and apply online by April 5.


Five Things

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

1) Well, March Madness is officially over in Cyclone Country, as both the women’s and men’s basketball teams ran into opponents that were firing on all cylinders in their respective first halves Saturday. The women launched a comeback bid that fell short in their first-round game against last year’s national runners-up, Syracuse, on Saturday morning; the men fell behind hot-shooting Purdue early in their second-round contest Saturday night but came all the way back to take the lead late in the second half before falling just short of another Sweet 16, 80-76.

It was an emotional postgame for men’s head coach Steve Prohm, who choked up talking to reporters after the game about the journey he’s taken over the past two seasons with Monte Morris & Co.

“These seniors have been amazing,” Prohm told the media following Saturday night’s loss. “This senior class has been to four-straight NCAA tournaments. They’ve won 20 or more games every season, [and] three Big 12 tournament titles. And then you’re saying goodbye to two of the best three-point shooters to ever come through here and then, with all respect to Jamaal Tinsley and Jeff Hornacek, probably the best point guard ever to come through this school. And they did it the right way, and they represented this program the right way. You have to continue to recruit guys that can do that.”

In the meantime, we appreciate the suggestions that are already rolling in from fans to help Cyclones everywhere survive next season:


2) If you’re going to jump a spot in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, it might as well be from 2 to 1. And that’s exactly what’s happened for ISU’s graduate program in ag and biosystems engineering, as the publication released its latest rankings March 14. Now that deserves a “Cyclone Power” cheer.


3) In case you missed it: The College of Human Sciences recently published a feature on its website about the service learning project being done by students in an introductory apparel construction class: creating clothing for needy children in South Africa — a great practical application, the students say, of their skills. Read the full feature online here.

4) So what’s happening on campus this week? Besides school getting back in session after Spring Break, it’s also time for the Pearl Hogrefe Visiting Writer Series. Authors David Anthony Durham and Benjamin Percy, the latter a former ISU faculty member, will present “(Un)Natural Histories: From Fantasy to Historical Fiction” at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The authors also will discuss the writing process and answer questions during an afternoon session. “From Fantasy to Historical Fiction: Two Novelists on the Craft of Writing” will be at 2 p.m. in the Sun Room.  Both events are free and open to the public.

Also this week: Melissa Michelson and Brian Harrison will present “How to Change Attitudes toward LGBT Rights” at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Michelson and Harrison are co-authors of “Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes toward LGBT Rights,” which explores how identity and communication affect attitudes about LGBT policies like marriage equality, employment non-discrimination legislation and transgender rights. The talk is free and open to the public.


5) The ISU Alumni Association is headed to Omaha April 13. Register online by April 6 for a free event that will bring Omaha area Cyclones together and bring them up to speed on what’s happening on campus.

One Thing


One thing is on our mind this Spring Break week: March Madness!

The Iowa State men’s basketball team has done it again. Saturday night in Kansas City, the Cyclones won their third Big 12 tournament title in the past four years, making 2017 tournament Most Outstanding Player Monte Morris the winningest individual in Cyclone history and the all-time Big 12 tourney career steals leader.

Check out photos from a weekend to remember here and watch highlights of ISU’s epic 80-74 championship game win over West Virginia here.

Last night, we learned that the Cyclones are Milwaukee bound as the No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament’s Midwest Region. They will take on No. 12 Nevada Thursday night in the late game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The Alumni Association and Athletics Department are currently working together to coordinate fan activities in Milwaukee, but in the meantime just sit back and enjoy this video from Selection Sunday at Hilton Coliseum and get all the information you need about tickets and games on’s NCAA tournament central website.

Even if you can’t travel to Milwaukee to cheer on the team in person, the Alumni Association will connect Cyclones everywhere in the spirit of tourney time with gamewatches (stay tuned to our online events calendar for details) and our Cyclones Everywhere Bracket Challenge.

The Cyclone women didn’t win their Big 12 tourney, but they have been on a serious roll and currently sit firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble. ISU finds out its fate tonight as ESPN airs Selection Monday at 6 p.m. CT. Tune in to find out what’s next. And we’ll keep you posted, too.

Go, Cyclones!

Five Things

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


1) In case you missed it, the Alumni Association launched a new website and a new rallying hashtagcry last week, focused on our mission to tell the stories of and provide connections for Cyclones everywhere. Find out more at or use the hashtag #CyclonesEverywhere.


2) Speaking of hashtags, you might have to juggle your #CyclonesEverywhere this week with your #HiltonSouth, as the Cyclone men’s basketball team heads to Kansas City for the annual Big 12 tournament. We’ll be attempting to keep you apprised of the latest fan information on our website at, so check back often for the latest on spirit rallies on the main Power & Light District stage and other activities for Cyclones.

The week of festivities in KC actually starts Tuesday with our “Celebrate State” mixer at Union Horse Distilling Co., and continues Wednesday with the ISU Alumni of Kansas City’s tourney kickoff party at Kelly’s Westport Inn. And that’s all before the Cyclones even pick up a basketball. The Cyclones will go for yet another win over Oklahoma State Thursday morning at the Sprint Center, and the Alumni Association and athletics department will be on hand for the pregame fire-up starting at 9:40 a.m.

See you in Kansas City!


3) Tonight, as Women’s History Month kicks into high gear, Iowa State plays host to its Women’s Leadership Lecture featuring veteran NASA astronaut Kathryn Thornton. The free, public lecture starts at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

4) Iowa Public Radio recently did a story on Iowa State’s efforts to shift the agriculture workforce and ag education to better reflect the nation’s demographics and diverse approaches to farming.

“When I started doing this a long time ago there was some people who weren’t happy that we were recruiting people that didn’t think like them into agriculture,” agronomy department chair Kendall Lamkey told IPR. “But in the end, that that’s how all fields move forward, is bringing in people who don’t think like we do.” Listen to the full story online.

5) You are likely already aware that it’s Women’s History Month and maybe also that it’s National Frozen Food Month — but did you also know it’s National Peanut Month? Celebrate by boning up on Iowa State alum George Washington Carver’s 300+ uses for this month’s legume of honor.

Have a great week! Go, Cyclones!

Five Things

Here’s wishing Cyclones everywhere the happiest of Mondays! To keep you up to speed on all things ISU, here are five things you should probably put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week:


1) March is only two days away, and Cyclones hoops fans are buzzing about the postseason as both of their teams are on serious rolls. The Iowa State women’s and men’s basketball teams both defeated top-10 opponents over the weekend and will be looking for the their fifth and sixth, respectively, consecutive wins tonight and tomorrow inside Hilton Coliseum. It’s Senior Night for the surging Cyclone women tonight vs. Oklahoma State; Iowa State looks to send senior phenom Seanna Johnson — along with Lexi Albrecht, Jordan Jensen, and Heather Bowe — out in style before heading to Oklahoma City for the Big 12 tournament this weekend. Iowa State is fresh off a 70-66 victory at No. 6 Texas earned Saturday; the Cyclones are playing their best ball of the season at the right time and are now considered strong contenders for the NCAA tournament next month.

The Cyclone men are also peaking at the perfect time, and Saturday’s 72-69 win over No. 9 Baylor at Hilton Coliseum further strengthened a solid NCAA tournament resume. The Cyclones are home again tomorrow night for an 8 p.m. Senior Night game, also against Oklahoma State, at which seven seniors — including record-smashing point guard Monte Morris — will be honored. The ISU Alumni Association is proud to be a presenting sponsor of tomorrow night’s men’s senior night game — so watch for special messages, giveaways, and promotions from your Alumni Association if you’ll be in attendance. The men have one more contest (March 3 at West Virginia) before starting their postseason run at the Big 12 tourney in Kansas City March 8.


2)  Sticking with Cyclone athletics, since there’s a lot going on right now, you should know that the Iowa State track and field team claimed three individual titles over the weekend at the Big 12 indoor championships, hosted right in Ames at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. Jhoanmy Luque won the women’s long jump and triple jump, and Jaymes Dennison claimed the men’s 600-meter run crown. The Cyclones will find out later this week which athletes have qualified for the NCAA indoor championships March 10-11 in College Station, Texas; the outdoor season gets underway March 17 at the Tulsa Duels.


3) And here’s one more sports-related tidbit for you: As the 2016-2017 Cyclone wrestling season draws to a close, transition is a prominent theme. The Cyclones head to Tulsa, Okla., this weekend for the Big 12 championships under the leadership of interim head coach Travis Paulson, as former head coach Kevin Jackson begins transitioning into an administrative role with the athletics department. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech head coach and Iowa native Kevin Dresser, who was named last Monday as Jackson’s successor, begins making his transition to life in Ames. Watch a video interview with the new wrestling coach here.

deere4) The Cardinal & Gold and the Green & Gold have long had a solid partnership, but last week’s announcement that Deere & Co. plans to open a strategic technology office in the ISU Research Park only strengthens the bond between one of the nation’s top agricultural and mechanical engineering institutions and one of the world’s leaders in farm equipment production.

“We are delighted that John Deere is establishing a physical presence at the ISU Research Park,” ISU President Steven Leath said. “This is a significant step forward in creating a world-class research park and fortifying our university-industry partnership model to promote top talent and innovation.”


5) The deadline to register for the Alumni Association’s March 7 “Celebrate State” social in Kansas City is tomorrow at noon, so be sure to make plans to be there for this complimentary event as we kick off a weeklong celebration of #HiltonSouth.

Five Things

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


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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week!

Five Things

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

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

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

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


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


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