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Monday, April 25 2011


Senior will graduate after taking one class per semester for 19 years

In 1992, a gallon of gas cost $1.13, Bill Clinton won the presidential election and Kathy Vitzthum took her first class at Iowa State University. Vitzthum has taken about one class each and every semester since. For 40 semesters. Since Miley Cyrus was born. Since Charles and Diana split up. Since Ross Perot pulled out his charts and pointer on TV. Since the World Wide Web was in its infancy (and text only). On May 7, the 48-year-old Vitzthum, who lives in Slater, graduates summa cum laude from Iowa State. She has achieved her goal -- a bachelor's degree in accounting -- after juggling family and career with finals and papers for 19 years.
News release.

ISU research leads to understanding of how crops deal with stress – yield’s biggest enemy

ISU researchers have discovered a new arm of the pathway by which plants activate a response to environmental stress caused by adverse environmental conditions, such as drought, flood and heat. These stresses affect yield more than crop pests and diseases. Finding a way to maintain high yields for plants under stress is a goal of plant breeders and other agriculture stakeholders.

News release.

Share your ideas on presidential qualities with the regents April 27

You're invited to share your ideas on what qualities you'd like to see in Iowa State's next president during an April 27 open forum. The Board of Regents will host the forum from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in room 275 of the Scheman Building. If you plan to speak, you're asked to sign up in advance by sending an email with name and affiliation (faculty, staff, student, other) to Speakers are asked to limit comments to 3 to 5 minutes. You also can offer your comments on the presidential search website.

Iowa State solar car team ready to race at 100th anniversary of Indianapolis 500

Team PrISUm, Iowa State's solar car racing team, will be back on track in early May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This year's Formula Sun Grand Prix is part of the speedway's Emerging Tech Day, a special event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. Team members say they've fixed some of the electrical problems that plagued their car during last summer's 1,100-mile cross-country race.
News release.

Abhijit Rao (standing), director of the College of Business Communication Center, and Tim Killian, one of the center's consultants, work with some students during a consulting session.

Abhijit Rao (standing), director of the College of Business Communication Center, and Tim Killian, one of the center's consultants, work with some students during a consulting session.

College of Business center responds to employer call for better communication skills

Iowa State's College of Business Communication Center has seen its role to improve student communication expand since it was founded in 2005. Just this year, it became a year-round, full-service center for students. In the process, the number of student consultations has grown from 114 in the first year it opened to 1,145 in this year's fall semester alone, according to Abhijit Rao, center director.

Too many relatives ruining your picnic? Be glad the flies don’t invite their cousins

An Iowa State University researcher is one of a team of scientists who have recently researched the fly family tree -- one of the most complicated in the animal world. It turns out that houseflies have more than 152,000 cousins. And those are just the ones we know about.

News release.

Learn to run a biorefinery in a virtual control room developed by Iowa State researchers

Iowa State University researchers have developed a virtual biorefinery control room based on ethanol and biodiesel plants in Iowa. The system is designed to teach students and workers to efficiently run a biorefinery. The simulations take into account more than 20 production attributes including moisture, starch content, contaminants, temperature and particle size.
News release.

Slow and steady wins the race: Pokéwalker beats other pedometers in ISU study

In an Iowa State study that tested step-counting devices for accuracy, the Pokéwalker -- a pedometer that works with a Pokémon video game -- had substantially reduced step-counting error compared to both a standard DigiWalker pedometer and a Sensewear armband as walking speed on a treadmill increased. But all three devices showed a high degree of error when compared to manual counting at slower speeds.

John Arends named Greenlee School's 2011 Schwartz Award recipient

John Arends, president and CEO of Arends Inc., a marketing agency founded by his father Don Arends -- a 1990 James W. Schwartz Award honoree -- has been chosen as the 2011 winner of the same award representing the university's highest honor for contributions in journalism and mass communication. Arends will be presented the award during homecoming activities on Friday, Oct. 21, in Hamilton Hall.