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Thursday, December 15 2011


Science meets art on the river in Iowa State University learning community

When the Skunk River Navy students slogged down river on their annual cleanup patrol this fall, they weren't looking for trash. They were looking for art. The Skunk River Navy is a service project in Iowa State's freshman biology learning community. And this semester they added new dimensions to the annual trash patrol: Design freshmen, student artwork and a commissioned sculpture all created from the collected trash.

Iowa State commencement will be Dec. 17

An anticipated 1,650 students will be awarded degrees during a single commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, in Hilton Coliseum. Ben Allen, president of the University of Northern Iowa, will receive an honorary degree. The commencement ceremony will be Gregory Geoffroy's final one as president of the university. Tickets are not required.

After being mute, Iowa State University graduating senior speaks with a new voice

Iowa State graduating senior Kevin Neff will share his inspirational story Friday when he speaks to fellow College of Business graduates. And he will speak with a new voice. For three-and-a-half years, Neff had no voice. And while some would say his vocal cords were silenced by a freak of nature and cured by a fluke of healing, Neff believes it all happened for a purpose.

Iowa State researcher among the first class of women rising stars of chemistry

Malika Jeffries EL, an Iowa State assistant professor of chemistry, is part of the first class of chemists to receive the WCC Rising Star Award from the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society. The committee said the award recognizes exceptional mid-career chemists and is designed to promote the retention of women in scientific careers.

Lauren Sullivan

Lauren Sullivan

ISU student prairie restoration project earns national conservation fellowship

Lauren Sullivan, an ISU doctoral candidate, is one of 40 students nationwide selected as a TogetherGreen fellow from The National Audubon Society and Toyota earning $10,000. The award will go toward a community project to engage local residents, contribute to environmental health and conserve land, water, and energy. Sullivan earned the fellowship through her work restoring a four-acre corn plot (located west of the corner of Ontario and Hyland in Ames) back to native prairie.

Iowa State engineers study how hills, nearby turbines affect wind energy production

Iowa State University engineers are using wind tunnel tests to study how hills, valleys and the placement of wind turbines affect the performance of wind farms. While the wind power industry has data about offshore turbine performance over flat water, there's little information about the effects of uneven ground on wind turbines and their power production.

Photo by Bill Adams, University News Services, University of Iowa.

Photo by Bill Adams, University News Services, University of Iowa.

Iowa State, UI Percy siblings earn National Endowment of the Arts awards

Authors Ben and Jen Percy (above) are believed to be the first brother-sister siblings to each be awarded a $25,000 Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing (Prose) by the National Endowment for the Arts in the same year. An assistant professor of English at Iowa State, Ben just sold the film rights for his first novel, "The Wilding," and is authoring the screenplay. Jen is a graduate of the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program and is now a Truman Capote Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

High land prices, high commodity prices make this a great time, bad time to start farming

With farm land prices reaching record levels, and demand for agricultural products higher than ever, this is the best time and the worst time for young farmers to be getting into the business, says Mike Duffy, professor of economics and director of Iowa State University Extension's Beginning Farmer Center.

Iowa State's Student Counseling Service trains cadre of mental health first-aid responders

When Howard Tyler joined the faculty at Iowa State University 20 years ago, he felt well prepared for most aspects of his job. But the first time a student in the throes of an emotional crisis walked into his office, he knew he had a lot to learn. That's why Tyler -- now an associate professor -- was among the first to sign up for the ISU Student Counseling Service's new Mental Health First-Aid training. The 12-hour session teaches faculty and staff a set of action steps for helping a distressed student until appropriate treatment and support are received.