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Wednesday, January 27 2021

  • One year of COVID-19 response

    It’s been a year since Iowa State University initiated its Emergency Operation Center to provide a coordinated, institution-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So much has happened since Jan. 27, 2020, when university leaders received an initial briefing from the incident management team. This collection of stories highlights some of the hard work, dedication and collaboration across campus.

  • ‘Unfathomable’ changes: Faculty, staff reflect on quick shift online as pandemic surged

    While many universities had to delay a return to coursework last spring as they figured out how to shift online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State’s quick coordination behind the scenes allowed students to stay on schedule – albeit in a different setting.

  • Baldwin, Obbink lead efforts to build critical public health structure

    Building a public health structure from the ground up in just a matter of months was a monumental task, but an absolutely critical one if Iowa State University was going to complete the fall semester on campus. Without the benefit of a medical or public health school, it required an all-hands-on-deck effort that drew on the expertise of staff and faculty from a variety of disciplines to have a structure in place before students started moving into the residence halls in early August.

  • Behind-the-scenes work critical to maintaining COVID-19 response

    Iowa State's emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic would not be possible without the behind-the-scenes efforts of so many people on campus. 

  • How do you measure a year of COVID-19 response?

    It’s been a year since Iowa State University initiated its Emergency Operation Center (EOC) to provide a coordinated, institution-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many ways to measure the ongoing effort to maintain Iowa State’s research and teaching mission during the pandemic, but the most impactful measurement is people.

  • ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab scientists put their experience with animal disease outbreaks to new uses during pandemic

    In response to the pandemic, the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory took the unprecedented step of opening new lab space and getting certified to process human samples. The lab partnered with the University of Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory to expand the state’s testing capacity, and the VDL processed the tests required for the university’s on-campus testing efforts. With two decades of experience running diagnostic tests, Dr. Karen Harmon found a way to improve the efficiency of COVID-19 test processing.

  • Memorial Union finds opportunities during pandemic

    The decision to close the Memorial Union on March 17, 2020, was a necessary step in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a heartbreaking one for the staff members who work there. Memorial Union Director Steve Winfrey says it was the first time the MU closed for an extended period since the building opened in 1928. However, the closure provided opportunities for building improvements, and to find new ways to engage the ISU community.

  • Teamwork and a little magic make testing center a reality

    It all came together like magic. Hilton Magic. In one week’s time, a team from across campus more than doubled the capacity for COVID-19 testing at Iowa State University by setting up a testing site in Johnny's lounge on the east side of Hilton Coliseum.

  • Virtual offerings important for extension now, into future

    When the pandemic forced ISU Extension and Outreach to close offices last spring and cancel most in-person meetings, it impacted connections with Iowans across the state. Instead of pulling back, extension found new ways to reach its audience and draw in others along the way. 

  • Collaboration with Homeland Security focuses on detecting biothreats

    Researchers at Iowa State University are developing a portable sensor platform capable of detecting numerous biothreats, such as the coronavirus and other toxic agents. The research team has entered a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security worth as much as $2.5 million over five years to develop the technology, which would be a far more portable and flexible method for detecting biothreats than most current techniques.

  • By the numbers: Campus efforts to manage the pandemic

    COVID-19 data from the fall semester tell a story of the tremendous effort to manage the pandemic on campus. Iowa State University’s public health team and several employee volunteers provided testing, case management and contact tracing to help limit the spread of infection. The university’s emergency operations team supported these efforts in many ways.

  • Light-controlled Higgs modes found in superconductors; potential sensor, computing uses

    Iowa State's Jigang Wang and a team of researchers have discovered a short-lived form of the famous Higgs boson -- subject of a groundbreaking search at the Large Hadron Collider -- within an iron-based superconductor. This Higgs mode can be accessed and controlled by laser light flashing on the superconductor at trillions of pulses per second.

  • Online celebrations will honor MLK Jr. in January, February

    Iowa State University and the Ames community will continue annual celebrations of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through virtual events in January and February.

  • Iowans advise NASA on which satellites should stay in orbit

    Iowans are helping to shape the future of NASA’s satellite missions. Faculty from Iowa State and Iowa were among 13 scientists selected to serve on a congressionally mandated panel to advise NASA on which satellite missions should continue and which should be grounded.

  • COVID-19 model compares effectiveness of vaccine and mitigation strategies

    Predicting the spread of COVID-19 using standard statistical models has its challenges, which is why two Iowa State University researchers developed a network-based approach to look at the impact of specific policies and vaccination strategies throughout the many stages of the pandemic.

  • President Wintersteen statement on Cyclone football season

    President Wintersteen congratulates Coach Campbell and the Cyclone football team for a remarkable season and tremendous Fiesta Bowl victory.  

  • Researchers measure, model desalination membranes to maximize flow, clean more water

    Researchers -- including engineers from Iowa State University -- have used transmission electron microscopy and 3D computational modeling to quantify and visualize why some desalination membranes work better than others. Their work is featured on the cover of the Jan. 1, 2021, issue of the journal Science.

  • ISU experts available to answer questions about vaccine safety, history, resistance

    The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the first of several COVID-19 vaccines seeking its approval. As distribution begins, Iowa State University experts are available to comment on the safety of the vaccine, the history of such rollouts and the reason some people may refuse to get vaccinated. 

  • COVID-19 weekly snapshot

    The following information is a supplement to the university's COVID-19 Public Health Data weekly updates. It is intended to provide a brief snapshot of the data and trends identified by Iowa State's public health team.