Iowa State & the Bioeconomy
Breaking on through
Laws of attraction guide green driving
Stuck on you
Graphic design students...
Farm to ISU
Give me an I...and a Cy!
A need for speed
Celebrating our land-grant heritage
Preserving valor (Return to top)
The time has come to honor Iowa State’s casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan in Gold Star Hall, and in the process a wealth of historical information has opened up to the Memorial Union. A fresh dedication to maintaining the memorial has led
to the discovery of stories and heroes of the past.
For example, there was Warrant Officer Jerry Prosper Clark, whose name came up last year when ISU Registrar records were cross-referenced with a list of Iowans who were missing or killed in action in Vietnam. The death of the Davenport native, who was one of a very small number of African-American engineering students at Iowa State in 1960-1961, has never been explained, nor has his body ever been found.
But this past Veterans Day, Clark’s name was added to Gold Star Hall thanks to the detective work of ISU alumnus and Vietnam veteran Jim Olberding (’63 history) and Memorial Union marketing director Kathy Svec (’70 art education), who wrote a letter to the Quad City Times that opened up the floodgates of communication about the beloved young man and resulted in his brother, Jim, and widow, Rosemary, attending the annual Gold Star Hall ceremony on campus Nov. 12.
“Discovering what kind of a person he was was just absolutely heartwarming,” Svec said of Clark, who was one of four Vietnam veterans added to the memorial this year thanks to Olberding’s research. Lt. Col. Paul J. Finken, who died in Iraq in Nov. 2006, was also added this year.
Svec said the Union has increased its attention to the memorial since 2003, and because of the volunteer efforts of Olberding there should be many additions from past conflicts added in the coming years. Olberding continues to research Iowa State’s Vietnam casualties, some of whom he knew personally, and he has recently begun exploring lists of Korean War casualties. Olberding is currently pursuing five leads, including one each from World War II and Somalia.
“I have a lot of Web sites that I use to do my research,” Olberding said. “But I also just call people and talk to them.”
Alumni who have information about war casualties who attended Iowa State are encouraged to contact Kathy Svec at the Memorial Union by calling (515)
294-2549 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breaking on through (Return to top)
February was ISU researcher Jill Pruetz’s month in the spotlight. She appeared on NBC’s The Today Show and PBS’s NOVA. She came in at No. 2 on Wired magazine’s list of 2007’s top 10 scientific breakthroughs for her research on savanna chimpanzees in Senegal. And in the February 2008 issue of National Geographic, she was named one of 11 new “Emerging Explorers.” Pruetz called the National Geographic recognition “one of the highest honors I can think of.” Last year with Cambridge University’s Paco Bertolani, the ISU associate professor of anthropology observed female chimpanzees craft spears and use them for hunting. It was never-before-seen behavior.
Laws of attraction guide green driving (Return to top)
If you know magnets, you’ll know that a magnet which stays strong in up to 392-degree (200 Celsius) temperatures just might have a use or two. A team that includes senior Ames Laboratory metallurgist Iver Anderson and colleagues Bill McCallum and Matthew Kramer (PhD ’88 earth science) has developed exactly such a thing, and it’s attracting some attention from the manufacturers of electric-drive vehicles. The magnets, which were submitted for patent in January, could make electric cars, fuel-cell cars, and plug-in hybrids more efficient and cost-effective…and ready for the road in time to meet increasing demand from eco-friendly drivers.
“We need to support our auto
companies and help them develop better products,” Anderson said. “We can do that by getting things worked out at the science end – that’s our job.”
Stuck on you (Return to top)
Bolt together a couple of old Ford pickup bumpers and plaster them with 65 political stickers, and you’ve got yourself an interesting – not to mention attention-grabbing – grad school project. ISU graduate student Patti Brown’s Bumper-2-Bumper blog and sculpture stick up for a trend that some experts suggest, contrary to Brown’s opinion, is dying: the campaign bumper sticker.
“A campaign bumper sticker shows that you, as a voter, have some active engagement in both the electoral process and also in your community,” Brown said of the viral marketing staple, which began with metal signs in the 1920s, transitioned to sticky paper in 1946, and has been revolutionized of late through President Bush’s oval-shaped “W” sticker branding of 2004 and Barack Obama’s “horizon-in-an-O” campaign logo of 2008. “It serves as a symbol or sign…that you’re interested in (a) candidate,” Brown said. “It could also have a boomerang effect if (someone) doesn’t like you.”
Among some of the more interesting finds in Brown’s collection is an elemental selection from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign and an emotional appeal from a candidate who many say lost the 1972 Democratic nomination because
of his famous display of emotion:
Find a bumper crop of info online at Brown’s blog:
Graphic design students create award-winning PSA... (Return to top)
Iowa State graphic design students took first and second place in a recent competition to create 30-second public service announcements promoting awareness for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance. View junior Jacob Ahlers’ first-place creation online at https://www.facingus.org/media/7/video and junior Anders Holine’s second-place video at https://www.facingus.org/media/6/video. Ahlers, who won $1,000, and Holine, who won $400, used the prize money to buy software for themselves and pizza for their classmates.
...and artwork that will floor you
Senior graphic design major Greg Wohlwend of Bettendorf doesn’t mind if his fellow students trample all over his latest work of art. That’s because his bronze design is part of the floor in the Memorial Union’s new south entrance. The work, designed to look similar to the zodiac on the floor of the building’s north entrance, is an eight-point compass that represents the university’s eight colleges. “The idea was to put the learning tools from each college into the design,” Wohlwend said. And unlike the zodiac, Wohlwend says students shouldn’t fear failing their next exams after treading on his design.
Farm to ISU (Return to top)
Through the Farm to ISU Program, ISU Dining is bringing fresh, environmentally friendly products from Iowa family farms to dinner tables in campus dining centers. Just a few of the tasty tidbits that are on the menu in spring and fall 2008:
- Get a boneless pork burrito at the MU Food Court’s Burrito Works made with meat from Iowa Farm Families of Hubbard
- Special meals are made with milk and butter from Pickett Fence Creamery of Woodward
- This fall, lunches and dinners will contain green peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, and tomatoes from D&L Produce of Northeast Iowa
- At the “Aloha Iowa State” dinner in campus dining centers Jan. 29, students dined on Achiote Pork from Iowa Farm Families
- One of the traditional fall favorites in the dining center has been fresh apples and apple cider from Deal’s Orchard of Jefferson
- Catered meals frequently feature boneless pork loins from Niman Ranch/Cleverley Farms of Mingo
- Always on the menu is processed Iowa beef from Lewright Meats of Eagle Grove – including ground beef, beef rounds, prime rib, and assorted steaks and roasts
- Next fall, the dining centers will be decorated with pumpkins, squash, gourds, and corn stalks from DeMoss Pumpkin Farms of Ames
- This month, the Farm to ISU Program is hoping to serve fresh Iowa asparagus
To find out more about the Farm to ISU program
and its participating producers, visit
Give me an I...and a Cy! (Return to top)
Fans of the most recent ISU athletics visual identity are not necessarily out of luck in 2008, officials announced this winter. While the Athletics Department is transitioning to its new “I-State” logo design and its eight associated marks this calendar year, the university has elected to continue licensing the so-called “twisty Cy” collection of marks, now being called “spirit marks,” until further notice.
“We’ve changed the athletics identity,” senior associate athletics director Steve Malchow said. “We didn’t change the school’s mark. If a few campus markets want to continue using the current identity, that’s their individual choice. But our current coaches found that the logo didn’t scream ‘Iowa State’ like you thought it might."
Navigating the licensing waters with the two most recent identity programs, plus the university’s vintage collection
of more than 30 trademarks, could be treacherous. But, officials say, it provides plenty of options – even if it does mean licensees and retailers will help determine the brand.
“Fans don’t need to toss their old stuff overboard,” said Leesha Zimmerman (’81 art education), program coordinator in the trademark licensing office. “Licensing will continue to approve the use of the spirit marks, and they’ll be available in the retail market along with the Athletics Department’s new identity and our vintage collection.”
A need for speed (Return to top)
Dashing and splashing athletes may have
Iowa State researchers to thank as they get geared up for competition this year. Watch the Beijing Olympic Games for a swimsuit designed by a team that included ISU professor of exercise physiology Rick Sharp. Three versions of the design have already broken records. Michael Phelps wore Speedo’s Fastskin FS-Pro, a full-body suit made of new water-repellent fabric, last February and broke the world record in the 200-meter butterfly. Since then, dozens of other records have been washed away in the wake of the Fastskin, the LZR Pulse, and the latest and greatest adaptation of the technology: the LZR Racer (www.speedo80.com).
“[Speedo] contacted me because I had done some research over the last 10 years on suit design and swim-ming performance,” Sharp said. “It actually started with
a study we did on shaving down – tapering – on whether shaving down made a measurable physical improvement
in performance. I also did a study on the early version of the whole-body suits to see if there was a similar effect in performance.”
Sharp’s prescription for the successful swimsuit?
“You have a nice fabric – a low-drag fabric that is as
slippery as possible – but you need to shape the body
and prevent the skin from flapping around in the water,” he said. “We wanted to make something super tight and hold everything in – something that wouldn’t restrict breathing or movement – that would allow real freedom at the same time. So the question became, ‘How tight can we afford to get the suit before restricting motion or breathing?’”
While Sharp is flutter-kicking his way to fashion fame, another Iowa State professor is getting his kicks on land. Tim Derrick, an associate professor of kinesiology, tests athletic shoes for Consumer Reports and Runner’s World, as well as for footwear manufacturers like Nike.
What he’s primarily looking for is rear foot motion, rear foot control, and cushioning, but his advice to consumers is fairly simple: Buy the shoes that are the most comfortable.
Derrick has taken his expertise beyond the track and the hardcourt, all the way to the likes of the U.S. Army and NASA. He recently studied combat boots for the Army,
comparing the classic clunkers to running shoes, work boots, and walking shoes. “It was just to see how bad combat boots are – and they’re pretty bad,” he said. “They are as hard as rocks.”
As for NASA: Derrick and ISU grad student Brent Edwards, along with University of Colorado professor Rodger Kram, are studying the forces on Earth vs. those on Mars and the moon to help ensure NASA recruits future space explorers who have the right bones for the job. “If you don’t get the same loading on the bones when you’re
in those environments, your bone is going to deteriorate,” he said. “And we’re trying to find ways to prevent that
Celebrating our land-grant heritage (Return to top)
From March 22 to April 27 the original Morrill Act, the document that established the concept of the land-grant university, is paying a visit to the first state that accepted its provisions. As Iowa State wraps up its sesquicentennial celebration, University Museums has collaborated with the ISU Foundation to bring the historical document to campus for an exhibition at the Christian Petersen Art Museum in Morrill Hall. The Morrill Act is on loan from the National Archives and is being displayed along with historical and artistic objects, photographs, timelines, and quotes in celebration of Iowa State’s 150 years.