Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
September 11, 1998

A faculty-staff perspective

What I did on my summer vacation

Students aren't supposed to have all the fun between May and September. Here, faculty and staff from each of Iowa State's colleges tell Inside what they did this summer.

Chao Chu, management, visited four Chinese institutes and universities in Beijing and Heibei, China, in June and July. He conducted seminars and led panel discussions on topics such as electronic commerce and computer-integrated manufacturing. A web site on his visit is at global.bus.

ISU faculty and staff David Acker, Keith Whigham, Mike Duffy, Connie Post and Bernie White took 23 students to China in ISU's first study-abroad program to that nation.

Gary Comstock, philosophy, coordinated four Iowa State University Model Bioethics Institutes around the country. The workshops help life science faculty integrate ethics discussions into their courses. Comstock worked with more than 100 life scientists, from such places as the University of Lisbon in Portugal and the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

Larry Curtis, accounting, was a presenter at a seven-country conference on local government in Sofia, Bulgaria, in July. Participating countries included Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Slovenia.

Mary Ann Evans, director, and the International Women in Science and Engineering program hosted 19 women in July and August. This year's participants in the annual program were from China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and El Salvador. While on campus, they worked in ISU labs and made trips to businesses and institutes in Chicago and Des Moines.

Eugenia Farrar, zoology and genetics, spent her summer chasing thunderstorms in western Iowa in search of the plains spadefoot toad that breeds after heavy rains.

Architecture professor Robert Findlay accepted a Crisis Corps assignment for former Peace Corps volunteers interested in international relief work to the Pukapuka Atoll. The project involved producing a model cyclone management study for the frequently struck islands. He will present a slide talk on Pukapuka Atoll on Monday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. in the Molecular Biology auditorium.

Bill Franklin, animal ecology, milked a mare, ate yak cheese and rode a camel in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia.

Ruth Glock, textiles and clothing, visited interns and recent graduates in Wisconsin, New York City, Philadelphia and North Carolina. She also visited with their employers to find out what skills and training they seek in new hires.

Brenda Jones, art and design, was commissioned to paint a special portrait: Helen LeBaron Hilton, the late dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

In addition to answering reporters' questions about diamond stars, Steve Kawaler, physics and astronomy, took some time to write an article on the Whole Earth Telescope for Muse, a science magazine for 12- to 15-year olds.

Kim Koeppen, curriculum and instruction, and Tom Andre, psychology, traveled to Russia to participate in Project ScienceLink, a high school student/teacher exchange. American and Russian students work collaboratively on science projects in person and via the Internet.

Jim Liljegren spent eight weeks in the Arctic Ocean aboard a Canadian icebreaker that intentionally had been frozen into a drifting ice pack as part of a yearlong effort to study the polar climate. Liljegren, an atmospheric researcher at the Ames Laboratory, and scientists from around the world hope to improve the accuracy of climate models in predicting the effects of global warming.

Art and design professor Ingrid Lilligren was invited to teach at the Mendocino Arts Center in Mendocino, Calif. There, she led a ceramics workshop on tile making for adult students, most of whom are professional artists.

James McCormick, political science, served as a United States Information Agency academic specialist on American foreign policy to New Zealand during July. He gave six lectures in five cities and met with journalists to discuss a range of topics, including global human rights and the impact of domestic factors on American foreign policy.

Gavin Naylor, zoology and genetics, spent a month in India collecting DNA from sharks.

Robert Nutsch, veterinary medicine, spent time in Mongolia as a member of the Christian Veterinary Mission. He helped set up a swine confinement unit that will be used as a model for other farmers.

Ken Platt, veterinary microbiology, immunology and preventive medicine, spent time in Costa Rica and Ecuador, netting bats for research on infectious diseases. (The bats were released unharmed.)

Steve Russell, electrical and computer engineering, has spent the last 13 summers re-exploring and documenting the path that explorers Lewis and Clark trailblazed nearly 200 years ago. Russell uses a pickup truck for parts of his trek and satellite technology to pinpoint locations along the Lewis & Clark trail. This summer, Russell traveled along a part of the explorers' route in Montana and Idaho.

Peter Sherman, aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, and statistics, started a restaurant/coffee house/pub called Boheme at 2900 West St. He said the club is a social venue that offers "an atmosphere of community and stimulation of discourse."

Bill Simpkins, geological and atmospheric sciences, spent part of his summer trying to figure out the age of Ames' water. He sampled groundwater from municipal wells for stable and radioactive isotopes of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and chlorine, in order to estimate the age of the groundwater and the vulnerability of the aquifer to contamination. Results of his research won't be out for several weeks.

Florine Swanson, executive director of the 4-H Foundation, joined 39 other women for 10 days in Austria as a part of Base Camp 2001, a workshop of the International Federation of University Women.

Ann Vail, family and consumer sciences education and studies, conducted workshops throughout Iowa for family and consumer sciences teachers on the new National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Almost half of Iowa's 750 FCS teachers have participated in workshops since the standards were released in May.

  • News Service writers Kevin Brown, Skip Derra, Steve Jones and Steve Sullivan contributed to this story.

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