Inside Iowa State
March 19, 1999
Tuskegee ties renewed
by Anne Dolan
Six Iowa State ambassadors took the first step toward renewing ties with the faculty and students of Tuskegee University, George Washington Carver's school when he left Iowa State just before the turn of this century. Four students, economics professor Marvin Hayenga and economics graduate studies coordinator Danette Kenne visited the Alabama campus March 6-10.
Their visit included tours; classroom and lab visits; time at the George Washington Carver museum and The Oaks, the former home of Tuskegee founder Booker T. Washington; social get-togethers and many small group and one-on-one conversations with Tuskegee students and faculty about specific programs at both schools.
Hayenga and Kenne, both of whom volunteered to accompany the students to Tuskegee, said the potential for collaborative and exchange projects is very real, particularly in the areas of animal science, veterinary medicine, food science and aerospace engineering.
"My interest in going was to take a look at things down the pike," Hayenga said, "and see if there's something I could offer in the future. It's going to require some initiative to keep this going, but I hope this trip was a catalyst."
Like Hayenga, Kenne said she started the trip without expectations about the experience or possible outcomes.
"Our relationship with Tuskegee is further along now than one-to-one ties. This trip was a nice start at institutionalizing it, to make it not reliant on one person at either end," she said.
Here are some of the opportunities Hayenga and Kenne identified for Iowa State and Tuskegee:
A group of Tuskegee students and faculty will visit Iowa State for about five days next month, either Veishea weekend (April 17-18) or the week following. Nina Grant, minority liaison officer in the College of Agriculture, is coordinating their schedule. The exchange is part of the George Washington Carver All-University Celebration.
- Student exchange programs of short duration (one month to a semester) for both educational and cultural benefits.
- Longer student exchanges that supplement students' areas of study. For example, Tuskegee food science students who are used to focusing on sweet potatoes and peanuts in their classes could diversify their knowledge at Iowa State, where the emphasis is on corn and soybeans. Or ISU animal science majors might broaden their outlook at Tuskegee, where the emphasis is goats, rather than hogs and cows.
- Faculty and staff professional development leaves at the other school. Hayenga noted that Tuskegee has fewer faculty and staff relative to its student population. Therefore, when Tuskegee employees visit Iowa State, it could create short-term teaching opportunities at Tuskegee for Iowa State employees and graduate students.
- Faculty cooperation on new program and curriculum development.
- Faculty and staff collaborative research programs, building on the strengths of each.
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