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Notes will be refreshed and updated here periodically. Last updated April 13, 2017.

Awards & Honors

The following Iowa State University professional & scientific staff members were presented with the university’s 2016 CYtation Award March 23: Nick Van Berkum (A)(BFA ’06), Kevin Kane (L)(’82 landscape arch & leisure studies, MLA ’86, PhD ’07 ed), Paula Burns (L)(’92 pol sci), Darrin Fischer (A)(’97 finance), Paul Kassel (L)(’78 agronomy & hort, MS ’81 crop prod & physiology), Kris Koerner (A)(MBA ’14), Robin McNeely (’92 landscape arch, MLA ’94), Dawn Miller (MS ’95 ag ed & studies), Brent Pringnitz (’92 ag bus, MS ’96 crop prod & physiology), Kate Simmons (’05 psych & sociology), and Rachael Voas (A)(’08 pol sci, MA ’11).

Richard Allen (’63 ag business), a retired statistician from Fairfax, Va., has been inducted into the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service Hall of Fame. Allen was honored for his service to National Agricultural Statistics Service and U.S. agriculture, including his efforts as historian and mentor.

Peter Gottschalk (PhD ’83 organic chem) was honored by CommScope during the company’s first Innovators in Action Conference Feb. 15-17 in Frisco, Texas. Gottschalk, a senior engineer, was one of 80 global employees recognized for their creative work and ideas that bring innovation to the wired and wireless industries the company serves.

Debra Kunz (’92 marketing) received the 2017 Excellence in Practice Award for Coaching and Mentoring from the Association for Talent Development’s Kansas City chapter. Kunz founded the Kansas City-based Center for Deliberate Growth in 2010 to help businesses raise revenue and leverage leadership and teamwork.

Stephanie Hansen (’02 animal science), associate professor of animal science at Iowa State University, received the Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the American Society of Animal Science.

Rich Degner (L)(’72 ag and life science education, ’77 MS) was recently honored by the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board with the inaugural Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award at the annual National Pork Industry Forum. Degner worked for the Iowa Pork Producers Association for 35 years, serving as CEO for 17 years before his retirement in 2015.

Sterling “Stu” Ainsworth (’55 hort)(pictured, right) has been named the Illinois Council of Orchestras’ 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

Tim Westrum (’99 ag studies, ag & life sci ed) and his family have been recognized as the 2017 Freeborn County (Minn.) Farm Family of the Year.

The ISU Agricultural Business Club selected Sarah Fiedler Thorn (L)(’81 ag business) to receive its Outstanding Alumni Award at the club’s annual award banquet on March 4.

Doug Matthies (’70 animal science), business improvement manager in the Midwest region for Smithfield Hog Production, has been honored with the 2016 Master Pork Partner Award by the Iowa Pork Producers Association and ISU Extension and Outreach.

Azure Christensen (L)(’01 liberal studies), executive foundation director for HCI Care Services and Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, has been named to the Des Moines Business Record’s 2017 “Forty Under 40” class, which was recognized March 28 in West Des Moines.

Trina Flack (’03 journalism, MBA ’07), national sales manager for Catch Des Moines, has been named to the Des Moines Business Record’s 2017 “Forty Under 40” class, which was recognized March 28 in West Des Moines.

China Wong (’01 pol sci), president of Salon W LLC in Des Moines, has been named to the Des Moines Business Record’s 2017 “Forty Under 40” class, which was recognized March 28 in West Des Moines.

Steve Johnson (L)(’78 ag & life sci ed, MS ’83) of Ankeny, Iowa – an ISU Extension farm management field specialist – received the Iowa Master Farmer Exceptional Service Award from Wallaces Farmer and Iowa Master Farmers at a ceremony in Des Moines March 16.

Clarke McGrath (’91 ag bus, MS ’06 professional ag) of Creston, Iowa – an ISU Extension field agronomist – received the Iowa Master Farmer Exceptional Service Award from Wallaces Farmer and Iowa Master Farmers at a ceremony in Des Moines March 16.

Higher Education magazine has named Susana Munoz (L)(’95 pol sci & intl. studies, PhD ’08 education)(pictured, right) among the “Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond by Diverse Issues” for the research she’s doing as an assistant professor in the Colorado State University School of Education on the topics of college access, identity, and persistence of underrepresented student populations.


Larry Felton (A)(’69 com sci) has been named president of the Missouri School Boards’ Association. The organization represents 400 school districts and 2,800 school board members. Felton is currently serving his fourth term on the Mehlville R-9 school board in St. Louis County.

Michael Hotz (’08 ag bus) is the new senior commodity manager at Kent Corporation-Enterprise Services.

Cody Vantiger (’14 an sci) has been promoted to associate product manager in the marketing department at Kent Nutrition Group.

Aaron Wagner (’15 ag bus) has been promoted to business and ag banker at Security Savings Bank in Eagle Grove, Iowa.

Emily Lair (L)(’15 hort) is the new ag instructor and FFA advisor at Spirit Lake (Iowa) High School.

Jess Frank (’15 an sci) is the new content editor for Corner Post Marketing in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

The following Central Iowa architects have been selected to participate in the 2017 American Institute of Architects Citizen Architect Program in recognition of their community service: Janna Alampi (’07 arch), Todd Wehr (’85 arch), and Rob Bisenius (’78 arch) of Shive-Hattery; Natalie Carran (A)(’06 arch) of Benjamin Design Collaborative; Ryan Ellsworth (’00 arch) and Danielle Hermann (’01 arch, MAR ’08) of OPN Architects; Megan Drake (’10 arch & env studies) of Shiffler Associates; Curtis Ehler (’07 arch) of Studio MELEE; Scotney Fenton (A)(’92 arch) and Michelle Sacco (’05 arch) of RDG Planning & Design; Scott Hatfield (A)(’72 arch) and Josh Ridgely (’07 arch) of SVPA Architects Inc.; Paul Mankins (A)(’85 arch) and Ann Sobiech Munson (’00 arch) of substance architecture; Shannon McGee (’15 arch) and Holly Pohlmeier (’15 arch & env studies) of INVISION; Diane Munch (’86 arch) of Story Construction; Jerry Purdy (A)(’76 arch) of Design Alliance, Inc.; Jason Reis (’02 arch) of JLRD; Brian Schwartz (’05 arch) of the Baker Group; Edward Shannon (’86 arch) of GTG Architects; Edward Soenke (’67 arch) of The Design Partnership; Rod Stevens (’74 arch) of Knowledge Consulting; Tom Wollan (MAR ’99) of FRK Architecture Engineering; and Martha Green (A)(’75 arch).

Mike Helms (A)(’88 civil engr)(pictured, right) of Moline, Ill., has been elected president of the Rock Island Post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME). A vice president and U.S. Federal & International Programs market leader at Stanley Consultants, Helms served as the organization’s vice president last year.

Reuben Flesner (MS ’09 mech engr) of St. Paul, Minn., has been promoted to senior design engineer with Climate by Design International in Owatonna, Minn.

Greg Casey (A)(’80 computer engr) of Round Rock, Texas – a senior architect and strategist at Dell/EMC – has been named to the board of directors of Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG).


Glenda Bivens (’14 interdisciplinary) has received the Council for the Study of Community Colleges’ 2016 “Dissertation of the Year” award for her work on “Retention and Persistence through the Lens of Black Women Community College Students.”

Hannah Phillips (’14 an sci), a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, was awarded first place in the Organic Research Forum Poster Session at the 2017 Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service Conference.

Trey Kellner (MS ’14 an sci), an ISU graduate student, received the Stahly-Peo Outstanding Swine Nutrition Midwest Graduate Student Award from the American Society of Animal Science.

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