Celebrating 10 Years! February: Embracing Green

Hello!  Happy February!!

Molly and Maddie here for another monthly blog in honor of our year of Live Green! celebration.

Just as February is known as the month when love is in the air – we are loving this month’s celebratory theme.  We continue our 10 Year Anniversary Celebration of the Live Green! Initiative this month with the theme and focus of Embracing Green. This month focuses especially on social sustainability and all the many ways Iowa State University offers opportunities and supports initiatives that fully embrace the different perspectives, experiences, viewpoints and contextual considerations within and for our campus community.

Coffee and Conversations Event

In the spirit of this month’s theme, we are hosting an event aimed at offering the opportunity for informal gathering and casual conversation about things that matter and we collectively embrace. Since some of the best conversations we’ve had involve enjoying coffee with friends, you are invited to enjoy coffee (and Insomnia cookies) with us on February 13, from 3:30-5:30pm in Parks Library, Room 198. Along with good coffee (thanks to ISU Dining) and delicious nibbles, students and staff connected to various areas of sustainability ( on campus and in the Ames community) will host conversation tables  offering the opportunity for informal discussion and awareness building related to the diversity of sustainability throughout events, services, operations and resources. Free coffee and Insomnia cookies for all attendees.

Stop in for a few minutes or an hour – the event is set-up open-house style to allow for any schedule and engage all levels of interest and interaction. Don’t forget your coffee mug – no disposable cups will be available. However, if you do forget your mug – you can earn one, along with a complimentary (1 brew) bag of ground roast coffee provided by the Roasterie – especially for our 10 Year Celebration.

Conversation Tables (and hosts) include the following:

  • Be Well: Sustaining a healthy lifestyle physically and mentally – BrianVenderheyden, Assistant Director and Jazzmine Brooks, Violence Prevention Coordinator, ISU Student Wellness;
  • Bright Ideas: Understanding what it takes to fuel our lifestyles from energy resources – Jeff Witt, Director of Utility Services, Facilities Planning and Management;
  • Together WE Green: Building awareness of campus inclusion resources and opportunities – E. Jacob Cunnings, Equal Opportunity Specialist, ISU Office of Equal Opportunity;
  • Greener Together: Embracing social sustainability and the many benefits of being active within your community – Toni Sleugh, Director of Sustainability, ISU Student Government and Casey Cunningham, Former President, Ivy Business Council;
  • Plan for a Greener Tomorrow: Setting the course for the City of Ames new strategic plan – Kelly Diekmann, Planning and Housing Director and Eloise Sahlstrom, Planner, City of Ames Planning;
  • Waste-free Life: Learning about living waste-free, on and off-campus – Ayo Oluwalana, Recycling Coordinator, Facilities Planning and Management and Amy Lodes, Graduate Student, Family and Consumer Sciences
  • AND a bonus — Space to Embrace: an additional area to connect informally with other attendees or reflect personally.

Symposium on Sustainability – Envisioning Our Next Sustainable Decade

As well as offering the opportunity to embrace green through conversations, February also includes the 10th annual Iowa State University Symposium on Sustainability – an all-encompassing embrace of everything green and sustainable at ISU over the past year!!  This year’s event will be held Feb. 18-19, 2019 and includes events both at Stephens Auditorium and the Memorial Union.

This year’s event will be kicked-off at Stephens Auditorium, Monday, Feb. 18 at 7pm, by keynote speaker former NASA Astronaut Captain Scott Kelly. His lecture, entitled “The Sky is Not the Limit”, recounts his life embracing adventure and exploration and culminating in a record-breaking year spent living in the International Space Station. As well as offering the message that the sky is not the limit when it comes to the potential of the human spirit, Captain Kelly also shares a message of reflecting on how we affect our planet having witnessed firsthand an aerial worldview of the impacts of climate change.


The second night of the event, Tuesday, February 19th, will be held in the Memorial Union Great Hall, Oak Room, South Ballroom and Sun Room and begin at 5pm. Featured engagement opportunities on Tuesday include a sustainability tabling event (highlighting sustainability-focused organizations, initiatives and opportunities (on and off-campus), community clothing swap (including some of the HUNDREDS of clothing items collected during our Collecting for the Community Initiative during January), Green-It-Yourself Centers (offering hands-on “add sustainability into your daily routine” opportunities through aromatherapy pendants and keychains and upcycled keyboard keys and renovation materials magnets) and local foods and food ingredient sweet and savory food and beverages.

This year’s Symposium will conclude with a panel discussion, “Envisioning Our Next Sustainable Decade” among ISU leadership (past and present) engaged in sustainability since the Live Green! Initiative began, in a look back at the past 10 years of the Live Green! Initiative, as well as a look ahead at what the next decade could and should bring for sustainability at Iowa State University.

Panelists include:

  • Kerry Dixon – Sustainability Coordinator for Design and Construction Services, ISU Facilities Planning and Management
  • Casey Fangmann – Environmental Engineer, Schneider Electric (2013, Industrial Engineering)
  • Roger Graden – Associate Director of Residence, ISU Department of Residence
  • Randy Larabee – Assistant Director of Utility Distribution Services, ISU Facilities Planning and Management
  • Chandra Peterson – Trial Attorney, Federal Defenders of San Diego (2012, political science/philosophy)
  • Jerry Zamzow – Assistant Vice President, ISU Office of the Vice President for Research

Make sure to RSVP for this month’s events!

Cyclones Embracing Green

Iowa State University is a campus brimming with such a diversity of experiences, opportunities and resources to embrace that embrace a sustainability and a sustainable future. At the very foundation of our campus are all those who call it home during the academic year.  With nearly 35,000 students, including more than 4,000 international students, from 130 countries, there is a plethora of ethnicities, cultures, experiences and perspectives to learn more about, interact with and embrace. To facilitate opportunities for dialogue, learning and connection, Iowa State offers an impressive and dedicated array of resources through programs, spaces and engagement.

Programs Embracing Green

Division of Diversity and Inclusion

With the focus of critical thinking, the responsible management of people, professional skills development, innovation in research, teaching and learning, and the constructive expression of divergent viewpoints, Iowa State University’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion supports a broad range of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community constituents to build a model of inclusion that impacts every aspect of campus life and gives voice to all members of the university community. This is accomplished through three focused connection opportunities: collaboration, consultation and engagement, which in turn support dedicated committees, programming and associations.


National Center for Faculty and Development and Diversity (NCFDD)

Ensuring successful academics, toward ensuring full embracement of the Iowa State adventure, Iowa State University is a NCFDD  Institutional Member of this independent faculty development center dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their careers. Through this institutional membership, all ISU grad students, post-docs, and faculty are offered access to all NCFDD’s member resources including online trainings, seminars, learning communities, peer mentoring, and expert workshops. Another ISU program committed to success for academics, ISU Advance, focuses specifically on support for women and people of color.

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

With the focus of effectively supporting and empowering multicultural students in their personal, community and academic development, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs offers support and empowerment opportunities and advocates for their holistic development across the University. This is provided through relationship building, personal and professional development, leadership opportunities, connections for engagement and empowerment and scholarship.


In conjunction with national college access and retention programs focused on ensuring equal educational opportunity for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstances, the TRIO Program at Iowa State includes outreach and support programs targeted to help disadvantaged students progress from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.


Spaces Embracing Green

Cultural Centers

The Multicultural Center, located in the Memorial Union, offers a space dedicated to cultivating, developing and nurturing a sense of community between all people of color on Iowa State’s campus. This is accomplished through offering education and increasing awareness about cultural histories and heritages of ethnic minority groups toward an overall intent of creating an environment where awareness of one’s cultural identity and a deeper understanding and respect of others’ differences with respect to culture, are readily accepted and embraced. The Black Cultural Center, located at 517 Welch Avenue, serves as a foundation for African American cultural identity, education and understanding between diverse communities at Iowa State University and serves as a great space to explore and debate ideas, hold study groups, plan and host meetings and events.

International Nest

A dedicated space for international students and those interested in getting to know them, the International Nest, is located in 34 Parks Library and offers areas (supplies and resources) for relaxing, socializing, and studying. Programs and presentations on basic library topics are also offered.

LGBTQIA+ Student Success Center

Committed to developing academic and personal success, community, and leadership for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and allied students, the LGBTQIA+ Student Success Center, located in the Memorial Union, offers a diversity of resources, trainings and presentations as well a number of engagement opportunities.

LEED Certified Buildings

In additional to spaces embracing social sustainability, Iowa State University is also committed to embracing environmentally sustainable spaces through establishing a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification standard for all new construction and major renovation projects. Offering eco-minded and sensitive spaces for learning, teaching, working and engaging with others, LEED focuses on eight areas: location and transportation; sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; material and resources; indoor environmental quality; innovation; and regional priority. ISU currently has 21 LEED certified projects (3 silver, 16 gold and 2 platinum), across campus encompassing academic, residence, research and recreational spaces.


Engagement Embracing Green


As we have noted in past months, Iowa State University offers a diversity of courses (over 4000 each academic year). Of these courses, 20% offer an engagement opportunity related to sustainability (environmental, economic or social). In addition to on-campus engagement, courses ISU also offer off-campus engagement through service learning and place based opportunities. One especially unique opportunity is through a multi-year collaboration between the College of Design and the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, offering landscape architecture students direct connection in creating engagement spaces and opportunities for others to embrace green. While this opportunity included a direct connection to creating engagement, it is one of many examples of faculty commitment and dedication to identifying and supporting student opportunities to embrace green – as featured on the Office of Sustainability’s Headline News pages. Academic embracement of green also happens off-campus with over 700 programs offered through the Study Abroad Center.  


It is hard to find a day that does not offer events to take part in at Iowa State University (or in the Ames community). These events are focused on a variety of subjects and benefit a diversity of causes, but they are nearly always guaranteed to have one thing in common – embracing at least one facet of sustainability. Events span the gamut of lectures, how-tos, exhibitions, performances, fundraisers, volunteering and the list goes on and on. The experiences ISU students, faculty and staff are offered through campus and community events is noteworthy and impressive. Through the Live Green! Calendar of Events and Live Green! Monthly newsletter, the Office of Sustainability attempts to serve as a thorough resource for sustainable events at ISU – it is definitely a challenge (but an exciting one) to keep up with everything (and only gets more challenging each year)!

Student Organizations

Similar to events, if you are a student at Iowa State, it is hard not to find at least one student organization that resonates with something you embrace or are interested in learning more about.. Of the over 800 student organizations at ISU, 25% offer a connection for embracing sustainability – environmentally, economically or socially. From service and volunteerism to spiritual, from multicultural to recreation, from performing arts to activism and so on and so on… there truly is something for everyone to check out, experience and embrace.

Personal Engagement

Embracing green, is not just focused outward related to experiences and opportunities, it is also focused inward and connected to personal well being…embracing and showing love and respect to yourself (during this month of love and adoration). ISU offers a number of campus resources to assist you in this personal embrace, including ISU Student Wellness, ISU Wellbeing, ISU Recreation Services, ISU Student Counseling Services and the Employee Assistance Program. Each of these, offer beneficial services and support through resources, consultation, techniques and facilities to ensure every student and faculty and staff member reaches their full potential (and full embrace).

 Clubs Embracing Green

As we already have mentioned, there are SO many student organizations at Iowa State University that support this month’s theme of embracing green. To give you some indication of this impressive commitment, nearly 100 of the over 800 student organizations specifically identify themselves as having a multicultural connection in the ISU Student Activity Center student organization database. With this in mind, (as we found in January) it is really impossible to pick just two to highlight for this month’s blog. So, (as we did in January) we are once again offering a little glimpse at a few groups to more fully honor and celebrate the passion ISU students have for embracing green. We do encourage you to do your own discovery of the many clubs focused on embracing social sustainability, as the list goes well beyond what we have included.   

Bollywood Dance Club

Although known as Iowa State University’s official Bollywood Fusion dance performance group, Bollywood Dance Club’s goal is to promote cultural diversity while also getting more people of our university on the dance floor in order to promote community in an engaging and inviting social setting.

Bridges International

Seeking to assist international students embrace their Iowa State adventure, Bridges International offers service activities (conversational English, understanding/adapting to American culture, and additional transition needs), social activities, and spiritual resources.

ISU Multicultural Business Network

With the goal of informing, preparing, and exposing opportunities to multicultural students within the Ivy College of Business and across Iowa State’s campus, the ISU Multicultural Business Network offers professional development opportunities including mock interviews, panels for professional insights, networking opportunities, volunteering, and meetings with potential employers.

Sir Magazine

As a general interest publication for Iowa State University, Sir Magazine is focused on general interest topics and dedicated to giving culturally relevant information to its readers.


Students Advocating for Everyone

Students Advocating For Everyone (SAFE) Liaisons are student leaders in the Iowa State community who provide awareness, knowledge, and skills to organizations (clubs, resident halls, fraternities, sororities, etc.) to create a more positive and sustainable change within Iowa State University’s campus. SAFE Liaisons participate in conversations and dialogue with students and staff at Iowa State to encourage understanding and conversation about topics that are relevant to society today.

Students for Open Discussion

With the goal of not convincing, but understanding, Students for Open Discussion facilitates open discussion about complex worldly topics and encourages understanding between individuals with differing opinions toward creating a positive environment where people can effectively communicate their views and listen to others.

The Pride Alliance.

Based on a foundation of acceptance, the mission of The Pride Alliance is focused on providing a safe space where students and guests can discuss and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community toward eliminating homophobia and heterosexism in all aspects of life–on and off campus.

The Womxn of Colour Network

The Womyn of Colour Network is an organization for underrepresented, minoritized womxn and their supporters who come together to form bonds of support and empowerment for womxn at Iowa State University.

Monthly Challenge – Expand Your Embrace

To fully embrace any part of our lives, we have to challenge ourselves to move out of our day-to-day comfort zone and daily routines in order to discover all sides, viewpoints and perspectives. We all have been there – coming to Iowa State as a new student is a perfect example – taking the plunge and embracing something new.

Speaking personally, we remember how nervous we were, but how GREAT it turned out to be. We took the chance and embraced something new and then something else and then something else and it truly has made all the difference!! In fact, putting our applications in for this internship was absolutely diving in and embracing something new and it has been SO awesome!!  So, for this month we are challenging everyone to seek out some additional AWESOME to add to your life and embrace a new experience.

Clubs and Events

Try out one a new club or event that moves you beyond your comfort zone. Every club at ISU has information readily available to make learning more about them, when they meet and who you can contact for additional information SO easy!!  It’s also easy to find an event to check out or even one to actively participate in through easily accessible event calendars including those offered by the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Ames, Iowa State University, Reiman Gardens, Story County Conservation and the Volunteer Center of Story County.  

Space, Place and Culture

If you are up for even more of a new adventure, look into studying abroad. It is a great opportunity to see and experience (and embrace) the world beyond your space and place, and there’s no better way to embrace a new culture than by living it. It’s so much different that going on a vacation and I (Molly) know that personally, having spent a semester abroad last year – what a great experience!! I learned SO much about myself and have a new respect and deeper understanding of the world around me (well beyond Iowa State University and my hometown in Minnesota) and all the people that share this planet with me. Check out the ISU Study Abroad Center website for information on the over 300 different study abroad programs in nearly 60 different countries, offered at ISU, and to read blogs from students currently embracing a study abroad experience.

If there are things currently limiting your ability to study abroad, you can still embrace a new space, place and culture through a multitude of events and opportunities hosted by the diversity of international student organizations at Iowa State. Visit and connect to the ISU Events Calendar (you can specify specific types of events (diversity, sustainability, etc.) that you are interested in, as well as viewing all events) as well as the Live Green! Events Calendar, Live Green! Monthly newsletter and Live Green! Iowa State University Facebook page for upcoming events.  Additionally, the Iowa State International Students and Scholars Office  hosts a number of great events and programs that embrace green. Connect to their Facebook page for the latest happenings.


For faculty and staff at ISU, as well as the opportunity to embrace new events there is a unique tool to embrace new experiences, adventures and perspectives made possible by ISU Wellbeing – the Adventure Portal. This online resource, allows everyone to discover unique and personal adventures for a fully expansive embrace, even if it is not through a class or a semester studying abroad. Among the many opportunities offered through the portal, the Office of Sustainability includes some throughout the year too. Not only does this portal offer adventure, it offers incentives too – to keep expanding your embrace and adventures.

What’s Next?

With March being the month that brings spring break and spring and finds us all SO excited to get out into the warmer weather (and to warmer places) and explore, we are celebrating March with the theme of Exploring Green. In embracing this theme, especially as it connects to connecting students in explorations of sustainability, the Office of Sustainability is hosting an all-Iowa student sustainability conference – “One Sustainable Iowa – Toward a Sustainable Future and Beyond”, on March 8, from 9:30am-4:30pm in the ISU Memorial Union. The event is open to any student (as well as faculty and staff) from all colleges and universities across Iowa. For more information and to register (space is limited), visit our Conference Facebook event. Hope you can join us!!

To keep updated on all the latest 10 Year updates and happenings, don’t forget to join our Ten Years of Living Green Facebook group.

Enjoy embracing February!!

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