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CALS Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows

The Dean's Office for Academic Innovation and Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) developed the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows (IEFF) program to foster and expand a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in CALS faculty across each of our departments. To advance this goal, the Dean's office provides funds to support faculty seeking to incorporate innovation within teaching, research or extension activities.

Faculty fellows are organized as a cohort and provided with funding, training and professional development in innovation and entrepreneurship. Fellows serve for two years with an expectation that each fellow will continue to be engaged in building a network and culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within their departments and across the college.

To learn more about the program, contact Carmen Bain (cbain@iastate.edu) or Kevin Kimle (kimle@iastate.edu).

Being an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow has allowed me to think beyond my immediate research program, leading to novel ways to incorporate undergraduate teaching. Meeting with the other fellows has been interesting, and, at times, comforting hearing how they overcome challenges in changing their research, teaching, and extension to meet the growing needs of our students, stakeholders, and citizens. - Dr. Matthew O'Neal

people smiling and posing in front of a window

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows. Celebration Reception, Launch Pad, Student Innovation Center. May 5, 2023

2022 Cohort

  • Stephanie Clark, headshot

    Professor
    Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

    Stephanie Clark developed a new course allowing students to explore innovations in beer, wine and cheese called Science and Practice of Cheesemaking.

  • Shawn Dorius, headshot

    Associate Professor
    Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

    Shawn Dorius designed a new course to empower the next generation of social scientists to address the grand challenges of the future.

  • Karri Haen Whitmer, headshot

    Teaching Professor
    Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology

    Karri Haen Whitmer mentored students as they developed an adaptable electronics kit to increase the utility and dexterity of 3D printed prosthetics hands. 

  • Karl Kerns, headshot

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Animal Science

    Karl Kerns is integrating entrepreneurship into activities and curriculum within the Department of Animal Science, from an introductory course to special projects for students to get hands-on experience in animal science-related entrepreneurship opportunities.

  • Claudia Lemper-Manahl, headshot

    Associate Teaching Professor
    Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology

    Cyclone Science Innovators (CySI) and the Innovation Grand Challenges were developed by Claudia Lemper-Manahl to challenge teams of students in scientific discovery, problem solving, entrepreneurial thinking, and more.

  • Fally Masambuka-Kanchewa, headshot

    Assistant Teaching Professor
    Department of Agricultural Education and Studies

    Fally Masambuka-Kanchewa created Communicating Contemporary Issues in Agriculture, a course teaching students about agricultural issues and how to communicate with various stakeholders and experts about them.

  • Matthew O'Neal, headshot

    Professor
    Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology

    Leveraging grant funding, current research efforts, and the ISU apiary, Matthew O'Neal is developing a new course to help students learn about commercial beekeeping and how to produce honey sustainably through efforts like prairie strips.

  • Walter Suza, headshot

    Adjunct Associate Professor
    Department of Agronomy

    Walter Suza is creating open educational resources (OER) for use in AGRON 320 to customize and curate the necessary genetics and biotechnology texts, lectures, and learning activities to achieve the desired outcomes relevant to agriculture systems.

  • Amy Toth, headshot

    Professor
    Department of Ecology, Evolutional, and Organismal Biology

    Through the Bee and Wasp Squad, Amy Toth developed a program for undergraduate students to participate in meaningful, hands-on research experiences centered around the bees and wasps' behavior, health, and conservation.

2024 Cohort

  • Erica Beirman, headshot

    Teaching Professor
    Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

    College students face a culinary conundrum, lacking in food prep and cooking skills. Erica Beirman has set out to create a comprehensive nutrition and culinary skills course, FHSN 493, to equip students with the know-how and confidence to create nutritious dishes with ease.

  • Steven Bell, headshot

    Teaching Professor
    Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

    Steven Bell will infuse opportunities for students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in two technology systems management (TSM) courses. Additions will include the exploration of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship and deepening industry connections.

  • Elnaz Ebrahimi, headshot

    Assistant Teaching Professor
    Department of Agronomy

    Elnza Ebrahimi wants to bring a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in hands-on learning and exploration of smart agricultural practices. By implementing Smart-Rhizoboxes, Ebrahimi is enabling students to explore the complexities of plant-soil interactions.

  • Kate Gilbert, headshot

    Associate Teaching Professor
    Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

    Kate Gilbert is focused on helping students in her senior food product development capstone course, FSHN 412, increase through creativity through new ideation strategies. FSHN 412 will present students with valuable skills and experiences that they can use later in their career. 

  • Dior Kelley, headshot

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology

    Dior Kelly is combining artwork and creativity with students to showcase what science is happening within CALS. Her goal is to create science inspired artwork to display in the CALS classrooms in the Student Innovation Center and elevating the work done by CALS scientists.

  • Dawn Koltes, headshot

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Animal Science

    With Iowa as a leader in the poultry industry, Dawn Koltes wants to increase student knowledge and perspective through a 400-level poultry management course and study abroad course. These opportunities will allow students to explore new career opportunities and industry innovation.

  • Jelena Kraft, headshot

    Assistant Teaching Professor
    Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology

    Jelena Kraft is connecting student hands-on laboratory work and data from BIOL 313L with classroom analysis and discussion in BIOL 313. The data gained through the lab will be pooled and integrated into the accompanying BIOL 313 course in a series of assignments.

  • Scott Nelson, headshot

    Associate Professor
    Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology

    Scott Nelson wants to grow the experiences for students to isolate wild yeast for craft beer production. Working in conjunction with a craft brewery, students will collect and isolate yeast samples, learn about marketing, and determine potential for commercial use.

  • Joshua Peschel, headshot

    Associate Professor
    Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

    Generative AI is a growing technology that will enable students to create and innovate within the agriculture industry. Joshua Peschel is bringing hands-on activities to show students how AI can help create software solutions for the future.

  • Timothy Stewart, headshot

    Associate Professor
    Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

    Timothy Stewart is working to provide undergraduate students with training and experience in teaching ecology while also engaging elementary students in outdoor, scientific activities.

  • Catherine Swoboda, headshot

    Associate Teaching Professor
    Department of Horticulture

    Global Resource System students will have the opportunity to expand their innovation and leadership skills through Catherine Swoboda's Leadership Academy (GLOBE 493) course with a new unit called Leading for Innovation. 

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