The magazine for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at
Iowa State University

From the Dean

Dear LAS alumni and friends,

One of the most rewarding parts of my job as Dean is teaching the Dean’s Leadership Seminar each semester. This class provides first-year students in the College with the opportunity to study leadership theories and concepts and to develop their leadership skills. During the class students engage with a variety of guest speakers who have excelled in life and leadership. The goal of the class is to inspire students to become leaders and to encourage them to pursue leadership opportunities at Iowa State and beyond.

My favorite class meeting of the year is the one where students from last year’s class meet this year’s class, to share their personal experiences over the past year. It absolutely astounds me to see the growth that has occurred in the second-year students over the course of just one year. They speak with a level of maturity, poise, and calm that they did not possess as freshmen and before taking the class. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see this growth, and it makes me very proud to be the Dean of this College.

Melissa Moy, a junior in biology and a former Dean’s Leadership Seminar student, shared the following comments about the course:

“The Dean’s Leadership Seminar has played an integral role in my academic and personal growth. The in-class activities and the out-of-class work truly helped me define myself as a leader and individual. It helped me define MY definition of leadership and leadership philosophy. The class encouraged me to pursue a certificate in Community Leadership and Public Service and to co-teach an honors seminar about leadership. I could not have asked for more. It opened up so many doors and encouraged me in many ways, and I am extremely grateful for the experience.”

Facilitating growth in our students, faculty, and staff is what makes my job so meaningful, and this mindset of developing leaders permeates everything that we do in the College. The Dean’s Leadership Seminar is just one example of how we encourage people to grow to their full potential. It is my hope that our LAS students will use the skills they learn here to help solve the greatest problems in the world. Every day, our faculty expand the limits of human knowledge and capabilities, thanks to their research and outreach programs. In these ways we all make a difference in Iowa, the nation, and the world.

What are your stories of personal and professional growth? I would enjoy hearing how you have grown from your experiences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences either at Iowa State or in your life after graduation. Share your feedback via Facebook, Twitter, or by e-mailing The first 25 alumni who respond will receive a gift, and your responses may appear in the next issue of Link.

As always thank you for your support and encouragement of our students, faculty, and staff.

Beate Schmittmann
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences