The magazine for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at
Iowa State University
Marla Franklin (left) and Barbara Janson (right). (Submitted photos)
Marla Franklin (left) and Barbara Janson (right). (Submitted photos)

Two LAS alumni achieve highest honors

Iowa State University, the Iowa State University Alumni Association (ISUAA) and the Iowa State University Foundation honored two LAS alumni for their outstanding service and philanthropy at a ceremony in Ames, Iowa on April 20, 2018.

Janson recognized with alumni award

Barbara Janson (’65 mathematics) was awarded the Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given to alumni by the university. She was recognized for her long history of philanthropy, sharing both her talents and treasures, with the Department of Mathematics, LAS and Iowa State.

Janson helped improve K-12 mathematics education nationwide as the founder and president of Janson Publications, a publisher of research-based mathematics curricula. The company introduced revolutionary math curriculum in the 1980s, when U.S. students were struggling with math and science. As a member of the Mathematics Department Advisory Council, she helped evaluate and redefine Iowa State math courses and placement exams, advocated for new faculty and teaching assistant training and helped broaden relationship across campus. Her leadership in these efforts helped increase the success rates of students participating in math classes at Iowa State and made a positive impact on the retention rates of freshmen and sophomores.

Janson is a governor of the ISU Foundation, past chair of the investment committee for the University Endowment and serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the ISU Foundation. She serves on the LAS Dean's Advisory Council and the Mathematics Department Advisory Council, and also established an endowed professorship for the department. She is an overseer of Boston Ballet and the Beth Israel Deaconness Hospital and a member of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ visiting committee for American art. An amateur artist, she also has studied at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Franklin recognized with philanthropy award

Marla (Warrick) Franklin (’68 economics) was awarded the ISU Foundation’s Order of the Knoll Cardinal and Gold Award, which recognizes individuals and couples who have made a substantial impact in promoting and expanding philanthropy that supports Iowa State through their personal giving and service to the foundation.

Franklin’s history of service at the ISU Foundation includes serving as a foundation governor since 2003, past chair of the finance committee, a member of the governance committee and also of the board of governance sub-committee. She was chair for the foundation’s board of directors during times of economic hardship and leadership transition. During the U.S. financial crisis in 2008-09, when Franklin was the chair of the finance committee, the foundation experienced the largest decline of the endowment value in the organization’s history. Franklin and the committee worked tirelessly to reduce the foundation’s operating expenses without laying off staff, impacting the momentum of the foundation’s campaign.

While she held numerous high-level positions throughout her career, including vice president of human resources for Nationwide (Allied) Insurance, she has gained the most satisfaction serving as a mentor and setting an unwavering example of strength and commitment to other women. Franklin has generously given her time, talents and treasures to make the foundation a more effective and efficient organization, benefitting the university as a whole.