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

Message from Dean Beate Schmittmann

Dean Beate Schmittmann.
Dean Beate Schmittmann.

Dear LAS alumni and friends,

As some of you may know, I will retire from Iowa State University on June 30. There’s no way to express the level of gratitude I feel for everyone who has helped make the past 12 years an exceptional and meaningful time in my life.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University is a special place. It’s a place of amazing curiosity and prolific discovery. It’s an epicenter for learning and innovation. And it’s been an extraordinary place for building new and enduring relationships.

This issue of Link speaks to some of the things that make me the proudest.

First, you’ll meet a young physicist who performed undergraduate research at one of the nation’s most important laboratories, collaborating with teams of some of the brightest scientists from around the world. Thanks to our incredible faculty, staff, partners, and alumni and friends, students like Kira have a multitude of opportunities to explore research, career opportunities, and cultures across the globe. In recent years, we’ve tripled the amount of scholarships awarded, and added financial assistance for students pursuing undergraduate research, study abroad, unpaid internships, and student teaching.

You’ll also learn about Professor David Peterson’s research, which educates students and the community on issues that shape our future. David is currently the Lucken Professor in Political Science, an honor and award established by a gift from Kent and Kristen Lucken. Professorships like these are important because they help us recruit and retain top faculty like David. This professorship is also special to me because it was the very first one established when I started my tenure as dean.

We’ve featured an alum who personifies making a mark on the world. As a student, Beth Nervig experienced new languages and cultures through study abroad, and was on the cutting edge of social media writing as an apprentice for Dotdash Meredith. Now she’s combining those experiences with her talents and compassion to help improve lives through professional and volunteer engagement.

These are just three people from the LAS community. Imagine how many more people I’ve had the privilege of meeting over the last 12 years. You impress me. You surprise me. You inspire me.

Thank you for enriching the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and for supporting education, research, and discovery that improves our world every day.