Students Living Cardinal, Gold and Green

Featured in every issue of the Live Green! Monthly newsletter, this ongoing series shares the incredible and diverse ways in which ISU students work toward a sustainable future. These young leaders have a wide range of skills and talents, all of which they contribute to the greater goal of long-term economic, environmental and social well-being. As we share these inspiring and empowering stories, we hope our readers look for opportunities to engage with sustainability initiatives that resonate with their unique interests, whether in collaboration with our campus, the Ames community or even a foreign country. If you or someone you know would like to be highlighted in this series, please e-mail us with details. We would be honored to hear from you!

2017-18 Featured Students

Bilawal Khoso (May 2018)

Image of Bilawal Khoso in front of large image.

We have all experienced moments and emotions of feeling left out, out of place and more of a stranger than being welcomed. Whether moving to a new city, diving into a new challenge or taking on a new responsibility, we can all relate to those moments, likely on multiple occasions.

Now imagine experiencing these moments and not speaking the language as your first language, not having easy access to your favorite comfort foods and not being able to visit your family for months, if not years. This is a daily reality for many ISU students, like Muhammad Bilawal Khoso (BK). More


The Fashion Show (April 2018)

The Fashion Show LogoIowa State University offers many hands-on sustainable experiences through clubs and organizations -- one of which is the Iowa State Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management’s (AESHM) Fashion Show. From its humble beginning as a simple runway show in a MacKay Hall classroom, it has grown to be one of the largest student-run fashion shows in the nation, now being held in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa.

The 36th annual Fashion Show accommodates more than 75 Apparel, Merchandising, and Design (AMD) students to display their garments on the runway, promoting durable and creative fashion, opposed to wasteful, fast fashion. The show is also produced, designed and marketed entirely by the 150 students chosen to be a part of the planning committee. Even 100 percent of the models are Iowa State students. More


Live Yoga Live Green (March 2018)

Image of student practicing Yoga in studio. Our daily chores, activities and tasks fill our mind to the brim.The psychology paper due next week, the big project at work and the growing to do list as the week goes on removes us from being mindful of and engaged in the present. As one ISU student knows well, through purposeful mindfulness we enable ourselves to dismiss all the mind clutter and thrive in our present moments.

Growing up in Jaipur, India, Ankur Sharma (graduate student in computer engineering) practiced mantra meditation and strived to live a life focused on yoga principles, taught and guided by his family’s values. By seeing the improvement in his own mindfulness he was inspired to share this knowledge and practice as an ISU student. His inspiration led to the founding of a uniquely-focused student organization — Live Yoga Live Green (LYLG). More


Adam Blake Wright (February 2018)

Adam Blake Wright in front of a mountain range in Australia. Although people often ask why I am living and working in New Zealand, it remains a difficult question for me to answer. After all, I can’t remember a time when traveling here wasn’t at the top of my bucket list.

As I a child, I was fascinated by my grandfather’s National Geographic magazines, and I likely stumbled upon an article or glossy photograph that sparked my fascination with New Zealand at a young age.

Flash forward to Fall 2016: my second-to-last semester at Iowa State. While working as a graduate assistant for Live Green! and completing dual masters degrees in Creative Writing and Sustainable Agriculture, I became increasingly interested in moving abroad to see how other cultures use storytelling to engage with sustainability issues. More


Lindsay Mack (December 2017)

Peer Wellness Educators.

Iowa State University boasts a wide array of student leaders working toward a sustainable future. Though we normally visualize these leaders in classes, laboratories or clubs, a unique group of students is sustaining the future by working as Peer Wellness Educators in Student Wellness, a division of Health Services. This group of student leaders plan, implement and evaluate strategies and programming to address health, well-being and safety on campus in order to ensure wellness and a socially-just future. 

Lindsey Mack, an ISU junior studying environmental science and environmental studies is one of these leaders. Since her arrival at Iowa State, she has had a growing interest in holistic health and wellness. Mack wanted to find a way to enhance student success on campus through higher learning, sense of belonging and holistic wellness.

“I wanted to enable other students to find balance in all dimensions of well-being to achieve their goals in college and beyond,” Mack stated. More


Food Recovery Network (November 2017)

Food Recovery Network logo

Iowa State University offers a diversity of opportunities for students to get involved. With more than 850 student organizations available, Iowa State has much to offer in the realm of clubs and organizations. From engineering to advertising to ukulele, Iowa State ensures students can be engaged in organizations that are catered to their hobbies, majors and passions.

With Thanksgiving (Nov.23), National Philanthropy Day (Nov. 15) and Giving Tuesday (Nov. 28) right around the corner, November is a time to reflect on all we have for which to give thanks, as well as for those not having opportunities that are available to us.

In addition to being thankful, November is the oppportunity to give back. One specific club that goes above and beyond to give back to Iowa State and the Ames community is the newly-formed Food Recovery Network. More


Elizabeth Garzón (October 2017)

Image of Garzon and child in a grassy field.

Elizabeth Garzón, a junior at Iowa State University, is taking her unique "hands-on experience" of working in Uganda to change her lifestyle in Ames. It all began when she encountered an opportunity to travel with the Iowa State University Uganda Program (ISUUP) on its annual summer service trip. She was one of eight service learners from Iowa State selected to spend six weeks in Kamuli, Uganda to teach life skills in farming and sciences through the lens of sustainability through ISUUP.

Garzón heard about this opportunity through multiple professors and eventually decided to go for the opportunity, which is housed under the Iowa State Global Resources Systems program. She said her love for travel and her dual majors of global resources systems and environmental science was a perfect fit. This Cyclone not only wanted to aid the citizens of Kamuli, but wanted to expand her knowledge of sustainability. More



2016-17 Featured Students

The Cultural Ambassador Program (May 2017)

Two students in selfie at Ames Coffee shop.

More than 300 ISU students embark on a new adventure each semester without leaving the grounds of campus.

These students participate in the International Students and Scholars Office's (ISSO) Cultural Ambassador Program. The program pairs an international student with a domestic student, allowing the domestic student to help the international student become more immersed in the Iowa State adventure.

"American students are there to have conversations in English with international students," said Shelby Smith, senior in public relations and student assistant for the Cultural Ambassador Program. "They will answer any questions about U.S. culture, academic experience and rules and regulations of school. The international Cultural Ambassador is able to share their home culture and traditions with the American Cultural Ambassador, as well."

Two ISU students who participated this spring in the program are Maggie Jennett, senior in criminal justice from Ames, Iowa, and Yu-Wen Chen, a graduate student pursuing her doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from Taichung, Taiwan. More


Kinosol (April 2017)

Students working on a food dehydrator.

As student entrepreneurs, the founding members of KinoSol have not only experienced growth in their educational studies at Iowa State, but also through growing a business that is enabling communities to thrive around the world.

In 2014, Clayton Mooney, Elise Kendall, Ella Gehrke and Mikayla Sullivan (pictured in order to the right), all global resource systems majors at Iowa State, formed a team for the Thought For Food Challenge and came up with the idea of dehydration in response to the challenge of feeding the growing world population. The team took second in the competition, and KinoSol was founded.

During the competition, the team brainstormed the name, "KinoSol," which is a combination of the word "kinetics," symbolizing the portability of the dehydration units, and the word "sol," for its solar-powered component.

KinoSol’s company mission is “to decrease post-harvest loss in the most sustainable way possible.” The team has accomplished this by offering a mobile dehydrator for fruits, vegetables, insects and grains that increases food preservation and requires no electricity – making it usable anywhere in the world. More


Kevin Garcia (March 2017)

Students holding diplomas.

Kevin Garcia, sophomore studying business and hospitality management, is seeking unique ways to nourish people in his pursuit of owning a farm to table restaurant.

After graduating high school in Los Angeles, Garcia followed in his sister’s footsteps to attend Iowa State University. At the time, he wanted to become an athletic trainer. Garcia soon realized that his true passion was in cooking. 

“I had been cooking for most of my life,” Garcia said. It was this realization that led him to study culinary arts at the Art Institute back home in Los Angeles. 

After finishing culinary school, Garcia (featured center in photo) got a job as a line cook for Nobu, a Japanese restaurant with more than 30 restaurants worldwide. When Nobu first opened in 1995, it won "Best New Restaurant" from the James Beard Awards, known as the "Oscars of food." Since its beginning, Nobu has continued its award winning performance. It was this position that inspired Garcia to want to open a farm to table restaurant. More


    Rejuvafruit (February 2017)

    Four students pose in front of stone wall. The journey in following a passion is one of discovery, challenge, patience and steadfast focus. Four Iowa State students have stirred passions to make a positive impact on the community.

    Heidi Kalb, junior, Emily Zagula, senior, Paige Myers, senior and Katherine Cummings, senior, all studying global resource systems, turned their passion for food security into Rejuvafruit -- an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the impacts of food waste and enhancing opportunities for reducing waste and decreasing hunger.

    “Nearly one third of all food produced goes to waste,” Kalb said. “That’s a lot of food, inputs, time and money that is lost in a world where not everyone has enough to eat.”

    Rejuvafruit was established in 2015 when these students became a team at Iowa State to compete in the national Thought for Food Challenge. They were tasked to come up with a solution that would feed 9 billion people by 2050. Their solution was to take overripe or “ugly” fruits and dehydrate them to give them a longer shelf life. Not only did they envision a solution, they passionately pursued it. More

    Shelby Ullrich (December 2016)Four students pose in front of wood wall.

    The holiday season sparks a spirit of generosity in many individuals, whether through exchanging presents, giving an extra donation to a local charity or volunteering time to help those in need. For ISU senior majoring in sociology and active member of the Greek Community and Pi Beta Phi, Shelby Ullrich, the spirit of generosity burns brightly year-round.

    In 2015, the Greek Community collectively spent more than 61,000 hours volunteering, an average of 14 hours per community member, and an overall monetary value of more than $1.3 million dollars. Ullrich's contributions to this impressive generosity went well beyond the average, totaling 450 hours — the highest individual commitment of any community member.

    "My biggest motivation to donate my time is the people I get to spend time with," said Ullrich. " The reason I spend time serving people is to ensure that they know they are precious and worthwhile!" More



    Love Your Melon Campus Crew (November 2016)Student dressed like a super hero with child on back dressed as Superman.

    Impact and change is often reflected in something as simple as a smile. When we reflect upon how we have contributed to the well-being of others, it often inspires a warm sense of meaning and continual action to better others' lives.

    Iowa State University's Love Your Melon campus crew and volunteer network, which includes more than 200 ISU students, hopes to keep bringing happiness to families across the Midwest, motivated by the incredible number of smiles they have created in their three years on campus.

    "We aren't here to better ourselves," said Nettie Sparkman, senior in genetics and event management, and co-captain of ISU's Love Your Melon campus crew. "We're here to constantly work to better others." More



    Sustainable Fashionista (October 2016)

    Caitlyn Baagoe smiles in classroom.

    When considering one’s hopes, goals and dreams, the “future” has a different meaning for everyone. For this Iowa State University student, her bright future is the passionate pursuit of becoming a leader in sustainable fashion. 

    Apparel, merchandising and design senior, Caitlyn Baagoe, had the opportunity to follow her passion for sustainability and fashion. Over the summer Baagoe interned for Groceries Apparel in Los Angeles, specializing in 100 percent organic and 100 percent recyclable clothing.

    In addition to their organic and recyclable content commitment, Groceries Apparel also manufactures all of their clothing locally in Los Angeles where they have their own vegetabledye studio.

    By keeping manufacturing in-house, Groceries Apparel is able to maximize “quality, efficiency and employee pay” while minimizing their carbon footprint and waste, making an environmental, economic and social difference. More