Highlighting ISU Professional and Scientific Employees


Help us highlight Professional and Scientific employees doing wonderful work by including #highlightingisustaff and/or #pscouncil in your tweets! You can also nominate a fellow Professional and Scientific employee (or team of employees) for the Highlighting ISU Professional and Scientific employees section of the Professional and Scientific Council Newsletter! Submit your nominations using this link, tell us about a P&S employee or team doing outstanding work in your area in 100 words or less and include a picture of them.

June 2024: This month we recognize Leanne Lauber, Program Assistant

Program Assistant with Food Science and Human Nutrition, Leanne Lauber, is one of our Highlighting Professional and Scientific Employees for June.  Leanne was nominated by colleague Nicole Tramp, who commented, “Leanne Lauber is an invaluable asset to our team, blending qualities that set her apart. Her detective work ensures problems are swiftly solved. As a solution seeker and idea generator, she sparks innovation and progress. Detail-oriented, Leanne prevents oversights, vital during recent program development and expansions. Her unwavering support anticipates needs, acting as the program's glue. Organized and eager to take on responsibilities, she benefits both team and program. Leanne's care for colleagues and students fosters a supportive atmosphere. A true team player, she consistently goes above and beyond for collective success.”

Congratulations Leanne, and thank you for all you do!

June 2024: This month we recognize Michelle Becker, Registrar Specialist

Registrar Specialist in the Office of the Registrar, Michelle Becker is one of our Highlighting Professional and Scientific Employees for June.  Michelle was nominated by colleague Emily Dougill, who commented, “Michelle is truly a positive person to have in our office! She is making a positive impact on our workplace culture in many ways, but most impactful through our office professional development committee and an internal book club. She is such a kind person and exudes wonderful student service in her work and with her peers. I appreciate having Michelle in our department!”

Congratulations Michelle, and thank you for all you do!

May 2024: This month we recognize Rachael Gross, Operations Manager

Operations Manager with Finance Service Delivery, Rachael Gross is one of our Highlighting Professional and Scientific Employees for May.  Rachael was nominated by colleague Jenni Winter, who commented, “Rachael is an amazing leader for both FSD and Iowa State. She is committed to ensuring our practices and systems are fully leveraged. She works endless hours to ensure her team feels valued and appreciated. She openly takes on initiatives and is called on by senior leaders frequently as a resource. She accepts challenges daily and approaches them with a solution-focused mindset. She commits time to becoming the best possible leader she has been actively involved with the implementation of Workday and Finance Service Delivery.”

Congratulations Rachael, and thank you for all you do!

May 2024: This month we recognize Jena Jones, Business Administrator

Business Administrator in the Design Administration Department, Jena Jones is one of our Highlighting Professional and Scientific Employees for May.  Jena was nominated by colleague Emily Dougill, who commented, “Jena is such a positive person to collaborate and work with! I work closely with her regarding course fees for the College of Design and her emails are always cheerful, her collaboration is sincere, and I appreciate the work that she does for our students on campus!”

Congratulations Jena, and thank you for all you do!

April 2024: This month we recognize Isaac Ehlers, Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Assistant Director in the Office of Financial Aid, Isaac Ehlers is one of our Highlighting Professional and Scientific Employees for April. Isaac was nominated by colleague Jen Schroeder, who commented “Our customer base of students overlaps frequently as many students utilize Financial Aid to pay their University Bills. As a result, I must reach out to Isaac regularly when helping a student pay a bill, register for classes, or to create consistency between our office’s customer service teams. Isaac is responsive, knowledgeable, and honest. I know that a quick message to Isaac will be addressed in a timely manner allowing me to serve our customers efficiently and effectively. Knowing I have a trusted colleague helps me make informed decisions.”

Congratulations Isaac, and thank you for all you do!

April 2024: This month we recognize Casey Dague, Technology Manager of Memorial Union

Technology Manager with the Memorial Union, Casey Dague is one of our Highlighting Professional and Scientific Employees for April. Casey was nominated by colleague Lana Seiler, who commented “Casey is an integral part of the Memorial Union team because he uses his knowledge, experience and creativity in helping our customers achieve their event's audiovisual goals. He also recently spearheaded the MU's digital wayfinding project which took a lot of time, collaboration and planning. In the words of one of our customers, "During events, Casey is always the MVP - fixing problems, running the show and ensuring that everyone has a great experience."

Congratulations Casey, and thank you for all you do!

March 2024: This month we recognize Brenda Emery, Graduate Student Services Specialist II

Brenda was nominated by colleague Deanna Powell, who commented, “She has been a team player, lifting more than her weight in committees, and lending a helping hand to other departments when they asked. She has been a huge support to me as I've learned the University and department ropes. She navigates the constant changes here with grace and style, and maintains that crucial balance between being realistic and staying upbeat.”

Congratulations Brenda, and thank you for all you do!

March 2024: This month we recognize Jordan Harding, Occupational Safety Specialist II

Jordan was nominated by colleague Cody Volkmann, who commented, “Jordan has developed and cultivated relationships with ISU research farms around campus and all around Iowa to improve the safety of farm employees. By working closely with them and determining solutions that work for their unique situations, he has helped improve the safety culture of the ISU research farms.”

Congratulations Jordan, and thank you for all you do!

February 2024: This month we recognize Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Associate Provost

Ann Marie was nominated by colleague Lori Sutton, who commented, “Ann Marie works tirelessly in her role to advance the mission of Iowa State University, and she is a joy to support. She communicates clearly, provides achievable goals and positive feedback, stays calm under pressure and is exceptionally thoughtful.”

Congratulations Ann Marie, and thank you for all you do!



February 2024: This month we recognize Mitchell Hein, Residence Hall Coordinator

Mitchell was nominated by colleague Casey Dworzynski, who commented, “Mitchell is co-chair of the Resident Assistant Development committee, the group responsible for training and preparing our RAs to perform their roles. Under his leadership, this group has met all year and is currently performing daily miracles.”

Congratulations Mitchell, and thank you for all you do!

January 2024: This month we recognize Kimberly Hope, Manager of Volunteer Engagement

Kimberly was nominated by colleague Brooke Rogers, who commented "Kim is one of my favorite people on campus; whenever I get a chance to work with her I am always so thankful for her positive spirit, work-ethic, and ability to connect with anyone she works with. Kim makes Iowa State University a more welcoming place. Reiman Gardens is lucky to have someone of her capacity in her role as volunteer manager!" 

Congratulations Kim, and thank you for all you do!

January 2024: This month we recognize Katie Lott, Administrative Assistant II 

Katie was nominated by colleague Cindy Bartleson, who commented “Katie Lott played a significant role in covering a 3+ month staff vacancy within Mechanical Engineering while also performing her own full-time duties as Capstone assistant.  She has streamlined several processes and has established aids for future staff members, creating a better understanding going forward. There was never a letdown in her excellent service to our faculty, staff, and students.”

Congratulations Katie, and thank you for all you do!




December 2023: This month we recognize Gregg Hadish, Research Scientist II 

Gregg was nominated by colleague Robin McNeely, who commented “Gregg works to keep statewide imagery and other spatial data updated and accessible on the GIS Facility's Iowa Geographic Map Server. The imagery is used by many educators and researchers in Iowa and beyond. Gregg works mainly behind the scenes on this collection of datasets, improving content and access.” 

Congratulations Gregg, and thank you for all you do!

December 2023: This month we recognize Hayden Merkel, Program Specialist I 

Hayden was nominated by colleague Leif Olsen, who commented “Hayden leads efforts to help ISU students get connected with resources and to complete their degree at ISU. He has innovated work related to student success and retention.  Hayden spends countless hours having conversations with students to support their success and is often described by students as their guardian angel - there at the time they needed someone the most.”

Congratulations Hayden, and thank you for all you do!

November 2023: This month we recognize Karla Long, Accountant II 

Karla was nominated by colleague Deanna Powell, who commented, "Karla Long is a cornerstone of FSHN. She serves on committees, disseminating information from both CALS and CHS.  She attends meetings and speaks up when she sees things that must be done. She's a wealth of information; I can’t overstate how much she knows about how things work in FSHN and how the different aspects of our department work together. She works well with everyone in her orbit.”



Congratulations Karla, and thank you for all you do!

November 2023: This month we recognize Courteney Kuehl, Financial Aid Advisor II 

Courteney was nominated by her Financial Aid Team Supervisor, Seth Miller, who commented, Courteney is a trailblazer. Her creativity continues to impact our productivity through the streamlining of procedures. She serves as a Workday test lead and is the backbone of the Verification unit within the OSFA. Always having the welfare of our student population at her forefront, her selfless service continues to benefit anyone she associates with.”

Congratulations Courteney, and thank you for all you do!

October 2023: This month we recognize Natalie Robinson, Assistant Director 

Natalie was nominated by Business Administrator, Samantha Hirschman, who commented, “Natalie goes above and beyond for her employees and colleagues. Natalie has spent the last two years supporting both the current needs of the Graduate College and future state of graduate education with Workday Student, both requiring full-time attention. Even when everything around us is all falling apart, she keeps it together and continues to advocate and support her colleagues.”

Congratulations Natalie, and thank you for all you do!

October 2023: This month we recognize Xiaobo Xiong, Grant Specialist II 

Xiaobo was nominated by Grant Specialist II, Judy Knoblock, who commented, “Xiaobo has put in significant time and effort training as a "Streamlyne" super user, learning to navigate this new system and share that knowledge with our team. This is in addition to her extensive grant pre and post-award workload, and efforts to update SOPs and budget templates to make sure our tools and resources are up to date. Xiaobo is a trusted resource who regularly makes time to assist others with questions and always does so with a smile, competence, kindness, and grace.”


Congratulations Xiaobo, and thank you for all you do!

September 2023: This month we recognize Ashley Sawyer, Program Assistant III 

Ashley was nominated by Director of the Pappajohn Center, Judi Eyles, who commented, “Ashley Sawyer has an incredible work ethic, and we are so fortunate to have her on our team. In her role at the Pappajohn Center, Ashley manages our events, catering, vendors, procurement, technology, client invoices, communications, student orientations, class visits, and so much more!  Before we ever think about the details, Ashley has completed them. She is everywhere! Moving things, setting up for events, checking on registrations, greeting people, cleaning up, communicating with registrants and answering questions left and right. It is a never-ending cycle! She is always on top of everything, with an infectious smile and high energy!”

Congratulations Ashley, and thank you for all you do!

August 2023: This month we recognize Jenny Benda, Accounts Receivable Specialist II 

Jenny was nominated by Registrar Specialist II, Emily Dougill, who commented, “I appreciate Jenny SO much! She has been a great collaborator in working with some of the overlap between student accounts and tuition and fees. She’s kind, helpful and a really lovely person to work with. She has made my transition into my role within the Registrar’s office easier with her helpfulness and support.”


Congratulations Jenny, and thank you for all you do!

July 2023: This month we recognize Andrea Mauton, Business Administrator in Materials Science Engineering 

Andrea was nominated by Materials Science Engineering Administrative Assistant Mikayla Lim, who commented, “I would like to give Andrea a shout out for all the hard work she does around the department. Thanks to her and her dedication to our department, we have been able to revamp our spaces with our faculty’s research photos and hang up plaques for our student organization. Any small detail that you think would be missing, doesn’t get missed on Andrea’s watch. She truly goes above and beyond to make sure everything is ready, no matter what the task or activity. Thank you for all your do and I am very grateful to call you a co-worker and friend."

Congratulations Andrea, and thank you for all you do!

May 2023: This month we recognize Dwight Dake, Information Technology Support III in LAS IT

Dwight was nominated by Jason Follett, President Elect of P&S Council, who said, “Dwight was recruited by ITS to assist P&S Council with the creation and oversight of the 2023 Election ballot via Qualtrics. Mentored by Past P&S Council President Amy Ward, Dwight crafted and testedthe ballot over several weeks. He also provided troubleshooting during election week. Dwight was a constant professional throughout the process andcompleted these tasks on top of his regular duties supporting ITS needs in LAS and Sociology. His efforts were one of the key puzzle pieces which lead to a higher voter turnout.”


Congratulations Dwight, and thank you for all you do!

April 2023: This month we recognize Megan Jensen, Systems Analyst for IT Services

Megan was nominated by Jennifer Schroeder, Associate Director ofAccounts Receivable, who commented, “Megan Jensen is a new addition to theProfessional Development Committee on P&S Council and a great addition! Megan works for IT and has been integral in helping us provide seminar series virtually. We have struggled with recording sessions, but Megan has collaborated with others on campus to get proper access and information necessary to make recording our series easier and uploading recordings forothers to watch later. Thank you Megan for your IT experience!”


Congratulations Megan, and thank you for all you do!

March 2023: This month we recognize Steve Couchman, Learning and Development Specialist with University Human Resources

Steve was nominated by John Estes, Communications Manager in University Human Resources, who said, “Steve was instrumental in the development of the Workday Learn platform that launched in January. The rollout began with 34 course offerings, including university compliance-related training like Title IX and free speech and UHR online options. Eventually, over 9,000 LinkedIn Learning courses will be available. ISU supervisors now have up-to-the-minute information about employees' internal learning history for professional development conversations and can pull reports on their team's progress toward training goals. Steve's leadership, creativity or organizational skills helped make the launch of this important platform a big success!”

Congratulations Steve, and thank you for all you do!

February 2023: This month we recognize Samantha Hand, Administrative Assistant in the Department of Aerospace Engineering

Samantha was nominated by Arlene Grebasch, business administrator in Aerospace Engineering, who commented, “Samantha has been such an excellent addition to our department and team! We have done A LOT of catering and events this academic year. Her leadership in this area is next level! She takes our events from inception to clean up without incident. She makes events look easy! She does an excellent job working independently but also keeping everyone who's necessary in the loop of communication. She has established great relationships throughout our department. As a bonus, her cheery nature and happy disposition make our office an enjoyable place to work!”

Congratulations Samantha, and thank you for all you do!