Edited by: Ana Ramirez 
Greenlee's Graduate Student Association hosts 
pumpkin carving event at Reiman Gardens

Greenlee's Graduate Student Association hosted a pumpkin carving event Oct. 19 in collaboration with Reiman Gardens to celebrate Halloween. The event was meant to connect students outside of the academic setting and help Reiman Gardens achieve their goal of carving over 800 pre-designed pumpkins. 

T he finished jack-o'-lanterns were showcased during an evening event called "Spirits in the Gardens." Participants had the opportunity to attend a special volunteer preview to see the pumpkins being installed. 

"It was such a great way to get away from things and have some fun," GSA Treasurer and second-year master's student Saige Heyer said. "We couldn't have asked for better weather to be outside. The other staff and volunteers were a lot of fun and very helpful."

Former grad director 
Daniela Dimitrova receives award for  excellence 
in graduate mentoring 

Professor and former director of graduate education Dr. Daniela Dimitrova won the 2018 award for excellence in graduate mentoring from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The award was especially poignant for Dimitrova because over the past six years she has had the opportunity to work closely with graduate students not only as a professor, but as the DOGE of the master's program at Greenlee.  
Currently, she is serving as major professor to four graduate students, including three who are working on their theses and one who is putting together a creative component. Dimitrova is also mentoring two students in the federal McNair program, which aims to encourage students from underrepresented groups to apply for graduate school. 
"For me personally, it is really rewarding to mentor graduate students because I want them to grow and succeed as future professionals," Dimitrova said.
Dimitrova is inspired by the mentors she had during her master's and Ph.D. programs because they depicted what a successful, supportive and encouraging environment looks like in a professional setting. 
Her goal when it comes to mentoring is to get students to exceed and surpass their teacher. That way, they can continue in their careers and pass on the same lesson to their future mentees. 
Dimitrova said her most significant mentoring challenge is to manage a student's expectations in a manner that doesn't seem discouraging. On the other hand, Dimitrova said the most rewarding aspect about mentoring graduate students is that she gets to witness how a student matures over time and takes ownership of their project. 
"What I really love is to see a graduate student grow through the process in the graduate program. You want them to work independently, learn new skills and discover their passion," Dimitrova said. 
As an experienced professor and mentor, Dimitrova recommends other faculty members be willing to invest extra time and provide individual support to each student. Not everyone is the same, and it is critical to recognize the diversity of each cohort and attend to their individual needs, she said. 

Faculty Spotlight: Laura  Witzling
Assistant Professor 

The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication welcomed three new faculty members this year, one of whom is Dr. Laura Witzling. Witzling obtained her B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 
Her research focuses on understanding the role of communication in our food system, with an emphasis on sustainability. Witzling often reaches out to the community and works with partners who face a communication challenge within the food system. When conducting research, she usually applies quantitative methods such as surveys, but she also enjoys working with other methods. 
Witzling said she joined the Greenlee School because its faculty are engaged with students and also active in scholarship and practice. What does she want students to know? "I'm really looking forward to getting to know them!" 
Witzling enjoys hiking, cycling, cooking, reading and traveling. She has two children, which means that she takes on their hobbies, such as Monopoly, Legos and Harry Potter. 

Student Spotlight: Kimberly Nelson 
Presenter  at International Communication Association conference

Kimberly Nelson, a graduate student in the master's program, presented her research at the Environmental Communication Graduate Student Preconference, which was part of the larger 2018 International Communication Association conference. 
The conference took place in Prague, the Czech Republic, May 24-28. A total of 3,000 communication scholars attended the conference. Nelson presented a case study focusing on the language used by Guam residents when speaking about their island's environmental issues. 
"My first experience attending a conference abroad was great. I am happy the faculty and staff at Greenlee, especially Dr. Wald, Dr. Dimitrova, Courtney Witte and Kris Angaran, helped me put everything together so I could attend," Nelson said. 
At the pre-conference, Nelson networked with graduate students and faculty members from all over the world who study a variety of communication topics. She said the experience was positive and allowed her to create new friendships and attend research panels in the environmental communication division. 
Nelson's major professor, Dr. Dara Wald, encouraged her to submit her research study to the preconference. Wald's recommendation to graduate students is to be confident and submit their research; if unsure, look to the excellent faculty at Iowa State for guidance and support. 
"I am so grateful for Dr. Wald's support of my research and the push to get it out there, or I might have missed the opportunity completely. Dr. Dimitrova was also incredibly helpful and supportive during the whole process," Nelson said. 

Spring 2019 Course Options 
Registration for graduate students begins Oct. 17, 2018

JL MC 503X:  Advanced Research Methods: Quantitative                    Dr. Andy King 

JL MC 504X:  Advanced Research Methods: Qualitative                      Dr. Novotny Lawrence
JL MC 576: World Communication System                                           Dr. Daniela Dimitrova

JL MC 574: Communication Technologies and Social Change             Dr. Daniela Dimitrova

JL MC 510: Strategies of Communication                                             Dr. Laura Witzling 

JL MC 560: Risk Perception and Communication                                 Dr. Dara Wald 
Upcoming Events 

Competition: Three-Minute Thesis Final 
Nov. 5, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at 2157 Pearson Hall 
Award-Winning Faculty Series: Among Others: How to Really Make Your Classroom More Inclusive (Javier Vela) 
Nov. 7, 12:10 pm - 1:00 pm at 2030 Morrill Hall or view on your own via Zoom