Foreword – Spring 2016
For leadership to succeed someone must follow.
Many words are used to describe leaders and leadership in this issue: collaborative, trustworthy, passionate, effective communicator—the list goes on. What’s implied, and I think worth expressing, is that to be a leader you must inspire someone to follow. Together you must accomplish a shared objective or goal. The following pages are filled with students, faculty, staff and alumni who inspire others to work collaboratively, serve others, be innovative and advance agriculture and life sciences.
We’re pleased to bring you a feature on the college’s best known leader, Endowed Dean Wendy Wintersteen (page 20). Dean Wintersteen spoke to a group of women in agriculture attending the FarmHer conference last fall. Her main message to the young women in the audience has stuck with me: Be genuine. Be yourself.
Why is leadership important to the college? See Andy Zehr’s Voices piece (page 18) and research by CALS faculty and staff (page 17), which explain how extracurricular activities allow our students to tailor unique collegiate experiences preparing them for successful and meaningful careers.
The growing role of women in agriculture is featured in a profile on student services specialist Stephanie Zumbach (page 8). Our CALS undergraduate student body is now 50 percent women. You’ll meet several young women in leadership roles across the college in this issue. One is following in the steps of her father. Adelai Swanson and her dad Stuart are the first parent-child legacy to serve as Agricultural Business Club presidents (page 24).
Alum Todd Hall, senior vice president of Cargill, demonstrates the passion and ability to inspire that many attribute to leaders. He’s helping develop future leaders at Cargill and at Iowa State through support of the Global Resource Systems major (page 32). Leaders who’ve inspired me most over the years have been those who’ve stood with me side-by-side and said, “Let’s make this better, together.” I took a moment as this issue went to press to reach out to a few of those folks who’ve inspired me to follow them and also inspired me to be my own brand of leader. I encourage you to reach out to leaders in your life who’ve made a difference. You may find others follow your lead.
Melea Reicks Licht