Graduate College Commencement

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Date/Time:Friday, 09 May 2014 at 8:00 pm
Location: Hilton Coliseum
Channel:Academic Calendar
Categories:Academic calendar, Special events
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Commencement speaker is Jonathan Wendel, ISU Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Jonathan F. Wendel is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Professor and Chair of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. He studies plants that contain more than two sets of chromosomes, to understand how these plants have evolved, and to expand knowledge in the field of plant genetics.

In 2012, Wendel helped lead an international consortium of scientists that mapped the cotton genome, an achievement that has had a significant impact on cotton growers and plant biologists around the world.

Wendel earned his BA from the University of Michigan, and his MA and PhD from the University of North Carolina. He served as a plant geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service at North Carolina State University before joining the Iowa State faculty in 1986. Wendel initially served as an assistant, associate, and full professor in the Department of Botany before becoming chair of the newly created Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology in 2002.

Wendel is the author of more than 200 publications in prestigious journals, including Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Genome Biology and Evolution, and he has received numerous international honors and awards for his work. He was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010. Wendel received the Outstanding Contributions to Cotton Genomics Award from the International Cotton Genome Initiative in 2012, and the Cotton Biotechnology Award from Cotton Incorporated in 2013.

Iowa State's students and faculty have also recognized Professor Wendel. He received the Outstanding Achievement in Research Award in 1999; was named a Master Teacher in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2005; and was recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Departmental Leadership in 2009.