ISU Pres. Wendy Wintersteen meets with Sen. Mark Lofgren

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–As a public university, Iowa State University officials communicate with people from across the state to craft programs and policies that suit the needs of students. Part of this communication includes talking with legislators, allowing the university to share its specific concerns and learn about funding opportunities available. Sept. 8, Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen met with Senator Mark Lofgren as part of her efforts to communicate with people in counties across the state.

Because Lofgren served on the economic development budget subcommittee, which provides some of the funding that Iowa State University receives, Wintersteen has known and worked with him for several years. “We really wanted to meet up with the senator to talk and learn about the senator’s priorities and talk about our priorities,” she said.

Lofgren also welcomed the opportunity to meet with Wintersteen because it allows him to learn more about how Iowa State University benefits students in Senate District 48 and to look for ways that the university can help address various needs in the region. “We had a relationship for a long time because of budget,” he shared. “We periodically like to talk before the session starts.”

In recent years, Iowa State University has worked with KENT Corporation through internships and other student opportunities in their Innovation Center. Additionally, KENT Corporation has lent their support to Iowa State University’s project to create a feed mill for students in various agriculture related majors to use for learning experiences. Because many students in Muscatine attend Iowa State University for agriculture and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM) degrees, Wintersteen appreciates working with Lofgren and others in the community to determine how to help local students as well as businesses who hire their graduates succeed. “The economic development of this community has been very important, both to the universities and the state,” Wintersteen observed.

Because Muscatine County, as well as the state of Iowa, continue to focus on creating additional workforce housing for people in all income brackets, Lofgren hoped that Muscatine could eventually partner with Iowa State University to serve as one of their model cities for new 3-D printed houses they have started developing. “I think we’re doing a pretty good job on that, but what Iowa State is doing is good,” he remarked. Since Iowa State University specializes in STEM focused studies, Lofgren also hopes to bring Wintersteen back to Muscatine in the future to show her the STEM wing of Muscatine High School, which opened for student use in 2020. Wintersteen also intends to visit Muscatine to spend some time at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office as well.

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