News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777



Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778,

Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720,

Graduation story ideas from Iowa State University

A 35,000-mile college degree

Ben Parrott's agronomy degree has cost him 35,000 miles. That's about how many miles he's put on his car commuting to the Iowa State University campus from Carroll--an average of four days per week for two years. The 32-year-old Parrott, has a business management degree from Northwest Missouri State and works full time. But he decided to go back to school for a degree that would allow him to pursue his passion for the sciences without leaving Carroll. About that time, he and his wife had their second child. Despite the sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn, he worked 40 hours per week in Carroll and carried a full class load at Iowa State. For Parrott, drive time was study time. He digitally recorded his lectures, burned them to CDs, then listened during his daily commute. His hard work is paying off: Parrott landed a job as manager and marketing director for Mobile Analysis Lab, a business venture of Mohr Pork, LLC. He'll be in charge of the lab that runs tests on soil, manure, plant tissue and grains. Contact Parrott, (712) 790-7414,

Graduating entrepreneur

Shane Mairet will step from the commencement stage right into a business--his own. Mairet, who graduates May 9 from Iowa State University with a degree in horticulture, plans to open a garden center soon after he dons his cap and gown. The Wapello native recently purchased five acres of land with retail facilities near Muscatine. His goal is to grow and sell plants, eventually adding an agritourism component focused on family activities and Iowa food production demonstrations. Mairet credits his Iowa State faculty mentors and the resources of the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship for helping him realize his dream. Contact Mairet, (319) 931-3920,

Beating the odds

Most years, nearly 90 percent of Iowa State University graphic design graduates have jobs within six months of graduation. But Scott Welter beat those odds. The senior from Dubuque accepted a job offer on March 9. It's no wonder. The award-winning Welter turned his portfolio of wide-ranging class projects into jobs as a student designer for two campus departments. The abundance of experience ( helped him land a position with Shine Advertising in Madison, Wis. He'll be designing everything from brochures to packaging for clients that include Harley-Davidson. Contact Welter, (563) 599-4653,