Honors Ambassadors on: ISU Rec Services

Honors Ambassadors have lots of experience with ISU’s Recreation Services program, which has one of the largest and best intramural sports programs in the nation. Honors students participate in Outdoor Rec trips and fitness classes and are Intramural Champs of all kinds. Find out more here: http://www.recservices.iastate.edu/

Kaitlin Peterson, junior in English Educationkaitlin
Hi! One way that I like to stay in shape is to go to fitness classes that are offered at State Gym and at Lied. There are a ton of classes for cycling, yoga, and kickboxing. My all-time favorite is Sunrise Yoga at State Gym. It is a wonderful way to start the morning. The sun shines in through the windows as the class starts which makes for a beautiful sunrise that the class gets to watch as we do our morning yoga. Don’t be worried if you aren’t flexible because I definitely am not! A lot of the poses are meant to strengthen the core and help us to relax. It is a peaceful way to start out the day, especially this past week with all these midterms! The class I like starts at 7, but there are a lot of other yoga classes that are spread throughout the day if you aren’t a morning person. If yoga isn’t your thing, then there a large variety of classes such as different varieties of cycling, cardio dance classes, and all sorts of things! Grab a friend and check them out!


allieAllie Volk, junior in Biology
As a freshman, arguably one of my best discoveries was a hip hop dance group fitness class through Rec Services. Being a student who was very active in high school with sports, adjusting to a college lifestyle where my schedule was dominated by classes and coursework led to me leading a drastically more inactive lifestyle. Also, because sports kept me active in high school, I was very intimidated by the idea of going to the gym to workout. Hip hop dance class offered me a low-pressure, fun way to fit physical activity into my schedule. The instructor makes it easy to follow along, the music choices are always great, and it’s not at all dependent on your ability to dance. Having a scheduled time to exercise also helped keep me honest and reliable about going. And if dancing isn’t your ideal method of staying active, Rec Services offers a wide range of classes from spin to kickboxing, so it’s really easy to find one that works for you.


Traer Schon, senior in Journalism and Mass Communication
Didn’t get recruited my Steve Prohm, Matt Campbell, or Christy Johnson-Lynch? Well don’t worry, intramural sports offer plenty of chances to relive your high school sports glory days. I’ve had the chance to be in a couple different intramural leagues , and they were a lot of fun and very easy to do. Definitely check them out—but if you beat me out of a T-shirt I will not be happy.


Catie Meis, senior in Materials Engineeringcatie-2
If are looking for a little adventure (or if you wish you were more adventurous), check out the Outdoor Rec Program’s extended trips! They are usually offered over Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break, and at the beginning and end of summer. There is wide variety of trips, with various activities and traveling to locations across the US. My sister and I went backpacking for a week in northern Georgia over spring break last year with a group of 10 ISU students and a couple outdoor recreation staff and we had an absolute blast! We made new friends, enjoyed time outdoors, learned some new skills, got in some solid exercise, and best of all – left our phones and schoolwork behind for a week. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a break week. If backpacking isn’t your thing, there are lots of other trips – I’ve seen kayaking, canoeing, rafting, caving, climbing, mountain biking, and even surfing trips advertised in the past. If you can’t convince a friend, don’t worry – you’ll make them along the way. You generally don’t need prior outdoors experience to participate either – just bring a great attitude. Also, these trips are SUPER inexpensive for what they are – Outdoor Rec does all the trip planning and provides food, transportation, and equipment. All you need to do is bring clothes and personal items typically. Excited yet? Check it out! http://www.recservices.iastate.edu/outdoors/ Last tip – check the registration dates and show up bright and early when the outdoor rec office opens that day – the trips fill up fast!


melanieMelanie Stoss, junior in Chemistry
I encourage everyone to get involved in the intramurals at Iowa State because there is such a wide variety of activities to choose from. I haven’t done as many as I would have liked to, but from the few I have done (racquetball, disc golf, NCAA tournament bracket, and tennis), I had a BLAST and even won a couple of intramural champ t-shirts! Some events require a partner or a team but others you can do on your own. Some are not based on athletic ability whatsoever, so don’t let that hold you back because it is meant to be fun anyway (be on the lookout, Battleship H20 is coming up in November and is in my opinion the best intramural offered here!). If competition isn’t your thing, recreation services also offers group fitness classes for the beginner exerciser and for the avid lifter and runner. From yoga to Zumba to strength or water training, the hour-long classes are a small commitment where you can meet awesome people if you make it part of your weekly routine.


img_0836Morgan Hassebroek, senior in Kinesiology and Health
Intramurals are a great way to stay in shape and meet new people! Because there are so many options and levels of difficulty, anyone can join and possibly end up a champion! The champion T-shirts are awesome and are a coveted item here on campus. I haven’t gotten one yet but I plan to before I graduate!

Tired of Dining Hall Food?

by Maddie Keane

People say they get sick of dining hall food by the end of their dorm dwelling days, but I found ways to keep things interesting. Here are 10 tips to keep it interesting while eating on campus.

  1. Check the menu. If it says Convos has crepes, go there. Fast. Run if you must, but do not miss crepe day. Pick the dining hall serving something you like. Can’t find anything you like? Try to imagine what usually goes with the meal. If the menu option is quesadilla, there will also be taco toppings.  You can make a salad with black beans, salsa, cheese and jalapeños instead!
  2. Never miss the specialty days. If they change up the food for you, you have no reason to be bored. Look for posters on the walls of the dining hall or in the information cards of the napkin holders.
  3. Caramel + Apple: put 2 pumps of caramel from the ice cream station in a bowl. Add apple slices from the salad bar. Dip apple slices in caramel. If there are no slices available, carefully use a butter knife to cut up a whole apple. You could also bite into the apple and spoon caramel into your mouth directly afterward.
  4. Find the waffle maker at UDCC! Top with peanut butter, chocolate chips, nuts, strawberries and whipped cream from the ice cream and other condiment stations.
  5. Ice cream floats: add soft serve to root beer, Coke, Pepsi, or any of the various drinks offered for the perfect touch at the end of the meal. Add chocolate milk for a milkshake, candy pieces or real fruit from the salad bar for a blizzard effect, or cereal for a delicious dessert with a big crunch.
  6. Do not let time of day limit your choice of cuisine. Eat cereal for dinner. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast! Get creative, and go after whatever your taste buds are screaming for.
  7. Mix it up! Eat several side dishes from different stations. Ask for the chicken breast from the grill, chop it up and eat it on a salad. Pour strawberry sauce on the plain cheesecake to make it even more delicious and even less nutritious.
  8. Get a smoothie with a meal swipe! Froots, located in State Gym, has a variety of smoothies from the Berry Bopper to the Oreo Madness. A swipe includes any smoothie in any size and a side. Sides include granola bars, cheese sticks, and fruit.
  9. Meal bundles are always a good option, especially if you have lab until 10pm or you forgot to eat dinner. Convos has smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and a bunch of fun sides from 7-11pm (try the macaroni and cheese!). You can grab a breakfast bundle too! You can eat at Convos or take your bundle to go. You can choose an extra side instead of the main dish if you’d like. Take some of your sides with you for a snack later or another meal. Pro tip: order online to avoid the line!
  10. Buy a smaller meal plan. This is an easy way to save money and assure you won’t get tired of the food offered at the dining hall. This is not a good option for everyone, but if you do not have time for breakfast or lunch anyway, go for the silver or bronze plan. Use dining dollars to buy a breakfast at a campus café or a vending machine. Save up lots of room in your belly, and eat one, satisfying meal in the dining hall. The bronze plan includes lots of dining dollars that you can use at Froots, Subway, Panda, campus cafés and many of the vending machines around campus.


So dorm dwellers: Do not get bored of the dining hall. Use these tips and come up with more of your own ways to mix it up. If you gain the freshman 15, at least you will have enjoyed the process!

P.S. If you have a bunch of left over meals, find upperclassman (like me) to help you use them at the end of the semester. We are happy to help out!

The Beatles Retrospective Trip, AKA the Best Week of our Entire Lives

by Natalie Vance and Becca Lair

Hello! This is Becca and Natalie, friendly neighborhood Honors co-leader has-beens, and Beatles aficionados. Two years ago, we got the incredible opportunity to go on the very first Beatles Retrospective class trip to London and Liverpool! It was the greatest experience of our college careers, and we think you should experience it too! Here’s why…

On our first day, we got the chance to explore the city of London: mastering the underground, taking a double-decker bus tour, and splitting off for our own adventures (including a Harry Potter tour, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park).



The second day was a Tower of London tour in the morning and a Brixton tour in the afternoon. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Tower of London was the former home of many British Kings, including Henry VIII, and is actually the site of Anne Boleyn’s execution- you can see her grave. Today it houses the Crown Jewels. Brixton, on the other hand, is quite a bit different. It’s basically a super culturally diverse borough of London with lots of arcades (local open air malls), art, and music. Fun fact, it is also the origin of the 80’s song “Electric Avenue” and the home of David Bowie (God rest his soul).



After a full day of walking we got to go to a show called Let It Be London, also known as our chance to scream like the teenage girls did in the sixties to the real Beatles. The costumes, the interaction with the crowd, the talent, so amazing.


As if we weren’t already hardcore fangirling, we got to spend our third day exploring all of the famous Beatles landmarks in London. This included Chiswick (picture site for Rubber Soul and the first music video “Rain”), Twickenham (the site of filming for Hard Day’s Night and some of Help), and Abbey Road, where we cried, wrote our names on the wall, and walked across the famed street from the album Abbey Road. After coming down from our Abbey Road high, we got the fanciest dinner ever at the world famous Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, complete with meat hand carved on a cart, Yorkshire pudding, and spotted dick.




The next day was the first day we spent in Liverpool. Here we toured the famed historic sea town and music hub, visiting the LIPA school (an incredible fine arts college owned by Sir Paul himself, located in the former school two of the Beatles attended as boys), and the Albert Dock, where there was the largest Beatles museum in the world. That night we got time to explore on our own and visit some of the other things that make Liverpool so great.



Our last full day in Liverpool was probably the best day of the whole trip. John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes are owned by the National Trust, and are therefore open for tours. Needless to say, we cried again, touched everything, and sang in John’s entryway where he and Paul wrote music as kids.


In the afternoon we went on our very own “Magical Mystery Tour”, visiting Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, George and Ringo’s childhood homes, and topping it off with a tour of the Cavern Club, a venue that the Beatles played over 200 times.


Our last day was spent traveling back to London for museums, more famous sites, and a farewell pub dinner to England and all its glory.



In conclusion, if you’re looking for a spring break unlike any other, the Beatles Retrospective trip is the way to go. Together we learned so much about England, its culture, and we especially gained a new appreciation for one of the greatest bands of all time, the Beatles.  We will never forget our incredible experience and the friendships we made, and we know you won’t forget it either.

Alex + Anime

by Alex McPhail

Something that I have learned during my time in college is that it is important to take care of yourself. Between classes, schoolwork, clubs, work, and sleeping, I find myself with little free time. Despite this, I try to take a little bit of time each day, usually before bed, to do something I enjoy. This something for me is watching anime.

Anime is essentially Japanese cartoons, but let me be the first to tell you that it is far from any cartoon with Western origins. There are some good Western cartoons, but nothing compares to anime. Whether you’ve watched anime before or this is your first time hearing about it, I’m going to let you in on some of my personal recommendations of what is definitely worth watching.

1. Aldnoah.Zero

image-1I watched this show over the summer per recommendation by a coworker and I have not stopped obsessing over it since. It has easily become my favorite show. It is about a war that breaks out after a 15-year ceasefire between Earth and the Vers Empire, which was established on the planet Mars with the help of an ancient technology known as Aldnoah. There is a lot more to the show than simply that, but this show establishes the plot and characters very early and will have you hooked within just a couple episodes.

While I didn’t want to have this list include too many similar shows, if you enjoy shows about wars/mechas (giant robots), I would also highly recommend Code Geass and Gurren Lagann. Code Geass is very methodical in its strategies and battles whereas Gurren Lagann has got some great humor, emotion, and over-the-top animation.

2. Mob Psycho 100

This show recently finished airing and lives up to all of the hype surrounding it. It is about a boy, Mob, who is very average except that he is a powerful Esper. From a young age he can tell his psychic powers are dangerous and he lives without expressing much emotion in order to keep his powers under control. However, events in his life threaten this and test his limits.

I absolutely love this show. It has such a unique animation style, lovable characters, and is a great mix of humor, action, and emotion.


3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Highly-acclaimed by many, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a great series all around and also great for beginners looking to get into anime. It is about two brothers who lose their mother at a young age. The two are talented alchemists and so they attempt to bring their mother back to life, but their plan backfires. Not only are they unsuccessful, but in the process one brother loses an arm and leg and the other brother loses his entire body, only his soul remains intact within a suit of armor. Their journey then takes off as they search for the Philosopher’s Stone in order to recover their bodies.

Quick distinction to make, if you go to look up this series you’ll also find a series just titled Fullmetal Alchemist. This version was released before Brotherhood and while the beginning of the series is relatively the same, it eventually deviates and takes on its own story. This is because when it was airing the manga had not yet been finished and so they had to go off on their own with the story. Brotherhood is the later series and follows the manga in its entirety. While the original series has mixed reviews among fans, Brotherhood is hands down a must watch.


4. Kiznaiverimage-4

Kiznaiver is another newer show that really caught my eye and had me feeling very excited and emotional with each episode. It is about a group of high school students who are chosen to become “Kiznaivers”. Within the “Kizna System”, they become connected and experience the emotional and physical pain of one another. They are then forced through missions and trials to grow closer and develop their bond in an experiment to create peace through this system.


5. Psycho-Pass

image-5Psycho-Pass is another very popular starter anime. It has got some logic and thinking behind it, but has a really great story and premise. It is set in the future, in a Japan run by the Sibyl System. This system measures the mental states of those in the city and determines how likely they will be to commit crimes (as assessment called Psycho-Pass). Akane Tsunemori is a new inspector who has to work to keep the system in tact while a plot arises to bring down the system.


6. Steins;Gate

If you’re looking for a more methodical, “smart” show involving science and time-travel, Steins;Gate is the show for you. While it starts out a bit slow (in my opinion), it easily picks up and becomes a show you can’t tear yourself away from. It is about a self-proclaimed mad scientist who likes to invent “future gadgets” with a hacker friend and childhood friend of his. Most of their inventions come up with less-than-desirable results until one works and throws them into a string of mysterious events that they have to overcome in order to get the future back in order.image-6


And that concludes some of my top recommendations! Again, this is just some of my personal favorites within a particular niche of shows I enjoy. There are many other genres of shows and I would highly encourage you to do a little research and find a show that is perfect for you!

Top 5 Ice Cream Places for Iowa State Students

by Allye Bodholdt

Who doesn’t love a little ice cream every now and then? Whether it’s your excuse for a study break, the perfect snack on a hot summer day, or a little something to satisfy your taste buds during the big game, knowing where to find the best ice cream is key. Having grown up in Ames with two years of living on campus under my belt, I’ve had plenty experience with the ice cream options around town. Here are my top five suggestions!


  1. Hilton Coliseum: you can’t beat a clone cone, and you can’t get one just anywhere! A clone cone at Hilton Coliseum during a big game is definitely a must!

  1. Dairy Queen: a straight shot from campus down Lincoln Way, Dairy Queen is an ice cream staple. Whether you want a blizzard, an ice cream cake, or a sundae, Dairy Queen has it all.


  1. Cold Stone: when in the mood for hard ice cream, Cold Stone is the place to go. It’s not too far from campus, and offers several unique flavors!


  1. ISU Dining: if you have a meal plan and eat in the dining centers on campus, there’s soft-serve ice cream available at the tip of your fingers every meal! Twist is my favorite flavor, but vanilla and chocolate are available as well, and toppings too!


  1. C-Stores: the c-stores around campus also provide numerous ice cream options. I personally enjoy the F’Real milkshakes and the ice cream bars! They are the perfect excuse for a study break!

Humans of Honors: Alex Snyder

snyderMajor: Business Undecided

Year: Freshman

FHP Section: F1

Favorite Thing About Honors: I like getting to know fellow group (Honors) members and finding fellow driven individuals.

Coolest Thing You’ve Done This Past Year: I went on a 10-day camping trip with church in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona hiking in the wilderness.

Dream Job: NBA General Manager

Favorite Hobby: Playing ping pong

Favorite Movie Quote: “If you’re good at something never do it for free”(The Joker, The Dark Knight)

Historical Person You’d Most Like to Meet: Harambe, because I want to let him know I appreciate his great sacrifice.

Ideal Romantic Getaway: My ideal getaway is a weekend in the mountains of Colorado enjoying the outdoors – skiing, biking, and rafting.

Honors Summer Snapshots: Dineh

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2016 summer routines via photos. Dineh got really into night photography over the summer;here are a few of his favorite shots from OK and NC. Even though it’s technically fall now, we’re JUST BARELY there…so pretend it’s still summer:


This photo was taken at, “The Fourth Annual Zach Braun 4th of July Extravaganza”, a firework show hosted by one of my good friends near a small town called Roff, Oklahoma. My friend hosts the show every year and it always gets better and better.



Messing around with some night photography… the nightly view of the Atlantic plus its many stars was captured while on family vacation in Outer Banks, North Carolina.



No caption really necessary. Just a shot of my happy parents holding their giggling grandchild!