Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2016 summer routines via photos. Today you get two Honors students for the price of one: Cole Wesselman and Aimee Schulz have had a FULL summer in Ames and around the midwest.
For the past semester, and now summer, Aimee has been part of Dr. Matthew Hufford’s lab in EEOB performing research on maize genomics. This summer, she has been in charge of organizing, planting, maintaining, and now pollinating some of the rarest landraces of maize.
Currently, she spends at least eight hours a day in the field, performing pollinations by hand between plants to create particular crosses, including using ones with these fuzzy purple varieties!
The 500 row field, with 15 plants in each row, on day one, is shown on the left. On the right is the current state of the field. Some varieties are well over 12’ tall at this point, and require a stepladder for Aimee to reach the top as they are nearly twice as high as she is.
For his job this summer, Cole worked in Dr. Kevin Roe’s research lab in the NREM department at Iowa State. Cole spent countless days running a test called PCR on snail DNA to determine the genetic relationships between species of a common genus. It was a lot of pipetting!
As a nice break from sitting in the lab and using pipettes all day, one of Dr. Roe’s PhD students needed help collecting snails for his project. So Cole went on several “snail hunting” trips across the midwest United States. They travelled all over Iowa, into Illinois, and Nebraska hunting these little guys!
One way we spent the Fourth of July was at the Minnesota Twins baseball game. It was Aimee’s first ever baseball game!
Aimee owns the 1969 Mach 1 Mustang on the left, and we drove it to a car show in Minnesota during the Fourth of July weekend.
One of Cole’s favorite things to do is ride bicycles. And this summer, he competed in his first ever bike race in State Center, Iowa at the Rose Festival. He loves to get out and ride as stress relief, and to push towards becoming the best athlete he can be.
Cole decided to take on a second job as a Residence Hall Tour Guide for summer orientations. Here, we see him bringing in wrenches to work, not to show off to the incoming students, but to fix his bike…
Cole took a spontaneous trip to Chicago to cheer on a friend in his sand volleyball tournament. It was his first ever trip to Chicago!
Aimee is preparing for IHSA Nationals in Lexington, Kentucky, checking out the horses she might ride. She was the first person from Iowa State to qualify for and attend Nationals. The t-shirt might have been hinting at something…
We’ve had a few random encounters with friends from the school year, which are always a positive.
Despite a busy summer working with the Hufford Lab, Aimee has also kept busy by working for a local boarding stable in the mornings so that she can keep her two horses in Ames over the summer. Lulu is her one-eyed rescue Miniature Horse. They have attended a few shows this year, and even visted a nursing home. Even Cole is joining in on caring for the horses.
Aimee’s Quarter Horse, Bart, joined Lulu in Ames for the summer. Always willing to try something new, Bart and Aimee took on jumping, seen in the bottom left photo. There is nothing more that Aimee enjoys than riding Bart during the sunset after a long day, or checking out the local trail system at Peterson Pits. She took a week long break to compete with Bart at her last 4-H county fair, where she took Grand Champion and will represent her county at the State Championships this fall.
Iowa State’s Equestrian Club found ways to stay connected in Ames this summer, with everything from trail rides to evening grillouts at Peterson Pits.
An afternoon out on the river in Wisconsin with a couple of kayaks. Calm waters made for a spectacular day.
Cole is from Colorado and Aimee has family there, too. So with a few smiles, a few more laughs, and a lot of memories made, this has been one special summer for two honors students at Iowa State.