President Wendy Wintersteen
Dr. Wendy Wintersteen became the 16th president of Iowa State University on Nov. 20, 2017, after a nationwide search, followed by a unanimous vote of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The first woman to hold the university’s highest office, Dr. Wintersteen has served Iowa State for nearly 40 years in several capacities.
After working in eastern and central Iowa as one of the first female ISU Extension associates in integrated pest management, Dr. Wintersteen completed her doctorate in entomology at Iowa State. Rising through the ranks to become a professor of entomology (with a brief stint at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.), she then assumed a number of administrative roles in extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).
Most recently, Dr. Wintersteen served for eleven years as the endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station. During her tenure, CALS rapidly increased enrollment to become the third largest college of agriculture in the nation, research grants increased markedly, awards for teaching excellence grew, and the college achieved a 98% placement rate for its graduates.
As president, and with the support of her administrative team, Dr. Wintersteen is advancing Iowa State University for the 21st century with priorities focused on enhancing student success; recruiting and retaining excellent faculty and staff; strengthening innovation and research excellence; developing a culture of entrepreneurship; making Iowa State a national leader in creating a welcoming and inclusive campus environment; and growing state and private support for the university, its faculty, staff, and students.
Dr. Wintersteen serves on the Board of Directors of the Big 12 Conference; the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), a coalition of 11 public research universities aimed at making college degrees more attainable for underrepresented students; the Cultivation Corridor, a regional economic initiative to establish Iowa as the global center for excellence in agbiosciences, advanced manufacturing, and technology sectors; and Bankers Trust. She is a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council of Presidents and was selected to serve on the APLU Research Intensive Committee beginning in 2019. She is part of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council Executive Committee and the Business Education Alliance.
She was selected for the 2018 Women of Influence award from the Des Moines Business Record.
Dr. Wintersteen holds a bachelor’s of science degree in crop production from Kansas State University and Ph.D. in entomology from Iowa State University. She is married to Robert Waggoner, author and former businessman.
President's Spouse, Robert Waggoner
Robert Waggoner worked for a small manufacturing business in sales and marketing for 26 years before switching careers a decade ago to write books on lucid dreaming – the scientifically validated ability to realize you are dreaming while in a dream state. His two books, Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self and co-authored Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple, have had multiple printings and several translations. He gives presentations at universities and conferences around the world and is the past president and current treasurer of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), which publishes the scientific-refereed journal, Dreaming.
He has been interviewed or consulted about the practice of lucid dreaming by CNN, CBS News and ABC News (KABC – Los Angeles).
He graduated summa cum laude from Drake University with a degree in psychology.