Staff Information and Bios - ISU Office of the Vice President for Research

Staff Information and Bios


Sarah M. Nusser, Vice President for Research

2610 Beardshear Hall

Sarah Nusser is vice president for research at Iowa State University and a professor in the Department of Statistics. She is a faculty member in the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology and in interdepartmental graduate programs for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Human Computer Interaction at Iowa State University. As vice president for research, Sarah leads efforts to advance and support the research mission at Iowa State University. She supports campus-wide programs for fostering faculty research development, new research initiatives, and new interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations. Sarah oversees several interdisciplinary research centers, as well as units that support sponsored funding, responsible conduct of research, and institutional research facilities. Prior to joining the Office of the Vice President for Research in 2014, Sarah served as the director of the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology at Iowa State University for 15 years, where she conducted research in survey statistics and methodology with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Economic Research Service, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Institutes of Health (NIH); and federal statistical agencies, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. Sarah has served on numerous scientific panels, advisory committees and governing boards with the National Academies, NSF, NIH, U.S. Census Bureau, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and statistical societies. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and has received awards for excellence and service from Iowa State and the ASA. Sarah received a BS in botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MS in botany from North Carolina State University, and PhD in statistics from Iowa State University. 

Wolfgang Kliemann

Wolfgang Kliemann, Associate Vice President for Research, Research Integrity Officer

2810 Beardshear Hall 

Professor of mathematics Wolfgang Kliemann joined the Office of the Vice President for Research July 1, 2014, as an associate vice president for research. Wolfgang came to Iowa State in 1983. He served as associate dean for research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 2000 to 2001, as associate vice provost for research from 2001 to 2005, and as chair of the Department of Mathematics from 2008 through 2013. He received his doctorate in mathematics in 1980 from the Institute of Dynamical Systems, University of Bremen, Germany. Wolfgang helps researchers connect with funding opportunities and successfully pursue their research goals. 

Guru Rao, Associate Vice President for Research

2810 Beardshear Hall 

Guru Rao joined the Office of the Vice President for Research in February 2016 as an associate vice president for research. Guru is the Roy J. Carver Professor in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. He joined Iowa State in 2006 after 18 years as a researcher and senior research leader at DuPont Pioneer. Guru was appointed interim chair of the BBMB department in 2007 and served as chair from 2009-2016. He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Mysore, India, and his research interests are broad-ranging in the area of protein science. Guru’s focus in the Office of the Vice President for Research includes working with faculty to engage federal and industry funding opportunities, develop interdisciplinary research teams in response to emerging federal priorities, and build relationships with current and prospective research sponsors.

Jerry Zamzow, Assistant Vice President for Research

2810 Beardshear Hall

Jerry Zamzow was appointed assistant vice president for research in June 2015. Zamzow has led Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) and the Office for Responsible Research (ORR) at Iowa State. Zamzow began his career at Iowa State in the animal science department, and he has also worked in the pharmaceutical/nutraceutical industry in the areas of quality assurance and quality control. As assistant vice president for research, Zamzow leads the Office of the Vice President for Research’s efforts in responsible conduct for research and research integrity.

Ásrún Ýr Kristmundsdóttir, Director of Operations

2610 Beardshear Hall

Ásrún Ýr Kristmundsdóttir became director of strategic planning and operations in August 2015.  She is responsible for directing VPR office operations, implementing and monitoring the office strategic plan, and managing the VPR office finance, human resource, communication, training, information systems and facilities. She is currently also the COO for the Iowa NSF EPSCoR Project, a position she has held over the past 3.5 years. Previous experience includes serving as the interim Grants Hub director and pre-award ddministrator in the Office of Sponsored Programs, both at Iowa State, and over 10 years of managerial experience in a small business environment. Ásrún received a B.S. in fisheries and wildlife from the University of North Dakota, M.S. in genetics from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from the University of Iowa.


Central Administration Staff

Dawn Smith, Secretary

2610 Beardshear Hall 

Dawn serves as secretary to the Associate and Assistant Vice Presidents and the office staff. She spent several years on the ISU campus as a secretary in Human Resource Services and the Botany Department. Most recently she worked at the Wolfe Eye Clinic as a receptionist and medical records clerk and the JCPenney Salon as a receptionist. Dawn has a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.

Craig Hamerlinck, Human Resources Coordinator

2810 Beardshear Hall

Craig started in November 2015 as a human resources coordinator for the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Amy Harris-Tehan, Researcher Development Coordinator

2810 Beardshear Hall

Amy joined the Office of the Vice President for Research in March 2015. Prior to this, she worked as the Ames Laboratory’s training, documents and records coordinator from 2009 to 2015, and as a program assistant for the training program at ISU’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety from 2007 to 2009. Amy has a master’s degree in rhetoric, composition & professional communication and a bachelor’s degree in technical communication, both from Iowa State. In her new position, she works to develop learning opportunities to help researchers at ISU navigate the research administration process and conduct their research ethically and responsibly.

Mary Scott-Hall, Budget Analyst

2610 Beardshear Hall

Mary is responsible for managing the budget of the Office of the Vice President for Research. She serves as the office's budget analyst and strategist. Mary joined the VPR office in December 2010 after working for two years in the the Iowa State athletics department.

Breehan Gerleman, Communications Coordinator

2810 Beardshear Hall

Breehan started in November 2015 as the communications coordinator for the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Pete Lelonek, Facilities Coordinator

12010 Molecular Biology


Directors of Research Support Units


Sarah Kaatz, Director, Office for Responsible Research

202 Kingland Building

Becky Musselman, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration

1138 Pearson Hall
(515) 294-7723

Becky Musselman was named director of the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration in August 2014. She had served as the associate controller for the university since January 2012. Previously she worked as an accounting manager in Sponsored Programs Accounting and as a business manager for an ISU research institute. Becky has bachelor's degrees in accounting and management information systems and an MBA, all from Iowa State University. She provides overall leadership for sponsored programs administration, including serving as the authorized institutional official and providing updates on federal initiatives and changes that will impact sponsored projects.

 James Reecy, Director, Office of Biotechnology

1210 Molecular Biology Building

James Reecy became director of the Office of Biotechnology in July 2009. His responsibilities include overseeing service facilities for ISU biotechnology researchers and developing new strategies to maintain the university's leading role in biotechnology research and technology transfer. Reecy joined the ISU animal science department in 1999. He received a B.S. in animal science (1990) from South Dakota State University, an M.S. in animal science/ruminant nutrition (1992) from the University of Missouri-Columbia; a Ph.D. (1995) in animal science/growth and development from Purdue University, and he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cell biology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Mary Sauer, Attending Veterinarian

123 E. Kildee

Mary Sauer has been Iowa State's Attending Veterinarian since January 2010. As Attending Veterinarian, she is responsible for assuring quality care for animals used in research, teaching, and testing at Iowa State. She also serves on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Mary comes to Iowa State with over 20 years of experience in veterinary and laboratory animal medicine. She received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania and did her residency at Virginia Tech. She is board certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Her most recent position was at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Prior to that, she was the director of clinical services at Charles River PharmServices.


Robert Shipley, Director, Laboratory Animal Resources

1426 Veterinary Medicine


Liz Zuercher, Director, Grants Hub

2750 Beardshear Hall


Brook Langlitz, Director, Office of Research Integrity

202 Kingland Building






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