College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ABE’s Kris Bell Retires after nearly 40 years at Iowa State

Kris Bell in her softly-lit office.
Kris Bell in her softly-lit office.

After 39 years at Iowa State, graduate coordinator Kris Bell is retiring. Bell has supported countless graduate students through their studies, from admission through graduation. She joined “Industrial Education and Technology,” in 1995, before the departments merged in 2004.

“There is no cooler place to work than Iowa State. I have met people from all over the world and seen so many people come through and find success in ABE,” said Bell

Bell has had a lasting impact on her students over the years, with many stopping by when they’re in town—one even naming a calf in her honor. Bell is an animal lover and often connects with her students through stories of family pets. Over the years, her office has become a sanctuary for graduate students facing challenges in both academia and personal life.

“Kris Bell has been a strong advocate for our graduate students. She’s cared about their well-being, celebrated their wins, given them advice, and let them find a safe space in her office,” said Amy Kaleita, chair of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.

A passionate Iowa State athletics fan, Bell will continue to cheer on the Cyclones during game time. She has been in attendance for many epic Iowa State moments, “I can’t truly narrow it down to a favorite memory, but a moment I’ll cherish forever was the Big 12 win this year against Houston. Our seats were right behind the press, with my daughters, and the energy was electric in there!” said Bell.

In her retirement, Bell will focus on her passion for animals, spending time with her two rescue pit bulls and volunteering to work with the horses in the Animal Rescue League’s barn rescue program. She will also enjoy trips to the lake and new places around the world and, of course, cheering on the Cyclone football and basketball teams.