ERIC J. SCHARES (BS ’05 electrical engineering) was like many other college graduates. He left Iowa, degree in hand, for adventures in the western United States and a career as an engineer. But in the back of his mind, he knew he’d return.
While working full-time as a senior NAND engineer at Intel in Portland, Schares enrolled in the Rutgers University Master of Library and Information Science degree program. He and his wife, Stephanie (BA ’04 English), also had two daughters.
“My goal was to become the engineering librarian at ISU,” he said. “I got my degree in 2012 and waited for the position to open. It finally did, and I was lucky enough to get it; we moved back to Ames in the summer of 2015.”
Schares said he is proud of his Iowa State degree and very happy to be back in Ames after eight years in Oregon and two years in California. “I feel lucky to be able to walk around our beautiful campus, listen to the campanile and advance the land-grant mission and ideals.”
Cyclone Spirit runs deep in the Schares family, who hail from the small town of La Porte City south of Waterloo, Iowa. His mother and sister have ISU degrees, and several aunts, uncles and cousins also attended Iowa State.
“I grew up a lifelong Cyclone in a sea of Hawkeye fans,” he recalled. “I remember visiting Hilton when I was young and cheering for Justis Thigpen, Dedric Willoughby and Jacy Holloway,” Schares recalled. “I decided in middle school that I wanted to come to Iowa State and study engineering, and I have the t-shirts with old logos to prove it.”
The Schares attend Bethesda Lutheran and Collegiate Presbyterian churches in Ames and are involved with the Ames Progressive Alliance. Eric enjoys reading, golf, running, playing the drums and piano and growing fruit trees.
His personal philosophy comes as no surprise, given his decision to seek an advanced degree and return to Iowa State. “Whatever it is, do it now.”
Schares said he wants to thank his wife “for being my best friend and making me laugh,” his children “for letting me watch them grow and learn every day,” and his parents, sister and in-laws for their unconditional support.
Dean of Library Services, Beth McNeil: Eric Schares studied electrical engineering at Iowa State and then worked for Intel and earned a library science graduate degree, returning to ISU as an engineering liaison librarian 10 years later in 2015.