A career full of adventure

When Stephen Juelsgaard came to Iowa State, he didn’t know he’d go on to a monumental career in the biotech field, successfully guiding his company, Genentech, through a billion-dollar lawsuit and helping enforce several key patents. But he ended up doing just that -- and so much more. Which is why he was recently honored with the Iowa State Distinguished Alumni Award -- the highest honor given to alumni by Iowa State.

As an Iowa State-educated veterinary medicine practitioner and Stanford-educated lawyer, Juelsgaard’s career has been one amazing adventure. He’s served as Genentech’s chief compliance officer and executive vice president. He’s been on the board of directors for Ivivi Health Sciences and the African Wildlife Foundation. He was even appointed by California’s lieutenant governor to sit on the governing board for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. And his journey began right here at Iowa State.

While he was here, it didn’t take long for Juelsgaard to realize that his time at Iowa State would change the way he looked at the world. “From my very first day on campus, my eyes were opened to the diversity of the world,” says Juelsgaard. “I experienced peoples and lifestyles and occupations and ways of thinking that gave me a wholly new perspective on the world around me. It was really the beginning of a journey that took me to a 24-year career that I loved.”

Iowa State helped Juelsgaard discover the path he was meant to follow. And that’s a tradition we’re proud to continue, offering 100 majors and more than 800 clubs and organizations on campus for students to choose from. But no matter what path you take, one thing’s for sure -- your Iowa State adventure is sure to distinguish you in whatever you choose to do. 

This story is one of a series featuring Iowa State Distinguished Alumni Award winners.