News and Events from the College of Human Sciences

Greetings from the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences. We hope you take a moment to learn about the exciting work our alumni, students, and faculty are doing to advance the science and technology of living and learning. Their research and outreach in the areas of education, health, families, and consumer sciences are key to improving people’s lives. Thanks for being part of our world.

April 2014
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A collection of eight elegant pink, white, salmon, and cream-colored wedding dresses designed by Iowa State University senior Whitney Rorah took the top honor at The Fashion Show 2014. Rorah won the $1,000 Best in Show award at Iowa State’s 32nd annual fashion show, held April 5 at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. Read more.

Iowa State University is expanding its efforts to ensure student success in the midst of growing enrollment. While previous efforts have largely focused on retaining first-year students, new efforts are reaching out to groups of students such as sophomores, doctoral students, and veterans. Read more.


Iowa State University students, alumni, faculty and staff, and their families and friends were poignantly reminded how the actions of a few can impact the lives of an entire community when Iowa State University President Leath suspended Veishea activities, following a Campustown disturbance. Read more.

Top Stories

Women, minority college students more prone to severe homesickness

Most first-year college students experience some degree of homesickness. But new research by an Iowa State University professor and graduate student identifies the kinds of students who are more likely to experience the level of distress that affects their academic performance.

Female students, ethnic minorities, those from out of state, and students whose parents had a lower degree of education tended to report a higher degree of homesick separation and distress. That kind of distress can negatively affect a student’s academic performance, the research shows.

That’s just some of the research presented by Iowa State University at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting, April 3-7 in Philadelphia. The meeting is the nation’s largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research. Read more.


Iowa State professor warns of caffeine, ephedra in energy drinks

Look closely at the label of any energy drink and you will likely notice a key ingredient is missing.

Despite the fact that many of these popular drinks contain as much as 500 mg of caffeine, you won’t find the amount listed on the can or bottle.

“You’re talking about the equivalent of five cups of coffee in one energy drink," said Ruth Litchfield, an Iowa State University associate professor in food science and human nutrition.

Litchfield is concerned that misperceptions about energy drinks could have health consequences. Aside from caffeine, the drinks contain the stimulants ma huang (also known as ephedra) and guarana. Read more.


Iowa State students pull an all-nighter designing new financial games and apps

Helping Iowa State University students plan for their financial future and manage their debt is no game, but taking such an approach may get more students engaged in the process. 

That’s the idea behind the “Money Game Jam” – a 24-hour competition in which participants developed a new game, mobile application or website to get students involved in their personal finance.

Jonathan Fox, director of Iowa State’s Financial Counseling Clinic and Ruth Whipp Sherwin Professor in human development and family studies, says they are always looking for ways to reach students. Read the preview story by the ISU News Service and coverage of the event by the Iowa State Daily.


New book compares community college systems in all 50 states

As lawmakers across the United States debate ways to finance colleges and hold schools accountable, a new book edited by an Iowa State University professor lays out a state-by-state rundown of two-year higher education systems.

“Fifty State Systems of Community Colleges: Mission, Governance, Funding, & Accountability” summarizes the key factors driving community colleges. The book serves as a quick-reference guide for policymakers and educational administrators as well as college trustees and higher education scholars.

The book is particularly relevant because each state developed its own system, without a common model to follow, said the lead co-editor Janice Friedel, an associate professor in Iowa State University’s School of Education who served as a community college administrator for almost 30 years. Read more.


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What's new

CHS graduation 3 p.m. May 9 at Stephens Auditorium


Textiles and Clothing Museum features Fashion Show winners


School of Education's Larry Ebbers wins national award 


Alums Erin Curtis, Tyler Weig named 2014 STATEment Makers 


Alumna Simin Nikbin Meydani receives Distinguished Alumni Award 


Nicholas Thomas, Eric Brown to lead international hospitality group 



The Fashion Show 2014 at Iowa State University, “Secret Garden,” featured 100 student designs on the runway April 5 at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. Photos by Wyeth Lynch. See photo album


Photographer Alex Egeland also took a complete set of photos from this year's Fashion Show and posted them on Facebook. See photos from Act I and Act III of the show here.


Karly Groon, a senior in apparel, merchandising, and design, was featured on ISUtv for her animal-print sportswear line, called "Impulse." Groon's line was featured in The Fashion Show earlier this month. Watch the video.


The Iowa Senate approved a bipartisan resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, the founding legislation of extension. Iowa State was represented by Cathann Kress, vice president of ISU Extension and Outreach. Watch the video.