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.

August 2014
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The Iowa State University Event Management Club will oversee the College of Human Sciences’ annual service day in an effort to expand volunteer opportunities and create a signature event for its program. The club will be planning, coordinating, and executing this year’s event, which will be held Friday, Sept. 5. Read more.

Reynol Junco is using Facebook and Twitter to help college students succeed. He says it helps him engage and connect with students. In his new book, “Engaging Students through Social Media,” Junco encourages student affairs professionals and other educators to use social media to do the same. Read more.

Students are back in school and now is the time for parents to develop routines to help their children succeed academically. Kim Greder, an associate professor and ISU Extension and Outreach family life specialist, says parental involvement, more than income or social status, is a predictor of student achievement. Read more.

Top Stories

New hires bring international acclaim to College of Human Sciences

Nationally and internationally renowned experts are among 41 new employees joining the College of Human Sciences this fall — adding to the expertise the college already provides in expanding human potential and improving people’s lives.

New faculty members include Rey Junco, a national expert on the psychosocial impacts of social media use, and Guowen Song from Canada, who’s helped to develop nationwide standards in protective clothing. The new hires come in the midst of record student enrollment by both Iowa State University and the College of Human Sciences. Read more.


Iowa State professor finds leisure running reduces mortality risk

An Iowa State professor has found running for 5 to 10 minutes a day can help people live longer.

“Running is one of the most convenient and popular exercises,” said Duck-chul “D.C.” Lee, an assistant professor in kinesiology. “Running is good for your health — but more may not be better. You don’t have to think it’s a big challenge. We found that even 10 minutes per day is good enough. You don’t need to do a lot to get the benefits from running.”

Lee is the lead author of a study which found that leisure-time runners are expected to live three years longer than non-runners.

The research shows running can reduce a person’s all-cause mortality rate by 30 percent and cardiovascular mortality rate by 45 percent. This means that running can reduce all mortal health risks, such as cancer, stroke, and heart attack, by nearly a third. Cardiovascular risks are cut nearly in half. Read more.


Iowa State, Des Moines schools win $4.5M to enhance STEM education

Iowa State University and Des Moines Public Schools have won a $4.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to enhance teacher education and improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in elementary schools.

“This grant will serve a dual purpose of supporting schools and teacher preparation while also enabling Iowa State to conduct research on the impacts of changes made to the teacher education program,” said Joanne Olson, an associate professor in the School of Education who’s also president of the national Association for Science Teacher Education.

The teams will work together to serve as role models to the students and provide knowledge support for each other. Overall, the group aims to improve teachings in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at the elementary school level. Read more.


Iowa State offers new minor in food and society

A new minor at Iowa State University will give students an opportunity to explore the influences society has on the path that food travels from field to fork. 

The minor, food and society, will be offered this year through the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

“Our food system is a global network that is influenced by many factors,” said Ruth MacDonald, professor and chair of food science and human nutrition. “The food and society minor allows students to see these factors and gain a better understanding of the complexity of food production, distribution, and culture within a greater context.” Read more.


Lagomarcino Hall moves closer to completion

The remodeling of Lagomarcino Hall moved a step closer to completion this month with the reopening of classrooms and the return of School of Education faculty and staff to their offices.

The first phase of a $5.4 million renovation is coming to an end, allowing 45 faculty and staff members to permanently move back into offices vacated 14 months ago. The move will happened between Aug. 4 and 18.

Those returning for the fall 2014 semester found a renovated Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching, renovated administrative and faculty offices, and remodeled classrooms on the west side of the building. Read more.


Retirement planning important for child care professionals

Child care professionals often have difficulty envisioning a comfortable retirement because of self-employment, low wages or both.

However, it’s vital they include retirement planning in their financial planning, says Cindy Thompson, a family life and family finance program specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.

"The average wages of teachers and caregivers in Iowa child care fell below the federal poverty guidelines for a family of four," Thompson said. "Income level is important because it significantly impacts retirement savings." Read more.


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Three new faculty members in the School of Education — Doug Wieczorek, Daniel Spikes, and Jason Salisbury — were among those to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge. They joined Greg Robinson and Joanne Marshall. Watch video.


Sara Nelson, a graduate assistant in the School of Education, took her curriculum and instruction class outside on the first day of the fall 2014 semester. See a photo album of back-to-school selfies taken by Iowa State students and professors. 


Rey Junco, an associate professor in the School of Education, discusses the benefits of using social media in the classroom. In his new book, "Engaging Studnets Through Social Media," Junco encourages educators to use social media to engage and connect with students. Watch video.


For more than nine months, conservationists have meticulously cleaned and restored the curtain at Stephens Auditorium — a 2,800 pound work of art. As the project nears completion, workers do something that's never been done before: take the curtain down. Watch video.


Caine Westergard, who was the College of Human Sciences' college marshal at spring 2014 graduation, shares her experiences in the Greek community, creating a clothing label for the Omaha Fashion show, and growing as a person during her time at Iowa State. Watch video.