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.

November 2014
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Iowa State now offers on-campus, interdepartmental master's and doctoral degrees in gerontology. The programs address an increasing need to prepare people, families, communities, and businesses for active aging. Iowa State is the first in the state to offer advanced degrees in gerontology. Read more.

Seven College of Human Sciences students this fall designed and produced nature-inspired alien costumes for an event at Reiman Gardens. The costumes featured leaves, wings, scales, blossoms, tails, antennae, and leg sets. They complemented the gardens" 2014 space/science fiction theme. Read more.

The Iowa State University Book Store is selling scarves created by students in the digital apparel technology studio in a course overseen by Christina Denekas, a lecturer in apparel, events, and hospitality management. As part of the class, students develop a business model based on the scarves. Read more.

Top Stories

Alum, seasoned provost will direct Iowa State University School of Education

An Iowa State University alum who has led three other universities as vice president for academic affairs and provost will return to Ames to lead the School of Education.

Marlene Strathe will become the next director of the School of Education at Iowa State, effective Jan. 1.

She has held high-ranking leadership positions at several other institutions. She has led as provost and senior vice president of academic affairs as well as interim system CEO and president at Oklahoma State University; provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Northern Colorado; vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of North Dakota; and assistant vice president of academic affairs at the University of Northern Iowa. Read more.


ISU School of Education places record number of student teachers

Iowa State is preparing to place a record 270 student teachers this spring in schools across Iowa and around the world. The previous high was 194 students. 

Iowa State's Educator Preparation Program requires all elementary and early childhood student teachers complete two, eight-week sessions in two different placements. Several secondary programs have similar requirements to give students experience teaching at both the middle school and high school level. 

The goal is to ensure every student teacher is comfortable planning instruction, teaching and assessing, and managing other classroom needs, before they graduate, said Heidi Doellinger, director of Teacher Education Services for ISU's School of Education. Read more.


Iowa State examines solutions to Latino obesity, health care risk

First-generation Latino immigrant children in Iowa are at great risk for obesity.

That's according to a new policy brief published by Kim Greder, an associate professor inhuman development and family studies at Iowa State University.

"People who live in rural communities, people who are ethnic racial minorities, people who have low incomes those people are the greatest at risk for obesity," said Greder, who’s also a specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. Read more.


PROSPER youth program gains momentum for nationwide expansion

After 24 years of research, an Iowa State-based youth program for healthy youth development is taking flight nationally as an innovative and effective system for creating positive societal change.

PROSPER is an abbreviation for Promoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience.

Through these partnerships, schools and communities are able to select from a menu of evidence-based programs to reduce substance abuse and other behavior problems among youth, as well as promote healthy development. Read more.


ISU Diabetic Education Club holds campus walk

A newly formed student club at Iowa State aimed at raising awareness about diabetes held its first event this month.

The ISU Diabetic Education Club hosted a Beat Diabetes Walk on Nov. 12 to raise awareness about the chronic disease. All Iowa State students, faculty, staff, and members of the Ames community were invited to participate.   

The club was formed in October. Two dietetics students sophomore Sydney Butikofer and senior Emily Brown are leaders of the new club, which is advised by faculty members Sally Barclay in food science and human nutrition and Sree Nilakanta in the College of Business, who serves on the Iowa chapter of the American Diabetes Association. Read more.


New professor studies how relationships affect college success

Relationships are key in determining a student's success in college, says Brian Burt, a new assistant professor in the School of Education.

Burt's research has found that black males earning their Ph.D. in engineering changed their outlook on their career path, depending on how they interacted with advisers and other students.

"Those who had positive relationships with their adviser and lab mates felt attached to their institution and program, where those who had negative relationships felt inadequate at their institution and questioned their decision to remain in their program," Burt said. Read more.


Valentine studies how to combat obesity with exercise

Rudy Valentine studies how obesity changes the body and why exercise is important to fight obesity-related ailments.

"I focus on how obesity is related to a variety of diseases," said Valentine, a new assistant professor in kinesiology. "I look at why it is that obese individuals are more prone to cardiometabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. I also look at obesity’s effect on physical function ailments such as arthritis."

Valentine comes to Iowa State after a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at Boston University. His most recent research focused on how inflammatory molecules in the bloodstream may contribute to diabetes in obese individuals. He found inflammation could be causing behaviors that make it tougher for obese people to exercise. Read more.


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What's new

Iowa State celebrates re-accreditation of its Educator Preparation Programs


CHS graduation celebration Dec. 19 in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium


College of Human Sciences exceeds goals by raising $23,070.96 for United Way


ISU Dairy Products Evaluation Club places third at National Collegiate Dairy Product Evaluation


Linda Serra Hagedorn elected president of Iowa Academy of Education


Iowa State's online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instructional Technology degree program ranks in top 25 nationally


College of Human Sciences Dean Pamela White featured in the Iowa State Daily


Nicci Port and Jean Anderson chosen to be on the 2015 Women Impacting ISU calendar



Students helped to fight hunger during the first ISU Hunger Dialogue. The event was part of the Outreach Inc., Hunger-Free Iowa Initiative to raise awareness about food insecurity in Iowa. Students raised enough money to package 267 bags (about 1,600 meals/servings) for Students Helping Our Peers, the student-run, on-campus food pantry at Iowa State. See photos.


Iowa State University was featured on WHO-TV's workout of the week. The story featured Iowa State kinesiology professor Greg Welk talking about the "Youth Activity Profile," which assesses kids' physical activity. Watch video.


KCCI-TV interviewed Jennifer Margrett, director of the ISU gerontology program, about end-of-life issues and physician-assisted suicide. Debate over the issue stemmed from the story of Brittany Maynard, who was terminally ill with brain cancer and chose to end her own life. Watch video.


The Iowa State University School of Education will place a record number of student teachers next spring. WHO-TV covered the story. Watch video.


Allie Lansman, an Iowa State junior from Fort Dodge majoring in dietetics, and Laura Meany, a sophomore in agricultural studies, were featured on WHO-TV for their appearance on The Biggest Loser. Watch video.