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 2015
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ISU 4U Promise students experienced at Davinci Flight Camp what it might be like to be an engineer. The camp gave children the chance to design and fly their own gliders using a video game. Read the story, watch a video, see photos. The story was featured by WHO-TV, Iowa Public Radio, and the Ames Tribune.

Shannon Coleman will take Iowa State's longstanding, interdepartmental efforts in food safety and consumer food protection, and extend that to small farmers and food entrepreneurs. She wants to make sure that foods purchased at farmers' markets are safe to eat. Read more.

Iowa State on Aug. 24 kicked off the 2015-2016 academic year. School of Education students in Sara Nelson's class used a parachute on the first day of class to demonstrate how experience helps students to learn. The class is about teaching reading and language arts to K-3 students. See photos.

Top Stories

Iowa State's financial counseling and planning achieves new standard of excellence

Iowa State's financial counseling and planning program already had the distinction of being the only program of its kind in Iowa.

But Iowa State recently received word that the program is now registered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards — meaning that it meets a standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning.

"We are very excited about this program designation for our students," said Carl Weems, professor and chair of human development and family studies. "Research has shown that financial counseling and planning education can have a direct impact on individuals and families." Read more.


ISU gerontology program carries out goal of Older Americans Act

In the spirit of the Older Americans Act, Iowa State's gerontology program helps older adults to age actively in the community of their choice.

"The Iowa State gerontology program helped my passion for older adults to deepen," said Kathryn Rosenthal, a 2014 alum in child, adult, and family services. "I love getting to know the older adults in Story County and getting to give them the help they need."

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act, signed into law in July 1965. The federal act provides a national network of services and funding to help states with community planning and social services, research and development projects, and personnel training in the field of aging. Read more.


ISU researchers aim to boost science education with summertime pest

It may be hard to imagine how a mosquito could inspire students to develop an interest in science.

Iowa State researchers believe it's not only possible, but say that generating student interest in the pesky insect will improve science learning and public health.

The ISU research team received a $1.25 million National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award that it will use to get ISU 4U Promise students and teachers involved with mosquito research and surveillance. Read more.


New Iowa State professor gets Latino students excited about education

Julio Cammarota has a track record of engaging Latino high school students in research about race, racism, and ethnic identity.

"The whole process of doing youth research helps them investigate and understand more about where they come from and why these problems exist," he said. "It's about personal empowerment. It makes them enthusiastic about education. It makes them more engaged in their communities."

Cammarota is a new associate professor of multicultural education in the School of Education. He is also an extension and outreach specialist, helping to enhance research-based education in all of Iowa's 99 counties. Read more.  


Iowa State study explores fear of being without your mobile phone

Are you a nomophobe? If you're wondering how to respond to that question, an Iowa State study can help you find the answer. 

ISU researchers have developed a questionnaire to help you determine if you suffer from nomophobia, or a fear of being without your mobile phone. 

Caglar Yildirim, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in human computer interaction, and Ana-Paula Correia, an associate professor in the School of Education, identified four dimensions of this modern-day phobia. Read more.


Study finds heavy metals traces in plastics may pose future environmental, health threats

The trace amounts of toxic substances used to make plastics don't contaminate the food or beverage products they contain at a significant level and pose no immediate threat to consumers, according to recent Iowa State research.

That's good news for anyone who buys processed foods and beverages. But those plastic products may cause health concerns decades after they've been used and thrown in the trash bin.

"The findings highlight the need to use properly sourced plastics and increase recycling efforts to reduce the overall environmental impact," said Keith Vorst, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition. Read more.


Activity trackers not as accurate for some activities, Iowa State study finds

Activity trackers can provide a good overall estimate of calories burned. But an Iowa State study finds they're less accurate when measuring certain activities, such as strength training. 

A team of kinesiology researchers tested the Fitbit Flex, Nike+ FuelBand SE, Jawbone UP 24, and Misfit Shine fitness trackers to see how well they measured sedentary, aerobic, and resistance activity. Two research monitors, the BodyMedia Core and Actigraph GT3X+, were also included in the study.

Overall, the BodyMedia Core was the top performer with a rate of error of 15.3 percent. The Misfit Shine was the least accurate with a 30.4 percent error rate. Read more.


Mothers give more than they receive when family struck by major illness

Mothers are often the caregiver when a child is sick, and that motherly instinct doesn"t go away when the child is an adult.

In fact, mothers provide more support to adult children with a serious health condition than to their other children, according to new research presented at the American Sociological Association 2015 annual meeting.

"It's a situation that can put older mothers in a vulnerable position," said Megan Gilligan, lead author and assistant professor in human development and family studies. Read more.   


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What's new

2015 Black College Reunion scheduled for Sept. 11-13


Kinesiology alum Chris Freland named executive director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council


School of Education's Tera Lawson featured as president of the ISU P&S Council


HDFS alum Kellie Masters named to '40 under 40' by InvestmentNews


"Women for Women: Female Fashion Designers" exhibit opens in Textiles and Clothing Museum's Mary Alice Gallery


"(Re)discovering S(h)elves" opens at the Christian Petersen Art Museum



The ISU College of Human Sciences welcomed students, faculty and staff back to campus with this video featuring illustrations by Ling Zhang, a graduate assistant in apparel, events, and hospitality management. Watch video.


The College of Human Sciences in August welcomed 43 new faculty and staff members at its 2015 fall convocation, kicking off the 2015-2016 academic year. See photos.


Find out how the College of Human Sciences' programs are helping Cy and others keep their health in balance in the Iowa State University Foundation's summer Forward magazine. See the magazine


Tabetha Foose, who in 2014 received her certificate from the ISU Dietetics Internship and is now a registered dietitian at St. Vincent's Healthcare in Florida, provides some tips for healthy eating as kids go back to school. Watch video.


Morgan Bahl, a junior in nutritional science, participated this summer in the Heddleson Internship along with Haley Wellman and Raeann Hanlon. The program is designed to prepare individuals for a potential career in Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. Watch video.


WHO -TV Channel 13 news recently featured the ISU Student Dietetic Association's garden, which helps to provide meals to people in need. Watch video.


Camry Crosswait, a senior in elementary education, started a new blog as she began student teaching this month in the Aldine Independent School District in Houston, Texas. See the blog.


Catch a glimpse of Allie Lansman, a senior in dietetics, in this video featuring Iowa State University at this year's Iowa State Fair. Watch video.