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.

February 2015
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When Andrea Tate sees clothes at yard sales and thrift stores, she also sees possibilities. Tate, a senior in apparel, merchandising, and design at Iowa State University, brings new life to existing fashions with her own line of upcycled apparel, Ohtatie. Read more.

A handful of Iowa State University students in hospitality management and event management are getting a leg up on their careers this semester by completing internships with the Disney College Program. Morgan Iske is one of those students. Read more.

Iowa State will on March 2 host about 300 high schoolers for the Iowa ProStart Invitational culinary competition. Jessica Havel, a culinary science student who previously won the competition, will return this year to help educate youth about career opportunities. Read more.

Top Stories

Iowa State study: Ten minutes of physical activity can improve kids' learning

If elementary schoolers are skipping or jumping around the room while they’re working on arithmetic flashcards, there’s no need to tell them to sit down and focus. 

In fact, their physical activity is a boon to their brains. 

A short bout of physical activity combined with academic learning for children can lead to improvement in their cognitive abilities right after the activity, according to findings in a recent study published by Iowa State University kinesiology assistant professor Spyridoula Vazou and associate professor Ann Smiley-Oyen. Read more.


National report: Human Sciences majors among the most meaningful

Academic majors offered by the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences are considered among the most meaningful nationally, leading to jobs that make the world a better place. 

That’s according to findings of a national online compensation survey of 1.4 million college graduates by Payscale, an online salary, benefits, and compensation information company trusted by Time, The New York Times, CNBC Forbes, and U.S. News and World Report.

Among the most meaningful in the ranking of 207 college majors: Child development at No. 4 followed by athletic training, early childhood education, and sports medicine, which are all tied at No. 5. Read more.


Iowa State student takes African fashion designs nationwide

Claire Kean is combining her talent in fashion design, love of travel, and personal connection with Africa to create a bold and colorful clothing line that’s gaining attention on the national runway.

Kean, an Iowa State University senior in apparel, merchandising, and design, was the guest designer this month at an African fashion show in Dallas, Texas. She showcased eight pieces of her clothing line there.

She’ll then highlight twice as many pieces of her brightly-colored women’s blouses, skirts, trousers, and fitted dresses on the runway during African Fashion Week in Washington, D.C. on March 21. Read more


Iowa State researchers urge rural states to prepare for aging

Older adults living in rural states are at risk of lacking access to the resources they need, according to a new study led by Iowa State University.

Care deserts — or areas where it’s difficult to access resources such as transportation or medical care — leave older adults without the means to stay healthy, active, and independent, the study found.

Jennifer Margrett, director of Iowa State’s interdepartmental gerontology program and associate professor in human development and family studies, led researchers in analyzing common characteristics of states with the highest proportion of people over 50. They found that 14 of the 20 oldest states are also rural. Read more.


College of Human Sciences dedicates $5.3 million to Forker renovations

A sweeping effort to improve campus spaces for the College of Human Sciences experienced a major success this month when the Iowa Board of Regents approved $5.3 million in renovations to the Forker Building. The board’s decision was unanimous.

Changes to Forker will include converting an old and largely unused men’s locker room into faculty offices, remodeling outdated restroom facilities, and replacing inefficient air handlers.

Warren Franke, a kinesiology professor who is on the Forker renovation committee, said the remodel isn’t a want for the kinesiology program but a need. “This renovation, in my mind, will enable us as a department to do our jobs better,” he said. Read more.


Iowa State professor receives national honor in cancer prevention

An Iowa State researcher will receive top honors for her lifetime of nutrition and cancer prevention work.

Diane Birt, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in food science and human nutrition, was recently named a fellow by the American Society for Nutrition, widely considered the premier research organization for human nutrition.

Birt will be formally inducted as a fellow of the American Society for Nutrition on March 30 at the organization’s annual meeting in Boston. She joins more than 400 other researchers to receive the honor to date. Read more.


Dietitians lend expertise about eating disorders

This year's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week at Iowa State University includes events by dietitians in the College of Human Sciences.

Alison St. Germain and Eunice Bassler, registered dietitians in food science and human nutrition, are speaking this week on the athletic image and mindful eating.

The headline speaker was Brian Cuban, a lawyer who suffered from body dysmorphic disorder for 30 years. The week's events are co-sponsored by the Department of Kinesiology. Read more.


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What's new

Meaningful majors and our CHS brand: A message from Dean White


Mayo Clinic doctor Michael Joyner speaks on physical inactivity March 5 as the 2015 Pease Family Scholar


Sara Marcketti on March 24 gives Rossman-Manatt Lecture: The Fashionable Side of STEM


Linda Darling-Hammond gives a lecture March 31 as the Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair


School of Education associate professor Reynol Junco invited to teach at University of Oxford this summer


Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity set for March 6



Iowa State officials, students and staff on Monday took over the Statehouse for this year’s Iowa State Day at the Capitol. The College of Human Sciences was among those that had a booth at this annual event. Watch a video by the ISU News Service.


About 900 students attended this year's People to People career fair. The event featured 94 employers and 40 student volunteers Feb. 11 in the Scheman Building. The College of Human Sciences Career Services also hosted 30 interviews on campus and provided more than 100 students with professional headshots. See photos.


Almost 2,000 people attended the 2015 Business, Industry, and Technology career fair Feb. 11 in Hilton Coliseum. Attendance included students from business, human sciences, liberal arts and sciences. The career fair gave students a chance to impress employers and land internships and jobs. See photos.


WHO-TV this week featured Jonathan Fox, director of Iowa State’s Financial Counseling Clinic and Ruth Whipp Sherwin Professor in Human Development and Family Studies. The interview was part of America Saves Week, helping Americans take the first step in starting a savings plan. Watch video.


In a recently published study, Spyridoula Vazou, an assistant professor in kinesiology, found that even 10 minutes of cognitively complex movement improved concentration and focus in elementary students. Listen to the story by Iowa Public Radio.


Design piracy was the focus of Iowa State AESHM associate professor Sara Marcketti’s lecture that aired Feb. 21 on C-SPAN's American History TV. Watch the video and read the article.