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.

January 2015
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Music therapy can help nearly 2 million Americans suffering from Parkinson’s disease, an Iowa State University study shows. Assistant kinesiology professor Elizabeth Stegemöller studied the benefits of singing on speech and swallowing for people with Parkinson’s disease. After two months, participants showed significant improvement in pitch duration, vocal loudness, and swallow control. Read more.

Long before he ever picked up a book to pursue a career in academic research, assistant kinesiology professor D.C. Lee was lifting three times his body weight in hopes of winning the title of Mr. Korea. Today, he's still in the gym, but with a different goal. He garnered national attention last fall for his study that found running as little as 5 or 10 minutes a day can help people live longer.  Read more.

What started as a hobby seven years ago is now a full-time business for Iowa State alumna Marty Glanville, who graduated in 1967 in child development. She now operates Sunrise Flour Mill LLC, a company in North Branch, Minn. that specializes in organic heritage wheat flour. Heritage wheat products are especially popular among people with sensitivities to conventional wheat. Read more.

Top Stories

Iowa State expands college opportunity through ISU 4 U Promise

Iowa State University is working with families and neighborhood organizations to make college more accessible and affordable for some students in the Des Moines Public Schools

ISU 4 U Promise is a multifaceted partnership that will provide educational and teaching assistance as well as tuition awards.

To qualify, students at King Elementary and Moulton Extended Learning Center must meet annual attendance requirements and behavior/disciplinary standards, set annual performance goals with their teacher, maintain a portfolio, and submit a letter of interest to Iowa State at the end of the fifth grade. Read more.


Strathe aims to make Iowa State the top pick for future educators

Marlene Strathe wants the Iowa State University School of Education to be the top choice for students wanting to become teachers, and schools looking to recruit quality teachers.

Strathe is the new director of the School of Education. She’s an alumna who came to Iowa State at the age of 17, earned three degrees here, and went on to serve for 18 years as a provost and vice president for academic affairs at universities in Oklahoma, Colorado, and North Dakota.

Just like Iowa State empowered her to have a successful career in higher education, Strathe is passionate about empowering the next generation of students and faculty. Read more.


Nearly $2 million aging grant to aid Iowa State study tracking evolution of couples into later adulthood

A $1.9 million National Institute on Aging grant will allow Iowa State to continue groundbreaking research about relationships spanning four decades and three generations.

The study began in 1989 and has involved more than 550 individuals and their families.

Under the new funding, co-principal investigators Tricia Neppl and Fred Lorenz, a University Professor in psychology and statistics, will examine the first generation of couples. These were the original participants of the study in 1989. The average age of participants in this generation is 65. Read more.


Iowa State alum to be honored at White House this year as California Teacher of the Year

School of Education alum Maggie Mabery, who graduated from Iowa State in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, is the 2015 California Teacher of the Year. 

The seventh and eighth-grade science teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School was chosen among 350,000 teachers for that distinction. 

The self-proclaimed “SoCal Cyclone” will in April meet President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony honoring 55 state teachers of the year, including 2015 Iowa Teacher of the Year Clemencia Spizzirri. Read more.


Students get real-world experience through the Financial Counseling Clinic

Iowa State students studying financial counseling and planning will get an intensive hands-on education starting this semester, thanks to a change in focus at the Financial Counseling Clinic.

The clinic’s new objective is to provide an experiential learning opportunity for financial counseling and planning majors, allowing students to coach clients about financial questions and issues.

Now that university students with questions about their loans are seen elsewhere, faculty at the Financial Counseling Clinic can focus on student training and important research about the effectiveness of financial interventions. Read more.


College of Human Sciences offers new international programs in Chile, South Africa

Two new study abroad opportunities offered by the College of Human Sciences will allow Iowa State University students to study in South Africa and Chile this summer.

Apparel, merchandising, and design students will travel to South Africa to learn about small-scale garment production.

Meanwhile, a visit to Chile will introduce students interested in education and human services to social services in that country. Both new programs combine hands-on experience with cultural exchange and service learning. Read more.


Iowa State professor says Facebook not to blame for negative impact on grades

It may not come as a surprise that the more time college students, particularly freshmen, spend on Facebook, the more their grades suffer.

In his latest study, Reynol Junco, an associate professor of education at Iowa State University, found that while freshman struggle to balance their use, social media is less of a problem for upper classmen.

Junco surveyed more than 1,600 college students about their Facebook behavior. For freshmen, all Facebook use had a negative impact on their grades. For sophomores and juniors, only time spent using Facebook while doing schoolwork hurt their GPA. For seniors, there was no relationship between the two. Read more and listen to Junco interview with Iowa Public Radio.


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What's new

Iowa State University listed as one of the top fashion schools in the world


College of Human Sciences sponsors reception with Dean Pamela White before Iowa State vs. Oklahoma women's basketball game this Saturday


Bob Bosselman elected 2015 president of the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau


Save the Date: Reception April 17 honoring Pamela White as Dean's Chair in the College of Human Sciences


Child development alum Sherry Bates named to Iowa Board of Regents


Finalists named for next chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies



ISU 4U Promise is an opportunity for Des Moines children to gain access to college — and an exciting way for Iowa State University to diversify its student body. Watch video coverage by the ISU News Service, WHO-TV, and WOI-TV. Read articles and see 17 photos by USA Today, The Des Moines Register, and Radio Iowa. Listen to coverage by KHOI radio.


Apparel, merchandising, and design alum Whitney Marie Rorah recently had one of the gowns she designed, Luella from her Primavera Collection, worn at the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Awards on the A&E TV network. See photos of her designs. 


Jessica Pearce, a senior in kinesiology, was general co-director of this year's Iowa State Dance Marathon that raised a record $444,253.18 for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Watch an interview of Pearce in this ISU News Service video


KCCI-TV aired a story this week about kinesiology assistant professor Elizabeth Stegemöller's research on how singing can help people with Parkinson's disease. Watch video.


Kinesiology professor Gregory Welk's research on fitness band continues to get national TV news coverage. Watch video stories.


Listen to Iowa State student leaders discuss the protests they organized in response to a grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer who killed an unarmed black man. iStock photo. Listen to KHOI radio segment.